You only whinge when you’re spinning

Last week I missed my track session because of the haze. On Monday, I missed it because I was worried about the haze, so I went spinning instead. Today, suffering from a sore throat that I haven’t been able to shake, I contemplated skiving off the track, but I had a feeling id feel worse if I didn’t go. So thirty hard minutes it was then.

We did what would have been last Wednesday’s session: 15 minutes, then 3 minutes rest, 10 minutes, 2 minutes rest, then 5 minutes, all ideally at the same pace. (Every Wednesday is 30 minutes of running at your threshold pace, just for longer or shorter periods between rests.)

Last time out, I did 15 minutes’ worth of 1:36 laps, and then the wheels fell off and I didn’t finish the session successfully. This time I was advised to aim for 1:40s instead, and I’m glad I paid attention, because I stuck pretty close to that throughout. On the last 5 minutes it was a struggle to hold on, but I kept within a few seconds every lap of my planned time.

This was despite a corporate sports day being run on the track at the same time. It’s hard to maintain a constant pace anyway, without having to swerve between egg-and-spoon race participants, sack races, a tug of war, huge flags being waved and small children running in random directions. Still, no eggs were knocked to the ground, no sacks were torn, no small children were punted high into the air. A success, you’d have to conclude.

Afterwards, and after we’d run a cool down 3k in 14:15, I realised I felt much better than after my last spinning class. Yes, when I finished spinning I was groggy with adrenaline and elation, but as I staggered home, struggling to not black out, I felt pretty broken, and I think the savagery is at least partly to blame for me feeling so utterly wrecked today and yesterday. Whereas today, I feel tired but still capable of remaining upright.

It will be interesting to see how my heart rate for both session compares. On Monday it began to collapse over the last part of the session, when all the spinning had broken me – I’m guessing I kept to a more constant amount this evening, helped partly just by knowing what I’m doing, instead of lurching from one virtual bicycling crisis to another.

That’s not saying that I don’t enjoy those spin classes; I just need to be mindful of my own fragility. They can be a tool to make my lunchtimes happier, or a way to brutalise half my working week.

4 responses to “You only whinge when you’re spinning”

  1. Sounds like the “fresh air” of the track has a more beneficial effect upon your system even it if means having to dodge small people !

  2. I have noticed a thing that looks like a spin bike in the corner of the gym. I have no idea how to use it without a class though. And now I think I might not really want to.

  3. Without a class, I think it’s about as useful as a normal exercise bike. Don’t let me put you off spinning – but it is one of those things that substantially harder than you’d expect. Forewarned is forearmed and all that…

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