The weather continues to be pretty ideal for us here in Oregon, however, March is turning a little chilly in the mornings and evenings, as to be expected. I think we’re all going a little bonkers with the riding trying to squeeze out every minute possible outside before the rain descends upon us again. After all, we really could use the rain, lest we enter into a summer drought as California did this past year. Maybe we could make a deal, weather, how about you rain like crazy from say, 11:00 pm to 5:00 am, then take a little breather during the day?
Following up on my posts, Riding with Ataxia, Kipp Style: Part 1, Part 2, and Consistency, I have been trying to work on increasing my cadence (the tempo, or speed at which I turn my pedals), focusing on that rather than over-all speed. The sessions on my SportCrafters trike trainer in the garage, have really helped this effort, and with the faster spinning, the legs start feeling a rhythm and behaving more appropriately.
In general (and this is my opinion), ataxic and spastic issues with my legs, favor the big heavy push, with no plan for recovery. Putting more opposing weight on the effort, makes it more difficult, but in my case, feels like it maintains more control. When you try to speed that up, things get all crazy, but I am making progress!
When I first started increasing my miles last May, I wasn’t focusing too much on cadence, I was putting too much emphasis on speed, and I was having trouble finding the right gear to make that happen. I started trying to hold onto a cadence of 50, and in a short time, felt my overall speed increase. Next, it was a cadence of 55, fall below that, shift down, get above that, shift up. 60 came this January, and now, entering into March, I’m trying to maintain holding a minimum of 65, while venturing into cadences of 70+, and wow, what a difference.
These legs really can be trained! Take the consistency out of the equation though, and progress feels lost far more quickly than it can be gained. So far so good this month, I’ve managed to spin my legs every day, for the last 4 days and I can really feel a difference from day 1 of that through yesterday, day 4. Keeping my cadence number high, has also been helping with my fast gear changes through the roller coaster hills as well. We’ll see what this evening holds, pending what time I get home, I’ll either head to the gym to get in some lap swimming, or spend some time on the trainer in the garage.
Even though we lose an hour, I am really looking forward to the spring forward this next week, opening up the bigger possibility of outside rides, after work. Here’s the last four rides, from Saturday through yesterday, oh, and by the way, if you are on Strava (if you aren’t on Strava, sign-up, it’s free!), join my club #imnotdeadyet, and spread the word about RideAtaxia, NorCal, I’ve signed up and will be riding the 40 mile route, trying to fundraise for FARA: http://rideataxia.kintera.org/norcal15/imnotdeadyet