They told me liquid filled turbo trainers are much quieter than the magnet ones. They told me to use a weird type of blue tyre so I didn’t wreck my Conti GP 4000s. They told me to keep plenty of towels on hand because I’d sweat like an overweight swine in a North Queensland slaughterhouse.
What they didn’t tell me quite so clearly was just how bloody hard it is to ride trainer intervals with no hills to coast down, no fellow riders to draft, and no breeze to cool you down.
No, there’s nothing quite as knackering or, frankly, boring, as a solid session an indoor trainer, where for all your considerable effort you go precisely….nowhere.
I get the whole no pain no gain principle, more commonly-known as ‘Rule #5’ in cycling circles. Suffering is your friend. Embrace it. Learn to love it. And if you ever feel like complaining, well HTFU. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Unless, of course, it leads to cardiac arrest a little later in evening.
Like many weekend road warriors, family commitments mean it’s not always easy to get out for a real ride. What is relatively easy, however, is switching on the computer, the TV, or both, and letting the electrical babysitters look after the kids while I smash myself into a smelly mess in the garage. This self-flagellation usually lasts for about 40 minutes; the length of time it typically takes for the kids to start tearing the house apart. Or each other.
Today, however, I ventured into truly unchartered territory. Miraculously the kids were behaving, so I managed to belt out 52km in just over an hour and fifty minutes. The average speed wasn’t outrageously quick, even by my decidedly-humble standards. But the average pain level was way up there, as evidenced by my Strava Heart Rate Zone Analysis which somewhat smugly reported that my ride was ‘Epic’. No shit.
Right now, my legs keep reminding me of my epicness every time I go to stand up. And my derrière keeps reminding me every time I go to sit down. By my calculations, two hours in the saddle on a trainer – where giving your bum a rest by standing in the pedals is just asking for trouble – equates to about four weeks on the road. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. Maybe three weeks.
So I shall be in pain for a while yet, it seems. But I console myself with Rule #5. And figure I must be getting stronger. After all, I’m still alive.