Distance/speed for newbie (unfit)

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Distance/speed for newbie (unfit)

Postby PeteV » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:51 am

Ive been on here for a while in the fixed gear section but have just gotten into longer riding. On the fg I was pulling no more than 10km rides. In the last two weeks on a geared bike I'm doing 20km rides 3 times a week plus a 50km ride once a week. Compared to what some members on here ride it doesn't seem a lot. I average around 22kmph and try to keep my cadence between 80-100. I know I am pretty unfit at the moment and have a fair bit of weight to lose. What kind of improvements should I be aiming for? As in what kind of kmph improvement should I aim for on a monthly basis. As my kmph improves I will compensate by pulling longer rides.

Cheers for any advice


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Re: Distance/speed for newbie (unfit)

Postby gururug » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:00 am

At that stage, just riding regularly and enjoying it is an achievement. Focusing on the numbers too much can do more harm than good.

Having said that....some options are;

1) Ride with others ( beginners bunch ) one in a while - Not my cup of tea but good motivation and learning
2a) Burst intervals - 1 Ride a week, instead of maintaining a pace, deliberately go slower than really fast for short distances ( warm up well first )
2b) Hills are good - An alternative to bursts is to go find some rolling hills or gradual larger hills and stress your cardio once a week.

Just keep it fun and regular then go back to the numbers in a month or two.

On speed, your weight and position on the bike will have a tenfold benefit to the amount of km's you do. Pushing yourself too hard now would be like hitching a 3 tonne trailer to a barina and driving up a large mountain. These things will improve over time just by riding regularly...

The most important thing is to mix it up a little so your body doesn't plateau and get used to a single type of training. You seem to be doing this already though so your doing well :D

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Re: Distance/speed for newbie (unfit)

Postby RonK » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:07 am

PeteV wrote:As my kmph improves I will compensate by pulling longer rides.

You have it arse-about. Increase your distance and your speed will increase itself...
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Re: Distance/speed for newbie (unfit)

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:52 am

Don't get to hung up on all the go fast hype. Just move your distance up 5-10Klm every month for your daily rides and 20-30Klms for your longer rides. :idea:

After 6mths of this you can start doing interval training and worry about increasing your speed. For what it's worth, after 3wks of riding over Christmas, my average speed over the
same course increased by 1.5Kmh, so this may give you something to go by. :) (Rome wasn't built in a day. Steady and consistent is the way to go) :wink:

I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Goal 6000km

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Re: Distance/speed for newbie (unfit)

Postby PeteV » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:13 pm

Cheers guys, makes a lot of sense. I guess just reading everyone's numbers made me think I should focus on that. I work nightshift & on my weekends I am usually awake at stupidly early times so riding has been a great alternative to infomercials! Never thought I could've ridden 20km let alone 50, so my aim is to pump out a 150km ride on my 40th bday in June!

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Re: Distance/speed for newbie (unfit)

Postby brett.hooker » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:35 pm

When I came back to cycling about 16 months ago, my average speed was about 14kph over a 27km ride, and I wouldn't be able to walk properly for days afterwards... That took about three months to break through...
Then for the next six months I could barely get about 20kph average... But I just plugged away at my cadence and general fitness and slowly, slowly it is improving... This week I did two 100km rides (tues night and thurs night) on flat roads at 25 kph average. I also commuted (short) every day...
For me it's a lifestyle choice, and I might never reach the speeds that the fit and light people reach, but I love my rides and that works for me...
Loving my Merida's and working towards adding a Pinarello to the stable... Go go go...

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Re: Distance/speed for newbie (unfit)

Postby brentono » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:40 pm

A fit rider should be able to do between 50-80 Km regularly on a fixed bike.
Keep your gears in the low range, 67-74" and after a while you will find your
cadence improving, and your fitness and overall riding strength will be better.
Sad that it is not part of modern training methods, for cyclists, as it forms
the base, and foundation of many great Australian riders, from last century.
Don't worry about your speed, as stated.
Just my 2c.
Lone Rider- I rode on the long, dark road... before I danced under the lights.

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Re: Distance/speed for newbie (unfit)

Postby Xplora » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:01 pm

If you're able to access a heart rate monitor, that will be a better test of how hard you are pushing. No point going 25kmh if you can handle 35, and no point killing yourself trying to do 25 if you can only handle 20.

Just spin fast, try to focus on using your lungs to pedal instead of your legs. Your lungs will adapt much quicker than the legs will. You'll be smashing out the kms in no time... and RonK is right - you have to do plenty of kms to get there.

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Re: Distance/speed for newbie (unfit)

Postby sb944 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:11 pm

I do about 200kms per week on average, over 6 months of riding. 110 is fine in my opinion, maybe try to push it to at least 150km a week and you'll be doing very well compared with most, and should lose a tonne of weight.

I could do about 22km/h when I moved from single speed to a road bike. Each month = 2km/h faster for me since then, now at 30km/h if I push myself on the exact same ride. On my favourite uphill segment, which was just under 2 minutes, I've improve about 23 seconds in the same time. I've improved more on the average speed than the uphill segment, so obviously strength is only part of it, the confidence to go faster around intersections and downhill have also been huge gains for me.

Join strava in my opinion. You can try for short uphill segments some days, longer segments other days, and still have your average speed benchmark too. It helps keep up motivation, plus gives you the mix of trying to better your own times, while seeing how quick others can do it. I also find it handy for finding new rides to take.

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