Unable to ride slow

Hey all,

Not sure if this is a question or more like a comment but I will put it out there anyway as I think more of us have this problem.

Let’s call it the inability to go slow.

When riding outside it feels I am like a dog on the loose at the beach. I tire myself out (like yesterday). This is all fine, although now I feel my legs when I am typing this. The problem occurs when you (again like me), have a rest week scheduled :slight_smile:

If you have a MTB I think the best way to overcome is to head to a technical bike park and ride some rounds after work (or before). This for a number of reason:

  1. rest week is perfect for honing technique;
  2. Technical riding forces you to slow down;
  3. I am on LV so all of this can be done in one hour.

Might miss some other points. In any case if you are an active Duracell rabbit like me, it might just work.

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Power meter and endurance workout loaded to Wahoo works quite well for me. If I have numbers and targets to follow I can get OCD about nailing them.

”Unable To Ride Slow”, should be reworded as “Unwilling To Ride Slow”. One of the most common mistakes of amateur riders is going too hard on their easy days and too easy on their hard days. You get faster through recovery as you reap the benefits of your hard training. So recover as hard as you train. It takes decipline to follow the plans as prescribed and not get swept away by motivation to always be doing more, which will likely result in lesser/slower fitness growth. That being said, on a LV plan a full week of recovery is likely not needed.


MTB is often on the gas and off the gas, so it’s not great for a rest week because you end up riding too hard. Too much torque on the pedals.

Use your gears and ride a smooth trail and just spin; whether you are a Duracell or not, you know that in order to go fast, you have to go slow.

It takes some restraint, but is worth it.




Indeed - ride slow to ride fast when you need to!

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It’s one of the first lessons of running training plans - learn to run slowly. Same on the bike. Rest when you’re supposed to rest, ride the easy stuff easy, ride the hard stuff hard.

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The problem actually occurs all the time, not just on rest weeks. If you’re supposed to ride easy and you ride hard you’re denying your body the chance to get stronger.

Others have stated this in the thread already but not allowing yourself to recover is an extremely common problem for people who are new to training.

Without knowing the precise nature of the mountain bike work you’re describing it is hard to say if it is truly recuperative but it may be just the thing you need. I’d still suggest you learn to ride easier without a course limitation as it will continue to hamper your progress and keep you from reaching your potential

That’s a good point. If you’ve gone too hard on your easy days, you’re not recovered and thus can’t go hard enough on your hard days. So you end up over time being in the grey area of training missing some of the benifits of structured training.

Also, as being a 100% mountain biker, I’ve yet to find a trail that feels like a recovery ride. I’ve made that mistake many of times and always end up needing little punches of power, cadence being all over the place and bouncing between power zones. There’s just too many variables to do proper recovery on a trail. Gravel road however is doable.

I confess to having this problem as well - although in my defense, my local terrain is ‘lumpy’ which doesn’t make it easy to ride at low intensity without going excruciatingly slow at times.

I’m planning on riding recovery weeks indoors throughout the summer. Sod’s law states that those weeks will undoubtedly be the best riding weather…