It’s good to be back! Winter training kicked off today with a fine turn-out of 36 cyclists on the road in club colours. The weather was lovely for once and that allowed for a safe and enjoyable day on the bike. Plenty of lessons were learned out on the road today; it can be hard to pick what group to go in after a few weeks off the bike. Should I play it safe or should I risk going with the faster bunch? Hopefully after today people will take a more realistic view of what they are capable of.
We didn’t get going until close to 9:15 due to plenty of late comers. For safety reasons, the large group split in two for the warm-up out to Moneygall. The aim was for everyone to meet up in Moneygall and we would divide into our proper groups out there. The racing group pressed on ahead and did a little bit extra before turning back for Moneygall to meet up with the rest. When they reached Moneygall they soon learned that one group had already left – this wasn’t supposed to happen! This resulted in a way to large 2nd group with far too big a variance in ability on the road. Not a great start to proceedings!
The two remaining groups soon got going. The racing group were minus a few of the better cyclists from the last few years. Thankfully we had a number of lads prepared to make the step up into the racing group. Fair play to Benny, Will, Donnchadh and Daniel. It’s not easy making the jump up but stick with it and you will get there. Group 2 were under strict orders to keep the pace lively. Anyone that really shouldn’t have been in that bunch were going to suffer and soon there were a number of cyclists out the back. The standard of group 2 is excellent so you really have to think twice about whether you would be able to stay with them.
There were 3 groups on the road with groups 1 and 2 having to do two loops and group 3 just doing one loop. Group 2 were a bit all over the place at the start but settled down into a nice rhythm after a while. Group 1 were moving well but even in the early stages it was obvious that some people were just lacking a little bit of the fitness needed to stay comfortably in the bunch. Group 3 stayed together nicely and got some valuable miles in the legs.
The two loops totalled 50km in length. Many people were fine for the first 30 mins. For the second 30 mins they were struggling and for the last few mins the legs had gone. By the time everyone got back to Nenagh after 3 hours and 100km of cycling, the legs were pretty heavy. With large training groups you are always going to have people that find the training sessions tougher than others. If you found it tough, get out training a bit more next week.
For those that think the spin was way too fast – it wasn’t, you just picked the wrong bunch to go in. Go in a slower bunch next week. My average heart rate for the interval section was 135 bpm (normal racing bpm = 160 to 170). This is easy-going. If your heart rate was close to race pace then consider changing group. There is no need to be killing yourself at this time of the year.
It was disappointing to see so few finish the whole cycle. This indicates that you were pushing yourself too hard to stay in with your bunch. We are looking to put in some good mileage this winter so you can’t afford to be bailing out early. Get your group selection right for next week and try to finish the entire cycle. I know it can be tempting to turn for home at the M7 flyover but try to resist!!
Next week, it will be the same training route again so you should know what group best suits your current fitness level. Be honest with yourself. Again, the focus will be more on practicing the technique of rolling over in a bunch correctly. Speed endurance is also a primary focus. If you missed this week then make doubly sure you are there next week. It’s amazing how quickly you fall behind when you start missing the weekend training sessions.
Next Up – Sunday Lake Cycle
We hope to have a group of at least 15 riders out tomorrow for our lake cycle. Going out on Saturday and Sunday will boost your fitness quickly. You might find it tough combining the 2 at first but you will adapt. There will be a coffee stop in Scariff so bring some money.
The question on everyone’s lips is whether Keith Butler will man-up and join us for the spin. The smart money is on his alarm not going off in the morning. He hasn’t used that excuse in a while.
Meet: 8:00am at Tescos
Club Strava Account – most of us in the club are on the cycling app Strava. Start using it and make sure to join the Nenagh CC club.
Viber – if you plan on racing next year make sure to join the Nenagh CC Racing Viber account. This is separate to the main tri and cycling club account (we mainly use it to gossip and bitch about all the other cyclists in the club, but don’t tell them that)