March 11, 2008

Trading the river run for an indoor cycle

This morning I managed to drag myself out of my Heavenly Bed at 5:45 AM, intending to get a nice long run in before getting ready and going off to work. Andy had kindly provided me with a great running map of the Charles River, which was good because I still haven’t gotten my act together to stop by the concierge desk and pick up the running maps that are supposed to be available. Unfortunately, when I pulled back the heavy curtains to see what the weather was like, I saw: darkness. Foiled by daylight savings. Being the hardcore runner I am, I considered running anyway, but some Googling made me think it wouldn’t be safe to do so in Boston. I decided to skip the run for today, post on Yelp to see if it might be okay in the future (sounds like it’s not), and take advantage of the WestinWorkout spinning cycle instead.
Yes, this week I am in the cycling room instead of the treadmill room. Not really sure why, since I’ve specified that I’m a runner, but at least the view is a lot nicer from room 3220 (bike room) than from 820 (treadmill room). I popped in the Robert Sherman Cycle Challenge spinning DVD that Westin had thoughtfully provided, and off I went.

I had only done spinning twice before, and I liked it okay then, but wasn’t a huge fan. This DVD, however, I really didn’t like. I found the instructor to be very patronizing, and I was really annoyed that I never really knew what to expect. I love that on my 8 Minute Fitness DVD, it has a countdown clock right on the screen so you always know how much is left. Robert Sherman would tell you when you had ten seconds left and three seconds left in a surge, but I had no way of knowing how long I had been working out overall (the clock was on the other side of the room). Also, unlike the spinning classes I had done before, he didn’t really provide good instruction on how hard to set the resistance. I like hearing “you should be at the absolute hardest you can go” or “you should be able to hold this for a few minutes comfortably,” not “you should be at a level where you can feel this in your upper thighs.” What does that even mean? Maybe I am just not that aware of my body, but when I tried to adjust based on the muscle groups he suggested, I would end up at a level where I couldn’t even push the pedals around.

Also, in the spinning classes I’ve taken, the instructors have used some sort of imagery to help you (“you’re going up the hill, you’re going up… you’re almost to the top… now, switch to downhill!”). Robert was very bland and boring, and had no charisma. I could have done a simple interval workout on my own – I was using the DVD because I wanted some inspiration.

Another thing I didn’t like about the DVD was the layout. The description on the back of the DVD reads, “The Complete Total Body Workout will start on the bike–(15 min.), then you get options from here.” The main menu showed two choices: intro and workout options. I chose intro, thinking it would get me warmed up and would then kick me back to the main menu, where I would then pick which option I wanted to play (like a chapter menu). However, it turns out that options is more like DVD language options, where you set them and it does the workout based on that. So the DVD just kept going and going, and I had no idea what it was going to do next or when it would end. I was lucky it was already set to the long spinning routine, which was what I had wanted, but it was set to strength training instead of speed training – whatever that means. Maybe that’s why he kept talking about feeling my muscle groups.

Unfortunately, I am stuck in the bike room at least for the rest of the week (though I’ve put in a request to my reservationist to be back in the treadmill room on Monday). I’ll try to make the best of it by YouTubing some spinning videos. Let me know if you have any recommendations!


2 thoughts on “Trading the river run for an indoor cycle”

  1. I LOVE their beds. Awww… heavenly. Anyway.

    When I get on my bike downstairs on the trainer, I just watch regular TV. We have some workout trainer DVD’s for cyclist but I’ve never done one. It’s easier for me to watch TV or a dvd I like, and keep my mind off of the time.

    Sounds like it wasn’t safe to run outside. Even though you had the bike room, it seems like it was a better option.

  2. Great beds and showers and less pretentions than the W.

    Invest in a Spinervals and keep it in you pc bag for next time, the “On the Road: ones are pretty and are really pertinent for you as that’s where you are!

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