In an effort to train better, I am learning to trust the process and follow the training plan. With that in mind, group road rides have started up and I am trying to figure out how to incorporate those in my plan since I do enjoy them. I am following a 3:1 training plan and during my on weeks I plan on substituting one of my harder weekend workouts for the group ride which I think will work well however I am wondering about the recovery week. The ride is mid week so will one group ride during my recovery week derail me or will it have a minimal impact?
How hard are the group rides?
Are you doing them just for the fun and company, or do you get upset if you are dropped?
Do you have a good feel for how many recovery days you need between two hard rides?
Also, are you training for a particular event? Group rides can be notorious for upsetting a carefully planned event training.
I use the group rides to improve my speed so I try to go hard with the goal to move up to the A group this year but they are primarily for fun so getting dropped is no big deal. I was in the B group last year and plan on doing some A rides knowing I will get dropped.
Recovery is tricky but usually I can recover in a day between two hard rides.
I am not training for a particular event, I am working on improving fitness for CX season racing and am planning on doing some XC races during spring and summer but mostly for fun and to see how I do.
Recovery is highly personal. I have found (I am in my late 60s), that while the SYSTM workouts are excellent, the plans do not give me enough recovery between hard rides.
The most important thing to remember is that you actually get stronger during the recovery days, when the body overcompensates as it repairs the damage done by the training stimulus.
What I would suggest is that you experiment, and see how you feel. I would ride the group rides during the recovery week as a B group rider, and see how you feel. As you get stronger, you may find that you can do the A rides. But if you are pushing too hard, slow down, you are actually harming your training.
I take notes in my training diary on how I feel after rides. It can be useful information to see if your recovery week is actually a recovery week.
Ride in the B group on recovery weeks. The purpose won’t get degraded. On full on training weeks though, ride with the A group and give it your all.
I would agree with what others have said, doing these rides in the easier group on recovery weeks would be sensible and then on the weeks where you do the harder rides, substitute a hard SYSTM sessions for the group ride
Thanks for the feedback. I actaully did a recoverly group ride last night and it worked out well to do the B ride, when it got a little spicy I dropped off and did my own thing, which I think was the hardest part - conciuosly not trying to go hard.