SSSMST Trainer Classes– behind the scenes

(Andy will be teaching this week’s class.)

(Reminder: you can now sign up to get an email notice of new posts on sssmst.com– just pop your email in the sidebar on the right.)

I wanted to take a second and talk about why we think the SSSMST trainer classes are such good training for cycling and triathlon. The people that instruct our classes don’t wander in and make up the hardest 120 minutes you’ve ever seen– there’s a lot of work behind the scenes, and I thought it would be good for people in the class to understand what’s going on.

Our classes are built on solid principles of training: Work and recovery, focused activity, training zones, and progression.

Work and recovery means “intervals.” Despite some people’s desires, our classes are not sufferfests. We make classes in sets, and each set has a bunch of work, and a bunch of rest. The idea of taxing a system in your body, and then letting it recover, has been shown to provide the best training. Riding as hard as you can for 2 hours gets you exhausted, but doesn’t help your race times as much as specific, thoughtful, intervals.

Focused activity means that we build the sets for some specific reason. Basically, we target the energy systems of your body in a specific way. The energy systems (phosphocreatine, anaerobic/lactic acid, and aerobic) are all used by your body in specific ways, and there are specific ways to address each system.

Training zones is how we address the energy systems individually. Ideally, we’d all have power meters and heart-rate monitors, and know our bodies well enough to identify our Lactate Threshold with precision. But we don’t. So, we use other things if we don’t have power or heart rate. (Some of you do– better, of course!) We use “perceived effort” which is basically “how does this feel?” and other markers, like “this should feel like you’re running a 10k” or “running a 100m sprint”. Not perfect, but much better than “ride really hard for 2 hours!” If anyone wants to contribute $20,000 to a networked system of Computrainers, please let me know.

Progression means that the classes change as we get toward the racing season. Early on, we spent a lot of time addressing power, and strength. This is because it takes longer to recover from those intervals– it’s like lifting weights. In January and February, you can take that extra recovery time. As we get toward March and April, we’ll focus on anaerobic power, and building power at threshold. We don’t do much specific aerobic work because “ride for 2 hours at a fairly easy pace” is a really boring workout and one you can do on your own.

Finally, we always include technique work, to build the supporting muscles and help identify weaknesses in our cadence and pedal stroke.

This is what makes our classes different. The Spin/Second Sole Multisport Team has put a lot of energy in to making these an ideal workout for triathletes in the winter months. We don’t have many classes left in 2010… don’t be afraid to give them a shot. Remember the “training zones” above– every person’s is different. You won’t get dropped, I promise!

Please email us at spin.secondsole@gmail.com or post questions here or on our website. Or facebook, or twitter. We’d love to help people understand what we’re doing in that room, and why it’s helping us get fast!

Oh, and we have free beer.

Details for the 2010 SSSMST Trainer Series are here: https://sssmst.com/2010/01/07/reader-mail….asses-for-2010/

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