March 6, 2009 posted by


“If I’m ever on the fence about whether or not to train, I always try and opt for more rest.”

I’m a patient teacher but not a patient athlete. There are days when this little back affliction isn’t very fun, and today is one of those. It’s beautiful out right now and I’m stuck inside, trying to get my head around the fact that the best training I can do is a little passive stretching followed by icing. Ugh.

I wanted to concoct a training program but the reality of my situation is that I can’t. Each day is an evaluation as to what I can and cannot do. So some days I can push, and others I just can’t, or at least shouldn’t. Last night my back hurt so day is a mandatory rest day, even though I’m feeling quite good at the moment. The quote above is from me, btw. This is a mantra that I struggle with when I’m healthy. Imagine what I’m going through now.

Yesterday, I managed to clean up and then nab the first ascent of a traverse—not easily done in these parts. I should be happy with that. But I’m not. I’m restless. I want to head into the mountains, disappear, run, and explore. But I can’t. Not yet. Patience, dammit, patience!

pic: Road House, Deaf Smith Canyon, Utah. “Pain don’t hurt.”


  • Great post. I’m the same way-it’s hard for me to take rest days. But I just have to remember how important they are. I’ll write down your mantra when I have a tough rest day. 🙂

  • Thanks, Demi!We’re different than most people. Too many rest days is why we’re in this obesity epidemic in the first place. But it works both ways. Too much exercise can be worse than not enough or, as the saying goes, “it’s better to be 25% under trained than 1% over trained.”

  • Not that it’s the same, but I need a rest day too. Did 5 hours of aerobic and tempo riding yesterday; woke up with an elevated HR this morning. Wanted to do sub-threshold intervals today at Saltair; I’m taking Slim for a hike instead. This is the final week of a three week block of increased intensity Base training. My body’s adapting, but it’s also tired. You always have to remind yourself that athletes who are willing to listen to their bodies, and allow adaptations to happen gradually separate themselves from the meathead, hammerhead, train to exhaustion, race every race, and then explode by the end of May, athlete. It comes down to humility; acknowledging our physical limits. It’s comes down to a test of character.

  • And dope. You could call Dr. Ferrari. Kimmage’s Rough Ride should also be on the essential reading list. You can borrow mine.

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