Pace lines, time trials and sprints
There are so many ways to structure a Spinning® class, and this time of year I love to simulate the racing of the Tour. I create pace lines by establishing a cadence between 80-100RPM, letting each rider find their own pace, but reminding them the will have to maintain it for a specific period of time, usually 3 songs or 15 minutes. Then about every 90-120 seconds, I will ask them to increase their cadence by 10-20RPM and hold it for 45 seconds. It starts off easy, but over time becomes very challenging.
I treat the time trials with a simple but strong cadence building drill. After a good warm-up, ask everyone to bring their cadence back to around 80RPM, reminding them it’s not about the speed, but about how much resistance they apply to the wheel that’s get them to a challenging intensity. Then add 10RPM to the cadence about every 60 seconds until they reach 110RPM. We may do this for 16-20 minutes, and then on the final drill provide the opportunity to take it one more level to 115-120RPM (without bouncing in the saddle!!)
If you want to go for the sprint points, I use minute 20 and 40 (in a 45 minute class) to give the option of going for it! Follow up the first sprint with a flat road, providing the riders who took the sprint with a little recovery. I encourage everyone to “make their move” in the final sprint by either staying with a seated acceleration or building momentum by adding resistance, then coming out of the saddle quickly to take the lead, and return to the saddle for a strong finish across the line! Enjoy!