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Making the Most of My Time on the Trainer, Listening to My Heinie… err, “Body”

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If you hadn’t guessed by the Title, I don’t like the “listen to your body” meme.  Listen to my body?  If I did that, I’d spend much more time eating and sitting on the freaking couch.  My body says, “Hey, smartass, cut this cycling $#!+ out!  Why don’t you take a day off or somethin’!”  I tell my body it will comply, and for the other 23 hours of the day I feel better for it.

With the onset of winter, more than a couple of weeks early, I’ve been spending the proper amount of time on the trainer.  Some of my friends, Titanium Henry and Brent to name two, are trying to push me into picking up fat bikes up for Mrs. Bgddy and me.  I’m not buying, though.  I know this is heresy, but I’m at a point where I’ve got so many bikes I’m feeling a little guilty for having so much wrapped up into them.  I don’t have room for my snow blower let alone another bike.

This year, while I do deride my time on the beast trainer on the blog, I’ve been enjoying it more than usual – I haven’t missed a day since the weather turned to crap, three weeks ago.  While I’m waiting for the first of the New Year to really kick it in the butt, I haven’t been taking it easy either.

More important, the trainer provides the perfect platform to dial in and fine tune the set-up on my bikes and cleats, if needed.  I don’t have to worry about traffic or balance and I can easily concentrate on how I feel on the bike.  I adjusted my right cleat a bit a couple of weeks ago and that worked out well.  I ran into another problem that required a small adjustment last night as well…  It turns out, with certain bibs, my Trek’s saddle is a little high.  I’ve got three pair with a thicker chamois and two are reserved for riding the Specialized only (I have a softer saddle on the Trek to smooth out the ride a little bit, otherwise it’s pretty harsh – the Venge has hardly any padding on the saddle).

So there I am putting in my time on the turbo last night and I just couldn’t get comfortable with the thicker chamois (we’re only talking a millimeter, it really shouldn’t matter).  First my hip was hurting, then my right foot, then my sit bones (all lower half of the body related)…  30 minutes in, I’d had enough.  I hopped off the trainer and went into the bike room to get my wrenches.  I lowered the saddle one millimeter.  Just one.  Foot pain gone, inside of the thigh pain gone, hip pain gone.

When I’m out on the road there are far too many variables.  Out of the saddle going up hills and during City Limits sign sprints, in the drops, on the hoods, on the bar top…  I’m all over the bike when I’m outside.  Indoors, I’m on the hoods, butt in the happy spot on the saddle, pedal, 90 RPM cadence for 45 minutes.  Period, end of story.  That much time in one spot helps to isolate little pains here and there, so I can really concentrate on what’s right and what might need tweaking.

One thing everyone will tell you about fitting bikes to the cyclist:  It’s rarely set it and forget it.  I had the set-up on the Trek dialed in for almost two years now, it worked fine.  No longer though.

So yes, the trainer (or rollers – pick your poison) sucks.  Use the time to feel your bike out.  If there’s a tweak needed, it’ll show up while you’re putting in your torture time.

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It makes you wonder… If they had the technology back in the medieval period, would they have had one or two of these in the dungeon?

Some photos from happier, warmer times:


4 Comments

  1. I’m with you…listen to your body? Mine says, on a loop, “no-ones looking man, quick, buy donuts!”

  2. Brent says:

    OK, so you’ve decided that you’re not going to get a pair of fat bikes. Now that you’ve come down hard on the side of more room in your garage, I should just point out that it’s vitally important that you stay as far away as possible from any upcoming fat bike demo days at your local bike shop.

    You have a strong program that will allow you to have dinner where alcohol is served, but that practice in avoiding temptation will avail you nothing when it comes to taking a ride on squishy 5″ tires on packed trails. They don’t have meetings for that yet.

    We’re going to get you. Titanium Henry and I are plotting while you’re on the rollers downstairs. It may take another season or two, but we WILL sign you up to the ranks of smiling fat bike riders.

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