Last night we had a lot of young guys on the ride. These guys are the ones who can sprint like no other but need time to recover. Well...this won't get you in shape for triathlon now will it? Maybe the prime sprint but I think only two of us are doing an ITU race this year and I'm not aware of any primes in the bike of those races.
So after the first interval the young guys are hunched over on their handle bars gasping for air. (It wasn't that fast guys...30.1 mph - I thought we were warming up.) The group pace slowed to a brutal 10.3 mph. After about 15 seconds of this...I turned and said, "When does the ride start guys?" I tapped a few friends on the shoulder and said, "Let's pick it up." Tom, Anna, and Giovanni all came with me.
So one of the gals and a couple of guys and I picked the pace up to about 19.7 mph and rode away from the "young guys" who looked on in disbelief. On the next interval the "old folks" cranked it up into the wind at 34.1 mph and followed it up with 20 mph "recovery". The workout was to start at 300 watts and build up from there on the intervals. Eventually we lapped the group. An additional note, our group wasn't drafting each other. We rode two and two into the wind so everyone had a share of the wind. The main group was drafting one or two guys.
As we lapped the group, the young guys clearly weren't happy, "Show offs!" I turned and sharply responded, "This is the workout! Sprinting for 3 minutes and then taking 9 minutes off for the entire ride won't get you where you want to be."
So four people flew in the face of a group of 50. When we lapped the group other riders followed us and adapted to our workout. I don't know what numbers other folks had but here are mine:
Avg Power: 238 watts
Max Power: 734 watts - probably a surge going into the wind
Avg Speed: 21.1 mph
Max Speed: 35.3 mph
Ride time: 1 hr 45 minutes
The moral of the story is even if you are in a group stick to your workout and what you know is right. Conforming to all out sprints and recovery intervals that are too easy won't help for upcoming races.