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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 08-02-10, 10:56 AM   #1
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What type of training helped you increase your speed?

I am going to pull back my riding and start working some different routines with probably some shorter rides. Essentially I want build a good base training routine. I will probably also finally break down and get an HRM. I am planing to join RUSA around Sep. or Oct. and start on an R12 journey. But I want to get my speed up. I am 18 months out of a cath/stent and am off my heart meds except for plavix, aspirin and crestor.

I have just been riding really with about 3 rides a week, two 30 to 40 mile rides and my long Sat rides between 70 and 95 usually (except in family situations, etc.).

I am not concerned about the distance, my core feels good each time I'm out but could always use more work . I finally have a saddle that feels nice and my hands don't go extremely numb to the point of no return. However my riding speed avgs are always between 21 to 22 kmh. I would like to get it between 25 and 30 kmh. I don't feel that this should be off the mark at 41 but who knows after smoking for 20 years (I quit 4-5 years ago and haven't touched them since) if my lungs have that capacity in them for more than that......

I am thinking core/cardio/plyometrics off the bike (think P90X and possibly Insanity if I can find it). I will have to work on intervals I know since I have never done them. Plus the whole figuring out my HR zones and stuff.

I was just wondering if any of you have trained specifically to increase your speed and if so what did you do? What worked and what didn't? Anything that really pulled it together for you or any "Ah-ha" moments.

Thanks,
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Old 08-02-10, 12:22 PM   #2
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Interval training and riding with faster riders. A faster group ride might require a few tries until you no longer are dropped.
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Old 08-02-10, 02:25 PM   #3
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If I'm getting it right, you're going 13 or 14 mph, and you want to get up to 17 or 18 (pretty flat ground?) It does not seem unrealistic.

What worked for me was a long commute every day. But, it's key to be out there to get what you can out of every ride, not just logging the miles (I've done it both ways).

The ah-hah moments for me were learning to spin instead of mash, embracing the suffering(i.e., attacking hills), and slowly working down the cassette. I ride one time trial every week, and one day of hard climbing. The other days are steady efforts, with a few short sprints thrown in.

Training for ny first SR series, I simply put in miles. It was adequate to get me through. This year I trained shorter but faster, with better results. So, I think you're on to something. FWIW, I'm about your age, and I was a big out of shape lardo a few years ago. I can do 19 or 20 for an hour now, or a 6 hour century(not easy, but possible with a top effort). Good luck.
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Old 08-02-10, 02:58 PM   #4
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Any time you want improve you need to make sure you know where you are. For some one with your history this is a significant undertaking - ha ha - get it undertaking?

That being said, I suggest you make sure find a stretch of road, and set your bike up the way you intend to use it - and test your self. After you know what it takes to perform your test, you can go about mixing in Interval and hill work outs that could or should benefit your speed.

But again, the biggest obstacle to improving is simply not paying attention to where you are and where you want to go. The road to success is paved with good intentions of those who tried too hard as well as those who never tried enough.
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Old 08-02-10, 03:07 PM   #5
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Try a can of this:
Works for me.

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Old 08-02-10, 05:10 PM   #6
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Fred, we're trying to help him, not kill him. I suspect it was the 1000 mile weeks that helped you anyway, not some energy drink.
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Old 08-02-10, 05:13 PM   #7
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It won't kill him. Gives me a 4 mph boost for 3 hours.

Check out me down tube.....Tourbo Power

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Old 08-02-10, 06:26 PM   #8
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Got my bike in April. I've got 1200 miles and have lost 35 pounds as well. Recently I've been able to bring up my speed with what has already been mentioned. Attacking the hills and interval training. I've gone from 14 mph average over 10 miles ( with breaks ) on my "stock" route to 16.5 mph over 21 miles. I've also realized that I had some conflicts between weight loss and improving the cycling and I have upped my calories to make sure I'm getting enough to refresh. My goal is 19+ mph over the 21 mile route or 16 mph over 30+ miles at this point. I've thought about group rides, but with a job, family, and friends my riding has to be squeezed into odd times. My main weekday ride I'm up and out by a little after 5am for an hour and change.
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Old 08-02-10, 09:58 PM   #9
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Yeah, you will pick up a bit of speed when you get about
30 pounds of gear off your ride, and a lighter road racing frame to boot comparing your Felt to that C-Dale.....guaraunteed! </cajun accent>
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It won't kill him. Gives me a 4 mph boost for 3 hours.

Check out me down tube.....Tourbo Power

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Old 08-03-10, 12:35 AM   #10
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The answer is focus, another poster eluded to it also as "getting the most out of your rides."

Interval training style can help as will maintaining a good rpm like 95-105.

Mostly it is focus on speed and riding at your limits. You will get faster!
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Old 08-04-10, 05:35 AM   #11
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Them hills. Learn to love them and they will reward you with stronger legs than any sissy interval training
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Old 08-04-10, 05:41 AM   #12
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Them hills. Learn to love them and they will reward you with stronger legs than any sissy interval training
You're doing the intervals wrong
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Old 08-04-10, 06:10 AM   #13
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Them hills. Learn to love them and they will reward you with stronger legs than any sissy interval training
Attacking hills is a type of interval training.
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Old 08-04-10, 06:14 AM   #14
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Way to hijack a thread - 10 wheels - love the pvc used a Dinottee mount - but the subject is speed.

Bottom line, to get faster, a cyclist has to know how to "turn it on" - "go for it" or whatever - but some of time must be spent with and enthusiastic dedicated mindless effort at riding a bike as fast as you can. Using a hill as an obstacle can work as well as setting specific time frames.
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Old 08-04-10, 11:53 AM   #15
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Them hills. Learn to love them and they will reward you with stronger legs than any sissy interval training
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Attacking hills is a type of interval training.
Hills only work if you have them... and we don't, and I don't mind them in the least. I can ride 100 miles and get maybe 121 meters of climbing. Headwinds are something else.
And I already maintain a cadence of 90 to 95.
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Old 08-04-10, 12:35 PM   #16
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Another vote for riding with folks who are faster than you. See if you can find a group that you can just barely hang with. Your pulls will be fine intervals and you'll get used to rolling at speed. Lots of people just don't realize how fast they can go if they try. So many times we'd be rolling downwind in the mid-twenties (mph) at moderate effort and folks would go off the back.

What else . . . Ride lots, of course. See if you can get on the bike 6 days/week. The other days could be 30-45 minutes of easy, just spin the legs. On the flat sometimes we'd form up a 5-6 person rolling paceline where we'd be at LT in the line and anaerobic when we hit the front. 15 miles of that once/week will fix you right up. On your long rides, go hard for the first third. While you still have strength in your legs, attack the group. Then just suffer the last third to the finish. To learn to ride fast, you have to ride fast. Suffering is good for you. Get your position dialed in. Bars even with saddle or an inch below. Elbows bent. Knees in. Experiment with tires - find fast tires that don't flat readily. Right now I like Conti 4000 in 23c.
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Old 08-04-10, 04:17 PM   #17
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You're doing the intervals wrong
That's what she told me

Got tons of hills here. I guess if I didn't have hills intervals would had to do.

121 meters of climbing! Damn, here in Japan that wouldn't even register. On my next ride I'll be climbing 1,600 meters over 40 miles (don't ask me why, I like to measure elevation in meters and distance in miles).

I'm the opposite in cadence as well, I'm a slow spinner. For me climbing a hill is about finding the beginning of lactic acid burn and hanging onto it.

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Old 08-04-10, 07:44 PM   #18
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That's what she told me

Got tons of hills here. I guess if I didn't have hills intervals would had to do.

121 meters of climbing! Damn, here in Japan that wouldn't even register. On my next ride I'll be climbing 1,600 meters over 40 miles (don't ask me why, I like to measure elevation in meters and distance in miles).

I'm the opposite in cadence as well, I'm a slow spinner. For me climbing a hill is about finding the beginning of lactic acid burn and hanging onto it.
Hills can work for intervals, but you need to find just the right one.
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Old 08-08-10, 05:30 PM   #19
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I am in a very similar position to canopus. Over the last few years I have increased my crusing speed from about 22 kph to 25 kph, but my average is still usually around 22 kph and I want to increase it. The numbers are general and normal speed on flatish road without strong winds.

So I aslo currently ride at 25 kph (15 mph) and want to increase it to 30 kph (18mph). Let's say I want to maintain that speed for a century. It is better to:

1) start riding at 30 kph (18mph) for as long as I can, probably only 20-30 minutes, and gradually increase the time I can maintain that speed; or

2) ride at say 27 kph (16 mph), which I can probably do for 2 hours, and increase to 6 hours, then ride at 28 kph (17 mph) until I can do for 6 hours, then ride at 30 kph.

In other words, ride much faster but for short period, or gradually increase speed over longer periods? The answer might be both. Thanks
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Old 08-08-10, 07:38 PM   #20
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I am in a very similar position to canopus. Over the last few years I have increased my crusing speed from about 22 kph to 25 kph, but my average is still usually around 22 kph and I want to increase it. The numbers are general and normal speed on flatish road without strong winds.

So I aslo currently ride at 25 kph (15 mph) and want to increase it to 30 kph (18mph). Let's say I want to maintain that speed for a century. It is better to:

1) start riding at 30 kph (18mph) for as long as I can, probably only 20-30 minutes, and gradually increase the time I can maintain that speed; or

2) ride at say 27 kph (16 mph), which I can probably do for 2 hours, and increase to 6 hours, then ride at 28 kph (17 mph) until I can do for 6 hours, then ride at 30 kph.

In other words, ride much faster but for short period, or gradually increase speed over longer periods? The answer might be both. Thanks
None of the above.

I think you should start a thread on the Training and Nutrition forum, noting that it's LD average speed you want to increase.

To ride comfortably at 18, you have to ride lots faster than 18. I can average 18 on a fairly hilly ride, but that means I can ride 25 on the flat for short periods. My 1 minute max is around 30. An over 50 biking buddy of mine just averaged 17.5 on RAMROD. I'm 65 and have an average VO2max. It's not that hard, you just have to learn how to train, and to a lesser degree, how to set up your bike for efficient high speeds. 18 is sort of a separator speed. Most any position and equipment work at 18 or less. When you get faster than that, the freaking squared speed laws of physics become quite noticeable.

Another not entirely obvious thing is you have to learn to put out power efficiently. That can take years, but it's worth learning to do. It's possible to get a lot more sustained power out of the averagely talented human than you'd think.

Another thing which should be obvious but which many people ignore, is the concept of banking pain. You need to suffer. Every time you suffer, you put that pain in the bank. On a brevet, you're going to want to make withdrawals, but the pain has to be there first. The more pain you bank, the less you'll suffer on a brevet. They don't call it The Dark Side of Cycling for nothing.

The subforum on Road Racing on the Road Cycling forum has a sticky with good information on various exercises.

Homeyba knows more about this than almost anyone. He once said (hope he doesn't mind if I quote him):

"No, you don't just ride a lot. Actually you don't need to ride a ton of miles. What is more important is the quality of the miles that you put in. Speed and climbing work are essential. When I train for an ultra I usually ride 3-4 times a week. One day of speed work about 25 miles, one day of climbing repeats also about 25 miles (1 1/2hrs) one recovery day ride 30-35miles and a longer ride on the weekend 45-75miles. I'll throw in centuries and double centuries here and there just for fun."

After you've digested that info, start a thread on T&N.
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