Motor Pacing, ONLY FOR pros?

What do you think about motor pace?

I don’t know the science, but motorpacing in the big ring definitely does something to you.

I remember one year in the middle of my triathlon training season I did a big ring workout behind a moto on a long stretch of road at 40 mph. I was exhausted after the ride and kind of crawled home, but I will say that after about 4-5 days, I felt stronger on the bike.

In running terms, motorpacing is similar (for me) to doing strides before a workout. I think the neuromuscular recruitment you get from such a workout is huge.

My two cents,


@alfredoballoni, great topic!

I think it’s an extremely valuable training strategy when done safely, and if an amateur has access to it and has the skill to do it, I’d say that it doesn’t have to be only for the pros. As Dave said, there is that neuromuscular piece, and you’re also getting to focus on form, etc. while riding above race pace. I’m sure amateurs can likely gain some solid benefits from it, but I would just question their ability to do those other things well first - good training, good recovery, and good nutrition.

I recall when I started riding on the track. There was a learning curve to handling your bike in the group, pedaling at a different cadence, and adjusting speed differently, but once some of those big pieces were sorted out I was able to go back into a normal geared road group and feel much more comfortable than before. So with motor pacing, I’m sure a non-pro would have much the same feeling after some training sessions.


I agree with everything said so far.

I have motorpaced athletes a lot (not in a while mind you but did for about ten years). Location to my athletes is now the issue.

I have done it both on a scooter and a smaller motorcycle.

One type of training I used to do with athletes was, get to know how their face looks in a race, that face right before they pop. I would then motor pace them and take them to this place, watching them in the mirror, making sure they could still hold on. I would then stretch this time growing their confidence to feel this way. I think there is actually an old paper article in VeloNews somewhere I did with Joe Friel on this very topic!

In order to get athletes used to the motor, I would also motor pace the last hour of their longest ride each week. Then once they were used to moving in the draft, moving around the motorcycle, used to what it feels like to get out of the draft and fight back in, I would then start more specific work.

I often used the same stretch of road so the athlete could really gain confidence being behind me.

I did have a small roller wheel attached to my motorcycle in case they were to get close, so much safer.

I really think there are a lot of benefits to riding behind a motor, not to mention how much fun it is!

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When I was in CA, I had a coach how would motor pace us during race prep to help us get used to higher speeds. We would also do sprint drills at the end of the workout where he would ramp up the speed and you would have to come off his “wheel” and into the wind for the final sprint. I found it very helpful, but as has been said, the driver really needs to know what they are doing.


@ntnyln, yes that overspeed training is so valuable. It’s hard to replicate that on your own without the motor or a nice downhill grade to help you ramp up to speed before sprinting.