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Kitchen trainer

Bicycles on the wall

It’s Friday afternoon and it’s hot outside, I would guess around 26-27 degrees. The Swedish summer has hit us with its’ might and the days to come doesn’t seem to let us down either. When most of us would enjoy a summer day like this by the water, eating an ice-cream, finding a free chair at the nicest bar or at least just be outside, others do the opposite.

Regardless of the situation outside, Marcus has to keep focused and do his thing. Today is bicycle time. Intervals. At home. ”Inside?” you may ask. Yes inside. In fact, the best place for his bike is in the kitchen. Sweat will drip down on the plastic floor instead of the wooden dito in the living room and the view from the kitchen is also a little more teasing since he can see the world outside. Today it’s hot, but it could of course also be the opposite. Just imagine the view 6 months ago when he was fighting the pain while seeing falling snow. But when he sits there, pushing and pulling the pedals at 100 rpm, does he really care about the weather? I’m not so sure… His head may be pointing towards the window and the green trees outside, but his vision is definitely somewhere else.

But why the heck train inside during summer when you can be outside feeling the warm wind against your newly shaved legs? Marcus explains and even though I wouldn’t do it myself I undersand how his mind works.

I use my trainer all year around. Most people move it away as soon as the snow is gone, but for me it’s so much easier to do my intervals right here in my kitchen. I don’t have to care about what I wear, or ride my bike to a decent road where I can push the limits. There’s also no red lights, cars or other disturbances that may take away my focus. Doing my 40 minute intervals here at home feels so much ‘easier’ and then I also have time over for something else when I’m done.

The intervals he does are based on his pulse. He pushes himself real hard for four minutes and when the time is up he stops pedaling to enter a four minute rest period, where he waits for the pulse to go down to 100 bpm. When the pulse is low enough he starts pedaling in normal pace and when the rest is over he starts all over again. This whole procedure is done 4 times and even though you usually never get real high pulse peaks during cycling (as you do when running) you get the same effect: fill your muscles with lactic and train your body to push it away as fast as possible.

After about 45 minutes Marcus hops off his bike and starts the stove at the same time. When the bike has been stored away (by hanging it up on the wall) he goes back to the kitchen to spend even more time there, but this time to do dinner. He opens the refrigerator and asks me if I want a cold beer. If I want a beer? How could I not want one? I mean, it’s hot outside but even hotter inside.

I guess this is where the line between an athlete and elite is drawn.

All photos are also available on Flickr, click here.


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