The past two weeks have been ideal for either taking two weeks off the bike, or spending two weeks doing some threshold training on your rollers. It was tempting to look at the snow and put the feet up, but the new season is around the corner and I wanted to make use of my new rollers.
There’s something about training on rollers, that makes you want to do a threshold training ride. I define that as 80-90% max heart rate- just below the level you would do for a 25 mile TT. You don’t feel any lactic acid generation, but you get a good workout.
Firstly, I wanted to train on my time trial bike to get used to the position and work the muscles. The first time I went on my time trial bike, I found it really quite hard work. The bike jumps around, and you only have a rather tenuous grip on the aerobars to control your position. The day after my upper body muscles were really sore – evidence it was a good workout. I don’t mind admitting, I made a few less than dignified descents from the TT bike. The parabolic rollers do work though, if you ride off the edge, it seems to stop you falling off completely, though the loss of control is still hard.
The other advantage of using time trial bike was that I had a 56 chain-ring on. So with 56*11, you could get a pretty good work out. One game I played on the rollers is to see how high can you get your heart rate to go. I managed 183 on a couple of occasions. It involves spinning furiously away on your biggest gear of 56*11.
56*11 @ 110rpm = 43.81km/h
56*11 @ 120 rpm = 47 km/h
56*11 @ 130 rpm = 50 km/h
It’s kind of fun to be cycling so fast, although strange to be not going anywhere. Once, after roller session, I cycled straight away to a Chinese takeaway, it felt weird to be going forward.
After two weeks on the rollers, I’m beginning to change my attitude to indoor training. These one and half hour threshold sessions on the rollers are really quite good fun. It saves some of the hassle of going out in traffic and putting all the clothes on. I might well do more training sessions on rollers, even if the weather isn’t so bad.
One thing I won’t be using rollers for is long endurance rides. If there isn’t a specific purpose to roller training, I soon get bored after half an hour and give up. But, when you have a target of maintaining very high cadence, time passed surprisingly quickly. The only things stopping me going for longer was that after one and half hour of threshold, I was getting pretty hungry. Strange. UIf I go out for a ride on bike, I always take food, but on rollers, it seems daft so I never do.
One thing about roller training, you really appreciate a good pair of shorts. It’s hard to get out of the saddle (you feel you might fall off) So for the long one and half hour sessions, I made great use of my Assos Unos.
I’ve entered first race of Season – Frome & District 10 Mile TT on 15th Feb!