# Thread: How do I get from 15mph avg to ~19mph?

1. 1. Get a bigger motor
2. Get more aero
Other factors are likely second order, but important for pros.

Wind resistance increases as the square of "airspeed" so wind resistance at 19 mph is 60% greater than at 15mph. the really bad news is that required power (Power = Force x Velocity) increases as the cube of velocity (zero wind, flat). So ignoring second order effects and assuming you're already aero, you'll have to bump up your power by a factor of 2.

There is some good news. If your average is over a hilly course your average is being greatly affected by your climbing speed. Climbing occurs at a lower speed and the Power required approaches a linear function of velocity.

2. I feel like I'm back in physics class in high school. Lol

3. Yesterday I rode 7 miles as a warm up to a local cemetery that is flat and wide open. It was clear, 48 degrees with 15 mph winds. I have a .8 mile 6 turn circuit that I ride, which simulates crit race courses, that also has a sweeping curve that is the same as a straight. Yesterday I kept my HR in mid-Z3 for the 1 hr interval workout and concentrated on being low into the wind and smooth into and out of the turns. My wife drove our car over to the site with her bike in the car and then at rode her pace during my interval. It was probably coincidence, but I was riding two laps for her one. We always seemed pass around the same spot then as the hour interval progressed she started to pick up about 30-40 meters on my pace when we passed. During my interval I did have to ramp it back in order to keep my HR within the Z3 range. I tend to get into a race mode and attack too much. In review of my power files I averaged 20.7 mph and 254 watts on the interval with an average HR of 146 bpm. During my cool down I rode with my wife at her 10.4 mph pace and isolating the segment from the workout found that it took me 53 watts to ride with her at 10.3 mph. Last night for me it took around 5 times more power to ride twice as fast as her pace. BTW, my wife had fun since it was on a closed course, she didn't mess up her hair with a helmet, and she said she got a good cardio workout.

4. Originally Posted by GaryPitts
I feel like I'm back in physics class in high school. Lol
All I know is when I hit the No Zone, I'm doing it right.

5. Originally Posted by GaryPitts
I feel like I'm back in physics class in high school. Lol
Yep, but the most important element, the motor, ain't physics and a good deal of HTFU is involved.

6. Originally Posted by rdtompki
1. Get a bigger motor
2. Get more aero

Other factors are likely second order, but important for pros.

Wind resistance increases as the square of "airspeed" so wind resistance at 19 mph is 60% greater than at 15mph. the really bad news is that required power (Power = Force x Velocity) increases as the cube of velocity (zero wind, flat). So ignoring second order effects and assuming you're already aero, you'll have to bump up your power by a factor of 2.

There is some good news. If your average is over a hilly course your average is being greatly affected by your climbing speed. Climbing occurs at a lower speed and the Power required approaches a linear function of velocity.
A'Jet and AZTR: Since other factors are important to us, we seemed to have earned a BF upgrade to pro status. Who would have thought.

I am not so sure about the good news vis a vis hills on the course. Even though at lower speeds aerodynamics is not as great a factor, hills are a time killer and that is especially true for bigger riders. And due to the reasons you say state about moving a volume of air out of the way at higher speeds, it is difficult to regain the lost time on the downhill. As I posted earlier, the best energy management it to use more power on the hills and less on the downhills. z4/z5 on the climb and z3 on the descent.

7. Originally Posted by GaryPitts
Honestly, I'm happy going 15. The impetus for my question is entirely thinking about what it is going to take to get that century under my belt. Maybe I shouldn't even consider it for a few more years. My distance appreciated nicely over the course of the first 6 months of serious riding, but the speed did not. I didn't know if it would come with time or you had to train to achieve it.

I remember last June I was just starting to really get into riding. I had worked my way up to 20 milers and felt good about it. I went over to the Harpeth River Ride here in Nashville just to check it out and maybe get a glance at Lance and was watching the folks come in from the ride. I was amazed when a 'grandma', maybe 65, came over the finish line after riding the 62 miler. Unbelieveable! This year I'm going to ride that 62, so it's neat how your perspective changes.
At the risk of getting a lecture by AzTallRider; yes, your perspective does change. After a few years of long rides I got so bored I considered hanging it up, actually got into MTBing to make it more interesting. I am back road riding, but anything more than a few hours is almost unbearable...shear boredom. So my advice is to enjoy pushing your speed and distance but watch out for that feeling you are on grind, what's on the otherside is the perspective you are just wasting time.

8. Originally Posted by FrenchFit
At the risk of getting a lecture by AzTallRider; yes, your perspective does change. After a few years of long rides I got so bored I considered hanging it up, actually got into MTBing to make it more interesting. I am back road riding, but anything more than a few hours is almost unbearable...shear boredom. So my advice is to enjoy pushing your speed and distance but watch out for that feeling you are on grind, what's on the otherside is the perspective you are just wasting time.
Just in case AZTR does not read this here is my 2 cents.

I rode my track bike at the track on Tuesday doing motor pacing. Wednesday, I rode the trainer and did a simulated track workout that they are doing at Velo Sport Center velodrome in the evening sessions this week and Thursday, I rode with my wife on our local ride and did some power efforts on the hills. Today, we are riding TT bikes on the TT course working on power intervals. If I always rode the same equipment over the same course, as much as I like to ride my bike, it would certainly start to get boring.

IMO, riding a mountain bike or a fixie is a great way to keep the sport fresh and shock your body so that growth can continue. The mental part of cycling (focus, perseverance, motivation and desire to improve) can be just as limited as oxygen in the muscles to power the bike.

9. I agree with the changing things up. There are so many variables to our activity that are so easily applied to our advantage.

Hermes, there was a thread on this or other BF forum that I'd argued the use of a mountain bike onroad to help with power training. The techno engineers about shot me out of the saddle saying it was mostly in my head. Pfffft. If you have a 15lb CF bike and you need some variety, toss in a MTB interval training ride....shoot, every MTB ride is interval....and see how you love that CF bike again

10. OldsCOOL; This is BF...what do you expect. The only thing I see with mountain bike riding as a negative is too much hill climbing and not enough high cadence work in the drops. Let's face it. Unless one rides a mountain bike next to a river, one is going to have to climb a lot. If you climb a lot, you will get good at climbing. IMO, the power meter takes away the aspect of riding a heavy bike for training and then switching to a light bike for events such that it feels easier. If you do power climbing intervals, the weight of the bike, road conditions and wind are taken out of the equation.

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