Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cycling Fusion certified!

My gym/second home has recently partnered with Cycling Fusion to host a winter training program geared towards outdoor cyclists (hooray!). I spent last weekend taking the Cycling Fusion instructor certification course, earning me a fancy "cycling fusion certified" asterisk next to my classes on the spin studio schedule. It was a great experience, and refreshing to see an indoor cycling program that eschews a lot of the egregious things attempted on spin bikes (i.e. lifting 2 lb pink dumbbells while cycling, taking the seats off the bikes, "hovers" in positions that unnecessarily stress your joints) - basically, if you wouldn't do it on a real bike, you shouldn't be doing it on a spin bike (see "This could be one the craziest (and most dangerous) Indoor Cycling classes I've seen").

I'm excited for this expansion of my indoor cycling side-career. While most of my classes will stay in their current format (kick-ass cycling based while still accessible for all fitness-seekers), there's the opportunity to build additional CF classes complete with heart rate zone training. Additionally, my spin studio is being set up for CF class filming - so one of my classes may be coming soon to an internet connection near you :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

An Award for Epic Suffering: Sufferfest

Last spring I did something kind of crazy. After an ankle injury and pending surgery shut down my running, I took the opportunity to cross something off my cycling bucket list: riding 10 Sufferfest indoor cycling training videos back-to-back. Yes, I sat on my bike in my living room for a solid 11 hours. And pushed. Hard. Then I sat on the floor for a while, ate a whole jar of peanut butter, and hauled myself with my arms into an ice bath. For this feat, I am now an official Knight of Sufferlandria (see http://www.thesufferfest.com/about-sufferfest/knights-of-sufferlandria/).

If you ride an indoor trainer, I highly recommend their videos. They are entertaining, feature awesome cycling footage, and give you a crazy workout.

At long last, my certificate has arrived. And yes, it's going on the wall with my professional degrees.

The solution to my lap-counting woes: Poolmate Watch Review

Apparently, I am so inept at keeping track of pool laps that not one but TWO of my loved ones decided to help me out with this problem over the holidays. Or, they were just tired of hearing me complain about said inability, or listening to me refer to workouts as "3200 yds plus or minus 200 yds".

I've started out with the Poolmate watch by Swimovate. I've swum for about 3 weeks with it now, and finally have it figured out. For the record, if you read the instructions manual thoroughly first, it won't take you 3 weeks to do this. If you're a triathlete excited about a new toy and don't sit down and read it first, it'll take some experimental button pressing.

In all my workouts, it has accurately counted all my swim laps - no misses! The only downside is that it doesn't count kicking sets, since it tracks the stroking movement of your arm. So front kicking, back kicking, side kicking, no counts; it picks up again when I hit 6-beat switch drills.

It also stores your workouts, and lets you scroll through average stroke counts and efficiency (measured swim golf style), total distance (yds or meters), time, and number of laps. Cool.

As an interesting experiment, I've also worn it while deep water running - wondering if the arm pumping motion (I do travel back and forth across the deep end significantly) would pick up as "laps". The answer is no. But I don't really want to know how many mindless back-and-forth lengths of a deep end I have "run" anyway :)