mind games

so this is the time of the year for base miles: low intensity long rides that provide that aerobic base on which to pile the intensity come early spring.

and one of the nice things about winter in cincinnati is that you can pretty much do a fair amount of that kind of riding outside through the winter — with the right cold-weather gear and a little fortitude. but this past week, that’s just been impossible to do.

so i’ve been on the trainer. a lot.

now, i don’t mind the trainer once i get over the initial hump of “oh my god i hate riding indoors the whole reason i do this is for the wind on my face and the feel of the road” whining. i’ve got a whole series of one-hour workouts to choose from (courtesy of this fine book — see chapter 12). and as long as i’m breaking the workout into five-, ten-, or even fifteen-minute specific efforts, i’m good for that hour.

what i do mind is the feeling that i need to be on the bike longer than an hour. i just can’t seem to fool myself into a much longer effort on the trainer, even with the ipod cranked up.

i say to myself, okay, 30 more minutes at x-level effort, and three minutes in i just get so bored that the next twenty-seven minutes seem a lot like being buried in the sand up to my neck, having my eyelids pinned open, and waiting for the birds of carrion to drop by.

so, if you put significant time in on the trainer (and a t.v. is not really an option), what kinds of mind games do you play to get through the mental drudgery? (and if you don’t think there’s mental drudgery involved, i won’t understand.)

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