Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

- T.S. Eliot -

Turbo training

I’ve joined the legions of underground souls who claim to ride their bikes but are never seen out in the fresh air on actual roads. What am I talking about? Turbo training is what I’m talking about.

Now, the name turbo training makes the activity sound glamorous. It conjures images of training for five minutes, then being magically and rapidly placed in the promised land of ultimate fitness. The reality is quite different. Turbo training consists of long, sweaty hours, sat on a bike staring at the garage wall. The boredom can be supplemented by music or, with the invention of mobile computing devices, a film. BUT, it does serve a purpose. Mrs Abbott and I are awaiting the arrival of baby number two. The prospect of being 30 miles from home with the only my legs to propel me home in an emergency doesn’t fill either of us with joy.

And so, I took to my garage this morning, equip with an iPhone full of motivational tunes and the mindset of making my legs hurt. The plan was to keep at about 95 rpm cadence and 25mph for at long as possible, but no less than one hour. After 45 minutes of hitting the target, I was joined by a 3 1/2 year old who was intrigued by the sweaty, panting man in the garage. Fifteen minutes later I hit the minimum time requirement (and 25 miles ridden), Abbott Jr was getting a bit close, so I called it a day and wobbled back to the kitchen for a family breakfast. In conclusion, turbo training isn’t nice; it hurts my legs and it’s boring. But it does give me a very controlled environment for ride sessions and it’s very convenient. I’ll not be swapping it for real rides when my situation changes!