Friday, November 21, 2014

To Spin or not to Spin and why I would pay money to ride a WattBike

Earlier this year, when the weather wasn't so great and I needed a change in my training, I purchased a block of ten sessions from the CycleStudio in Balgowlah.  I thoroughly enjoyed my training every time I went and had a great time meeting up with my mates and training hard this way.  If you are a seasoned cyclist, then you have probably done the odd spin class at a gym, just for something different or for when the weather turned "sub-optimal".  But this place is something entirely different.  Customised and optimised for cyclists, CycleStudio has a warmth and an ambience that makes you fall in lovely with cycling all over again.  And if you ride to and from the Studio, it's even better!

Here's 5 reasons why I reckon you should give it a go.

The Weather:
Let's face it, noone likes riding in the rain, it's dangerous, it wrecks your bike and you spend the next 3 days trying to clean the grit out of every nook and cranny, so enter the CycleStudio.  Nothing is quite as nice as getting in a quality training session while it;s chucking it down outside. Spending time in a nice clean spin room, with the music pumping, a stage of the TDF playing and the lights tinted red, makes for a perfect training environment.  #gameon

Get Coached:
Getting coached in cycling is the best thing you can do if you want to improve.  No matter where you are at, a good coach will always have some suggestions on how you can tweak your training and get another 1% out of those heart, lungs and legs.  At Cycle Studio there is of course the world famous James "Chops" Lamb, but the other instructors are just as good and they are trained specific to cycling, unlike ordinary gyms.

Power and Technique:
The amount of data available on a Watt Bike can be overwhelming for some, but put those numbers to work in context and you get a very clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses and what you need to work on, even how to plan your next big event.  Training with power is the best known way to accurately measure your performance and it isn't just for the pro's.  It doesn't matter whether you can ride away from Tony Martin or you are just a beginner, training with power (Watts) will give you the information you need to get better,faster, fitter.  And with the WattBike that power meter is always pinpoint accurate.  On top of that, the WattBike has this cool little graph that shows you your pedalling technique and teaches you to spin those pedals as efficiently as possible while you pedal.  The WattBike also comes with all the adjustments you'd want to get set up in your optimum position so you can play around with this a bit and see how your riding position impacts your performance and comfort in the saddle.
Numbers can be fun!!

Comaraderie:
There's nothing quite like the motivation produced when cyclists get into the competitive spirit and starting competing on a numbers basis.  The WattBike doesn't lie and there are no shortcuts.  No drafting and no hanging back at the start of a segment.  "Iron sharpens iron" was never so true when it comes to putting a bunch of cyclists into the same room.  Guaranteed, you will leave nothing in the tank and give every workout your best when there are bragging rights up for grabs. But you are not just competing against your mates.  You are competing against yourself, looking for that next best 20min average.  Another advantage is because you are stationary, you aren't left waiting at the top of a climb, or worse, you will never have that feeling of holding back the bunch.  You can go along with whoever you like, it doesn't matter what level cyclist they are, you all get to push to the max and you all finish at the same time.
Good mate Phil Welch building a bigger engine

Testing:
If you are using power to dictate your training levels, then you need to know what you are capable of when you are at your best.  A threshold test on power in a controlled environment is the only way to really tell whether or not you are making progress.  Whether the result is good or bad, you'll know exactly what you need to do next, maybe take it up a level or maybe back it off for a few days and get a bit more recovery.  Either way you will have confidence that you are making the most of every single training session.

So there you go, just one way you can change up your cycling. Are you looking to get into cycling but not sure where to start, maybe this is for you and noone is going to abuse you from a car window either, nice and safe.  Why not give it a try!

Keep Riding
Mighty Mike


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