As long as I’ve been a Master Instructor (since 1997), I’ve noticed that there is a fear of teaching an endurance class at an aerobic intensity, especially newer instructors who are afraid of alienating students who are expecting their butts to be kicked. Fear no more, because I think I have the ride for you. This profile uses clever coaching and even body language to show your students how “delicious” this zone is and how beneficial it can be.
Avoid the temptation to dismiss endurance as always being an “easy” ride in Zone 2; this profile is a little higher intensity while staying aerobic, and will satisfy your students who like to feel they got more of a “workout”.
This profile is called The Delicious Ride because I find this training zone so wonderfully delicious! There is no need to kick yourself (or your students) in the butt to feel like you’ve had a great workout; on the other hand there is no need in an indoor environment in a 1-hour class to ride in that lower “endurance training” zone (Zone 2) that cyclists will use when preparing for longer events. Zone 3 satisfies that need of feeling like you’ve done something while still not resorting to wringing out the body. On the other hand, this zone, which is referred to as the “tempo zone,” requires more recovery than a Zone 2 ride. Because you never take riders to the point of breathlessness or strong leg sensations, they don’t realize the fatiguing effect this effort may still have on the body.
However, they may realize it the next day!
Have you ever seen instructors who have tried to teach an aerobic endurance ride who give off the body language that they really do not like what they are teaching, or maybe go so far as to verbalize it? Back in the late 1990s, I was the director of a Spinning program and had “endurance” classes on the schedule at least once or twice a week per time slot (depending on the time of year). Each instructor rotated teaching this format. I audited one of my instructors’ classes and was dismayed when she announced at the beginning of class with the attitude of an annoyed teenager, “ok, today is en-duuurance,” as she rolled her eyes with a sigh, and gave off the body language that she was not going to enjoy this journey. How could the students help but dislike it as well? (Obviously, we had a little chat about that after the fact!)
Your attitude about the ride you are about to teach is so important to the success of the class. To help you in that goal, the cueing provided is this profile is a kind of subliminal message you use throughout the entire ride, helping your riders see, hear and feel how wonderful this intensity is.
But don’t just reserve this technique for this one profile…put this kind of coaching into every aerobic ride you teach and you will have a much easier time at convincing your students about the benefits of aerobic training!
Please leave your comments below when you’ve had a chance to teach this. I would love to hear your thoughts on it, and what your students thought of it.