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Riding and Improvement(6 posts)

Riding and ImprovementAztecs
Jun 26, 2002 12:49 PM
Started cycling last year. About 2-4 times a week for 45-60 minutes. Have increased mileage to 80-95 miles a week. I decided to ride an hour before work during the week (Rest day on Monday + a recovery ride), a longer ride on Saturday and MTB on Sunday. On the 15 mile loop (mostly rolling hills with a few short steep climbs) that I do during the week my average speed has increased from 15.4 to 17.4 in a three week span (while my average heart rate has gone down a bit). I know that I will not continue to progress at this rate, but what is a reasonable goal to strive for (speed wise) by the end of the season? Reply with any other goals that I should set. Since I don't ride with other riders it is hard to guage how well I am doing.

re: Riding and ImprovementRode Warrior
Jun 26, 2002 1:58 PM
I have done much the same as you. I started commuting after spending very little time on a bike. My average speed for my commute is around 20mph now, and I am working on adding distance and hills to my rides to increase my endurance and power. By doing this I noticed an increase in my speed also, so I hope that I can keep getting better, and do some local races next summer. Let us know how you are doing, and I don't think that 20mph is at all out of reach. You can do it.

re: Riding and Improvementwulf
Jun 26, 2002 3:48 PM
Started road-riding a few months ago after a long hiatus from mtbing (3+ years). On a pretty flat course, I started out averaging about 17 mph over 16 miles or so. But, with 3-4 rides during the week of 20-35 miles, I've bumped that up to over 20mph for distances of up to 35 miles now.

The most recent additions to my regimen, though, are a LONG ride on the weekend (shooting for somewhere between 40-55 weekly depending on mountains/flat stuff), and a weekly personal TT. I've only done this TT piece once so far (yesterday), but I think I'm really going to like it. I go 16 miles all out as I can go, as a baseline for each week. Along with adding intervals one day a week (which I start tomorrow morning - pray for me), I'm hoping these long ride miles will do me well, and be evidenced in the ratcheting up of my "personal" TT avg. speed each week. It'll be fun either way, because going fast is always fun...

Like I said, I'm new, so I'm poking around for ways to get faster and still have fun, and this is my latest incarnation....

Good luck - I would shoot for 20+, and I'll bet you have to revise that goal UP before you know it...

- Wulf
re: Riding and ImprovementBreakfast
Jun 26, 2002 9:18 PM
While riding will increase your fitness and generally increase your average speed, unless you train the various physiological systems by stressing them independently you will not improve that much and your fitness will match your average ride and not give you the abilities needed to go fast, climb hills fast, or sprint fast, or go long distances fast.

To do this, and become fast you need to develop leg speed, or cadence, strength, or muscle force on the pedals, and speed by maintaining leg speed or cadence as you push progressively bigger

You need to spin, sprint, train at aerobic threshold, recover, do intervals, climb, turn big gears at low cadence, and do various other drills.

So, basically, on your rides, warm up and then do two or three different drills per ride. Two repetitions of a all out sprint, let's say, followed by three intervals at a race or time trial pace with a rest interval between each hard effort. Then spin at 100-110 rpm in an easy gear for a few miles.

Read some books by authors like Joe Friel, Lance Armstrong, John Forester, and others.

Many of the club riders in my area do nothing but ride, they never do anything different, never sprint their heart out, do intervals, race, or change their standard pedal force/cadence regimen. They talk only in terms of how many miles they log, rather than hours of training, or recovery rides. Of course, they don't improve much and often complain of being tired from the long ride they did on a Saturday.
Well said, I totally agree... nmrwbadley
Jun 27, 2002 5:08 AM
re: Thanks for all the input! (nm)Aztecs
Jun 27, 2002 2:38 AM