Thursday, December 15, 2011

Week 12 - And We're Baaaaack!

Webb: Nothing welcomes you home like a good, hard indoor bike workout. It is like a nice, fuzzy blanket or cup of hot chocolate that makes you feel good inside.

Elle: Nothing welcomes you home like a good, hard Spin class followed by a strength class. It is like a warm, fire engine red Snuggy that makes you feel good inside.

Webb: For our first workout back home, we decided to split up. Elle (the social member of the team) chose to go to the gym to do a strength class followed by a Spin class. I, as the <ahem> less social member of the team chose to set up the turbo in front of the TV and train like a hermit.

Elle: Actually, Webb, it's a Spin class followed by a strength class.

The purpose of this workout on the training calendar was to develop speed skills. I needed a workout with short intervals at maximal effort, while of course always focusing on good pedal form and high cadence. Growing legions of cyclists and triathletes are turning to The Sufferfest's cycling videos. 

The workout is a double set of descending intervals: 2:00, 1:45, 1:30 and so on down to the last interval at :15. Recovery efforts equal work time. You do it again after a longer recovery session. I have done this workout a few times and it is always the same. After the two first intervals of the first set, you are convinced there is no way you are finishing the workout. But you push through it and although it doesn't get easier, you get used to it. A funny thing happens during the recovery intermission: You think you have it under control and can do it again. HA! Right into the first interval of the second set, you droop your head over your handlebar and repeat your mantra: I'm doing this to get faster. Total time: 62:00.

You can try to do this workout on your own, but I highly, highly, highly recommend you download the video ($12!). Nobody has better footage (a little Paris-Roubaix, anyone?) and music. More importantly, nobody has the uncanny ability to mock your suffering quite like The Sufferfest.

ELLE'S WORKOUT: SPIN FOLLOWED BY STRENGTH
Both classes are led by Jonathan, who I'm guessing might have some military background, and who is quite easy on the eyes. He is high octane and does a great job of using visualization that really helps you push yourself (he requests 110%). {Webb: He may be easy on the eyes, but he is harder on the math.} He even had the 2 sides of the room doing sprint intervals against each other. I think my team won. Either way, there was a great deal of sweating.

Then we get off the bikes and move to the large workout room and begin the strength workout. I wasn't able to do all of the moves, specifically some of the more complicated squat movements, due to my recent knee injury, but I still got enough of a workout that now, 2 days later, I'm super, freaking sore all over my body.