Friday, May 8, 2009

Headed in the Right Direction

Last night I met with a local group to ride 30ish miles on one of the only flat rides in our area. Truly the only real hills are at the start and end of the ride. The group divided into two groups we were off. This was an out and back route. On the way out I managed to stick with the front of the pack with little problems. It was a harder push to fast out of the gate for me but doable. At the turnaround point we stopped and let every re-group. Average pace out – 17.5mph. Great!

As the group headed back I managed to hold on for about 4-5 miles before being dropped. This part always sucks. I realize that the biggest reason for this is that I am still a bit nervous about riding in a pack. Getting in there and just going. Once you fall off it is extermly hard to get back in. No matter how hard I pushed I just could not close the gap and re-join the pack. They were pushing an average 22-24mph and my legs were feeling the fatigue so I let the group go. I did get in my “big ring” for a large part of the ride and by doing so on the flats I was actually was able to increase my pace on the way back just a bit.

What did come to mind on my way home was that I need more of a plan. Some rides need to be a hammer... a push... but not all of them. Some need to be more about endurance and recovery. Right now I just get on the bike and ride. Sometimes I bonk... others times I feel strong. Mainly I just ride by how I am feeling.

So with that thought I will begin diving into learning more. Being a bit more effecient. I think I am heading in the right direction. :)

Have a fantastic weekend!!!



Kevin said...

Sounds like great progress.

A plan definitely helps. My rides right now have about 3 or 4 possible focuses. One is obviously my endurance ride, another is a power/force workout focusing on pushing a big gear to build strength, another is a steady state ride focused on keeping my cadence high, and the final would be speedwork (true intervals or fartlek where I follow the music)

Mel-2nd Chances said...

i guess it's just like running, not all fast, each run/ride has their place. Great ride, and Happy Mother's Day :D

Stuart said...

Check out the following: Base Building for Cyclists; Chapel, Smart Cycling; Baker and Cyclists Bible; Friel, all are really good resources and will keep you on the straight and narrow, put falling crashing etc out of your mind, if you think about it it will happen, focus on the ride and the ride alone think "i am cycling" ok zen moment over

Wes said...

It's nice to have bench marks. You'll be hanging with the front group the entire time soon enough :-)

jen said...

You are amazing! Such a strong cyclist. I think it's easy to push really hard in group rides.. which I guess shouldn't be every time. I hope I have that problem some day- I'd love to be as fast as you. :) Keep up the great work.

Grey Beard said...

22-24 is a pretty good clip. Impressive!

If you can find a partner you really trust to draft off of, you can get practiced enough to feel comfortable in larger groups. Ad hoc groups are dangerous to draft in. Much better to have the same solid reliable group all the time. BTW, you can ride almost as fast alone with aerobars, but most groups will make you take them off, or at least the pads, before riding in a group.

For speed, Fartlek is great. As I learn more about it, I realize, it is, quite by accident, how I got my speed.

I'll 2nd Stuart's Rx of Friel's
Cyclist's Training Bible - ISBN 978-1934030202. I'm also starting to become more discriminating about what kind of training a ride represents, and what mix I need to meet my goals.

I don't "waste" rides now. Each ride is done against a ride profile that it contributes in a precise way to the mix to help me acheive my goals. Friel's Bible is very rigourous - too much so for some - but I am going to start with training by the numbers, get that down, and then introduce variations and improvisation based on my personal goals and physiology.

I have also been heavily influenced by John Forrester, especially in regards to cadence and targeting training so that only 1 or 2 facets at a time are stressed to the max, while other resources are carefully kept out of danger of failing, precisely so they are available in abundance to fatigue the target area.

I look forward to studying your posts and learning as much as I can from the evolution of your training. I hope we can learn from each other and shorten the time to get up that learning curve!

ShirleyPerly said...

Yes, like running training, I think in order to improve on the bike you must have variety in your workouts. If every one is a hammer session you will burn out and/or get injured. If everyone is long and slow paced you will get endurance but never any speed.

Keep working it, Robin!!

Anonymous said...

Demanding friends are good to have.