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Inreasing average speed

zummerzet-louzummerzet-lou Posts: 95
edited September 2009 in Training, fitness and health
I'm just getting back onto my bike after a years absence, and I'd really like to join a local group that goes out weekly.

Trouble is, my AVS is low - and always has been. On a ride out, I usually average somewhere between 10 and 13 mph which is quite slow.

What can I do to start speeding up?




  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    Ride more. That really is the best way to improve.

  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    get a hrm so you can do more and longer rides at set intensities...
  • GavHGavH Posts: 933
    A good cycling computer which measures cadence might help. When I first started out I couldn't believe how many people would pass me by on a ride. I bought a Polar CS600 HRM with cadence and speed sensors and realised that they were passing me because I was slow (duh) and I was probably slow because of my very low (60s) cadence. Using easier gears and a concerted effort to spin in the 80s meant my average speed went up. I then bought a better, lighter bike and that added about another 1-2 mph to the average speed on my usual rides.
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    This is a FAQ

    The simple answer is to join the group, try and stick with them for as long as possible and not to mind too much when you are dropped

    The longer answer is that you get faster by going faster. Pick a speed that you can just about hold for 10 minutes. Then try and do this same rate of effort for 11 minutes and slowly increase the time you can hold this high speed for. All the power meters and heart rate monitors and stuff are just tools that help you to do this sort of thing.
  • Hi Lou

    I too am trying to get my average up and I'm failing miserably. Vorsprung is right - riding with others will help. I used to ride with my other half (who raced in his younger days) and my average was very respectable but since he gave up cycling about a year ago my average has plummeted. When I'm on my own I don't push myself enough. I'm too scared to join a club, which I know is silly.

    I'm guessing from your username that you're in Somerset, otherwise I'd suggest we got together for some rides!

    Jayne (in Nottinghamshire)
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Get in a more aerodynamic position and pedal harder. A lot harder.
  • Takis61Takis61 Posts: 239
    Ditto all of the above - I don't ride with anyonee else, but the average speed did come up over time with more training, maybe try a few interval sessions, but generally just riding.
    I'm still only around 16mph on a good day, but I can fly much faster than that on the flat with a tailwind :lol:
    Remember, average speed will be affected a lot by terrain, wind, traffic light stops, slow traffic, poor road surfaces, hills, bends, frequent road junctions etc. so don't get fiaxted on this as the primary measurement of fitness & improvement, it is just one piece of the puzzle.
    My knees hurt !
  • Thanks to all your suggestions.

    I mostly cycle alone (even more so since emigrating to NZ as no cycling buddies yet). I need to get some base miles in, and plan on doing one or 2 commutes a week (round trip of about 25 miles), and some weekend rides.

    I'm too slow to join the local club rides ... they are riding about 70kms, at at least 25kph. I can't manage that distance at the moment, let alone at those speeds.

    I'm guessing some interval training may help, but have no idea what I should be doing, how often etc.

  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Hi Lou, as others have said riding faster is simple, you have to ride faster. A simple enough statement but as you have said you need to know what to do. Get that base endurance up, it doesn't matter on the speed just get the distance up by 10% each week. In between the distance rides do an interval session each week, after warming up start off with about 3x 30 sec sprints with 5 mins rest in between, add extra sprints as you get fitter. Each week do a tempo ride, this involves warming up and then doing 2x20mins efforts at a high pace(not sprints), you might not be fit enough to do 20 mins yet so start with 10 and increase it by a few mins each week. The aim of tempo riding is to do both sets at the same pace/effort without tailling off. Have a rest day in between interval/tempo days.
  • LorneCLorneC Posts: 149
    Out of interest, are you riding with clipless pedals?

    If not get some... once you are used to them, you should see an improvement in average speed with them..

    other than that, most of the advice already posted on here seems to be very relevant.
    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)
  • Don't forget to enjoy the ride. I agree with a lot of what markos1963 writes. Though you should find somehting within that which works for you. It might be one 30sec effort to begin with, and in terms of 10 minute efforts - why not one 5 minute stretch then another 5 minute stretch. Or, on your regular ride, if you have a nice stretch of road, just blast it for as long as you feel like. Little things like this will reap rewards, but if all you have is one weekend ride don't make it a chore.

    Road/MTB shoes and pedals are a boon, as you can develop different ways of pedalling, which will mean that you are using more than one set of muscles AND will relax those muscles more often.

    If you haven't got some means of measuring your speed you should get one. One way I have measured and been able to improve is to divide the ride up into sections, and if I do 15kph on one stretch, I'd wanna push it to 16.
    The ultimate cruelty of love's pinions
  • I would presume that the type of terrain you are biking as well will be a factor. On the flat I avg roughly 25mph but the hills I ride on the route I ride bring that down to 15mph avg.
    Bianchi. There are no alternatives only compromises!
    I RIDE A KONA CADABRA -would you like to come and have a play with my magic link?
  • Speed up?
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