Friday, June 11, 2010

Take a deep breath

My new trike route is the second most boring thing next to a treadmill. The Polo Field is one big circle. The consistency of it though is perfect for gauging any changes to the trike, my health, fitness, nutrition and cycling techniques.

Though I hate to admit it, my comfortable triking speed is a slow 13mph. Okay, I'm lying. It's 12mph. Since I'm a total beginner when it comes to cycling in general, I've been researching online trying to learn new techniques from the professionals to gain better endurance and speed. I came across an article recommending to align breathing patterns with pedaling speed.

I tried this method only to discover that it works against the goal of a recumbent triker.

Recumbent riders tend to perform better at high cadence (fancy word that those sub 145lb jersey wearing cycling fanatics call rotations per minute). We benefit more from momentum gained by lower intensity pedaling compared to mashing at lower speeds with greater effort. In other words, spinning faster at a lower gear is better than spinning slower at a higher gear. Trying this, I confirmed this to be true.

According to the article I read, this would mean the faster we spin, the faster we breathe. The goal however is quite the opposite. We should keep a high cadence but lower the heart rate.

At least for me, I need to keep breathing patterns and pedaling speed completely independent from each other. This helped tremendously in my 13.75 mile ride this morning. No panting and when I finally arrived home, I felt like I could get back on and ride another 20 miles w/o a problem.


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