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BSLeVan 04-25-07 07:24 AM

Reduced ability with no explanation...
I can't quite figure out what's going on. This year I made a much more concentrated effort to ride the trainer over the winter months (At least 5 hours per week), which is something I avoided in years past. I've got about twice the road miles in for the calendar year over the last three years, all of them using a heart rate monitor and staying at the planned level. (I always ride at least 1500 base miles with heart rate not exceeding 80% and usually around 65 to 75%, afterwhich I then start to push into 90% for intervals and other more strenous training.) My resting heart rate and recovery rate is actually better than it's been at this time over the last 3 years, and my weight is down by 20 pounds. Despite all of this, my average speeds on routes that I use to guage fitness are down 1 to 1.5 MPH. I've not changed my equipment in any way, and am worried that getting another year older is taking it's toll. I'd like to tell myself that there's been more headwinds this spring, but don't really think that's the case. Any insights into what may be going on would be most appreciated.

BluesDawg 04-25-07 07:31 AM

Analysis paralysis.

stonecrd 04-25-07 07:48 AM

Could just be that being on the trainer with no wind resistance you don't have the leg power to push the same gears you where pushing last year. If you are running one gear lighter at the same cadence as last year that could account for 1mph change. I would not sweat it, if you have lost 20lbs and have better fitness the speed will come and heck loosing 20lbs is a great accomplishment.

merlinman 04-25-07 07:51 AM

how's your rest? overtraining in 50+ (heck, at any age) can rob you. Maybe better to focus on training hard 3x a week, 2 easy days and 2 rest days will make you snappier so you can go hard when you need/want to. Also, take 1 week easier every 3rd or 4th week.

maddmaxx 04-25-07 08:08 AM

How do you feel when you ride. Same as always, tired legs, hit the wall earlier.

Performance changes could be almost anything from weather to diet to older legs and poorer blood circulation or even as mentioned here overtraning.

Jet Travis 04-25-07 08:09 AM

Yes, overtraining can be a real problem. Chris Charmichael (Lance Armstrong's coach), as well as many other coaches, build significant periods of recovery into their training programs. This includes very low-intensity recovery rides as well as time off the bike. Although his style is simple, I had to read his book several times to really grasp his approach (and believe me, you'll work plenty hard too).

ang1sgt 04-25-07 08:27 AM


Originally Posted by BluesDawg
Analysis paralysis.

I like that! LOL!

Have you eliminated any maintenance concerns with the Bike itself?
A few years ago I over-tightened my bike when it was on the trainer. I didn't know it, but I
slightly bent the axle. It was not much, but it pushed one of the cones at a strange angle
and it started to pound the bearings pretty quick. I found out aout it on my first spring ride
that year.

The inside race was scored a bit and the bearings were pretty well toasted. I got by with a new axle, cones and bearings, and the bike picked back up to the speeds I was used to for that time of the year.

All MY fault and I knew it.

BSLeVan 04-25-07 08:41 AM


Originally Posted by BluesDawg
Analysis paralysis.

Feels like "regression depression."

stapfam 04-25-07 09:17 AM

Big Paul ahs been round with his spanners and tightened the wheel bearings up just a bit. And did you apoligise to the wife. Visually 60 psi and 110 psi look the same but If the you have upset the wife and she let the pressures down----

Yen 04-25-07 09:36 AM

How's your diet? I read comments in these forums about loading up on lots of foods during and after long rides, and many of the foods listed will replace spent calories but are not very nutritious. Proper nutrition, not just calories, should be the emphasis of everyone's diet.

oilman_15106 04-25-07 10:28 AM

Went out the other day with the idea of a 20 mile ride at a higher average speed than usual. Computer says my average has not improved. Guess that's the way it is.

Hermes 04-25-07 01:53 PM

The trainer and the road are completely different - wind, hills, balance and etc. Speed can be misleading as you point out wind can affect performance. Windy conditions cause my average speed to drop 1 to 2 mph. Give it some time and the work you have done will pay off.

howsteepisit 04-25-07 02:41 PM

This year I decided to focus on keeping my cadence up and not being concerned with HR so much. Last year I rode at 70-80% HR most of the time, with some longer itervals thrown in and never got any faster. My cadence was generally i9n the 75-85 range. This year I am keeping my cadence over 90, and notice a real difference in speed, like 1.5 mph so far this year. BTW my HR tends to be higher in the 80-90% range for 1-3 hour rides) at the higher cadence, but my endurance is better. I am thinking that keeping HR in the 70% range is fine for pro riders but not so good for us older and slower types.

freeranger 04-25-07 04:42 PM

Blame it on global warming, making you sweat more, needing more hydration, carry more water with you for the ride, increasing the weight of the bike, making you burn more calories to carry the extra weight, resulting in fatigue setting in earlier, thus reducing average speed! Or maybe not?

Terrierman 04-25-07 05:21 PM

I think I know what's going on here. You're not riding as fast as you used to.

jppe 04-25-07 08:06 PM

I feel sure you are in MUCH better condition that what you have been in the past based on your planned training and exercise. Don't fret it for now. There are other variables like wind and temperature that come into play that tend to keep average speeds lower. Give it a while longer. I think you'll see you're averages will be 1 mph in the positive direction as the temps moderate and spring gets into full swing.

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