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whats was your biggest leap in speed or performance from one season to the next.

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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

whats was your biggest leap in speed or performance from one season to the next.

Old 08-14-11, 04:42 PM
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8ounce
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whats was your biggest leap in speed or performance from one season to the next.

I was wondering when you all took the leap from casual cyclist to to enthusiast, how much of an improvement did you get first time you started a serious training routine from one season to the next. Did it take years to see big improvements or did you get a big jump in performance right away.
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Old 08-14-11, 05:05 PM
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dblackwood72
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This year I saw a couple of minute improvement on some of the local climbs... That's the beauty of stuff like Garmin and Strava, you can easily tract your improvements!!!
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Old 08-14-11, 05:18 PM
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I started training on June 6th and I've shed minutes off category ranked climbs, wattage is up 20-30w, average speed picked up 3mph or so
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Old 08-14-11, 05:48 PM
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Law of diminishing returns. The beginner will put a little time in here/there and see the biggest gains. The more experienced will put huge mounts of training in, but see small gains.

I ride 14+ hours a week to gain 1/2 mph in speed or to be just a little more comfortable in our hammerfest rides or decrease my time up the hill by 1 minute or whatever.

Also, of note, the gains seem to come in a series of jumps & plateaus. When I first started riding, I could do say 15mph on rides. Then, jumped to 17mph, then 19mph, then 20/21. In between was much toiling and sweat. And then suddenly, I was at the next level.

Keep it up: you'll progress.
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Old 08-14-11, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
Also, of note, the gains seem to come in a series of jumps & plateaus. When I first started riding, I could do say 15mph on rides. Then, jumped to 17mph, then 19mph, then 20/21. In between was much toiling and sweat. And then suddenly, I was at the next level.

Keep it up: you'll progress.
I agree with this, but I think it's because as you slowly improve the time you spend while riding where you push yourself to that next level gets harder faster longer, then eventually you are pushing yourself more than 50% of the time as it were. That becomes your standard effort and what was your normal pace before is now a resting pace.
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Old 08-15-11, 04:19 AM
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I made a huge improvement from October 2000 to September 2001. It took a big relationship bust-up to spur me into action though ...

After my ex dumped me, I decided I had better give up alcohol for a while or I would end up 'drowning my sorrows' every night. That was a big cut in my calorie intake. I also went off food and cut that by about 30%. I was losing 2-3 pounds a week through the winter.

I was doing regular hard sessions on my stationary bike; I'm talking viciously hard. I would be wearing only a pair of shorts in an unheated room at freezing point and I'd still sweat off 3-4 pounds per session. Okay, those were only fluid losses but it shows how hard I was working. I'd have to crawl up the stairs afterwards because my legs wouldn't support me.

I went on a 2 week road training camp in Spain in the Spring where I rode 750 fast miles and took in quite a few mountains.

I carried on riding regularly and putting in big efforts right through the Summer.

By the time I got to September, I was 50 pounds lighter and feeling really fit. Former monster climbs had become minor climbs, former minor climbs had become easy uphill drags, former easy uphill drags felt like downhills. I was flying!

It was time for annual 'Manchester 100' which I always did with a friend. Normally, he went off with a faster bunch and did the 100 miles in sub-5 hours whereas I'd bust a gut to get round in 6. This time round, I towed him 55 miles to the 'midway' checkpoint. He had struggled to stay with me, and I kept riding away from him without realising that he'd lost my wheel. It turned out that he'd bashed his back brake getting his bike in or out of his car and he'd ridden the 55 miles with his brake jammed on! He was exhausted and I had to nurse him round the last 45 miles. I think we ended up taking 5 hours 45 minutes for the 100 miles and I felt totally fresh and relaxed at the end. I reckon I could have gone under 5 hours that day if I'd been riding solo.

So ... I know from that experience that it is possible to go from fat and unfit to slim and fit in one year if you work hard enough at it. (Assuming you aren't more than (say) 100 pounds overweight.) You need to be highly motivated, train very hard and watch what you eat and drink.

Good luck!

PS My problem is that I only seem to sustain that kind of regime when I'm hurt and/or angry. Once I start to feel okay again, I slip back into the old lifestyle and my weight goes back up and I lose the fitness.

I've been through that entire cycle again since then and am currently 50 pounds heavier once more and working my way back down again. I really don't want to have to keep putting myself through this so I'm going to be extra vigilant this time. Once I hit my target weight, I'm going to weigh myself regularly and do whatever it takes to keep myself within a +/- 2 pound window of that. Complacency is the enemy of success!
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Old 08-15-11, 08:46 AM
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Huge change in volume and quality will cause massive change or burnout.

When I was 18 I did 10k miles. It was pretty much the worst year I rode - DNF something like 40 races, finished just one.

When I was a bit older (mid 20s) I did something similar, massive miles and racing, a much higher level of competition, and I had the best year of my life. It was an absolute world changer, to experience significantly faster riding, to comprehend huge and previously unfathomable expectations (and then try and meet them). I'm not an athlete naturally so this was a huge change for me. Stories linked below.

Story:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...kermesses.html

Pro sitings:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...messes_28.html

Pictures:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...kermesses.html

Also there's a concept of being able to try radical approaches to the same problem (i.e. before you wouldn't even try it). For me it's gearing - if I usually use my lowest gear on a hill, what if I use my biggest? It's a lesson I learned as a kid:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...ic-and-me.html

Finally, a lesson from the above link - if you can get fast on the flats, you get fast overall. Climbing fast isn't where it's at, not at the beginning. It's the fast stuff on the flat roads that open new worlds.
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Old 08-15-11, 08:48 AM
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Hanging on to the 'B' team members last year, now leading the 'A' team members on all hills/mountains. Not bad considering we have a national champion on our team. Went from 180lbs to 160. Looking for 150-155 at 6'.

Need to work on the hammer fests on the straights.
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Old 08-15-11, 10:22 AM
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After completing a weight training cycle of explosive lifting, being able to dunk a basketball. I'm a shortarmed 5-10. My sprint was fantastic that spring.
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Old 08-15-11, 10:31 AM
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Since I don't have a powermeter or a HR monitor, cruising speed is what I have.... and when I started out, I was doing 14-15 mph. When I started riding more this year, my cruising speed went up to 17-18 mph (or 20+ mph while drafting)... it took a few months. But now I am plateauing.
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Old 08-15-11, 11:50 AM
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Thanks all for replies and carpedium I always enjoyed your race videos... really make wanna try a crit race one day .
This was my first year cycling. I casual rode about 3 times a week (20 mile rides) My average speed went up from 16-17 to 19-20 solo. I plan on doing a structured and intense program this coming winter and hope to join a group of friends that ride 25+ average group rides. Think this is to much of an increase to hope for?
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Old 08-15-11, 12:03 PM
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Its a rather slow process, but early pre-season training is a must for me to see improvements during high-summer. This year has been nice to me with lots of training all through spring and early summer. If I stay consistent in training routines I normally gain speed of course, but mostly fast recovering after long runs and sportives. This summer I seem to be able to train without any free days and I still feel OK. Less fatigue in other words!
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Old 08-15-11, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
Finally, a lesson from the above link - if you can get fast on the flats, you get fast overall. Climbing fast isn't where it's at, not at the beginning. It's the fast stuff on the flat roads that open new worlds.
Thanks for that. I've been understanding this concept for 2 years now, just didn't know how to phrase it. In 2008, I was doing a local KOM series (3 centuries, 10,000+ feet each) and climbing lots in prep. As a bigger guy, I climb slow. During this time, my racing suffered: I was racing slow and barely hanging onto the back of the fields. Then, in 2010, I was having a great year speed-wise. I wasn't avoiding hills, but wasn't looking for them. Instead, I was concentrating on going fast. And I was climbing very well, especially for my size.
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Old 08-15-11, 12:48 PM
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Well the control for me has been a Duathlon that I have participated in since 2009.

How I finished in the biking portion:
2009-29th out of 150
2010-14th out of 134
2011-2nd out of 166

I would say my biggest leap has been from last year to this year. I am hoping to do the same next year. The only thing that I have done each year is increase my riding.
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Old 08-15-11, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
Huge change in volume and quality will cause massive change or burnout.

When I was 18 I did 10k miles. It was pretty much the worst year I rode - DNF something like 40 races, finished just one.

When I was a bit older (mid 20s) I did something similar, massive miles and racing, a much higher level of competition, and I had the best year of my life. It was an absolute world changer, to experience significantly faster riding, to comprehend huge and previously unfathomable expectations (and then try and meet them). I'm not an athlete naturally so this was a huge change for me. Stories linked below.

Story:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...kermesses.html

Pro sitings:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...messes_28.html

Pictures:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...kermesses.html

Also there's a concept of being able to try radical approaches to the same problem (i.e. before you wouldn't even try it). For me it's gearing - if I usually use my lowest gear on a hill, what if I use my biggest? It's a lesson I learned as a kid:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...ic-and-me.html

Finally, a lesson from the above link - if you can get fast on the flats, you get fast overall. Climbing fast isn't where it's at, not at the beginning. It's the fast stuff on the flat roads that open new worlds.
cool stories
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Old 08-15-11, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 8ounce View Post
Thanks all for replies and carpedium I always enjoyed your race videos... really make wanna try a crit race one day .
This was my first year cycling. I casual rode about 3 times a week (20 mile rides) My average speed went up from 16-17 to 19-20 solo. I plan on doing a structured and intense program this coming winter and hope to join a group of friends that ride 25+ average group rides. Think this is to much of an increase to hope for?
I average 15-19 mph on training rides. The faster group rides I've done (it's hillier than not, but no super long climbs) typically avg 22 mph with stops - these include rides I used to do like Gimbles. Races average 25-27+ mph. A 25+ mph avg speed on a group ride is very fast. Someone that does 20-22 mph solo should be fine on such a ride. 18-19 mph solo speed may be a bit low.

Originally Posted by himespau View Post
cool stories
Thanks
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Old 08-15-11, 02:27 PM
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Biggest performance leap was last year - went from sitting on my couch to riding my bike 4-5 times per week. For those scoring at home - that's a jump from 0mph to about 17mph.
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