Turns Out, They May Have Something There.

I've been playing around lately, mainly to fight the tedium that comes with riding in place for any amount of time. This usually occurs during easy trainer workouts, where my butt gets tired well before my legs start to fatigue.
I am well aware that hammering away every workout is a sure prescription for burnout and sub-par performance, even though I have a tendency to do it anyway. Zwift, my trainer distraction du jour, generally encourages me to hammer when I should be riding easy, so much so that Janice forbids me to log on certain days of the week. Even "group ride" events that are advertised as limited to 2 to 2.5 w/kg and should fit into a moderate workout tend to explode before the neutral rollout has ended. Swept up in the spirit and just trying to hold onto the wheel in front of me, I'm redlined before I know it. So much for moderate.
The races I usually participate in are exercises in attrition. A relatively high pace is set initially, and small, incremental increases here or there grind the weak out of the back of the pack. By the time the finish is reached, the sprints are less explosive than they are moderate bursts of whatever people have left in the tank. With our small packs, sitting in is usually not an option. If you have the strength to hang on, you better be ready to do your share of the work. Wheel-suckers are usually identified and publically shamed, which makes it doubly tough for douchebags like me. Grinding away like that for extended periods kills the top end.
That's the reality of the local scene at my level, and I generally trained that way.
However, during my boredom-induced goofing-around, I noticed I could generate much more explosive power if I didn't mute it with a steady diet of tempo riding. Well, duh. As long as my legs and lungs are properly primed for the effort, I can generate a lot more of that douche-baggy sprinting goodness. If I ride too easy, my body can't respond to the change in demand quickly enough, so I'm still working on finding my sweet spot. Once that level is known, then I just have to convince the rest of that pack to ride at that pace.
"Hey guys, let's slow it down a bit so I can conserve enough energy to enable me to come around you and get the win at the end of this race".
I'll let you know how that works out.


  1. Close to ten years trying to get enough training in to get close to burn out and eight weeks of Zwift is coming close!

    1. I seem to have no problem burning myself out, no matter what motivational stimuli I use. I rarely crash hard enough that a week of reduced activity won't turn it around, but I can never seem to get control of the cycles. When it happens, I'm always surprised.


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