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training with groups that faster than you are.

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training with groups that faster than you are.

Old 08-03-11, 12:19 AM
  #1  
dizon510
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training with groups that faster than you are.

any opinions on this?

im trying to incorporate intensity into my training after a long block of base. ive attended a weekly race-pace crit practice twice now, and I'm definitely not at the same level as these guys. If I'm near the front/have to take a pull, the effort of sustaining such power inevitably leads to me fading significantly. then either dropping off entirely, or blowing a huge match to get back in (better timing would help no doubt). Then when I'm near the back, I'm not the only guy suffering and I wind up following a bad wheel that fades, another match spent closing a gap.

bottom line, the overall shape of my workout changes. for me, its more like a sprint workout of repeatedly falling off the back and sprinting to catch them when they come around again. my concern is that I could be training more effectively with the same block of time, esp given that there's a 45 min drive to get to this thing.

im just not sure which option is best:
suck it up, keep attending, eventually match their strength
or
skip this ride in favor of a different workout.
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Old 08-03-11, 12:39 AM
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chasm54
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You could probably use the time more effectively training on your own. Your training needs to be geared to your requirements, rather than those of the more experienced riders around you.

However, it depends how long you are hanging with them before you simply disappear out the back. What you describe sounds like an extended period of interval training, and being in the group probably makes you push yourself a bit harder than you would if you were alone. Do you feel you're nearly there, that in a week or two you'll be more comfortable in the bunch? If so I'd stick with it. Otherwise I'd train alone, including one hard intervals session in my weekly training, until I was a bit stronger.
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Old 08-03-11, 06:50 AM
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I'm a big fan of riding with stronger groups - you'll be able to dig deeper than you can riding on your own. Having said that, what are you training for? If you're training to race crits then stick with it, if you're looking to improve general cycling fitness/speed maybe find a different faster group ride that incorporates regroups?
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Old 08-03-11, 09:00 AM
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If you are just hanging on, let the other riders know and don't take any pulls. Pick better wheels to follow - if most of the riders are regulars, you'll recognize who to follow and who not to. Some rides I've been on, a stronger rider will volunteer to pull weaker riders along or back onto the group. Take advantage if it happens. Work on being smooth in the group and become known as someone who is safe to have behind you. Do this ride once per week and incorporate interval training 1 or 2 other days (depending on how quickly you recover).
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Old 08-03-11, 03:12 PM
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Part of racing is learning how to not take pulls, take pulls and not blow up, and not be on the wrong wheel (or recognize it sooner).
You won't get that on your own.

If you want to race, do the ride and learn from it.
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Old 08-03-11, 09:53 PM
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dizon510 --

I am often in a similar situation riding with my coworker friends and I'm torn on the issue too. When I ride with them, they keep a faster pace and can climb better than I can. I am always way off the back. Luckilly that means I don't ever have to pull, but I can't even keep their wheel to draft. By way off the back I mean I am at least 50 feet behind them for 90% of our rides. It does drive me to push a little harder but I like to push myself at my own rates, not at theirs.

So I end up riding by myself more often than not. The way I see it, if I can't even keep their wheel then why even ride with them? There's really no point if I'm 50 feet behind because I can't even talk to them or anything.

In the end you have to do what's best for you. I agree with others who have said if you're training and/or more than a casual cyclist, then stick with them and you'll improve. If not, I'd suggest training on your own until you can perform better. My personal hope for me is that I can one day keep my coworkers' wheel and even take turns out front. It will come soon-- I used to always be 100-200 feet behind them, so 50 feet now is a good improvment!
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Old 08-03-11, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jhurley View Post
dizon510 --

I am often in a similar situation riding with my coworker friends and I'm torn on the issue too. When I ride with them, they keep a faster pace and can climb better than I can. I am always way off the back. Luckilly that means I don't ever have to pull, but I can't even keep their wheel to draft. By way off the back I mean I am at least 50 feet behind them for 90% of our rides. It does drive me to push a little harder but I like to push myself at my own rates, not at theirs.

So I end up riding by myself more often than not. The way I see it, if I can't even keep their wheel then why even ride with them? There's really no point if I'm 50 feet behind because I can't even talk to them or anything.

In the end you have to do what's best for you. I agree with others who have said if you're training and/or more than a casual cyclist, then stick with them and you'll improve. If not, I'd suggest training on your own until you can perform better. My personal hope for me is that I can one day keep my coworkers' wheel and even take turns out front. It will come soon-- I used to always be 100-200 feet behind them, so 50 feet now is a good improvment!
If you are 50' behind them, you're working harder than they are.

I tell guys like you on my rides, "Get back on. Work until the blood starts from your eyesockets." That does two things: you'll get better at accelerations and recovery, and you'll burn fewer total calories because you'll be sheltered once you're on. You have to learn how to do it. Don't try on the climb - hold your max but let them go. But right after they go over the top, they'll ease off. They always do. You don't. Keep the hammer down, keep your HR same as on the climb, get aero, and give it everything you've got to get back on. If you get dropped on a little bump or from a pack acceleration, just go. Bridge up. You can do it, it just hurts. Give it hell. If you exhaust yourself doing this, that's fine too. At least you stayed on until you couldn't do it anymore. Next week you'll be faster. Bet on it.

When I was leading fast rides, I used to drop from the front all the way off the back and pull dropped riders back up to the pack, just for the practice. It's an art.

Practice better, smoother pedaling at higher cadence. Better breathing while aero on the drops: straighten the back and lengthen the belly to get it away from your thighs. Drop your heels. Breathe into the belly first, then fill the chest. Get your forearms almost horizontal, pull your elbows in and kiss the top tube with your knees. Drop your head down between your shoulders. Smile - that's important.
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