Friday, April 16, 2010

Rebecca Eckland: The Spin Monster

Me, during the 2009 "Tahoe Sierra Century" that covered 100 miles over Brockway Summit, Tahoe-Donner and Donner Summit (twice.) Though not as exhilarating as running, the Century allowed me to keep fit while I was unable to run due to injury.

Since I'm nursing a minor injury, I've been spending my days (and some nights) on the spin bike at my local gym. I use the spin bike because it reminds me of road biking (I can't stand the traditional fitness bikes in gyms with their big cushy seats and large displays. It feels to much like a couch and I can't MOVE with all that crap-- the screen, the water bottle holders, the bulky pedals and the aforementioned seat in my way.) So, when I can't run, I'm on the spin bike.

Therefore, "choreographing" my own workouts is nothing new to me. Generally, my spins consist of an interval-esque session of 2 x 10' efforts with 2' recoveries followed by 3 x 8' efforts with 2' recoveries and then 6 x 6' efforts with 1' recoveries. But since I want to make sure my foot heals fully before running again, I've taken this week to re-discover cycling, and you know, I like what I've found.

One of my favorite discoveries is the "spin endurance" class on Saturdays at my gym. Instead of the typical one-hour class, this one goes for two hours! What a joy! From these long sessions with an instructor, my knowledge of various methods of increasing one's heart rate on a spin bike have grown. There aren't just "intervals" but also sprints, hills, aerobic recoveries, etc. And all of this is done to upbeat music that just won't let you stop.

And so, yours truly did a little research and found a spin instructor certification course nearby. One day only, the entire course is 9-hours and requires an online exam taken at home to pass. I mentioned my enthusiasm to the woman who owns the gym, and she was ecstatic enough about it to give me a shot at leading my own impromtu spin session next Monday.


All this brings back memories of 2009, when I was off my feet due to multiple injuries. When I could cycle again (yes, there was even a time when I couldn't do that), I signed up for a century (or 100-mile) ride in Tahoe. Though cycling fails to give me the same "high" running does, it's nonetheless an accomplishment to ride 100 miles over mountain summits in a little over 6 hours. Despite my inability to run, I was proud of myself that day.

And proud now, too, because I'm turning my time away from running into something positive. I'd love to lead spin sessions -- not for the money-- but as a way to promote physical fitness in a fun manner and to keep myself injury-free in the future (they say cross training is very important for us runners.) Plus, how can this NOT be a fun part-time position when I get to come up with playlists that include songs by Journey, Lady Gaga and Right Said Fred?


1 comment:

Chrissy said...

I love cycling, but I've yet to take a spin class. That playlist makes me want to try one even more!