You'll have to excuse my friend...

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Catch21x, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. Catch21x

    Catch21x New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I'm new to the forum and relatively new to cycling - a good friend and I bought road bikes for the first time last year.

    Since then, I've had more time to ride than he has and gotten in pretty good shape. I think I'll even try my hand at a race or two once spring rolls around.

    The problem is that my riding buddy is now having a lot of trouble keeping up. Either I ride at my pace and leave him in the dust, or wait for him and fail to get a good workout.

    Aside from tacking on extra time by myself before or after the ride (which I've done), does anyone have suggestions for ways to get some good work in without leaving my friend behind?

    Sprint intervals? Gearing? Ride a unicycle?

    Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Brandon
     
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  2. rbarker76

    rbarker76 New Member

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    I would make my ride with him one of your easier days in the training program. Do intervals where you shift into a lower gear and practice spinning at a high cadence. Sometimes when I ride with someone like that I will ride the whole ride a very high cadence. It's very valuable to racing to learn to spin a lower gear. Reason why, when there are surges in the peloton or short sharp hills you are in a lower gear that is easier to accelerate already.
    I also would ride in the drops for hours. It's much easier to train yourself to do that at a easier pace. If you are not used to riding in the drops its tempting to sit upright and place your hands on the hoods so you can breath better when at a higher intensity. You need to be able to stay in the drops for extended periods of time in case you find yourself in a fast breakaway. I ride with a few guys that have a very upright position and never trained their bodies to adapt to a lower position. If I get on the front in the wind and get down in the drops they get a facefull of wind and can barely hold my wheel and start screaming that I increased the pace. Actually I didn't, I'm keeping the same pace at an easier effort and they have to work harder to hold my wheel because the guy they were behind before was upright also and they were getting more of a draft.
    Also, be nice, don't be the guy who busts his friends chops to find out you seriously motivated him to do some serious structured training. Then you find out all of a sudden he is more genetically gifted than you and will kick your ass for the rest of your life. Cycling is funny that way, ask all my riding buddies who used to laugh when they would put me in the pain cave. I still remember the guy who once said.."why is it the guy with powermeter is always the last up the hill?" I was the one with the powermeter. Now everyone of them ask, "so how do I properly use this powermeter I just purchased?"
     
  3. CalicoCat

    CalicoCat Member

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    I agree with all of this. Even if you have a very structured training plan, there are always ways for you to ride with a less strong rider.

    In my case, my LSD days are usually solo days. However, say I plan an 80mi ride. By mile 50, I usually want someone around I can chat with. So I ask one of my less strong friends to meet me at a certain time/place to ride in the last 30miles. That way I am motivated to get to the set meeting place on time, and then have company when I need/want it. It sounds like you are doing something similar.

    For friends who are much weaker than me, it is a slightly different story. Those days are active recovery/one-legged drills/high cadence drills. The key to those rides, for me anyway, is just not to get frustrated. You'll find that it is fun sometimes to just take it easy on the bike. You'll feel like a kid cruising the neighborhood again. Consider it a mental health day!
     
  4. Catch21x

    Catch21x New Member

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    Great post and great advice - thanks.
     
  5. lanierb

    lanierb New Member

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    Some more ideas:
    1) Do some longer hills and regroup at the top. This works great for everyone to get a good workout.

    2) Do a two-man time trial and take longer harder pulls than he does (these can be killer workouts!). Obviously you don't want to lose him, but unless he's really weak you ought to be able to strike a balance where both of you get a good workout. What I do is pick a route, often a loop of anywhere from 20-40 minutes, and then try to go faster and faster on it as a team.
     
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