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re Motor Pacing(7 posts)

re Motor PacingveloB
Mar 30, 2002 6:29 PM
Seeking others opinion/experience on motor pacing as an adjunct to speed training.

Is it worth the time and effort? One must admit that there is also a degree of added risk (?).

Co-ordinating with a pacer can also be a problem. Fortunately, I can occasionally "bribe" my wife - she has become quite adept at doing so. I use a Windstar van, with the rear lid up. We use lightly traveled, slightly rolling rural roads. Actually, the van gives too much draft, so I move into the wind occasionally for some resistance. Mostly, I "sit-in" and spin a high cadence with heart rate in mid-range.

I would be interested in others use of motor pacing in training - eg any work-out routines, methods, comments, etc.

Thanks for your in-put.
I've always wondered about this training methodspeedisgood
Mar 30, 2002 9:20 PM
This ain't a flame on motorpacing, as I think it would be actually kinda thrilling, but I just can't justify it from a physiological perspective. It's almost as if it was a simulated group ride, but without the other riders.

In my mind, all you accomplish with motorpacing is eradicating wind resistance, which is the primary force opposing forward progress. When this happens, you shift up to a certain gear and you cruise for X minutes. You end up going, say, 32 MPH for 30 miles.

So you can ride faster with no wind resistane--but you also don't have to push as hard on the pedals. Let's assume that you ride at your lactate threshold at 32 MPH while drafting. Your average power output at LT is 300 watts and you maintain an average of 90 RPM, as measured by an SRM crank powermeter (on loan from a visiting Italian doctor between trials.)

Next week, your wife is unavailable and you ride on your own at LT. Again your power output is 300 watts @ 90 RPM on your SRM. But this time you only go 22 MPH, obviously a result of having to fight air resistance (even though it was a windless day in Cleveland. [Ed. note--Not likely.])

SO let's assume that, in order to adapt to imposed demands, all your body knows is how hard it's pushing on the pedals. It's pushing with the same power in either case, so then what's the benefit of motorpacing? Am I missing something?
re: re Motor Pacingg-money
Mar 30, 2002 9:49 PM
I'm pretty sure motor-pacing is used primarily for track racing. I've done some motor pacing on the track and you can get up some serious speed. We were doing it for fun so I don't know any specific routines. But our local Olympians do it alot. I think it's impractical on the real road unles you have a REALLY long private road or driveway...
Maybe this will helpS-U-B
Mar 30, 2002 10:03 PM
got this off of Lance's Website, it is chris Carmichael talking.

The best workout for race simulation is motorpacing. Motorpacing involves riding just behind a fast moving motorcycle over rolling-to-hilly terrain. Because of the hills and the changes in speed, Lance's heart rate will be bouncing above his lactate threshold and he will produce high power spikes followed by limited amount of recovery between the spikes of power. This training profile is similar in power and heart rate demands to what Lance would face during competition. Normally, I would not prescribe motorpacing at this time of the year for Lance, but because he missed some key competitions and he wants to be competitive enough in the spring classics to help his team mate George Hincapie, I have decided to add limited amounts motorpacing to his training program.

That makes sensespeedisgood
Mar 31, 2002 3:41 AM
I always thought of motorpacing as a flatland activity, for some unknown reason. Going up and down hills at speed would definitely put the hurt on, as along as you have a good driver.

All I gotta do now is find someone with a moped . . . and some rolling hills that won't kill me.
re: re Motor PacingMr Good
Apr 1, 2002 12:41 AM
There are many variations on motorpacing, including intentionally pulling out of the draft to try to sprint at speed, drifting back then trying to sprint back into the draft--a very hard workout. Also, motorpacing is traditionally done behind a moped or small motorcycle, which provides much less draft than a windstar van--drafting behind the two wheeled vehicle is more like drafting behind a line of bicycles, but at a much faster speed. And it is very beneficial, if not overdone. Imagine training with a pack of racers who regularly ride at 30-35 mph, let you sit on the back of the train, and they speed up or slow down according to your specific workout needs!

It's not easy, nor is it physiologically the same as riding without the benefit of the draft. If it were, then training alone would be just as effective as training in a group! But we all know that to get fast, you have to go fast...and motorpacing is fast (and a little dangerous).

Safety is of paramount importance, you need to trust your driver, and have some sort of signals worked out (if you can't hear one another yell). And it goes without saying: you need safe, open roads with little to no traffic--and hopefully understanding cops (some may think you're just playing stupid games, and an explanation about athletic training won't change their minds.)
What's the physiological advantage over low-gear spinning?retro
Apr 1, 2002 8:24 AM
Your body doesn't know if it's going 45mph in a 53-11 or 11mph in a 39-23--you've removed some resistance, so you have to ride faster for the same degree of conditioning. You can get the same kind of speed work by shifting down and pedalling at the same cadence. It might be exciting for awhile, but when you factor in the inconvenience, the chance of an accident and the cop factor, I just can't see any advantage to it.