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Old 05-21-13, 08:07 AM   #1
SurlyLaika
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What (kindle) book to learn about how to ride better as a non-racer?

I'm looking for a book that will help me improve my cycling technique. I consider myself a commuter/touring/recreational cyclist, but most books out there seem to be geared towards people who wish they could be professional racers. I don't care about that stuff. I just want to be able to ride farther, faster without getting so tired. I've been riding as an adult for three years. I can do distances of up to 80 miles, maintaining an average speed of only about 12 or 13mph. I just want to ride better and I think at this point, I've plateaued. Any ideas?

Here are two examples of books that don't seem suited to the kind of riding I do.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=507846

http://www.amazon.com/The-Cyclists-T...m_sbs_kstore_2
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Old 05-21-13, 08:16 AM   #2
Jim Kukula
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I found this book useful.... though I am doing more like 40 miles at 10 mph!

http://www.amazon.com/Distance-Cycli...dp/0736089241/
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Old 05-21-13, 08:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by SurlyLaika View Post
... I just want to be able to ride farther, faster without getting so tired. ...
How's that different from what racers want? To accomplish that, you need to do the same things aspiring racers need to do, you just don't need to take it as far up the curve as they do. The harder and more systematically you work applying established training principles, the sooner you'll be riding farther and faster. Expect it to take a year or two of consistent work, depending how much father and faster you want to go.

Notice I left out mention of not getting tired. To ride father/faster, you need to push beyond your comfort zone and stress your system. It's the stress that causes your body to adapt and improve. Being tired is often a consequence of applying the stresses that lead to adaptation.

Last edited by Looigi; 05-21-13 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 05-21-13, 09:25 AM   #4
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http://www.amazon.com/Bicycling-Maga.../dp/0875964869

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-...stance+cycling

2 really good books, Looigi is 100% correct there are really no shortcuts to plain old hard work.
There is a really good chapter in the Road Cycling book about Pete Penseyres on how he trained for the RAMM and set records in his 40's and 50's. He didn't do a lot of distance work ( 1x per week) but really focused on speedwork.
There is another chapter that really helped my overall riding speed, just attack hills 2-3x per week going at or above your anerobic threshold, it is very painful but it works.
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Old 05-21-13, 09:40 AM   #5
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I'm not looking for short cuts, just an every man's training manual. Some of the samples I've read talk about shaving grams, riding in a pace line, aerodynamics, etc. Then they get into heart rate monitors and much more technical physiological stuff. Do I need to get into that to be a better rider?
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Old 05-21-13, 10:59 AM   #6
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I keep it very simple, I don't worry about shaving grams, heart rate monitors, pacelines etc.
Aerodynamics certainly do help but you can achieve that through better flexability.
I don't worry about all the fancy training programs, too much to deal with. I just ride hills a lot, nothing will get you in shape faster.
Ride up a steep hill, My legs and lungs and body are screaming in pain, I let my self recover and do it again til I reach total exhaustion.2-3 times a week will work wonders.

You will see your average cruising speed rise and your endurance will improve.
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Old 05-21-13, 08:21 PM   #7
SurlyLaika
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http://www.amazon.com/Bicycling-Maga.../dp/0875964869

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-...stance+cycling

2 really good books, Looigi is 100% correct there are really no shortcuts to plain old hard work.
There is a really good chapter in the Road Cycling book about Pete Penseyres on how he trained for the RAMM and set records in his 40's and 50's. He didn't do a lot of distance work ( 1x per week) but really focused on speedwork.
There is another chapter that really helped my overall riding speed, just attack hills 2-3x per week going at or above your anerobic threshold, it is very painful but it works.
The first one looks like exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks. The second one looks good, too, but I can only get Kindle books here in Korea. There's another similar book about long distance riding, though.
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