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How to go faster and longer?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

How to go faster and longer?

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Old 03-09-07, 10:05 PM
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h2o_polo_boi
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How to go faster and longer?

So this week I have been passed by 4 middle-aged guys. One approaching 50. It was a humbling experience for me since I usually do the passing and have never been passed. I'm a bit discouraged but want to get better.

To start off, I am almost 20 years old and fairly new to cycling (6 months with 1,315.1 miles). I'm 5'7", 144 lbs. I've done a flat century before and have signed up for 2 "real" centuries coming up in 2 months. I also commute to college on weekdays which includes an 18% grade hill for 1 mile. I have a Specialized Allez Elite '06 with Mavic Open Pro 32-36 spoke wheels. The bike weighs about 20 lbs. I usually average 20mph for 7 miles on my returning commute with about 100 ft of climbing. Today, I did 48 miles with an average of 16.5 mph and 2000+ ft. of climbing. I have no idea if that is good or bad but I just thought it would be some helpful information on my physical condition.

I have learned a lot so far from BF. However, I don't feel that I am getting any better probably because I am inexperienced and still learning. The reason why those guys passed me was because they were able to go faster by a few mph since they were spinning at a higher gear. I usually spin comfortably at a lower gear around 90 rpm. A higher gear and lower cadence will cause me to tire quicker. How can I get strong enough to spin at a higher gear without getting tired, besides ride more lol? Thanks in advance for any training advice.

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Old 03-09-07, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by h2o_polo_boi
The reason why those guys passed me was because they were able to go faster by a few mph since they were spinning at a higher gear.
Just changing gears isn't what did it for them. For one thing, they were able to share the work by taking turns at the front. For another thing, they might just be in better shape than you.

No worries. Just keep riding and you'll get better--but there will always be someone faster than you.

--Steve
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Old 03-09-07, 10:16 PM
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They were going faster than you mostly because they train harder than you.
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Old 03-09-07, 10:17 PM
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It sounds like you have thirty years of work to get to that level.

I'm still pretty new at this myself, and have felt a lot of the same frustrations. I feel like I'm in pretty good shape (and I am), but I have nowhere near the miles in my legs as most of the people I see on the road. I wish I had over a thousand miles in my first six months of riding...keep at it.
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Old 03-09-07, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by zimbo
Just changing gears isn't what did it for them. For one thing, they were able to share the work by taking turns at the front. For another thing, they might just be in better shape than you.

No worries. Just keep riding and you'll get better--but there will always be someone faster than you.

--Steve

Oh, just to clarify, these were separate one on one occasions so no drafting lol. And I'm pretty sure it has to do with gearing because they had a double chainring while I had a triple and using the granny gear haha. I tried shifting up a few gears while keeping their cadence but I just got too tired.
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Old 03-09-07, 10:25 PM
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I ride with a 61 year old and a 51 year old who will probably always beat me anywhere anytime especially on climbs. Don't let that bother you. Some of these guys have been riding every week for maybe 20-30 years.
I was about 3 months in to riding and thought I was going along at a nice speed one day when I was passed by a young girl on what I was sure was a 3 speed cruiser wearing flip flops. Now thats something to worry about.
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Old 03-09-07, 10:26 PM
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don't blame it on the gearing.
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Old 03-09-07, 10:30 PM
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Intervals, Intervals, Intervals, Intervals
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Old 03-09-07, 10:36 PM
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I'm putting the over-under for Waterrockets telling you to do one minute hill repeats at 5 more posts.

--Steve
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Old 03-09-07, 10:41 PM
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T.I.S. Time In Saddle.

To paraphrase what Lance said, "cycling is for older men, not for old men."

(I believe he actually said that "the Tour de France is for ..... etc.)

What I mean is, give it time. By cycling standards, you're still in diapers.
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Old 03-09-07, 10:48 PM
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Faster and longer, eh?

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Old 03-09-07, 10:56 PM
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this is #3 on your over/under
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Old 03-09-07, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by vpiuva
this is #3 on your over/under
what is over/under? isn't that a wager for sporting events?
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Old 03-09-07, 11:04 PM
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End of thread.
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Old 03-09-07, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by cedricbosch
Intervals, Intervals, Intervals, Intervals

I always hear that but I never knew what that meant. I coach competitive swimming so I can imagine it being something like sets and repetitions. But how would you go about that on a bike?

But like swimming, speed comes from more time in the water. Assuming you have good technique and strength. I just hope my speed on the bike is not due to a flaw in a technique I don't know about.
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Old 03-09-07, 11:20 PM
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You're doing great, you've got a good bike, you're getting in some miles. The Viagra thing was funny. You've just got performance anxiety. Fugiddaboudit. Ride your bike.

Don't worry about intervals, either. Your 18% climb is a fine interval. If that climb honestly averages 18% for a mile, then it's about 950'. A good club rider should be able to climb that in about 20 minutes. Lance could have climbed it in 10. 20 minutes is a fine lactate threshold interval. Keep trying to ride that climb faster. And gradually try to increase your weekly mileage, and the length of your longest ride. Distance=strength. And remember, it takes seven years to reach your maximum performance, and that's if you train hard every frigging year. It's a slow process. Enjoy it.
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Old 03-09-07, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by h2o_polo_boi
Intervals, Intervals, Intervals, Intervals

I always hear that but I never knew what that meant. I coach competitive swimming so I can imagine it being something like sets and repetitions. But how would you go about that on a bike?

.
Intervals are workouts alternating high intensity, with low intensity (or rest). It helps you build the ability to go hard, for sprinting, exiting corners in criteriums, bridging gaps, breaking away... You'll get all manner of specific definitions of "intervals"... and it depends on your goals the type (or types) of intervals you chose to do.

I'm sure swimming has it's own version, perhaps with a different name. Hard lap, easy lap, hard lap, easy lap ....
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Old 03-10-07, 12:22 AM
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Train hard for 30 years. Oh, and good genes help too.
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Old 03-10-07, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Your 18% climb is a fine interval. If that climb honestly averages 18% for a mile, then it's about 950'.


18% is what it says, I don't know how they got that because after I checked Google Earth, the results were a 435' climb in 0.76 miles (3,987.85') which is roughly an 11% average grade. I usually climb that in 7 minutes and every time it's a pain in the a** especially with school books

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Old 03-10-07, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by h2o_polo_boi


18% is what it says, I don't know how they got that because after I checked Google Earth, the results were a 435' climb in 0.76 miles (3,987.85') which is roughly an 11% average grade. I usually climb that in 7 minutes and every time it's a pain in the a** especially with school books
That looks familiar for some reason. Where is that?
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Old 03-10-07, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak
That looks familiar for some reason. Where is that?
Harder Road leading to Cal State East Bay...or formerly Cal State Hayward
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Old 03-10-07, 02:45 AM
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18% could be the maximum grade for that stretch of road, not the average.

Think about it - if you had a road that started with a 15% grade for half a mile, then 2% for a mile, then 12% for another half mile, would you put down the grade of the total distance as 8% (average) or 15% (maximum)?

I'd go for max.
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Old 03-10-07, 06:05 AM
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What's a not-so-real century as opposed to a "real" century?
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Old 03-10-07, 06:13 AM
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How to go faster and longer?
ride more.
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Old 03-10-07, 06:21 AM
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Set up a training schedule. Half the days you ride, do stuff that sucks. I don't need to tell you what- you know... long, steep climbs that have you straining out of the saddle at the end doing like 2 miles an hour, extended sprints on cobbles, etc. The other days, go for long fun rides. The first few weeks your "free" days will be slow and easy, like recovery rides... but as you get into better and better shape, your free days will become more and more challenging... soon you'll be killing hills for fun. Then you can start eating people. Mmmm... people.
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