Doing My Homework

Core work will not meet my endorphin/adrenaline needs, but it will make me faster.
Core work will not meet my…
I feel like a child checking off attendance or writing lines because sticking with my core routine genuinely feels like homework.

For those less well versed in the wonders of such joyful exercises, core work consists of things like press ups and sit ups on a simple level, but progresses to include silly looking maneuvers involving gym balls and the such. As winter progresses there will be mobilisation exercises and weights, but thankfully we’re starting simple for me.

Coach sent me to see her physio recently who had a good look at me and confirmed what we all knew anyway: I have a weak core and it isn’t supporting the amount of training I’m doing, and won’t allow me to compete as I want to.

The plus side of this is that she was harsh enough to make me actually get on with it.

Furthermore, she also explained how I need to adjust my posture to push my hips forward and actually help me use my bum. Which, in turn, will give me the benefit of the largest muscle in my body on the bike and the run. Which, in turn, = speed. Which is what it’s all about. That, and strong core = less injury prone = more consistent training = speed (it all comes back to the 5 letter word..)

I’ve been told many times before that my lazy bum isn’t working during my training or racing. It is all very well being told this, but completely different having someone explain how to actually resolve it.

It is very, very hard to alter the way you stand, walk, run, and ride a bike – all those things are second nature, it’s like being told to count every breath you take. But it is absolutely possible.

It is also absolutely undeniable that this new cycling style in particular is considerably better. I usually equate hills with grinding agitation, but when I engage my brain and my body how I’ve been told to, I can feel myself flying.
(ok, not quite, I’m still not a hills girl, but I’m better than before!)

So – I have been doing my homework. It might not be quite as exhilarating as a sweaty turbo/run, or nausea inducing hard swim, but this is winter time, isn’t it. Time to work on weakness, and I think we’ve probably found my most obvious flaw.

So here’s today’s message:
The nasty sessions might have you coming out the other end feeling you’ve progressed, and yes, you probably have. Logging the miles might add up to a feeling of achievment, and you have achieved. But there is a lot to be said for being honest with yourself: where do you actually need to achieve? What is the goal? And what is going to get you there?
Now do it.

Published by michellearthurs

I'm an NCTJ Journalist and work at Cycling Weekly. Previous to this, I was the Editor at Total Women's Cycling. I've also dabbled in marketing and copywriting - having been Marketing Coordinator and Social Media/Content Editor at Evans Cycles. My first job was working on a local newspaper.  I've written for a variety of titles on a freelance basis, too. I got into cycling when I entered my first triathlon in 2010. I now race crits, road races, time trials, and do a lot of track training for not very much track racing.

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