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So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:03 pm
by Puffy
So I don't want to go racing, but I do want to be at the head of all the local group rides (which are populated by local racers).

If I just ride those rides, work hard to stay at the top... will I improve or get to a point and level off?
Is propper structured training required if there are no specific goals such as "Win a race"?

I have been improving, remarkedly over the last year since I have upped the kms but wonder if this will continue and do I need to add some structure?

Really hoping I don't need the structure.

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:25 pm
by Purt
If you want to get quicker/fitter a structure isn't exactly needed but it will definitely speed up the process and you can be sure that if you stick to it, you will notice the results. If you just ride randomly (runners call it junk miles) you'll reach a plateau far below your maximum potential.

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:27 pm
by RonK
So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Suddenly, cycling becomes much more fun. :wink:

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:13 pm
by chucknitro
Puffy wrote:Really hoping I don't need the structure.


You don't need structure. But don't be surprised that those who are willing to sacrifice/commit to improving by following a structure, may leave you behind. :)

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:36 pm
by Puffy
Hahah yeah... fun. The guys I ride with are mostly racers. I often get asked when I am coming racing but I reply "Narr that's too much hard work!"
Oh well, I suppose I'd better go learn some training techinques then....

Thanks

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:54 pm
by R12RT
Do what you enjoy. After all this is the point of cycling in the first place.

I personally don't train but just ride. I am sure many of the kilometers I do would be considered "junk" kilometers by serious trainers. But I do what I do because I enjoy it.

Having said that I started getting more serious about my riding about two years ago. In that time my average speed over 70km has increased from the high 26kmph to the high 29kmph. The improvement may have come quicker with structured training but I probably wouldn't have enjoyed the riding as much.

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:41 pm
by brentono
I always thought riding, was training. :shock:
:mrgreen:

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:58 pm
by Mulger bill
RonK wrote:
So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Suddenly, cycling becomes much more fun. :wink:

Yep. :D
If you must do something structured, find a 15-20 km loop or Strava segment and beat your last time. Rinse and repeat...

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:06 pm
by stinhambo
Great question! I heard that you should work on your endurance first then mix it up with climbing and high intensity bursts.

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:58 pm
by foo on patrol
You wanna stay at the head of your group rides that includes, blokes that race but you don't wanna put in the hard work. Do you see the problem here, effort = results no effort = well just staying average Joe. :roll:

Foo

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:48 pm
by DavidL
RonK wrote:
So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Suddenly, cycling becomes much more fun. :wink:


LOL, that is what cycling should be. A good ride needs to include some new road and a coffee.

Salsa Cycles have a sales quote for their new Colossal that I think sums up what cycling should be:

The Colossal is for riders that like going fast, but don't believe fast is everything. That dream of riding through the Alps, but recognize that beauty can be found by riding right from their own front door. That appreciate pro racing, but aren't disillusioned enough to believe their bike is keeping them from joining those ranks. That understand a heart rate monitor and power meter will never be as valuable as the discoveries made from turning onto an unknown road, and seeing where it leads.


Love it.

- David.

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:45 am
by kosh
Puffy wrote:So I don't want to go racing, but I do want to be at the head of all the local group rides (which are populated by local racers).

Don't know if you realise it, but this statement is paradoxical.

Puffy wrote:Really hoping I don't need the structure.

You need structure or you will plateau way below your potential. http://booko.com.au/9781934030202

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:14 pm
by Puffy
foo on patrol wrote:You wanna stay at the head of your group rides that includes, blokes that race but you don't wanna put in the hard work. Do you see the problem here, effort = results no effort = well just staying average Joe. :roll:


Wow, quick to judge! I didn't say I didn't want to put in any hard work. I as asking if I need STRUCTURE, not if I need to do work hard. I am working hard at improving, I just don't know any training techniques and just ride. More than happy to put in more hard work.

kosh wrote:Don't know if you realise it, but this statement is paradoxical


That statement isn't a paradox since the group rides are NOT races. I did not say I wanted to WIN against them in a race, just that I wanted to stay at the head of the pack with them during group rides. Top speeds/duration of sprints are limited on groups rides for both safety reasons (we get a lot of transiant riders with no experience in a paceline etc) and to keep the group rides (even the "HARD" rated ones)open to a bigger group of riders. Big difference them and racing.

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:49 pm
by foo on patrol
Puffy wrote:
foo on patrol wrote:You wanna stay at the head of your group rides that includes, blokes that race but you don't wanna put in the hard work. Do you see the problem here, effort = results no effort = well just staying average Joe. :roll:


Wow, quick to judge! I didn't say I didn't want to put in any hard work. I as asking if I need STRUCTURE, not if I need to do work hard. I am working hard at improving, I just don't know any training techniques and just ride. More than happy to put in more hard work.


Nah, not judging, just stating a fact. If you don't mix it up with interval work and sprint work, you will always be behind them in your level of ability. :wink:

You don't need to make huge changes to your training/riding, there is plenty of info on here, that tells you how to capitalise on you rides. :idea:

So back in your box. :mrgreen:

Foo

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:24 pm
by nickobec
You will improve slower and plateau earlier than if you trained with some structure. The better structured (targeted) the training the faster the improvement.

Big difference between racing and group rides with sprints, (I do both), so you need to be targeting your weakness for group riding rather than just grabbing some generic plan for racing and using that.

Only been racing for a year, only really started putting some structure in my training for the past few months (not a huge amount, on for 2 to 3 weeks, then low intensity week), threshold and VO2 max intervals on my daily commute, some hill sprints when I can).

The effects are noticeable, even on group rides which I use as training for races rather than winning the sprints.

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:36 pm
by Mulger bill
:idea: Wanna train without training? Get a fixed gear. Gear ratio 1" taller than ideal for your terrain. Your route selection will determine your efforts.

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:37 pm
by toolonglegs
If you are only doing your hard rides in a group then you will never reach your potential... too much time not riding in a bunch... even in a race.
You need to go out on your own ( or in a very small bunch ) and learn to really push yourself over longer periods... still can be fun though :D .
Interesting reading Wiggo's book on how he trained really hard up until a day or two before the TDF as they worked out that the first weeks stages would actually detrain him as they were never going to be as hard as how he trained.

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:00 pm
by Apple
Have fun Puffy :mrgreen: kick ass when you can :D

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:20 am
by brentono
Puffy
The competition, is with yourself, and what you tell yourself about how competitive you want to be.

There are no "junk miles" ... real riders talk miles, as you need to do more, for same results :)

Most riders need the foundation, 10-20K in the first year or two, before you need to structure.
Then you decide your commitment (you sound like you want to compete) to be top of your local group.

Watch out, as next step, you will want to be racing.
You sound young, you may be married.
Decide, next, if you wish to give up your social-life, and next, all your other interests. :o
Next, think about divorce (and losing your wife, if you have one)... she's not going to put up with it. :shock:

So take care, how far you want to get involved in Cycling, and you state of competitiveness.
Words of experience. Addiction can be bad, you end up- running out of time & running out of money...
Best you just enjoy it, mate. :D
Cheers
:mrgreen:

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:12 am
by Puffy
:lol: Thanks for the replies!

Young? Depends on your point of view, but yes - ish. 37. Married with kids yes. One of the good things about my riding as far as fitting it in with family life goes is early mornings. Typically, I get home after 3hrs of riding and they are just getting up, if not still asleep. Racing takes real commitment because I could never be happy with average. Then there is the tactics and all that junk which I am not really interested in but to he honest I did look into it. I decided pretty quickly it is not for me 1. $300 licence fee? PFT! 2. Races are Sunday morning and we love going bush, camping on the weekends so no can do. 3. I have a quality, but fairly low spec steed which is great for training on, but racing? To be competitive I would need to be on competitive machinery and that cost is prohibitive. Social life? Um, group rides ARE my social life. :mrgreen:

I hear your warning, and I have already recognised I am standing at the top of a very slippery slope! I recently had my first "bike fit". Apparently the frame is too small, but ok for the riding I am doing. They did fit the bike to me successfully but said I am loosing power due to the crank arm length/position or some thing (upgrade risk, but averted). Next I started doing 150km rides... my arse couldn't take it so new saddle. Then I broke a spoke, $30, then another, then they told me I should be looking at a new set of wheels as it will probably keep happening. Then, tuesday a new comer to our group broke a spoke which go caught in the chain destoying the casset and derailer :shock: I do not want that happening 3 hours from home and considering I am doing the middy smiddy I need reliability! Set of custom rims ordered... I won't even mention the Edge 500 I bought since my 15yr old Polar died.... does it ever stop? (don't answer that). :D

Can anyone point me in the direction of a good book/website that could educate me on the basics? Are there good threads here I should know about?

Thanks

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:44 am
by foo on patrol
If you follow this thread, then you would know a lot of blokes recommend this book. :idea:

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Time-cr ... =401385543

Foo

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:13 pm
by stinhambo
foo on patrol wrote:If you follow this thread, then you would know a lot of blokes recommend this book. :idea:

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Time-cr ... =401385543

Foo


I think I'll be ordering that for the Kindle! I cycle about 6 hours a week too so perfecto!

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:27 pm
by brentono
Puffy
Your on the site, mate. :wink:
Young, yes, but you would have to have been in your teens, for me to say go for it. :lol:

It seems you have the best of both worlds, and from what you have said, your on the mark.
Forget the "bike fit" and hanging at LBS, because there is no doubt, they want you to spend,
(Whether you need it or not, in most cases, I suspect... Sorry LBS)

Get a good pair of pro-built, strong wheels (just parted with a great set, a steal at $200)
and no more troubles. Too light, sometimes, can read, too much trouble.

For your "Social" group rides, I would forget any ego based competition, and even as suggested
go for fixed, and just keep it simple. You will get fit, and stay happy... and more, for your family.

But, even as I type, I see you sliding down that very slippery slope. Think Heroin :wink:
(“I'm running out of everything now. Out of veins, out of money.” William S. Burroughs quote)

Enjoy your free time, in the early hours, with your social group, and have fun. Be warned. :)
Cheers
:mrgreen:

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:24 pm
by Apple
foo on patrol wrote:If you follow this thread, then you would know a lot of blokes recommend this book. :idea:

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Time-cr ... =401385543

Foo

Thanks foo, I may get this for myself, I really need to get faster on the short hills to keep up with a group that I have joined. I am not even the oldest but man can they ride :shock: :shock: :shock:, I think I am the Heaviest though, they all have eating disorders, I am not kidding :roll: :shock:

Re: So what happens if I don't "train" and just ride?

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:54 pm
by whitey
I've ditched the powermeter and the heart rate monitor for January. Stopped focussing on how many kilometres I'm doing, its been a revelation. Wondering whether to leave the Garmin at home for a while and stop using Strava!