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Getting faster

Old 06-02-07, 05:52 PM
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group105
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Getting faster

I've asked this question under the Road Cycling forum but did not get a specific plan (other than pedal faster and bike longer). I also did a forum search.

I figured I'll ask here since most people here actually train and race.
Here is where I am now:

Started riding at the beginning of May.
I ride around 80-90 miles a week since last week.

Typically I go out for a 18 mile ride (flat 50ft elevation change) a few times a week.
Avg speed is 15-16.5mph.

I have a computer but it does not have cadence.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-02-07, 07:03 PM
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Same advice as I posted in the other thread.

"Ride lots."
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Old 06-02-07, 07:20 PM
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And you have gotten some good stuff in that other thread...

-D
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Old 06-02-07, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by derath
And you have gotten some good stuff in that other thread...

-D
Thanks. It looks like several people have come up with some good suggestions.
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Old 06-02-07, 07:39 PM
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Yeah, I am pretty serious about my 1-minute intervals. That's one workout I never miss in a given week. Sprints, longer intervals, endurance miles, etc. are important too. The 1-minute interval teaches you to suffer, increases power, raises LT, and lets you see what it's like to go fast. Very valuable.
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Old 06-02-07, 08:24 PM
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"Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."
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Old 06-02-07, 08:30 PM
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Lmfao
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Old 06-02-07, 08:42 PM
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bad
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Old 06-02-07, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by group105
I've asked this question under the Road Cycling forum but did not get a specific plan (other than pedal faster and bike longer). I also did a forum search.

I figured I'll ask here since most people here actually train and race.
Here is where I am now:

Started riding at the beginning of May.
I ride around 80-90 miles a week since last week.

Typically I go out for a 18 mile ride (flat 50ft elevation change) a few times a week.
Avg speed is 15-16.5mph.

I have a computer but it does not have cadence.

Thanks in advance.
Ride more. Seriously. Or ride downhill.
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Old 06-02-07, 08:49 PM
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Didnt you just start riding a little over a month ago?

(you dont "get fast" overnight")
.......


I say keep doing what you are doing for now. Increase the milage a little each week along with the intensity of the rides (ride some easy some hard).
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Old 06-02-07, 08:49 PM
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Try harder, the pain you feel now will go away and progress into new pain as you get faster and go harder,,,then you will begin to like the pain, and want more off it.
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Old 06-02-07, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by wfrogge
Didnt you just start riding a little over a month ago?

(you dont "get fast" overnight")
.......


I say keep doing what you are doing for now. Increase the milage a little each week along with the intensity of the rides (ride some easy some hard).

Yes I did. May 8th.
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Old 06-02-07, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by wfrogge
Didnt you just start riding a little over a month ago?

(you dont "get fast" overnight")
.......


I say keep doing what you are doing for now. Increase the milage a little each week along with the intensity of the rides (ride some easy some hard).

Yes I did. May 8th. I'm not expecting to get faster overnight but at the same time up until today I did not know that much about intervals and stuff that can build you up. I just don't want to go out there and ride 25 miles and not be in a zone where I challenge my body (which seems to be almost all the time). I feel that right now without any direction even if I rode 160 miles a week I may not get the maximum speed increase (and I realize it will be small). I want to make sure I get the most out of the ride.


The main thing that got me thinking about speed was yesterday when I was riding. I hear a voice "passing on the left" I nod and expect to see a road bike, the guy passes on a mountain bike...I knew I was going at a decent pace and I look at the computer 20.5 mph....for the next 15 minutes I was @ 21 mph and I could not close in on this guy...honestly if that hadn't happened I would've just rode the bike and know that speed will come with time (which I still believe). Having something like that happen would be a wakeup call to anyone I'm sure (maybe at a different level). I would say it would be the equivalent of someone riding up tp you at 26mph avg and saying that it is their first time on a road bike. Would it not startle you?

So this whole episode got me thinking...what is the guy on the mountain bike doing? Is he a serious cyclist or a fitness buff who rides bikes? What am I doing wrong? What juice is he on and where can I get some ?Well I'm sure he's been riding for a while and challenges himself and stuff like that...As you mentioned I'm new to the game so I'm no expert but I tried to look at his pedal stroke...tried to see if he was dropping the heel but it seems like he was always pushing with his toes...that got me thinking that maybe he does not know about pedaling and maybe he just has raw power....

Last edited by group105; 06-02-07 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 06-02-07, 09:28 PM
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It happened to me once, I was into 45 miles of my 50 mile ride for the day...

I heard "passing left", a guy passed me on a Walmart special MTB wanna bee...he managed to stay in front of me for a good 1/4 mile, I was shocked and impressed....for a minute or so...then I went on my way.
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Old 06-02-07, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by group105
it seems like he was always pushing with his toes...that got me thinking that maybe he does not know about pedaling and maybe he just has raw power....
It's likely that he jackrabbited around you, then didn't expect you to chase. He was losing his form from the stress, but pressed on.

He might just have an odd stroke too... after watching Sean Kelly, I keep my mouth shut about fast guys with poor form. Let the race results do the talking
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Old 06-02-07, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
It's likely that he jackrabbited around you, then didn't expect you to chase. He was losing his form from the stress, but pressed on.

He might just have an odd stroke too... after watching Sean Kelly, I keep my mouth shut about fast guys with poor form. Let the race results do the talking
I'm not sure if I could even spot a good stroke if I saw one (I assume I should be able to clearly see if the heel was on the parallel with the ground or even 10 degrees past parallel on zone 1 of the pedal stroke @ 3 o'clock if I'm behind a rider from what I understand).

Last edited by group105; 06-03-07 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 06-02-07, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by group105
Yes I did. May 8th. I'm not expecting to get faster overnight but at the same time up until today I did not know that much about intervals and stuff that can build you up. I just don't want to go out there and ride 25 miles and not be in a zone where I challenge my body (which seems to be almost all the time). I feel that right now without any direction even if I rode 160 miles a week I may not get the maximum speed increase (and I realize it will be small). I want to make sure I get the most out of the ride.
Most likely you'll get NOTHING by riding 160-miles the same way you're doing your current rides.. Riding 160-miles will not do much for your max-speed, especially if you do it at 15-16mph. To increase max-speed, you have to do SPRINTS. Pick one day a week where you warm up for 15-20 miles. Then do 5-8 all-out 100% screaming bloody-murder sprints. All-out means pushing as hard as you can for as fast (RPMs) as you can for as long as you can (about 15-25 sec.). You should be completely spent at the end of the sprint and have to fall off your bike to recover. Rest 3-5 minutes and do another sprint. Do this workout once a week and you'll find your top-speed increasing tremendously.


Originally Posted by group105
The main thing that got me thinking about speed was yesterday when I was riding. I hear a voice "passing on the left" I nod and expect to see a road bike, the guy passes on a mountain bike...I knew I was going at a decent pace and I look at the computer 20.5 mph....for the next 15 minutes I was @ 21 mph and I could not close in on this guy...honestly if that hadn't happened I would've just rode the bike and know that speed will come with time (which I still believe). Having something like that happen would be a wakeup call to anyone I'm sure (maybe at a different level). I would say it would be the equivalent of someone riding up tp you at 26mph avg and saying that it is their first time on a road bike. Would it not startle you?

So this whole episode got me thinking...what is the guy on the mountain bike doing? Is he a serious cyclist or a fitness buff who rides bikes? What am I doing wrong? What juice is he on and where can I get some ?Well I'm sure he's been riding for a while and challenges himself and stuff like that...As you mentioned I'm new to the game so I'm no expert but I tried to look at his pedal stroke...tried to see if he was dropping the heel but it seems like he was always pushing with his toes...that got me thinking that maybe he does not know about pedaling and maybe he just has raw power....
Nope, raw-power has nothing to do with it. That only matters in max-speed sprints. The primary factor is muscular-efficiency. That is how much power your muscles can generate for any given amount of oxygen delivered by the lungs. With years of training, you can actually get increases of +100% in power-output for the same oxygen-delivery. To increase this efficiency, you need to do INTERVALS. On a different day of the week from your sprints, maybe 2-3 days away to give adequate rest, do 1-minute intervals. These are efforts you can only hold for 1-minute. It'll be about 95-98% of your max-sprint effort and you should be completely spent by the end of the 1-minute. Rest for 3-5 minutes to recovery fully and do it again. Your speed will most likely be 22-24mph. Do about 5-7 of these that day.

Other intervals can be 2-3-5 minutes. Or you can do pyramid sets of 1-2-3-5-3-2-1. Then there's hill-intervals, hill-climbs for tempo/aerobic workout. It's not so much about the quantity of riding, it's about the quality. You can get significant speed-increases with just 100-125 miles/week.

Remember, there's absolutely zero way you can increase your average speed of 15-16mph if all you do is ride 15-16mph. You can 10,000 miles at 15-16mph and you know what? You'll STILL average 15-16mph. It's those spurts to 20mph, 25mph, 30mph that improves your fitness. At first, you can only hold 20-mph for 2-minutes. But then it'll increase to 3-minutes. Then 5-minutes. Then 10-minutes. Pretty soon, you'll be able to hold 20mph indefinitely. That's where your new higher average-speed comes from...INTERVALS.
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Old 06-03-07, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by DrPete


Thanks Dr. Pete!

Now I need to go drope the hammer or else my guads will be sore.
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Old 06-03-07, 09:05 AM
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Listen to Danno.

BTW, raw AND maintainable speed takes years to develop.
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Old 06-03-07, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
Most likely you'll get NOTHING by riding 160-miles the same way you're doing your current rides.. Riding 160-miles will not do much for your max-speed, especially if you do it at 15-16mph. To increase max-speed, you have to do SPRINTS. Pick one day a week where you warm up for 15-20 miles. Then do 5-8 all-out 100% screaming bloody-murder sprints. All-out means pushing as hard as you can for as fast (RPMs) as you can for as long as you can (about 15-25 sec.). You should be completely spent at the end of the sprint and have to fall off your bike to recover. Rest 3-5 minutes and do another sprint. Do this workout once a week and you'll find your top-speed increasing tremendously.


Nope, raw-power has nothing to do with it. That only matters in max-speed sprints. The primary factor is muscular-efficiency. That is how much power your muscles can generate for any given amount of oxygen delivered by the lungs. With years of training, you can actually get increases of +100% in power-output for the same oxygen-delivery. To increase this efficiency, you need to do INTERVALS. On a different day of the week from your sprints, maybe 2-3 days away to give adequate rest, do 1-minute intervals. These are efforts you can only hold for 1-minute. It'll be about 95-98% of your max-sprint effort and you should be completely spent by the end of the 1-minute. Rest for 3-5 minutes to recovery fully and do it again. Your speed will most likely be 22-24mph. Do about 5-7 of these that day.

Other intervals can be 2-3-5 minutes. Or you can do pyramid sets of 1-2-3-5-3-2-1. Then there's hill-intervals, hill-climbs for tempo/aerobic workout. It's not so much about the quantity of riding, it's about the quality. You can get significant speed-increases with just 100-125 miles/week.

Remember, there's absolutely zero way you can increase your average speed of 15-16mph if all you do is ride 15-16mph. You can 10,000 miles at 15-16mph and you know what? You'll STILL average 15-16mph. It's those spurts to 20mph, 25mph, 30mph that improves your fitness. At first, you can only hold 20-mph for 2-minutes. But then it'll increase to 3-minutes. Then 5-minutes. Then 10-minutes. Pretty soon, you'll be able to hold 20mph indefinitely. That's where your new higher average-speed comes from...INTERVALS.
This is what I'm talking about. This is a plan which makes senses to me and will help me increase my speed. Thanks.
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Old 06-03-07, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by group105
for the next 15 minutes I was @ 21 mph....
Wow, cycling for just a month. Doesn't even know anything about intervals. And you can hold 21mph for 15 minutes? That is some raw talent it seems. You should go pro.

-D
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Old 06-03-07, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by derath
Wow, cycling for just a month. Doesn't even know anything about intervals. And you can hold 21mph for 15 minutes? That is some raw talent it seems. You should go pro.

-D
Huh? A pro would be more likely to hold 31mph for 15 minutes. What scale are you looking at?
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Old 06-03-07, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
Huh? A pro would be more likely to hold 31mph for 15 minutes. What scale are you looking at?
I hear that...I don't think I'm nowhere near PRO.
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Old 06-03-07, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
Huh? A pro would be more likely to hold 31mph for 15 minutes. What scale are you looking at?
I am talking about someone who just started a month ago (or less) with essentially no training under their belt.

Pretty nice starting base...

Sorry, I didn't figure I had to actually explain that. Although I kinda did in my past post anyhow if you read it correctly.

-D
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Old 06-03-07, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by derath
I am talking about someone who just started a month ago (or less) with essentially no training under their belt.

Pretty nice starting base...

Sorry, I didn't figure I had to actually explain that. Although I kinda did in my past post anyhow if you read it correctly.

-D
Yeah, a great place to start from.

You didn't have to explain it, but you smelled sarcastic -- as if you didn't believe he could ride 21mph for 15 minutes.
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