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Riding Tempo(4 posts)

Riding Temposkip work to ride
Feb 24, 2002 6:48 PM
I would like to get some opinions of what it really means to ride tempo? Phiscally what are you looking for HR, Cadence, gearing, effort. For how long? I have heard that the pros do a lot of tempo work. Why? What are the benefits?

re: Riding TempoJames Curry
Feb 26, 2002 11:23 AM
It is my understanding that during a race, the work-horses of one team will get out front maybe two abreast and start picking up the pace of the peloton in order to discourage attacks. IE: it is harder for a break away to be successful when the pack is cruising along at 30 mph or even higher! Obviously, one man doesn't do this all alone. No, several teammates will swap the front.

Theoretically, if every team sends people up to the front, the peloton will never slow down, and that's how the Tour de France average was 25 mph.

This pace should be right at the brink of your lactate threshold, either right above it or right below it-so this means that you'll be cruising-

it is not a relaxed pace!!!

It is also not an interval. The cadence for Tempo riding should be very low-depending on what is low for you. Hincapie does his Tempo workouts at 65 rpm, and Lance at about 70 rpm. This is very low considering he intervals at like well over 100 rpm. Probably 110 rpm.

Two results are going to happen, one of which I can personally attest to:

A) The HR you will be pushing is just around the LT. By criss-crossing the LT (by say 5 beats) one can gradually (over say two months) push the LT higher, and maintain higher output for longer time. My Tempo HR was 156-163 at 20 mph in December. Now in the low 170's at about 25 mph. It's Almost March. The pro's are probably 30 mph when they ride Tempo.

B) Secondly, and I am not a doctor so I don't know the validity of this, but Lance's book says that the Tempo workouts are to be done IN THE SADDLE AT ALL TIMES, in order to 'bolster' connective tissue. I don't exactly know what tissue or where, but I'll take Carmichael's word for it.

At any rate-If everyone has to take turns up front pulling the pack, say for one hour cumulatively per race day, that would make Tempo riding a very high priority for most stage and road racers. Crits not so much because of the increases speeds. But the benefits of the increased LT are necessary. Every racer dores these workouts.Also, go out and try spinning in rolling hills. Most people won't last nearly as long spinning in rolling hills as they would should they choose a lower Tempo cadence.
re: Riding Tempoallervite
Feb 26, 2002 8:39 PM
". . .go out and try spinning in rolling hills. Most people won't last nearly as long spinning in rolling hills as they would should they choose a lower Tempo cadence."

This is rarely the case.

If your muscular endurance system is better developed than your aerobic system than you will be able to ride farther pushing big gears with a low cadence than spinning a smaller gear. However, you will not be much of a road racer.

Using oxygen as your primary energy source will get you a lot further up the hill than using your ATP system. In other words, when you spin, you are coserving your legs, but you are working your aerobic system harder. As long as you keep eating you can go very far. Shift into a higher gear and start working those leg muscles and you only have so long before you blow no matter how much you eat.

That is why your rider Lance goes up those long steep hills in the Tour at a cadence above 90 rpm.

It's great to train at lower cadences. I do it all the time. It is great for building strength. However, when racing, you have to be very judicious with those lower cadence power efforts. You gotta save those matches for the big fire.
re: Riding Temposkip work to ride
Feb 28, 2002 7:12 PM
Thanks James...This helps me get the feel of it.