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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a slight problem about my training. We have a group of 5-6 friends who like mountain biking. We all like riding rooty and rocky trails but we have very different training motivations. Couple guys ride less often and most of the time for fun. Then on the other end we have 3 guys (me included) who train for 24h endurance race and a two other pretty tough races. The difference between the most fit guy and the less fit one is HUGE. I consider myself as about the second most trained rider in this group and still the toughest guy is well above me.

The problem: when we go all together riding (not too often, but...), I get a bit bored and cant get to the riding speed and pace that I'd like. I think this is worse with the "best" rider. Is this something I should just work out in my mind and learn to have patience to ride on the pace of the slowest guy?
 

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You should treat the ride with your friends as a fun ride, not a training ride. I would ride slightly faster than the slowest guy on these rides. This will help him improve his speed and endurance, and just wait up for him on the end of the trails. Treat the ride as a recovery ride and enjoy your time together on the trail.

Then do your training rides with your other fast friends on other days of the week.

What I do on group rides, if I know it will be a slower pace than what I like, is go out on the trails a little earlier for a couple miles and warmup. Then ride with the group, and since I was out earlier, got my main miles in for the day. You won't get as bored.

Hope this helps.
 

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I go for rides with a similar group. The faster riders (including me) have been known to race up a climb, reach the top, turn around, go back to the slower group and race up the hill again. We also have some short single track loops that we try to do twice in the time it takes the slow group to do once.
 

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I have the same problem on a weekly ride I do with friends. I'll usually tack on some hard efforts either at the end or during the ride if terrain and timing permits. this lets me hang with my friends and still get a good workout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I might try going riding beforehand but not too fast tough. I usually ride tough climbs as fast as I can and then wait for the slower ones on top. Thanks for the advice and very useful tips!
 

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Depends on the circumstances.

1) Just have fun. It's fun to teach others and encourage others. Either lead the pack, or pull up the rear. Work on riding slow.....balance and all those good things. Take notice of the scenery that you wouldn't normally notice when you're hauling butt through the woods.

2) Ride SS, if possible. If you still want a work-out (and impress the guys), whip out a SS. Brings a whole new dimension to your riding, and allows to put in extra effort at slower speeds. (This can also be accomplished w/o a SS pushing one gear on multiple geared bike)

3) Ride before them. Or ride to the traillhead. I prefer riding to the trailhead, which is usually 7 miles or so for me. That's an extra 14 miles of riding!

4) Sprint to the top of the hill, ride down, and sprint up again. All while the slower guys are still on their first ascent.
 

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Take what you can

Yep. This can be frustrating. Lots of solid ideas here.

I like to burn an hour before I meet on some pretty challenging sections, then stick it in one gear for slower group rides. I do that a lot with spousal unit, and spend my time coaching her from the rear .....

Another favorite is to pick a 20 min. section and time trial by setting up everyone ahead with handicap in time. If you're faster than the slowest guy by 5 minutes, give them a 5 min. head start. Set up everyone with similar handicap. Find the margin from one TT to next and adjust handicap slowest to fastest each week. That way everyone is motivated to end. I'll add 10-15 seconds just to make it painful and push myself. That way, even if you aren't the fastest, you'll be motivated to try to be.

One thing I recognize after coaching many is that you can destroy motivation to go fast if you are always the trailing goat. Put them in front, and challenge them to stay out there. It'll make it fun for everyone.
 

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I think you should practice race passing maneuvers during your ride.
Wait until everyone has passed you and then (going full speed as in a race) try and pass as many as you can before reaching the predetermined regroup spot.

Practice World Cup style passing: elbows out ready to pass and push your friends over the edge of the trail and plunging into an abyss. It will also help if you scream out curse words in Flemish to get the desired effect of global competition. After regrouping you can practice everything again to help with your training. Let the group go ahead and rev up the engine again. Don't be afraid to reach out and pull your friends front brake and laugh as he flips over his bars into a perfectly positioned mud puddle. Make sure you give him (or her) a good roost as you pass.

Matter of fact you can practice this with any ride, but it works especially well in large, organized, road riding centuries. If the ride is held in the early part of the year you can attempt to crack the peleton in the horrendous cross-wind sections.

Glad I could help.
 
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