To go out or not to go out to train today?
This is a popular question that every cyclist has asked themselves at one point. Maybe it’s one of those days in which the lack of desire, health issues or simple exhaustion gets the best of us and going out with the bike seems like an obligation instead of a pleasure. Sure, this could happen to the best of us.
Even though we all know that training on a regular basis improves our physical performance and nobody doubts it, there are times or situations in which the smartest decision is to take one or even several days off, both to avoid falling into overtraining and preventing injuries or accidents resulting from a bad predisposition to exercise.
When is Not Going Out to Train the Best For You?
If you don’t get enough sleep, have ingested an important amount of alcohol, or have some discomfort, sore or pain that has been going for a while and it doesn’t go away on its own. These reasons become good and valid reasons not to go out to train. Why? Because training with the bicycle in those conditions doesn’t help improve your physical performance and, in addition, it is counterproductive, they can even cause many other problems, like worsen an injury or lead to accidents.
When You Have Not Slept the Night Before
We all know that sleeping is the most important recovery process for the human body. At a physiological level, a sleepless night or a few nights of very poor sleep affects significantly certain brain functions, so this will harm the whole body, the situation gets worse when this happens during a period of physical exercise when your brain and reflexes are needed at their best.
Sleep deprivation can worsen a poor glucose management or affect negatively a healthy one, also this can lower basal body temperature, which is responsible, among other factors, of the constancy of the heart rate. At the mental level, the cyclist becomes slower and less precise, as well as more predisposed to suffer other problems such as an increase in the perception of pain, greater exhaustion, gastrointestinal disorders and weakness of the immune system, with the corresponding risk of infection.
When a Copious Amount of Alcohol Has Been Ingested
Any athlete knows that alcohol is one of the most widely accepted and integrated drugs in society and yet it’s one of the most dangerous and deadly substances on the planet. An excessive alcohol intake causes all kinds of diseases (hepatic, oncological, cardiovascular, neurological, psychiatric, etc.) and it’s also directly related to deaths on the road. Alcohol acts by intoxicating the central nervous system exerting a depressant effect on its functions, which, explained in simple words, results in poor coordination and balance, a decrease in attention and reflexes, a longer reaction time and a significant reduction of cognitive ability to calculate speed and distance, with the risk that this entails for the athlete and those around him.
When There is Any Injury, Pain or Illness in Progress
Going out to train with the bicycle in the process of a post-surgery recovery or injury, suffering from some type of pain that does not disappear, or under the effects of a viral infection such as, for instance, the flu, it’s not recommended in any case. Although physical exercise is beneficial for the body, we must bear in mind that cycling is an activity that demands hard work from several parts of the body and that in case of dysfunction of any of these parts, it can end up aggravating the problem instead of improving it.