Into the great unknown
Into the great unknown
As far is I can tell this triathlon business is 90% in the head. I'm really good at some bits, not so good at others, and mostly it's a great ever unknown. This is my experience of managing mind, and body, to be the best triathlete I can be.

Rollers are the new turbo

ritatrisby ritatrisFeb 3rd 2014
Boyfriend had been talking for a few months about buying a set of rollers for indoor cycle training. I’ll be honest, I was fairly sceptical. They are not cheap at £150 plus, I remain reluctant to be a high-budget-all-the-gear triathlete and we already both have turbo trainers so I didn’t really see the point.

Well he bought a set anyway. Not entirely sure what the final figure was, but I think the Elite Arion Parabolic Rollers from (surprise surprise) our local friendly Triathlon Shop arrived last week at around £180, possibly including a club discount.

They are SO cool!

For starters, there’s something amazing about being faced with something really difficult that you think you won’t be able to do, and then being able to do it. And it’s even more exciting when you get to that point really quickly. Surfing the learning curve is mega fun. I had a go midweek propped up in the doorway, with a death grip on the doorframe. Within 10 minutes I was riding along â€" woo! Ok, my forearms were killing me from the white knuckle grip on the bars, and I couldn’t look away from the front wheel, but I was managing it. Had another go a couple of days later and managed the impressive trick of gear changes, simultaneous conversation and also got working a bit harder.

Apart from the interesting perspective on fun, I can already feel really significant benefits to my cycling. The weather on the weekend meant another indoor session, but seen as they are boyfriend’s rollers I had to make way and shuffle back over onto the turbo. The difference was much bigger than I was expecting â€" everything felt so smooth, muscles firing nicely, glutes engaging, and so much more efficient that the settings I would usually find hard were requiring only a moderate effort level to ride at. I’m good at sitting very still on a bike anyway, so I really didn’t think I would notice such an improvement.

I suppose the only downside is that it would be hard to go all out on them. I haven’t tried any very hard work as yet, but suspect that the turbo is still better for the really painful stuff. But they are also less boring because you have to be paying attention all the time. I guess that will fade as you get used to it, but there seems to be a good range of entertaining goals if you want them, from getting on the TT bars, to drinking whilst still going, hands free and even this if you’re in need of a challenge .

So I’m a convert. I would totally recommend having a go â€" they are so quick to get the hang of and force you into being more efficient. We’ll see how long I can negotiate sharing for, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we become a two roller household sometime soon.
twiggyby member: twiggy, Feb 8th 2014 17:05
I'm way to nervous to give this a go! I can imagine that it is great for bike handling when its not possible to go outside. Its way too easy to switch off on a turbo.
AdWattsby member: AdWatts, Feb 26th 2014 11:56
its suprising how quickly you can pick it up! and how much benifit you get from it!
the only draw back is (in my opinion) thats its tricky to do real threshold efforts for a prolonged period with your heart jumping into your mouth when you get too close to the edges... Well worth a go though!!
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