Review - Tri Harder Indoor Cycling Podcasts

  • Spincast - Jamie Morton's Tri Harder
  • Price - Free
  • Rating - **** (out of *****)
  • Summary - Indoor cycling podcasts for cyclists, with great workouts

Now, dear readers, this is what a spincast should be - good, hard workouts, great music and solid instruction. I did a few of these over the past few days and really, really enjoyed them.

I know there is a huge, huge spinning community out there that loves the motivational instructor, the near-religious fervour of the class, and the personal development that comes out of pushing yourself so hard. As a cyclist, rather than a "spinner," I prefer workouts with longer intervals, more structure and the kind of efforts that will translate into more specific strength on the road or trail. While I can listen to a Tracy Mallet podcast  and her over-the-top encouragement every once in awhile (my wife, however, just loves her), I prefer a spincast instructor who tells me what to do, and then gets out of the way so I can get on with it.

Jamie Morton is a personal trainer, "triathlon artist" and, from her most recent blog post, a cyclocross racer as well! She clearly knows how to train and how to race, and this comes out in this excellent series of spincasts. It looks like she's got about six podcasts available (although the numbering goes up to number 26 for some reason) and I downloded two of them (#18 "Rollers" and #3 "Cadence"). In both, she does a super job of working with the music, giving clear instruction on what she wants you to do, and why, and drops in the occassional dig at your efforts. I found myself cursing her a few times when she kept telling me to increase the resistance, while keeping the cadence high. The cadence workout, in particular, was a good refresher in keeping the tempo high even during big efforts. It's a great workout for this time of year, when you want to get the legs spinning quickly, keep the heart rate in an endurance zone, and work on your form.

Her musical preference is somewhere around the jangly rock, college-alt-indie, with the occasional surprise thrown in (Muse! Hey!). She doesn't seem to be into electronic, but it's a nice change from some of the dance-oriented free music podcasts. The quality of the podcasts is very good - my only criticism (and the only thing holding her back from the coveted five star Sufferfest rating (!), would be that her voice-overs could be a bit louder in parts, there is some erratic sound editing in parts, and you can't seem to get the spincasts in iTunes, so you have to download them from her site and import them into your library. These are minor points, though, and I'll certainly download the rest of what she's got available at the site, and hope she produces a few more as it's looking like a long winter here in Zurich (It sounds like it takes her a long time to produce them - and we at Sufferfest Studios know that all too well, so we'll be patient)!

Thanks to Roy S. for the tip on Jamie's podcasts.

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