Another bike and swim workout tonight: 50 minutes on the bike at 85-90RPMs, more technical practice with the swim, more attempts at breathing.
Starting with the bike, a quick cadence lesson in case you are interested: RPM stands for Revolutions Per Minute. Some bikes count them for you but the spin bikes at my gym are pretty low tech so I get to count the whole time, which is at least a distraction from the boredom of pedaling reasonably fast and not going any damn where. You calculate RPMs by counting the pedal stroke of one leg for one minute. So my right leg hits the bottom on the stroke 85-90 times every minute – a total 4250-4500 times that each of my legs went around for the 50 minute.
Unlike running – where the ability to go as fast as I’m supposed to go for as long as I’m supposed to do it is the major challenge – when it comes to the bike my challenges are currently different (this may change as I switch to from spinning to a real bike – I was going to introduce you to my new bike today but he is in jail, more on that developing story in a future post.)
So anyway, the bike poses different challenges for me. First of all, parts of me that are ass and ass adjacent are…uncomfortable. I’m told that this will get better with time, though I’m not sure how I feel about that. Mostly though I’m just really bored and I really want to get off the bike. I start wanting to get off the bike about 3 minutes in and continue wanting to get off the bike until I actually get off the bike. To keep myself entertained I counted pedal strokes, listened to a podcast for the first 20 minutes, an audio book for the 24 minutes after that, and then I had to bust out B.o.B’s “Magic” and The Scripts “Hall of Fame” to get to the end. But then there is the celebration that I kept the cadence up and achieved the goal. Yay!
Then it was on to the swimming, I’m currently working on all the technical things that are involved with Total Immersion style swimming. I workout late at night and usually have the pool to myself but for some reason it was rush hour at 1am and there were 5 guys in there.
Two guys were doing rehab work, one was swimming laps, and one was just kind of hanging out. I starting running through my exercises – super man, skate, bring the arms around, add the kick. Then my nemesis – breathing. I’ve been working on this but instead of getting better at breathing I seem to have simply developed a greater tolerance for drinking chlorinated water without throwing up – again, I’m not sure that’s a good thing. I took my three strokes turned my head and…wait…what’s that…AIR!!!! Precious oxygen has entered my lungs! Three more strokes, another lungful of air. Holy fuckballs, this is actually happening! Holy fuckballs, really excited for just, you know, breathing successfully. But I don’t care because I’m breathing. Doing laps cannot be far behind.
Add to these wins that last night my run went better than usual (don’t get me wrong – still not pretty or fast, but better) and things are going pretty well.
I was thinking about the IRONMAN in Arizona in 2016 as I left the cycle room to head for the swim. For the first time I noticed a huge sign on the wall of my gym that says “YOU Have What It Takes” Damn right I do.
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Bike stuff – I am not claiming to be an expert, I’m just someone who is trying to get back to riding. I know you can’t change the spin bike much, but if you are uncomfortable on your own bike, when you get to it, research the position of the saddle and maybe consider getting a different seat. I had been experiencing discomfort after ten minutes, and discovered that changing the seat around helped.
I haven’t every worked on learning breathing technique for swimming, so I’m in super awe that you worked out the breathing. Go you!