Q: I had surgery for prostate cancer six weeks ago. My surgeon says I can train as long as I don’t pedal while sitting on the seat, though I can rest on it.
So, I ride an old 10-speed on my trainer in the basement. I pedal in the biggest gear, standing, with the front wheel elevated about five inches. I do intervals of 3-5 minutes with a 1-2 minute rest between each one. The monotony is driving me crazy! Any ideas for some variety? — Al S.
COACH FRED: You’re in a unique situation, but the basic principle for boredom relief is the same as for any rider: Vary your workout to make it more enjoyable — or at least bearable. Anything you can dream up to add variety makes the time go much faster and probably makes training sessions more effective, too.
Here are two suggestions.
- Do ladders. Stand and go pretty hard for 1 minute, followed by a minute’s rest. Then stand for 2 minutes and rest for 2 minutes. The next set would be 3 minutes hard/3 resting. And so on up to 6 or 7 minutes. Then work your way back down. For some reason, changing the duration of each effort provides enough variety to make this routine easier to tolerate than keeping each interval the same length.
- Do cardio-strength exercises like we described in Try This on Your Next Indoor Ride in newsletter issue February 4, 2004, and available in our ebook Indoor Training For Cyclists by David Ertl. Alternate a standing 3-minute interval with getting off the bike for one set of a resistance exercise.
Continue the pattern until you’ve done 3 sets each of 5-7 exercises. That will work out to 15-21 sets of weights and the same number of intervals. You can get a great workout without the boredom.