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RDEZ repeats itself with positive results

My Saturday morning 90-minute class has not seen a Race Day for 2 months. They were due. Mind you, we do not ?race? for 90 minutes. We do a good, long and very instructive warm-up and follow the ?event? with a well-deserved and much-needed cool down. This morning I deliberated repeated the RDEZ training ride we had done on February 5th. During the first third of the class we gradually elevated heart rate, addressed form and pedal stroke, did a few pick-ups and imagined ourselves riding out and back on a local road that is accessible to a popular area for time trials. At the end of the opening segment, there was a count down from 10 and we were off. Last week I had reminded the group to prepare for this Race Day. I had also given them information about the training. Go figure ? when I asked who was prepared there were no affirmative nods. Oh well. My Saturday morning class is a great group ? enthusiastic, diligent, intelligent and cohesive. I look forward to every Saturday morning no matter what the week has been. This morning I asked each to take a good look inward and to decide BEFORE the race begins just how hard they plan to ride ? to set their goal ahead of time and then stick with it. Of course, wisdom must always prevail, but I like to share two thoughts. (1) Be realistic. However, in the midst of extreme effort, you may need to redefine realism ? not down but UP! (2) I tell the story of when I was running races. One day I ran with my son and when he suggested I looked fine and it was time to make a move I countered by saying ?I?m afraid I won?t be able to finish.? He simply said ?So?? ? and I started shaving time off each race! RDEZ ? middle section. 80-92% maximum heart rate. NOT an all-out 10 second burst of speed but a sustainable pace to the end. No excuses. There?s someone up ahead and someone behind. We may not catch the rider ahead but, by Jove, we will not be caught by the rider behind! 4 songs about 7 minutes each. The first is not a warm up. We?ve done that. It?s time to throttle up. Second song ? check your heart rate ? layer it on. At the end of this song we fly past the halfway point ? we do not take a break. Third song ? this is definitely an assault on the race! We may have knowingly or involuntarily been holding back earlier, but now we are past the halfway point and can well assess our possibilities. This is warfare! Fourth song ? this is where the race is won or lost. We can see the finish line up ahead. And, then, during the final minute we sprint to the end. There was an amazing moment in this morning?s class as we crossed the finish line. Spontaneously hands were thrown into the air and a few giggles bubbled out while a few hands clapped. As we began the gradual cool down and the long ride back to our cars, so to speak, we discussed the comparison of RDEZ training rides. Those who had ridden this same class two months ago suggested that they were stronger today. They were able to better maintain the pace, endurance and strength needed to finish strongly. Watching from my saddle in the front of the class I would totally agree with them. As regular readers know, at our Spinning® facility we schedule every ride to be led in a particular Energy Zone. Most of our participants attend classes in excess of once or even twice a week so each participates in a variety of classes over the weeks. Perhaps this is working. My Saturday morning riders think so. BTW ? we really enjoyed a long recovery ride that included some light running on the flat and some good flushing-out-the-leg ?stuff? before I indulged in some wonderful sappy songs for the final segment. Clearly, too, a good stretch was welcome. How are YOU doing with RDEZ classes in your fitness facility or Spinning® studio? Share notes, if you will. It?s always so very helpful. Blog posted by Linda Freeman for www.spinning.com 4/2/2011.
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