Last week I wrote a blog about kicking butt and it received numerous comments. One that was echoed by several people was that although we encourage instructors to teach Endurance Energy Zone, there aren't enough profiles provided. The profiles that are written and offered on our Spinning® website are often from the Strength and Interval Zones.
The traditional Endurance Zone guidelines are to keep the heart rate between 65-75% of the MHR and to choose a percentage of MHR at which to maintain while in the seated flat. There are a lot of instructors who are terrified to teach that way because students expect to be in and out of the saddle. Remember that the guidelines in your manual give you a place from which to start. If you look further down the description of Endurance, you will see the last paragraph of the training manual states that an option of taking the heart rate up to 80% of MHR exists and that means you may include seated and standing flats, as well as seated and standing hills, but not jumps or sprints as those are anaerobic.
Here are a couple of options to try using the expanded guidelines.
1) Two songs seated flat to w-up. Third song standing run, and fourth song seated hill. Go back to seated flat for two songs and focus on higher cadences with peddle stroke drills. Repeat standing run, seated hill, seated flats. Depending on song and class length, you could repeat the loop a third time. Add one more seated flat to cool down and bring heart rate back to 50-60%. This profile focuses on steady work and improving peddle stroke.
2) W-up is one song seated flat and one song standing flat. Stay in seated flat for tempo training for three songs taking the cadence from 80 RPM's in the first song to 90 in the second and 100 in the third. Make slight adjustments to decrease the gear so the heart rate does not exceed 80%. The heart rate will slowly increase from 65% up towards 80% and that is where you will encourage the riders to maintain it. Then change to seated hill at 60 RPM's for one song, then 70 and then 80. Again, make small adjustments in the gear to decrease it as the peddle stroke increases in order to maintain steady state heart rate. Finish with one more seated flat at riders option on cadence with the goal of maintaining 80% of MHR. Add one more seated flat for the final cool down.
When you give riders something on which to focus other than gear loading every 60 seconds or standing up for 30 seconds and sitting down for 30 seconds, they stay connected to the experience!
Written by master instructor Sabrina Fairchild for community.spinning.com on 4/02/11