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Old 11-28-08, 02:22 PM   #1
djnzlab1
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Arrghhh so close but still far

HI,
I ve only been ridding since July this year And I have come a long way, here's my story,
when I first started to ride I found that I was comfortable on a MTB bike and would average about 10-12 mph and would only go about 8 miles before I was totally toast.
The past couple of months I bought a used road bike and really have been picking up the pace.
I am currently stuck at 18.6 MPH when hit 20MPH or 21, I need to slow down within a mile or so or I sound like a steam engine.hehe and I am ridding betwen 23-34 miles a day. psps I am 58 years young.and a CD.
My legs feel like lead and I really feel winded. Now if I slow down for a couple miles to 18 MPH, I am fine and can kick up a little but not past the 19.2 for long or old mister fatigue whips me down.
How long does it take to build that engine, JEEZE..I can't tell you how much I like ridding bikes its my favorite exercise. I hate going to the gymn now for cross training.although I try to 2 times a week.
Is there a interval training you can do to help the speed, or best to take it slow and let it grow..
Thanks in advance you have helped me alot over the months.
Doug

psps The need for speed is due to the group I ride with most days there's a A , B, C, group I am now riding with the B group,
on off days they only have one group its mostly (A's) and I try to keep up but I am still a little to slow. they cruise above 20 for sure..

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Old 11-28-08, 02:45 PM   #2
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It sounds to me like you're doing fine.

If you are riding 23 or 24 miles a day - at any speed over a slow crawl - you're getting pretty fit.

Personally I find that if I'm sustaining speeds in the high teens for a long period of time I'm getting a pretty good workout.

Maybe the one thing I would recommend is making sure you're taking a complete day off the bike at least 1x a week, maybe 2 days off the bike each week if you're working really hard. Just go to the gym on those days and cross train.
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Old 11-28-08, 02:59 PM   #3
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To clarify--it sounds like your current goal is to ride faster?

Riding long distances at a challenging but sustainable speed is the best way I've found to get faster. Ideally, you should be quite tired at the end of a ride, but still ready to go again the very next day. At most you should need only one day a week off if you're doing this kind of riding. The human body is designed to work moderately hard every day. Your pace should steadily improve within a few weeks if you're doing it right.

Intervals and very vigorous riding is different. This is riding that leaves you very tired after relatively short distances. You might be too tired to ride more than every other day. Your fitness and endurance might improve dramatically with interval training, but you probably won't get much faster. The human body (especially over 50) is not designed to work at an all-out pace every day.
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Old 11-28-08, 03:11 PM   #4
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To clarify--it sounds like your current goal is to ride faster?
Good question, which I should have asked as well.

What are you unsatisfied with now and what are you trying to accomplish?
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Old 11-28-08, 03:39 PM   #5
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I don't see a problem here. I have been riding with a group since July as well and I am not averaging 18.6 MPH. I made a excell spread sheet to Journal my rides and my average is not far over 14.4 MPH. Yes there are days when we ride a pretty flat course and my average is up but my computer still doesn't read over 16.5 average. One or two long hills will drop a 22 MPH average like a rock for me. So is the average speed you are posting your computer average or do you divide mileage by time?
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Old 11-28-08, 03:50 PM   #6
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To clarify--it sounds like your current goal is to ride faster?

Riding long distances at a challenging but sustainable speed is the best way I've found to get faster. Ideally, you should be quite tired at the end of a ride, but still ready to go again the very next day. At most you should need only one day a week off if you're doing this kind of riding. The human body is designed to work moderately hard every day. Your pace should steadily improve within a few weeks if you're doing it right.

Intervals and very vigorous riding is different. This is riding that leaves you very tired after relatively short distances. You might be too tired to ride more than every other day. Your fitness and endurance might improve dramatically with interval training, but you probably won't get much faster. The human body (especially over 50) is not designed to work at an all-out pace every day.
Roody- I've ridden with some seventy year olds that would prove you wrong!
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Old 11-28-08, 04:36 PM   #7
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Sounds like you are trying to run instead of the Crawl you think you are doing.

Only riding for a few months and can only do 18.6mph?????? Don't know if you realise it but that is good. May not be for those of us that have been riding for years, are in A.1. condition and have trained for speed on the roads- but for the lenght of time you have been riding- it is not bad.

It takes a couple of years for most newbies to get to cycling fitness. That does not just mean having trained the legs and lungs- there is a lot more to bike fitness than that. But it does sound as though you could do with some better application of your riding.

So what type of terrain do you ride on? Hills or flat- and what is the weather like at present?

I ride hills and to be honest- If I could keep up 18mph on the flat- it would be a miracle. Those hills take a lot more out of me and I conserve energy just for them- so I do not worry about top speed or high averages. But I do want to climb those mile long 10 to 15% hills that occur on the rides.

My training---40 to 50 miles on a weekend ride or an organised ride in the Summer. Then two evening rides of about 20 miles. One of which takes in a couple of stiff hills and the other is over local flattish roads at a pace that is slightly higher than i would normally ride.

And I don't care how fast I go- As long as I can keep going.
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Old 11-28-08, 04:42 PM   #8
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The human body (especially over 50) is not designed to work at an all-out pace every day.

I guess you have never met Will Dehne of this forum. 28 days across the country, averaging over 100 miles per day, with one rest day. BTW, he is 66.
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Old 11-28-08, 05:00 PM   #9
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Let me clarify,if I can

HI,
Va Beach is pretty flat some slight grades, the problem we have here in the winter is wind that can blow pretty good in the winter months, it ranges from 15-20 mph some days and 10-15 on others. temps can be 28 to 45 this time of year not bad, but I wear a lot of gear now shoe covers wool < suspenders, goretex shirts and outer ski jacket thats very thin,socks, gloves and head hood, those tight pants with insert for padding I am rather large about 6'2'' at 248lbs, I was improving dramatically weekly when I first started to ride. I have lost some weight need to cut back alittle..
I have history of training in the NAVy when I was a LAd and worked out a lot with those Divers and learned to tolereate exercise fatigue and cold water stress. I have always pushed my self hard.
I guess I have hit a plateau for my age, and condition, I am improving, its just a little slow compared to when I was much younger.
My goal is to be able to average 20 MPH one day for aprox 21 miles.
So I can wait for a while but its my goal. I have a few good years left.
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Old 11-28-08, 05:43 PM   #10
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HI,
I have a few good years left.
Goals are great, but don't forget to enjoy the journey!
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Old 11-28-08, 05:52 PM   #11
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I think you're doing fine, and your only problem may be to want too much too soon. I am 58 as well, and my best average for a (fairly flat) century this year was only 19 mph. Plus, I've been riding for 40 years!

So I think you're doing quite well and should be very pleased with your progress. As others have suggested, enjoy the ride and don't set impossible goals for yourself. You'll have a great time!

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Old 11-28-08, 05:55 PM   #12
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Old 11-28-08, 05:57 PM   #13
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Thanks

HI,
Thanks ,
I remember when I was a runner and wanted that 6.min first mile on a 10k, hehe
Pretty hard to do unless your in really good shape.
I 'll take it a little easier for now I 'll check back next summer and see if I can keep up with those (A) rockets..
Doug
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Old 11-28-08, 06:54 PM   #14
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Roody- I've ridden with some seventy year olds that would prove you wrong!
I know, but when I said flat out, I meant intervals at near max HR. Not even a super-fit 20 year old pro athlete can sustain that kind of effort day after day with no rest. This is because the OP was wondering about doing Interval Training to get faster, which I don't think is a good way to go.
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Old 11-28-08, 07:00 PM   #15
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I don't see a problem here. I have been riding with a group since July as well and I am not averaging 18.6 MPH. I made a excell spread sheet to Journal my rides and my average is not far over 14.4 MPH. Yes there are days when we ride a pretty flat course and my average is up but my computer still doesn't read over 16.5 average. One or two long hills will drop a 22 MPH average like a rock for me. So is the average speed you are posting your computer average or do you divide mileage by time?
I had the same reaction--I would be happy with his current speeds, although I would not be happy with his distances. I also wouldn't be happy sounding like a "stean train." That makes me think that the OP is riding at a pace that's too fast or too strenuous. But I guess we each have our own desires and ambitions.
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Old 11-28-08, 07:03 PM   #16
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my weight in the navy

HI,
My weight when I was fit was 190, and I dropped a few when training with the Divers they go at it daily for about 3 hours,40 min hard calisthenics, and the a few mile in knee deep water few water pushups you cant breath unless you get back up and that double shirt was heavy when wet... with a swim do laps no breakfast or you would barf for sure. Then classes all day.. geeze you would be tired.
I usally drank 1/2 gal of gatoraide a day to keep from fainting in the heat, it was 80 deg at 6am,
I was only 30 then, and that was old by their standards.
Doug
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Old 11-28-08, 07:10 PM   #17
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HI,
My weight when I was fit was 190, and I dropped a few when training with the Divers they go at it daily for about 3 hours,40 min hard calisthenics, and the a few mile in knee deep water few water pushups you cant breath unless you get back up and that double shirt was heavy when wet... with a swim do laps no breakfast or you would barf for sure. Then classes all day.. geeze you would be tired.
I usally drank 1/2 gal of gatoraide a day to keep from fainting in the heat, it was 80 deg at 6am,
I was only 30 then, and that was old by their standards.
Doug
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Old 11-28-08, 07:10 PM   #18
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I guess you have never met Will Dehne of this forum. 28 days across the country, averaging over 100 miles per day, with one rest day. BTW, he is 66.
That's a wonderful accomplishment, and I did hear of it.

Evidently didn't explain myself very well, or else I expected people to get more from the context. I wrote, "The human body (especially over 50) is not designed to work at an all-out pace every day." The paragraph I wrote it in was about Interval Training. The human body--of any age--is not designed to do intervals every day. My own experience, along with every article and book that I've read, suggests that you should take at least one rest day or recovery day between interval days. Will Dehne's wonderful accomplishment was not "flat out" like an interval. If he took 8 hour days, he was averaging 12 mph.

I hope this clears it up and we can get back to discussing the OP's actual questions.
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Old 11-28-08, 07:13 PM   #19
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That's a wonderful accomplishment, and I did hear of it.

Evidently didn't explain myself very well, or else I expected people to get more from the context. I wrote, "The human body (especially over 50) is not designed to work at an all-out pace every day." The paragraph I wrote it in was about Interval Training. The human body--of any age--is not designed to do intervals every day. My own experience, along with every article and book that I've read, suggests that you should take at least one rest day or recovery day between interval days,

I hope this clears it up and we can get back to discussing the OP's actual questions.
Well, you know that any time "over 50" gets denigrated, you are going to get hit with responses.

After all, we are indestructible!
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Old 11-28-08, 07:13 PM   #20
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To the OP, who calibrated your bike computer?

I'd also suggest your are way overdoing the riding and need to rest more.
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Old 11-28-08, 08:08 PM   #21
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I had the same reaction--I would be happy with his current speeds, although I would not be happy with his distances. I also wouldn't be happy sounding like a "stean train." That makes me think that the OP is riding at a pace that's too fast or too strenuous. But I guess we each have our own desires and ambitions.
That was part of my point. Sure there are days were do 20 miles at 22-24 MPH till we hit a hill. But with that in mind on our rides we do about 35-45 miles every other day. That last 20-30 miles often kill my average. Running down town with stop lights kill my average. Running through neighborhoods with hard right and left turns kill my average. If the OP can average 18+ MPH with head winds he is doing just fine. But 20-24 MPH is hardly our A group. Our Curiser A group maybe but not the racing road group. Those guys will average closer to 27 and in a pace line pull 30. (I am guessing here because I can't keep up even on the flats.) I need my car to keep up. Of course they are young and weigh about 140 maybe 160. As far as working out, when I was in college we might work out every day but we only pushed max weights every other day. Someone reminded me of that early on when I got back into cycling and it has been a great help.
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Old 11-28-08, 08:14 PM   #22
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So, is this where we all start saying "the guys who I can't keep up with can kick the butts of the guys you can't keep up with"?
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Old 11-28-08, 08:24 PM   #23
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This thread, recently revived, is worth a read:

Reality check on average speed.

You should also contact, by PM, howsteepisit -- he says interval training is the only way to increase your speed, albeit without putting any thoughtful LSD training in (the lack of the latter which probably is why you won't ever sustain higher speeds because you haven't developed any decent stamina or endurance).

You should also invest in a heart rate monitor and read the instructions, and maybe get the book by Joe Friels about cycling for people past the age of 50.

Otherwise, I suspect that next season we'll start hearing about the injuries you've sustained, and your continued inability to get above 20mph average.
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Old 11-28-08, 08:44 PM   #24
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So, is this where we all start saying "the guys who I can't keep up with can kick the butts of the guys you can't keep up with"?
No, I guess it was just fresh in my mind after having a group of about 15 riders blow by me today. I don't even know who they were. They were club riders because they were all wearing the same color kit. It was a pace line and I was very impressed. I was running at a pretty steady 21 and they rolled by me like I had a flat. I guess I had a sudden change of mind as to what an "A" class rider was. Call it shock.
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Old 11-28-08, 08:57 PM   #25
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It's relatively easy to maintain a much higher speed in a paceline than when riding solo.

The idea of trying to compare with young A-graders is ridiculous. If you were trying to compare with Masters in your age group, then that might be something to strive for.
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