Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Confused novice!

mask of sanitymask of sanity Posts: 610
Today I decided to really push to achieve at least one, hopefully two of my goals for the summer (sub thirty minute ten miles and sub hour twenty mile) and managed to do the ten miles in 28 minutes. But by the time I got to 15 miles I was totally destroyed! Even had to walk a small section...!! :shock:

The thing that’s confused me is that I recently completed an undulating/hilly 60 mile ride at an average of 18.5 mph and a 45 mile on the same route at 18mph and felt really good after both of them. So why would I not be able to average 20 mph for only an hour?! I am aware that average speeds are a pretty poor indicator of performance but the conditions today were almost perfect (except a strong head wind, but I was already exhausted by the time I reached it) and the route about as hilly as the other ride with the addition of a couple of pretty steep long hills.

Are some people better suited to longer distances or should I be focusing more on the shorter, high intensity rides as part of my training?

Hope this makes sense and thanks in advance,

Rich.

Posts

  • nolfnolf Posts: 2,016
    As you increase your speed, the resistance to your movement increases exponentially.

    So to up your speed by a bit requires far more power. To double your speed for example requires something like 8x the power!

    Try doing interval sessions too get you going faster.
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,158
    60 miles @ 18.5 mph but only a 28 minute 10 ?

    Are these times accurate? They sound a bit odd. maybe you are good at plodding along but don't have any top end speed?
  • Dam, knew intervals would come up! :( haha.

    Thats why im confused, Infamous. The times are def accurate. Prior to today I don't think I've pushed myself enough on the shorter runs but I really went for it today and still couldn't average 20 for an hour! On a nice flat stretch of road I can keep up a pace of mid-twenties for a couple of miles.

    One thing I've noticed is that my average increases as I cycle further! So for a long ride it might start at about 16.5 (for example) for the first hour but by the second it seems to rise to about the 18 mark. Is it possible that muscles can take that long to really get a rhythm?
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    Dam, knew intervals would come up! :( haha.

    Thats why im confused, Infamous. The times are def accurate. Prior to today I don't think I've pushed myself enough on the shorter runs but I really went for it today and still couldn't average 20 for an hour! On a nice flat stretch of road I can keep up a pace of mid-twenties for a couple of miles.

    One thing I've noticed is that my average increases as I cycle further! So for a long ride it might start at about 16.5 (for example) for the first hour but by the second it seems to rise to about the 18 mark. Is it possible that muscles can take that long to really get a rhythm?

    For what you are attempting knowing what you can achieve for a couple of miles doesn't help other than to say that you shouldn't be riding anywhere near that pace for a 1 hour effort. Max power is largely irrelevant to what you are attempting which is essentially a 1 hour time trial. For that you want as even a pace as possible and one which avoids going into your red zone at all. You should start out conservatively for the first few minutes and work into a pace that feels sustainable and stick to that pace, especially on those short climbs (which you just want to blast and my guess as to your real downfall). It takes practice. Concentrate on what your breathing is doing and how you are feeling and that way you will begin to listen to what your body is telling you that way you can avoid the pitfalls of going to fast.

    If you can do 21.5mph for 10 miles then you can certainly achieve 20mph for 1 hour you just have to pace it right (of course assuming the second 10 miles isn't much more challenging than the first half).

    3x12' building to 2x20' inteval efforts will improve your threshold power (which is essentially your 1 hour tt pace) however as I said it may not actually be necessary to do this in order to achieve your immediate goal.

    As for a warmup well that depends on the person however 15mins minimum and up to 45mins. If it takes you the 45mins to get your legs ready for the effort then take the 45mins if you really want to achieve your goal :wink:

    BTW in order to get 16.5mph for the 1 hour and then to have 2 hour average of 18mph that means that you have done a 19.5mph second hour in other words you are just below your 1 hour pace that you want to achieve and that is a huge hint that no other work than pacing is need to get your goal. Again says your pacing was probably lousy.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    Dam, knew intervals would come up! :( haha.



    One thing I've noticed is that my average increases as I cycle further! So for a long ride it might start at about 16.5 (for example) for the first hour but by the second it seems to rise to about the 18 mark.

    You're not ridding uphill for the first hour then ridding down the hill for the second hour are you?

    Or ridding north for the first hour then south during the second hour? It's always harder to ride up the map.

    Or, ridding east the first hour then west the second hour, it's always eassier to ride against the spin of the earth. :roll:
  • Cheers doyler78, some very good advise there! :) Seems like it must be down to my [lack of] pacing!! Will try the same route over the next few days with a warm up and better pacing (and not having worked before hand...) and see how it goes.

    When you're doing intervals are the 3x12 at max effort broken up by periods of little effort?
    chrisw12 wrote:
    Or, ridding east the first hour then west the second hour, it's always eassier to ride against the spin of the earth. :roll:

    I think the word you're looking for is the coriolis effect! :P
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    You treat it exactly the same as the 1 hour effort ie your max sustainsable steady state effort for the full duration of the interval (so that means you can probably go a little harder - though not much mind you). Recover by spinning the pedals on a light gear until your breathing has moderated and your legs have cleared the lactic - if you have heart rate monitor then get your heart rate down below 70% of max for about a min. Shouldn't take more than 5 mins and as your fitness improves you can start to reduce the length of the rest. Remember even pace but maximum effort.
  • fuzzynavelfuzzynavel Posts: 718
    Interesting thread....thanks for starting this...

    I think I have a pacing issue too....

    Currently I can do 22.45 miles in 68 minutes which work out to be 19.87 mph average...

    I can see from my Garmin where I slow down so I guess I should just use the training partner and try and stay a few hundred yards ahead of my previous best without burning out!
    17 Stone down to 12.5 now raring to get back on the bike!
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    I love the kind of guy that is precise enough to quote average speed to 2 decimal places but only gives time to the nearest minute. Not being pedantic or anything... :wink:

    But anyway, the virtual pacer or 'that little ba>>>' as I often call him, is a very good way of pacing, but be careful as the wind direction/speed can make a significant difference. For this reason, I always like to be up on him and then hopefully let the gap grow. I find it very demoralising when 'he's' beating me hence the name I use for 'him'
  • Thanks doyler78, very useful! Is the amount of climbing significant, or just that a constant level of effort is maintained (rather than constant speed )?

    Do you find that your Garmin is useful, fuzzynavel? Worth investing in one? I understand they're quite pricey though?

    Rich.
  • fuzzynavelfuzzynavel Posts: 718
    Thanks doyler78, very useful! Is the amount of climbing significant, or just that a constant level of effort is maintained (rather than constant speed )?

    Do you find that your Garmin is useful, fuzzynavel? Worth investing in one? I understand they're quite pricey though?

    Rich.

    I personally find the garmin to be useful for my training style. I am always fighting against myself and not some imaginary figure that I should be achieving. I don't go out thinking I should be doing 2.5 minute miles and then try to hit that....I just find a route....go out and push myself and then go out again a few days later and push myself to stay ahead of the virtual trainer....obviously there are some unpredictable things like traffic lights which can be annoying if you are feeling good but I guess you just have to deal with them...

    Doing this I have found different methods of nutrition that seem to work for me....I have learned to pace myself a little better to make sure that I stay ahead of the trainer without burning out to early.....I find that I take the first half easy and then pick up the pace a bit earlier each time out....
    I wouldn't be without the garmin now.... I plan to buy a powertap at some point so I will be able to use the garmin as a head unit so I still see it as an investment....I have still only been riding regularly for less than a year so I am well on track to do my first 100 mile ride...

    In regard to your other point I find that a lot of climbing helps with maintaining significant effort....it also means that I don't slack off.....if you stop pedalling on the flat then you will keep rolling for a bit but if you give up on a hill then you could literally find yourself going backwards....it's quite motivating when you see someone ahead of you too....and try to catch up.

    chrisw12...I was at work and didn't have the data to hand.....
    17 Stone down to 12.5 now raring to get back on the bike!
Sign In or Register to comment.