Sunday, January 19, 2014

Two Paths to Follow (Spinning Profile & Playlist)

One of the most memorable scenes from "The Matrix", is when Morpheus presents Neo with a choice between a red or blue pill.  The blue pill represented a decision to return to the matrix and live in ignorant bliss, while the red pill represented a decision for a real understanding about what the matrix was.



I approach the Endurance Energy Zone (EEZ) much the same way.  I start each class introducing the ride profile and a few characteristics of the profile.  But the reality is that not everyone is in the same place in their training (assuming that they're training and not just working out), some
aren't doing periodization, and some just want to blow off a bunch of calories to leave the day behind.  You can preach all the benefits of working more and longer in the EEZ zone, but some just won't have it, and that's okay.
"...some just won't have it, and that's okay."
Another fact of reality is that most of our Spinning® populations still don't have heart rate monitors so even if they were to choose to do an endurance profile, they run a high risk of pushing high anyway.  I generally tell my class that if they go a little too high / too hard, that's okay, they've just done a great strength ride.  I also offer my class the option if they want me to dual coach it, where I give the cues for both EEZ and SEZ.  I did this during my last 2 EEZ classes, and in one class everyone was happy to stay in the endurance range, in the 2nd class there was a young man that wanted a bit more so I gave him separate cues for portions of the ride.   
Dual Cue Coaching Ideas:
  • When running a paceline do it at two different speeds.  
    • Example:  EEZ participants run a 40 second paceline while the SEZ run a 20 second paceline
    • This allows longer recoveries for the EEZ's and they won't load as heavily when their in the heavy "lead" position.
  • When approaching a climb, have SEZ participants start a cue before the EEZ participants and coach heavier loading.
  • Substitute Standing Climbs for Seated Climbs for the SEZ participants at the same cadence. 

Don't get overly complicated if you attempt Dual Cues as it can confuse you and your participants, but don't be afraid to challenge yourself as well.  You may want to use something like this as you start to introduce your populations to EEZ, coaching the entire thing this way but challenging your participants to do EEZ for 20 minutes today, 30 minutes next time, etc....

So today you have two paths to pick from, one is the long way around the mountain which is less strenuious, while the other is over the mountain.  Both lead to the other side, but with different results.