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How hard is it to improve?(10 posts)

How hard is it to improve?Jonas Gustafsson
Aug 12, 2002 4:03 PM
I am a 22 year old new rider that has probably done about 800 miles or so, so far this year. I have no problem riding a fairly hilly route that's about 30 miles averaging around 19 mph.

Now, how hard is it to ride the same route averaging say 22 mph? According to analyticcycling it takes about 321 W to ride at 19 mph ( ), but riding at 22 mph requires about 409 W (, which seems like a lot. Now, I realize that there are very many variables, but generally, assuming equal conditions, how hard have you had to train to achieve that kind of improvement?
Train more,think less.STEELYeyed
Aug 12, 2002 4:06 PM
I like to think that...Jonas Gustafsson
Aug 12, 2002 4:09 PM
... training and thinking are not mutually exclusive :).
I like to think that...STEELYeyed
Aug 12, 2002 4:25 PM
It depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want to race,find a training plan that you are comfortable with. And try not to overthink it,building your fittness really isn't as complicated as some people make it. Unless you are an engineer or a math major,...those people just love to take something really easy and make it hard!
Very hardfirstrax
Aug 12, 2002 4:10 PM
Just follow...Ahimsa
Aug 12, 2002 4:30 PM
....Fausto's three simple steps to improve your riding.

More MilesDragon33
Aug 12, 2002 4:40 PM
800 miles this year? That is only like 100 miles each month. If you are going to be even semi-serious you need to be doing a minimum of 100 miles a week. To be really serious you need 500+ miles a week. Just concentrate on miles, I know it's hard to find the time but you have to ride more to improve. In general I will tell you that if you are a reasonably fit 19yr old and you begin doing 100 miles a week, in a very short time you will see dramatic improvement.

Good luck!!
Try Interval TrainingKillerQuads
Aug 12, 2002 6:37 PM
It sounds like you have a good mileage base for a new rider. If you think you have reached a plateau, the next step might be interval training. Some cycling coaches say that uncoached riders like to ride at 85% which feels like a good workout and gets you tired, but is too slow to create improvement and too fast to enable recovery.

Riding for a best average time can be a trap since you hold back on the tough parts and do not allow recovery in the easy parts.

Highly regimented interval training can be a bore (i.e. timing your stress and rest intervals)

On your next ride, instead of going for best average time, attack the hills by shifting to a harder gear and climb out of the saddle to reach the top of the climb as fast as possible. You will build more muscle mass, use more muscle groups (such as your calves and gluts), and you will improve your acceleration and sprinting power. Allow your self time to recover after a strong climb by spinning an easy gear. Then attack the next hill.

This is the best way to drop other riders too. Someone can draft you forever on the flats, but a strong climber can drop average riders at will on the hills.

Since you are young, you could do this every day. As you get older you need more recovery time and you will need to alternate the interval days with longer endurance rides.

For strength building, I like to supplement my diet with carbs and protein. A good protein source is soy protein powder which has no fat. Whey protein is also a good protein source but it is a product of cheese making and contains fat.
Ride with CAT1s until you're 26 and you might be there.(nm)Quack
Aug 13, 2002 5:47 AM
Lots of mixed advice.Len J
Aug 13, 2002 6:33 AM
First of all, that is a good start.

If I were you I would do some or all of the following:

-Join a local club & begin doing some group rides with stronger riders.

-Buy "The Cyclist Training Bible" read it & use it to structure your training around your goals.

-Increase your base endurance miles. These are miles done in zone 2 (83% to 88% of LT) and should feel relativly easy. It is important to build a large base to prepare your body for harder (interval) efforts. The larger the Base, the higher the peak.

-Increase the time you are spending on the bike. If it is not a typo, 800 miles is not much for a serious rider. At a 19mph average, it is slightly more than 42 hours of riding in 7 1/2 months. I ride between 10 & 12 hours per week & have over 5,000 miles in already this year (Almost 3,000 of them are zone 2 miles). Do these increases rationally or you will overstress your body & risk injury. This is why the base miles are so important.

-Try to ride at least 3 times/week. If I remember correctly, there is a hugh gain when you go from 2x per week to 3x, a smaller gain going 3x to 4x and a negligible gain from 4x to anything more. Try also to have at least one long endurance ride per week.

Good Luck, sounds like you have some natural talent if you can ride a hilly 30 miler at 19MPH on as little base as you have.