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To improve: ride with stronger guys or ride with same pace guys?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

To improve: ride with stronger guys or ride with same pace guys?

Old 04-30-06, 07:58 AM
  #1  
roger89
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To improve: ride with stronger guys or ride with same pace guys?

Hello,

Which do u think oneself could improve "better", ride with stronger guys or ride with same pace guys and then gradually build up the speed/endurance with the group?

Gimme ya opinion. Thanks.
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Old 04-30-06, 08:08 AM
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Jakey
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Ride with stronger guys.
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Old 04-30-06, 08:10 AM
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rule
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Stronger on the hammer days, same pace on the recovery days.
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Old 04-30-06, 08:10 AM
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Slightly stronger guys.

Very strong guys and you'll probably do 5-10mins with them, so there's no real benefit, those high intensity intervals you can do on your own.
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Old 04-30-06, 08:17 AM
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roger89
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wait emm.. let's say I get a heart rate monitor and start training by "zones". Will I then be doing rides on my own or "can" I follow the stronger guys?

I don't quite get the point of my questions now...
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Old 04-30-06, 08:46 AM
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if you were really fancy, you'd buy yourself some SRM Cranks, or something similiar, and train with watts.

If you don't want to go down that road - then train with stronger guys, or at the very least guys who will throw it down and ride themselves into the ground with you.

I ride with a group where one of the guys is a total monster. He's a 45 year old neurosurgeon, who's amazingly strong. He doesn't do RRs anymore, but last year he did a TT at the end of the season and finished 5th, ahead of a slew of Elite/Cat 1/2 racers.

I'm no slouch, but when i can do a similiar amount of work as he does on those rides i'm happy

Riding with weaker riders on hard days will only hold you back.


Originally Posted by roger89
Hello,

Which do u think oneself could improve "better", ride with stronger guys or ride with same pace guys and then gradually build up the speed/endurance with the group?

Gimme ya opinion. Thanks.
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Old 04-30-06, 09:06 AM
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Both: remind yourself that you need to work harder when you're riding with the stronger guys; remind yourself how hard you have been working when you're riding with the same pace guys.

You have to mix it up a little . . . it's not a good idea to hammer all the time.
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Old 04-30-06, 09:15 AM
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I think riding with stronger guys just gives you the incentive of pushing yourself more. You'll be surpised at what your capable of doing. That being said if they are too strong then you may just get dropped big time and then just slack off for the rest of the ride. Bottom line is you need to make sure that your pushing yourself hard enough but not to a point where you may be injuring yourself.

HR or the newer trend of power will help you quantify your efforts (with or without riding buddies) and if used properly you can train smarter, meaning you know when you're poushing too hard (or not enough) and then it's up to you to stay within your planned parameters.

This requires descipline though as sometimes you may want to do a LSD ride and then some of the group hammers, if you give in to the fun then you lose out in the bigger training picture (not to say that's too terrible to do all the time).

I have guys I ride with who are at my level, some days stronger some days I get the best of them. We push each other to ride better. Then if I'm feeling full of myself I ride with a few CAT 1 and 2s and reality sets back in
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Old 04-30-06, 10:02 AM
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Is this a hilly ride or a flat ride? On a hilly ride, a fast group may drop you on the first hill and you won't see them again all day. On a flat ride, you can wheel suck them all day, but that gets boring after a while.

My advice is to do a hilly ride with people about the same strength as you. There will usually be a couple of good climbers in the group and you can try to hammer up the hills with them, but then they will usually slow down after the hill to let the rest of the group catch up. High intensity hill repeats are my favorite way to get stronger.
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Old 04-30-06, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by roger89
Hello,

Which do u think oneself could improve "better", ride with stronger guys or ride with same pace guys and then gradually build up the speed/endurance with the group?

Gimme ya opinion. Thanks.
depends on your goals. if you want to get better, then occasionally ride with stronger guys. a little humility in the proper doses can kick start your system and competitive juices.

if you wish to be a same pace guy then ride with same pace guys.

you only have a few hours a week to get into shape. Don't waste them.

p.s. riding with same pace guys WILL NOT help you gradually build up to the speed group. The same pace guys don't come close to the intensity or speeds of the fast group. It's not a light switch, you just can't turn it on if you don't train there sometimes.
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Old 04-30-06, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by johnny99
Is this a hilly ride or a flat ride? On a hilly ride, a fast group may drop you on the first hill and you won't see them again all day. On a flat ride, you can wheel suck them all day, but that gets boring after a while.

My advice is to do a hilly ride with people about the same strength as you. There will usually be a couple of good climbers in the group and you can try to hammer up the hills with them, but then they will usually slow down after the hill to let the rest of the group catch up. High intensity hill repeats are my favorite way to get stronger.
++

Also, the "equal riders on easier days" paradigm should combine well with the above.
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Old 05-01-06, 05:50 AM
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Ride with the big dogs. You can either be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond.

The better riders will teach you a lot more than just about fitness. Observe, learn, improve.

Bob
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Old 05-01-06, 06:39 AM
  #13  
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The key to improvement in any sport is training yourself to stress yourself at different levels. You have to ride with fast people to get faster. You have to ride with slow people to get ready to ride with fast people.

It would be best to ride with both groups alternately.......
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