Over winter and being more than a little slightly broken I’ve been spending time on my Elite turbo trainer and while it’s a great piece of tech that my non cycling chums genuinely “WOW” over in their slight disbelief that their childhood toy had such computer controlled potential.
I’ve bought fully into turbo training as a way to keep the legs turning while I’m waiting for the spine operation. It’s not as though I’m in severe pain all day every day and on Sunday I woke up feeling good enough to go for a quick spin outside and I found the flaw in my turbo training that simply isn’t talked about in the promos.
While I can spend an hour on a trainer without the worry of being taken out by a car and I don’t have to bother at waiting at red lights and that I can go hard for an hour at a constant pace which I suppose is great since I’m training for the British Old Lady Record but in the context of road riding these constant efforts or negative efforts on a trainer simply do nothing for my capacity to change to variable road conditions, inclines or sprinting away from the lights.
I didn’t appreciate the different requirements of both disciplines, in the full British tradition I’m kind of muddling through, learning as I go and drowning my failures in flagons of loose leaf tea. I drink a lot of tea.
The plus points of Sunday’s ride was that those single leg drills and pedalling exercises that Joe Friel wrote about on Training Peaks have started to work and while I can’t keep that technique going very long due to under developed muscles and years of pedalling badly encouraging wonky muscle memory.
All I wanted to do on Sunday was be outside on the bike, I’ve missed it and while turbo training does serve a purpose it strips away the basic joy of just riding for riding’s sake. Generally as a rider I’m quad heavy, up and down and my body didn’t have another technique now I have quite painful muscle recruitment in my lower leg, that muscle at the back of my knee, the hip flexor, the upper glute are lower part of my back my lower glutes, it’s a totally different sensation where DOMS are concerned. Instead of my quads hurting, my whole legs do, walking isn’t the most comfortable thing to do today.
Essentially I would never be proud of my performance on Sunday but it’s great to feel your body working in a new way in the hope that I become better at what I’m doing.