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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 10-18-04, 08:21 PM   #1
acrafton
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How to improve on the flats?!

Hey. I started riding heavy in the spring or so and am very pleased with my progress - especially on hills. I have worked on this and when I ride with my buddies I drop them easily and this weekend in Austin at the Ride for the Roses consistently performed very well on the hills. I have been working on this which was easy (want to get better on the hills, go ride hills. . .). However, I noticed that on long flats I struggle to keep up and seem to be expending a lot of energy. So my question is how do I improve my riding in the flats? High/low cadence? Just ride faster, etc. . .any drills?

Thanks
Adam
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Old 10-18-04, 08:44 PM   #2
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Base training, followed by endurance rides and tempo training, followed by intervals. By the time you add the intervals into the tempo training rides, you should be able to start to work on building up speed, and with the endurance training, you should be at the point where you've built up the energy for those long rides you're having a difficult time with. Get a heart rate monitor, and if you can afford it, it would be even better if you can pay to have a performance test so you can find out what your heart rate zones will be for the different types of training rides.

Give yourself at least 5- 6 months to improve. If you start now, you should be ready by March to get out there for those long rides with your buddies.

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Old 10-18-04, 09:20 PM   #3
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I have the same issue. For some reason, I just can't hold a steady, fast pace on the flat yet those same people that drop me on the flats, reach the top of a climb minutes after me. I have a heart rate monitor and have started working on some interval stuff on the flats. Hopefully this winter on the trainer I'll be able to see some real improvements. For now, I just try and get as aero as possible and stay in the draft.
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Old 10-19-04, 03:01 PM   #4
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I also have this problem, great on the hills, not so great on the flats. I feel I have significantly improved this area with a program similar to what koffee brown suggested above. Tempo rides followed by intervals. Also important is training yourself to ride in an aerodynamic position for long periods of time and also to draft, draft, draft. Wind resistance gets more important the faster you go.
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Old 10-20-04, 10:09 PM   #5
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See what you did koffee?

That helped me as well, Im really not a good climber or fast in the flats. Perhaps we are those type people that want it RIGHT NOW! I know I am. Ive been seriously training for one and a half months and although I have improved almost 3 mph and have lost 20 pounds and quit smoking, I want to be 150 pounds, cruise at 20 mph and lead the pack.

But I know it takes time and Ill be patient, at least Im seeing an improvment.

Thanks Koffee, I see you helping so many people, just wanted to say that is does not go unoticed. XXX

Chris
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Old 10-23-04, 09:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acrafton
. . . how do I improve my riding in the flats? High/low cadence? Just ride faster, etc. . .any drills?

Thanks
Adam
Taken from Bicycling Magazine online ...

Problem: Flats Flounderer

Symptom: You're King of the Mountains, but on long, flat roads to nowhere you flounder like a fish.

Diagnosis: "Hammering on the flats is a function of sheer power," says Herrera. "If you're a good climber, you likely won't crank max power on the flats like the big guys, but you can get better."

Cure: Big-Gear Flat-Time-Trial drills build muscular strength and power on the flats. Ride a 5km course in a gear that's slightly harder than you'd use to time-trial (one that allows you to spin 75-80 rpm) and hammer it out. Recover for 10 minutes, spinning a superlight gear at 100 rpm. Repeat 2 to 3 times.

Link to entire article...
http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,3...ategory_id=363
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Old 10-23-04, 10:04 AM   #7
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Dr Morbius,--is the pic under your name a pic of Bruce Campbell?

Just wondering. . .
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Old 10-24-04, 10:04 PM   #8
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Has anybody thought of training with a small drag chute? That could definitely help you're wind-slicing-powers.
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Old 10-25-04, 11:04 AM   #9
Doctor Morbius
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Dr Morbius,--is the pic under your name a pic of Bruce Campbell?

Just wondering. . .
It sure is. Boy, if chins could kill ....
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Old 10-25-04, 11:05 AM   #10
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Has anybody thought of training with a small drag chute? That could definitely help you're wind-slicing-powers.
Just pedal harder. It will accomplish the same thing.
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Old 10-25-04, 01:21 PM   #11
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It sure is. Boy, if chins could kill ....
Yeah, he's really got the chin-thing going on. Did you see him in Bubba Hotep? Good Gawd, what a stupid movie, but I loved it--because it was sooo stuuuupid!
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Old 10-25-04, 04:18 PM   #12
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If you know someone with a scooter.....motorpacing.
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