Spinning and Training


New Member
Feb 13, 2003
I am an ex-cat 4 rider (actually 7 years ago) currently reconditioning myself to take on the crit circuit this fall in CT and NY. The best way to fit in my training was, I thought, to start teaching some spinning classes Now I do about 6 a week. While wearing my HR monitor, I can't help but notice that throughout the 50 min classes my HR is in the 80-90% zone for just about 40 minutes. As most students only do this twice a week, the class requires high intensity intervals, burst climbing and high cadence sprinting....all good stuff for people looking for a good workout, BUT a little rough on the guy doing the class Monday-Saturday. I am concerned about the effects of this training pace on my scheduled reintroduction to racing in fall of 2003 and what I should be doing to supplement (or eliminate) this training pattern to help me win a few "B/C Group" crits this fall.

Background physical profile:
5'11''. 185lbs. Muscular build top and bottom. 33yrs old.

Background rider profile:
Always the sprint guy thus very use to high heart rates and trying to catch up after being dropped by lighter rides on big hills. Called on by team members in long flats to create a big draft bubble.

Time constraints:
Have 2 kids thus the 5hrs rides may be a thing of the past.
Hi Catspin

The golden rule is: train hard - rest harder.
You have to structure sufficient rest into your training program. Hard training sessions 5 or 6 times a week non-stop without rest and recovery is asking for burnout and below par performance come race day.
I like the "one easy day - one hard day" routine, with the 4th week usually being an easy or active recovery week. The week before race day, cut back on training volume. This is known as tapering.
Thanks for the suggestion Vo2.

Do you also think I should try to incorporate longer rides (2-3hrs) or just keep the 1hr time frame as a training cycle. If I only plan to race crits (short ones too), is it necessary to "do the miles" on easy days or should all my training be just like the event (60-90min max)?
Long rides develop and enhance a different part of your cycling makeup. Where specific interval training develops specific strengths e.g. climbing or sprinting, long medium pace rides develops your aerobic base.

Training is a pizza - By Scott Schnitzspahn (Insidetriathlon.com)

Two things most endurance athletes love are training and pizza. What most people do not realize is that putting together a training plan and making a pizza are very similar processes.

The most important component to building a good pizza, and a good athlete, is to establish a large and solid base to support all of the more scrumptious components of your masterpiece. The base of a pizza is the crust of course. Without a thick and large diameter crust, a pizza will not be able to hold all of the sauce, cheese, and toppings that are responsible for a truly great tasting creation. Also, should the pizza crust be too small, the amount of toppings that you will want to add might not fit and could simply fall off.

The base of your training program should be aerobic endurance training. Without a large base of endurance training, an athlete will not be able to effectively absorb and recover from higher intensity intervals, anaerobic training or competition. Should you begin adding specific intervals and racing efforts to your training before building a large enough base, you may find that you cannot recover effectively and that your performance, like a pizza without a good crust, is not as good as you expect.

Creating a large and tasty pizza crust is not easy though. Chicago-style pizza is famous around the world for the thick, buttery crust and is many people's favorite. However, even the best dough can result in a bad crust if the dough is cooked too fast or not enough. A burnt or undercooked crust can ruin even the best pizza. Are you seeing where this article is going? If you haven't gone to the phone to order your pizza yet, read on.

Creating a base of aerobic fitness is probably the most crucial step in an endurance athlete's training program. However, like a pizza, building your base too fast or "under-cooking" your aerobic conditioning without enough volume will result in poorer performance later in the season.

To be safe, the base building phase of your training should last between eight and 14 weeks. The less experience you have in endurance training, the longer your base building period should be. Also, the longer and more intense your racing season will be (more toppings), the bigger your aerobic base should be. Workouts that build your base consist of aerobic-paced, low-intensity miles or laps in the pool. Aerobic base building workouts should be at a heart rate approximately eight to 30 beats below your lactate threshold or between 60-80 percent of maximum heart rate. While this training is "easy," it provides the perfect opportunity to focus on your technique with specific drills, fine tune your biomechanics and positioning and experiment with new equipment and nutrition supplements like sports drinks, energy bars or gels. The duration of these workouts should be increased in small increments, usually no more than 10 percent per week. Additionally, you'll benefit from a "regeneration week" every four to six weeks in which training volume is cut back 20 to 50 percent in order to absorb the previous weeks of training and mentally prepare you for the upcoming workouts in the following weeks.

Continue to build your base until about eight weeks from your peak racing period. After your base period, with your aerobic system maximized, you can start to add in threshold intervals, early season training races and high-intensity interval training. These types of workouts and low-priority races serve as the toppings to your aerobic "crust". The more base you have built, the more high intensity training you will be able to perform and the better your racing season performances will be. In other words, the bigger and better your crust, the more toppings you can add and the better your pizza will be.

Scott Schnitzspahn is a CTS/TriathlonGold coach who enjoys base training almost as much as his hometown Chicago-style pizza
i tend to use a a heavy-light-medium-rest four day cycle where the volume and intensity increase over 4-6 cycles and then i take a slightly longer rest/active recovery cycle before continuing to push the intensity

i'm getting good results from it but the nature of my job is making it harder to train as i want to do longer rides