I know there’s been a few topics on this before, I also remember of the patches actually saying something along the lines of “fixed speed in group workouts to be more realistic” a little after the group workouts were introduced.
Either way: today I did my second group workout in 3 days and I couldn’t get over the slowness of the ride… it’s not the final distance per sé that interests me but just the pace at which the scenery passes by I guess.
The problem today was that I dropped my chain at the first big interval and it took me a while to get it back up. By this point the group was of course gone and I got left behind. I started pedaling again hoping there would be a sort of catch-up mechanism in place. There isn’t…
So instead of doing a group workout I ended up doing the rest of the workout with 2 other random people that got dropped for unknown reasons. Most annoyingly of all, 1 those 2 companions absolute power was about 60% of what I was putting out. As I result not only were we rubbing banding for almost a full hour, almost making me sea-sick from the constant forward/backwards motion. We were also going less then 20kph on a flat piece of road while putting out well over 250W…
Tbh, the entire expierence was very demotivational: have all the negatives of the group workout mechanics: ridicously slow speeds while going well into “the red”. Without any of the benefits (having the feeling that other people are suffering along with you and some chatter between the intervals).
Now I understand that distance or speed isn’t the number one concern when training and that the idea behind the group workouts is that they are designed to keep the group together, thus forcing everyone to ride at the pace of the slowest rider in the group. However: surely there must be another way to do this without riding under 20kph which, let’s be honest, is a speed you’re riding at outdoors doing less then 100W’s… a sort of correction, slowing the fastest riders, makes sense but as it is now it’s overkill.
Either way there has to be some way to fix at least part of this issue: and I’m mostly thinking about dropped riders here. In my opinion you should change the mechanics so that every rider that gets dropped from the group for whatever reason (mechanical issues, ANT+ signal drops, having to take a break for the door bell…) gets cut loose from the rubber band of the main group and just does the rest of the workout at it’s own pace until he/she gets back into the group at which point he/she gets in the rubber band again.
All in all I find the above details game breaking when it comes to group workouts. Taking everything into account the only real benefit that group workouts have over regular workouts is the social aspect of the rides. Everything else (slow speed, weird wobly rubber banding, fixed starting times…) creates inconviences solo workouts do not have. I did enjoy the group workout on tuesday, I really disliked the one I did today… i’ll be trying to complete the 3rd and last of the training camp group workouts this weekend. If my expierence is anything like it has been today I’ll be steering clear of group workouts in the future, which is in fact a shame considering at it’s core the concept is great, just the execution is very flawed as it is.