Coaching My Class This Morning Off the Bike

After three weeks being out of commission, I’m slowly getting back to teaching my Tues/Thur 6 am class. It’s a specialty class, a 12-week periodized program. Since the information and coaching is very specific and is based on what was done in the previous weeks, and it’s a small facility with limited instructors, I had no one who I could trust to sub for me. (Yup, really!)  But I do have very understanding and wonderful students who cared more about my recovery than their class. So, what I did during my absence (5 total classes) was  send them a workout the day before, using a very simple profile, most of which were either threshold-based intervals or short periods above LT, as in Over/Under Intervals, that they’d done with me before. Then I sent my music via Dropbox to one particular student, Brenda, who burned the CD and printed out extra versions of the workout and handed them out to the rest of the students. There are 12 students in this clinic. As it turns out, many of them had kids who had spring break, so for a few classes, there were only 4–5 people. But, I’m glad to say, outside of that, they continued to attend and do their homework!

I only outright canceled one class, but it was more because of a big spring snowstorm (though my body was glad for the reason to cancel). I have also promised them that I will make up these 5 classes and add them on to the end of the clinic. For them, it’s an added bonus, because we will focus on peak conditioning, something you can’t always do in a 12-week program. They may not be that happy, however, when I have them do VO2 max intervals and Tom Scotto’s MIT profile of explosive efforts! 😉


  1. I frequently teach off the bike as we give the instructor bike away and classes are, thankfully at this point in time, full..(16 bikes total we have). When opportunity occasionally arises to teach on the bike I will often opt out. I don’t know if this is good or bad but it is what I go to. I feel for me, I am a better coach off the bike. And in very candid conversations with a few my members this is sort of the feel from them as well. I guess my challenge is teaching on the bike?? And assessing where I may need to “improve” in this area?? I often ponder this.. Any thoughts? (Note: Since I co-own the studio I have the luxury to train on my own, and run thru the profiles I create often so I know how it should feel for my students, so I never coach it “blindly” so to speak). All my best in feeling tip-top soon, be patient working thru it all! Once again thank you for your thoughtful posts.

  2. Hi Jennifer
    Glad to have you back and hope that you will feel perfect again very soon. Thanks for this today, as I have told you before I have a small Studio at home 9 bikes 11 classes a week , I’m the only teacher!!!! but i love it . (also a bit of a contol freak ) hence no other teachers. we have also finished 12 wks of winter training, it went very well. Because i’m on the bike so much I have a lot of issues with my left hip… I try to not get on the bike and although I enjoy teachingoff the bike,I feel more pity for them as they know how to make it look like it is the hardest class that they have ever done. I dont give into them because i tell them i did this class lastnight and it was perfect for you!!! Lets not throw ourselves a pity party now!! What I really want to say to you is thank you for the great idea to talk personally to each one of them. cant wait for tonights 8-15 class.

    Thanks again

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