You know it right? That funny feeling that comes over you when you first start exercising. It’s just so hard to explain it. As soon as I say, “that funny feeling” EVERYONE knows what I’m talking about. You’re out of breath, or can’t catch your breath and THAT BURN!! Ugh. That burn in your legs is enough to make you quit and walk back to your car right?
What IS that funny feeling anyway? Well, in a nutshell without getting too deep into our bodies’ energy system…it’s the delayed response or delayed time it takes your body to deliver adequate fuel to your muscles while under stress.
Here’s the deal, to get past that feeling you have to push through it. Once you make it through, your body will adapt to a slightly “more comfortable” steady state.
BUT, Yes but.
A weekend or after work trail ride is basically like a 2-3 hour HIIT session (high-intensity interval training). Think about it! We’re up out of the saddle, back down in the saddle, leaning into a corner, dying on a climb, hitting a descent, stopping to rest or set up a camera for that perfect shot to post. Then we try that jump 8 times before getting it just right. We’ve got our energy system bouncing all over the place!
SO. You have to go into it with these three bullet points lined up.
1 – Strength train consistently.
2- Push through the burn by adjusting your pace accordingly and concentrating on proper bike posture to keep your breath open.
3- WARM UP!
Warming up before ANY activity is so so important yet almost always overlooked. Taking 5-10 minutes to warm up will prepare your muscles and joints for what’s ahead which in turn will reduce possible injury (aside from crash injury!). If you are new to exercise then a longer more gradual warm-up is advised. And if the trial head happens to have a hill or climb right at the beginning, well you’re gonna have to wrap your head around knowing that that “weird feeling” is just inevitable. Power through it, but power through SMARTLY.
I’ve included this video below of a quick 5-minute trail head warm up to do with your bike in hand. That way when you’re done, you’re ready to jump on and hit it. Take a look and give it go next time you hit a ride. Let me know how it went!