AVG Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute

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TheDotProd
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AVG Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute

Postby TheDotProd » Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:25 am

Hi

A few months ago I got back into cycling and got my first road bike to handle an attempted fast commute.

I've been able to improve my average speed just by trying to ride my route as fast as I could and have now got my AVG speed to 22kmh.

I really want to get to 30kmh so I have more time with the family.

Watching some vids on GCN it seems interval training might be the way to go.
Currently I have my phone in my jersey pocket and are finding its alarms and announcements hard to hear over traffic and wind noise.
Would you recommend getting a cycling computers over a phone mount and eventually upgrading to a powermeter?

Or would I be better off saving up for a smart trainer and making use of its very specific structured workouts?

Or should I not worry and just keep trusting that I'll get faster over time as long as I out in hard efforts?

Thanks in advance :-)

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g-boaf
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Re: AVG Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute

Postby g-boaf » Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:52 am

TheDotProd wrote:Hi

A few months ago I got back into cycling and got my first road bike to handle an attempted fast commute.

I've been able to improve my average speed just by trying to ride my route as fast as I could and have now got my AVG speed to 22kmh.

I really want to get to 30kmh so I have more time with the family.

Watching some vids on GCN it seems interval training might be the way to go.
Currently I have my phone in my jersey pocket and are finding its alarms and announcements hard to hear over traffic and wind noise.
Would you recommend getting a cycling computers over a phone mount and eventually upgrading to a powermeter?

Or would I be better off saving up for a smart trainer and making use of its very specific structured workouts?

Or should I not worry and just keep trusting that I'll get faster over time as long as I out in hard efforts?

Thanks in advance :-)


Not a good idea to be treating the commute as a high speed ride - firstly.

Secondly, smart trainers are a great option. Something like a Tacx Neo or a Wahoo Kickr is a great option. You don't burn up tyres on rollers and if the weather is crap, you can do an indoor ride.

You'll get quicker over time just by riding more kms. Don't worry about the power meter on your bike. A Garmin is handy though.

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ValleyForge
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Re: AVG Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute

Postby ValleyForge » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:50 pm

TheDotProd wrote:
I really want to get to 30kmh so I have more time with the family.

I like this. Any time you will save will be taken up by time taking protein shakes and needing more coffee. And "nanna naps" :lol:
And upgrading your bike.

Beware - it's an incredibly slippery slope.
Ha ha ha! Cookies on dowels.

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trailgumby
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Re: AVG Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute

Postby trailgumby » Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:18 pm

Do high intensity interval training
Deep dish carbon wheels with bladed spokes
More aero bike position
Psuedoephedrine cold tablets
Caffeine
EPO
Lightweight bike (if your commute has hills)
Aero bike (if few/no hills)
Low rolling resistance tyres (eg Conti GP4000s II's)
Go early and beat the cagers
Skip the shower in the morning
Wear your lycra all day so you don't have to waste time changing back for the trip home
Buy an e-bike
Buy a recumbent
Buy a recumbent e-bike velomobile
Join a group ride and sit in the draft the whole way
Join a group ride and sit in the draft the whole way in your recumbent e-bike velomobile
Do o high intensity interval training then join a group ride and sit in the draft the whole way in your recumbent e-bike velomobile

Did I miss anything? :)

Oh, yes. Here's one. Forget all the above. Use the time to decompress so that when you get home to your family, you are more present and in the moment with them, and appreciate that you are setting an example for looking after your health because, after all is said and done, actions speak far louder than words.

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Thoglette
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Re: AVG Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute

Postby Thoglette » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:38 pm

TheDotProd wrote:Or should I not worry and just keep trusting that I'll get faster over time as long as I out in hard efforts?

This.

Do intervals in the last 5km if you feel like it (intervals do help pick up the pace).

Turn the bloody phone off and focus on riding. Both the traffic (sorry, it's real) and the zen bits.

Then when you get home you can be part of the family. (Did you turn that phone off yet?)

I know that's all a bit touchy-feely but arriving home in a good mood is the whole point (on occasion when I drove the better half sent me back out the door to "adjust my attitude". Flipside is a euphoric entry is interpreted as a sign that a near-death MM experience has been had)
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

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bychosis
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Re: AVG Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute

Postby bychosis » Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:05 pm

Maybe Pick some parts of your route that line up with your intervals and go hard for those sections then back off between them, maybe use hills. Give your self some not so hard days for recovery.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

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Derny Driver
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Re: AVG Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute

Postby Derny Driver » Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:07 pm

I probably sound like a broken record, said this so may times on here. I tried to find another thread to cut and paste but I cant find it. So here is the usual spiel ...
Average speed is not a measure of fitness.
No-one cares whether you do 22 or 32 kph.
If you ride hard every time you sit your bum on the bike, you will actually get worse, slower.

If you want to know how to improve your bike riding, how to improve your fitness, then you are barking up the wrong tree with what you have posted. Read what the guys above have said.
Variety is the key. Some slow easy rides, some short fast intervals, a variety of terrain ...hills, flats, a variety of distances and speeds eg 70km at 20kph or 200 metres at 60kph. Riding the same course at the same speed (flat out) is the exact opposite of what you should be doing.
No gadgets required. Forget that $hit and concentrate on your technique, cadence, position.

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nickobec
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Re: AVG Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute

Postby nickobec » Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:47 pm

I have being commuting 40km (one way) for more than a dozen years, so from my experience:

If you just want to go faster buy an ebike

If you want to improve your fitness and cycling speed, just commute regularly and over the first two years or so, your fitness will improve and so will your speed.

After that time or if you want to improve faster: interval training.

And depending on your route, it is possible to interval train on your commute. I am lucky my commute is 6km to bike path, 31km of bike path (first 17.5km is great for training and last 5km not bad either) and 3km of CBD commuting (cool down). But you need to breakdown your route or routes, to what is the safest and best for you. When can you afford to ride hard and not worry about traffic and when do need to be aware of other traffic.

I admit I like gadgets and have owned a power meter for 8 years, as at the time I did not believe I could train on heart rate because of my medication. Even though most my training is done using power and heart rate, you do not need it, if you understand how your body works, heart rate alone is fine. For example, last 5km of bike path, my interval training is hit a certain speed, watch my heart rise and hold at a certain level and know my power is in a certain range. Because I have ridden that route often and know my body I could do that interval at that level by speed, heart rate, power or perceived effort.

My advices is all you need to start training is heart rate, so either phone, with mount and bluetooth heart rate strap or GPS bike computer and heart rate strap.

Then start reading up on heart rate, zones and interval training.

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marty_one
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Re: AVG Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute

Postby marty_one » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:01 pm

Just to give some perspective. My experience with my 30km commute to work.

When I first started riding to work, I was averaging roughly 25km/h which included some hills (im doing the most direct and safest route for me). Even though I was doing it roughly 1-2 times a week with a slightly longer weekend ride my pace only marginally improved.

5 years later riding between 3-5 times a week to work with a weekend ride, my average speed only got up to around 27km/h.

1 year after that did I hit 30.5 km/h average speed over 30km (same route). That was F#(AT)%ing hard, my ride time on that ride was 58 minutes (not including stopped time). This was all without the addition of trainer specific work. Had I actually trained for it I might have gotten there a couple of years sooner. But it will still take a lot of riding to really get your pace up.

If you can ride comfortably at 35 km/h or more along the stretches where you don't have to slow or stop then you have a good chance of hitting that pace. If your commute has you stopping at lights every 2-7km you might find it very difficult to up your pace and drop the ride time.
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Derny Driver
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Re: AVG Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute

Postby Derny Driver » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:39 pm

marty_one wrote:...When I first started riding to work, I was averaging roughly 25km/h which included some hills (im doing the most direct and safest route for me). Even though I was doing it roughly 1-2 times a week with a slightly longer weekend ride my pace only marginally improved.

5 years later riding between 3-5 times a week to work with a weekend ride, my average speed only got up to around 27km/h.

1 year after that did I hit 30.5 km/h average speed over 30km (same route). That was F#(AT)%ing hard, my ride time on that ride was 58 minutes (not including stopped time). This was all without the addition of trainer specific work. Had I actually trained for it I might have gotten there a couple of years sooner. But it will still take a lot of riding to really get your pace up..

Good post marty, illustrates my point I think.
I used to train with a mate who liked to ride fairly hard at 30-32kph for our 50km local loop. I used to train at 26-28 kph which was a speed comfortable for me. After riding at my mates uncomfortable pace with him half wheeling me for the first 5 or 10 km, I used to just let him go. Why go riding with a mate when you are just trying to race the person the whole way?
So I would let him "win" the training ride each time. Except at club racing where I raced A grade at average speeds of 42-48kph with bursts up to 55-60, and he used to ride C grade at speeds of 30-32kph. If they went faster than that he got dropped.
So you see training ride / commute speeds mean diddly squat. You could be riding at 100% effort to do 33kph on the flat, while my son at age 16 could average that over 120km with 3000 metres of climbs included.
Speed in and of itself is meaningless.

I understand the interest in looking at average speeds of each ride you do. I used to do the same before I started racing. I was pretty happy to hit a 32kph average for my little 30km training ride I used to do 3 times a week. Then I started racing and got my arse handed to me week after week in C grade and realised that I was training all wrong. I started training like a cyclist after that. I stopped the silly little races with every other bloke who passed me out on the road, stopped looking at the bike computer, started doing things differently. I went from C grade to winning A grade in about a 3 year period.

People can ride a bike however they like. My mate who used to race me in training still rides the same way 15 years later, has given up trying to race competitively, and is happy doing his 30kph rides with mates. Good luck to him. If you want to race your buddies to the coffee shop or just commute to work and enjoy the fresh air, fantastic. If you want to actually be a fast and powerful bike rider, well thats a completely different thing.

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Re: AVG Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute

Postby uart » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:13 pm

TheDotProd wrote:Hi
A few months ago I got back into cycling and got my first road bike to handle an attempted fast commute.
I've been able to improve my average speed just by trying to ride my route as fast as I could and have now got my AVG speed to 22kmh.

I really want to get to 30kmh so I have more time with the family.


How long is your commute DotProd?

If the commute is not overly long then it's pretty difficult to shave off that much time by increasing your average speed. A 3 km/hr increase in average speed will only net you about 6 minutes on a 20k commute. It might take you that long just to get your breath back and recover after the ride.

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DavidS
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Re: AVG Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute

Postby DavidS » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:54 pm

I watch my average speed on my commute (just use a simple cycle computer: Cateye wireless).

When I first started riding to work on an old Repco Mountain Bike (no suspension) I averaged 20kph.

Started riding more and bought a Giant Flat Bar, average up to 22kph.

Now have 2 bikes: Cannondale Flat Bar and an Alegro steel framed touring bike. Also riding further, now over 10,000KMs a year up from about 6,000. But the real difference is that I lost weight, probably 20Kg. Average speed now is about 25kph.

The weight loss was from eating less not riding more too, eating less makes a big difference, exercise less so.

To be honest, 25KMh seems enough for me. I go fairly hard but not too hard. What does have a really big impact is the route you take. I ride 47 or 51 KMs a day depending on where I work as I have 2 sites I work at, one site means going through the CBD, the other doesn't. Makes a big difference. Starting and stopping kills your average speed and I ride a fair bit on the road. With the number of intersections on my commute I have to cruise at 30KMh most of the time to average 25.

I suppose giving up the fags would help too :P

DS
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RobertL
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Re: AVG Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute

Postby RobertL » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:57 am

I have a couple of different bikes I use on my commute. I average somewhere around 20-24 km/h. My road bike is a couple of km/h faster than my flatbar + panniers. Having a headwind or tailwind also makes a big difference. My ride home is a bit hillier than my ride in.

My commute is only about 10km. It is the shortest ride that I regularly do, and by far the slowest. My route is a bit stop-start, and has some bits of shared path where it would be antisocial to really push the pace.

I really don't care about the time it takes or the speed I go.
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g-boaf
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Re: AVG Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute

Postby g-boaf » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:22 am

uart wrote:
TheDotProd wrote:Hi
A few months ago I got back into cycling and got my first road bike to handle an attempted fast commute.
I've been able to improve my average speed just by trying to ride my route as fast as I could and have now got my AVG speed to 22kmh.

I really want to get to 30kmh so I have more time with the family.


How long is your commute DotProd?

If the commute is not overly long then it's pretty difficult to shave off that much time by increasing your average speed. A 3 km/hr increase in average speed will only net you about 6 minutes on a 20k commute. It might take you that long just to get your breath back and recover after the ride.


Title says "AVR Speed improvement strategy for 30km commute".

So quite a decent commute ride. The real tricks on commutes to average speed improvement is avoiding slow downs and hold ups. Avoid pedestrian heavy areas, getting a sequence of green traffic lights, etc. That can make a massive difference. I have to ride past a couple of railway stations on my commute. In those areas I ride on the road. That avoids the risky shared pathway areas with pedestrians wandering all over the place. And I do about the same speed as the cars through there anyway.

There are various training things that can be done too, but I'm not going to go down that path because it isn't necessary. Just more riding consistently will help.

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