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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 08-19-05, 08:16 PM   #1
erhan
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How to train to increase average speed?

My aim was to increase my average speed to 29-30 km/h on a 40 km route by the end of the summer before I jump on a road bike. I currently ride a light MTB on knobbies. The summer has almost ended but I'm still averaging about 26 km/h. And the most disappointing thing is, it has been the same since April. My endurance has increased a lot, but I just don't have the power to go faster.

What should I be focusing on while training to gain more muscle, or power?
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Old 08-19-05, 09:05 PM   #2
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Intervals
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Old 08-19-05, 11:28 PM   #3
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One or two days a week do a low cadence ride: bike an hour or so at a 65 - 70 at your normal kph speed. This will build leg muscles.

One or two days a week do intervals. Find a flat area - bike at 85%-90% of your max heart rate for 3 minutes. Recover for 10 minutes and then do it again. Repeat 4 or 5 times.

Do some sprints. Go as fast as you can go for 20 or 30 seconds. Recover for a few minutes.

Do some hill intervals. Find a place with a good hill. Ride up it and down it over and over. Try to maintain the same speed as you increase reps on the hill. Throw in some low cadence climbs.
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Old 08-20-05, 12:19 AM   #4
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Lots of sprints and intervals.... The fastest way to increase your average speed is to train at speeds above it...

If your average is 29-30km/h there's absolutely zero way you're gonna raise it by riding at 28-30km/h all the time. Sure with lots and lots of miles of riding for years, you'll inadvertently get in bits at 31-32km/h and those are the moments that'll help increase your speed. Better to just do it intentionally and do sprints at 65-70km/h and intervals at 50-60km/h ..
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Old 08-20-05, 02:28 AM   #5
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Better to just do it intentionally and do sprints at 65-70km/h and intervals at 50-60km/h ..
Sorry, but I think this is too hi for an MTB. That would require a cadence of +150 assuming std MTB gearing. I suggest 50-60 for the sprint and 40-50 for the intervals.
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Old 08-22-05, 04:59 PM   #6
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try getting out of your comfort zone and push up those hills or push to go that few extra MPH/KPH on the flats. You will never get to your goal if you never ride at the target average speed. Even if it's for a few second, hold it as long as you can. Rest and do it again. Soon you find your "resting" at highers speeds and it will be easier to get to the target average speed. Also push the limits up hills, scream, yell or whatever to give that extra effort. Soon you'll be blazing up those hill at higher MPH/KPH at a comfy cadence.
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Old 08-22-05, 11:15 PM   #7
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Excellent... Thanks a lot everyone.

Two days ago, I did some climbing intervals. I did 6 sets until my muscles burned. Today, I rode the same route pushing higher gears. My average HR was 88% (which may imply that my max HR isn't correct?), and I was 2 minutes faster than my best time. I realized that I wasn't really pushing to the limits before.
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Old 08-23-05, 08:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by erhan
My aim was to increase my average speed to 29-30 km/h on a 40 km route by the end of the summer before I jump on a road bike. I currently ride a light MTB on knobbies. The summer has almost ended but I'm still averaging about 26 km/h. And the most disappointing thing is, it has been the same since April. My endurance has increased a lot, but I just don't have the power to go faster.

What should I be focusing on while training to gain more muscle, or power?
If you are currently riding on the road, you might want to try some street tires. You might be able to go quite a bit faster with them.
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Old 08-23-05, 11:53 AM   #9
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If you are currently riding on the road, you might want to try some street tires. You might be able to go quite a bit faster with them.
Yes, but that would be cheating, wouldn't it?
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Old 08-23-05, 12:23 PM   #10
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Yes, but that would be cheating, wouldn't it?
All the roadies do it.
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Old 08-23-05, 05:36 PM   #11
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I realize that there are ways to skin a cat. The interval is one of the best way to increase your crusing speed. I've also learned that by training with friends who ride at a little higher speed (30-35km/hr in this case), and tug behind them when winded can get the legs acustomed to the stress and cadence. When you first get on a road bike, the speed will amaze you, but don't expect to perform as well as on your mt bike. You will need to build up new muiscles to wring out the best performance from a road bike. I find computer with cadence (Cateye Astral8) indipensable. An HRM is also very nice. Pack ride on a road bike will always give me a high. Incidentally, I grew up on an mt with skinny tyres and carbon fork, road sprockets.
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Old 08-23-05, 05:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by erhan
Excellent... Thanks a lot everyone.

Two days ago, I did some climbing intervals. I did 6 sets until my muscles burned. Today, I rode the same route pushing higher gears. My average HR was 88% (which may imply that my max HR isn't correct?), and I was 2 minutes faster than my best time. I realized that I wasn't really pushing to the limits before.
I believe it was the interval training you did earlier that help you achieve a new personal best, and not that you didn't previously push the limit. Congratulations, and keep at it.
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Old 08-10-15, 08:16 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
try getting out of your comfort zone and push up those hills or push to go that few extra MPH/KPH on the flats. You will never get to your goal if you never ride at the target average speed. Even if it's for a few second, hold it as long as you can. Rest and do it again. Soon you find your "resting" at highers speeds and it will be easier to get to the target average speed. Also push the limits up hills, scream, yell or whatever to give that extra effort. Soon you'll be blazing up those hill at higher MPH/KPH at a comfy cadence.
Amen
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Old 08-11-15, 05:32 AM   #14
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What should I be focusing on while training to gain more muscle, or power?
I like chasing down cars. Most drivers will ignore you, some seem amused by it and try to drop you. It's more fun than mindless hill repeats by yourself.
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Old 08-11-15, 10:02 PM   #15
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There is this thing called speedwork. The usual recipe is to warm up well for ~30 minutes. On the flat, slow down to a walk, put the bike in a big gear - probably your biggest on an MTB, and accelerate as hard as you can for 1 minute. That means go so hard that you can barely hold the effort for that very long minute. Spin easy for 5 minutes and repeat. Usually do 6 intervals, once or twice a week. Usually the progression is to do lactate threshold (LT) intervals, 2 or 3 X 15' until you are comfortable doing them, then try anaerobic intervals of 3-8 minutes for a few weeks, then the speedwork. You can do both the LT and anaerobic work in one week, but only if you can recover enough between workouts. The rest of the week's rides are then usually zone 2 endurance rides, as much volume as you can tolerate.

You should be focusing on gaining more power. The muscle will take care of itself. Be prepared to be sore a day or two after doing hard intervals.
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Old 08-13-15, 09:03 AM   #16
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Holy moldy oldy.
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Old 08-15-15, 04:06 PM   #17
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I think you should get yourself a fixed gear bike for doing interval training. Riding fixed will improve your acceleration, power, pedal stroke and speed.
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