Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Cycling - faster not harder

New sports are interesting because you're training your body to co-ordinate its movements in ways that it previously didn't need to. Using one muscle at a time is straightforward, but using lots of muscles at the same time is more difficult. Cycling should be relatively straightforward. It's only really your legs. However, I think I'm still getting used to wearing clip-in pedals.

Often in the movement-based activities that I've done in the past, such as rock climbing and yoga, it's better not to concentrate on which muscles are doing what. It's often better to concentrate on something more abstract, like a shape or a feeling. This was my realisation last week when I found I could lengthen my swimming stroke by pretending to be Superman.

Well today, a similar thing happened while cycling home. There I was pedaling hard and thinking it was a bit harder than it should be. So without thinking why, I decided to try to pedal quickly instead. Bizarrely, this was easier and I went more quickly. I can only think that when I think 'pedal quickly' I'm using my feet in circles rather than just pushing down on one pedal at a time. Now I'll have to remember to do this for the next few rides, so I can do it without thinking about it.

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