I took a 75 minute “endurance” spin class on Sunday, and it was awesome. Great instructor, great playlist, challenging ride & great energy. The instructor is primarily an outdoor cyclist, and I really liked his teaching style. Intense!
When I spin on my bike trainer at home, I usually do around 60 minutes, and I feel like it is a great workout. I recall reading somewhere that spinning (with decent resistance) for 60 minutes is equivalent in intensity to riding for a longer amount of time on the road, since you never stop moving and never coast. My legs, heart and lungs certainly agree.
Taking the longer class, though, reminded me of why I like to push the duration of my runs once a week or so. As I have written in the past, I find the beginning of almost every run to be a bit uncomfortable – the first mile or so is spent “working the kinks” out and getting my groove. After that, running is almost always pure joy for me, regardless of distance.
While I love my “short and sweet” and maintenance mid-level runs, though, there is something about a really long run that clicks for me, especially since I don’t do them more than once a week right now, so no feelings of burnout. There is a point in every endurance run that I do where I enter a zone where it definitely feels easier and more comfortable to keep going than it would be to stop. My body and my mind synch up and the running becomes truly meditative. I love that feeling and I love that my training over the past year has put me in a position to discover it. Can’t believe I was missing out on it all these years!
I felt the same thing in the endurance spin class on Sunday. After a certain point – probably close to the 60-minute mark – it felt easier to keep my legs spinning than it would be to stop. The last 15 minutes – most of which involved climbs – finished in a blink, and my legs seemed to gain momentum, rather than tire out. Going to have to remember that the next time I spin at home.
Besides being an awesome workout, the longer, more intense class definitely got me excited for the warmer weather that is bound to arrive here sometime, and being able to get out on the road for some nice, long rides. Spring, are you out there? We’re ready and waiting!