“I have heard in the corridors that motorpacing is a good method to get in shape faster. Is that true?”
Motorpacing is already an ancient method of simulating race riding and it is indeed still used. There are also riders who prepare for the competition by only cycling the powers you ride in a peloton and keeping a high cadence. The added value of motorpacing training sessions is an important factor that causes your fitness to be boosted. That factor is called kinetic or kinetic energy. The higher the speed and the lower the opposing forces such as gravity and air resistance, the higher the kinetic energy.
In practice, this means that you more easily maintain your speed during or after holding your legs still. While riding up an slidely ascending road or with a strong headwind, it is impossible to keep your legs still, as you are instantly slow down. As a result, you have to keep constant pressure on the pedals. Training behind a moped increases the speed. The great advantage of this high speed is that rest points can be created regularly.
Especially during high-intensity efforts, this is crucial. This is because the lactic acid in the blood can then be consumed again, reducing the acidification in the muscles. However, it is important that the pedaling frequency (cadans) is high. This is because at a high pedaling frequency, the power delivered is smaller and so is the input of fast muscle fibers that produce a lot of lactic acid.
But have no fear, riding at high speed facilitates maintaining a high cadence. As a result, fewer fast muscle fibers will be recruited and lactic acid formation will be lower. This combination (rest points with a high cadence) ensures that leg acidification is not a limiting factor and makes it easier to train at a high heart rate for long periods of time. In short: an excellent way of training to increase power at the turning point.
Tips for motorpacing trainingsessions
1) A motorpacing training session is not easy. The speed is high and in the busy Dutch traffic this can cause dangerous situations. Both the cyclist and the person driving the moped should be experienced in this part. In doing so, choose a quiet environment to complete the training sessions.
2) The exhaust fumes from a moped contain particulate matter. Not ideal for an athlete’s lungs. So make sure the moped has a proper exhaust to minimize the inhalation of particulate matter.
3) Train at a high intensity and in intervals. The goal is to increase power at your FTP. By training in intervals and recovering from them in between, you will be able to push the speed even higher.
4) Play with the motor. A motor is an ideal opponent since, provided there is enough fuel, it will always win from you. This allows you to simulate race situations.