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Could riding with my wife hurt my performance?

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Could riding with my wife hurt my performance?

Old 05-20-12, 12:56 PM
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Carbon Unit
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Could riding with my wife hurt my performance?

I have been riding regularly since 2006. Last month I got my wife into cycling and she likes it. Since she is new, she is not fast and not a strong rider. When I ride with her, I ride at her pace. On Saturday, I do a group ride at a much faster pace. Yesterday, I did a 42 mile ride 2600 feet of climb. I was able to hang with the group until I hit the hills at about mile 35, then I got dropped. My goal is to not get dropped on the hills and need to a training program to get faster on the hills. I am actually riding more lately because I am doing several one hour slower paced rides during the week with my wife. Do these slow rides have any impact on my performance?

By the way, after my 42 mile ride yesterday, I was toast. I slept for several hours after the ride on. Maybe I am not taking in enough calories during the ride.
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Old 05-20-12, 01:04 PM
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ride hard when your noth with your wife, then ride easy to recover with her. riding slow is the most important part fo training!
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Old 05-20-12, 01:06 PM
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I consider rides with my girlfriend as nothing more than base miles.... while enjoyable it really doesn't seem to do much for my fitness or speed. If all I did was ride with her I'm pretty sure I would get my ass handed to me on Saturday morning. Good thing is that she understands my need to ride at my pace so we either ride together and I will sprint the hills.. double back and repeat at the next hill.

Pull all the time and teach her to stay on your wheel... and pull some more...
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Old 05-20-12, 01:17 PM
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You get to spend time with your wife doing something you both like doing. You both are presumably getting into better shape. You're probably a lot more likely to get a cycling vacation than before. You've got a shower partner for after a ride. I don't think any of those things are bad.

I can't see how riding slow would hurt your performance, it would still get your legs moving and your heart pumping. Although obviously you'll want to keep doing some rides on your own to get the real workouts in.

I've been in the same situation with running with my girlfriend and it's been great. When we run together she sets the pace, so it's very easy for me and I just count it as a "shake-out" run, if I need to do any sort of harder training I'll do that on my own time.
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Old 05-20-12, 01:27 PM
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Riding slowly in and of itself shouldn't hurt your performance but if you want to build up fitness to go fast you'll need to go fast, if you want to build up endurance to last longer (no innuendo here ) you'll need to ride further and longer.

When I ride with my wife I find the speed to be verging on painfully slow but it means we both get out on the bikes. Then when I'm riding on my own I get to go faster, longer, or both. If all I ever did was ride with my wife I'd imagine my fitness and endurance would slowly decline.
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Old 05-20-12, 01:37 PM
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Enjoy riding with your wife as use the time as "base" miles or recovery. When you ride by yourself, do intervals and speedwork.

Excluding races and very fast group rides, I find I improve by 20% of my time doing speedwork and 80% riding at slow to moderate pace.

Some of the cycling "lore" isn't based in any realy knowledge or truth. A couple years ago I did a century sponsored by a local club/team. One of the members that rode along to monitor the course said he was going to "lose his racing legs" by riding so much at a slow pace! Not true unless that's all he did for several weeks
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Old 05-20-12, 01:46 PM
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On the hills, sprint up and double back to meet her. And on the flats hang with her most of the time with some short sprints and some one leg drills.
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Old 05-20-12, 01:51 PM
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Not at all what I was expecting from the thread title.

Anyway, to the task at hand, be grateful your wife is interested in sharing your hobby. Assuming that you have several times to ride without her each week, then just use those periods for intensity/intervals etc, and use the time with your wife as active recovery. Getting fast isn't about riding as hard as humanly possible all the time.
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Old 05-20-12, 01:53 PM
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Get a fixie and ride that when your with her.
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Old 05-20-12, 01:59 PM
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If you ride to live, live to ride, then riding with your wife should be no prob as she's part of your life.
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Old 05-20-12, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
Not at all what I was expecting from the thread title.

Anyway, to the task at hand, be grateful your wife is interested in sharing your hobby. Assuming that you have several times to ride without her each week, then just use those periods for intensity/intervals etc, and use the time with your wife as active recovery. Getting fast isn't about riding as hard as humanly possible all the time.
I agree. I wish my partner would ride with me... at any speed. The poor thing loves going uphill but is curiously afraid of going downhill. =\

(Person to person opinion: Just ride with her. A lady that shares your hobby comes before your performance!)
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Old 05-20-12, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
On the hills, sprint up and double back to meet her. And on the flats hang with her most of the time with some short sprints and some one leg drills.
Talk to her before you do this... there is a chance she might take offence to you "showing off how easy it is" to ride her pace.
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Old 05-20-12, 02:58 PM
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You will notice she will be getting stronger and faster.This could be a problem if you don't watch it.Do not show her all your tricks,you will need those to keep up sooner or later.
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Old 05-20-12, 03:05 PM
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Riding with my wife definitely improves my performance.

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Old 05-20-12, 03:06 PM
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If a strong rider and a weaker rider ride together, the weaker rider gets a great workout trying to keep up, the strong rider just kind of coasts through it.
If you're riding in wind rather than hills, the stronger rider can pull full-time, and even some of that out.

One solution is a tandem. The stronger rider will get more workout, and you automatically stay together.

Try riding a mountain bike instead of a road bike as another options.
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Old 05-20-12, 03:07 PM
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Some of my best training rides are with the old woman. The reason is I divide the rides into intense intervals and easy spins after each interval I wait for her and am able to recover and do the next interval at a higher intensity than if I was riding hard the whole time. This is verified in GoldenCheetah using Daniels points. It has made me a much stronger rider.
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Old 05-20-12, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by canam73 View Post
Get a fixie and ride that when your with her.
Exactly. Or freshen up that old DT shifter bike you can't seem to let go of and ride that.
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Old 05-20-12, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post

By the way, after my 42 mile ride yesterday, I was toast. I slept for several hours after the ride on. Maybe I am not taking in enough calories during the ride.
Need to build up the ATP. Sleep and rest are a good thing.
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Old 05-20-12, 04:00 PM
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I'd rather get dropped on every group ride than be married to a woman who didn't ride.
Truly, I feel sorry for these hapless guys married to women who consider it selfish for going out for a ride or two on weekends.

No, doing recovery rides with your wife will not hurt your performance. Just reign in the ponies on your rides with her, and puraise-gawd-fur-victry you found a rider woman who doesn't lay guilt-trips on you.
And please don't lay any guilt-trips on her about your getting dropped. Stick to your training schedule, but I'd adjust the schedule around your recovery rides with her. Good luck and congratulations.
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Old 05-20-12, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by IthaDan View Post
Exactly. Or freshen up that old DT shifter bike you can't seem to let go of and ride that.
You say that as if a steel bike with DT shifters is going to slow you down. That actually got a chuckle out of me. I suppose you credit your expensive bike and wheelset when you've dominated the local group ride. "No guys, it's not me, it's this $6,000 bike. You should have seen how slow I was last week before I'd picked this baby up..." I once had to ride my "old DT shifter" commute bike on our fast climbing group ride because my main bike was out of commission. A friend noticed the bike before the ride and said something along the lines of "Man if you beat me on that tonight, I'm going to hang up my bike for good" or something like that. I don't need to tell you the rest of the story. But it was clear that this person held the belief that equipment had more impact than it did.



The most important thing about riding with your wife is to have your mind and interest in the proper place. You should never try to mix 'wife' rides with 'training rides.' These two things DO NOT go together. This is especially true when she's just beginning. What she needs is to be having fun and to see you having fun with her. If you're wishing you were going faster, or feeling concerned about losing your 'edge,' she'll be able to tell. It's best to completely take yourself out of that mindset and think of it as an entirely different activity. Help her discover how fun cycling is...and remember that one of the least fun scenarios for all of us if feeling weaker and slower than those we're riding with.

Try not to ride in front of her unless she specifically seems to enjoy following in your draft, and the terrain/conditions allow it to be done safely. And then be VERY vocal and careful about pace control. She's not used to the discomfort of chasing a fast wheel, so make sure you use the draft at a very moderate speed and remind her to let you know if it's too fast.

If you're riding up a hill, put her either next to or in front of you, and ALWAYS let her dictate the pace. If she's in front, leave > 5 ft. between you so she doesn't feel you breathing down her neck. She gets to set the pace and doesn't constantly feel like she's being left behind. If you ride in front, you'll inevitably open a gap, turn around, drastically slow your pace to wait for her before continuing on and repeating the process...Psychologically, this is not what she needs to see, and it communicates that riding with her is difficult and unpleasant for you.

Oh, and congrats on roping your wife into the sport. I hope she embraces it as much as mine did. When I first got my wife on a bike, we walked her and her (borrowed) bike down to the street, and I proceeded to explain how to lift the pedal to the right position, step down and lift herself on to the seat while picking the other foot up. Literally step by step through the basics. I even helped her shift a time or two in the processes because it had DT shifters and she was too uncomfortable letting go of the bars. With patience and some time, her love for the sport took off and we invested in a much nicer bike for her. A few years after that and she was entering her first race...Oh, and I don't have to worry about her keeping up with me anymore on our rides together.

-Jeremy

P.S. This is from her first race, #80

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Old 05-20-12, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Essex View Post
Need to build up the ATP. Sleep and rest are a good thing.
I wasn't familar with this term so I Googled it. My problem is that I perform with high intensity for about 90 - 120 minutes and then my performance drops off rapidly. It is like my legs run out of energy and fatigue sets in. My goal is to be able to ride about 45 miles with high intensity and hang with the fast riders in my club. I use to have a problem with heart rate getting out of control and I have beaten it. I can keep my heart rate low now. If I can just beat fatigue.
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Old 05-20-12, 05:00 PM
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My wife and I ride together a couple times a month. In fact yesterday we rode the 66 mile course of the San Diego century.

She is admittedly really slow on hills, so I'll almost always ride ahead at my pace and tell her where I'll be waiting, then we will ride together for a while and repeat the process. She prefers this way because otherwise she feels her pace is hindering me and can't concentrate.

Unfortunately yesterday she completely bonked @ mile 41 and the last 10 miles or so were pretty rough for her, so I followed for those last 10.

The bottom line for me is I just enjoy riding and figure any time in the saddle is good riding, so I don't think at all of her as a hindrance when we ride.
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Old 05-20-12, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
I wasn't familar with this term so I Googled it. My problem is that I perform with high intensity for about 90 - 120 minutes and then my performance drops off rapidly. It is like my legs run out of energy and fatigue sets in. My goal is to be able to ride about 45 miles with high intensity and hang with the fast riders in my club. I use to have a problem with heart rate getting out of control and I have beaten it. I can keep my heart rate low now. If I can just beat fatigue.
Cheers. It's too bad that regular folks can't be given personal masseurs, dieticians and relief from a job. For me - the job keeps me from building up enough reserve + with the added stress of project deadlines I can never get the sleep and rest needed to perform at a high level. That said - 45 miles is HUGE!!! Best with your fitness endeavor.
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Old 05-20-12, 05:29 PM
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Nonspousal ride days: bury yourself.
Spousal ride days: recover.
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Old 05-20-12, 05:31 PM
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As you grow older, the rides with your wife become increasingly more important.

While in your competitive youth, just do some loving and peaceful Sunday rides with her. They'll pay off later....

PS.

My wife and I use to ride for miles into the countryside every Sunday. We'd stop in some secluded area, have a picnic lunch, and fully appreciate our intimacy with nature.
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