Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

Yesterday I wrote about how my 30-mile ride last Saturday was easier than the 26-mile ride on Friday, even though the conditions were similar. I chalk it up to repetition. The more you do something, the easier it gets.

Today I subbed for another Spinning instructor instead of riding outdoors. It was a tough choice, but I enjoy both activities. A mother and daughter came in to take their first ever Spinning class. As always, I reminded everyone to go at their own pace, and threw out tips about proper form. Toward the end of the class I noticed they were giggling about something, so I started talking about how seated flats build endurance while climbs build strength, and then I segued into the topic that afflicts most new riders: a sore crotch. Bingo — I got their attention.

Because I ride a lot and never notice that soreness, I guess I’m usually a little insensitive to the fact that some people can’t stop thinking about it. Luckily, I read an article called Beginner Spinners that made a great point. People new to bike saddles (indoors or outdoors) tend to sink into the saddle and put more pressure on their sensitive parts. But repetition builds strength in the muscles that keep you from sinking. The good news is that, according to the author, those cycling specific muscles can be strengthened in as little as six classes. Specifically, he said two spinning classes a week for three weeks.

Three weeks seems to be a magic number. I’ve often heard that you can build a new habit with three weeks of repetition. The other day, our ride leader LaVerne said the same thing, but added that you can break a new habit with two day of old behavior. Two days! No wonder we’re rusty after the holidays.

As Dory sings in Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.” Or Spinning, or running, or whatever keeps you fit!

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