Weekend Wellness – Drafting

Week-End Wellnesslby Tammy Parkinson

Wellness draftingWhen a cyclist rides with a team (or even one other person) there’s a technique that’s used called “drafting”.  Drafting happens often when the team is riding in a head wind so that the riders behind the leader can “draft” off of the person’s wheel who is ahead of them.  This makes it a LOT easier for the riders drafting.  You need to ride consistent, close, and make no mistakes to do this effectively and safely; however it can turn a brutal ride in the wind into a rather pleasant experience (except for the ride leader!).  The rest of the team though gets to “use” the suction of the person ahead of them and they can coast a little more; saving energy for the remainder of the ride.

However, you don’t want to draft the whole ride.  At times there are hills to trudge up, tops of hills to safely race down and flat terrain without much wind to maneuver and catch a good cadence.  It’s important to know when to use your own strength and power and not always rely on someone else’s.

The theme here is be strong enough to lead, agile enough to maneuver in hilly terrain and know your limits when you need to draft.

How similar is our everyday life?

Do we draft off of others too often, using their energy while saving our own?  Do we ever take the lead; or do we always try and lead, simply exhausting ourselves?  Do we know how to charge up a hill when we see it and enjoy the ride when we have reached the top?

Life is such a balancing act and one which needs to be carefully managed.  Go through your week and notice if you lead and draft.  Do you “ride” solo, or do you use the help of others sometimes?  Check out your cadence and see where you might need help and where you could take the lead.

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