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Old 09-15-11, 07:29 PM   #1
cyclisteaux
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Training with buddies beyond my level? Hold back, or gun it?

For the past 4 months, I've been riding with a Cat 1/2/3 buddies that kick my ass. I'm a former triathlete-turned-roadie focusing solely on cycling. I started off getting dropped after 20, 40, and now about 60 miles. However, they sometimes hold back and wait for me on the hills, regrouping or stoplights.

Have to admit that I am completely gassed up until the droppage and ultimately have to crawl home with tail tucked tightly between my sphincters. Another fast buddy says I should not get on their wheels, but to let the fast guys go, ride with the slower ones and conserve for a strong, even-paced ride.

Which is better? Since I am seeing huge results in my speed and times, shouldn't I just keep busting my ass to hang with them? Or, let them go and ride with slower buddies?
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Old 09-15-11, 07:49 PM   #2
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If you're a tri-guy well assume you have decent aerobic fitness...virtually all the tri folks I've raced against are one speed...pretty fast but not really a threat to finish.

I'd opt to keep mixing it up with the fast guys. You'll get good speed work in, and also get to watch a bit of tactics play out. Hanging back to go steady state might be more of a winter strategy.
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Old 09-15-11, 08:32 PM   #3
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you get faster by riding with faster guys. srsly. later.
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Old 09-15-11, 08:32 PM   #4
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You didn't say what your goals are, but you did say you wanted to focus on cycling. My experience with triathletes is similar to RacerEx's, one speed, fast, but they have trouble with the surges. Bike racing is all about surges and surviving them. You're not going to improve this if you're riding at an even pace. If the strong guys go on a hill, don't go flat out until you blow up, go at 90% and try and keep that going as long as you can. On the flats, take your turn at the front, don't just sit in. This will build your FTP and hopefully gain enough respect from the group so that they won't mind waiting at the summit.

Good luck and have fun. And don't worry about crawling home. Everyone has at one time or another.
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Old 09-15-11, 09:53 PM   #5
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Sounds like they like you enough not to drop you, so I'd keep at it.
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Old 09-15-11, 10:48 PM   #6
caloso
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Former triathlete turned roadie here. I used to be able to motor along all day, but I couldn't deal with the surges. I'd blow up and then I was completely done. My advice is to keep trying to hold on as long as you can. You'll train yourself physiologically and (more importantly) psychologically how to go right up to the red line, then recover at speed. And you'll learn how to hold a wheel and stay out of the wind, which is just as vital to road riding.
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Old 09-16-11, 10:36 AM   #7
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Ditto-ish. I used to do 1.5-2 hour consistent pace rides. Riding with crit guys helped me get better at the surges. Fast paceline, sprints, road rides all helped. What hurt was going back and forth from road to TT. imo, very different efficiency requirements so I sucked at both. GL
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Old 09-16-11, 11:04 PM   #8
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Thanks guys. The overwhelming response is to gun it. Guess I'll keep what I'm doing, but it hurts so good!
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