‘Tis the season for indoor work. Specifically – time on the indoor bike trainer. This has never been a favorite activity of mine, because going no where on a bike is significantly less exciting than being outdoors with bountiful scenery all around, all the wonderful scents to experience, and the hills, flats, and roads to encounter. Yes, being inside on a bike going nowhere is indeed nearly mind-numbing. However, I have found a way to (moderately) counteract this boredom conundrum. First of all, I have found that my time trial bike rides more smoothly on my trainer than my road bike, and is also more comfortable to plop myself upon for whatever amount of time is relegated for that day. Ok, so the comfort problem is solved. Second, I need something to keep my mind occupied; my attention span is comparable to that of an annoying fly – going everywhere constantly all the time rarely settling on one thing for any length of time. I like to watch something, but television shows don’t keep my attention. I like to listen to music, because the beats keep my focus and motivation going, but I can’t listen to music and watch tv at the same time…huh…so…solution?…MUSIC VIDEOS. Yes, yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have found that by creating a YouTube playlist of all the music videos of the songs I like to listen to makes trainer time significantly more exciting, and almost something I actually look forward to. No, I did not invent this idea, I am certain, but I was pretty darn happy when it came to mind (kinda like one of those “duh” moments).
I am in Week 5 (microcycle 2, macrocycle 1) of my “official” training program; I just came off of a recovery week, so this week begins a build week. Today’s trainer time workout involved some sustained effort intervals followed by some Tabata intervals (yes, to all of my clients, I really do do these too) followed by some more sustained effort intervals. Grand total time amounts to just over an hour. I like to put in work when I’m on the trainer, and I like my training to be efficient, so I’d rather put in less time at greater effort than more time at less effort (brilliant, I know, but I did not invent this school of science, either). I’ll delve more into the science-y stuff as we go along, but for now…back to the music!
What is my go-to warm-up song? Pharrell Williams “Happy”. You can’t go wrong with this. You can’t listen to that song and NOT be happy afterward. Seriously. Perfect way to start some time on the trainer! My workout song-of-the-moment is Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries”; that’s when the real work begins. It manages to be the closing song of a set of three for my sustained effort intervals.
What do I do when the bike work comes to a conclusion? Stretching time! Or, more specifically, yoga time. Only 20 minutes today, but plenty sufficient enough. Recovery, and enabling your body to recover faster, is so very important in training. It is the recovery that makes your body stronger. I cannot hammer this home enough. This is how I approach my training: from the recovery standpoint. I look at what I am trying to do, the amount of energy and effort it will require, and compare it to my current rate of recovery, and how my body responds during that time of recovery. This lets me know if I am fit enough to handle the next load, or if something needs to be adjusted. Plenty more on all of that to come. Oh, believe-you-me, there will be.