Saturday, February 20, 2010
Environment and Athletics
For the last two weeks the Taylor Cycling Club has been training in the basement of Samuel Morris Hall (my dorm). We ride between 30-40 minutes per session, three times a week. For those of you who have never rode on a bike trainer, during the winter months, when snow is on the ground and its really cold (-32), most bikers will not ride or they use what is called "a trainer." (some do cross training or other ways of staying in shape. Some are crazy and ride year around...)
In order to ride on a trainer, you attach the back wheel of you bike to the trainer, hop on and start pedaling, only you're not going anywhere. It gets boring quickly because there is no changing scenery, no sun, no wind and no one to ride with. When I ride by myself on the trainer, going beyond thirty minutes is quite difficult. Even when I do intervals, it gets boring very quickly. Movies and music can be only help so much.
Enter, fellow riders. The environment that other riders create on the trainer is helpful because it builds motivation. First, other riders act as a reference point as to how hard you're working. If you're not sweating and they are, you know you're not working hard enough or if your pedal stroke is slower or faster then other riders, you know that you're either working too hard or too easy. (This is hard to guage because some people have faster pedal strokes or are in a different gear.) Second, their is the emotional encouragement. Giving high-fives and seeing other people in pain or knowing that they see your pain, can be a good motivator. Lastly, It's more fun to watch a movie with friends, and its even more fun watching a movie while riding your bike with friends.
On that note, I want it to get warm, sunny so we can get off these trainers.