Spring has sprung which means soon, we as triathletes and cyclists start to put away our indoor trainers, venture outside and enjoy the weeknight group ride.
Note: As a coach I highly recommend still getting in one indoor trainer ride a week for specific, uninterrupted training.
Ahhh, the Group Ride. Loaded with excitement, fun, comradery and of course SPEED! The fast moving peloton forcing you to keep your head on a swivel, legs hammering through lactic acid build up you’re your lungs breathing fire as the pulls get stronger and stronger. Winter can’t end soon enough!
Within all this excitement come hazards. Bumping of shoulder s and wheels. (Protect that front wheel folks). Bunny hoping pot holes or road kill. Steering clear of rogue bouncing water bottles. It’s the perfect storm of intense fatigue blended with massive critical thinking. Talk about fantastic exhilaration.
Ending on the foot of comradery with a pit stop at the local watering hole for a well-deserved IPA or café latte and the boasting of your FTP and the massive pulls you threw down that evening, ripping off everyone’s legs in the process.
Then of course there is “The Drop”. The drop happens when there is a surge and break in the peloton. Separating the pace line into pieces parts. The dropped accelerate at insane speeds and efforts to catch back up and grab a draft to recover off the tail end of the lead group. Then move their way back into the pace line. Unfortunately not everyone succeeds at bridging those gaps. The “dropped” attempt this, but as things do happen, they cannot handle the acceleration, blow up and get left behind.
It is important to note…everyone gets dropped at some point. The best way to get fast is to ride with faster riders. This usually entails you eating humble pie and getting dropped week after week until you slowly build the fitness to “hang” for the entire ride. Heck, maybe you are just having an “off” day. There is NO shame in getting dropped. I say this because I want you to RIDE WITH FASTER RIDERS!!
You can however prepare as best you can to not be dropped. I have developed a series of Group Ride simulations to do on your indoor trainer. These are sport specific and highly detailed to give you the fitness skills required to “hang” in a group ride for as long as possible if not the entire ride! These are great building blocks for cyclists and triathletes of all levels.
I always preach NO JUNK MILES. Basically, train for what you are going to do. I presume all of you will be riding in a group ride at least once this year, so here it is.
Simulated Group Ride #1on a Trainer:
3 Min Warm Up
Single Leg Drills X3 :30 sec R/:30 sec L/:60 secBoth Legs
3 Min Easy gear pedaling
Spin Ups X 3 :30 sec Spin up/:30 sec Recover
5 Min comfortable pedaling
Main Set X 4 sets
2 Min at 80% FTP or Z3, working comfortably hard
***This would be the effort in the middle of the peloton
2 Min at 90% FTP or Z4, working hard
***This would be the effort in second position behind the lead pull
2 Min 100% Threshold, working extremely hard
***This would be the same effort as pulling
3 Min Recovery
***This would be the same effort as back of the pace line
3-5 Min Cool down in small chain ring
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If you enjoyed this ride and want more click here to purchase the 6 pack of simulation rides in PDF format. These are great for athletes of all levels, and for coaches looking to add to their programming tool box.
Cheers and rubber side down,