Over the past few weeks I’ve started getting problems with my back again. It has slowly crept up, and is manifesting as a deep discomfort when I push much above lower zone 3. I’m left after a ride with a discomfort that lasts for a day or two. I’ve already discussed it with my Alexander Technique teacher and we both agree that is is a transitional thing as my back continues to rehabilitate, and should disappear once I figure out how to integrate the change of muscular use required into my cycling. Every now and again I go through these shifts that mean all the old habits need to be thrown away and something new brought in. This one feels quite fundamental and it’s causing me a lot of problems on the bike when I ‘push’ too hard. As with all things Alexander Technique, the solution is always to stop ‘trying’ (end-gaining in AT terminology), focus on stopping doing the bad habits and let the good habits take care of themselves. All easier said than done though, when you’re doing threshold intervals.
It’s been quite annoying timing wise – I was just starting to get a really good fitness with hopes of potentially putting in a sub 4:30 Tour de Lauder time in April. Maybe that will still be achievable, although I very much doubt it. In the meantime I’ve had to drop the HIIT plan and stick to easier zone 2 / low zone 3 rides. I can feel the top end power just ebbing away after a couple of weeks 🙁 I figure if I can do more rides at a lower intensity I can at least still get a decent training load in each week to keep the aerobic fitness up, and hopefully get back to the higher intensity stuff at some point soon. I’ll see how it goes.
All a good reminder though, that in your mid 40s, you can’t just push through things the way you could when you were 16. The body just doesn’t work as well. Change of mindset required!