Posts Tagged ‘Brockwell Lido’

In it to spin it

Spin - not for the hungover.

Spin - not for the hungover.

A few weeks before Christmas I was schooled by a spin class. This was the true low point of my cycling year in 2010 (I’m working on the highlights).

Spin – it’s a cake walk, right? You turn up, you spin, you sweat, you leave. Good cardio, but for 30 mins, nothing on the scale of a fast sportive? Such were my naïve preconceptions on arriving at the gym for my first spin class.

In terms of fitness, I was hardly at my peak, but I figured I still had a handle on things – at least a vestige of late-season form. I swaggered into the spin ‘arena’ in a stained t-shirt and my gardening trainers, confident in the knowledge that I would be kicking everyone’s ass, including the instructor’s, within a few minutes’ time. I chose a bike in the front row and started pedalling.

I made 12 minutes of the session. I honestly had expected some kind of warm up, but was denied – we were straight in at 70% of max resistance . The instructor instructed me to work it, so I worked it. Well, first of all I dismounted and made a Mr.Bean-style hash of adjusting the saddle and stem height on my rig, then I worked it.

My heart rate went from about 100 to I guess at least 175 (I wasn’t wearing a monitor) in the first 2 minutes of the workout. At 4 minutes in, I was on the rivet. At 8 minutes, the instructor told us to kick the resistance up a notch. I was starting to feel seriously stressed out – my heart and lungs were pumping way too hard, but short of stopping completely I didn’t see how I could recover. When I started to feel faint, I realised I had to bail. I made some kind of risible ‘A-OK’ sign at the instructor before almost falling off the bike and out of the class. I very nearly vomited into a bin.

I will be going back, hopefully this week, and will be keeping the following tips in mind:

  1. Warm up on your own before the spin class for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Ignore the instructor.
  3. Get a bike in the back row, near the exit.
  4. Don’t go on even the second day after a festive party. You need a full, clean tank of gas.