Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Here we talk about all things cycling - training, wattage, group rides, bike rallies, triathlons, weather, coaching, coaches, nutrition, ponderings, musings, and equipment! If you have a topic or a question, send us a note and we'll try to answer for you!
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cyclingcenterdallas
20:17

Pairing up with a Training Buddy

There's something wonderful about pairs. I'm talking about pairs of cyclists, who are fairly evenly matched, usually in terms of performance, but also in terms of age, ability, experience, family and career track. I hate to admit this, but I purposely put people like that side-by-side, so that they can push themselves and each other to limits that would otherwise be completely dependent upon solo efforts. My psych 101 classes taught me that two people pulling a rope against each other will pull at 105% or more of the effort they would use to pull the rope against a machine or an inanimate object. So getting people who are naturally competitive, and putting them side-by-side, so that they can see each other out of the corner of their eyes, maybe even bump elbows, see the numbers in context, and even sweat on each other, can really bring out the best in people. Thursday night's class had two pairs of cyclists who fit this category. A pair of young women, teammates, one more experienced in indoor cycling than the other, but both of roughly the same age, and from similar backgrounds in the sport. The other pair were Masters men, one with gobs of experience, the other with an incredible zeal for the performance that he has gained and the fitness he has seen in the last several months. I paired these 4 folks together, male & female, and watched the sparks fly. The interval session was again sort of a non-traditional workout for December. We did 21 separate sprint intervals, most of them about 15 seconds long at 200% of threshold. I made SURE that the athletes did not start pedaling hard until they had met the beginning of the slope of the wattage load, and then they were better able to keep the pedaling below 25mph. The workout was teh extension of the technique protocol, and it placed emphasis on anaerobic power, sustained slightly longer than the 6-8 seconds that your ATP system is in use. But in this case, the power doesn't let up - instead, you tend to start losing speed. In the Real World, the power will drop, while speed will stay about the same, but by then, the race is usually decided. In any case, this was a great opportunity for those paired riders to work together, as well as against each other, and push themselves to the limits. The result was a fantastic workout that left all four riders sort of whimpering in the corner, but completely satisfied that they had exceeded everyone's expectations - their own, their 'buddy's, and their coach.... I'm convinced that this type of workout, while effective, is more effective in a group setting, and even more effective when the athletes are familiar with each other. I think we'll see these guys & gals continue to excel. It'll bear fruit this Spring, just wait, be consistent, and be patient. See ya'll on Sunday!

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cyclingcenterdallas
21:04

Less of a lung and leg buster, more of a technique class

Tonight's class was more about technique than actual suffering, though it did generate a healthy amount of that, and it also got plenty of stress out of anyone's system who applied themselves. There were no participants who shirked their duty. The protocol for the workout was multiple 15 second, and later 20 second intervals at 200% of Threshold, with about 1:45 recoveries. The workout proved to be plenty difficult, but it was more about how to get and hold a high wattage and cadence for a decently long period of time, without compromising in terms of speed or cadence. I got a late start, and missed one interval, but the most important thing that I discovered was that if you started pedaling right when the slope of the interval began, you were good to hold at least 110 rpm and not get any wheel slip when the interval hit 200%. However, holding on for the full 15 to 17 seconds (it varied slightly each time, to keep you on your toes), was really, really difficult. Everyone in the class commented on how they were cross-eyed by the end of each interval, and the recoveries from each extended out slightly longer each tme. We were all glad they were over. But again, this is the type of workout that I believe we'll see more often in the spring. It mimics the type of road racing around here - flat with lots of jumps and attacks where you have got to accelerate, recover, and try it again. I'm going to have the Thursday AM crew do their Tuesday workout, the 60-60's, since they missed it due to the weather and my cancellation policy. We'll see what they have to say after they're done.

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