Every training program that I’ve come across or followed when I raced included interval workouts. Timed strenuous efforts followed by prescribed recovery periods. Push hard. Rest. Recover. Repeat. I followed this formula for over 25 years. Today, and for the last 5 years, I basically just ride. I never really go hard anymore. But given my lack of riding intensity, am I still fit? Google defines fitness as “a state of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sport, occupations and daily activities”. Meandering along on my bike is not really what I’d call “performing”. But, as for the “health” and “well-being” part, there is absolutely no doubt that I feel better when I ride regularly. 5 or 6 days per week. Not forced. Not squeezed into a tight window of an overly busy day. Unhurried. I can no longer get even remotely close to pushing the same watts that I used to since forgoing these hard race efforts. Actually, speed isn’t the only thing that I seem to have lost. The constant stiffness in my lower back is gone as well. My hips are also much looser. And that deep pain in my inner thigh that never seemed to go away, I haven’t felt it in years. It’s no longer about what I want to achieve on the bike. It’s simply about how I feel on the bike. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re faster than me or if I’m faster than you. It doesn’t even matter if I’m faster than I was yesterday. All of that is in essence irrelevant. The whole point is how riding makes me feel. That revitalizing feeling. The one that infiltrates every single aspect of my entire life. The one that simply makes me a better human. Yeah. I think I’ll just keep on focusing on that.