Well, wheel. The spin bike only has one. It’s a little like a work simulator… no matter how hard you pedal, you’re not going to get anywhere. You will, however, feel like you’ve been “rode hard and put away wet.”
I did my first spin class three weeks ago, and it was a real eye opener. I was completely out of sync, went too hard early, etc. It was not one of my more positive workout experiences. Coupled with the fact that I forgot to bring a water bottle, I was pretty beat by the time the class was over.
Last week was better. I was more psychologically prepared, which is good because I think the lady who leads the class is a little psycho herself. She looks pretty average when she walks into the room, but within about 10 minutes she’s got us huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf.
Tonight I was fortunate enough to get one of the bikes with a functioning computer so I could tell what my cadence and heart rate were. I try to sustain 85-90 rpm on a standard road ride, but the spin psycho has the class vary the cadence anywhere from 70 to 100+ at different intervals… it helps to have a functioning bike computer to stay in sync. I also got the Garmin to read the signal from the computer, so it recorded my data and made it a little easier to read. I was able to keep the cadence where she wanted it, and keep my heart rate somewhere between “you’re kidding” and “what were you thinking”.
I’ve written before about my aversion to standing in the pedals to climb hills. The only real reason I avoid it is the burn in the quads when I stand. It’s a little like getting your wisdom teeth pulled… you know it’s good for you in the long run, but it hurts and you’d just as soon avoid it. Not in spin psycho’s class. When she says stand, you better stand. NOW! It’s the push I guess I need to force myself to do it, and I’ve pushed through the burning sensation for much longer during the spin class than I would on the road… mostly out of fear that she’s going to climb off her bike and come beat the snot out of me if I sit down before she says I can. Sort of reminds me of Catholic grade school with the nuns and the rulers. If you’ve been there, you know.
Overall, it was a great workout. I pushed much harder than I would have pushed myself, which is always a good thing. I’ve got a tempo run scheduled for the morning, then a couple of hours at work, and I catch a flight back to Little Rock for Thanksgiving. Back to running and riding in the hills for a few days. I’m planning on doing the Go! Running Go!bbler Turkey Trot again on Thanksgiving morning, which was a blast last year. It’s a combination road race, trail run, track workout… you never know what’s coming next. A little like real life, come to think of it.