Sunday, May 27, 2012

A place for if, for and and for your butt

Most of the time when I refer to the place to sit it is in reference to a saddle. Affixed to a seat tube, as fulcrum point to stabilize the core and create horsepower through the act of applying pressure to the pedals, and hence instigating impetus in the form of movement. Or, in the case our our indoor training, ye ol' sit & spin. Eliminate the movement without the sacrifice of horsepower. The seat. When comfort is needed. Let's be honest, it takes a while to get used to. Uncomfortable saddles are the number two reason why folks quit before their second spinning session. It is bad enough being a pain in the legs and lungs without it also being a pain in the neck and…..

Somebody asked me the other day, while we were intrepidly spinning out a pair of 20's at 85% of ftp and watching vintage standard definition triathlon footage compiled in a kaleidoscopic and farraginous mash-up of sight and sound, if riding a bike in a Speedo hurt. You get used to it I said, smiling with the remembrance of the indoctrination endured to achieve that transcendental state. But it does save you time in transition, I finished, hoping for redemption. Usually in long course racing the pain in your legs, back, neck and lungs overshadow the minor discomfort of chafing or having your bottom rubbing on a tiny slice of leather at the rate of 100 times per minute for 112 miles. But you have to work your way up to it. Very much like gloves. It takes a few blisters before the callous begins. 

When you find a comfortable saddle that allows maximum performance, use it. Just like your favorite chair at home. You know what to expect after a long day at the office. Sit and relax. It supports and it satisfies. Allows you the freedom to address the task du jour, be that reading a magazine or hammering up a 10% grade. I still have some saddles laying around from bikes that no longer exist. I can't seem to toss them out, even today using a custom version on one of our indoor Keiser spinners (this because spin bikes come stock with saddles to fit the average American butt, about ten times too big).

When seemingly at odds, there is sweet satisfaction is using both, a good saddle on the bike and a comfortable chair when you rest, recover and work at your desk. If you can manage your ratio to about 1:1, one ride per day and one hour in your favorite chair, you should be fine. Trouble sets in when the ratio nears the norm of about 1:24. 

Training update for those of you keeping score: Today was our second of three brick days. Yesterday was a nice run/spin/run, 25min run to BAC/90 minute HIT spin/30 minute run back. Today we hammered out a ten mile run at 7:45 pace followed by a 20 mile ride and tomorrow is the coup de grace, all 33 monster miles of Chilly Hilly followed by all 13.1 equally mean miles of the Toe Jam old course. I plan on starting at 0730 from the Tree House if you are up for all or any, one or both. 

If not please enjoy both the remainder of this day and Memorial Day tomorrow. Like a chair. Use only as directed, and that means only when fatigued from sitting in the saddle. 

Pic: Bottom: A 105 gram $650 carbon saddle. Top: Pat asked me to haul away Frankie's collection of 1950's chairs. I put them on the deck and sat to watch the sunset and enjoy the late afternoon warmth. I am not sure, but I might have felt a presence from people who once occupied them. It was very peaceful and they were all smiling. I proposed a toast and we raised our glasses. 

To life we all said, to life, with no ifs. 

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