This morning I popped the Specialized Venge on the trainer and pedaled for 40 minutes or so. We have a nice room set up for indoor training. There’s a TV and a fan and a place to hang our bikes when they’re not in use.
As I climbed on the bike I thought about the months ahead and asked myself, “Are you ready for this?”
I’ll admit it: Indoor training on the bike is not my favorite thing. Nor do I love the treadmill. Yet going way back to the early 1980s while living in the City of Chicago at 1764 North Clark Street, I’d put a bike on a trainer in front of the bay windows overlooking Lincoln Park. My roommate convinced me to buy a MagTurbo trainer that I still own. And it still works.
That’s not the one I use these days, because they’ve evolved a little. But not that much. We multisport athletes tend to pile up equipment just for sake of change.
And who can really blame a person for wanting to freshen it up a bit? Indoor training under any circumstance is an exercise in forced patience. We sometimes visit Computrain classes and sit there pedaling while trying to keep our digital graphics in the proper zone to gain maximum training effect.
Sometimes I prefer to just grab the mountain bike, bundle up and go riding on the bike trails if they’re clear. My brother-in-law used to put in 60-mile rides in near-zero temps. He’d double layer and seal his feet in with heating pads and baggies. He was an animal at riding.
I rode this past Saturday with two good friends that have seen it all when it comes to bikes. We took our mountain bikes out for a chilly but tolerable 20 mile ride. Part of our journey took us through a local state park where the crushed gravel trails were sodden. They stole the energy out of every pedal stroke and it was tough to keep pace, especially when the winds combined to make things even harder.
But it was honest riding, for sure. And I like that.
It’s not that indoor training is dishonest in some way. Some cyclists do all their training indoors. Some get so hooked on Zwift they miss it too much when they head outside. We’re going to have that to use this winter as well. We’ll see how that goes.
My goals are to get ready for a training camp we’re attending in Tucson in February. I’m also trying to keep my gut from expanding over the winter months. Last night I did an 8 X 400 running workout on the indoor track at 1:36-1:40 per interval. The indoor track is a pleasure in many ways.
So to answer the question, “Am I ready for this?” I’ll have to say yes and no. It’s going to take a few sessions to get my brain tuned to the rhythms of indoor cycling. But I’ll have the mountain bike if the temps get above 30 degrees, my running and the swim workouts to break things up and make things interesting.
I’m not going to dwell on how long I’ve been doing all this. That seems dysfunctional when you’re trying to think about keeping up fitness for the future. I suppose it would be easy to let it all go and relax into some sort of partial fitness routine as some people my age are wont to do. But I’ve thought about that option and made a decision already. I’m not ready for that.
See you on the trainer. On the track. And in the pool.