With the UCI moving the Paralympic track season to the winter to parallel the Pro track season I have had to make some major adjustments to my winter training. At a time when I would normally be putting in a lot easier of miles, I am smashing myself on the bike and in the gym. I haven’t lifted weights in almost 3 years, and haven’t lifted since I started training seriously on the bike. My bike training has featured a lot of short and medium duration intervals to prepare for Worlds Champs and endurance rides to keep the legs turning over.
The catch is that Colorado can be cold so a lot of my rides are on the trainer and rollers. Keeping my head in the game while riding inside has been my biggest challenge, but I’ve come up with some ways to manage it. I can’t watch movies on the trainer, just doesn’t work for me. I love to watch bike races, though, I think it makes me feel like I’m not suffering alone. I prefer watching hard races, whether it’s a race over cobblestones or a mountain-top finish. I also like listening to music, it’s a better way to gauge how long an interval has lasted than watching the clock. I’ve have spent the longest 15 minutes of my life watching all 900 seconds count down to the end of an interval. I know I can listen to 4 or 5 songs and be done with it. Sometime I’ll even lie to myself, I’ll say that if I get to X minute or through X intervals I might let myself be done. It’s such a good sounding lie when I am in the pit of suffering, but I always end up gutting out all the intervals. It’s interesting, the fact that I will lie to myself, but I suppose spending so much time training indoors will drive you at least a little mad.
I have also taken a trip up to Boulder Indoor Cycling to ride the Velodrome. It’s a crazy little track at 128 meters, but if you can ride that track on the black line you have to be a bike handling ninja. The turns are very short with a severe transition from straight to turn. To turn at BIC at speed you have to ride high and drive the bike down into the turn and let it wash up out of the banking. It’s a fun track to ride and it’s a great place to work on legspeed and handling skills.
I seem to be responding well to the new training. I’m tired a lot, more tired than usual. I think the weights are contributing to the fatigue, but I’m throwing out good power numbers on the bike and my legspeed is coming around.