Road Cyclists Blogs

CENTURY and MORE

 

I have been a certified Spinning® Instructor for almost four years and this is my third road cycling season.  Early on I determined that my personal goals (and I always need personal goals) would be distance riding as I am neither fast nor powerful but have excellent endurance.  (Wonder where I got that?  EEZ?!) So, my first season on the road in our short, Vermont summer season, I rode a metric (well, the event is actually closer to 67 miles if you want to count them all) and a full century that took me 8:30 (oh dear) to complete.  I finished with tons of leftover energy, though, and eager for another.

My second season I rode 2 full centuries and 2 metrics gradually shaving off time.  Yesterday I began this, my third season, reducing last year’s time for the same course by a full and nearly exact 30 minutes!  On this, the day after, I’m pumped but also crampy with leg spasms and a tiny bit fatigued.  Hoorah!  I’ve always worried that I had too much left over at the end.  I had next to nothing leftover this time – especially since the end is a short but steep hill.  Keeping in mind that we rode some challenging climbs through the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont (nothing really steep, thankfully, just long) and dealt with some headwinds (tiresome but actually refreshing in the heat) on our return, road construction, and, for me, a random deer crossing the road just in front of me and causing a bit of a start! – well, all things considered, I am thrilled with my 6:39 finish.  I know, this is not great, but, remember, I’m a grandmother!  (and, perhaps, I’m getting a bit faster and a bit more powerful!)

But, here’s the good part.  We are all limited by weather conditions, family responsibilities, health and a myriad of potential interruptions.  I work full-time and then need to do my own training after hours training clients in the gym.  Most of us are in the same boat, so to speak.  What is different for us, however, is our ability to supplement or sustain our training on our Spinner®.  If we have a week of bad weather, well, indoors we go.  If we are time-crunched, well, to the Spinner® we go.  If we need a long EEZ or REZ ride and find the distractions of the outdoors or the terrain in which we live inappropriate to our plans, well, once again, we can step onto our Spinner® and get the job done.

I use a periodized training plan for my entire year and most importantly for my cycling season.  I like to work this way.  I like the structure, the specificity, the management of heart rate, time, intensity, duration and all the other variables that make training effective.  I love working carefully within the Spinning® Energy Zones.  I also love the sense of community within our Spinning® classes. 

Riding on the road deepens the experience.  As we ride with others, the property lines of our community expand.  We learn to share energy and motivation with our companions as we improve our cycling skills, physical strength, endurance and well-being.  What a privilege it is to value multiple components of the cycling world.

All of these factors work together to help us become the type of cyclist we want to be – recreational/touring, competitive in local clubs and organizations (many offer Time Trials to jump into for fun), centuries or long distance rides to benefit meaningful causes, or simply time on two wheels spent with family and friends.

May we reach beyond our current comfort zones and find new challenges.  Spinning® training gives us the tools.  Let’s use them.  It’s well worth it!

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