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 Post subject: 'Fast' Training Rides
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:50 am 
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'Fast' Training Rides

...just a few thoughts as part of the general discussion about rides, speeds etc.

I've done 3 evening 'chaingangs' so far, and they are very good for practicing riding with others at reasonable tempo speed. The pace has been a bit variable, and there is not
too much through-and-off/bit-and-bit, nor taking turns at pace setting-though this is constrained by traffic conditions etc. (Caroline's worthy attempts last night at getting us
to try through-and-off showed that more practice and a like-minded group are needed!).

Anyway, as the nights draw in, for some of us, there is little appeal in riding in the dark, so maybe some weekend rides similar to the chaingang could be attractive.

I would personally favour a weekend training ride of about 30mls, no stops, and taking at high-speed (Level 3 - tempo) with determined bit-and-bit/through-and-off/pace sharing.

Maybe these rides shouldn't be 'regular' club rides, but arranged more ad-hoc, but in any case, it would be good to see what other people want too - maybe make some email lists
of people who are up for certain types of ride.

Which then raises the question: what is 'high speed'?

For the likes of keefer and gareth, that will obviously be faster than the likes of myself currently.

For myself, comparing heart-rates between the chaingangs and my solo training rides of similar distance, I would like the rides to turn out a wee bit faster than the chaingangs
currently are overall.

So how to group people together of similar speed?

Well, looking at the group last night, I know Caroline,Laura,Bob,Phil,Andy and myself have all done club 10ml TTs, and have generally broadly similar times for those TTs, within
+-10%. Others like JonH would also probably fit into this. With such a group, it should be possible to keep the group together - the slightly slower people (and those with
hangovers...) can shelter more, and spend less time at the front. If the pace gets too fast, then people should be vocal in slowing it down.

Using TT results should also allow other speed-groups to be identified. Those somewhat faster (e.g. Martin, Jane, Gareth, Keith etc), but also maybe there are those who are
slower and would still like to do similar group 'training' runs at Level 3 (for them), but at a lesser speed.

So, diverging slightly, an idea for an internal club event: Gill and I have regularly gone down to Eelmore and Hillingdon circuits, and done our own private TTs. I wonder if
organising a club closed-circuit time-trial would appeal, with specificly encouraging people who have not done a TT, that (like Gill) don't want to do main-road club TTs, but who
would like to get themselves a 'benchmark' TT time, no matter how slow. Maybe it would be possible to organise this at Eelmore (11 laps for 10 miles), or Hillingdon (about 10.5
laps for 10 mile).

(And on a similar subject to club events - was there any further discussion of the 'American Pursuit' idea?)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:19 am 
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Thanks David, good ideas there. IMHO of course!

The more people who can pop their heads up and offer to help organise rides, fast, slow, regular or ad-hoc, the better for the club. We can't magically set up rides that meet everyone's requirements.... the club depends entirely on volunteers. What I/we can do is encourage and support people offering to help, in my case by putting stuff on the website and in newsletters.

There are always going to be a small percentage of club members at the top-end of the speed scale, racing or TTs. But as a geriatric pootler, I think it's great - and actually motivational - to see club members racing and riding TTs fast and successfully.

IMHO there is absolutely no reason why the club can't be a "racing" club - or, specfically, have a strong racing section. As has been said by David and others, the current midweek chaingangs are at the speed of the participants. I recall that Caroline suggested that there could be two chaingangs, simplistically "chaingang lite" and the other more along the lines of "burn your legs off".

So can I put in a plea for less discussion of what we cannot do now, and ask for more ideas and offers to assist in moving the club forward?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:05 pm 
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Firstly I'm new to Club riding, my experience limited to the last few of Martin's rides, therefore I've not done a road based chain gang.

However I have done the chaingang equivalent, on road bikes, at the track. If your aim is maintain a steady pace with regular efforts at the front this environment works well, no junctions, lights, pothole or cars to worry about. Normally there are a few groups each circulating at different average speeds.

http://www.readingvelodromeracing.co.uk ... ining.aspx


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:13 pm 
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Thanks Keith. See here for information on club sessions. Dick Poole coaches at Reading.
http://www.fccc.org.uk/rides/track-rides


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:24 pm 
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the ABCC, the Association of British cycling coaches did have a very good tool for working out you training zones, but it has gone, my link does not work, and I have looked on there website and it has had some major changes, seems they have pulled themselves into the 21st century. but if any one has a similar tool it would help, if you know what you max heart rate is, there are also some other good bits here. http://www.abcc.co.uk/abccHome.aspx


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:57 pm 
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Thanks for the link, Nigel.
For people interested in training zones - and another plus for doing a TT:Joe Friel suggess using a TT to calculate threshold heart-rate here:
http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2011/04/determining-your-lthr.html
From threshold heart-rate, training zones can be calculated.

One can look into this area DIY (I've done this for myself here
http://www.newgoldtech.com/diet/turbo.aspx )

though it is no-doubt best to consult a coach.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:21 pm 
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DavidJL - just regarding the evening rides that are known as "chaingang" rides - I think there is enormous potential for accommodating a very wide range of abilities within the same ride and this has been shown by the riders who have been out during both the winter and summer. If someone isn't finding the exertion levels high enough then they can always do some bigger turns on the front, do the "faster section" between Farnborough gate and Speedys when it operates or work really hard on the few climbs that there are (we always re-group afterwards).

I'm not sure how you get a single ride that fits all and especially one that fits within your own desired training zone for a ride. Some will always be tending towards struggling and some will always be comfortable within a group and that will vary from week to week depending upon many factors for each individual rider. Obviously there has to be some form of performance parity within the group or it will have to be that the more powerful riders will have to be happy having an easier ride on occasions. That or the group becomes very self selecting, very quickly.

I'd say that if you are finding the sessions don't drive your heart rate as much as your individual sessions then wouldn't doing more turns at the front satisfy your craving for increased oxygen supply? Of course, I'm no coach and I'm not qualified in any way to give advice here but that just seems logical.

Anyway, why are you bothering with heart rate based training as it's so passe - you should get yourself a power meter ;-) .


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:45 pm 
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Agree with all of that, Jon, and maybe all that's needed for a really good training ride is a group of people of 'very roughly' the same speed aspirations and a bit of communication and give-and-take. I would, though, like to explore other non-solo training ride options for when the nights draw in...

As for power meter vs hrm, I will pass your suggestion to my accountant (=Gill), who has a few opinions on the matter! Though, seriously, I was waiting for the Garmin Vector release, which still looks a way off.


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