Thursday, 17 January 2013

Turbo Training....

I woke at 7.00am with all good intentions - i would join the Sunday Club Run - didn’t matter where it was going too. My plan lasted about 14 seconds then I remembered I haven’t made it to a Sunday club run for about two years - and I decided I didn’t want to go on a club run in this weather anyway - whatever the weather was. 

I went back to sleep careful to ignore the sunlight flooding through the gaps in the curtains.
An hour later with my second cup of tea and whilst browsing the morning papers I began to contemplate what sort of ride might best compensate for my lack of club run, in fact for my total lack of recent effort. (New years resolutions have crumbled to dust). A long one I thought - nice and easy, enjoy the air, the sun, perhaps stop at a pub, In fact the only thing missing would be a couple of friends to while away the miles. I abandoned that idea based on the fact that if that was what i wanted I’d have joined the club run and there must have been some reason why I didn’t.

Instead I decided I would research the optimum training day. I was amazed I hadn’t thought of it before. I would work out exactly what was missing from my physiology and I would find just the ride to fix it - through the medium of the always accurate, consise and reliable information available on the internet.

I isolated the problem after an hour on the iPad. The problem is that I can’t go as fast as I want for as long as I want. Another hour revealed the reason - I needed the legs of Bradley Wiggins. The great thing with the Web is that the answer is never far away, and, sure enough another half hour or so revealed the solution. I need the aggregation of marginal gains, proper nutrition, rest and recovery, training at altitude, the support of a team of physiologists, psychologists and coaches. And a time machine to knock 30 years off my age. That’s it - simple. I have to admit though, I was kind of hoping for something more like; ride steady for a couple of hours.

I decided to continue my training day with a restricted carbohydrate regime. Ironically this was torpedoed by the packet of jaffa cakes I ate whilst conducting the research. But at last, galvanised into action, I went for a nice afternoon nap on a comfortable sofa and let the afternoon slip away like a memory.

After a nice glass of sherry I finally felt ready for another glass of sherry and I realised sunset wasn’t very far away. Then I remembered my excellent lights - these make training in the dark an absolute pleasure - I thought of the exhileration of hurtling down a dark lane and had another glass of sherry. I remembered my lights hadn’t been charged - I knew this because last weekend had presented an identical scenario and they hadn’t been charged then either. And so, as night fell I trudged to the garage and got on the turbo - this is self-coaching for the blithering idiot - perfect.

I’ve been using the turbo-trainer lately, I’ve had the contraption for a few years, an impulse purchase from e-bay , but have used it only once. Frankly I didn’t like it, it didn’t feel right and I was bored sitting there and getting nowhere. However, circumstances of late have led to me having to reconsider my options – I don’t have much time to get out on the road in daylight and the weather makes it generally miserable when I do – time to give the TT another chance then.
I know there are cyclists out there who swear by the benefits of indoor training - and I admit they do sound convincing. Weather is not a problem, the bike doesn't get covered in filth, you don't need to get dressed like an eskimo and results can be dramatic. People hook up their turbo trainers to computers and pedal away to a synchronised screening of an assent of Mont Ventoux, or a stage of the Giro - it looks good - looks like it could be fun - but at entry level it really is a drudge - the whirring noise of the machine - the complete lack of any change of scenery, looking at the back of a garage door simply does not stimulate in the same way as a proper ride - then there's the problem of sweat. On the road sweating is kept under control by air-flow - only in the heights of summer does it become anything to notice - and even then its never a worry. On the turbo you need someone to mop up after a session. The bike gets covered, the floor, clothes - I come out of the garage looking like i've been for a swim.

I've done about 50 miles on the turbo over the past week or two - I don't look forward to my next session - I'm longing for the open road.

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