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Suggested workouts for increasing speeds on flats.

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Suggested workouts for increasing speeds on flats.

Old 11-04-18, 07:25 PM
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kevinabbot
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Suggested workouts for increasing speeds on flats.

I have a peloton, so I plan on doing this workout on a peloton. I am 5’3” and weigh ~115 pounds and I am 17. I am a good climber, but I am slow on flats and that’s something I want to work on. Are there any workouts that would be good for increasing that (more specific than just “interval sessions”. What? How long? How intense (power)? How often? In spring I want to race a 50 miles. I usually do 75-100 miles each weekend and 20-70 on week days.

Thankzz

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Old 11-04-18, 09:27 PM
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It is said that if you want to be able to ride 30 mph, then ride 30 mph. Besides power, position is critical, so there's a balance to find between power and position, and work to be done on increasing power in a more aero position. It takes a good bit of time to achieve these adaptions. There are many good workouts to increase cycling speed. Just google "cycling speed workouts." The progression of these workouts is something I'll leave to the experts here.
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Old 11-05-18, 03:40 PM
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Get more aero and put out more power.

At 17, there aren't going to be any shortcuts. You've got to just put in the time and wait for your body to mature. Could be a few months, will likely be a few years. And if your morphology doesn't drastically change, will likely be never.

And if that's the case, you've got to maximize your pack skills and be selective with your events.
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Old 11-08-18, 07:18 AM
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  1. Pick a speed (x)
  2. Find out how long you can hold it (y)
  3. Do intervals at x of y * .75 duration
  4. Increase combined interval duration over time by increasing number or duration of intervals
Edit - Regarding how often...
  • Monitor resting heart rate, stress, sleep quality, energy, appetite, mood and motivation
  • Use external:internal load ratio to determine improvement/fatigue
    • External load = Work completed = Time at intensity = Time (because fixed speed)
    • Internal load = The effect external load has on you = Stimulus which you can measure with RPE and HR
    • Decreased internal load for same external load = Improvement
    • Same internal load for increased external load = Improvement
    • Increased internal load for same external load = Fatigue
    • Disassociation between RPE and HR = Fatigue
    • If improvement then:
      • Prior stimulus and recovery time were good
      • Increase duration to maintain stimulus
      • Also if improvement is obvious per RPE then add interval(s) during the workout if you know you have another interval in you
    • If no change or decline then:
      • Prior stimulus was inadequate or excessive or recovery time was too long or too short
      • Hypothesize which it was and test or perform trial and error
  • Performing these workouts indoors on smart trainer using manual ERG mode and target power in place of speed will dramatically increase indicator reliability

Last edited by fstrnu; 11-08-18 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 11-08-18, 08:11 AM
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Search GCN on youtube, they have many training videos and I believe they have one for this very question you are asking.
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Old 11-11-18, 06:37 AM
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Also...it seems the question is rooted in a sense of deficiency in regards to riding on flat ground, which I would suggest is very likely not the case. Fundamentally power is power. Whatever training you do for hills will help you on flats.

HOWEVER, physics is not on your side. You’re small and light. That’s helps you on hills. It hurts you on flat ground. Your Power/weight ratio is great. Power/overall drag sucks relative to your fitness. You’ll probably always notice some people you blow past on climbs are faster than you on flats.
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Old 11-11-18, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
Also...it seems the question is rooted in a sense of deficiency in regards to riding on flat ground, which I would suggest is very likely not the case. Fundamentally power is power. Whatever training you do for hills will help you on flats.

HOWEVER, physics is not on your side. You’re small and light. That’s helps you on hills. It hurts you on flat ground. Your Power/weight ratio is great. Power/overall drag sucks relative to your fitness. You’ll probably always notice some people you blow past on climbs are faster than you on flats.
That's a good first approximation, but the devil's in the details. Getting into a full aero position will inevitably reduce power output somewhat. Training on the flat in aero position can mitigate that problem. Muscles move through different ranges of motion, breathing is restricted, and different muscles supply different amounts of force compared to what they do in one's best climbing position. IME it takes a good bit of training time on the flat, closely watching power vs. speed, to figure out what works best for you - and that will change with training, which complicates things. I ride with a couple of small women who do fine on the flat because their position is perfect (for them). Kness in equals similar drag reduction to that of deep rim aero wheel. Elbows in. Back straight from the top of your shorts to the back of your neck. You'll have a problem getting your saddle to bar drop large enough to get your back close to horizontal. Mount an angled stem upside down. Shoe covers. Shave your legs. Do everything.
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Old 11-12-18, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I ride with a couple of small women who do fine on the flat because their position is perfect (for them). Kness in equals similar drag reduction to that of deep rim aero wheel. Elbows in. Back straight from the top of your shorts to the back of your neck. You'll have a problem getting your saddle to bar drop large enough to get your back close to horizontal. Mount an angled stem upside down. Shoe covers. Shave your legs. Do everything.
At some point the smaller size and lack of power matters. I don't know of any women (all the way up to cat 1) around here that can hold on to a full-on paceline (though they can hang in a pack), despite being able to drop many people on the climbs. It's just that the absolute power isn't there.

At the end of the day, if you can't put out an adequate number, it doesn't matter how aero you are. And at 117 lbs, the OP is going to have to accept that for the time being. He'll likely put on 30-40 lbs over the next few years and power will increase substantially, but for now just getting aero isn't going to suffice.

Becoming invisible on people's wheel would probably be most beneficial at the moment, and learning how to figure out wind and how to adjust for that is also a big factor.

And I know almost no one that can ride with a flat back. Most people would have to push their seat so far forward it'd either run afoul of position restrictions or jack up the handling and weight distribution so much it wouldn't be worth it on a road bike. I don't think it's an attainable position for most. However, keeping narrow and turtling to keep your head low is a massive benefit, and one that almost anyone can adapt to to some degree.
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Old 11-12-18, 10:27 PM
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Just trying to point out that because of wheel diameter and necessary headtube length, stack height for shorter riders is too high for a good aero position. It's easy for tall folks, not so for us shorties. The small stuff matters, too. Bending the back (turtling?) compresses the heart and lungs. Best to roll the pelvis forward and flatten the back. Of course one drops the torso down between the shoulders and drops the head as far as it goes. Getting the muscles to put out anything close to climbing power in a tuck takes a lot of training. No need to move the saddle, contraindicated except on a TT bike. Emphasize your strengths, work on your weaknesses.
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Old 11-14-18, 04:00 PM
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Turtling is basically like shrugging your shoulders or trying to touch your shoulders to your ears. It raises the shoulders a bit but lowers the head out of the wind while still allowing you to see up the road. It's one of the most effective generic things one can do to improve CdA. It just takes some time and suffering to get used to it.

But you can't tuck and put out the same power. That's the point. Your hip angle is drastically tightened. That's why you have to move the seat forward, to open the hip angle and keep your knees from slamming in to your rib cage (that's also why people "get on the rivet"). That's also the point of shortening the cranks. Accomplishes something similar but raises the seat, improves hip angle, and increases the drop rather than moving the seat forward.

In any case, completely flat backs are not common, even amongst the pros.
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Old 11-15-18, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Turtling is basically like shrugging your shoulders or trying to touch your shoulders to your ears. It raises the shoulders a bit but lowers the head out of the wind while still allowing you to see up the road. It's one of the most effective generic things one can do to improve CdA. It just takes some time and suffering to get used to it.

But you can't tuck and put out the same power. That's the point. Your hip angle is drastically tightened. That's why you have to move the seat forward, to open the hip angle and keep your knees from slamming in to your rib cage (that's also why people "get on the rivet"). That's also the point of shortening the cranks. Accomplishes something similar but raises the seat, improves hip angle, and increases the drop rather than moving the seat forward.

In any case, completely flat backs are not common, even amongst the pros.
I don't see the point in telling someone not to experiment with a more aggressive aero position, but whatever. Like I say, results matter. Only results.
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Old 11-15-18, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I don't see the point in telling someone not to experiment with a more aggressive aero position, but whatever. Like I say, results matter. Only results.
Okay. I don't see the point in telling someone to shoot for a position that 95% of people (including pros) can't attain.
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Old 11-15-18, 06:46 PM
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No one has mentioned cross training yet.... I think.

Anyways - I tend to throw in some running (2-3 days a week) to help balance out muscle groups and build overall strength. it's not going to be ... just run and you will be stronger.... but over time your muscles will be better balanced. Be careful to not over-train in doing this because you tend to use a lot of the same muscle groups for both activities.

Also - Hit the gym. Put your legs and upper body through some strength training exercises. Focus on core exercises.

There are a lot of muscles that support us on the bike that we don't necessarily "build" while riding. They may get slightly strengthened by static use but over time they tire and make for back issues later in life. Doing core exercises to strengthen these muscles will help support your position on the bike and allow you to ride longer and have less fatigue over time.

All these things and whats mentioned above isn't a 3 week program to get you in prime condition for next months race. They will build strength over time and in a year you will see your increase. Make a 12 month goal to increase your power output by 20-30% and you will easily get there.

Keep at it. It's a long hard road ahead

-Sean
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Old 11-15-18, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Okay. I don't see the point in telling someone to shoot for a position that 95% of people (including pros) can't attain.
True. OTOH there aren't any 5'3" pros. Even Pantani was 5'8". The closer one can get to a pro position, like the positions in the video I posted over in another thread: Weightlifting Lifting And Endurance Cycling
the better. (not wanting to take up more space and bandwidth). And thanks for your comments.
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