For me it’s the 1 hour easy spin on Friday when racing the next day (and the day after that).
… and it’s sunny and 72 degrees.
… and I have time to ride for several hours.
… and while riding a couple of triathletes come by with a sideways glance as if to say “that’s as fast as you can go?”
… and I have to resist the temptation to chase after them, just to show them the error in their thinking.
It’s difficult to force yourself to go slow. I’d like nothing more than to ride for 3 hours at a decent pace, eat a bunch afterward, drink some wine, and feel nice and tired and happy.
But if I do that I know I’ll have “heavy legs” when racing the next two days. I have this internal conversation sometimes: oh, just go ahead and ride, so what if you’re a little tired. But then I remind myself of the times when I’ve done that, and I end up regretting it when I have a crappy race. It may just be a local spring race, but it’s still a race.
So I go slow and resign myself to just working on tan lines.