"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer

18.1.09

Suplesse

Indoor training is a curse and a blessing.

It sucks so incredibly hard, but believe it or not, there's actually quite a bit of benefit to it. Within the bigger picture, the stationary trainer is a very useful tool to use in the icy depths of winter, completing your rebound to the upcoming season.

Since mid-October, or later if you did Cyclocross (I am still in the ever-increasing minority), you should've been getting easy rides during the week with a fun, yet hard club/team ride on the weekend, and since December - nothing really out of the small chainring. Weight-lifting has also been taking up quite a bit of your time, and as of January 1st - at least if you're me - really getting strict on what you are eating. No more fried foods, no more alcohol. And no snacking. Eat a big, yet sensible breakfast to set yourself for a day of good eating decisions.

Don't let yourself go crazy however, setting yourself up for a binge. Allow yourself to enjoy the taboos and verboten on the occasional weekend. Last night Katy and I enjoyed three beers each and a couple massive plates of barbeque at The Smoke Daddy, complete with gooey white bread, sweet potato fries, mac n' cheese, and collard greens. It's meals like this that make me thank God I am a cyclist...for that morning, I'd already burned over 2000 calories on the stationary trainer with eight others in a teammate's garage.




We started at 7am, and since most of us have the same coach, three hours was the workout. Since it still is only January, no real intensity is prescribed. Yet, now is the time to begin really getting deep into the saddle, focusing on your form, and most importantly, being uninterrupted as you persevere through discomfort, building callouses, both physically and mentally. Finding the elusive, vaporous, almost mythical suplesse.

No stoplights, no ice patches, no flat tires. No impatient drivers, dropped bidons, or chasing dogs.

Only minute after minute after minute after interminable minute of riding in place.

Don't get off yet. You have another hour.

Teammates and friends with you to get you through it is what really makes it possible. By yourself, it's almost unbearable. The stories and jokes told take on lives of their own, become fodder for rides still weeks to come, and then move into legend, if funny enough. The Odwalla bar joke still has legs after more than a year.

After, we move upstairs from the garage or basement for a breakfast. If you are hosting, you better be a good delegater - you have up to 10 ravenous cyclists whose bodies are screaming for protein and carbs...NOW. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, juice, and lots of coffee - LOTS...of...coffee...are par for the morning. Sated, some linger, others head home for errands or naps.

These mornings are the first layer down of a cement that will harden into a bond, unbreakable come the sun and sweet-scented breezes of April.

3 comments:

Bob said...

Eloquent my friend. When do the memoirs get published??

Erik said...

your 4/26/2007 post is the top hit on Googling "suplesse".

The Car Whisperer said...

It's a great word.