Everyone has been there before. You make a commitment to an appointment, and then something gets in the way that makes you run late. Traffic sucks, the lights are always red, there is an accident or a re- route, or you forgot something and had to turn around. But at Cycling Center Dallas, there are several important reasons why we schedule our classes when we do, and ask that you arrive as close to half an hour early as possible.
First and foremost, let's face it: getting a bike out of your car, putting the wheel back on, rolling it into a studio from a distance, and then getting it properly installed on a trainer, always takes time. While our coaches do our best to help cyclists with set up and tear down, it is important to remember that there are others who are attempting to do the exact same thing, and space is limited from the door to the back wall. Proper setup usually involves pumping up tires, making sure that you have enough water in your bottles, getting your shoes on, and if you are coming in from work, sharing our small space for bathrooms and dressing rooms. There's also the issue of our request that you purchase or use a steel skewer when you train with us. Those take time to install properly, and they must be checked like all bike equipment to ensure that they are properly fastened. So arriving 30 minutes early, allows us to account for many of the time delays that can pop up from the time you leave your car, to the time that we hit the start button.
Perhaps more importantly, however, is the fact that we really want to give you the free time necessary to successfully warm-up and prepare for the workout. Our intervals are never easy, and it is important to be ready for the efforts. If you arrive 30 minutes beforehand, take about 10 minutes to properly set up and arrange your bike and gear, and then throw a leg over and begin to warm up, this is an ideal opportunity to burn a few extra calories, and prepare both physically and mentally for the upcoming workout. It is also a great time to chat with other cyclists, make new friends, review some of the outside rides, and speak with your coach about questions or issues that you may have had either in the studio or on an outside ride.
The purpose of a warm-up is to raise the body's temperature, mobilize the joints, and raise the heart rate. Ideally, it will allow you to raise your heart rate to roughly 70 or 80% of Max, and in our studios, we do this through raising and lowering wattage. It's best to start low, and use the time to relax your mind, rotate your shoulders and neck, focus on some deep breathing, and really get into the flow of pedaling. If you have not yet had something to eat or drink, this is a great opportunity to consume a few calories so that they are absorbed and enter into the bloodstream prior to the workout. This is also a great time to check everything from the bike, to the body, to the mind, to the spirit. This is all connected and can help you get the most out of the upcoming intervals.
Finally, a proper warm-up is necessary for us to get proper calibration on our CompuTrainers. If you warm-up both machines (the body as well as the bike), you will ensure a better workout. We also calibrate twice in our programs, a few minutes apart, so that the temperature of the load generator as well is the temperature on the tire, stabilizes. You don't need to worry about this too much, our coaches will take care of it for you, but it always helps when you show up early enough that you can get a good warm-up in.
When we fly out of an airport, we always allow for ample time, just in case something occurs en route. Think about your goals at Cycling Ctr., Dallas, and think about your fellow cyclists. Let's all make sure that we show up early enough to properly help with set up, and then properly warm up, so that we can all get the most out of every ride!