I wait every two years for the AFLCA's Fit Rendezvous in Edmonton. Nothing beats the energy of over 500 fitness leaders and trainers getting together to share their love and passion for group fitness. My conference started on the Friday night with the AFLCA trainers’ session on leadership. A future blog post will focus on some of its content but for this post I'd like to reflect on the indoor cycling sessions I attended. To save my legs and let's be honest, my backside, I didn't attend all the indoor cycling sessions, but I'd like to share with you what wisdom I took from the best of the best in indoor cycling instruction!
Effective Pedaling - Suzette O'Byrne
The Competitive Team Ride: Indoor Team Training - Krista Popowych
Ride One, Get One Free - Helen Vanderburg
The Cyclist’s Toolbox: Tools and Techniques to Enhance the Indoor Ride - Suzette O'Byrne
Over the 40 weeks of my pregnancy, I diligently read about what was happening to my body and my baby week to week. As in all the books I read, pregnancy was always defined through the three trimesters. The first trimester is full of excitement and anticipation for what's to come (e.g., is it a boy or a girl?, when will I begin to show?). Sounds similar to a warm-up in an indoor cycling class? Your mind and body are preparing for the big task ahead! As the second trimester rolls around, you begin to do the 'heavy lifting'. The baby is growing and it soon becomes evident that your body is doing a lot of work. It is in high gear preparing for the baby who is rapidly growing. The second trimester can be seen as the bulk of the cardiovascular workout. Blood, sweat and tears. By the third trimester, you start to slow down (maybe even waddle a bit!) as you prepare for the end of your pregnancy. Just like the cool-down period of an indoor cycling class. Cue the relaxing music. It sure is needed in the last couple of weeks and minutes.
Here are my top six lessons learned:
1. NAUSEA IS ALMOST CERTAIN.
The majority of my girlfriends who are pregnant or have been pregnant can attest that nausea is almost certain. I was lucky...well, not really. I didn't realize that morning sickness isn't just in the morning. I had it most days, all day of weeks 7-15 of my pregnancy. It slowly declined as I grew bigger and bigger but some poor moms-to-be have it their whole pregnancy. What we put up with in pregnancy is also a common occurrence in an indoor cycling class. Start working in the anaerobic zone and you'd be sure to run into a bit of nausea. And in that situation too, we buckle down and pedal through it! Embrace your nausea! The reward at the end is worth it!
2. YOUR BODY IS AMAZING!
As you are well aware, your body pushes the limits physiologically in an indoor cycling class. Pregnancy is no different except its working to make a healthy baby. Who knew I could teach indoor cycling classes to 36 weeks pregnant and ride my road bike on an indoor trainer a day before giving birth! And even more amazing is that after nine months of nesting in my body there is a healthy baby boy!
Your body is amazing...and brilliant. Be kind to it. Listen to its cues (your body gives them!). Know your physiological limits and work within them.
3. GLOW AND SHINE.
I like to think I glow when I ride. Have you ever heard of the saying - women glow, men perspire and horses sweat! This saying is thought to have originated from Victorian etiquette guides. And I am sure you've heard that pregnant women glow. Enjoy the glow! Even if you don't physically feel good, know that your glow (sweat) is apparent.
Workman's Cycle Drills & Skills
Enjoy some of my favorite cycle workout drills either in a cycle class or on your own bike at home!