Archive for August, 2012

Validation is so…validating!

By Jennifer Sage On August 30, 2012 1 Comment

I’ve validated my threshold heart rate many times over the years, and as a result can usually verify within a beat or two when I am at my threshold. Nevertheless, every time I validate it again, I get a smile on my face and feel so…well, validated! It really works when you pay attention! I did that last week on a long eight-mile climb up Independence Pass in the Rocky Mountains, while riding to watch Stage 3 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. I took the photo on the right on the lower slopes, before we got into the steeper parts and the section of the climb that was lined with thousands of cycling fans. Before I describe what I was feeling as I rode, let me give you a little

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82-year-old nun becomes oldest woman to finish an Ironman

By Jennifer Sage On August 28, 2012 2 Comments

I can’t imagine many stories more inspirational than this! Eighty-two-year-old Sister Madonna Buder of Spokane, Washington, has become (once again) the oldest woman to finish an Ironman and holds the record for women in that age category—and possibly even men, as Lew Hollander is the oldest man to finish, but he is age 81. Her record is 16:32:00, which is amazing because many of her previous Ironman times (yup, she’s been at this for a long time, with more than 340 triathlons under her belt!) were just under 17 hours, and there were a few in which she didn’t meet the cutoff time of 17 hours.

As she gets older and continues to compete, Ironman has had to add additional age categories to accommodate her. Five years ago the 75–79 age

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The Jensie roars to glory at Beaver Creek and I wimp out

By Jennifer Sage On August 24, 2012 No Comments

On Wednesday August 22, I spent the entire day at over 11,000 feet near the top of Independence Pass for stage 3 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. It was one of the most exciting stages I’ve ever seen, including all the Tour de Frances (lots) and one Giro d’Italia I’ve been to. I’ll be posting my videos and the few photos I took in the next day or two.

Then, today I was going to go to Stage 4, which ended at the ski area of Beaver Creek, only about 25 miles from my house. I was feeling stressed because the amount of work I have (I am admittedly behind on some writing), so when I heard the weather report with a 95% chance of heavy rain

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Hot Spinning Back in the News

By Jennifer Sage On August 18, 2012 3 Comments

This article from the online fitness journal Greatist asks the question Are Hot Workouts Safe? I covered this topic back in January 2012 in this post. But this topic will keep resurfacing as more and more studios adopt gimmicks that they think will set them apart and increase their popularity. Many employ these gimmicks without doing their research, and in doing so, put their students and members at risk.

This article correctly challenges the belief that excessive sweating “clears away toxins” and that heating up a room, even “only” to 82 degrees, is inconsequential. They give some suggestions on how to tolerate the heat by staying hydrated and to slow the pace if it becomes unbearable. But I believe they left out a few major points about the dangers and misinformation of working out in an

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So much science to learn from cycling!

By Jennifer Sage On August 14, 2012 No Comments
Spinning paceline

Photo: Reuters

Whether you are a science geek, a cycling fan, a Spinning instructor, or a combination of two or more of those, you will really enjoy this article in BBC News entitled Five science lessons the cycling taught us.

It gives you some practical lessons in physics, including great explanations of a few things we try to use in our indoor cycling classes to help our students visualize more of a real experience. You will learn more about riding in the slipstream (also known as pacelining), why it’s an advantage to be in the back during a sprint, wheel design, muscle fiber type to determine a rider’s specialty, and other aerodynamic features.

As I like to say in my workshops, cycling is all about science and math—physiology, physics, kinesiology, and

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America’s Next Fitness Star

By Jennifer Sage On August 14, 2012 No Comments

Spinning classRachel Buschert, Schwinn Master Trainer, is on track to become America’s Next Fitness Star—but she needs your vote to help her get there. She’s already gone through some rigorous auditions to get to this point, which means the competition is going to be tough. She has passed all the challenging selection criteria already, and from this point forward the public chooses by voting for their favorite. If she wins, she will receive $150,000 for her fitness programs. I really want to see Rachel win. Let me tell you why:

  • Rachel is real. Her fitness is real. Her efforts are real. Most of us can identify with the difficulties of what she has gone through, either through what we’ve experienced personally, or with the clients that we
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Fat Cyclist gives tips on how to describe a climb

By Jennifer Sage On August 7, 2012 No Comments

I’ve been a fan of The Fat Cyclist for many years and met him and few years ago at InterBike in Las Vegas. He blogs mostly about cycling (primarily mountain biking), but you’ll find posts on running marathons and a wide variety of other tales, all written with a dry wit and self-deprecating humor. He’s also magnificent at raising tons of money for cancer-related causes from his thousands of fans from around the world (his wife died of cancer about three years ago).

Fatty’s recent post describes how to determine percent grades on a climb, and what they feel like to a cyclist. I bet you can find some clever cues to use in your classes as you create climbing profiles of various grades/difficulties.

Anyone want to know what a 12% grade feels like?

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Brilliant explanation of track cycling – the Match Sprint

By Jennifer Sage On August 4, 2012 No Comments

So you teach indoor cycling, but you’re not a cyclist. That’s fine, as long as you take some steps to understand a little more about the sport so you can deliver a better experience in your indoor cycling classes. You’ve probably learned a little about stage races like the Tour de France, so you can simulate various stages, such as a grueling Alpine stage, an individual time trial, or a fast flat stage requiring pacelines. (Note: If you don’t feel you know enough to teach TDF stages, you can check out the ICA Tour de France package—everything you need to know to teach a stage profile in total confidence.)

But what do you know about track racing? It’s not like we see these races very often on TV—unless you are

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