Can motor pacing benefit your cycling training?

Can motor pacing benefit your cycling training?

On this edition of the Ask Coach Parry Cycling podcast we find out from our cycling coach Devlin Eyden about the practicality and safety of using a car as a training mechanism and what benefit can this have to the cyclist? Would it benefit everyone or just guys at the top end of the sport?

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David Katz:          Thanks for another fantastic question here on the Ask Coach Parry Cycling podcast, I’m Mr Active, David Katz, joined by Devlin Eyden, our resident cycling professional, or expert should I say, bases himself at the HPC in Pretoria, but his services are available.

Devlin, it sort of follows up on our last one, we were talking about electric bikes and I asked you if it could be used in the same way as a car is used as a training mechanism on the road, but looking at that, can a car be used as a training mechanism and what benefit can this have? Would it benefit everyone or just guys at the top end of the sport?

How cyclists will benefit from motor pacing

Devlin Eyden:      I think it would actually benefit everyone, as long as you know what you’re doing and how you are using the vehicles. What we term ‘motor pacing’ and again, it’s not just a car, you could use a scooter or a motorbike or any form. The idea of motor pacing is to be able to ride in a slipstream at an intensity.

Much as you would be riding in the bunch with a group of riders and staying in someone’s slipstream, using a vehicle, so being a car or a motorbike, you can tuck in nice and close behind that vehicle and stay out of the wind barrier and use that to keep a high intensity and keep pedal rate, so that without any interruptions of tiring too quickly for instance, with the wind, whether there’s a rider in front of you that might be swerving all over the show, missing obstacles, using motor pacing is brilliant in terms of being able to keep the intensity high without having the wind hitting you in the face, which is only going to make you fatigue a lot quicker.

Be confident in your bike skills if motor pacing

There are a couple of things to keep in mind though when you are motor pacing, is I would recommend knowing what you’re doing. I mean that in the sense of a skill point of view, because in order to gain the most benefit from it, you need to be riding really close to the vehicle in front of you.

For a car for instance, right on that cars bumper, so typically you’d want to have the driver to be able to be in communication with the cyclist, so that the cyclist can also dictate the pace and then making sure that the intensity and the road in front of you is clear so that when you are out on the road and you are going at a really high intensity and you’re trying to focus on your training points, there’s no obstacles up ahead. That’s why I say that communication is key, so that the driver of the vehicle can say: We need to move over, there’s something in the yellow lane.

One, from using it as a brake in terms of the wind, but in the same sense as well, that having a car with the emergency flashes on and sitting behind that, just helps with safety a little bit on the road as well, from other traffic around.

In terms of benefiting everyone, yes, I do think it is beneficial to everyone. Again, just making sure that you know why you are motor pacing at the same time. Making sure that it is fitting in with what your training program says, but as a training tool, brilliant, I think there’s definitely a huge place for it in a training program.

DK:         I’ve seen it out on the roads, I personally wouldn’t try it. I’ve done behind a truck up a hill going just the right speed for me, but I wouldn’t do it at any sort of crazy intensity.

Devlin, thanks very much for that answer and please do go rate us on iTunes. If you do do so, there’s a chance to win a lifetime membership to this site, so get on there now.

From myself Mr Active, David Katz and Devlin Eyden, we’ll catch up with you next time on the Ask Coach Parry Cycling podcast.

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