Committing to Cross-Training

It’s no secret that cross-training is good for runners. It helps prevent injury and burnout, and can actually make you a stronger, faster runner. It’s just that it can be really hard to fit it all in, and when training for a running event, running comes first. But with marathon training on the horizon, I’ve decided that I really need to just pull the trigger and commit to at least one form of cross-training.

rev logoWith that goal in mind, I bought a 5 class pass to Rev Indoor, a cycling studio that is LITERALLY around the corner from my apartment. We’re talking less than half a mile. I’ve been there before, a couple of times. The first time was the Legally Blonde group ride, and the second time was the Bollywood themed ride. I know the owner of this studio. I know a good percentage of the instructors. It’s close by. It’s affordable. So there’s really no reason not to go. My friend Ryan teaches a 6 am class every Wednesday, so it’s my goal to go for the next 5 Wednesdays in a row. I went this morning, so that’s one down!  I’m hoping to make this once a week, early morning sweat session part of my routine going forward.

It’s my hope that by committing to this one extra workout each week, I can make it through the holidays without having gained my customary 5 or so pounds, and will be ready to start marathon training in earnest in January. I definitely want to keep going to spin class once a week as part of marathon training, but this is sort of my pre-training. I figure if I can get up at 5:30 am once a week now, I’ll be able to do it more often for training runs later. Just sort of ease into the misery of early morning wake-ups…

Are you a fan of early morning workouts?

What’s your favorite form of cross-training?

Legally Blonde Takes Over REV

This post may not be super beneficial for those of you who don’t live in the greater Burlington, Vermont area, but I need to write about my experience at REV anyway.  Feel free to skip this one, especially if you’ve done spinning before.

I had never done a spin class, ever, and I generally don’t like the stationary bike.  I find it SUPER boring, and I’d pretty much rather be doing anything else.  But I figured, with the combination of good music, variations in movement, and somebody telling me what to do when, it would probably work out well.

On Saturday, a good chunk of the Legally Blonde cast was treated to a free class at REV Indoor, because Sarah, the owner, plays our Brooke Wyndham.  The building is very cool–high ceilings, exposed brick, and nice wood floors.  There’s only a single spin studio, but it’s large, with lots of windows and natural light.  We were each properly fitted to our bikes by an instructor, and I was very happy that special clip-in shoes are not necessary; the pedals have cages, so you can wear your own sneakers.

I have nothing to compare this class to, but HOLY CRAP.  I can honestly say that I’ve never worked so hard in a group fitness class in my entire life.  The class was co-taught by Sarah and two other instructors, each of whom are also in the Legally Blonde cast.  They each had very different styles, but I liked them all equally, and found myself really wanting to work hard and do well, so I guess they were pretty motivational.  It was also ridiculously fun because everyone knew everyone, so we could shout encouragement or curses and not feel weird.

The thing I liked most about the class is that you can really work as hard as you want, or take it easy when you need to.  They’ll give you suggestions for increasing or decreasing your resistance at various points, but ultimately, the level of resistance is totally up to you, which is especially great for a noob like me.  There were actually a few minutes towards the end where I was working so hard I started to feel nauseated, so I backed way off on the resistance, and was able to keep going and finish the class sans pukeage.

So yeah, long story short, I loved it.  This was hands down the best workout I’ve had in a long time.  Unfortunately, the pricing isn’t so great for me.  A drop-in class is $16, or you can get various class punch cards that offer a small discount.  I’m torn, because I’d like to catch at least one class a week, but I’m not sure it’s in my budget right now.  My gym does offer spin classes, but I like the idea of taking classes with instructors I know at REV.  We’ll see how things shake out.  I guess I should try a class at the gym before making a decision.  I’m sure the fact that the class was full of my friends probably made it better, and if I went to a regular class at REV, it might not be the same experience.

REV

Don’t let the smiles fool you; we’re exhausted.

Have you ever tried a spin/cycling class? Love it or hate it?

Have you ever worked out so hard you threw up?