please reassure me!

linsen Posts: 1,959
edited July 2008 in Road beginners
I'm new to the whole road bike thing. I have bought a 2006 Le Mond Zurich carbon / steel bike which goes like a dream but I still feel so slow on it after 300 miles (since May). I know I haven't cycled much yet and I need to be patient. Problem is my husband is super quick. What sort of distances would be good to do to increase my speed? I have very good stamina (cycled round the Isle of Wight recently and went to a party that evening!), and my VO2 max is around 60, but I feel so slow - average speeds never above 15mph or so. I'd like to be quick enough to make my hilly 12 mile cycle to work a no-brainer - at the moment it feels like an expedition!!
Emerging from under a big black cloud. All help welcome


  • Doobz
    Doobz Posts: 2,800
    just keep working away as much as you can without over doing it. Eat the right food and stay hydrated. Try some alternate days where you take it easy and then do a day when you really push to the max.
  • 2Fast4Love
    2Fast4Love Posts: 123
    You'll get out your training what you put in - if your training is steady speed (I'm not gonna use the word "slow" as that's not necessarily correct) then you'll get better & better at going at that speed, increasing your stamina. If you throw some intervals tho, say you really push hard for 1 minute at a time & then recover for a minute, then blast hard again, etc etc, you'll see pretty decent improvements without cutting back the gains you've already made in stamina.
    Rides a Cannondale Synapse 105.
  • geoff_ss
    geoff_ss Posts: 1,201
    Really you simply need to ride a few more miles. 300 miles isn't all that much since May. Try to ride to work at least once a week and preferably more often. Try and aim for about100 miles/week if you can manage it but 50 will help even if it's in a few short rides.

    There's nothing like regular work miles as a sound basis for cycling all-round fitness. I lost a lot of fitness as soon as I retired and didn't have to do my regular 27 miles round trip every work day. My outward trip was fairly easy but the ride home had a a bit of a climb.

    If you husband drops you on rides get a tandem then you're there whether he likes it or not :) We got our firat tandem after my wife and I got separated before we'd left the village and didn't meet up again until we got home - it was a misunderstanding, honest.

    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • linsen
    linsen Posts: 1,959
    Thank you for your encouragement! I am a teacher with little time in term-time but now have six weeks to develop some good habits as from tomorrow! 100 miles a week - I'll give it a go!
    Emerging from under a big black cloud. All help welcome
  • Rich Hcp
    Rich Hcp Posts: 1,355

    Also, don't keep looking at the average speed is and worrying about it, just go at your speed.

    Check the average at the end, you'll find you'll will start to get quicker without trying

    Giving it Large
  • Belv
    Belv Posts: 866
    I have read that a bit of variety is the quickest way to make improvements because (as 2fast4love explained) your body adapts directly to what you ask of it, so if you always cycle the same route at the same speed then you get very good at doing exactly that - it has no need to do learn to go faster because you never ask it to.

    I commute at least 10 miles a day mon-fri, usually trying to go as quick as i can, and this 'training' lets me get through 2-3 hour longer rides at a lower average speed. I haven't used a cycle computer for a few years, but when i did i always used to aim to be going above the average speed so that i was pushing myself.
  • babyshambles
    babyshambles Posts: 149
    get a crappy old heavy bike and do the route on that many times, then when you get on your proper road bike and you will fly !!

    If i am doing a big ride, i use my heavy cheap old (15years1) mtb to commute in the week. the road bike feels like i'm floating :D
  • linsen
    linsen Posts: 1,959
    Oh believe me I have a very heavy crappy old bike that I do loads more miles on. I'm not really a road cyclist you see - just an imposter. Feel like a five-year old in a rolls royce when I get on the new one!
    Emerging from under a big black cloud. All help welcome
  • chuckcork
    chuckcork Posts: 1,471
    Linsen, congratulations.

    I wouldn't worry about speed as yet, as noted 300 miles since May isn't much to develop speed and strength, for comparison that is at the moment less than two weeks of riding for me.

    Best way to do it is to simply get riding. Can I suggest, you maybe check out any local CTC groups? ... on_lg.aspx They would be a wealth of practical knowledge as to gear and so on.

    There also might be a local club near where you live that you could start to go out with, hopefully they would be able to accommodate a beginner (hate to say it, but not all will).
    A few of the guys in my club only go out on Sundays but are still more than capable of burning me off (overtraining is my excuse, and I'm sticking to it) so if you can get up to speed that could really help as well if you want to go faster than just leisure cycling.

    In the evenings you could also consider some time on a trainer though I have no experience there; or do as others do and mix it up by joining a gym as well, if they have a programme that would suit cyclists. Again some of the sensible guys in my club do this, to keep things ticking over in winter while nutters like me are out in the rain and sleet.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • il_principe
    il_principe Posts: 9,155
    Just keep riding as other as said it's all about the miles in your legs. This might sound stupid but try pushing yourself harder - eg when your are on a long flat bit set yourself a target speed of whatever feels comfy, then add 2 or 3 mph to that and aim to hold the speed for as long as you can/the road is flat. Get in the habit of doing that and you'll find it easier to go faster in no time.