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Off-season Spin Program {OSP}


Welcome | Program Status | What is OSP About? | Spin Sessions | FAQ


Welcome to the DC Triathlon Club's general informational page about the Off-season Spin Program (OSP). Over the past four years this program has grown from 25 participants in the first year to over 100 participants with two separate sessions in the fourth year. 



Off-season Spin Program


 Current Status: registration not yet open for 2016

Session Size: 100 (Saturday) / 36 (Sunday)

Next Class: January 2016


Registered members of OSP, please click here to access the OSP-only Web page » This page will have copies of informational handouts, newsletters, and any news updates.

The DC Triathlon Club will once again offer indoor cycling training sessions this winter. The classes will last 10 weeks, beginning the early January and lasting until early March, with a workout each weekend. These sessions are designed to increase your baseline fitness level as you head into your next triathlon season once the ice melts and the lakes are warm enough to swim in again.


  • Saturday Winter Training Session **SOLD OUT FOR 2015**
    • Difficulty Level: Intermediate/Advanced
    • Location: Edgewood Arts Center at Monroe Street Market
    • Time: 7:00 - 9:30AM [2 hours/class] - doors open at 6:45AM
    • Session Dates: January 10th - March 7th
    • Class size: 100
    • What to bring: trainer, trainer mat, bike, heart rate monitor, proper skewer for your trainer, water bottles, nutrition, and towels.
    • Details: This is a 10 week heart-rate based training plan designed to increase your baseline fitness levels for the 2015 racing season. This is an intermediate / advanced level program aimed more towards the HIM/IM athlete, or those who are seasoned racers. This program assumes you have strong baseline fitness and are comfortable with single leg pedaling drills, cadence, and speed work. Heart rate monitors are required. The first week of training will be an introduction session, followed by some drills and interval work. The second week will be the threshold test.  The third through tenth week will be building out our base into some tempo work and race efforts. Finally, the last week we will redo the threshold test and have a team breakfast (location TBD). 
    • Registration: opens November 3rd, 2014
    • Price: $110
    • Paid Participants Page » 
  • Sunday Winter Training Session **SOLD OUT FOR 2015**
    • Difficulty Level: Beginner/Intermediate
    • Location: Off Road Indoor Cycling
    • Time: 7:45 - 9:15AM [1.5 hours/class] - doors open at 7:30AM
    • Session Dates: January 11th - March 8th
    • Session size: 24 (use studio provided spin bikes) plus 12 (bring own bike/trainer)
    • What to bring: trainer, trainer mat, bike, proper skewer for your trainer - for those bringing their own; heart rate monitor, water bottles, nutrition, and towels - for everyone.
    • Details: This is a 10 week heart-rate based training plan designed to increase your baseline fitness levels for the 2015 racing season. This is a beginner / intermediate level program for those riders who are newer to triathlon and are looking to get stronger and build a solid base for the 2015 season without spending hours in the saddle, and is aimed more at the Sprint/Olympic/HIM distance athlete. That is not to say this is an easy program and certainly those who want to dig deeper will be provided with that challenge. This class will also use the large video projector and Sufferfest videos as part of the training plan. This session offers two options, which allow you to either use the indoor cycling bikes (which have power and cadence) OR to bring your own bike and trainer.  Note that each option is capped based upon space and availability and you must stick with the option you choose.
    • FAQ: For the participants using the studio bikes, please see the FAQ answer about cycling shoes below.
    • Registration: opens November 3rd, 2014
    • Price (using personal trainer): $110
    • Price (using spin bike): $185
    • Paid Participants Page »

Will I get stronger and faster on the bike?
While each participant has their own measure of fitness, I can say that those athletes who came into the class with strong base did see improvements in their overall fitness and many posted PR's on the bike. Likewise, those athletes who did not have a strong base built that good foundation to lauch a great season. Remember, you win medals and podiums in the offseason, and collect your medals during the season.

What is expected of me during the class?
Sit down, shut up, and hold on! While I certainly appreciate everyone is here to socialize, once we are past the warm up stage, we ask that you limit your commentary to those around you. Many participants are in "race mode" due to the nature of this program, which demands you come to the session well rested and with your game face. You should be ready to work, you should have slept well the night before, and you should have provided some nutrition to your body before the ride starts. We will have plenty of time for socializing afterward as the group tends to gather for breakfast after the ride.

What type of trainer do I need and how do I purchase a trainer?
There is no specific type of trainer that is needed. Participants have used both the fluid and magnetic trainers in prior years. While fluid typically provides a more realistic road feel, magnetic will make you work just as hard. The Kurt Kinetic Road Machine is recommended however, if you cannot afford this more expensive model, keep an eye on craigslist for a used trainer or ask a friend to borrow a lightly used trainer that needs some love. If you don't have any friends with trainers and don't want to purchase one, then consider the Sunday sessions where you can ride the indoor stationary bikes at Off Road DC.

What type of shoes/cycling shoes can I wear to class?
The spin bikes accept standard running shoes as well as SPD style cycling cleats.  We highly recommend using cycling cleats, particularly with those participants who have larger shoe sizes and will find cycling shoes more comfortable. The problem with standard fitness shoes is that the soles have a significant amount of flex, which encourages vertical/horizontal foot movement which can strain the calf/foot muscles. Additionally, for those riders with shoes larger than a size 10, you may find that your foot "hangs off" the pedals which encourages poor pedal technique. Finally, being clipped in encourages you to work your hamstrings on the upstroke, which is a skill we will be specifically focusing on. 
We recommend purchasing a decent pair of mountain bike shoes with SPD cleats, or if you already own cycling shoes, simply puchasing the SPD cleats.  You do not need anything terribly fancy and can usually find a good pair of cycling shoes in the $65-75 dollar range.  You can wear whatever you typically wear if you are riding your own bike/trainer.  

Are there going to be mid week sessions?
There is not a group led session during the week, however, each week there will be a mid week workout posted under the documents section of this program. The riders that achieved the highest gains in fitness followed this program of twice a week rides. This is best achieved with the assistance of the buddy system to ensure some accountability for your workouts. Get together in someone's living room while watching some TV, or an available garage where it will be cooler and more comfortable. You can partner with someone in either the Saturday or Sunday classes as the mid week workouts will be similar.

Additionally, there will be mid week sessions available at Off Road DC at a discounted rate. You can choose to attend any of their classes, there are many good instructors with different styles. These classes will not be triathlon specific, but rather an indoor cycling class aimed toward road riders and triathletes (not the traditional "spinning" groups that you often see at the gyms blasting techno music and spinning at 130RPM's).

These classes can be purchased directly thru Off Road DC's website, or in person, at a negotiated discount for DC Tri members. Use the discount code "DCTRI125" and the cost will be $125 for 10 classes (normally $160).

Are heart rate monitors required?
Heart rate monitors are required for both the Saturday and Sunday sessions. A base model heart rate monitor is fine (all you need is a device which provides heart rate and has a lap function).

What is the general structure of the program?
The first week of training will be an introduction session, followed by some drills and interval work. The second week will be the threshold test. The third through ninth week will be building out our base and into some tempo work and hill repeats. Finally, the last week we will redo the threshold test to gauge improvement. The program has proven itself in many athletes turning in PR's on the bike.  We will have a week off during Presidents Day weekend; there will be a workout posted for you to complete.

What if I miss a week or workout?
If you miss a week, try to get that workout in sometime between Monday and Wednesday. If you can't fit that into your schedule in the earlier part of the week, do the mid week program and pick up the following weekend. If you try to do the previous week's full program later in the week you will not be fully recovered by the weekend and this will affect your ability to perform the weekend workout. 

What if I'm slightly hungover from the night before?
Come sweat it out, and don't think you'll be the only one. If you need to take it easy until you vacate your pores of what was once an illegal substance, please go about your business without announcing it to everyone in the class. We'll be able to tell by the distillery smell eminating from you.

If you have any additional questions, please email the program coordinator Ron Benedict