Winter training

Sunday Spin Schedule – Oct to Dec 2017

Please find below the details of the Sunday spin Schedule for racers Club to A1.

Please view the Sunday Spin Notes at the bottom of the page.

A1/A2/A3 – Senior Racing Group

Oct 22Currane Loop91k
Oct 29Leenane – Aile Dubh – Tourmakeady – Lally’s – Coilleach – Lankhill X – Westport99k
Nov 05Ballinrobe – Claremorris – Ballyglass – Castlebar GC – Ballyhean – Westport104k
Nov 12Newport – Keenagh – Lahardaun – Windy Gap – Castlebar – Newport – Westport109k
Nov 18 & 19Saturday: Skate Park to Clifden via Doolough – Inagh Valley – Cashel – Roundstone120k
Sunday: Clifden – Westport via Sky Road75k
Nov 26Sheefrey – Leenane – Aile Dubh – Lally’s – Coilleach – Liscarney – Westport115k
Dec 03Srah (2nd Turn) – Tourmakeady – Finny – Clockbrack – Cornamona – Leenane – Westport118k
Dec 10Ballinrobe – Claremorris – Ballyglass – Castlebar GC – Partry – Westport120k
Dec 17Currane Loop – Atlantic Loop Achill – Westport124k
Dec 24Ballinrobe – Cong – Clonbur – Maum – Leenane – Doolough – Louisburg – Westport132k
Dec 31Leenane – Tullycross – Letterfrack – Leenane – Ali Dubh – Srah – Westport136k



A4/Club – Intermediate Racing Group

Oct 22Aasleagh –  Doolough – Killeen – Louisburg – Westport76k
Oct 29Louisburg – Silver Strand – Killeen – Cregganbaun – Louisburg – Westport80k
Nov 05Newport – Kennagh – Glenisland – Newport – Westport87k
Nov 12Ballinrobe – Ballyglass – Castlebar GC – Ballintober – Killavalla – Westport88k
Nov 18 & 19Saturday: Skate Park to Clifden via Doolough & Sky Road Loop96k
Sunday: Clifden – Westport65k
Nov 26Louisburg – Killeen – Doolough – Aasleagh – Aughagower – Mace – Westport90k
Dec 03Srah – Maamtransa – Leenane – Westport90k
Dec 10Currane Loop91k
Dec 17Leenane – Aile Dubh – Tourmakeady – Lally’s – Coilleach – Lankhill X – Westport99k
Dec 24Ballinrobe – Claremorris – Ballyglass – Castlebar GC – Ballyhean – Westport104k
Dec 31Newport – Keenagh – Lahardaun – Windy Gap – Castlebar – Newport – Westport109k


Sunday Spin Notes:

  • These are suggested routes… weather conditions and wind direction may necessitate changes
  • Rear Mudguard & Light are mandatory (for safety and the comfort of your club-mates)
  • Have your bike in good working order with decent winter tyres… and bring spare tubes, tyres levers & a pump
  • Bring sufficient water and food for the duration… eat and drink early, little & often
  • Club spins leave the clock at 9am sharp… arrive early and have a chat!
  • Ride safely, calmly call and point out obstacles and don’t forget to always keep improving your bike skills… see 8 essential bike handling skills – and also ask questions of experienced riders, they are very willing to help
  • Groups of approx. 8-10 recommended (15 max – as we’ll split 16 into two groups of 8, so that everyone gets more benefit)
  • Early winter Sunday Club Spins are intended to be group endurance rides (base training)… done in zone 2 (to low zone 3) to improve aerobic endurance… so target approx. 70% Max Heart Rate average for the spin (or 80% of LTHR – see zone training explanations below) & let HR rise slowly on any long climbs, to a max of 85% MHR (95% of LTHR) – read: training in zones & cutting out junk miles
  • Go in a group that allows you to train in the correct zone & spend shorter times on the front if you find yourself above it. These spins are not races, do your higher intensity work during the week. Club spinning on Wednesday evenings is perfect for this!
  • As a result of the above points, there should be no need for any stopping to re-group… if someone punctures they should inform the group, one rider should stop with them to help and the rest of the group should ride on for 5mins before turning to come back for them.
  • Some short Neuromuscular Power efforts can be worked into the spin… i.e. one 10sec Big Gear Sprint from a standing start every 10mins of the 2nd hour, done by the last two riders dropping off the back of the group and catching back up without disrupting the group pace.
  • There may be 1 or 2 short (< 1km) ‘town sign’ sprints called during a spin (to Louisburg sign from Doolough side or Newport sign from Mulranny side are ideal as they are generally on the way home and safe), but racing back to Westport is not recommended. These are group spins, arrive home together!
  • Social coffee stop afterwards is very much encouraged.


Some Nice Background Reading!

Winter Training & Group Spin Considerations:


Heart Rate (and Power) Training Zones… there are many training zone models, here is an intro:


Power Meters are certainly not essential or even needed by most, but having a HR monitor & knowing your zones is recommended

ZoneName% Threshold HR% Max HRAverage PowerPerceived Exertion
1Active Recovery<68%

(of LTHR – Lactate Threshold Heart Rate)


(of Max Heart Rate)


(of FTP – Functional Threshold Power)


(out of 10)

Description“Easy spinning” i.e., very low level exercise, too low in and of itself to induce significant physiological adaptations. Minimal sensation of leg effort/fatigue. Requires no concentration to maintain pace, and continuous conversation possible. Typically used for active recovery after strenuous training days (or races), between interval efforts, or for socializing.
Description“All day” pace, or classic long slow distance (LSD) training. Sensation of leg effort/fatigue generally low, but may rise periodically to higher levels (e.g. when climbing). Concentration generally required to maintain effort only at highest end of range and/or during longer training sessions. Breathing is more regular than at level 1, but continuous conversation still possible. Frequent (daily) training sessions of moderate duration (e.g. 2hr) at level 2 possible but complete recovery from very long workouts may take more than 24hrs.
DescriptionTypical intensity of ‘spirited’ group ride, or briskly moving paceline. More frequent/greater sensation of leg effort/fatigue than at level 2. Requires concentration to maintain alone, especially at upper end of range, to prevent effort from falling back to level 2. Breathing deeper and more rhythmic than level 2, such that any conversation must be somewhat halting. Recovery from level 3 training sessions more difficult than after level 2 workouts, but consecutive days of level 3 training still possible if duration is not excessive.
4Lactate Threshold95-105% (may not be achieved during initial phases of effort)80-90%91-105%4-5
DescriptionJust below to just above TT effort, taking into account duration, current fitness, environmental conditions, etc. Essentially continuous sensation of moderate or even greater leg effort/fatigue. Continuous conversation difficult at best, due to depth/frequency of breathing. Effort sufficiently high that sustained exercise at this level is mentally very taxing – therefore typically performed in training as multiple ‘repeats’ or ‘blocks’ of 10-30 min duration. Consecutive days of training at level 4 possible, but such workouts generally only performed when sufficiently rested/recovered from prior training.
DescriptionTypical intensity of longer (3-8 min) intervals intended to increase VO2max. Strong to severe sensations of leg effort/fatigue, such that completion of more than 30-40 min total training time is difficult at best. Conversation not possible due to often ‘ragged’ breathing. Should generally be attempted only when adequately recovered from prior training – consecutive days of level 5 work not necessarily desirable even if possible. Note: At this level, the average HR may be due to slowness of heart rate response
6Anaerobic CapacityN/AN/A>121%>7
DescriptionShort (30s to 3 min), high intensity intervals designed to increase anaerobic capacity. Heart rate generally not useful as guide to intensity due to non-steady-state nature of effort. Severe sensation of leg effort/fatigue, and conversation impossible. Consecutive days of extended level 6 training usually not attempted.
DescriptionVery short, very high intensity efforts (e.g., jumps, standing starts, short sprints) that generally place greater stress on musculoskeletal rather than metabolic systems. Power useful as guide, but only in reference to prior similar efforts.
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