Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ready? Steady. Go!

Go...Go...GO! Ever been to spin class? Come on, you guys! You should try one sometime. Get it! Brooks, my favorite spin instructor, led speed play at 5:30 this morning. Totally kicked my ass. Whoo hoo! Basically starts in right away, ok maybe 5 minutes warm-up, we've got 7 minutes to qualify AT (cycle lingo for Anaerobic Threshhold- the heart rate zone above which your body burns less fat calories and a greater percentage of carb calories for energy). Let's go! Brooks is awesome. She's a mother of 5 and looks amazing! She has so much energy. You're going to feel the music change! Go with it! So we go from zone 2, which is comfortable and conversational- you could literally hang out there all day, to zone 3 which feels like work, but still maintainable (think marathon), to the top of zone 3 which is just below our AT. We can still talk, but no more than a sentence at a time. Come on, guys! Hit it! And then just a slight increase in the resistance or speed, and you're at your AT- now we're short of breath. Can maybe get two words out between breaths. Ready? Ready? GO! And we maintain there for about a minute and check our heart rate. 160 bpm. Not bad. Must be having a good day. Plenty of sleep last night. I've had mornings where it's 145 and I'm huffing and puffing something fierce. Relax your shoulders! Think we're done now? We've only just started.. now it's into speed intervals, the workout for the day. My goal will be to hover below 160 for a majority of the workout, and then for a few minutes at a time, when prompted, I leap into my anaerobic zone to challenge myslef. Come on! Get it! So first interval is a race visualization. We've got to catch 3 riders in front of us to take the gold. So it's up out of the saddle, pushing hard, pushing faster, sit back down, then back up out of the saddle to fly past the next racer in front of us. Actually, if you do race, which I do, it's a great visualization exercise. 20 seconds! Come on! Keep it! Then the second interval set starts. We've got to keep tempo with the music which increases speed to tell us when to hit our AT and beyond. Again 3 sets. Give me a little push! Out of the saddle! You would think that it would be easy. But once you've hit AT and your muscles are burning, each set builds progressively on the fatigue and the burn intensifies. Come on, you guys! Get it! She continuously spurs us on from the front of the room. She appears to be working just as hard as me. Back off your grip! We go through a total of four drills which takes us to the last 7 minutes of class- cool down and stretching time. I am completely dripping with sweat. Not a dry inch on my body. Thankfully, my Snowflake GymGirl holds up nicely and makes my sweat-glistening legs look great. I have enjoyed another spin class with Brooks, my once a week reprieve from the road, and now it's off to the treadmill for a 3 mile transition run.

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