Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday: The Toughest Day

Indeed, Wednesday is my most difficult day of the week. I teach spin twice. It’s not even the double workout that makes it tough. I’ve done two workouts in a day plenty – as have most triathletes. That part is nothing new. And sheez, I get a whole 12 hours in between so it’s REALLY just fine!

No, I think the issue with Wednesdays is simply that I’m TEACHING two spin classes. And working all day in between. My main problem is that I’m not planning ahead well enough and it seems it is beginning to catch up with me. For example, instead of being the smarty pants I KNOW I can be by getting all of the week’s spin classes together on Saturday or Sunday, I inevitably whittle away my time so that Sunday evening I really only have time to plan Monday’s class. Then Tuesday rolls around; I go to swim practice from 5:45 – 7:00 p.m., come home, eat, and by the time I’m sitting down to plan Wednesday’s double duty it’s about 9 or 9:30 p.m. Theoretically I would be getting ready for bed by then. Oops.

The realization is finally hitting me that this ‘process’ really needs to stop or I will break down and it will begin to affect how I teach. I don’t want that. I’m trying to get through this nasty cold; lack of sleep isn’t aiding in recovery now, is it?

Just like everything else I do, I’ve finally realized that if I want to continue to be a good spin instructor I really need to plan out when I will be writing out classes and honor that plan. Time to GET WITH IT! Out of curiosity to anybody out there who coaches/teaches as a side job – do you have a routine that works for you to get this kind of stuff done?

In spite of my stress I am CREATING FOR MYSELF (that’s how I know I need to get my act together – it’s stress that I am unnecessarily bringing on MYSELF!), I still absolutely love teaching spin. Seeing my students improve in their ability to push themselves, in their form on the bike, in their willingness to commit to working hard – it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Oh and I love finding new music. If you haven’t checked out the soundtrack to Slumdog Millionaire, you should! Some great workouts songs on there!

On another note…slight schedule update:

  • March 14 - Solvang Century Ride - Done!
  • NEW: April 12 – Artichoke 10K (Pescadero, CA) – Maybe
  • April 19 - Santa Cruz 10K – a NO GO if I do the Artichoke 10K
  • April 26 - "Just Go" 10K (Santa Rosa)
  • June 7 - Tri For Real #1 Olympic Distance (Folsom)
  • July 4 - Kenwood 10K
  • July 12 - Tri For Real #2 Olympic Distance (Folsom)
  • July 19 - Donner Lake Triathlon - Olympic Distance (Truckee, CA)
  • July 19 – Trans Tahoe Relay (Lake Tahoe) – WOOO!!!
  • August 9 - Tri For Real #3 Olympic Distance (Folsom)
  • August 22 - Santa Barbara Triathlon (MAYBE)
  • September 13 - Escape From the Rock Triathlon (San Francisco)
  • October 25 - The Big Kahuna Triathlon (Half-IM) (Santa Cruz)
  • Insert Date Here - Some Half Marathon

Today’s spin song list:

  1. Children – Robert Miles
  2. Life on a Chain – Pete Yorn
  3. Two Step – Dave Matthews
  4. Aaj Ki Raat - (Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack)
  5. Bottom of the Barrel – Amos Lee (recovery)
  6. Mercy – Duffy
  7. Maneater – Nelly Furtado
  8. Shot in the Dark (remix) – Chris Mancini
  9. Send Your Love – Sting
  10. Get the Party Started – Pink
  11. Bicycle Race – Queen
  12. Tainted Love – Soft Cell
  13. It’s the End of the World – REM
  14. Faith – George Michael


Holly said...

Well I think you're nuts for teaching 4 classes in the first place, and then extra nuts for making a new playlist for each! ;) If I were you and like dmakin gnew lists each week, I'd at the very least re-use two lists, repeating for the Y and for the airport club. No one will have heard them twice!

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

WOW - you do a lot of work for your classes - I'm sure that your students really appreciate it! I used to teach aerobics quite a bit (involuntary shudder) - and it was tough. I had mostly an older clientele who would complain if I switched things I had to keep things simple. I like the idea of planning it out Sunday - maybe make it something fun to do early afternoon/evening? Also - maybe you can have specific classes be for specific things, ie - Monday is long endurance work, Wed is hill repeats... Friday is sprinting... and maybe the music can reflect that? OR... you could just make 15-20 different play lists and switch them around every few weeks... no one would know one play list from another 3 weeks after the fact...right?

Keep up the great work Sarah - I'm really impressed with all the work you do!

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

If you make it to the Pescadero run give me a shout and we can hook up! I'm still not running again yet but I'd love to be your cheering section.

rocketpants said...

I like that idea of getting lots of play lists done at at time and then you just have to figure out the workout. If the classes are broken into 'blocks' you could figure out a bunch of different blocks where you could plug them together and make a new class each time but if you have enough blocks you won't get bored nor will your students. Awesome job. I don't know how you do that!

Greg Remaly said...

If I was teaching a spin class again, I would minimize my planning by:

A) coming up with 5-6 workouts and cycling through them, adding small variations over time

B) putting together a long playlist (like over 40 songs) of good spin songs and then putting it on random. Done.

The most important thing is you as the instructor, the energy, presence, and instruction you bring - not the actual workout or music.

I like your song list though.

Carolina John said...

that does sound really hectic. i also find myself stretched way too thin way too often.

Rainmaker said...

I can't imagine how you balance it all and stay sane, quite impressive. Especially given the times noted - early and late. That's just crazy.

Also didn't realize the Big Kahuna race is so late this year (Oct)...interesting.

Shan said...

Teaching spin is TOUGH - a good friend of mine has done it for the last 7 years and she sometimes gets a bit burnt out.

I just know that your students LOVE you for putting time and effort into it. Taking a spin class is TOUGH (I need to start doing them again), so when you have a great instructor, it makes it all the better! :)

I am intrigued and excited about the trans tahoe swim - I'M IN!!! :)

PunkRockRunner said...

Sarah - You're bringing new music to every class? Every spin teacher I've ever had puts together 4 (maybe 5) lists that they use for several weeks in a row. You might want to make some "go to" playlists for those busy weeks and know that if things get too hectic you have your music covered. Based on the full classes it sounds like your doing something right and I am sure no one would have an issue with repeating a playlist every now and again. All the best....

amy said...

definitely let me know if you're going to do the tris here in folsom! you are always welcome to stay for them... well you are always welcome to visit whenever. there are some good places to ride!