Couch to 5K
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Week 5 Spin 3

What can I say? I survived it. 20 minutes of chugging along with the resistance set to 7 (whatever that may mean), dripping sweat, and failing not to breathe heavily all the time. I suppose that means the programme might work for spinning, too. At times I dropped it to level 6 when my heart rate went too high.

One of the things l liked about running with music is that I can't hear myself breathing over it. For a while I tried to rasp less harshly as I struggled along, so the woman on the bicycle next door would not feel like she was having to deal with the wrong kind of telephone call while she got her exercise done, but eventually she took all my grunts, coughs, and complaints as licence to be a bit less cool, herself, and started hacking up phlegm, and occasionally swearing as well. From then on, the spin went very nicely. No more pressure to do anything other than just keep turning those wheels till the number 5:00 appeared on the screen.

With the back trouble, I've also been trying to make myself stay afloat in the local pool for as long as I can possibly endure it for the last few days, and was able to continue with this today. However, even though I took care to try and avoid as much sun as possible (including my first return to the paddling pool in decades, to hide in the shade of a palm that grows there) I seem to have picked up sunburn. Funny, that. It started just in the neck, which is exposed above the water, and everywhere else was OK. However, now that my neck has decided to be burnt, my shoulders seem to have joined in. And maybe the upper arms, too. It's almost as if the adjacent areas of skin have waited for permission to follow suite. Hope it doesn't develop into too bad a case. Must remember the sunblock next time.

I may be fooling myself, but it feels like the immersion with activity is really helping that back. I don't even have numb toes from this session now in front of the computer. A fairly small amount of time should tell.

6 Replies

Wow.. I tried spinning once and thought I was going to die... Are you going to a class? They have a spinning bike in the gym where I go and was thinking of trying it, but no class, do you think I could use the c25k podcast?

Good to hear you found something to help with the back - and don't forget the suncream next time!


Never mind the suncream, I think I must wear a shirt with collar turned up, and a floppy hat.

I used the c25k podcast on the spinning bike for a while, but it was overwhelmed by the gym's music, so I've abandoned that, and I just use the timings. The c25k timings have so far worked very nicely for me. But I even had the same W5R3 doubts to a lesser degree than when I did that part of c25k. Can I really just keep turning these wheels for 20 minutes? And it turns out that as with c25k the answer was, "Yes, but not for 21 minutes".

One thing I keep forgetting to do is to take along a fan and a double adaptor. With no self-made breeze cooling you down, you get pretty hot spinning (and unless you have intentions of crossing the Sahara sometime soon, or moving to somewhere past the old black stump in Central Australia, there's not much point in getting heat conditioned). So I would suggest taking a fan and adaptor with you, and giving it ... a spin ... and you'll soon discover whether you hate it a lot or just a little bit. :-) (No, it's not that bad; it's just second best, and it takes a while to be balanced about accepting that).

Actually to talk spinning cycles up a bit, they do have the big advantage of being low impact, and I think even people without crook backs could do with at least some low impact exercise in their mix. If nothing else, it just gives you more time to rebuild whatever got thumped out of sorts by the road yesterday.


I am full of admiration for anyone who contemplates spinning - tried it once and that was enough for me! Anyway, I so like you idea of using C25K in another way I have adapted it to the rowing machine. OK, not as impressive as your spinning but by varying the pace it has made it possible to get to 30 mins+ rowing at a medium (5/6, not the dizzy heights of 7) intensity relatively quickly. By the time I graduate and jog 5k I am hoping to be able to row 10k.

Rarely do I row next to anyone for long - they come and go! However, I do have to endure the vain men checking out their oversized muscles in the mirrors. A while back I posted a piece about the guy lifting his shirt to stroke his abs. Last night same guy and the upper arm muscles which were more huge than my thighs. It i enough to put you off your stroke but the distraction makes the time pass even faster!


I gave the rowing machine a little spin the other day, waiting for a spin cycle to become available. Didn't properly figure it out, but it looks like something worth trying at some stage.

I think most of the really serious body builders round here use fancier gyms than mine. The mirrors just help to check on form, and to try to make that muscle that's being isolated work by looking at it. I haven't seen many people posing. There were some women a while back, obviously preparing for a bodybuilding championship with their coach, but that's not really plain old vanity. More like being pleased with the result of making something. I haven't counted, but I would guess that most of our members are schoolboys from Westville Boys, across the road. (The school Chad Le Clos attended, if you follow swimming at all). The rest are old gits like me. :-)

Level 7 is less than half as impressive as it sounds, I'm sad to say. The cycle I use goes all the way up to 20. I've tried 11 once, but that nearly broke my knees. (Actually I might have ploughed some section of a level 11 field without using the horse today, again, now I think about it).

Hmm ... rowing ... Now I need to work out how to fit that in. Might be something I can do as an extra. (At the moment I have to find any but any way to avoid sitting, so thoughts like this don't just die the very moment they form.)


I sometimes do a bit if spinning on rest days, 30 mins, nothing too serious, loosens up calves.


I'm slowly building up to the 30 minute spin. On rest days I just do gym, but need to probably add in some activities at the moment, just to make sure I don't sit. Once I get there, I think I'll start probing how much more resistance I can manage on the spinning cycle, but there's a way to go before I cross that bridge.

Actually what I need to do is put the computer on an easle or something, but I'm being ... tardy ... about that, at present.


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