Thursday, August 8, 2013

advice for riding into the wind

each early morning ride up emigration canyon gives me an opportunity to practice riding into a headwind.  some mornings are worse (or better) than others, and this morning the wind was consistently in my face for the first eight miles uphill.
I've written about wind before, about how it disheartens me, discourages me, wears me out.  I've worked on my attitude, I've worked to become more accepting of reality.  I've taught myself to call a windy ride a "great training ride," for that is the truth.
riding into the wind is difficult, requires more energy, and makes you a stronger rider.
however . . .
it can also drain you both mentally and physically.
I often think that there must be tips and techniques to use that might improve my performance:  are you supposed to get low, use a bigger gear, change your tempo?  I've never taken a cycling-into-the-wind class, and this morning I thought I would come home and do some research.

here are some of the best tips I found:

  • get down, lowering your upper body to as close to horizontal as possible.  think aero. 
  • gear down, releasing your body from grinding, changing to more of a spin.
  • don't be down:  riding into the wind is hard on everyone, and keeping a light & positive attitude is the best way to get through it.
  • pulling elbows in, thinking aerodynamics, is helpful.  and letting go of maintaining a consistent speed will help you relax.... acknowledge that it's difficult and be realistic about your speed goal.

I'm going to work on adopting these tips into my riding repertoire, but
wisdom gained from all my experience tells me this:  the best advice of all is simply to trust yourself.
trust that you're working hard, trust that when it's difficult you will do the right thing.  trust that you are capable.  trust that when you feel like you're working as hard and well as you can... you are.
have faith and trust in yourself.

wind is an excellent training tool, and it works best when you remember to relax.
trust, and relax.

tomorrow morning I promise to focus on being aero, spinning, relaxing, and trusting that I'm working exactly as hard as I need to be.

No comments: