We’d a very enjoyable spin this evening, with some of the coaching lessons being successfully applied for the first time. There were 10 riders out, covering 59km @ an average of 29.5kph.
The most important lesson applied was a reduced pace for the opening few kilometers. Instead of the usual ‘greyhounds out of the traps’ approach (and heart beating like a jackhammer), there was a more sedate 27-28kph start to the spin. It enabled muscles to rev up naturally, and avoided shoving riders nearly into the red early in the spin. As the spin progressed the pace picked up naturally, and we achieved a respectable average of 29.5kph almost at our ease. That reasonably paced start, which had been emphasized by the coach, helped ensure a very comfortable spin, without significantly impacting on the average speed.
Another aspect of the spin was a greater ‘smoothness’, without any impact on pace. The rolling over was more regular and frequent, ensuring nobody was up front for too long. Also there was less overall injection of pace during the rollover, making for a less ‘raggedy’ technique.
Lastly, and this is a first this year, but the group departed town as the one group, rather than separate little groups. This was partly achieved by one brave rider playing traffic cop on the departure from the car park!
What’s striking is that there was no rocket science in any of these techniques. They were all known and practised by the club over the years. Unfortunately, it seems the club lost a lot of good habits, replacing them with bad habits, but we seem to be on the way to relearning them (personal opinion there.)
We had a very good spin this evening, 49km @ 32.2kph. It was notable in that it included Jamie Blanchfield of Premier Endurance, who was along to observe cycling technique and the dynamics of our group spin. We had eight out, excluding Jamie, fairly evenly balanced between the faster and the less fast cyclists. The general consensus was that it was one of the best and smoothest spins we’ve had in a long time, despite the mixed abilities within the group. Some of the faster riders would have been comfortable at a faster pace, and different riders had different subjective experiences of the spin, but nobody was overstretched, and overall there was a lot of satisfaction with the spin. Mind you, and this is a personal opinion only, but I suspect that the spin might have been less smooth and the average speed higher if the A pupils hadn’t felt that the Inspector was closely observing them!
Jamie, despite his tender years, is an experienced and calm coach, and outlined some areas for improvement in respect of individual technique, e.g. cross-chaining and speed on climbs, but more pertinently had some constructive observations of the group dynamic e.g. half-wheeling, first 10 minutes being too fast, etc. It led into a constructive group discussion of the core issue of mixing fast and less fast cyclists in the one group. Jamie outlined a number of possible solutions, all of which have been implemented (with varying degrees of success) across other cycling clubs. The concept of a Group Captain for the the cycling group(s) was one of the recommendations.
To those members who couldn’t make it this evening, you missed out. The good news is that Jamie will be attending next Thursday’s spin, on basically the same route (not too long). Hope you can make it.
NTW have booked a cycling coach called Jamie Blanchfield (Premier Endurance) recommended by Aidan Hammond. Jamie will join us on our club spin on Thursday the 19th and 26th of August. He will give us general tips on route and advice on how best to manage groups and work the group so that everyone gets what they are looking for out of the group spin. Following the 2 spins he will give us feedback and if necessary meet with us again.
The club are paying the coach’s fee but numbers are limited. If it works we can try it again with other sub groups.
If you have any questions or points you would like us to put to Jamie in advance then please message Eoin Dillon or Liam Callaghan.
Congratulations to Eoin on his Silver Medal win at the National TT (M40) this weekend. That makes it a hat-trick of wins this season, as he adds to his Munster TT Gold medal (M40) and his Gold Medal in the National Track Pursuit (M40).