Hi. This is my first time on this forum and first post, so bear with me as I get to know the landscape and resources.
I seem to have hit a plateau in my cycling and Iím having some troubles increasing my average speed. I am almost 47 years old, and I didnít start road cycling until a little over a year ago. It about killed me at first (major lung and leg burn), but with some pain and perseverance I was able to get acclimated in about 6 months, started riding a lot of local and out of state centuries, and now averaging about 120 miles a week. I have no desire to race. I do this for fitness and as a personal challenge. On shorter rides and commutes (10-30 miles), my average mph is usually between 19 and 21 mph. On longer rides (40-100) it is between 18 and 20. My average cadence is roughly 95 rpm. Hill climbing is not my forte. I weigh about 178 pounds and Iím 5í 11ĒÖyeah, I know, this is probably one issue. Iíve spent the last 8 years in the gym and wasnít concerned that much about weight, only muscle mass and strength. I donít have a power meter on my bike, so I canít provide that data yetÖbut when my new bike gets here in March, Iíll have one installed. A few other things about meÖin all the seasons except winter, I suffer from major allergies and have asthma, but I can usually control it with inhalers. Intense cardio makes it worse, and I also fail the lung capacity test at my doctorÖso Iím not sure if this has any impact, but letís just set it aside for now since Iíve been dealing with it for years and have adapted.
Anyway, I am looking for a few basic tips on how I can get faster and off of this plateau. Is this just as simple as I need to suck it up, endure some more pain and push myself? No pain, no gain. I can certainly do that, as Iíve reach sort of a comfort level. Or are there very specific things that I could be doing that may have a good ROI, like interval training, etc. And I wonder if I need to factor my age in here as well.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.