Friday, April 07, 2006

Over Already?

So I went to spinning class last night after having already swam for an hour in the morning. This is probably only the second time I have done two workouts in a single day, and admittedly I was a bit apprehensive. I wanted to be sure to not run out of fuel, so I ate a bit more yesterday, but I was also concerned about overdoing it and breaking my calorie budget. I was concerned that I would not be able to finish the spin class, which would have meant that I overate for the day. But really I was scared that I was going to be too exhausted, and I would fail in meeting my goals for the week.

I have to say nothing quite kicks my butt like a spin class. To others thinking about taking such classes, I would definitely recommend bringing a heart rate monitor. Most spin instructors emphasize out of the saddle work with lots of resistance and only moderate cadence. This type of workout is not really the best workout to prepare for a triathlon in which you need to develope more endurance and more work in the saddle, but it certainly will get your heart rate up near its maximum. Getting your heart rate up will burn more calories, but for the sake of developing fitness and improving your health you really do not want your heart rate to be that high. So take a monitor with you and cut back a bit when your heart rate is going over 90% of maximum. Set a goal and stick to it.

I was a bit tired before even starting the class, but I just took this as a personal challenge. The whole way from work, I was telling myself, "You can do just 30 minutes. You don't have to do the whole hour. That would be ok." Then while spinning my heart out I thought, "I have to do at least 45." My legs were burning at 50, but I figured that I made it this far, I should do the whole hour. Next thing you know at 55, the teacher stops the class for stretching. "Damn! I want a whole hour. I dragged my ass over here for this class, I've got to do the whole hour." So I kept on going while the class left. It's funny how your mind works tricks on you. Honestly, I think I could have gone for another 30 minutes, because at that point I was totally zoned out, and lost most of the feeling in my legs.

One of the differences between the spin bikes at my gym and a real bike, is that on a spin bike you cannot coast. There is a direct connection between the flywheel and your pedal. If you try to stop the pedals will just force your feet to move until you either disengage you feet from the pedals or overcome the force with your legs. I think this what makes spinning such a workout, because I know if I'm on my bike I have a really difficult time keeping from coasting. pI just pedal and coast and then pedal some more. It is one of the many things I really need to work on.

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