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2013-06-29 11:17 AM

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Subject: Bike: Group vs. solo training
I am increasing my bike training volume as my first HIM race is getting closer. I am doing 90 minutes on the trainer on Monday and Wednesday. Occasionally, I can go for a solo ride outside rather than doing it on the trainer. However, on Saturdays I always do a group ride of 65 miles with my LBS.

The group I ride with push me to limits I can't reach by myself (or at least I don't try to go that far by myself) as we often ride around 25-26 mph for 20-25 miles with peaks over 30 mph, the rest of the ride we stay around 20-22 mph. However, I see two issues: I draft and I don't ride on aeroposition as I think it is dangerous when riding along guys on road bikes, especially since we draft.

On the other hand, when I ride by myself, I mostly ride on an aeroposition all the time and I think the effort and the ride in general is more similar to what I will be facing on race day (no drafting allowed).

So, my question is... What type of training is more beneficial for triathlon: solo rides or group rides? Should I only focus in one of them or is it ok to alternate them?


2013-06-29 11:35 AM
in reply to: davidfedez

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
I believe a lot to most people tend to overthink stuff like this.

Both. Ride with a group to push yourself AND ride alone to get used to being aero and riding distances like that.

Primary focus right now should be getting comfortable riding about 3ish hours in the aero position. Every time you go to your horns, you slow down.

2013-06-29 11:44 AM
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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
+1, don't underestimate the amount of T.I.T.S. it takes to get comfortable in aero. Close second to building the engine.

Edited by Oysterboy 2013-06-29 11:44 AM
2013-06-29 12:00 PM
in reply to: davidfedez


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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
Go with the group if you're pushing it hard. It's better training.

I'd throw in 1-2 long all-aero 3hr rides in the month before race day, then you're all set. As long as you're doing aero in your 90 min weekday rides, you'll be fine transitioning to the long ride aero if your legs have the power to go.

Rock it with the fast guys.
2013-06-29 1:36 PM
in reply to: DanielG

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
I agree with Daniel in that both have benefits. In addition to those mentioned, riding with a group will usually help you to develop better handling skills than riding solo will.
2013-06-29 2:37 PM
in reply to: davidfedez

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
also go with what YOU want to do.

your internal stoke is the most important.


2013-06-29 7:59 PM
in reply to: metafizx

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
The book I read said pretty much never do group rides. Since my training is all about HR training and planned intervals, it doesn't make sense to have that be dictated by other people. Also I never draft on people just because it's not allowed on races. You have to in a group ride but then the mph is pretty much a useless measurement. I'm on an IM training program though and even though you need to pace yourself for a HIM, you still try harder than a IM. YMMV and it's your training, so do what you think will help you the most.
2013-06-29 8:26 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training

Originally posted by Blastman The book I read said pretty much never do group rides. Since my training is all about HR training and planned intervals, it doesn't make sense to have that be dictated by other people. Also I never draft on people just because it's not allowed on races. You have to in a group ride but then the mph is pretty much a useless measurement. I'm on an IM training program though and even though you need to pace yourself for a HIM, you still try harder than a IM. YMMV and it's your training, so do what you think will help you the most.

Yet the fastest time trialists in the world ride for professional cycling teams...and a good majority of their training and racing is done on a road bike and in a group training ride or draft legal racing.

Pacing is still important...especially for longer distance triathlons.  But if your training for a HIM, you shouldn't do 100% of your riding at HIM pace/effort just so you can practice it more.  The primary goal in training is to increase your fitness, and you can do this by riding at various efforts, while out in front, in the draft, climbing hills, etc.



Edited by Jason N 2013-06-29 8:35 PM
2013-06-29 8:38 PM
in reply to: DanielG

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training

Originally posted by DanielG I believe a lot to most people tend to overthink stuff like this. Both. Ride with a group to push yourself AND ride alone to get used to being aero and riding distances like that. Primary focus right now should be getting comfortable riding about 3ish hours in the aero position. Every time you go to your horns, you slow down.

x2.  No right or wrong answer.  At the end of the day it's still T.I.T.S.

Mark

2013-06-30 5:09 PM
in reply to: RedCorvette

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
Groups are such a great way of getting time in the saddle... It seems to go so fast compared to riding alone!
2013-06-30 6:51 PM
in reply to: slow123

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
Go with what you enjoy. This is a hobby right?

Remember......... T.I.T.S. are supposed to be fun.


2013-06-30 9:00 PM
in reply to: Fokker416

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
OP asked for opinions. My opinion is "train the way you race". If you race by riding setting up in the hooks, bumping shoulders and drafting, then train that way. If your race is a TT then train to ride your most effecient TT.
2013-06-30 9:39 PM
in reply to: spearit

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
Originally posted by spearit

OP asked for opinions. My opinion is "train the way you race". If you race by riding setting up in the hooks, bumping shoulders and drafting, then train that way. If your race is a TT then train to ride your most effecient TT.

i guess you only ride your bike after your swim workouts then huh? and only run off the bike. "train the way you race" has been popping up in a lot of threads lately and i doubt anyone actually does this. train the way you want.

to the OP: sounds like you are getting a great workout doing the group thing; if you like it keep doing it. if you are worried about not putting in enough effort then offer to pull throughout the ride. i typically use group rides as "recover" days or just bulk miles (T.I.T.S.), also riding with others can definitely put things into perspective along the lines of what a "fast" pace is. being able to comfortably ride a bike in a group is also something i think everyone out on the road should know how to do from a bike handing aspect.
2013-06-30 11:16 PM
in reply to: Fokker416

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
Originally posted by Fokker416

Remember......... T.I.T.S. are supposed to be fun.


Amen
2013-06-30 11:24 PM
in reply to: Clempson

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
I do both. Group rides are great if you're with a group that will push you. Also, if you can pull a lot of each ride then you're really pushing yourself as there's no drafting when you're at the tip of thw sword. Sometimes if I"m with a group that's a little slower I'll let them go ahead, then try to run them down, while in aero position. Sometimes I'll go out ahead of them then circle back. My group rides are usually wth friends so they all understand what my goals are etc.

My Wednesday night rides have this group of guys with team jerseys with the letters F.O.G. on them. Fast Old Guys and they are fast and make it tough to stay with them.

After the group ride your legs should tell you whether or not it was a worthwhile effort .....
2013-07-01 7:43 AM
in reply to: davidfedez


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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
Group rides teach bike handling skills like this.... http://now.msn.com/tunnel-bike-ride-is-an-insane-pov-trip-in-this-v...


2013-07-01 8:08 AM
in reply to: cpzone

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
Originally posted by cpzone

Group rides teach bike handling skills like this.... http://now.msn.com/tunnel-bike-ride-is-an-insane-pov-trip-in-this-v...



and THAT is why drivers hate cyclists. With that video, I can't say I blame them.



2013-07-01 11:06 AM
in reply to: DanielG

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
Thank you very much for all your responses!

I'm glad there isn't an answer such us "you must do this or avoid that" though. I really enjoy my long group rides and I didn't want to give them up. I like the camaraderie, the workout in general is very demanding, and I find more fun to ride for 3h with people rather than by myself. However, as many of you pointed out, I will try to alternate it with a long solo ride from time to time to get used to being aero for a long time as well as to the effort it takes to ride 60+ miles without drafting.
2013-07-01 11:11 AM
in reply to: DanielG

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
Originally posted by DanielG

Originally posted by cpzone

Group rides teach bike handling skills like this.... http://now.msn.com/tunnel-bike-ride-is-an-insane-pov-trip-in-this-v...



and THAT is why drivers hate cyclists. With that video, I can't say I blame them.






Is that guy riding a bike or a motorcycle?? Either way, impressive, but very irresponsible of him. One car switching lanes is all it would have taken for him to be seriously injured...
2013-07-01 12:35 PM
in reply to: davidfedez

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
Anyone that thinks group rides are not good training is riding with too slow of a group.
2013-07-01 12:59 PM
in reply to: davidfedez

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
Originally posted by davidfedez

Thank you very much for all your responses!

I'm glad there isn't an answer such us "you must do this or avoid that" though. I really enjoy my long group rides and I didn't want to give them up. I like the camaraderie, the workout in general is very demanding, and I find more fun to ride for 3h with people rather than by myself. However, as many of you pointed out, I will try to alternate it with a long solo ride from time to time to get used to being aero for a long time as well as to the effort it takes to ride 60+ miles without drafting.


Just ride. Ride slower. Ride faster. Ride longer. Ride shorter. Just ride.

If you don't think the group rides are all that and a bag of chips, ADD solo long rides.

It's not an either/or in any case.



2013-07-01 1:27 PM
in reply to: DanielG


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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
Originally posted by DanielG

Originally posted by davidfedez

Thank you very much for all your responses!

I'm glad there isn't an answer such us "you must do this or avoid that" though. I really enjoy my long group rides and I didn't want to give them up. I like the camaraderie, the workout in general is very demanding, and I find more fun to ride for 3h with people rather than by myself. However, as many of you pointed out, I will try to alternate it with a long solo ride from time to time to get used to being aero for a long time as well as to the effort it takes to ride 60+ miles without drafting.


Just ride. Ride slower. Ride faster. Ride longer. Ride shorter. Just ride.

If you don't think the group rides are all that and a bag of chips, ADD solo long rides.

It's not an either/or in any case.




Actually, for the OP, while I mostly agree with you, it will def be important for him to do some long aero-position rides in the month before race day.

I had a race last year where in preparation I was throwing down my best power numbers by a fair margin, but most of it was on some very big climbs. Even though race day was moderately hilly, I found I wasn't fully acclimated to 2.5+hrs in pure aero, and my neck was nearly a limiting factor on the bike. This was even with 60-90 minute regular all-aero position rides on the trainer. Those steep hills, while good for power, pulled me out of aero, and I def noticed it on race day.
2013-07-01 1:42 PM
in reply to: DanielG

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training

Originally posted by DanielG I believe a lot to most people tend to overthink stuff like this. Both. Ride with a group to push yourself AND ride alone to get used to being aero and riding distances like that. Primary focus right now should be getting comfortable riding about 3ish hours in the aero position. Every time you go to your horns, you slow down.

^^^ This for sure.

I do the same thing too.  Ride mostly by myself but love to go with some of my guys in the tri club.  We always push each other to a level that I don't typically do by myself.  Besides, I think riding with people is a great way to increase my T.I.T.S. 

 

One of the best parts of this sport is the social aspect it offers and being on a group ride for 3-4 hours is awesome if you ask me.

 

2013-07-01 1:45 PM
in reply to: yazmaster

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training

 

Yup, keep the group rides if they challenge you. I ride with a group that is faster than me, I do all I can to hang on in the sprints. These group rides are paying dividends on my long solo rides.

But yes, do some long rides in aero or you will be hurting on race day. Gotta train your back, neck and shoulders to put up with that for 3 hours.

2013-07-01 3:09 PM
in reply to: yazmaster

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Subject: RE: Bike: Group vs. solo training
Originally posted by yazmaster

Originally posted by DanielG

Originally posted by davidfedez

Thank you very much for all your responses!

I'm glad there isn't an answer such us "you must do this or avoid that" though. I really enjoy my long group rides and I didn't want to give them up. I like the camaraderie, the workout in general is very demanding, and I find more fun to ride for 3h with people rather than by myself. However, as many of you pointed out, I will try to alternate it with a long solo ride from time to time to get used to being aero for a long time as well as to the effort it takes to ride 60+ miles without drafting.


Just ride. Ride slower. Ride faster. Ride longer. Ride shorter. Just ride.

If you don't think the group rides are all that and a bag of chips, ADD solo long rides.

It's not an either/or in any case.




Actually, for the OP, while I mostly agree with you, it will def be important for him to do some long aero-position rides in the month before race day.

I had a race last year where in preparation I was throwing down my best power numbers by a fair margin, but most of it was on some very big climbs. Even though race day was moderately hilly, I found I wasn't fully acclimated to 2.5+hrs in pure aero, and my neck was nearly a limiting factor on the bike. This was even with 60-90 minute regular all-aero position rides on the trainer. Those steep hills, while good for power, pulled me out of aero, and I def noticed it on race day.



That's why I said, in my first post:

Primary focus right now should be getting comfortable riding about 3ish hours in the aero position. Every time you go to your horns, you slow down.

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