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Bike Trainer Blues: Hmmm, that couch looks inviting. . .

By Shane Brown

It’s early in the morning—dark and freezing outside. I remind myself that I have invested heavily in lots of equipment for days just like today. Why? So I can’t use bad weather as an excuse for not doing my workout on the bike trainer.

Guilt gets me out of bed. . . I call it blame storming.

I begin the long, slow walk down the flight of stairs to the unfinished basement to begin my workout. I don’t want to be there. There’s no one to talk to. There’s no one to push me. There’s no one to race. There are so many other things I could be doing—none of them involve exercise. I look at my bike trainer and sigh with disappointment. I don’t want to cycle. I look around the dimly lit room. Then my eyes focus on our old basement couch set in front of an old television.

Sesame Street just turned 40. I wonder if there’s a special on at this time of the morning. I shouldn’t miss that. After all, I remember the days when it was okay for an androgynous large yellow bird to have an imaginary red elephant friend that only he could see. I should respect all those people who dedicated their lives to PBS. They taught me good values. Hmmm, did they teach me to blame storm? I ponder for a moment. Whatever. On goes the television—after 30 minutes of channel surfing I still haven’t found the Sesame Street special. Suddenly, I realize the time and know I’ll need to reschedule my workout for another day. Relieved, I march back up the stairs to begin my day.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all had those days. Just how many of those days you have is a direct correlation of where you land in the pecking order during the spring group rides. In the fight against procrastination I’ve come up with a new plan to get me on the trainer. This time I’ve done it without spending any money. I set up the internet in front of my bike trainer. My new routine consists of a warm up that includes checking my email. Then I move on to a brief scan of some of the tweets I’ve missed overnight. From twitter, I catch up on the status of my friends on Facebook. Finally, I connect to my favorite local news source to read the headlines and feel informed. For me, that takes about 15 minutes. Then the secret is to get off Facebook and the news.

Here’s where it gets interesting. I’ve created an account with www.RACEDAYRUSH.com, a website showing multisport videos that feature real mountain bike races and road bike rides—all filmed from the saddle. Depending on my workout, I can choose from a library of videos to help me stay focused. From 60-minute mountain bike races where intervals dominate, through 2-hour road rides—for that much needed base-building activity—there’s something there for all of my workouts. The race videos motivate me to push myself harder than I normally would.

Remember, there are no witnesses when you train alone. It’s easy to let yourself coast. Watching these videos puts you on the road. Or back on the trail. You feel like you’re in the middle of a race. I don’t know what area of the brain it taps, but somehow the competitive spirit in you is unleashed and you do what you set out to do—complete your work out.

Shane Brown is the co-creator of www.RACEDAYRUSH.com. The inspiration for the site started with Shane’s newfound love of adventure racing and his inability to explain what happens for 8 hours in the middle of nowhere during a race. More importantly, he needed something to help him stay focused during his random brick workouts involving saddle time and treadmill time. He’ll always remember the good times watching Snuffy and Big Bird hanging out in the urban backdrop known as Sesame Street.

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