Spin Class: Why Can't I Do This?!

  • Number of marathons completed: 8
  • Marathon Personal Record: 3:29:45
  • Number of ULTRA marathons completed: 1
  • Ultra Marathon Personal Record: 53 miles in under 11 hours
  • Number of hours spent working out each week when combining running, stationary bike at home, weight lifting, stretch, etc: Roughly 6-8 hours

My point? I AM NOT A WIMP. So will someone please explain to me why I'm incapable of mastering the art sport torture that is spin class??

I attended my fourth spin class this morning with my friend Marty. I dressed cute (don't laugh - it helps) and had the clip shoes BF Trisha had sent me so I was all "in the zone" and professional about the bike. Started pedaling and within 3 minutes was eyeing the clock, counting down the minutes until it was over. 

As I was wiping sweat from my eyes, I had a small glimpse into what friends who aren't runners are experiencing when they tell me they hate running. I always counter that they don't hate running - they just haven't found their rhythm yet. They need to build up their legs and lungs so that while the running will always be hard, it will at some point feel enjoyable. No, they insist, they hate it. 

I get it now. I hate spin. I understand I'm using different muscles than when I run and I need to build them up. I get that since I haven't done spin often, I don't know quite how to pace myself to last the duration of class. Logically, I comprehend that if I stick with it, I'll get better.

Don't care. HATE IT. 

And yet... I'll go back. Not often. I just can't bring myself to do something I dislike that much more than once a week. But I do think spinning will help my running. (That was my chant around the 30 minute mark when I was praying for death. "This will help my running, this will help my running...") And I do think--if I can make myself stick with it--it will get easier. Not the class itself, but my reaction to it. 

For example, if I'm running 12 miles, I know how tired I should be at mile 3 or mile 9 or mile 12 and can adjust accordingly. One reason I don't like spin at the moment is I don't know how I'm supposed to be feeling at any given time. I haven't learned where to hold back and where to give it my all. 

So back I'll go. Friday may be spin class day for me. 

It will make me appreciate my Saturday long runs all the more.