Post by brendan-meghen on Jun 19, 2022 13:16:43 GMT
I really enjoy the social aspect of the weekend club rides, but I find myself rarely doing them as (for me at least) they are poor training (and I want to get fitter). Does the club (or any smaller group of members) ever do any proper endurance training rides eg. 3-5 hours at a low, steady intensity (ie where you can comfortably chat with the person next to you, including going up hills) and there are no hard efforts off lights, up hills, along 'fast' sections etc?
Post by Martin Headon on Jun 21, 2022 21:31:59 GMT
The short answer is, not really. Partly because for many members, weekend riding is their only real riding and therefore they want it to include intensity. And even those who do train in the week can sometimes be tempted to hit out.
For example, I once tried to lead a slower, evenly paced alternative to the smashier Dawn Raid, that would go out along the same roads, then drop off the back when we hit the hills to do the route at the kind of pace you describe. Never happened; everyone who'd expressed an interest in the slower ride suddenly decided they would chase the fast group after all.
I think the other issue is that for the ride to work, your companions need to be not only like-minded but like-legged, i.e. your Z2 / conversational pace needs to be their Z2 / conversational pace. And just a fairly small difference in ability can make the ride too easy for some and too hard for others.
The only times I've successfully done Z2 are either by going solo, or riding with a group a rung or two below my ability and spending time on the front on the flats and hanging off the back up the hills. Not ideal, but it can just about work sometimes.
Post by brendan-meghen on Jun 23, 2022 18:31:44 GMT
Thanks for your response Martin. Other clubs manage it perfectly fine. I take your point about many members wanting to include intensity as it's their one ride out and I respect that. This is not a replacement for that, rather something different. I think part of the problem is the Kent countryside; if it's not heresy I think this could work perfectly well down to eg Box Hill (and perhaps allow people to ride up there quickly if they desire and regroup at the tip). I had one person agree with me on the chain gang last night, so let's see what happens!
Post by Martin Headon on Jun 23, 2022 19:50:27 GMT
I would note James Zuccollo's ride this week (in tomorrow's roundup and the rides section of the forum). I would expect that to have a fairly even pace. Whether it's slow enough, or too slow, for your purposes will depend on your level of fitness.
I suppose it depends how strictly you're interpreting it. If I do a Z2 ride I want to be in Z2 virtually all the time, which means pushing on when it goes downhill, and slow uphill, which can be tough to maintain in a group. But if it just means "never smashing it", then we do have plenty of rides like that, especially the steady groups on Sunday.
We also do head to Box Hill and other parts of Surrey on occasion, and also ride out towards Windsor which is even flatter. You can even force the issue and lead a ride yourself!
Post by jameszuccollo on Jun 23, 2022 19:56:37 GMT
I was the person agreeing with Brendan yesterday and Sunday's ride is, I hope, a first step towards it. Not being as strict/fast as Martin, though, I draw the line at pedalling and dragging my brakes down the hills!
Post by brendan-meghen on Jun 27, 2022 18:17:47 GMT
Well (if I do say so myself), I think Sunday's ride worked out really well. Turns out there are quite a few riders in the club who want to do a ride like this. I'd encourage anyone who wants something along the lines described here to come and join us. Thanks again James.
Post by brendan-meghen on Jul 4, 2022 17:11:29 GMT
Yesterday's ride was a bit of a mixed bag shall we say. As ever lovely countryside and company, but the effort required, whilst more even (esp. after a request from me), was still over the top for this kind of ride (ie compared to James' ride the previous week, which I believe should be the benchmark for this type of ride). Fwiw we used to have a member of the national team pursuit squad (who have been reasonably successful over the years I believe) ride with my old club back in the day, and the effort on long steady rides was a lot lower than quite a bit of yesterday's ride. So if our endurance rides are faster than his, I'd argue we're probably not getting it quite right yet. Still it was an improvement on more traditional club rides so onwards and upwards (just a tad slower) ;-).
I thought Mike did a sterling job as ride leader. The pace was was as advertised and we were cohesive for a lot of the ride. The various mechanicals meant we lost a bit of discipline. The slower up the hills takes a bit of getting used to. We'll get there!