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Plateaued. How do I get faster

ShavedlegsShavedlegs Posts: 310
My benchmark test is 3 laps of Richmond Park, which now I consistantly do at about 50 mins. Despite my training I just don't seem to get any faster, I commute 9 miles to work on a fixed and have access to a gym at lunch time, where I usually ride a spin bike for 30mins.

My training orginally paid off but I've stopped seeing any improvement. How do I get faster?

Posts

  • Are you going clockwise or anti-clockwise around the park?

    Richmond Park is a rolling course with some short hills and some longer hills. It is getting up these hills quicker that will cut your lap times. Trying to go faster on the flat is another option but that is more difficult because of wind resitance and I think I'm right in saying it's difficult to make gains there for a rolling course like Richmond Park.

    So you I'd say you need to get up each hill quicker. You need to do an interval on each hill with some recovery time in between. So you could ride the course at an easy pace then as you start to climb a hill, ride as hard as you can up it at a consistent effort. So if its gonna take four minutes, pace yourself so that you are going flat out at a consistent effort for that four minutes. Then ease right off, pedal in a low gear for a few minutes or so. Then tackle the next hill in the same manner. If the hill is short and you can get up it in less than a minute then sprint up it on the drops as hard as you can, then recover as before.

    So you might end up performing, say, four intervals on the circuit: maybe a couple of 4 minute intervals and some shorter intervals.

    When it comes to doing your 3 lap circuit again you should then be able to get up the hills a bit quicker (obviously not as fast as in the intervals) while maintaining the same speed on the flat sections and the downhills.

    Bin
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Shavedlegs wrote:
    My benchmark test is 3 laps of Richmond Park, which now I consistantly do at about 50 mins. Despite my training I just don't seem to get any faster, I commute 9 miles to work on a fixed and have access to a gym at lunch time, where I usually ride a spin bike for 30mins.

    My training orginally paid off but I've stopped seeing any improvement. How do I get faster?
    Hey Mr RP 3 lap King, if you take in to considerations, wind conditions, cars, temperature etc you may not have plateaued. You'll only truly know if you test this via your wattage ( powermeter)output or perhaps your best time on a steady windless climb. Anyway if you truly have plateaued further gains may not come unless you can change either volume, intensity, frequency or shock horror even how much you rest... TT style efforts 20mins-1hr, VO2max intervals, sets of5/6 3-6mins or sweetspot/tempo 1-3hrs could address the problem in terms of training prescription. But annoyingly like I said it all depends. Its also worth remembering that you can't hold peak form for month upon month. i
  • Shavedlegs wrote:
    My benchmark test is 3 laps of Richmond Park, which now I consistantly do at about 50 mins. Despite my training I just don't seem to get any faster, I commute 9 miles to work on a fixed and have access to a gym at lunch time, where I usually ride a spin bike for 30mins.

    My training orginally paid off but I've stopped seeing any improvement. How do I get faster?


    Might be worth doing some strength training.then. :wink:
  • nickcuknickcuk Posts: 275
    Intervals - short bursts at full stretch - increasing the duration and length of the spurts by 10% or so every week - you'll see the benefits
  • Shavedlegs wrote:
    Might be worth doing some strength training.then. :wink:
    :roll: Yes I know you're having some fun....

    Shavedlegs - perhaps consider coaching to better structure training that's designed for your physiological profile and goals to ensure continued progress.
  • Shavedlegs wrote:
    My benchmark test is 3 laps of Richmond Park, which now I consistantly do at about 50 mins. Despite my training I just don't seem to get any faster, I commute 9 miles to work on a fixed and have access to a gym at lunch time, where I usually ride a spin bike for 30mins.

    My training orginally paid off but I've stopped seeing any improvement. How do I get faster?
    What training? Change it! Progress to doing longer or harder or more of both - lengthen commute, split RP into intervals where you ride harder than you normally would etc. Doing the same as you've been doing will result in ... the same.
  • jpembrokejpembroke Posts: 2,569
    I reckon you need to vary your riding. You're bound to plateau doing the same thing all the time.
    I'm only concerned with looking concerned
  • I didn't really explain. I have a young family so my time is limited, in fact I am using all that is available to me so I cannot do longer rides. I'd like to but that is life. The Richmond Park rides are a squeeze as it is. I used to do longer rides between midnight and 2 am but with a baby waking through the night I'd be a zombie.

    As I will be racing over distances of 100km are longer rides essential?

    I'd like a coach but the cost coupled with the inflexibility of my schedule I don't think it is worth it, (correct me if I'm wrong)

    Guess I'm looking for the impossible, better results from the same amount of training. Different interval work in the gym seems the only way I can go. What about a bigger gearing on the fixed for my commute?

    It is so hard to change from something that has helped in the past to the unknown.
  • jpembrokejpembroke Posts: 2,569
    I'm not an expert by any stretch but it seems to me that you need to a) vary your training and b) up the intensity/volume of your training. If your family commitments prevent you from doing this (I sympathise there) then may be you have to accept that you will need to change your objectives.
    I'm only concerned with looking concerned
  • PagemPagem Posts: 244
    two solutions:

    either do intervals or lose weight (without losing power).

    ideally, do both.
    Only the meek get pinched. The bold survive.
  • The most important training for your basic fitness should be intervals of about 4 mins to increase your VO2Max and 20 minute intervals to raise your threshold. You could do these on the gym machine in the time you have available.

    On the gym machine, Vo2Max intervals: 10 mins warm up 3 minutes as hard as you can, 2 minutes easy, 3 mins hard, 2 easy, 3 mins hard, 2 mins easy, 5 mins cool down. (total 30 mins)

    It's a bit of a tight squeeze with not much warm up but if you can hit those intervals hard and only take 2 mins easy in between you should get a good workout.

    Or you could try 10 min warm up, 5 mins hard, 5 mins easy, 5 mins hard, then finally 5 mins easy. (total 30 mins)

    You may be able to manage this for three or four days in a row with an easy day (or days) at the end of the week. Some people call this "block training".

    You could use your commute as active recovery from these very hard lunchtime sessions. And depending on how your commute is -- is it stop start at junctions -- you could also work on your 10 second sprints. 10 second sprints are not going to stress your aerobic system so you could combine them with a recovery ride.

    Then the following week in the gym do five mins warm up then 20 mins hard, then 5 mins cool down. (total 30 mins) Again, its a bit of a squeeze and you need to use the commutes for recovery and some 10 sec sprints. You could do 3 or four days in a row of this as a "training Block".

    Then maybe a third week you could work on your anaerobic system on the gym machine
    10 minute warm up, then 90 seconds flat out, then recover, and so on and so forth...

    I'm sure you could think of your own variations. Try to get some 2 or three hour rides in late winter before you start racing in the spring.

    Might work :roll:

    Bin
  • Cheers Bin,

    I think I have just got caught in a routine. Really helpful suggestions, I'll shake things up a bit.
  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    Shavedlegs wrote:
    My benchmark test is 3 laps of Richmond Park, which now I consistantly do at about 50 mins.

    Wish that I could plateau at 50 mins - am completing the distance 12 mins off your pace! Good luck in the quest....
  • Gussio,
    We all start some where, I still remember the joy of breaking the hour. Goodluck.
  • suzesuze Posts: 302
    Intervals, Intervals .....and intervals.....They're hard, and nobody really likes doing them.

    So many rider don't do intervals and hope that more miles will make them faster, it has an opposite effect. After a period developing your base fitness, you will be ready to begin intervals. Start to think of intervals when the weather gets warmer, after Christmas. Till then enjoy the social season, club runs and keep it fun.

    But remember if you're training in the winter doing intervals and generally racing around getting faster now, you're not going to be popular with your club mates who may be tapering down after a seasons racing.

    "NOBODY LIKES THE WINTER RACER"
    �3 grand bike...30 Bob legs....Slowing with style
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