by Hua Chin
An Ironman triathlon is not a joke. It is one hundred and forty point six miles. Yes, you read that correctly: 140.6 miles. A 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride followed by a full marathon of 26.2 miles on foot. People often think of it as the ultimate goal, the achievement of a lifetime in less than 17 hours. It is possible, but people must be prepared. It is a full-time commitment. One that can take 20 or more hours a week to train for, and up to a year of daily workouts.
I decided to do one in 6 weeks.
Let’s retrace my steps, and my decision to do something so brash.
As I continue to mature into a still competitive athlete, I cannot lie, I have been bitten by the Ironman bug. Something about getting as much strength and passion out of my body and mind really plays well to my psyche. Why would one push themselves for up to 17 hours of work? Why would someone endure endless blisters, long lonely training runs, and daily triple workouts? Because of the finish line. Because crossing that finish line knowing you put 100% of your soul into completing this seemingly impossible task is rewarding to me.
But it is not for everyone.
As an ex professional athlete, and someone who still can (sometimes) compete at the pointy end of the stick, the Ironman dream works for me. But it doesn’t have to be your dream. Unless you are winning races, qualifying for world championship events, or setting masters records – training should be fun. An everyman athlete should use a training plan as an escape from their everyday life. Working out is a lifestyle not a chore. The moment it becomes a chore, you should reevaluate.
by Maren Kravitz
By now we’ve all heard about “spinning classes” in which participants ride at cadences of 120–140 RPM’s with little or no resistance. Some of these classes even claim to offer a complete “total body” workout by including choreographed push-ups on the handle bars, as well as a bonus featuring bicep curls and tricep extensions with 3-to-5-pound weights – all while pedaling at supersonic speed. But keep your fingers crossed that your clip in shoes and pedals work.
While you struggle to keep up with the cadence and choreography of the instructor, you envision yourself with shapely toned legs while burning massive calories and dripping sweat. Hopefully, you’ve checked the spinning studio’s website FAQ page to confirm that these classes are indeed designed to shape and build muscle, without adding bulk. #winning
Is your indoor spinning bike pedaling you??
But unbeknownst to many participants, fast heart rates and dripping sweat does not necessarily correlate to increased caloric burn. The truth is: most typical indoor cycling bikes are fixed gear systems with weighted flywheels. The flywheels can weigh anywhere from 25 to 45 pounds. That smooth feeling when the pedals glide around with low resistance is actually inertia at work.
Those who ride indoor cycling bikes with extremely low resistance are essentially being taken for a ride. Even if your heart rate monitor shows an elevated heart rate, the “work” or watts being produced is very low, while the amount of wasted energy is very high. There is absolutely no correlation between calories burned and strength, muscular endurance or aerobic fitness.
Join The Training Room, Runfellow, Oat Shop Boston, Neon Bandits and Somerville Local First on Saturday, September 24th for the Community Co-op Series: Health & Wellness Edition. Our mission is to bring small businesses together to strengthen the local economy through collaboration. Proceeds go directly to Somerville Local First, and the funds are used throughout the year to support SLF members as they work to grow their local brands.
How can you help support all things local in Somerville? Sign up to participate in this awesome event that’s not only good for your health, but good for the local economy! Run 2 miles, bike 10 miles (indoor), and run 1 more mile to the finish!
Sign up online via The Training Room website by selecting the September 24th date on the calendar and clicking on your preferred time slot. Registration for this event is FREE, with donations (suggested, $30) accepted at the event. Oat Shop Boston will be on hand for post-workout fuel, and Neon Bandits will serving up socks. That’s right, action-lifestyle socks. What are you waiting for?