And don't forget - if you want to reserve your spot for the January block of classes, GO TO BIKEREG.COM and search "Cycling Center". The January class will come up, and you must register and sign up there!
December 22, 2008 23:14
Every time I hit hills on the CompuTrainer, I'm reminded of that great poem about "John Henry and His Hammer". No matter how hard you try, you usually end up dead, and the hammer is still on the bike, or on the floor in the form of sweat and tears. But I KNOW they're working. They hammer your legs. They hammer your mind. They hammer your heart. And THESE hills. THESE Gatineau Park Redux Hills. Man, they are KILLERS. They start right at 95%, then slowly creep up to about 105-107% over about 2 minutes. Then, the last minute, they rise up to the 120's and 130's. Your heart rate is soaring. Your cadence is slowly dropping. You're fighting for breath, for speed, and for that last pedal stroke that will help you get THAT MUCH CLOSER to the finish.... But for me, tonight, it wasn't meant to be. Bam. I had to drop the numbers and.... Wait. Let's look at the numbers. My normal threshold is, what, 275, and this hill was at... 310???? 310???? GOOD LORD NO WONDER it sucked. But hey - you spent THAT MUCH MORE TIME at or above Threshold, and you held on longer each hill, and when you noticed that the Threshold was at 310, you dropped it to 290 and you actually made it over some hills, and... Not a bad workout! HEY! Cool! Never woulda thunk it! The morning classes are going to LOVE THIS PROGRAM!
December 19, 2008 20:17
There's something wonderful about pairs. I'm talking about pairs of cyclists, who are fairly evenly matched, usually in terms of performance, but also in terms of age, ability, experience, family and career track. I hate to admit this, but I purposely put people like that side-by-side, so that they can push themselves and each other to limits that would otherwise be completely dependent upon solo efforts. My psych 101 classes taught me that two people pulling a rope against each other will pull at 105% or more of the effort they would use to pull the rope against a machine or an inanimate object. So getting people who are naturally competitive, and putting them side-by-side, so that they can see each other out of the corner of their eyes, maybe even bump elbows, see the numbers in context, and even sweat on each other, can really bring out the best in people. Thursday night's class had two pairs of cyclists who fit this category. A pair of young women, teammates, one more experienced in indoor cycling than the other, but both of roughly the same age, and from similar backgrounds in the sport. The other pair were Masters men, one with gobs of experience, the other with an incredible zeal for the performance that he has gained and the fitness he has seen in the last several months. I paired these 4 folks together, male & female, and watched the sparks fly. The interval session was again sort of a non-traditional workout for December. We did 21 separate sprint intervals, most of them about 15 seconds long at 200% of threshold. I made SURE that the athletes did not start pedaling hard until they had met the beginning of the slope of the wattage load, and then they were better able to keep the pedaling below 25mph. The workout was teh extension of the technique protocol, and it placed emphasis on anaerobic power, sustained slightly longer than the 6-8 seconds that your ATP system is in use. But in this case, the power doesn't let up - instead, you tend to start losing speed. In the Real World, the power will drop, while speed will stay about the same, but by then, the race is usually decided. In any case, this was a great opportunity for those paired riders to work together, as well as against each other, and push themselves to the limits. The result was a fantastic workout that left all four riders sort of whimpering in the corner, but completely satisfied that they had exceeded everyone's expectations - their own, their 'buddy's, and their coach.... I'm convinced that this type of workout, while effective, is more effective in a group setting, and even more effective when the athletes are familiar with each other. I think we'll see these guys & gals continue to excel. It'll bear fruit this Spring, just wait, be consistent, and be patient. See ya'll on Sunday!
December 18, 2008 16:12
COME ON IN! That's what the Cycling Center of Dallas is all about! It's about fitness, fun, and friends, in an environment that is consistent and safe, and offers a workout that is really, really effective. This morning, when visibility was down to 1/2 mile or so, and the clouds were hiding all the high rises, and even the flagpoles, the Center was open, and classes were held. At this point, it's up to the participants who paid for class to get there, and this morning, there were only a handful of no-shows. Add in the fact that it's flu season, and holiday season, and you're going to get people disappearing for a while here & there. No biggie. We'll be here when you get back, ready to burn those holiday calories off and get the New Year started off right! Watts per Kilogram (emphasis on the Watts)!