THE VANCOUVER COURIER FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011
sports & recreation
Spin classes good for when it’s rainy Gearing up with Kristina Bangma
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UPCOMING HOME GAME
Last Saturday, I woke up to the sound of pouring rain against my window. I lay in bed a few minutes longer, smug in the knowledge that I was getting a break from riding in the rain today. This particular morning I was getting up early to teach a spin class, and yes, I do call spinning a break from riding outdoor in the rain. For me, the class is a treat. Spinning indoors with a group of enthusiastic cyclists, the music pumping, is candy for a die-hard cyclist. For one hour, someone else entertains you. You don’t have to worry about trafﬁc, dogs, keeping up with the peloton or getting soaked in the rain. You don’t even have to think about trying to balance the bike. For one hour, cyclists can focus on form and cadence or simply zone out and have a great workout. The choice is yours. As an instructor, I do my best to guide the cyclists in my class on how to get the most out of a workout. But I’m not the one changing the gears or moving their legs—it doesn’t matter the level of rider, each of us chooses how hard to work and how hard to push. The beneﬁts of indoor spin classes make it obvious why so many studios have recently popped up all over Vancouver. The
luxury of no set up, no clean up and not even a need for equipment makes it a nobrainer for any athlete. For runners, skiers and other team sport athletes, spin classes make for great cross training by increasing endurance and building overall leg strength. For experienced cyclists (road or mountain), indoor classes help build power and speed as well as increase anaerobic threshold without adding more junk miles. Here’s how to prepare for your ﬁrst class: • Arrive 15 minutes early to familiarize yourself with the instructor and set up your bike for your size and preference. • Expect to sweat a lot. You’ll need a towel or two and at least one water bottle. • The best choice of clothing is a lightweight, short-sleeve top and mid-length shorts. Bike shorts are best but not necessary. For your own comfort, bring a change of clothes for after the class. • Most spin bikes will accommodate an SPD cleat (a speciﬁc type of clipless cleat) but running shoes work ﬁne as well. • To ensure you have enough energy, eat something light that is easy to digest within one hour of the class. A piece of fruit is good. • Arrive at each class with an open mind because one of the best parts about indoor cycling is that no two classes are alike. Every instructor and every class is unique. Explore and ﬁnd the class that works for you. Kristina Bangma is a coach, personal trainer and writer with a love of riding and racing. Email questions to kris@getﬁtwithkris.com.
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