# On-the-bike math: share your best anecdote

Trying to calculate how many minutes are left in a multi-segment interval (Tallac-style). The first part was 2 mins, right? Or was that 3? And I’m in the third (or is that the second?), and this block is 7 mins long, so I have… how much longer? That looks like a bit over half in the (small, squished in Win10 small-window mode) complete workout graph, no?

Or simpler: 6 and 9 (mins done, mins to go), and you’re not alllowed to change to 7 and 8 before you get within 10 seconds of the minute being completed. With an internal celebration when the minutes to go become single-digit.

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That’s essentially what I do though. Frequently enough that I don’t need to think much about what 1/12th or such of common intervals are. The gulf between 1/3 in, 1/2, and 1/3 to go is rough.

If I’m really suffering I’ll chop the end off an interval and start the mental math over again. Usually only doing that on the last minute or a VO2 interval though.

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This is also what I do. I’m a clock watcher on the turbo. I’ve never got the whole timing music to workouts.

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When the interval (in minutes) is not easily divisible by 10, I’ll calculate the number of second st which I reach each 5%, 10%, 15%, etc. mostly keeps me distracted. Important that each step be less than 2 minutes or I lose focus on the distraction.

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I like to compute gear ratio to the third digit over and over again. Also, I split longer intervals in ratios I find appealing. I usually count up so that it gets “easier” (85 % done, just 15 % to go) and count down for the last one or two. I’m glad I’m not along

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The last two days I’ve done 2x40. But I set the 40 minute intervals up as 8 5-minute intervals. So instead of 2x40, I’m doing 2x8

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I always break the intervals into 5% increments. i.e., Six minute intervals get broken into 18 second chunks. 5% down, 10, 15…40% – 40% is basically the exact same thing as half way! This keeps going until 90 seconds (one minute left). The last minute oscillates between percentages and “a few more seconds”.

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I notice a significant benefit when using increasingly closer landmarks to mark my progress during max efforts.

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At least for me, I have a harder time with math games for shorter intervals (e.g., 3 minute) than I do for longer (like the 40 minute I’ve been doing). The shorter just hurt more.

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I count down the last minutes of an interval in ten second blocks. That means each minute is actually six 10 second blocks - I can do anything for 10 seconds (or do I tell myself) and there are only six of them. Hope that makes sense!

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I tried something like that but I always end up counting too fast. Lol, For me I find counting to 100 equates roughly to 60s and sometimes when its actually takes more than 60s to count to 100 I am pleasantly surprised If I am really desperate for the end of an interval it’s just 1 to 12 or 14 repeatedly

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Who are you and why can you read my mind? I do that all the time

Ok my other most recurrent bike math repetitive thought is: I am riding at, say, 35 an hour and I’ve got 5 km to arrive. My train of thought is:

“1 km at 40 an hour is a minute and a half, and at 30 an hour it takes 2 minutes. So, at 35 an hour it must be 1:45, which makes these 5 km something like 8:45 minutes to go”. Sometimes the fractions get messy and the calculation is repeated every time the speed changes, etc… For some reason I like estimating the time of arrival.

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I do exactly this - its pretty easy on round numbers, but still challenges me for weird durations like 7 or 21 minutes

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My math is generally based on song length. So, if I have a 3-minute interval (for example), I say to myself “this interval is going to be over before the song ends”. Or, on a long interval, I look at the playlist and say “ok, I got this… one by Katy Perry, one by Ava Max, and I get to finish the interval with Selena Gomez!”

I know what you’re thinking: whoa, that @Jack_Russell_Racing dude is a weirdo.

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I like to count the number of deep breaths I take during a long interval and calculate my respiratory rate

I focus on pedal revolutions. I do 100 groups of 3 revolutions counting off the right foot and then 100 off the left. I focus on form and only let my concentration drop when I know the interval will be over before the next 100 finishes. For some reason it has to be groups of 3. I tried 2 and 4 but it just wasn’t floating my boat.