Specificity, periodization, power meters - training for competitive cycling has changed a lot over the last few years.
I am wondering about the effects of the movement towards training alone on the group dynamics of cycling teams, specifically local or regional amateur teams.
I've been lucky to have grown up around cycling and a few cycling teams. As I recall, training used to be focused on frequently riding together not only for getting in the hours and miles in on the bike but for practicing pacelining and tactics. Now, more and more people are training using power meters and following very specific workouts that are built around their idiosyncratic FTP and power levels. This level of specificity makes it difficult to coordinate group rides that are relevant to the highly specified training plan. For example, if my coach tells me to go out and do two 20 minute intervals in the Tempo Power level across a two hour ride with some 3 minute VM intervals, unless I have a riding buddy whose Tempo and VM levels are really close to mine we really can't ride together effectively.
So I'm curious how, or if, others are dealing with this as well? How has the cycling team, as a social construct, had to adapt to advances in training method and technique? Does anyone have any tips on how to build and maintain comradery and team-unity while also allowing folks the flexibility to train according to their own plan?