Thursday, 11 February 2010

Reach for the thigh

Measure for measure, drop for drop and pound for pound we're taking stock.

Yes Ian McCulloch, you miserable Scouse git, we are indeed. Or rather, I am. Some bright spark suggested I include a 'Thigh-o-meter' in the blog to track how 'monstrously girthed' (don't Google it) I'm becoming.

I'm no graphics wizard, so there's absolutely no chance of anything clever appearing on the sidebar, but what I will do is commit to measuring my thighs every week and posting the measurements on here. You'll no doubt be delighted to know that pictures won't be accompanying said stats.

Of course, nothing is ever simple in life. The only tape measure in the house is one of the metal snap-back variety, more usually employed in routine DIY operations than press-ganged into limb-measuring detail. Now if you've never tried bending sharp-edged metal tape around the top of your thigh, especially near the sensitive inner parts, let me counsel against it right now.

Luckily, after a couple of frankly futile attempts, I have the (as I see it) inspired brainwave of using a piece of string and measuring that instead. And how long is a piece of string? Well, in this instance exactly 60 centimetres, which by amazing coincidence also happens to be the circumference of the top of my right leg. And my left too in a reassuring piece of symmetry.

This week's turbo torture sessions are somewhat misleadingly titled 'Stairway to Heaven'. They're designed to build hill strength (yes, I looked at the internet to find them) and consist of warming up for 10 minutes.

You then flip to the big chainring and pedal at a reasonably high cadence for three minutes. Then you change up two gears, maintaining the same cadence, for two minutes, then up two sprockets again for one minute. You're allowed two minutes 'rest' on the small chainring, then do the lot again. I repeat four times in a session, then spend a further five or six minutes spinning at the highest cadence possible in a fairly hefty gear before warming down for another 10 minutes.

It's ruddy hard. I don't think there's necessarily more exertion involved than what I was doing last week, but it's the sudden jumps in resistance that really take it out of you. But although it hurts while I'm doing it, recovery seems to be a lot quicker than before. Proof positive I'm getting fitter.

So perhaps it's not all about thighs after all.


  1. Are you seriously going to attempt the Marmotte and the Dragon on the basis of turbo-trainer training alone?!

    Try doing some Audax rides now to see how you get on in the great outdoors:

    you are London right? Look at the ones for Henham and Ugley in Essex.

  2. Wotcher, Paul. No, I'm not that daft. I'll be getting out and about as soon as the weather picks up and, more importantly, once I've got my new bike. There's a fair few training weekends in south Wales planned as well, along with plenty of longer weekend rides when I get the time. All of which I'll be writing about in due course.

    The turbo trainer is just for the time being.