I have the tendency to push myself too much, resulting in exhaustion and 4+ days of required rest and more than a week before I can train normally again. Two weeks ago, I went on a 35 mile ride which includes several steep hills (7-15%) and I just wore myself out too much. I just can't keep cool and cycle slowly- a reason why I have never ridden more than 40mi. I don't know when I am doing too much. Or rather, I ignore my HR meter and think "just this bit and then I will slow down".
In the wake of that, I discovered spinning as a great way to constantly monitor my HR and not push myself too much. I thought I could maybe use spinning as a way to learn to listen to my body?
Every summer, I partake in a TT race. I would love to finally earn some silverware. The TT is short (13.3mi) and I think it doesn't take much for me to improve. But I just can't improve, because I always over-do it. Is there something that I can do? I have dropped most of my cycle workouts for spinning in the past month because I recover much better. But I want to get back on the road, especially with the weather improving.
I also do weight-lifting, which is easier to do because if it's too heavy, it's too heavy. But with cycling, I can always tap into a reserve.
Clear question: What excercises are there (aside from resorting to spinning) to stop over-exercise during a bike ride? How can I improve my awareness?