The weekend long ride with a group of friends is a key workout for many athletes looking to race longer distances. In most cases the rides have one main goal which is to do over distance training
with some tempo sections or significant accelerations up the hills. Over the years I have learned to add some variety to keep them challenging but not to turn these rides into a “slug fest time trial”. Consider adding some of these t your next long rides.
1. Signs – The sign game should begin about a third of the way into the ride so everyone is warmed up and the key is to sprint to specific signs. For example, a Township, County, or State Road sign that is along your route. Define the specific signs before hand but it’s up to each individual to spot the sign in the distance and then begin the sprint.
2. Road Kill Sprint/Jumping – This involves looking for road kill in the distance ( the road in the lane your riding – be safe!) which in my area could consist of dead raccoon, deer, groundhogs, opossums, etc. and the goal is to have everyone sprint to the road kill and the leader must successfully jump over the road kill. No scraping the back wheel on the animal allowed and focus on being safe for the jump over the road kill!
3. Big Chain Ring Climbs – These consist of several long gradual or short steep climbs preferably during the second half of the climb when the legs are getting tired. The goal is to have everyone shift into the big chain ring and climb the hill. The main focus is just to get to the top no matter how long it takes to crest the hill.
4. Big Chain Ring total rides – These rides are best when all the riders are have plenty of miles of training during the season. It’s a difficult workout and if your legs are not strong there will be plenty of suffering. Pretty easy concept, everyone in the group shifts to the big chain ring and are not allowed to be in the small ring for any part of the ride. The climbing can be very tough!
5. Hill Climbs – Pretty basic, it’s a sprint for everyone to see who can climb the hill the fastest. There is one twist to make it fun and embarrassing. The winner of every climb is required to circle back down the hill and laugh at everyone suffering to the top and will receive the added benefit of another hill climb.
Enjoy and Have Fun!
By Wayne Kurtz
Wayne Kurtz is founder of RaceTwitch.com and Endurance Racing Report, he has a lifelong passion for racing in various endurance sport races throughout the world. He is also the author of: ‘Beyond the Iron, a training guide for ultra-distance triathlons.’