Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

riding slow? will it hurt your overall performance?

Notices
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

riding slow? will it hurt your overall performance?

Old 07-01-07, 10:04 PM
  #1  
feethanddooth
this one's optimistic...
Thread Starter
 
feethanddooth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: central new jersey
Posts: 723

Bikes: cannondale r400 2006 kona smoke 2005 scott cr1 team

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
riding slow? will it hurt your overall performance?

helped a buddy out today by leading a group ride around my area. they all didnt live around here so i had to be a guide as well as try and get in my own fitness i like. even though i did some sprints with my friend, and also sped ahead to a climb and then came down it and climbed again, my overall average speed was very low for me.

so does riding at a very slow rate bring your performance slightly down? doesnt matter cause i will just work my next ride hard. just curious
feethanddooth is offline  
Old 07-01-07, 10:07 PM
  #2  
euphoria
Senior Member
 
euphoria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dallas
Posts: 1,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Not every ride has to be a hammerfest. The slower you go, the more your fat reserves are tapped.
euphoria is offline  
Old 07-01-07, 10:13 PM
  #3  
cedricbosch
W.W.DZ.D?
 
cedricbosch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,979
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by euphoria
Not every ride has to be a hammerfest. The slower you go, the more your fat reserves are tapped.
Truly? That seems contradictory to me.
cedricbosch is offline  
Old 07-01-07, 11:21 PM
  #4  
mezza
Senior Member
 
mezza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: On the intramaweb thing.
Posts: 1,016

Bikes: Steel geared. Steel Fix.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cedricbosch
Truly? That seems contradictory to me.
Its true, I burn the most fat in front of the TV.
mezza is offline  
Old 07-02-07, 12:14 AM
  #5  
johnny99
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern California
Posts: 10,879
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by euphoria
Not every ride has to be a hammerfest. The slower you go, the more your fat reserves are tapped.
That is an exaggeration. You do not burn more ounces of fat by riding easy vs. hard for the same number of hours. Perhaps in some cases, a larger percentage of calories will come from fat vs. carbs, but you are burning less calories overall, so a larger percentage of smaller number is still a smaller number.

A slow ride can be useful as a recovery ride. If you're trying to lose weight, any kind of ride will burn more calories than sitting on your couch. If you're working on fitness, you need to get your heart rate at least into the aerobic zone to have any real benefit.
johnny99 is offline  
Old 07-02-07, 10:57 AM
  #6  
Phantoj
Certifiable Bike "Expert"
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,647
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I always hear, "Most riders ride too hard on their easy days, and not hard enough on their hard days."

I think that if you ride slow for more than about two weeks straight, you will see a performance drop-off.


This is a good question for Training and Nutrition.


Riding slow is good for fat burning because you can ride for a very long time at a slower pace, and you don't have to eat as much. IMO.
Phantoj is offline  
Old 07-02-07, 11:06 AM
  #7  
FixdGearHead
BMC Lover
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,307
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Phantoj
Riding slow is good for fat burning because you can ride for a very long time at a slower pace, and you don't have to eat as much. IMO.
Therein lies the confusion; yes, a slow ride will assist in burning fat - but it has to be a long ride...a fast ride vs slow ride of equal distance is not of equal fat burning potential. (that came out very "Confucius" sounding).

To the OP:
Avg speed during a ride can be very misleading when measuring overall workout intensity. Sounds like you were able to put in some sprint intervals, which in of itself is very beneficial.
FixdGearHead is offline  
Old 07-02-07, 11:28 AM
  #8  
C Law
Too Much Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NY
Posts: 3,660

Bikes: Eriksen 29er, Gunnar Roadie, Niner RLT, Niner RIP 9

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 116 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by FixdGearHead
Therein lies the confusion; yes, a slow ride will assist in burning fat - but it has to be a long ride...a fast ride vs slow ride of equal distance is not of equal fat burning potential. (that came out very "Confucius" sounding).
The second half of that sentence reminded me more of Yoda
C Law is offline  
Old 07-02-07, 11:37 AM
  #9  
'nother
semifreddo amartuerer
 
'nother's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 4,599

Bikes: several

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by euphoria
Not every ride has to be a hammerfest. The slower you go, the more your fat reserves are tapped.
This is kind of a half-truth, and needs to be clarified. The slower you go the higher the percentage of fat is burned. That does not mean "you burn more fat if you go slow". You can hammer and burn more overall calories, and even though the percentage of fat may be lower, it will still be a higher total quantity of fat burned than by riding at a lower intensity.

As to the original question: riding slow won't hurt your overall performance, it just doesn't help it (in terms of improving aerobic or anaerobic endurance, etc.). It may help for recovery; i.e. many people claim that a slow/easy ride the day after a very hard ride helps muscles rebuild faster. So in that sense it may be seen as helping performance. The theory makes some sense; improve blood flow to the area without severely taxing any systems, etc.
'nother is offline  
Old 07-02-07, 12:11 PM
  #10  
velocity
Dart Board
 
velocity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Happy Valley Oregon
Posts: 1,785

Bikes: 13 Super Six EVO Red, 2005 Six13, 2015 CAADX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Why a lot of publications have came out over the last years saying that at lower intensities you burn more fatty acids and still while that is true, most of us don't have 4 to 5 hours a day to do that sort of training to get leaner. The fact is most of us want to get stronger too, while doing the work of our rides. The math break down looks like this but may not be what you are capable of. Lets say you burn 3 kals a minute at intensity that feels challenging yet your breathing is comfortable and is close to your 70% MHR~ that means in one hour you would burn 180 calories. 80% of those would come from fatty acids and 20% would come from glycogen. Therefor 144 kal would come from fat and 36 would come from glycogen now up the intensity to where you feel challenged and uncomfortable and are close to your 80% MHR effort for one hour burning 6 kals. You would burn an overall of 360 kals more calories but 50% would come from fat and 50% would come from glycogen or 180 each. The higher intensity burns more of both kinds of fuel and since you are pushing your self a training effect of overload comes into play. The thing is that after a very hard ride you need rest so that your body can compensate for the break down that you have given it. So how do I stay ahead of the game and burn calories and get good training effect in? Work as comfortable hard as you can with out hurting yourself physically defeating yourself mentally or need so much recovery you take away from your ride then and the one to come.
Velocity
velocity is offline  
Old 07-02-07, 12:50 PM
  #11  
FatguyRacer
Mmmmm Donuts!
 
FatguyRacer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Crownsville, MD
Posts: 2,069

Bikes: 1998 IF Crown Jewel

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by feethanddooth
so does riding at a very slow rate bring your performance slightly down? doesnt matter cause i will just work my next ride hard. just curious
No. As long as you're still doing your high intensity workouts 2-3x a week, you will not slow down from doing a 'slow' ride. LSD rides are very benificial to building and maintaining endurance. It also helps mentally too. "Smelling the flowers" will help to avoid overtraining and burnout. More than 50% of training time should be devoted to this type of riding. My 70 mile ride yesterday with a small group of non-racers took about 4 1/2 hours and it was a blast. The same group did a 42 mile hard ride on the day before. I imagine that when our group gets together for the 2x weekly hammer rides our pace will be progressivly higher than in past weeks.
__________________
John

'09 Cannondale CAAD9 - Team Latitude/ABRT Special.
'04 Lemond Victorie Ti
'98 IF Crown Jewel (dead)
'92 Trek2100 (TT)
'50 something Gino Bartali (fixer)
'02 Ducati ST4s (Moto-Ref mount)

My Blog
FatguyRacer is offline  
Old 07-02-07, 01:01 PM
  #12  
DigitalRJH
Senior Member
 
DigitalRJH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Greensburg, PA
Posts: 1,203
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It was just one ride, don't be so paranoid about losing fitness......
DigitalRJH is offline  
Old 07-02-07, 02:55 PM
  #13  
countdowntolife
Siiiiick Member
 
countdowntolife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Redding, Ca
Posts: 168
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have been running long distance for 8 years now and I have been riding for about 2. When training for long distance running I was always taught to run at the pace I felt like I was going to race at. If you train slow that is what your body will get used to. Of course when you are in a race either on foot or bike you are going to go atleast a little faster than you usally do because you will naturally feel the urge to compete. But you can't train at 10mph and expect to race good at 20+mph. I noticed when training for foot races those who slacked in training suffered the most in races. Taking easy days is not bad for you at all though. Everyones body needs a break at one point or another. Well that's how I see it
countdowntolife is offline  
Old 07-02-07, 04:29 PM
  #14  
alanbikehouston
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 5,250
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Well, after fifty years of riding more slowly than anyone I know, I'm riding more slowly than ever. On the other hand, many of the guys I was riding with with Ike was President are now dead. So, riding slowly can't be all bad.
alanbikehouston is offline  
Old 07-02-07, 04:55 PM
  #15  
grahny
hobo
 
grahny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: CO
Posts: 3,784
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Info based on heartrate, which can be related to a 'slower' ride...

From Polar's website:

60-70% Lose Weight or Recover
70-80% Improve Aerobic Fitness
80+ % Increase Athletic Performance


...So if anything, you probably burned a little more fat. A combination of all types of riding is important though. Every ride shouldn't be giving it your all 100%, even though you may feel like you can. You can overtrain quickly that way. Albiet everyone is different, so you need to learn how to listen to your own body. A slow ride every now and again is nothing but beneficial if you ride hard most of the time.
grahny is offline  
Old 07-02-07, 05:50 PM
  #16  
Ryleeryno
ber Member
 
Ryleeryno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,489

Bikes: 2005 Trek 5000 (the last OCLV)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I consider my weekly "Girlfriend ride-along" as a recovery ride. Every Sunday my girlfriends tags along as I average 14mph where I normally average 19mph. Sometimes it kills me but I do it for our own good.
__________________
Felt F3c

Me
Ryleeryno is offline  
Old 07-03-07, 01:55 AM
  #17  
shogun17
Sheldon Brown's posse
 
shogun17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Oz-tray-lee-ah
Posts: 1,046

Bikes: BMC SL01, XtC, Rhythm GX and a frankenstein avalanche 2.0

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You need to balance your program. Hard stuff will make you faster, but when combined with slow stuff intermediately, will boost your performance pretty quickly. slow rides are good for recovery. Long slow rides will build your capacity to ride for extended periods of time. Hard rides will build your ability to operate at high intensities. Combine both and you can operate at high intensities for an extended period of time (I realise it is more complicated than this).

Oh, and average speed counts for nothing. Its great to tell your friends, but is conditions dependent. You should look at periodical average heart rate or power, if you can. For instance, my average speed for an interval session might end up to be 33km/h, but my average speed and heart rate during the actual intervals would be much higher. The rest periods in-between effectively render the average speed useless as an indicator of ride intensity. If you ride hard for a whole ride, you won't build form as quickly as intervals.
shogun17 is offline  
Old 07-03-07, 02:22 AM
  #18  
ratebeer
Not obese just overweight
 
ratebeer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 2,035

Bikes: Trek 7500fx, Cervelo Soloist

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Michael J. Ross, M.D. says in Maximum Performance For Cyclists that slow "base miles" without resistance training or high intensity workouts can in fact make you weaker. He also says low intensity training is the least effective use of your time in order to induce the desired training effect.

I ride slow twice a week however I may throw a couple hard but short intervals in there.
__________________
Joe

Veho difficilis, ago facilis
ratebeer is offline  
Old 07-03-07, 10:44 PM
  #19  
feethanddooth
this one's optimistic...
Thread Starter
 
feethanddooth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: central new jersey
Posts: 723

Bikes: cannondale r400 2006 kona smoke 2005 scott cr1 team

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
lots of stuff to think about. thanks everyone for kicking in your opinions. glad to see it didnt turn into an "im right, youre wrong" fest like most posts do.
feethanddooth is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.