Spin class for Triathletes

May
16

Posted by Coach Brad Noble

We have all been to a gym where we have seen participants and certainly heard the thump of the heart pounding music coming from the spin studio and thought, “no, that’s not for me, I’m training for a Triathlon.” Well folks, think again!

I am a HUGE believer in the benefits of spin class, as it provides a nice break from the open road, as well as MANY other awesome benefits. Spinning provides a really kick-butt workout, comraderie, a little competition and most of all, it is FUN!!! Sadly, a lot of first timers tend to be intimidated by spin class and therefore don’t attend for fear of being judged or ridiculed. Remember, we were all new at this at one point!!! Embrace the newbie, you may just make a new friend and a great training partner.

Spin classes do vary from gym to gym however, as some provide music and a “spinstructor” that seems to lack energy, to the ones that have zero bikes left in the studio as they REALLY get you motivated and then there are the ones where all bikes are connected to a computer, your effort is displayed on the big screen and there is REAL COMPETITION. Bring it!!!

Currently, the best way to measure your output when it comes to biking is the power meter, which we all know that is a pretty penny to invest in for your own bike. Conveniently, most modern spin bikes come with a power meter that measures wattage, which, like I said is the “gold standard” of training, a heart rate monitor to follow “zone training,” and a cadence monitor.  It's getting harder to say no now, isn’t it???

Gyms offer classes at nearly all hours of the day and are bound to have one to fit your schedule. Real life story, when I was training for IRONMAN Texas in 2014, which is an early spring race with heat and humidity, I prepared myself all winter long with long spin classes, and even got permission to take a spin bike into the sauna at 5 am at my local gym. It paid off…

 

Pros of spin include:

  • Getting your heart rate up to any zone you choose
  • Not having to navigate dangerous road conditions and traffic
  • Not having to worry about balancing on a bike if you’re not comfortable
  • Not having to contend with other cyclists if you’re not comfortable
  • Spin studios tend to be warm and get much warmer, so if you’re in a cool climate this is huge
  • You have free access to data such as heart rate, cadence and power
  • Your heart rate can get through the roof if you raise your resistance, and trust me your legs can burn plus, here is no impact as there is in running…unless you jump on the treadmill after…
  • Mental toughness, what I mean by this is; the longer distance races can get to be as much a mental challenge as well as physical. So, if you’re on the bike for an extended period of time, this can get in your head and have a negative effect on your race outcome. Arriving early to a spin class or going an extra hour with no motivation from your instructor can be quite challenging, therefore giving you an added edge.

 

My “spinstuctor” is FABULOUS and takes music requests from week to week, so you can hear your favorite tunes, even country, which is my favorite...

Ok, it’s not the wind in your face open road. There are no “hills”, no bumps, and no aid stations, but this can be an AMAZING alternative to your norm. Get in, jam, push yourself and get fit, it is what you make it, it is your class, but spin can offer AWESOME bang for your buck…

 

~ by Coach Brad Noble

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