Member Stories: Tom

Tom Elphick, YMCA Club meember - Ironman

Tom Elphick, Ironman and GB Age-Group Triathlete tells us his story.

I originally joined the Y for the swimming club on a Thursday night to help with my triathlon training programme. I also wanted to see what classes I could fit in as part of my training schedule. I chose the spin class with Terri on a Monday evening, as a way to do an intense cycle session once a week and to complement my weekend sessions of a longer ride. The spin class more often than not turned into a brick session with a 5km treadmill run (at race pace) straight off from the cycling – legs were generally dead by time I was sat on the tube going home! 

The spin class was amazing for my bike fitness and Terri was an awesome instructor, so motivational and constantly setting a challenge for me to push to. The trance music made you push harder and faster with every beat and - it has also got me back into listening to trance which helps me get through the day when working and sat at a desk! 
Every session was a challenge, I enjoyed seeing how high I could push my wattage and how high the levels would go - which I managed to max out on numerous occasions. 

Even when I was tired from a race and I said to Terri that I would take it easy, it only took ten minutes and having done the warm up to find the energy to push hard and keep up. I pushed all the time and with Terri shouting '2, 4 or 6 levels on'. I always put 6, no point doing it if I wasn’t going to push.

With so much encouragement being shouted from the front, like 'your body has got this', 'one hundred' (said in a long drawn out voice as you chased down 100RPM in a high gear), “tick tick boom” and finishing with 'Monday. Done' (great words to hear!) the class was always full of energy. 

Epic session 

The longest spin session that I did was the recent 114km cycle. It took me 3hrs 20mins and was the first endurance event that I had done without processed sugar, although I did have to give in with about 20km to go and have some jelly beans as otherwise I was going to fall over when I stood on the floor without the support of the bike! It was a great morning though with each of the instructors taking half an hour slots to do the sessions which really helped to get me through the distance – although asking for 120RPM towards the end of the ride was a VERY big ask! Great fun though and very different to being out on the road on a moving bike, which I am far more use to when cycling those sort of distances. 


I am moving to Manchester early 2018 and I am sad to be leaving the Y and especially sad of leaving the spin class. It was probably the most enjoyable training session out of my entire training week, as Terri was always happy, smiling and pushing me in the session – and she knew she was as well.  It is worth giving all the different spin sessions a go as they are all different and when you find the one that works for you, then that is the one to stick with.  
If you are looking for an intense and fun workout with some great music, then you really should give Terri's class on a Monday evening a go. It will help with your cycling fitness, and the numbers you put out, whether in wattage, speed, or level are there to be broken and remember when told 2 4 or 6 – always go 6!


ymca | 7 February 2018