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The A-Group Patrols the N6 (Feb 12th)

posted 13 Feb 2012, 13:12 by Kevin Monaghan
(By Mark Horohoe)   
N6 Sign
After 15 weeks of base training with all riders now having a very good general fitness and strength we are beginning to move to race specific training. We really have one of the best group training roads in the country with the old N6 on our door step which is ideal for this type of training. So the route was Rochfortbridge, Moate (tea!), Clara, Horseleap, Tyrrellspass and home by Dalystown.

We took a few minutes to warm up after leaving ORS, then we rode a steady “tempo” pace (Tempo heart rare target is 79 to 82% of maximum heart rate) to Tyrellspass. Then we did some paired sprints to work on explosive power. In a two by two formation, in turn the two riders at the front agreed a sprint end point up the road and sprinted to it – as a guide many used the distance of two telephone poles ahead. Typically the gear used was the big ring and at least the middle of the rear cassette or harder so it took a few pedal revolutions of hard out of the saddle pedaling to get the gear rolling and then the sprint continued to the agreed point. The group pedaled at a speed of 20km so the starting speed was low requiring extra effort to get the gear going. This slower rolling speed also meant that when the two riders finished their sprint and reformed in regular group formation up the road and then rode at a speed of 28kmh they were maintaining the gap to the group behind for riders still to complete their sprints. We continued these paired sprints, with 3 or 4 minutes of rest in between each one, to Kilbeggan.

Between Kilbeggan and Moate we did two Threshold efforts (above lactate threshold, typical heart rate of 88% to 90%). We divided into two groups of about 7 riders in each and used a single pace line with riders doing about 30 second work on the front before peeling off. The trick for good group threshold work is that there is smooth pace maintained throughout. If a steady pace is maintained, only changed by effect of down/up hills, then riders can ride close together and recover while they are not at the front. To achieve this, each rider moves over from the position at the front of the group before they begin to slow down and the next rider continues at the same pace.

After the tea stop, and some time to warm up we fitted in one more threshold effort taking us to Kilbeggan. A nice calm pace followed for about 10km. Then past Dalystown the dial on the heart rate monitor was getting a hammering again as we made our way back to ORS.

Two reminders for A-group members. If there is anyone who has not paid their membership please do so as soon as possible so you are insured. And finally please remember your rear mudguard on Sundays, it important now as we try to do faster efforts where we need to have full concentration. If a rider does not have a mudguard fitted it causes the rider behind to ride out of line to avoid the wheel spray and can upset a safe group formation.

Thanks to all riders for making it a very positive spin. Despite there being some difficult drills the spin ran very smoothly – well done. We will now be shortening the tea stop, so that we don’t get cold when stopping after hard efforts. There might just be time for a toilet stop!  The spin was 93km covered in exactly 3 hours, resulting in an average speed of 31km/h. See this week’s route at