It’s a conundrum for many cyclists in Whistler once the snow starts to fly. Should I hang up my bike until the winter season is over? Should I set it up on a trainer and vow to ride it twice a week all winter (knowing darn well this just is not going to happen)? Should I pay to take indoor cycling classes at the Whistler Core to stay in cycling shape? Do the classes work?
The answer to these questions is a resounding “yes” & “yes” and we all know cycling is more fun when you are fit and great fitness is achievable.
Following are some reasons to join the Whistler Core cycling classes this winter:
When you are pedaling against resistance in indoor cycling you engage the large muscles in the legs including the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus, and the calf muscles. These are all big muscle groups and is the reason you can burn an average 500-800 calories in 1-hour. Even at challenging levels other cardio equipment you couldn’t burn that many calories in such a short time.
Regardless of your fitness level, indoor cycling keeps everyone together. It is amazing how you can feed off the energy of other riders when you begin to fatigue and start thinking you might want to quit. Riding together also gives you the opportunity to encourage others. You can inspire those who have not yet reached your level of fitness, while those stronger than you inspire you. Everyone who rides can reach their goals.
Cycling is as much mental mastery as it is physical. Training indoors is a controlled environment and a great place to develop the mind-body skills of visualization, breath control and finding the state known as “flow”.
Spinning helps to develop a positive, “can do” attitude. You will have good days and bad days and you will push through the difficult times, powering up the hill climbs and persevering through the endurance training and no matter how your performance is, the break away group will never lose you!
We’ve all heard about the runner's high. An indoor cycling class can provide that same rush of adrenaline and a release of happy mood-inducing neurotransmitters known as endorphins. Endorphins tend to create feelings of euphoria, lower stress levels, and enhance the body's immune response.
Alpine skiing and snowboarding are not an aerobic sport, while cycling relies heavily on your finely tuned aerobic system. Unless you continue working on this crucial element of your cycling fitness throughout the winter, you will lose it.
Wouldn’t it be nice to jump on your bike next May and be smiling from ear to ear when you realize the power you’ve got in your legs as you pass everyone in the first steep climb of our weekly Loonie races or when your out for that early season group ride and you’re leading the pack
Indoor cycling is the best place to work on technique. You can critique your own technique by watching your pedal stroke in the mirrors looking for the wandering knees, swaying hips, rocking upper body; all signs of inefficient pedalling. This is also the time to experiment and find a cadence-wattage that works best for you. Maybe it is more efficient for you to sustain a high cadence like Chris Froome.
In the La Pierre-Saint-Martin 15.3 km hill climb stage of the Tour de France, his average cadence was 97rpm and his average power was 414w and he sustained this for 41:24!
Indoor cycling is a low-impact activity. People recovering from orthopedic injuries often participate in indoor cycling as part of the rehabilitation protocol. If cycling is done correctly, there is minimal impact on the hip, knee, and ankle joints. A person, whether recovering from injury or not, avoids the pounding associated with other activities such as running.
Working the biking muscles also helps to strengthen surrounding bones, tendons, and ligaments increasing overall strength so that your other daily Whistler activities can be performed with ease.