Maintaining higher average speeds?

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Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby Xplora » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:22 pm

Hi carbon team, wondering what would be the best strategy for maintaining higher speeds. I'm 73kgs at 6'1", not much horsepower in the legs even after riding 80-100kms a week commuting for 18 months.

I've found it is really hard to accelerate to 30+kph unless I'm in the drops and standing, but it's easier to stay close to this once I've gotten up to speed. I'm still ruined after sticking to this pace for a while though. Is this the strategy for most guys who want to spin at 35kph, or do you creep up to it, gradually increasing cadence?
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by BNA » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:03 pm

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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby Nobody » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:03 pm

Xplora wrote:Hi carbon team
I don't inflict myself with carbon if possible. :mrgreen:

Xplora wrote:...wondering what would be the best strategy for maintaining higher speeds. I'm 73kgs at 6'1", not much horsepower in the legs even after riding 80-100kms a week commuting for 18 months.
Practice producing power in an aerodynamic position, i.e. in the drops.
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Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:44 pm

Build a bigger engine... Get more aero.
80-100 km a week... Is that all you are doing?
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:51 am

If you want to accelerate quicker, you need to do jump starts in your training and interval training. :wink:

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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby ausrandoman » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:29 am

I asked a similar question a year or two ago. I tried high intensity interval training. It worked.
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby sogood » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:37 am

ausrandoman wrote:I asked a similar question a year or two ago. I tried high intensity interval training. It worked.

+1.

The fundamental would have to be a lack of a sufficiently powerful engine. 80-100km/week commuter miles isn't very much if you are expecting a higher level of performance. Many riders here would ride 80-100km on one single ride.

Try higher intensity interval.
Try to ride at a higher cadence - You can accelerate by grinding a high gear or spin seated in a lower gear.
Try endurance rides to develop your endurance as that's what'll allow you to ride into the sunset without getting exhausted.
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby rustychisel » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:16 am

As has been touched upon in other answers, cycling is an endurance sport. You need to build a base, of fitness, of strength, in order to be consistent in your output of power. Nothing is better than lots of long riding, built up gradually, but there are things you can do.

I use my commute as interval training on fixed gear, powering off from traffic intersections, getting up to speed as quickly as possible, maintaining good leg speed in traffic and (ahem) drafting buses and trucks sometimes.
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby Xplora » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:14 am

I should say I'm not racing, but trying to improve the speeds of the commute because there are very few lights and the overall commute will be quite a bit quicker if I can survive the hellride through Wentworthville, there are a couple of hills that I prefer to avoid on the way back. I need to be able to attack those hills HARD after being in saddle 40 minutes doing 35kph, 5 days a week.

I USED to do 80-100 a week commuting, that's now increasing to 120-220 a week (aiming for 220 but I can't physically handle it yet).

I've started putting the bike into 50/12 and pushing that for a kilometre at 80-90rpm on a high visibility PSP... should I be trying to do this a couple times?
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby sogood » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:05 pm

Xplora wrote:I've started putting the bike into 50/12 and pushing that for a kilometre at 80-90rpm on a high visibility PSP... should I be trying to do this a couple times?

You can try. But the strategy of sustained power isn't about pushing the highest gear but to push the most comfortable gear at a good cadence. I think you are better off trying to spin at 90-100 at a slightly lower gear.

BTW, with your 50/12 on 80-90rpm (700c wheel), you are travelling at 42-47.2km/h. Assuming on the flat, are you sure you can sustain that for a km or more? It's a bit of a mismatch with the rest of your description.
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Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:16 pm

Realize that if starting from scratch it can take couple of years to build yourself up. 30 km average on a ride is a good pace. 35 kmph average is a very good pace for a solo ride.
The best thing to do is ride more. Slowly build up your engine... Keep pushing yourself and your body will adapt as long as you fuel and rest it well. At the moment you don't need to over complicate things.
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby simonn » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:25 pm

Xplora wrote:aiming for 220 but I can't physically handle it yet


Yeah you can. Just do it. I went from ~80km/week commute to ~250km/week commute over night... well, with a handful of trial runs. Was hard for about 3-6 months, but you do not have to ride at a high intensity everyday. Just ride and you build up stamina (not necessarily speed though).

One thing is certain, you are not going to do it until you do.

And, your BMI is better than mine now, let alone when I started.
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby Xplora » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:04 pm

LOL Just DO IT HTFUPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP :lol:

I've actually gotten sick after doing 3 days in a row twice. Gotta pace myself, I probably don't eat enough but I've started trying to make sure I eat properly (getting meals in isn't necessary every time with my body), take some extra protein.

Re 50/12, I might be more awesome than I think, I dont' have a computer on this bike, but realistically, I'm probably a hack. I suspected that moving from 12-27 to 12-23 would be a good move to give me some more gears around that 50/16-19 sweet spot for pushing it on the flat. I do try and keep the cadence at 90-100rpm all the time, the legs are never jelly, but the body doesn't have the guns to push it the whole way. I'm thinking that all you legends are cranking out centuries somehow!
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby notwal » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:28 pm

If you don't have a bike computer you probably should get one.
If you're pushing a 50/12 on the flat at any reasonable cadence you will be going very fast but you say you aren't.
Its difficult to tell how you are developing without solid numbers.

If you are doing hard days you should follow them with easy days.
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby Xplora » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:32 pm

I've done a hard sprint for 1+km each day towards the end of the ride this week. Legs are hurting a bit, noticing my knees are not feeling quite as sore which is good, but the quads hate me LOL I think I need to chase some more power, just began rolling the hips to get some more power. Starting to see where the bike wobble comes from :lol:
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby sogood » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:41 pm

Xplora wrote:I've done a hard sprint for 1+km each day towards the end of the ride this week. Legs are hurting a bit...

Just a bit? And you call that hard? Try harder! :mrgreen:
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby ausrandoman » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:49 pm

Sometimes, after a high intensity interval training session, I wake up the next morning with sore quads. When that happens, I don't train that day. Overstress, rest until complete recovery, repeat ....

Sometimes, after endurance training, I find that I can't get my heart rate over 92% of maximum. When that happens, I turn around and ride home at an easy (70% of MHR) pace. Overstress, rest until complete recovery, repeat ....

When I was in my twenties, "rest until complete recovery" was usually overnight, 24 hours at worst. Now, it can be 2- 3 days :(
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby Xplora » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:36 pm

I think I know the problem finally - I'm not just not putting enough legs into the ride. I actually adopted a different posture on the bike today because my legs were tired in a particular spot (and years of drumming has taught me that results are the key, if you have to sit on the stool backwards to get the shredding beats out, you do it) and anyway, I've really felt some lactic acid in the legs. I did about 500m of the sprint in the top before I had to sit down, I think the lads in lifting call it failure. I was ready to give up altogether, if it wasn't for the last 4km til home :lol: cooled down in the pinky ring (little crankring) and maybe I'll survive the ride Monday :?:
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby foo on patrol » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:15 pm

You shouldn't be flogging yourself every day neither. :wink:

Different to how we trained back in my day. :roll: Just gotta love bio-mechanics science advances. :wink:

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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby ratter » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:07 pm

ausrandoman wrote:
Sometimes, after endurance training, I find that I can't get my heart rate over 92% of maximum. When that happens, I turn around and ride home at an easy (70% of MHR) pace. Overstress, rest until complete recovery, repeat ....




This has me intrigued, that seems to be where I'm at at present, I can't seem to get my heart rate above possibly high 80 %, as I just can't seem to exert any more where in the past I have seen my heart rate go high 90%, I have been riding the last few weeks with my wife and as she is slower than me I normally don't get much of a workout so have been working on getting my cadence up which at our road speed is keepng my heart rate in the low to mid 70%.
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby Xplora » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:29 pm

ratter wrote:
ausrandoman wrote:
Sometimes, after endurance training, I find that I can't get my heart rate over 92% of maximum. When that happens, I turn around and ride home at an easy (70% of MHR) pace. Overstress, rest until complete recovery, repeat ....




This has me intrigued, that seems to be where I'm at at present, I can't seem to get my heart rate above possibly high 80 %, as I just can't seem to exert any more where in the past I have seen my heart rate go high 90%, I have been riding the last few weeks with my wife and as she is slower than me I normally don't get much of a workout so have been working on getting my cadence up which at our road speed is keepng my heart rate in the low to mid 70%.

Heart is a muscle, it gets sore and tired as well? :?:
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Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby RonK » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:54 pm

Xplora wrote:I think I know the problem finally - I'm not just not putting enough legs into the ride.

That's probably right - and you are not putting much distance into your legs either. 100km per week is not a lot of training. It you want to see serious improvements in performance you need to be doing double or even triple that distance.
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby sogood » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:15 pm

Xplora wrote:Heart is a muscle, it gets sore and tired as well? :?:

False. Cardiac muscles don't fatigue. As long as you supply it with O2 and nutrients, it' work non-stop.
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby Xplora » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:01 pm

I have actually changed my seating position after the training runs since these posts, so clearly the extra muscle is starting to make a difference already. More HTFU sessions required - my cousin's mate is going to ride in with me a few days, I reckon there might be a bit of competition on the inbound ride to spur me on.
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby Xplora » Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:47 pm

Holy moly, how time flies... pulled out a 280km week over 6 days, pounding out 35kmh on the flats without drama. Actually managed sustained 45-50 on the tribars on the way to the ride this morning. I've had very significant improvement, despite the prang in late July, and I think a lot of the progress is simply coming from pushing big gears as much as possible, and regularly sprinting off from the stops. I definitely need some better recovery strategies though. I don't really have any :shock:
Sadly enough, belting myself home takes 49 minutes at best, and I spun home specifically trying to avoid big efforts but maintain speed and I still got home in 60 yesterday. Topped 45kmh as well. I'm doing something wrong here :lol:
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Re: Maintaining higher average speeds?

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:59 am

You sure you read your watch right? :?

How far was the distance and and how low a gear were you spinning? It's all relevant to the time but 11mins is a big difference it over a short distance. :wink:

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