As an older rider, no matter what my level of training and fitness, I seem to suffer through periods of mental or physical fatigue. Over the past several weeks, my mileage has fallen from an average of 120-150 miles per week to under 100 miles per week. For the past week or so, in both winter training and on the road, I have felt relatively tired and weak. At the pace of today's ride (18.7 ave mph), I should have felt comfortable for the entire 38-mile ride. In fact, I felt comfortable for very little of the ride. Part of that was due to a change in saddle, which, my SI joints told me, requires a bit of adjustment. Still, my heart rate was running higher than it should have, given the level of effort.
I've had such periods of mental or physical fatigue in the past, and I'm sure I'll have more of them in the future. The question for now is whether to continue with the twice weekly winter training sessions, or rest and ride easily on my own until the holidays, and then rev up for the second 8-week session of winter training.