practice time

Bob Helber <helber@seas.marine.usf.edu> writesm

>Rarely do I spend more than one hour at a time unicycling. Riding every day
>would be fine but after 45 minutes of continuous riding I get sloppy and lose
>focus. Is this common? I am curious how long other people ride. How much does
>an expert practice?

I’m no expert by a long shot, but I generally practice no more than 90 minutes
at a stretch. Usually more like 60 minutes. Maybe my attention span is short or
something but I too get tired and sloppy after practicing too long.

I’ve worked up to 60 minutes over about a year’s time. At first I found 30
minutes too much. I think the best strategy is 15 minutes of concentrated
practice, then 5 minutes of rest, then another 15 minutes of practice.

Your nervous system really integrates the skills you are learning in the time
between practice. Therefore rest, both mental and physical, is an important part
of the learning process.

Practicing too long is dangerous. I can testify that my (so far) only major
unicycling injury happened when I was “tired and sloppy” after an hour of
uninterrupted practice.

I’ve also found that practicing when I am tired doesn’t work very well either.
My reaction time goes way up, my sense of balance is off and I can’t focus well.
Best to practice early in the morning or just after a nap.

Dennis Kathrens