Usually the Saturday group ride is a bike race simulation for me, but last week I was just looking for a moderate training day, and I went with a different goal and strategy in mind.
How often do you tackle a normal ride in a different way? In the past I’ve recommended mixing things up and doing a new and different ride, but there’s another way to add some variety to your cycling life. In all the groups rides I’ve ever done regularly, all the regulars ride the same way, week in and week out.
If you’re a sprinter, odds are you play the game looking for a sprint. If you’re a climber, you probably relish dropping the hammer on the hills. It’s been said that doing the same thing, and expecting a different result is insanity. If you’re winning every race, then by all means, keep training the same way. Maybe the sprinters out there need to hammer themselves on the hills on Saturday to be able to make the break come race day. Maybe the climbers need to work on their sprint so when they get into a break, they don’t get last in the break.
Having the legs and lungs to win is one thing, having the perspicacity to win is another thing entirely. What do you learn by doing the same thing each week; playing the game the same way? What could you learn; what would you see if you tried it a different way? Maybe you get some insight that helps you play the game better when it matters.