Tag Archives: cycling trainer

Trainer Blues

My homemade “work” station

The trainer is evil. Unfortunately, it is a necessary evil, especially if one has aspirations of riding all over the French Alps.

Coach Bobby has prescribed a healthy dose of riding. Given my busy schedule, the weather, sunlight, and many other factors, I simply cannot do it all on the road. The problem is, I hate the trainer. What’s worse is I’m a total wimp. As soon as I get on, I want to get right off.

On the few occasions where I’ve used the trainer, I’ve spent about half the prescribed time. My logic is that the trainer is more efficient than the road. Even though I am not riding as long, I am getting the same fitness benefit.

I asked Bobby about this. He debunked my logic. There is more consistent pedaling on the trainer, but definitely not a 2:1 ratio. He wanted me to try and use all of my training time, whether on the road or the bike trainer. His advice was to set my goal for a longer duration. That way I can bow out early if I get too tired. He also said to put in a good movie and zone out.

Bobby had prescribed 2.5-3 hours of riding for Sunday, but it was going to be a busy day. I had an idea. I would just do it all on the trainer with the proper distraction.

Sunday’s 1-4pm NFL Red Zone package is probably the most immersive, action-packed three hours of television all week. There are usually 7-8 games, which they flip between to show suspenseful situations, and they show all the touchdowns, all teams threatening to score, and more importantly, no commercials. For an NFL nut like myself, it is cannot miss television. If I was going to be distracted by something for three hours, this was it.

I gave it a go. The first hour went by swimmingly. Sure, it was tough, but the action on the screen kept me captivated. I took a 5-minute break after the first hour, then went back on for 30 minutes. After another break, I got back on for another 30 minutes, churning the pedals as I watched the gridiron action.

By this point, I was already tired, drenched in sweat, and developing some saddle soreness. Another short break, and I willed myself back on. The next 30 minutes went by with a struggle.

Phew. I was tired, but I was almost done. I took a little longer break, then jumped back on again. Fortunately, this was toward the end of the games. Even though there weren’t as many close games as usual on this Sunday, the ones remaining were pretty exciting. However tired I was, the last 30 minutes went by faster than the rest.

Test passed. I can ride three hours on a trainer. Now that I have, I never will again, but at least I know my limits.