Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Winter indoor long workouts, how do you suffer?

This is your pain. This is your burning [calves and hamstrings]. It's right here. Look at it. 
I'm going to my cave. I'm going to my [TV] and I'm going to find my [trash shows].
No! Don't deal with this the way those [coach potatoes] do. Deal with it the way a living [Triathlete] does.

As I was riding out a 90 minuter trainer ride in the basement pain cave due to 6 inches of snow that came this past Sunday (what spring?), I found myself needing to multitask.  Going the self employment route requires a lot more elbow grease than the majority of 9-5 gigs.  When you work for yourself, you're only as successfull as the effort you put in.

So, I needed to do some biz work AND get the ride in.  What was a Newbie Triathlon Coach to do? 


I'm the first to admit, I cannot just drone away on the trainer without some sort of entertainment.  DVR has been my friend.  I still have the 2012 IM world champs on DVR that I re-visit now and again.  I have movies in the DVD player and I use that time to catch up on the trash TV shows I like to keep up with.  It's somewhat embarrassing to admit to some of the shows I like to keep tabs on, so I won't advertise it here.  I digress...

Luckily trainer rides provide a good chance to catch up.  Depending on the types of workouts you are doing, you can catch up with phone calls, emails and a few other items.  Those nice little tablets are great for getting on the web and getting things done.  It's uber handy in the aero position to hold it out front with one hand and peck and type with the other.

But, I bring that up to point out that it can be a trap.

In 2011, I was king of catching up on reading and watching tv shoes while droning on the trainer.  What I wasn't cognisant of was how I was training.  At that time, I was more focused on speed than cadence.  I was in the big chain ring holding on to 20 mph as long as I could and shifting down when I couldn't hold up any more.  Even though I had almost doubled my winter bike training time, my speed actually went down for the season.  Try as I might, it stayed pretty set for the summer.

Now that I'm more aware of heart rate and trying to increase my riding cadence, a zone two ride could be a target of 145 bpm at the 90 to 95 rpm range.  That's a good clip, and if you're off thinking about your power animal, you could be missing it, man.

It's easy to slide into the 85 rpm range and the 120 bpm while you are focusing on 2012 mortgage interest and mileage reports.  Do'h.

It's all good if you need to watch TV, multitask or find some sort of distraction to make time pass quicker for a long workout, but be careful that you don't zone out and forget what you are really there for.  If you're not going to get the most from your workout, then you're better off getting your stuff done and coming back later to focus on the ride and ride for a shorter period of time.  For some, it may not be a big issue.  Quantity does not equal quality.

Just use your best judgement and don't be surprised if your speed drops for the season even though you spent more time on the trainer in the winter.  If you're not riding to improve, you've essentially wasted the miles as it applies to improving performance.

Also, don't forget to hop on over to my Triathlon Coaching site - and check it out!  Like the Facebook page as well!
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