Breaking the 20 mph ave

Grazy81
Grazy81 Posts: 196
edited September 2009 in Road beginners
Hi guys i am struggling to get my 10 mile ave to the 20 mph mark, currently it is sitting just above the 19 mph mark.

Most of my commute rides are 10 miles or so, that is why i would like to go sub 30 min, but what is the best way to acheive this, carry on doing the 10's or up the mileage.

I am currently doing the 10 milers morning and evening about 3 times a week (would like to do more but have had some issues with sore spots) then i do another 2 days of 4 miles in the morning and same again at night. Is this enough or should i try and do a few more 10's or longer rides?
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Comments

  • Mothyman
    Mothyman Posts: 655
    you're doing ok for an 81 year old Grazy81.......or was that your birth year?
    my best is 18mph over 10miles but I'm still over weight and only 3 times a week. what bike do you have?
  • freehub
    freehub Posts: 4,257
    edited August 2009
    I kept scratching my head why I could not break the 20mph avg, it comes eventually, just have patience and do regular training and take plenty of recovery. I'd get in some longer rides at the weekend and some shorter faster rides.
  • Grazy81
    Grazy81 Posts: 196
    Ha ha no 81 was my birth year so i'm 28, i ride a specialized allez elite, lovely looking bike.

    i'm slap bang in the healthy weight range and 135 pounds so i could loose some weight to get up some of those hills quicker.

    I also have a heart rate monitor and am riding at about 90% max but i havent properly worked out my max heart rate yet though, just worked it out using a simple formula related to age. Therefore i might not be pushing as hard as i thought.
  • freehub
    freehub Posts: 4,257
    And what do you think your max heart rate is? Go find a hill and trash it up that'll get your heart rate up.
  • Grazy81
    Grazy81 Posts: 196
    freehub wrote:
    I kept scratching my head why I could not break the 20mph avg, it comes eventually, just have patience and do regular training and take plenty of recovery. I'd get in some longer rides at the weekend and some shorter faster rides.

    Thanks, good to hear i'm not the only one who's struggled to get there and even better that it comes eventually :twisted:

    How does the distances that i am covering sound should i increse some of them or keep them as they are, have been thinking about a turbo which would be easier to get extra saddle time in
  • Grazy81
    Grazy81 Posts: 196
    freehub wrote:
    And what do you think your max heart rate is? Go find a hill and trash it up that'll get your heart rate up.

    Using that formula i worked it out to be 192 bpm, i have looked into doing a ramp test myself and doing it that way but i dont have any consistent hills that will take over 5 min to go up around here so i might try and use a spinning bike at the gym, or is it the case that all i need to do is just cane myself and see how high i can get it?
  • a_n_t
    a_n_t Posts: 2,011
    find your local club 10 and get a number on your back. You'll definately get over 20 mph on a proper course.

    I'm _almost_ upto 24 mph now. :)
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • Just Ride m8 keep riding and it will come, I have been riding since May this Year, I am curently doing a 10M TT at 30 Mins on the nose!

    Keep at it :!:

    :arrow:
  • Grazy81
    Grazy81 Posts: 196
    a_n_t wrote:
    find your local club 10 and get a number on your back. You'll definately get over 20 mph on a proper course.

    I'm _almost_ upto 24 mph now. :)

    i was thinking about that but i wanted to get under 30 first so i'm not too far off the pace.

    24 MPH seems near impossible to me at the moment

    i have found a route for my local 10 so i might give it a go on my own some time but the 10's i have ridden and planned myself have been slightly off the pace so i dont see me getting too much quicker doing a different route

    Anyone know what percentage heart rate is good for a TT?
  • a_n_t
    a_n_t Posts: 2,011
    well I was aiming for 30 mins when I did the first one in April and managed 27.34!

    Here's my HR zones for my last one

    maxhr.jpg

    never really drops below 90% MHR and maxes at 95% at the finish.
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • markos1963
    markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    You need to up the milage to build up your base endurance, at least 20% over your intended distance. Then you need to get some interval training in. 2x20 tempo riding will help no end. Try to fit in these trainig rides each week and the speed will come. If you're so inclined joining a club will speed you up as well, nothing like a bit of peer pressure to push you along. Another benefit of joining a club is the access to TT events, the more you ride the faster you'll get. I did my first a few weeks ago and posted a 39min time(got lost on the course :oops: ) this week posted a 27'44". Nothing fabulous but I'm 46yo, 10kg over weight and only been riding for 2 seasons so you see it will come and quickly if you work at it.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I'm with ant, do a club 10 mile TT, it gives you an extra boost somehow!
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    On your commute, you should know mile points along the route by now. Work out what time you need to hit various points then ride it with your bike computer showing elapsed time not avg speed or distance. It's easier to make up a few seconds on intermediate marker points rather than realise that you've got 17 seconds to do the last ¾ mile. Worked for me.

    When I asked this same question last year on Commuting (20 miles under 1 hour), the best response [after this one] was 'pedal harder'. That worked too. If you want to up your speed, you gotta make some effort.
  • Grazy81 wrote:
    Is this enough or should i try and do a few more 10's or longer rides?

    I've been using a 50k course over the past two years to specifcally improve my average. This is what I found worked for me. Pick some comparable measurements. The ones I found most useful were speeds I should be beating on certain stretches, and have several of them, eg 30kph before the second climb, but try to hold that speed rather than try to go for 35 so that at the next marker there would be something left in the tank. Work out the weak points on the ride and elliiminate them. For example, i'd average 12kph on the penultimate climb, but try to get 15.

    During the rides, in order to improve whilst doing them, I'd try maintaining a high speed -really going for it, for 20 seconds, then I'd rest and repeat.

    Then on the return section, I'd do a bit of both. On some slight downhills, get the speed up to 30kph, (which was higher than the avg) then rest until the speed dropped, then get the speed back up to 30, and rest again. this had the effect of not only improving the average, but gave me a rest.

    I also noted a significant increase when I switched to Schwalbe Ultremo tyres. I'd estimate that I could go 5kph faster on flat stretches of road.

    I'd agree that doing longer distances will see an improvement on your 10 miles, as will keep plugging away
    The ultimate cruelty of love's pinions
  • sherer
    sherer Posts: 2,460
    i'm still trying to break the 15mph average !! :shock:
  • huuregeil
    huuregeil Posts: 780
    Bin the HRM. You get better pacing information from the feeling in your legs and your breathing rhythm. Without the HRM on, push yourself on your 10miles till you completely blow (i.e. blow early), and note how your legs and lungs feel. Then back off from this point a bit.

    The other thing to note is that you should effectively be breaking down a TT effort into 4 quarters. 1. Start at a pace that feels relatively easy. 2. Build into a regular breathing pattern at a pace you can hold without your legs feeling like they're on fire. 3. Push the pace - this is when you suffer, cos you need to be riding such that you feel like you can only just hang on. 4. Ramp up for an all out finish. TTs are all about pacing.
  • bigal.
    bigal. Posts: 479
    This is all dependant on the course that you are riding. You may be training on a more hilly course than the next guy so it is difficult to compare unless you ride the same course.

    I have ridden for years now and dont have anything that is remotely flat in my area so it would be difficult to find a 10 mile circuit that would be considered to be flat and suitable for comparing to other 10 mile TT courses.

    Just keep riding and you might even get some gains from changing your diet.????
  • LorneC
    LorneC Posts: 149
    You're 9st 9lbs and in the middle of your weight range - what height are you?? You are lighter than most Tour riders.
    Already signed up for the following 2010 rides:

    Etape Caledonia (May 16th)
    AMR's Trossachs Ton (June 20th)
    AMR's Cross-Border Sportive (Sept 19th)

    http://www.twitter.com/LorneCallaghan
  • I should be getting my first road bike on friday. I weigh around 8.5 stone and am 5'7. I cant wait to start doing some races as im a lightweight :D
  • 1892
    1892 Posts: 1,690
    My ave has gone from 16 @ the start of the year to 18.3 now, I'm happy with that as I couldn't ride @ all this time last year due to a back problem
    Justice for the 96
  • Takis61
    Takis61 Posts: 239
    Mmm, surprised no one pointed out the obvious, terrain, wind conditions etc. etc.
    I "average" 16 mph on the falt, maybe 17 on a good day, but 20 mph seems unobtainable TBH, though I have had periods where if I had just stopped then I guess I could log it.
    By the end of 3/4 hours over all sorts of terrain it has generally come down to 16+.
    Apart from doing the obvious TT, is it really that important other then an indication of fitness ?
    And does this really belong in beginners, as clearly 20+ mph belongs more to your serious club/racing cyclist ?
    Just a thought...
    My knees hurt !
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    20 is milestone figure, 16 isn't. It's natural to want to hit mathematically pleasing figures. And over a short distance like 10 miles it's a more than reasonable target. I can do 20 at around 20 avg, 50 at around 18 avg but once beyond 70 it starts to drop down to 17 / 16. It's a factor of distance, terrain & weather conditions. If I wasn't 2 stone overweight I'd be looking to hit 20 on those longer rides too.
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    Add more downhill mileage to your training.
  • 1892
    1892 Posts: 1,690
    dennisn wrote:
    Add more downhill mileage to your training.

    You would have to ride up the hill 1st, unless you live @ the top of a hill. :lol:
    Justice for the 96
  • IMO there is just no comparison between average speed for a proper organised 10 mile TT pounding up and down a relatively flat dual carriageway vs normal riding. When I ride on normal roads with traffic lights etc I typically average around 16mph, but I have done a 10 mile TT at an average of 23.6mph.

    Just get some clip on aerobars and enter a local club 10 to see what you can do. I think you'll be surprised at how much faster you go.
  • This might seem ridiculous to you here all talking about training it up for the mph but recently I have managed to up my speed with a better gear selection i.e. I used to travel on the commutes using the 39 tooth front and the 11-23 at back due to the constant stopping. I would probably travel on the 11,12,13 on the rear most of the time. I found moving up to the 50 front (might be a 52 to others) and using up to say 14/15 meant I was doing roughly the same effort but with much greater average. I am sure I maybe pushing a bit more in terms of power but actually it feels much better and the average has gone up.

    Maybe check you are in fact using the right gear selection for you terrain at points. Beware of course of cross chaining.
  • Grazy81
    Grazy81 Posts: 196
    LorneC wrote:
    You're 9st 9lbs and in the middle of your weight range - what height are you?? You are lighter than most Tour riders.

    I am 5'6" so as someone else has said changing my diet could help, i am planning on loosing a few pounds over the next month so am eating better and better portion sizes too so i will see if this helps out specially for the climbs which i dont think i am doing too badly but we can all improve.
  • Grazy81
    Grazy81 Posts: 196


    I also noted a significant increase when I switched to Schwalbe Ultremo tyres. I'd estimate that I could go 5kph faster on flat stretches of road.

    I'd agree that doing longer distances will see an improvement on your 10 miles, as will keep plugging away

    I have been considering conti gp 4000's but i want to break the average by my own improvement rather than upgrades but i could promise myself a new set of tyres etc as a reward for reaching my goal as a bit of extra insentive.

    Also would having clipless pedals give a vast improvement in avg speed at all?
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Grazy, you will get mahoosive improvement using clipless pedals!
  • a_n_t
    a_n_t Posts: 2,011
    pounding up and down a relatively flat dual carriageway

    If only our club 10 course was like that, i'd be up over 25 mph easy!
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.