Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rolling away

Can you believe I am still milking the fact that I am using my rollers for cheesy titles? Seriously, even I am amazed at the length of time I am able to beat this dead horse. While I am hysterically historically known for my ability to draw at least a smile from my wry and witty awful puns, this is really pushing it.

Last night I got back on the rollers as my first workout following my weekend of cold recovery. I'm now up to about 10 minutes of being able to keep my balance while riding the rollers straight through before I need a break. By need a break, of course I mean am drenched in sweat and am wobbling all over the rollers.

I reached out to the fine folks in the Clydesdale section of Bike Forums with the question as to why riding the rollers is so challenging. I completed a 56 mile ride this fall, certainly I shouldnt be working so hard to ride just 10 minutes. I was informed of a few things that made obvious sense, but that I hadn't really stopped to think about.

- Rollers require you to pedal constantly for motion and to maintain balance. When we ride our bikes on roads, once we get enough momentum, we can mix in some coasting time, especially on extended flats or downhills. I know I've done it in every race, and on a lot of training rides. I've been told I'll see a huge benefit from riding like this because it will build my pedaling endurance.

- When we ride, we're cooled by the air travelling around us. When on rollers, there is no air travelling around me. That means I get no relief from the mid 70's temperature of our apartment, and that's just the starting point. All the extra heat I generate has nowhere to go so it just builds around me. The BF folks suggested I put a fan in front of me (duh), which will also give me a focal point to ride towards.

- Being new to rollers, I'm nervous about my balance. Nervousness causes us to tense up as we ride, grip the bike tighter, clench abdominal muscles, etc. Spending time with the rollers will allow me to relax, relaxing will allow me to spend more time on the rollers. Sort of a catch 22/vicious circle there, but gutting through the nerves will eventually pay off.

The end result was that I rode for 10 minutes, sweated a ton, replenished with water, and woke up down 2 pounds from yesterday. This morning I started the day at 320.4, so I have 21.4 pounds to lose and 48 days in which to do it.

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