Posts Tagged With: turbo trainer

What’s one size down from taking baby steps?

I did the same ride again yesterday and it turns out there is something more uncomfortable than 20 miles on a bike for the first time in months. It’s getting back on and doing it again the day after.

This time it was even windier but a different direction of windiness. The last three miles were some of the least pleasant that I’ve ridden. That effort was far too great for the speed achieved. Until that final turn onto the climb to home I was quite comfortably up on the previous attempt. The tail wind on the ‘back-straight’ section was more so and the main climb was as sheltered. When I did finally cross the line I was still up.

By six seconds.

That still counts, right? That’s an improvement. Just think, in 130 rides time I’ll be on for a record. If I wanted to make it any time soon I’ll be dizzy.

Today I decided against fighting the elements and chose instead to sit on the turbo for a while. In the end I watch two episodes of 24. That’s 90 minutes after warming up/stretching etc. I feel that’s more than equivalent though I’m not sure it justified the amount I’ve just eaten. I’m now going to lie in a darkened room for a while and be a snake.

Categories: Cycling | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Success on the bad days

I can’t remember who said it, maybe Mike Spracklen (ex-GB and now ex-Canadian rowing coach) but one line, however clichéd and cheesy it may be, has stuck with me from the moment I heard it.

We don’t train to win with our best performances. We train to win on our worst

(or words to that effect) While the amount of winning I have had so far is disappointingly small, the idea that you shouldn’t have to rely on having one of your best sessions come race day to win, is one that makes a huge amount of sense. Going into races with the confidence of knowing you are fast and don’t need luck or good fortune is something that can bring a whole load of calm that would otherwise be missing and prevent you from having your good row anyway. The races I have won are the ones I knew we were fast enough to win beforehand. Only once have I won thinking we were outclassed.

What I do have experience of, is being in crews that thought they weren’t too bad and should be alright on a good day only to find that during the race it’d all fall apart because the other crews were close to us.

Taking this to the lowest extreme, we had our weekly erg today and as I sat down I was not hopeful. I’d done the 40min UT2 session this morning without meaning to. Careless I know but it didn’t dawn on me until I was midway through that I don’t usually train on the morning of the erg.

Coupled with that was the lack of food I’d had during the day. Lack of time and lack of food in the house meant I had a banana. I managed to get a piece of toast in the evening after work and before heading to the boathouse but not enough and at the wrong time to be helpful.

Setting off I settled onto the split I got last time on the premise that by rights I should be able to make it. By half way I was floundering but still fighting for the split. From there I was giving pretty much all I had every stroke to hold the split but slowly, it did start to drop again. I finished 0.4s better than last time. PB+1.9 and Target+4.4

This will happen by next year.

Categories: No NaNoWriMo, Rowing | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day the Second

And I’ve already run into that unsurprising block that comes with having done very little other than stare blankly at an unchanging (it is changing really, I generally feel I ought to do something) screen of code all day.

The trouble is my life has set into much more of a routine than I ever expected and rather than make everything seem boring and slow as I’d have thought it would, it makes time fly past. This must be what having fun is.

I’m generally awake at six. I have to wake up at six so that by the time I have thumped the alarm and rolled over for another cycle of the sleep timer, I still have time to get some training done before work.

I have a turbo trainer that I bought about four years ago during the time that I used to race XC for training. Although I was training then, I didn’t have a plan as such and therefore never really used it. I then went to uni and rowed for three years, getting used to following training plans fairly religiously in the process. Since I don’t yet have an erg I turned to the turbo as a handy way of preventing me having to drive 40 miles a day to the boat club or pay a gym subscription to train. The outcome of this is me sitting in the garage for 50 minutes every morning steaming gently the whine of a flywheel and the soundtrack to the latest episode of whichever series I’m working through.

It didn’t take long for me to realise that staring at a wall for an hour gets boring pretty quickly so I now watch TV shows instead. This has two benefits. Firstly, I don’t notice the time going so never get that “I must be more than half way through now, surely” feeling, and secondly, I’m not letting myself watch any of it while not cycling so I have the added motivation of wanting to watch more to get out in the morning. So far it’s working well and I’ve surprised myself by how often I’m managing it. I’ve now worked my way through both series of Green Wing (highly recommended if you enjoy fairly unintellectual sitcoms) and now have the second series of 24 on the go (also recommended (crime drama) and for the bargain price of £3.80 on Play, I couldn’t find a better alternative).

This generally takes until twenty past 7, give or take. If it’s earlier I relax into the “I’ve got plenty of time – I don’t need to hurry” mentality and don’t get anything done. If it’s later than that I get into the “oh no, I’m late” mentality and run around in a rush and still don’t get anything done. It’s a bit like one of those ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ stories where whichever path you choose you always end on page 247 where I’m ready about two minutes after I needed to be and, if anyone is around, can be seen running out of the house in a flurry of untied shoes, undone bags and assorted items of clothing and lunch paraphernalia.

What follows is nine hours of me sitting at a desk (in a box, in a barn – but that’s a whole new story) trying to understand why things don’t have the attributes I feel they ought to and how best to wallpaper over the exceptions that are being thrown at me by the evil Lord Python Interpreter.

The evening has eating involved as its main focus along with the general time passing that takes place when one has three hours and isn’t quite sure of the task to which one should devote it. There are plenty of things I should do but since none is of higher priority than the next, they are all settling, quite comfortably, into the to-do list. Occasionally they are joined by another job that needs doing but as yet, being evicted from their new home is a risk that I doubt most of them are even aware of.

Then at about twenty minutes after I planned to, I crash in the slightly unimpressed mood that comes whenever I see my phone say “alarm set for 7hours 32minutes”*. Why would they put that there? It’s just cruel.

PS. I’m currently hoping as much as you are that this weekend brings fun and frivolities that will entertain and amuse us all for days to come. I’m not sure how much of today’s level of excitement I could take.

*I’m aware this isn’t a bad amount of sleep but it is considerably less than I would choose without the alarm being there

Categories: Everyday Happenings, No NaNoWriMo | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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