Run Like It’s Spin Class
What I bring from bike-intense-intervals to the run
We can learn something from cross-training. Every single day cannot be a pound-the-pavement running workout; by mixing it up, the muscles get a rest and our brains stay entertained. Trainers across the country encourage variety in workouts because once our bodies get used to a certain routine, it becomes less effective. Only by altering intensity and frequency can we see maximum results in terms of weight-loss and improved athleticism. Another benefit to cross-training during race-training is that it gives a new perspective. This is how I decided I would run like it is spin class.
What is spin class?
Spin class challenges participants by creating “hills” and “plateaus” even though class members never leave their stationary bikes. My favorite part of the spin class experience is the music.
A good instructor will load an iPod with both intense and calming songs, depending on how he or she is trying to tweak the class’ heart rates. Class might start with a slow warm up song, and then move into a few intense songs, ending on a slower note. These songs dictate the tempo of the class itself – an intense song forces participants to push harder. Sometimes the class is about making the body give out, only to put it into recovery mode with a slower tempo’s jam.
The peaks and valleys of spin class leaves participants exhausted and smiling knowing they just drained their body of a couple hundred calories. The intervals up the fat burning percentage and the cardio benefits are ideal for someone training for a half-marathon.
How I have used spin class techniques in my running:
I often use music to control my pace. Listening to the beat; I match my stride. During sprint training, this is especially useful. As I’ve incorporated intervals into my runs, I’ve used the spin class technique. Here, are my two favorite songs to run to, which automatically start slow and build into intense cardio-hand-holding music.
In the Black Eyed Peas song, “Imma Be”, the song begins slowly. It allows a runner to hold a consistent pace before bursting into an intense all-out sprint.
Black Eyed Peas – Imma Be
Another personal favorite is the 80’s dosey-do pop song, “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Whenever I hear this song, I picture folksy farmers in plaid shirts linking arms with their wives, who are wearing plain cream-colored dresses as they square dance. A little ridiculous, but as the song builds, it is easy to imagine this dance scene taking place in front of a farm somewhere. For my run, I use the natural build-up within the song to max out my intensity:
Spin class is – in my opinion – one of the best ways to cross-train, but cross-training can teach us many facets that link back to our runs. See which methods you can use in your training and feel free to share any tips of your own!