I read a lot of running blogs and have always envied those lucky writers who are asked to review a product. How do I get in that game, I wondered. Well, my blogger buddy, The Emerging Runner, and now colleague invited me to join his tech review blog called Running Gear Adviser. Perfect! And now...(drum roll)...here is my first review:
Motion Traxx, the fitness music people, now offers new "Cardio Express" audio workouts. The first album is called "Cycle Express". They have a "Treadmill Express" and "Elliptical Express", but they are not available yet. Cycle Express is an album split in three 20 minute sessions. Each session features coaching by Schwinn Master Trainer Gregg Cook (also Nicole Kidman's personal trainer!) over a techno soundtrack. You can do as many sessions at a time as you like.
You're thinking, does Aimée even own a bicycle? And, did she bring it down to Florida with her? Yes, I own a bicycle. It's more of a leisurely-riding-up-and-down-the-block-with-the-kids bike. Not a racing bike. And no, I didn't bring my leisure bike to Florida. I also do not have my own spin cycle. However, cycling and running are similar enough cardio workouts, so I just ran with it (ha...get it?).
Yesterday, was my Pfitz marathon training 9 mile day. I put off my run until the afternoon, about an hour after eating a huge goat cheese salad poolside. Do I take a chance and run 9 miles along A1A, roughage and all? Not a good idea, with my track record (ha...get it?). I decided the dreadmill in the gym at my in-laws' gated community would be my safest bet.
Session 1 starts with a three minute warmup. This session focuses on lactic power. After the warmup, during which Mr. Cook gives an encouraging pep talk, there are four 40 second high intensity workouts with 80 seconds of recovery between each. The entire time Mr. Cook is coaching you through it. I thought this would be annoying since I'm not really a gym class/personal trainee type person. Instead, his commentary really helped me push myself, especially when the going got tough. I ran the first 40 second sprint at the 8.5 treadmill speed, which is a 7:03 pace. I increased the speed with each sprint up to 8.8, a 6:48 pace. I held this pace for the rest of the workout sprints. After the last 40 second run, there is a 2:20 recovery, then the sprints decrease to six 20 second bursts with 60 second recovery in between each.
The first session was so challenging and invigorating, I decided to do the second one. This second session focuses on lactic capacity. Again, there is a three minute warmup. It is followed by five sprints from 90 seconds to two minutes in length with 90 second recoveries in between. Mr. Cook coaches you throughout the session. By the third sprint, my legs began to feel rubbery from the intense running. I completed the session at 5.2 miles, but was in no condition to attempt session 3. I ran the remaining miles (3.8) at an easy 8:30 minute pace. Next week, I will do Sessions 2 and 3 on my next speed workout day.
I definitely recommend this album for cardio workouts, especially if you are looking to improve your speed. Even though, this was a cycle session, I felt like it was completely compatible for a treadmill workout, as well. Mr. Cook's positive, yet no-nonsense direction really motivates you, as does the background music which changes with the intensity of the workout.
As my two year old daughter might say, ta-da!