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The Noob’s Advanced Club Ride Off Season Trainer Workout…


December 2013

The goal of the advanced club ride, at least as I’ve experienced, is to either prep for racing or to ride ridiculously hard for a couple of hours – I’m the latter.  Our Tuesday night club ride is an “Everyone Gets Dropped” ride.  We start out the 33 mile ride in a group ranging from 20 all the way up to 40 cyclists in a double pace-line.  The lead group is down to 5 or 10 max by the last couple of miles.  By the time we get to the finish line, the one time I made it, there were only three of us.  I won the sprint.

Riding like this, especially if you’re one of the weaker horses (like I am), isn’t easy but it is fun.

This past year was only my second riding with the club.  Last off-season I worked pretty hard on the trainer hoping that I would be in better shape going into the beginning of the season than most of the other guys.  I was mistaken – they worked harder than I did and I ended up having to play catch up when I thought I’d be tearing more than a few of them up.

This off-season I’m implementing a newly designed workout that mimics the on-again off-again see-saw of an actual club ride.  It’s actually a hybrid of an interval workout.  The difficult part of a club ride (again, at least for me) is the transition from pulling at the front to fading and latching on at the back.  What happens is this:  As I move up the line, the draft weakens and it becomes harder to pedal.  Once up front, I’m pulling for a mile (2:15-3:00 minutes depending on the wind direction) with no protection and at speeds of up to 27 mph on the flat, I get worn out.  If I pull too long up front I don’t have enough in the tank to latch back on at the end…  Unfortunately, the best way to get faster overall is to pull just a little longer than I’m comfortable with.  All too often I’ve missed the latch-on because I don’t have enough in the tank to speed back up to get into the draft.

This leaves two options:  I can simply pull off a little earlier while I’ve still got a little left (I don’t like this) or work all winter long on recovering in the 20 seconds I’ve got while I’m drifting back to latch on – with a modified interval workout.

So here’s how this looks over a 50 minute workout on my Mag Trainer (hardest of three settings):

1 minute warm-up (I’ve never been big on warming up).
10 minutes 90 cadence 52/14 (26 mph)
5 minutes 90 cadence 52/13 (28 mph)
3 minutes 110-120 cadence 52/12 (36+ mph)
15 seconds soft pedal
1 minute 110 cadence 52/12 (35 mph)

Rinse and repeat. Twice.  I cut the 10 minutes down to 5 on the last two.  Cool down last two minutes.

The idea is no different that your standard 1 minute on, one minute off interval workout except the plan above is closer to what really happens in a group ride…  The important thing is that that last minute before the rinse-repeat is a real ass kicker.  I was absolutely cooked after doing it through my lunch hour today.


  1. Chatter says:

    Looks like another workout that will definitely hurt in the end, but oh so good.

  2. interesting working out. I will be doing a video series that my tri group recommends. I will post my thoughts on it once I have completed a few workouts.

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