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Thread: training tips

  1. #1
    a litte bit fixed mintyai's Avatar
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    training tips

    In October 2006 I got my first fixed, I am loving it and noticed that I was able to cycle faster and faster as I got used to the bike and was cycling more and more. I seem to have reached a plateau and was wondering if anyone has any tips for training, both ideas for how to ride and places/events to go to.

    I ride about 12 miles a day, in London UK through the city center so there is lots of stop start riding and lots of trackstands, which I have noticed are quite a good work out, but don't make me go faster. I really only have time to do training rides at the weekend. I live by Brick Lane, so Richmond Park is a bit too far.
    Last edited by mintyai; 02-20-07 at 02:46 PM.

  2. #2
    n+1 bikes
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    Ah, the law of diminishing returns.

    Ride harder, longer.
    Just keep pedaling.
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  3. #3
    Run What 'Ya Brung bonechilling's Avatar
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    Get some rollers or a trainer, and look up bicycle training
    intervals on Google.

  4. #4
    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    i had a similar dilemma till a roadie turned me on to 1 minute intervals. dead sprint as fast as i can go for a minute. if you're doing it right you'll feel like puking by the end of that minute. then 4+ minutes of rest, then one minute on again. a few of those a day or two a week will go a long way.

    this isn't really applicable for the commute, but can be done before or after. it doesn't take much time and doesn't require a huge amount of space or a long path, just a relatively uninterrupted loop.

    edit: oh yeah, joe friel's book "the cyclist's training bible" has a lot of good info too. kinda sucks the fun out of riding if you think about it too much though...
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    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtyphotons
    i had a similar dilemma till a roadie turned me on to 1 minute intervals. dead sprint as fast as i can go for a minute. if you're doing it right you'll feel like puking by the end of that minute. then 4+ minutes of rest, then one minute on again. a few of those a day or two a week will go a long way.

    this isn't really applicable for the commute, but can be done before or after. it doesn't take much time and doesn't require a huge amount of space or a long path, just a relatively uninterrupted loop.

    edit: oh yeah, joe friel's book "the cyclist's training bible" has a lot of good info too. kinda sucks the fun out of riding if you think about it too much though...
    hmm.

    maybe i'll take my return commute through central park and do this.

    my 18mi round trip commute has become routine and so i ride more steadily and smoothely than fast and sprinty - i think. i'm not sure.

    i'm thinking it's important to test your limits by doing lots of different riding - long rides, rides with rolling hills, climbs, long flats when you can spin really high for a while - to see where you're at and to constantly improve.

    commuting december, january, and february is not ideal for that, i am realizing.
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  6. #6
    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by queerpunk
    i'm thinking it's important to test your limits by doing lots of different riding - long rides, rides with rolling hills, climbs, long flats when you can spin really high for a while - to see where you're at and to constantly improve.
    i tooootally agree. there are lots of little tricks and techniques to help training. but training is an ongoing thing, you gotta get some variety in and most importantly you've got to enjoy it if you're gonna keep it up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    I don't know if this qualifies as training, but heres what I do.
    My round trip commute distance varies between 15.5-35 miles. I usually treat these these miles like interval training on a fixed gear. I go easy to moderate for the first 2.5 on the way to work and I go easy for the last 2.5 on the way home. I take these parts fairly easy because I'm pulling my kid in a trailer. For the miles in between without the trailer, I muscle my way up the hills as hard as I can and spin as fast as I can on the down hils and I am almost in a full sprint though the flat sections. The few traffic lights are my breaks. My longer routes have a few sections when I ride more relaxed but I still do hills hard and work in some sprints.

    On the weekends I mix it up with one or two of three types of rides: (1) ~27-35 miles ssmtb on tight twisty single track, ridden pretty aggressively, (2) short and hard road rides (~50-83 miles) sometimes fixed and sometimes geared, (3) and long more relaxed rides (100-200 miles) usually on my geared bike. During the coldest months on the weekends I do mostly ssmtbing and my road rides are a little shorter naturally and in the warmer months I do more long road rides.

    That gives me a variety of short intense sessions, longer more steady sessions and stuff in between. I find myself getting steadily faster and faster over time, but the improvements are becoming more and more miniscule.

    My problem more recently is that I have a few friends that I ride with, but I am way faster than them and they are holding me back, so I still need to find time to ride intensely alone on the weekends.
    Last edited by mihlbach; 02-20-07 at 06:03 PM.

  8. #8
    a litte bit fixed mintyai's Avatar
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    Thanks for all this, I will try some interval training today (taking a day off work). I am really after some advice on where to go in east London to do some training rides. I used to live by Regents Park which was great, but by Brick Lane there does not seem to be many good places to ride without lots traffic lights. I am going to try on Royal Albert Way, by London city airport, but it is not a very interesting ride.
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  9. #9
    Tinkerer since 1980 TheBrick's Avatar
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    There are no really "interesting" rides that I know of. I would do a few laps of the Roayal Albert and / or Royal Victoria docyards. I ride by them every day and thje most "interesting" time is at night when you can look at the refections in the water. There are a few short hills on those laps as well which I would think would help.
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  10. #10
    Squishy Hovis Brown's Avatar
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    I would like to suggest Richmond Park even with the distance involved. From Brick Lane it will probably take just over an hour to get there. Once there, the difference in terrain (two hills, one big descent, and loads of deer) will make a big difference. I saw this guy with a prosthetic leg just zoom by me -- needless to say I was left in awe -- and it was probably the single most inspirational cycling moment I've come across.

  11. #11
    pavement+face=<3 scott77's Avatar
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    ride a bmx around instead

  12. #12
    King of the Hipsters
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    I have different routes for my commute and I make a mental note of the times it takes me for each route.

    I don't race myself as much as I mildly challenge myself.
    I privately celebrate a new personal record, when it happens, but I don't take it too seriously because of stoplights and traffic.

    Anyway, staying mindful of my times keeps a little bit of pressure on, and, the different routes keep my body from taking a "set."
    I have a long, flat, fast route; a mildly hilly route; a brutal hilly route; and the differences between them give my body a different workout on each ride.

    On my non-working days, I have a 12.5 mile route that I ride for aesthetic reasons.
    I like the ride and what I see and experience on that ride.
    Having a visually pleasant route encourages me.
    I note the time and, again, mildly challenge myself.
    I have a personal record for this 12.5 mile route of 50 minutes, or 15 mph, which doesn't sound too impressive until one sees the ride: despite its beauty it has some killer hills.

    For my seven mile (one way) commute, I typically average 19 mph on the easiest route.
    With stoplights working in my favor, and good blood sugar, I have averaged 21 mph.
    At 21 mph on my bike, I can match my time for driving the same route in an automobile.

    I try to ride every day of the week.

    Sometimes I will give myself Sunday off, but only if I have a good ride on Saturday.

  13. #13
    a litte bit fixed mintyai's Avatar
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    I also have a few different commutes, not really any hills in London, but one of the routes goes mostly along the river Thames for most of the journey.

    Just had an accident riding home from the pub last night and limping a bit (hmm fixed gear and beer, not all that clever) so I might be taking it easy for a while.
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  14. #14
    asleep at the wheel fixedpip's Avatar
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    Easy option - ride across london to Herne Hill Velodrome.
    http://www.hernehillvelodrome.co.uk/

    Have great training sessions every saturday morning (track should be open by now). Used to ride from Hackney to train and race there. You will get so much fitter, stronger and faster.


    And then ride there on good friday for the annual Good Friday Meeting (Friday 6th April). World class field racing (well it has Bradley Wiggins, Rob Hayles etc)
    http://www.goodfridaymeeting.org.uk/

  15. #15
    a litte bit fixed mintyai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixedpip
    Easy option - ride across london to Herne Hill Velodrome.
    http://www.hernehillvelodrome.co.uk/
    Cheers,

    I had found the velodrome online and was planning to go last saturday, but then i had a crash... hopefully this saturday.

    I hope I will be able to ride my own bike on the track though.
    Last edited by mintyai; 03-20-07 at 05:02 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mintyai
    Cheers,

    I had found the velodrome online and was planning to go last saturday, but then i had a crash... hopefully this saturday.

    I hope I will be able to ride my own bike on the track though.
    You wouldn't be allowed to ride your folder on my local track, not because they are lacking in any sense of fun but because they only want bikes with nice high bb shells to prevent pedal strikes at low speeds in the banking. I bet you can get a cheap rental though.

  17. #17
    asleep at the wheel fixedpip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mintyai
    I hope I will be able to ride my own bike on the track though.
    You can ride your own bike at Herne Hill. Its pretty mellow in terms of banking so you don't need a high bb etc. You just need a helmet, no brakes (need to be able to take 'em off if you have any) a change of gearing (need a decent gearing for the track - would rec around 80-85 gear inches) and 6 quid. Loner bikes are free.

    If you've never ridden there before, definitely do the beginner session and if you stay for training ask questions about whats going on. Most folks are regulars so they're a bit poor at telling noobs what to do such as how revolutions work etc.

  18. #18
    a litte bit fixed mintyai's Avatar
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    For 'no brakes' is lossening the cable enough?

    But I am on 74 inches so I will probably end up borrowing a bike. I just really don't like 700C bikes, I find them so un-manoeuvrable, but I think I have a minority opinion there.
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