I'm more of a lurker/commenter on these forums so rarely start a new thread, but thought i'd make a post today. More of a message to share with fellow cyclists if anything.
Being a racer myself, I realised the other day that my training plan was missing something. I sat down and all of a sudden remembered the reason I started cycling. Because I enjoyed it. And then it clicked - I needed to just go out there, stop focusing on heart rate monitors, calorie burn and all the things that turn the sport into a chore and just have some FUN! Back when I was younger I rode my BMX because I liked jumping off ledges, ramps, stairs etc. So that's exactly what I did. Out with my mountain bike, ditched the training aids and just cycled for the fun of it. I spun the climbs, hammered the descents and jumped as many obsticles and pulled as many wheelies as I could. I came back in an hour and a half later grinning from ear to ear.
At this time of year, especially for guys who are focusing on training for the upcoming race season, (I find) it's all too easy to let yourself get caught up in the stresses of riding a bike for the sake of "training". Exercise is meant to be a stress reliever after all. So to anyone who feels like they are stuck in the rut of "training", ditch the HRM and power meters for a change and remember the reason you started cycling in the first place - for the enjoyment!