Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Loud DSQ Trainer Session

Bike Day (trainer)
20min warm-up*
3 x 15min w/ 5min recovery

Here's the story of the (*) above- My plan was to throw down the first intense training session of this cycle. A workout I've been planning to do for a while but haven't had the guts to do. Today was That Day. And then I got ten minutes down the road, looked at the sky, and thought, "Any second now those big, ugly clouds are going to open up all over any cyclist dumb enough to be out here." So I turned around and headed for home. I guess next week will get to be That Day.
I came into a magnetic trainer a few weeks ago but hadn't used it yet because I live in Hawaii and the weather is normally very ride-friendly. So today was it's maiden voyage. My only previous trainer experiences have been on fluid trainers, which run pretty quiet. ESPECIALLY COMPARED TO MAGNETIC TRAINERS!!! Holy. Crap. Sounds like a jet taking off. Which, of course, it pretty freaking cool because I'm the one making it make that noise. And the harder I pedal, the louder and higher it gets. RrrrrrrrvvvvvvvvvvvmmmmMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!
Today's trainer goal was to redline as hard as possible for the entire 15 minutes, then cool it down, then get back to it hard, rinse, and repeat. And I think I nailed it. I'm really pleased with my level of suffering today. It was only three sets, and next time I think I'll do four, but every single one of them was a hard out high DSQ effort, I'm calling it an 8, for the entire time. Know what helps that? This:

Big Four DVD, Metallica's set. I know they haven't released anything great since the Black Album in '91, but Death Magnetic wasn't bad. Its better than Load and ReLoad. (We, as metal fans, are going to agree right now that the awful album that came out between ReLoad and Death Magnetic never actually happened, and we are also going to agree the thing they just recently released was a big joke they were playing on us and nobody got it. Ok?) But, even with all of that no one can deny that Metallica puts on a show like very few metal bands, hell, like very few musical acts of any genre. And barring those two albums we agreed not to mention a second ago the have a hell of a back catalog to build a set from.
I got Super Awesome Wife to grab a few pictures of me and she decided a video should be taken too. I'm glad she took the video because it lets me see something I've noticed before, which is I've got quite a bit of lateral movement going on. I'm pumping hard but I don't think the bike should be moving side-to-side like that. There is something funky in my stroke. Notice in when I'm out on the road too. Anyone have an idea? Is it a fit thing, a mechanics thing, or some combination? You're going to notice my hair is down. Why? My reason is either really good or really stupid: It's going to be hot on the Big Island in June. So whenever I get a chance I'm going to raise the temperature and the discomfort level associated with temperature. Having my hair down instead of back in a ponytail makes it hot. Hot hot hot. That's also why my jersey is zipped almost all the way up. Suffer in training so the race don't seem so bad.
This is my High DSQ Face

Sweat off the nose. BAM! High DSQ.


  1. Doug the side by side motion you mention does create a lot of wasted energy. Not to mention that it is tweaking your bike on the trainer. Anyway, one thing you can do is put a length of masking tape horizontally just below your waste and take a video from the back while you are pedaling. The tape should stay horizontal. If it is moving like a plane wave its wings then you may have to check your bike fit. It could mean you are reaching too far on the downward stroke. That can cause that lateral motion. If the bike fit is okay, maybe it is just that you need to smooth out your pedaling.

  2. I've never noticed much side to side sway when I've ridden with you but that video makes it pretty clear. The usual reason that your bike rocks is because your seat is too high, causing your hips to drop as you reach through the bottom of the stoke. Are you pointing your toes down at the bottom of the stroke to get extra reach? Your foot should be flat/level at stroke bottom.

    It's hard to tell in the video, but if anything it almost looks like you're low. If you're too low in the saddle you'll end up using way too much quad muscles and you'll push harder to compensate when you burn the legs out. Which can, again, cause rocking.

    Kepa's advice is dead on. I'd follow his suggestions and start tweaking your fit a bit. If you still have issues you might have to get professionally fitted.

  3. Thanks guys, I was thinking its a fit issue too. I'll probably head down to IT&B sometime soon and have them look at my fit. My toes do point down a little at the bottom of the stroke, but I thought the heel was supposed to stay slightly elevated, no?
    And Sean, the reason you never notice anything about my stroke when we ride together is you're always 500 yards ahead and pulling away.

    1. We're having a cycling inservice at work next Thursday. I plan on videoing it for you and sending it over just so you can see what my guys say about it. Should be interesting.

  4. Hahaha. Your training mentality is halarious. Sounds like a C17 is flying over your house..You could always post your fit up on Slowtwitch and let the ST fit gurus slice it up.