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About Me, Cycling, Training

Three Things Thursday: Back At It

I’ve been a bit at a loss for blogging recently. Life continues as normal — well, as normal as 15-20 hours per week of training allows — and work has actually been busy, so I generally have to restrict this to my limited evening hours. In any case, here goes.

1. DC — for whatever reason — decided this week that it was sorry it skipped spring. I can’t complain: cooler temps to walk to work (so I don’t show up a sweaty mess), run/ride (so I don’t require 23927492 bottles of water along the way) and just generally enjoy being outside instead of trying to minimize time spent away from the A/C. However, this means afternoon storms (well, storms in general) and the need for arm warmers on my morning rides. Really? Arm warmers??? But spring in DC is glorious, so I’ll savor this foolishness for as long as it lasts.

2. Triathlete posted an interesting article yesterday about training indoors (on the bike, that is) and how pro athletes have gotten great results from doing only a few long rides on the road. When you break it down, they’re basically saying that quality trumps quantity. Here are my thoughts on this…

First, I hate hate HATE the trainer. In case you forgot, I tempted fate by putting mine away after a day of beautiful weather back in March. It snowed the next week. Sorry, everyone. My bad. I get so bored — even if I’ve got hours and hours of pro cycling or IM to watch on TV — and never feel like I can get up to the right intensity. Plus, I like climbing hills.

Second, all these pros have Computrainers. So they can ride race courses and do very specific training. I plan to check out the IMWI course on the Computrainer before September, but I don’t have one set up in my tiny apartment.

Third, trainer sessions, more so than road rides, require company. I did a 10-week program with fellow triathletes back in Jan/Feb, and I rarely worked as hard at the solo Wednesday session in my room as I did on Saturdays with the group. It’s hard to get motivated when you’re not faced with tough hills on the road or someone judging your intensity on the trainer next to you.

Last — I’ve seen more improvement on the bike since I started doing tough hill workouts than anything ever. So while it’s nice out and I can, I’ll stick to the road. But I also won’t be afraid to pull out the CycleOps in nasty weather (summer storms, for example) in lieu of skipping my workout entirely.

3. I have a recovery week next week. Well, until Total 200 on Saturday. But you better believe I’m gonna take advantage of the easy workouts on the schedule M-F and then take a rest day on Sunday. I haven’t actually had a true recovery since I started my IM plan (what, there were fun group workouts I didn’t want to miss!) but I’ve become more and more aware of my body’s need for rest — in terms of sleep, lower intensity and thoughtful refueling/recovery. Yes, I’m so smart.

So — what do you think about this whole indoor riding phenomenon? Yay or nay?



11 thoughts on “Three Things Thursday: Back At It

  1. I guess with indoor cycling, which I know like nothing about, you can be more focused/selective with your approach to hills/intensity/etc. whereas outside you’re stuck with the terrain. Though, that said, you can still pick a good route.

    Quality kicks quantity’s ass. But makes me more hungry. Which means eating more chocolate. Tragedy

    Posted by Victoria (District Chocoholic) | June 16, 2011, 11:43 AM
  2. If I had a $1,500 computrainer in my apartment I may enjoy riding indoors more. I mean, my cycleops and Say Yes to the Dress works just as well, right?

    Posted by Lauren | June 16, 2011, 11:48 AM
  3. I don’t even own a trainer, but I think it would get pretty boring like the tread mill. However that computrainer looks pretty cool

    Posted by Sarah | June 16, 2011, 11:56 AM
  4. I had a very frank conversation with my coach about “quality” indoors on the compuTrainer vs riding outdoors. He brought it down to time and training LOAD. LOAD = time * intensity. He told me I could get the same out of a hard 60 min indoor trainer ride as I could out of a 90 min outdoor ride going not as hard. My response was, “I agree with you, BUT! My sanity here is at stake! The whole reason why I do triathlon is be OUTDOORS.” And fortunately I have the time for 90 min outdoor rides mid week. We were able to work it out πŸ™‚

    Now when it gets too dark and cold out, its back onto the dreaded drainer 😦

    Have you ever thought about training with a power meter? It has helped me understand exactly what I am doing on the bike and it quanitfies the improvements on paper. The #’s don’t lie! It will also help you pace the bike perfectly setting yourself up for a perfect run.

    Have fun on the 200 miler! Looking forward to reading about how it went and which parts of your body started to mutiny on you first! Enjoy!

    Posted by Jon | June 16, 2011, 11:58 AM
  5. You have a computrainer? Awesome!

    I know almost nothing about this but I feel similarly to how I do about the treadmill in that it’s a good alternative if roads aren’t available but nothing trains you for the road like running/riding on the road. I get that you can simulate hills, etc. on the trainer but it just seems too controlled to be realistic. Again, I know nothing about this!

    Posted by amy | June 16, 2011, 12:08 PM
  6. I have to train quality over quantity because quantity would put me in the hospital. But I agree – hill climbing made me stronger on the bike faster than anything else. I think tempo runs/hill workouts fill that spot while running, but my running has been so wacky this year that i don’t really know. πŸ™‚

    Posted by katie | June 16, 2011, 1:03 PM
  7. I think the quality over quantity argument is pretty logical, but I don’t know much about bike training. It seems like you need a good indoor/outdoor mix to be prepared for all of the conditions you might face on race day.

    I am hoping that this weather sticks around for a while, but I know we’ll be back in the 90s soon. 😦

    Posted by Allison | June 16, 2011, 1:59 PM
  8. seriously, arm warmers? and no need to take them off for the entire ride. it’s crazy sauce. i’m way intrigued by this whole indoor cycling thing, but I HATE to ride indoors. I did not get on my trainer once this entire winter, not once!

    Posted by Emily | June 16, 2011, 3:28 PM
  9. Yay for recovery week! You better take some recovery before your IM! Yes. That is a threat. I don’t know what I am threatening you with but I will figure something out;).

    Hmm, I agree that I don’t do the same intense level of workouts all the time on the indoor trainer. I did, however, bike indoors a fair amount before all my tris. Mostly because there is not a lot of great biking near me, so I usually did indoor workouts during the week and my long weekend rides outside. I used to feel the way you do about biking indoors about running indoors, but once I got netflix on my iPhone I started to be more of a fan:)

    Posted by Erin @ untilyoutri | June 16, 2011, 6:11 PM

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