Long-time reader Lisa Goldman from sunny California e-mailed me after my last post (in which I bemoaned my lack of time for blogging) and offered to contribute a guest post. Lisa first guest-posted for me when I was on maternity leave back in 2010 (check out her original guest post here). I love her stuff, plus she’s a really good egg, so I jumped at the chance to feature another guest post from her.
The profile involves, well, a sh*tload of climbing. The playlist is heavy on American indie and alt-rockers but veers into Spanish dance, British house and African beats. There are also some lesser-known songs from major artists, such as Coldplay, Beyonce and Calvin Harris. Some of the songs offer numerous options via remixes, including Plage and Acapella. And for the classic rockers in the group, there’s even a nod to 1978 with Stuck in the Middle with You.
So without further ado, heeerrrreeee’s Lisa!
Lisa: This March I attended my first Schwinn Education classes at a local SCW Mania fitness conference. I was thrilled to finally get to sample classes from some instructors I’d heard so much about. Most lived up to the hype. Julz Arney & Jay Blahnik were awesome. Mindy Myrlea was hilarious. Gregg Cook’s musckles are very impressive. Keli Roberts – the woman from all those DVDs!, live and in the flesh! I wandered the halls star struck. I took copious notes, and returned home with all sorts of inspiration.
And then I experimented on my classes. I used similar playlists and cues to those I heard at the conference. And, some went over better than others. Turns out, I’m no Jay Blahnik. Elaborate race day visualizations work great coming from him, but I had a hard time pulling it off with the same urgency & sincerity. And, as much as I adore Julz, I was a poor imitation of her too. Julz did this thing in her classes that made it feel almost like church (or what this Jewish girl imagines church to be like). Without getting explicitly religious, she used cues that prodded riders to be their best both in the class, and beyond. It was utterly awesome when Julz did it, but my classes looked at me quizzically when I tried to emulate it. Mindy’s bawdy humor is totally my speed, but I could get fired for that sh$%^! And, well, my muscles will never match Gregg’s. But Keli Roberts class – that I think I pulled off pretty decently!
Keli taught a class called ShLOC (Sh*t Load of Climbing). She used some great visualization, and taught a high energy, fun, tough class. But her visualizations didn’t go into quite as much detail and drama as Jay Blahnik’s. This allowed me to replicate it and stay authentic to my (enthusiastic, but less dramatic) voice/personality. I found my classes enjoyed my version of Keli’s ShLOC class the best of all the SCW Mania classes I’ve tried to replicate so far. I contacted Keli (www.keliroberts.com) and she generously gave me permission to share with you my slightly modified version of her ShLOC ride here. Thanks Keli!!! Hope you all enjoy!
- Plage – Crystal Fighters (3:51)
- Lonely Boy – The Black Keys (3:13)
Seated flat, 75-90 RPM, gradually adding gear, moving from easy to moderate work. You’re going to do a lot of climbing today; it’s going to be a challenging ride. Check out who your competition is. Think of someone you’re incredibly competitive with (on the bike, or just in life). Today I am that person.
By the end of the warm up you should be at a challenging but comfortable intensity. It should feel more natural to breathe though mouth. You’re in the comfort zone, but it shouldn’t feel easy (it’s tempting to confuse comfortable with easy, so pay attention, there’s a difference!).
Stage 1: Short hill followed by a False Flat
3. Lonely Lonely – The Belle Brigade (2:40): Combo Hill, Hard, 70-80 RPM
On this first short hill the pack always surges. People fight for position. Build wattage by adding gear, enough so that you need to stand about halfway up, finishing this hill with your highest wattage (or hardest effort if you don’t have a computer tracking wattage).
4. Hurts Like Heaven – Coldplay (4:03): Seated Flat, Moderate-Hard, 80-95 RPM
Fast section. I am your nemesis and I’m going to surge. Should feel a little uncomfortable by now (if not -> add gear). Ask yourself: Do I feel uncomfortable? Close to breathless? Picture us as a pack, heading up a false flat. We’re about to turn onto steepest part. At the end of the song the pack slows, grab water.
Stage 2: Long hill followed by a Flat with a Paceline
5. Ring the Alarm (Freemasons Club Mix) – Beyonce (8:34): Combo Hill, Hard, 60-70 RPM
This is a winding climb, with a hard steady pace. Come out of the saddle periodically for “switch backs” when it gets a little steeper. The upper section (~last 2 minutes) is the steepest part. The front of the pack has pulled away a little bit. You and I are in the middle. Is that good enough? No! My goal is to get to the top first. Your goal is not to let me.
Add and Stand to attack. Look at wattage. Each time Attack -> Add & Stand. Each time you see me do it, you have to stay with me.
There’s gonna be a regroup. Recovery in a minute – hang on! [Insert a mini recovery at the end of this song and/or beginning of the next]
6. The Brazilian – Dirty Vegas (3:54) Combo Hill continues, Hard-Anaerobic, 60-70 RPM
I think you came close to beating me on that last hill section, but I don’t think you did. Not quite. So go ahead and surprise me. Attack right now. 3.5 minutes super steep. Your chance for pay back. I got you on the last one. Zone 3, not breathless, but ALMOST.
I’m hanging on your wheel pretty nicely. You’re going to have to do more, something exceptional to drop me. Stand up!
In the last 30-45 seconds of the hill, take it back in the saddle and accelerate! Drop me off your wheel! Come on go! Done, you’re at the top.
7. Into Action - Tim Armstrong (3:42): Seated Flat, Mod-Hard, 70-85 RPM
Take a break, and then shift “into action” with a paceline down the hill. Do some drafting & pulling. When drafting, watts drop ~30. Do about 3 rounds of 30 seconds on/off, don’t drop wattage too much and lose me. [recover at end of song]
Stage 3: Long set of Rolling Hills & Climbing
8. Thinking About You – Calvin Harris, Ayah Marmar (4:08): Rolling Hills, Hard, 60-75 RPM
Steep climbing and rolling descents. Pack attacks on the descents. I’m right in front of you, you’re pacing off me.
On 1st roller I beat you. See if you can beat me on the 2nd.
9. Stuck In the Middle With You – Stealers Wheel (3:24): Rolling Hills cont., Hard, 60-75 RPM
Two more summits on this section. You’re “stuck in the middle.” Try to break away! First summit, you got me. Second, I got you. Even again.
10. Rumor Has It – Adele (3:42): Last set of Rolling Hills, Hard 60-75 RPM
Roll/accelerate on the chorus when the music picks up. A little less aggressive here. Save a little extra for the last song (& summit) on this climb, coming next.
11. Acapella – Kelis (4:08): Combo Hill, Hard-Anaerobic, 60-75
One more summit. Get back on hill. 1 minute away from top, add and St & GO. Get me to the top of this hill. You did it. We’re even, Steven.
Stage 4: Flat with some Passing, Finishing with one last quick Hill
12. Gang of Rhythm – Walk Off the Earth (3:35): Seated Flat, Hard-Very Hard
Paceline. Add enough gear and accelerate enough to take you into very hard work. Accelerations “c’mon everbody” at :48-16, 1:44-2:11, 2:33 & 2:46-3:22. On recoveries, take care not to drop too much and lose my wheel. Also careful not to get breathless when you pull. Are your watts close to last paceline? That’s what we want, nice strong push. Strong wattage, not breathless. Recover at end of song and into next song.
13. Shosholoza – Overtone & Yollandi Nortjie (3:30): (but ends at 3:00) Seated Flat with one 30 second acceleration/sprint/pass.
You know you have one more short hill up ahead. It’s very narrow, and you must get yourself in position in front of me on this flat before you get on that hill. You have one chance to pass me, and it’s a 30 second interval at: 1:23-55. Get enough gear on that when you accelerate for those 30 seconds, you get breathless. *Note: the version I have for this song is from the live version, and it erupts into applause at 3:00, so be prepared just to advance to the next song.
14. Cups – Anna Kendrick (2:07): Combo Hill, very hard, 60-70 RPM
Add gear. Stand :30-1:00, add one more time and Stand ‘til the finish 1:35-53.
Side note: I really like this Cups song (Anna’s version in the Pitch Perfect movie is so cool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3C463W4sHBg), but it might lack the punch you want to end your class with. Two other short climbing songs I’ve used here, that might work better for you are: Bang it Out – Baby Bee (2:37) & Before the Light Takes Us (Original Mix) – Darkness Falls (2:34).
15. Ruin – Cat Power (4:33)
16. Love Love Love – Tristan Prettyman (3:26)
Thank the riders for their hard work!
Thank you Lisa, for contributing this ride! I am going to use it on Thursday with my lunch class. (I teach most of the same folks on Tuesday at lunch so I told them about your ride today and they’re primed to climb.) If you’d like to read Keli’s original notes for this class, just Google ‘Sh*tload of Climbing’ and they’ll pop up in PDF form as the second link.
I was fascinated by Lisa’s observations on adopting successful strategies of master instructors. The bottom line? No matter how awesome the strategy or presenter is, you’ve got to be you. It only works if you’re being 100% yourself.