A Nervous Training Night

Yesterday evening, I attended my first group training session for people who want to do a sprint triathlon. Now, I have done three sprints in the past, but it was my hope that the swim training by a professional coach would help me as I move toward open water triathlons and hopefully Olympic distance tris.

We met up at the YMCA, and after introductions, it appeared that most of the group had been there before. They all new one another, was asking about events and what each other was up to. That set my nerves tingling … nothing like being the outsiders in the group. We changed and headed to the spin room for the first portion of our first brick workout: an hour long spin class.

We got on the bikes and started to warm up. Suddenly the coaches left the room, only to come back with yoga mats. We needed to stretch first! So after about 8 different core stretches, it was time to pedal. It was a sweat fest, and also an enjoyable workout.

While spinning, we got to meet a few members. That made us feel like we were a welcome part of the team. We chatted during recovery portions of the class, and we grew quiet as the workouts intensified. The coaches also let us know that they were here to help us, and that they would do everything they could to help us succeed.

That comment came true on the next portion of the brick workout: the swim. We had to swim after the cycling due to a swim class going on, so now after a hard workout on the bike, we were going to try and swim. Even though I’ve read several books on swimming, I don’t know what I am actually doing. It was calming to hear my coach tell me that I looked comfortable in the water. He then explained what I should change, and why it should be changed. He is a believer in minimizing energy output while maximizing distance. So we worked on stroke angle, hand insertion, along with drills such as the fingertip drag to help with form. I also noticed him walking back and forth along the pool watching us and evaluating our form. While this would usually make me nervous, this time it did not. It was reassuring that someone was taking my best interests to heart and wanted to see me reach my goals.

We were given a sheet with the first four weeks of workouts, for both the beginner and intermediate level. I am at one level on running and biking, but a complete newbie when it comes to swimming. I figure we can discuss it next week, but for this week I will mix the two.

This morning I had the chance for my first workout with the training plan. After a 400 total yard warmup, I did 600 yards of drills, followed by a 200 yard total cool down. I thought 1200 yards wasn’t too bad. I then changed and hit the track for a 6.5 mile run.

I have this feeling that as these weekly classes progress, I am going to enjoy it more and more. Just having something to work on today was worth it. I’ll post more as the training continues. As I type this, my body is a little stiff and sore, but it feels good!

Live healthy, be happy!


Spin class

Boy it’s hot outside! I’m glad my friends and I did our long run yesterday. Today I decided to beat the heat and sweat indoors instead! So, I packed my gym bag and headed to 7 Flags Fitness Center to do a spin class. I ended up having the entire spin room to myself. As a bonus, they left the stereo cabinet open, so I could plug in my iPod without having to use headphones! Sweet!

The training program I used was called “Two Big Hills.” It is split into two sections, and the goal is to complete the whole thing, which would be 1 1/2 hours of spinning . . . most of it out of the saddle (standing). Due to time constraints, I did an hour and 10 minutes, and was drenched in sweat at the end of it all. It was a great workout.

If you have never tried spinning, I would recommend that you do. I was so intimidated watching the classes that I was scared to try it around people. That’s when I stumbled into a goldmine. While searching on the web for spin training, a found a site called http://www.trihardist.com/. The person running the site is Jamie Morton; a triathlete and trainer in the Kansas City area. She has on her site free spinning mp3’s that will take you through the various activities done in a spin class. She talks you through each workout, and has great music to boot. There are mp3’s that focus on intensity, hills, endurance, etc. She also has some mp3’s for sale. They are also awesome and they helped me not only biking up hills, but with hill running as well. I even sent her a thank you letter for helping me in my training, it helped that much. There were several hills that I could never get passed without stopping before I started her workouts. Now I just power through them, and use them as a tool to get stronger.

If you ever wanted to try spinning, but were afraid to go, this is your opportunity to try it. In the beginning of my spin training, I started out with a 45min workout, made it 26min, and was drenched in sweat. I could hardly move. Now, my longest training was 2 hours and 15 mins. That was pushing it, but it was good to know I had progressed that far.

If you work with those mp’3 that Jamie has out there, you’ll be ready for the ‘real’ classes in no time. Remember, each trainer is different and each have different terms that they use. Don’t be afraid to ask them before the class to go over what he/she will call out. It will make it easier for you. Also ask the trainer/instructor to help you properly set up your spin bike. If they are worth anything at all, they will be happy to help you. After all, the idea is to help you get fit, not get hurt.

After the session, I did my stretches (the sound you heard was Stephanie’s jaw hitting the floor), rinsed off, and hit the outdoor pool for more stretching and a cool down. Now it’s time to plan tomorrows’ workout.

Live happy, be healthy!