I'm talking about some of the best triathletes in the world. (That is fact. Not opinion.) Jen Harrison was 9th in the recent Triathlon World Championship and recently qualified for Kona (and age group champion from Eagleman) Christian Waterstraat came to Thursday night Intervals and helped turned it on its ear.
There are a few of us with some training knowledge. What happens is that we do a hard interval on the bike and then push the pace on the "recovery" so it is more of a tempo/power ride versus a VO2 max ride. Our group is 50% roadies and they like to crank it up to 40 mph on the hard intervals and then go 14 mph on the recovery. Last night, we were cranking it up (not quite to 40 last night) but the recovery was 18.9 to 20 mph. Not exactly taking it easy.
The best part of the night came as the "triathlete" group started catching the "roadie" group as the groups started a bit fractured and neither group would slow down to wait for the other...someone was going to get caught. This happened about interval number four...triathletes catching and lapping the roadies. This was about 45 minutes into the workout. The triathletes kept the heat on and about 1 hr and 10 minutes into the ride...the roadies disappeared. They road back to the shop with their tail between their legs, soundly thumped. Credit one of the XXX Racing guys who rode with the "triathlete" group and did well - a younger guy named Eric. He was right there with us and is a strong rider and good guy.
ELF and I are usually the two off the front pushing the pace - especially during the recovery. Last night we had three more people pushing the pace which made the workout even better. Mike (back for intervals- and strong rider), Jen and Chris now gave us three more on the front pushing the pace. WOW! This made the workout even better! I know that ELF and I (and a few others) had our wheels "fall off" near the end of the workout - but that's what this workout is all about. Finding the new gear on the bike - and that is hard to do solo - which is what makes this workout great. With other strong riders you can push out of your comfort zone which is almost impossible to do solo. I know I saw a 188 more than once on the old HRM.
Running afterward, Jen, Derek and I did ~2 miles "easy" but I was a little harder than easy because my running still isn't what it should be. However, it is getting better. About 20 seconds/mile from two weeks ago after a hard ride.
63 days to the Chicago Triathlon TRIPLE (I'm racing all three races that weekend) and there may be just enough time to be "respectable" on the run.
Great workout! Let's do it again next Thursday.
PS: IF you are a cyclist or triathlete in Chicago and you aren't at this ride you are missing something special.
PPS: IF you are a roadie and wear your iPod on these intervals. Leave your iPod at home or unplug when you ride your bike with us. Riding in a group ride with an iPod is stupid. I gave you a mild "rough ride" about it but next week the entire group will get on you - I promise we'll isolate and humiliate you.