Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pumped About Spin

My triathlon club's spin season has begun and we've had five spins now. I am really enjoying it and tonight I'm especially happy that I can say that.

We have two spin instructors. One of them runs the spins in the way that most triathletes would be familiar with - multiple sets of relatively short intervals with changes in cadence and/or gear. It's a very methodical style with hard bursts followed by short rests. Our other instructor is a road cyclist and his style is totally different. We do intervals that are as long as each of the songs he plays and sometimes as long as three or four songs. Last Wednesday, we did a series of tempo intervals that were each the length of a song. Then we did an 18 minute, 90% effort time trial! I thought I was going to puke and then die! Everyone was talking about how hard it was but after we all survived it, it was clear that we all enjoyed it in some strange way. Still, I was a little worried about going back to tonight's class in case it turned out to be an almost-puke-and-die-fest again.

Well, what we did tonight was climbing. After a series of tempo intervals, we cranked our bikes up into the highest gear and climbed a hill for 18 minutes - 5 minutes standing, 4 minutes seated (still in the highest gear), repeat. I thought there was absolutely no way that I could stand for 5 minutes. I was sure I'd be sitting down within 2 minutes. But, amazingly, I stood for the entire time he told us to and I kept up my pace whether we were standing or seated! And I stood up and sprinted for the last minute when he spontaneously decided we should do that. I was shocked! There is no way I could have done that last year. Maybe I am actually getting stronger because of my strength workouts with my personal trainer. And maybe these spins are already helping me improve. The real test will be when I get my bike out on the road next spring, which is a few months off, but I am feeling like there might be hope for better bike times next season.

Tonight's spin made me feel really encouraged. I feel like I can handle whatever he dishes out next week!