So. I’m in SoulCycle training. Now what?
Many of you have asked me what it is going to be like and how I am preparing for it.
Well, I cannot predict the future. I cannot say what the program is going to involve or what it is going to be like. What I do know is that training requires a lot of stamina. Not just physical endurance, but mental too. I have a number of friends who are now instructors and I have picked each of their brains as to what training is going to be like. Here is what I have learned:
It is intense. In the greatest way possible, it will require all the physical and mental toughness that I’ve got.
It is demanding. A lot of hours are spent each day sweating and riding. Stamina is apparently the #1 thing that people wish they would have built up prior to starting training.
It is fun! Despite the many hours on a bike, the training program is a lot of fun. You are surrounded by like minded individuals, all doing what you love, so it is hard to do anything BUT have a great time!
So now that I have a general idea of what it is going to be like (painting with a wide brush stroke here), how have I adapted my training? How have I changed my daily routine so that I am setting myself up for success?
Increasing my strength training. I am making sure to hit two heavy leg days and two upper body days that are focused on lifting heavy weight at low reps. I am trying to develop as much strength and muscle as possible before training.
Increasing my stamina. I already have a very strong cardiovascular base, however stamina and endurance can always be improved! While on vacation in Osoyoos, I have been riding my road bike every day, hitting between 40-50km and a few hundred meters in elevation. A blessing in disguise has been the wind. I have been battling headwinds each day and this only makes it more challenging. With 80-110 minutes on the bike each day, my heart and muscles are getting stronger and stronger.
Increasing my FOOD! With the spike in training, I have increased my calories by an extra 200 a day, mainly focusing on carbs and protein. I am currently playing around with my macro range and am sitting right now at 45/30/25 split of carbs/protein/fat (see the screenshot taken from TDEE Calculator). The carbs are helping me sleep deeper so I can recover better and they are also feeding my muscles for the long rides that I am doing. Once in training, I might adapt the ratio, but I want to see how my body adapts and reacts to where I am at right now.
Decreasing coffee. Man, this is the hardest one. I would gladly hop on my bike and go for hours for a delicious almond or oat milk latte. My adrenal glands are currently battling a wee bit of fatigue. One of the best things I can do is decrease stress and inflammation and, you guessed it, coffee. I haven’t gone completely cold turkey, but I am decreasing it to a treat 1-2 times a week. Instead, I have swapped it for matcha. Between you and me, it tastes like grass. Slightly moldy grass. I have not developed a taste for it yet but am determined to do so! Oh the things I do for my body.
I am now less than a week out before I leave for NYC. I know that it doesn’t really provide a ton of time to see many changes. In my mind, even a few days of stronger habits will pay off. Our bodies are wonderfully adaptable and are capable of more than we give ourselves credit for. Believe in what your body can do. Give it time to respond and change. Listen. Listen to what your body is saying when you make changes. Above all, love it. It is working really hard for you.
Right now, I am asking my body to do A TON. I recognize it and love it for what it is doing.