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Indoor Training With Power

Ever since I moved to Arcata, I've been a regular at the 6AM spin class. Three days a week, week in, week out. Why? I've gotta admit that a big part of my motivation is that Bill is the instructor! That and a big mug of coffee has pulled me through many mornings.

I've got to admit, I've never been much of a fan of power meters on road bikes - there's just too much to do and see and feel without the intrusion of a bunch of numbers. So when HealthSPORT's new spin bikes came in with integrated power meters, my response was a heartfelt "Meh....".

But of course after a few classes of just going along and doing what I'd been doing for the past few years, my curiosity got the better of me and I pressed the "ON" button. Before I could stop myself, I was seeing cadence, watts, calories, and miles - all in real time.

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "what gets measured, gets managed". I discovered that if you want to increase performance, measuring something – maybe measuring ANYTHING – is a huge help. Choosing my indoor workouts for this work makes it safe because I can challenge myself as much as I want to without worrying that about traffic or other distractions.

Having access to numbers – especially cadence – helps the instructors create a better workout environment, too. It’s one thing to tell a class to “spin faster!!!”. Telling the class to bring their cadence up 10 RPM for the next 30 seconds - and giving them a way to measure that and do it – is a lot more empowering. The end result? Class is more fun, and more effective, than ever.

After a few months of training with the new bikes, I can confidently say – they work. My power output has steadily climbed, and I’m able to hold a higher cadence for a longer time. I’m even more pleased that my resting heart rate has dropped by a whopping 10%, and I’ve apparently left some body fat in those puddles of sweat on the gym floor. I can’t wait to translate these results into racing success!

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