Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Group Paceline Interval Workout

Just wanted to highlight a good example of someone doing a good group paceline interval workout. How do you do it? Each person in the group gets to pull for a pre-determined distance or time over a specified route, say every mile or every 2.5 minutes. Prior to the ride, you try as best you can to pair people with similar FTPs or Power to Weight Ratios. For example, say you have four people in your group: one with an FTP of 380w that weighs 200 lbs. (91 kg), another with an FTP of 300w that weighs 160 lbs (73 kg), and two others with an FTP of 265w that weigh 175 lbs. (80 kg). Based on this information I'd pair the guy with the FTP of 380w (4.2 w/kg) and the smaller guy w/ the big engine FTP of 300w (4.1 w/kg) together. Likewise with the two guys of similar FTP and weight. (both 3.3 w/kg).

Now, you start the interval workout in pairs and rotate pulling...each guy/gal taking a turn out front for a specified time/distance. You could actually start the interval workout as an entire group..just have the stronger guys pull harder/longer. The weaker guys have to remember to take shorter pulls and not blow up..otherwise, they won't be able to hang-on the wheel of the bigger dawgs..even in their draft. (Hmmm, sounds like I'm saying that from experience. YES!)

Here is a Power File (attached) from one of the two BIG DAWGS I was talking about. You can see (from the graph) he banged out six very good, consistent/no drop in power, VO2max (L5) intervals. He pulled one mile, sat-in one mile, and repeated this 5 more times. Also notice that when he was out-front pulling he was averaging 330w and when he was sitting-in he was only averaging 220w. That's a 30% energy savings. (Hey, where did I read that before?)

So, next time you want to do an interval it outside with a friend or friends. It's much more fun than doing an interval workout on an indoor trainer. Also, there is no better race training..than training on the road with wind, hills, etc. and drafting.

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