wow. not sure where to go with this so i'll keep it positive.
i can tell you that riding slow is hard work.
i hired a coach and he set me up with an organized plan.
i'm in a build period, so i was expecting more intensity... but what i got back looks nothing like what i was doing. it has plenty of z1 rides and strategically applied intensity. (i've been making mine up as i go along, riding hard and harder... and not seeing results!)
the intensity days hurt, and the z1 and z2 days strangely make me sore too... just as it is hard to keep your hr up into the maximal zones, i'm finding it hard to stay in z1! (i keep telling myself to slow down, climb slower, let the wind push me around...)
people who ride brevets and do marathons 'slow' because they have to really have it worse off than the fast crowd.
the fast crowd goes all out for a much shorter period of time.
the slow crowd goes all out for a much longer period of time - more need for calories, more chances for mechanicals, more spots to mentally break down, etc. on a brevet, slower riders get less sleep, the last of the food at the controls, ride in the dark more, and have that debilitating sight of seeing the folks on the return leg (of an out and back) flying by in the other direction...
in terms of physical output - relative to each rider i would guess that each is riding at their limits - so while the faster rider puts up more impressive stats, the slower rider, in relation to their conditioning, is putting out the same percentage of watts to training / etc - and maybe more - just to finish. impressive on its own and would be fun to somehow 'handicap' brevets like in golf.
So long. Been nice knowing you BF.... to all the friends I've made here and in real life... its been great. But this place needs an enema.