MayDay! TT

MayDay TT (May 31st)



It’s been awesome to get to ride with most of you the past couple of weeks.  You’re all clearly still in decent shape despite the lack of team practices so I say, great job.  We want to have some fun this month and put together a practice time trial on the 31st.


Time trialing is a special discipline which takes numerous times to master.  A proper warm-up, effective pacing strategy and the mental strength to challenge you all come into play.  The results of time trials are often the determining factor of stage race results and bigger teams evaluate results of these races to gauge who is coming up through the ranks.


Our time trial will be on the West side of town using Sweetwater, Camino De Oeste and finishing atop Trail’s End.  The course has a little bit of everything with some false flats, rollers and a stinging finish.  Here is the course;


Again this is an opportunity to practice this tt without pressure of a real race.  We will of course continue to observe proper safe distancing measures, mask wearing and with start times widely spaced at 2 minute intervals.


To prepare all of you we will conduct some limited practice interval sessions on various climbs close to the clubhouse.  Gates, Trails End and A Mountain will be used and I’m sure you’re all familiar with those climbs.  Here’s how the next few weeks should look like in your training.


MayDay TT training plan


Sun May 10- 2.5 hours endurance

Mon May 11- 2.5 hours with 3×12 minute zone 2 (8 minute rest between reps)

Tues May 12- 2.5 hours with 3×10 minute zone 2 (10 minute rest between reps)

Wed May 13- 1.5 hours with 5×1:30 minute zone 5 (5 minute rest between reps)

Thurs May 14- Rest

Fri May 15- 2.5 hours with 4×8 minute zone 3 (12 minute rest between reps) Gates

Sat May 16-2 hours with 4×6 minute zone 3 (10 minute rest between reps)

Sun May 17- Rest

Mon May 18-2 hours with 4×10 minute zone 3 (10 minute rest between reps) Gates?

Tues May 19- 2.5 hours with 4×8 minute zone 3 (12 minute rest between reps)TrailE

Wed May 20-2 hours with 5×2 minute zone 5 (5 minute rest between reps)

Thu May 21- Rest

Fri May 22- 2 hours with 2×15 minute zone 4 (15 minute rest between reps) course

Sat May 23- 2 hours with 3×10 minute zone 4 (10 minute rest between reps)

Sun May 24- Rest

Mon May 25- 2.5 hours 2x TT course recon (30 minutes rest between reps) course

Tues May 26- 2 hours with 5×3 minute zone 5 (5 minutes rest between reps) A mtn

Wed May 27-2 hours easy

Thu May 28- Rest

Fri May 29-2 hours with 3x one minute openers

Sat  May 30- 1 hour easy




I hope some structure will be welcome for all of you after a lengthy time away from practices.  Sign up for both training sessions and the TT in the Genius!


Let’s get back into some structured training with a fun goal by months end.  As I mentioned, time trialing is an animal that is tough to tame, but with practice can be an effective weapon in many applications when you race.

One on one with Coach Gord

Private rides.


Team El Grupo and parents;


I really enjoyed meeting the team via Google Meet last week.  It’s clear that Covid-19 closures are affecting all of us to some degree.  During these unique times, I’ve been regularly riding outside and have noticed that ridership is on the rise with a majority of users wearing masks and exercising safe distancing.


Based on a number of conversations and discussion with Kate, our Executive Director and some of our parents, I would like to open up private one on one rides with team El Grupo riders with said measures in place.   If we all adhere to safety guidelines which are riding with a mask, in groups of two side-by-side with six feet in between (or one in front and one behind), we can do this safely.  I would like to invite each youth rider to a one-on-one practice as long as parents give permission.    Keep in mind, every family has their own concerns based on each family’s situation.  Ride times will start at 8am and 10am.  I have two ride options;




**Here is where to register using Sign Up Genius**


Again we will adhere to all measures to keep safe distancing.  It is completely optional. Please only reserve a spot if you have shown no signs of illness and have not been exposed to potential illness.  The ride goal is simple.  To get outside, and have coach Gord learn more about each individual in our favourite setting.  On the bike!



Team El Grupo Big Gear work

It’s been great to meet everyone albeit electronically the past few days. I think what’s clear is that everyone is missing their Team El Grupo friends both on and off the bike. We will try and get a meeting with everyone on the same call soon so that we can compare our covid-hair and get some much needed banter and camaraderie.

Most of you tried the VO2 max or zone 5 intervals last week and were unanimous that fitness levels were lower then race season. That’s ok and understandable. With no immediate goal events on the horizon and no group rides to show form and drop your friends there’s not much incentive to sharpen the form. It almost seems like an indefinite foundation period of training similar to the December or January months of an Arizona racer.

One of my favorite foundation period training methods was to use large gears on false flat roads or climbs. I always figured since I avoided the weight room in off season, that I needed something similar but specific to the cycling motion. I called it Big Gear work. At Carmichael Training Systems, we called it Muscle Tension and many coaches incorporate these workouts in early season foundation training. Here’s a great link describing the efforts;

The High-Force Climbing Workout You Should Be Doing Right Now

During my racing days I regularly climbed Lemmon using this method but as I’ve gotten older I have to use shallower gradients. I often climb up Helmet Peak during the post shootout ride back to town incorporating this technique. It’s fun to mix up the cadence rhythms from time to time.

At Team El Grupo age, I wouldn’t recommend a very long effort. Try doing 2-3 minutes at 60rpm up your favorite climb or into a headwind. Try to keep your upper body still and focus on good form through the pedal stroke. It’s not the speed that’s the goal but rather putting a little more strain on the muscles without tweaking any joints. Try for 10-15 total minutes at low cadence and see how they feel.

Lastly, I’m seeing and increase in cyclist wearing masks, even solo riders. I’ve tried it and both my homemade and professional masks hardly affect my breathing. I’m going to continue to use the mask while riding to help minimize risks. I strongly recommend all of you to do the same! When you are in your kit you are representing all of us at El Grupo and we are all working toward a healthy community.

Team El Grupo quarantine workout

Hey there Team El Grupo riders! I hope the pandemic doesn’t have you too bored and inactive. We are lucky to be in a part of the world that still allows outside activity, albeit with very smart distancing and safety practices. I sent out an email last week that possibly didn’t reach all of you…. Read more »