Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Typically the rider doing the half-wheeling is riding to hard, trying to prove how strong they are. Which brings me to the bike practice bit. I spend every ride trying to put out as little effort as possible. If the person next to me can't ride as fast as me, I slow down to match their speed. Any energy I save just allows me to ride harder later on in the ride when it matters. By practicing this on every ride, I'm training myself to be as efficient as possible on race day. If you don't practice it on every ride, you won't miraculously know how to do it come race day. It's just as important to practice technique as it is to train with intervals.
I often hear from the half-wheeler that they need to get a "hard day of training in" and that's their excuse for pushing the pace. But this activity usually takes place within the first 20-30% of a ride when everyone has fresh legs. You should be riding your hardest in the last 20% off your ride. Chill out during the first part of the ride, build some fatigue into your legs, it will get plenty hard soon enough.