Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tour de France - Stage 20 Megève / Morzine-Avoriaz (Spinning Profile & Playlist)

Every year I pick a segment on the TDF to profile a new Race Day Energy Zone ride; and this year I picked Stage 20 just because I like the diversity of the terrain.

Living in Ohio, I bike enough flat stretches so I have to use the simulated mountains on my Spinning® bike to remind me of home in Appalachia.

A couple of reminders about RDEZ rides:

  • Minimum cadence is 80 rpm
  • Heart rate zone 4 & 5 for the entire "race"
What this means is that you have to be careful to not load your mountains as steep as you would during a strength ride because your cadence is going to be up to 33% faster.  Out in the real world this translates to changing to smaller gears for climbing.

Today's profile has 2 warm up songs with the first just to get the legs warmed up, and the 2nd one to get the core warmed up, go over the positions and proper loading techniques since chances are pretty high they're not used to loading for this type of ride.

Song #3 was the opening music from Knight Rider so you'll either need to find a way to download music from YouTube or substitute another song.

Some of my cues in this profile will say (Power Turns).  Remember this ride isn't just about doing a specific position, it's about a guided journey, visualization.  Just like the hill climbs with switchbacks you'll also have switchbacks coming down the hill.  Now you wouldn't really do this if you were in the alps (mostly for fear 
of driving on the planet), but I want you
to imagine as you're going down hill that the turns are steeply banked and you can power into the turns; adding resistance and keep pedaling at that high cadence.  Once you're out of the turn, decrease your resistance and continue. 

You can add as many or as few of these downhill switchbacks as you feel the mountain gives you.

Preclass I played an edited version of this YouTube preview of Stage 20 so that my class participants could "see" what we were about to undertake to aid them in their visualization.

Remember Race Day is about the energy in the room as much as it is about the profile, so anything you can do to elevate the excitement will make the class more interesting.

~ Spinning Freak™

This link will actually take you to two different profiles lists; the profiles are the same but they have slightly different music depending on your preference.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Welcome to Wonderland (Spinning® Profile & Playlist)

Wonderland is a play on words for me...that's what I call it when you step on a scale and the first number is a 1.  In truth, weight is just a number and not an accurate measure of fitness or health.  If you're 6' - 3" you're probably close if not over that 200 number or even if you're a pole.  That is NOT the case for me, at my 5' - 9.5"stature; not that I was in bad shape, but I'm certainly not what I was when I was martial arts fighting.  I always said that if I had worked out like this in my 20's instead of my 40's, I would have been ripped. Alas, my late 20's exercise program was limited to watching figure skating with my wife on the couch and NFL on Sunday (if Pittsburgh was playing.)

Last fall I decided to step up my triathlon endeavors and registered for my first Ironman 70.3 - For those unfamiliar, it's also called a Half Ironman; and No you cannot call yourself an Ironman unless you do the full 140.6 version of this race, in my opinion.  That would be akin to running 8 different 5K races and calling saying you've run a marathon; but I digress.

Starting in January 2016, I concentrated on my eating habits (you can't out work your eating), upped my workouts to 5-7 workouts a week, and 9 months later I had dropped the 20 pounds to put me in Wonderland.  All that to say, it's hard work, but if you set yourself a goal AND make a plan to
 achieve the goal then it can be done.

Oh, and I did finish my first Ironman 70.3 this year, and I look forward to doing several more.  My next major goal is a full Ironman by age 50 (age, just like weight, is just a number).

Welcome to Wonderland Profile is a STRENGTH ENERGY ZONE ride.  Remember not to lose your breath, or you're working out in the wrong energy zone.

Unless you've participated in my class you may be confused by a couple of the instructions so let me explain them, and maybe these will bring something new to your participants without making up some crap like you see in some of these boutique studios.

Incline Gets Steeper and Steeper (switchbacks)
This is like switchbacks that I've coached for quite some time, but instead to always coming back to the base line hill resistance, you return with slightly more than you started with.  Think of it like this, you're going up a 5% hill, you come to turn that makes it really steep while you make the turn, when the road straightens out you're now on a 7% hill, etc...

I cue this by telling my participants think of increasing twice for the switchback and then decreasing once for the straight away.  Up 2 - Down 1.  Do this repeatedly and your hill turns into a mountain.

Rolling Hills
If you've ever gotten to ride on "rollers" on the road, you know that some of the shorter and steeper ones you actually stand and run up the hill.  Same goes in the Spinning studio.  Go with how the music feels.  Do you want the hill longer and more gradual (1 min) or shorter and steeper (30seconds)?