The Sights of Sound
Glad I got a nice ride in yesterday, because today was pretty rainy and shitty. Wifey and I are planning a night out tonight to Mad Mex, so I figured if I'm gonna ingest some high quality Mexican food and beverages I need to suffer a bit.
I got on the trainer for some steady Zone 3 tempo work and didn't stop 'till the Cateye told me I burned up 1000 calories. So an hour-22 later I was done. A sweaty mess with gelatinous legs. It was sweet!
I l,istened to a mix or two and watched Floyd's (possibly ball patched) escape to victory in last year's Tour.
When I told Wifey how long I had been on the trainer she said- "I don't know how you can do something so monotonous for so long" . Truth is, riding the trainer is not my first choice of work outs, but I don't hate it either.
One of the reasons that I don't hate it is that I love listening to music, but just don't have the time to do it like I used to. So an hour (or more) on the trainer gives me ample time to enjoy iPodious and burn some calories.
I find that the time passes better with some high doses of Mental Imagery. Focusing on form, using the music for tempo, and staying motivated by imagining favorite rides, races, or mentally placing myself in race situations or training rides according to the part of the work out I'm currently in.
Seated Climbs: I'm grinding up the final climb Seven Springs or some of the steep grade, knee busting, nut dropping climbs of my road rides. Focusing on my form, trying to do better, etc., Thinking "you f*cked up Seven Springs in '06 you'll nail it in '07!!!"
Threshold Tempo Rides: I'm Time Trialing. Eyes focused on the reflection of legs in the mirror in front of me. Maintaining good form, good breathing, keeping the upper body still as I let my legs do the work.
Most often, I let the mix or music I'm listening to determine my imagery. An example would be Mix #4 (called Big Georges Pain Mix in the links to your right). When I made this mix I had the '06 Paris-Roubaix in mind.
How I see it: The mix starts with some easy tempo music of the Propeller Heads. I see race starting, getting legs warmed up and loose, As The Clash starts playing things are starting to take form, racers are planning moves, getting ready and motivated to hit the pave. Next the Verve's "Rolling People" the elite are moving to the front, hitting minor cobble sections, and leaving some of the weaker riders in the dust (or mud).
Now we have The Chemical Brother's "Setting Sun"- they hit the Arenberg section! Shit in going DOWN! Dust, mud, riders crashing all over. Do you remember the way the battle scenes from the movie Saving Private Ryan were filmed? That's how I see this section of pave going down. As the song reaches it's height with a total cacoughany of sounds. I see the horrific sight of Hincapie peddling, arms flailing, out of control with a broken steerer tube, inevitably crashing hard and ending his race.
As the the mix moves on to more Chemical Brothers I see George at the side of the road, trying to suppress tears as the pack spins by in a cloud of dust paying no attention to him, just focused on making it through the cobbles. As the song winds down and moves to the next slow tempo song by !!! (Chk Chik Chick) You ARE George. Pain shooting through your shoulder and arm, replaying the scene in your mind. What the f*ck just happened to me??
Next up is B.R.M.C. and "Red Eyes and Tears". Again, put yourself in George's shoes, but you're on the bike, gritting your teeth through some fast pace, big gear spinning and moving on as you contemplate what just happened.
Now we have a demo track from Artic Monkeys "Choo Choo". You see the lead pack of riders held up by the random train crossing. Doh!! Boonen with that "what the f*ck?" look on his face. Euro mullet swaying in the wind as a train load of god-knows-what zooms by.
Now we have "Aftermath" by Tricky. Slow trip-hop musings. See the slow motion velo drome finish? Arms raised. See the "look back" at George's crash? This is the recap. Spin your legs out and think about the race that was, the race that could have been.
Am I the victim of an over active imagination? Probably so. BUT during these wet, cold, winter months I'm spinning my legs, and not looking at it in the same way as most do. That works for me, the thought of spinning inside still might want to make you put your head in an oven. That's cool with me, but just know you have some options before your hit the gas.
Tell me, what are you thinking when you spin? Look at your time on the trainer as a time to explore your imagination, see the music, imagine the ride. HAVE FUN doing something people don't see as "fun".
Here's something to listen to. Tell me, what do you see when you listen to this?