Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Escaping the Basement

I gotta hand it to you guys who are disciplined enough to sit on a trainer watching TV and doing a vigorous workout. You inspired me to try it again today.
It produced great results, which I'll get to later.
First, I want to thank Craig Griffin, the little Aussie on the CTS "Sprinting" video. The box champions this traitor as a USA Cycling coach. (Coincidentally, I'm sure, his wife was the head of USA Cycling ...)
Griffin walks around among the Riding Dead looking like a GED-test monitor with a stopwatch. He murmurs in Oz-drawl in the kind of monotone you'd expect to hear on a PBS show about how to paint miniature toy soldiers. The hapless riders around him look as frozen-faced and expressionless as the peloton from a charity ride for Bell's palsy. "Pick up your cadence a little there, Jim," Griffin said. I was taken aback until I realized he was talking to a guy on the video and not me.
Then I want to thank Performance Bike, which designed a fluid trainer that maximizes my results uniquely: by sitting lopsided on the floor, creeping toward its folded-up position when I sprint, moving enough to actually nudge my front wheel off its block in mid-interval and filling my basement with the acrid aroma of Akron. This one puts the "fluid" in fluid trainer, but not in the right way. I didn't realize staying upright on a trainer was supposed to give me a core workout, but riding mine could be an X-Games sport.
All of these factors helped produce the leaden weariness in my legs that today's killer workout produced. That's because 27 minutes into this latest foray into trainer riding, I got off the stupid thing, put on some dry clothes and my ski goggles, and went outside on my other bike.
It was 10 degrees with a wind chill of -14. But I did my workout on a six-block (.93-mile) circuit around my house -- never rode more than half a mile or so from my front door.
I did the same sprint-interval workout on the Carmichael video, but did it without the wheels slipping or the bike lurching. Ah! Intensity! Wound up riding outside for almost 40 minutes, and I did not get cold. Not at all.
But I did get my arse busted, in a good way. And I nearly got to that point where I was just about at the threshold of almost puking.
That might be possible to achieve on your trainer. Not on mine. Mine is Ex-TREEM! (or maybe I'm just putting out 2,000 watts.)
This encourages me to put my trainer to more use. I'm thinking of using it, for instance, to smash my computer screen so I no longer have to see photos on my teammates' blogs of them playing Rock Band. (If I hate you, please see this. But beware: It just may be the last thing you see before your eyeballs voluntarily and eagerly self-immolate.)
By the time I was done riding, my cloud of surliness and depression had started to lift. (Obviously, it started to, but didn't finish.) My legs are now as rubbery as my gut. And I have achieved spiritual wholeness. I'm already 5% of the way toward being ready for the Frosty Toes Classic!


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