Easing into the training scene

Last night was my first “repeat workout.” No, that does not mean I was doing repeats during the workout. It means that it was the first time I did a workout for the second time. The encouraging thing is that I noticed some improvement from the first to the second.

It was a repeat of last Thursday’s workout plan. I’m sure part of my improvement was due to me not eating a huge steak before I climbed on the bike! The rice and stir fry was a little more helpful.

I’m not going to repeat it all today. I’ll just say that I found the workout to be much smoother.  Having done it more recently, I knew what to expect and transitioned from one instruction to the other without a lot of undirected spinning in between. One thing that helped with this is that I set my computer screen up to show both the lap time and the overall time along with cadence and power.

Another change I made was on the isolated leg drills. Last time even though I was on the trainer, I followed the instructions that were intended for a road workout. Specifically, I was supposed to pedal with one leg and at the same time keep only one hand on the bar. The problem is that on a trainer you don’t get the benefit you should.

The reason for this little maneuver is to help with your balance and strengthen your core muscles. The work of balancing the moving bike with one leg and one hand makes you correct with your core muscles. You can feel it in your lower back and abs. So, the question becomes, “How do you get this benefit on the trainer?”

The way I did this was to pedal with one leg and no hands. It didn’t completely replicate the one leg/one hand on the road workout. However, if the burn I was feeling in my abs and back are any indication, it did help zero in on those muscles. Again, the primary negative is what this does to your seat area!

Don't they look happy?

Some people like going nowhere together

Speaking of the road, I don’t see myself getting out anytime soon. Today I am supposed to ride my fixed gear at a steady pace. I imagine what I am going to end up doing is counting my gears and finding the equivalent gearing ratio on my road bike that I use on the trainer. Again, it isn’t perfect, but I know it will work.

My personal opinion is that for pure sterile power workout you can’t beat the trainer. The trainer takes out the variables of terrain and environment. It is just you and your powermeter. Coasting isn’t on the menu so you get all the calories from the meal.

Now, does that mean it is fun? No. It isn’t as enjoyable as a ride out in nature. However, when the high for a day is 34 degrees the indoor trainer starts looking pretty attractive to this southerner!