The cobwebs have well and truly been blown away after that cycle this morning. It was great to see 40 club members turn up to our first cycle of the off season. There was a mixture of excitement and trepidation as the gang assembled at 9:00am outside the Abbey Court Hotel. We had a great mix of newbies, juniors, senior and racing cyclists out and hopefully this will be the start of a great year for the club.
The Loop Experiment
The club tried out a new loop based course for our first training session of the year and it seemed to work out very well. While there are negatives with such a route, they are outweighed by the positives. On a day like today where you have a huge variation in fitness levels, this course proved to be perfect. When people got too tired they just turned for home. This meant that those cyclists that were a little bit further along with their fitness were able to continue their cycle unhindered.
How it all went……… With 40 on the road we decided to split into two on the way out to Moneygall, with the juniors/improvers heading out first. The main bunch left 5 mins later and both groups came together in Moneygall. We all pulled in and got into our groups. There were 3 groups on the road with the first group doing 1 loop while groups 2 & 3 were to do 2 loops. All 3 groups started roughly on the same time. However, group 3 had an extra 9km to do so in reality there ended being a sizeable head start.
Out on the road, the 3 groups worked well together. There were however a few cyclists dropped early from each group – this is just a matter of picking the wrong group to start with or putting in too much effort at the wrong times or quite simply – early off season rustiness. The next time you are out you will have a better idea of what you are capable of and you will do much better.
The 2 loop course took around 1:45 for the racing group (3) to finish. A mixture of two up and one up rolling with intervals was used and it went very smoothly. Group 2 were also working well together and the gap between the two bunches was only reducing slowly. After 1 loop the beginners, improver and junior group made their way home – job well done!! The other two groups pushed on to the end.
Coming into Moneygall at the end of the 2nd group, there was still a considerable gap between groups 2 and 3. Both had put in a fine effort and now it was time to cool down on the way back from Moneygall to Nenagh. The two groups would not meet again on the road. By the time group 3 got back to Nenagh there was 100km up on the Garmins. The Rás training group had gone out at 8 so they had 130km of cycling in the legs. The average pace for the Group 3 130km cycle was an impressive 32km per hour. Not bad for our first attempt!
After 4 hours of cycling everyone was keen to get home to put the legs up and relax for the afternoon.
Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
Don’t give up now! That was the first of many Saturday cycles before the season starts. We hope you enjoyed it. We hope everyone keeps attending because that is the only way to improve. You might have struggled today, but you will get there if you keep coming out. Try and get out during the week yourself for another few cycles or attend our turbo training session on Tuesday in the complex at 7:00pm. Take it one week at a time and you will keep getting stronger and fitter. We all struggled when we started first but we are where we are now because we didn’t give up after the first week.
Next up: Sunday cycle – this is not an official club training session but club members are welcome to join in if they want. The pace and distance for this cycle would be a little too much for beginners and younger juniors. Tomorrow we are going around the lake with a stop in Mountshannon. The usual interval sessions will be included. If you missed the Saturday cycle then try and get your ass to this one!
Meet: 8:00am at Tescos.