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From Flywheel Texas to Climbing the Mountains of the Tour de France

By August 14, 2014 No Comments

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“Riding the climbing stages of the Tour de France this summer brought on a whole new perspective in my role as indoor cycling instructor at Flywheel Plano.”

Flywheel Texas instructor Lynn Howard does not believe in excuses. A Manhattanite turned Texan, Lynn has always had a jam packed schedule. While living in NYC, she supplemented her Wall Street job as Managing Director at Knight Capital Markets with evening cycle classes at her local gym. She even went so far as spending her client entertaining budget on fitness activities, always preferring a workout over an alcohol-filled meal. Now, as a Flywheel instructor in Plano and Highland Park, she is continuing to fulfill her passion for adventure and training. This summer, she even challenged herself by riding the climbing stages of the Tour de France. Read Lynn’s inspiring story here:

“After back-to-back babies and bed rest for high risk pregnancies, I found myself burdened with the task of losing a whopping 86 pounds postpartum. So I thought, what better way to get the ball rolling than by mounting the bicycle once again? After moving to Dallas, Texas a few years ago, I popped into an indoor cycling class (reluctant to ride outside again until my weight and balance returned) and found myself once again, hooked. What better way to motivate myself than to start riding again? The pounds melted off. Combining my background in medicine, I coupled the routine with good nutrition until my goal weight was reached within a year!

Soon enough, I discovered Flywheel. I was asked to teach at some ‘new studio’ opening in Texas by instructor Megan Bursey. I knew instantly that the workout, the experience—and of course, being the data junkie that I am, the technology of the bikes—was something I could totally get behind. Since discovering that summers in Dallas can be ‘Hotter than Hades’ I quickly realized that my desire to get back to riding outdoors was best facilitated by training indoors in order to reach the fitness level I strived for.

Through training almost exclusively at Flywheel and focusing on indoor RPM, both my husband Chris and I were able to ride with our international non-profit charity team, Rooster Racing, through many of the challenging climbing stages of this summers’ Tour de France. Major climbs such as Alpe d’Huez, Col de la Madeleine, Col de Glandon and Mount Ventoux are normally only attempted by the pros, but training through the cold winter and hot summer months in the Flywheel studio afforded us the opportunity to achieve the cardiovascular and strength conditioning necessary to tackle the difficult stages of the ride. Though high altitude poses its own set of challenges, physically, both of us were 100% prepared. In total, we climbed over 29,000 feet in seven days (the height of Mount Everest,) ending in Paris for the final stage to witness the Jersey winners of the TDF. Mentally, the roller coaster of emotions—from joy to exhaustion, near collapse to jubilant sprinting finishes—were all overcome by the physical preparedness built at Flywheel.

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Outdoor training is very important, but Dallas is flat! Doing interstate overpass hill repeats in Dallas was synonymous with taking a nap in comparison to reaching the summit of the mountains of the TDF. Having the quantitative Torq at my fingertips at Flywheel allowed me to set my optimal cadence, while indoor training helped adequately prepare my leg strength, pedal stroke, breathing pattern and endurance required of this stage. My husband attended most of my classes as well—he routinely pushed from 360 to a whopping 424 power number for Fly45s! Through consistent indoor training, we lowered our resting heart rate and shifted our anaerobic threshold to the right, preparing us as best as possible in Dallas.

Though women do not officially ride the Tour, this was an amazing and unique opportunity to do so and a huge bucket list item!

My advice to those looking to push their limits or simply make fitness a bigger part of their routine? There will always be excuses. An excuse not to work out, an excuse not to challenge yourself. That is a resonating issue with everyone, regardless of how many things they happen to juggle, but the philosophy I carry with me is simple. I cannot be all things to all people, that is impossible, but I can be the best possible me for me. That allows me best chance to balance everything to the best of my ability. You have to keep the machine in optimal working order to function! Being an older mom (I will be 49 in October), I want to be there for my husband and children as they grow up. If that isn’t motivation enough, I don’t know what is.”

Check out this video of Lynn and her team climbing the beast AKA Mount Ventoux!

*Riding the mountains of the Tour de France would not have been possible without the amazing support crew of IdleFast benefiting Mission Connection. Our next challenge is our annual 100 mile charity event in Austin in October benefitting cancer patients and their families. Much appreciated donations can be made here as it is a personal race for me.

Read about how these two women trained for the Lake Placid IronMan at Flywheel Charlotte here.