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HELP on improving needed

ditch the apolloditch the apollo Posts: 29
Hello everyone,
I need a bit of advice, if anyone can help?

I have been riding for a year, and tend to ride about 12 miles over the moors twice a week. i have made some improvement, but expected to be a lot better by now.
I did a 25 miler at the weekend, and bonked halfway. My legs went to jelly.
On my usual routes, I struggle towards the end generally, whereas my mates (who have ridden for years) fly round, and could keep going for ages longer, and they generally do the same amount of riding as me.

My questions are:
Should I expect to be keeping up with them after a year, or does it take a lot longer?
I noticed they ride up hills in higher gears than I do. I go for the easier granny ring option. Does this make a difference in the long run. I mean, does this increase what you are capable of doing, by making you work that bit harder?

Thanks in advance for any help. I am just frustrated at the moment.

Posts

  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    garbage in garbage out...

    if you don't push yourself you wont improve. You are not riding that often, so you can afford to utterly bollocks yourself every time you go out without feeling any ill effects.

    If you only tend to do 12 mile rides then you'll get good at that, hence the 25 mile ride being hard!

    Look at your fueling, 12 miles is about an hour so you should be okay just on an electrolyte drink, 25 you're starting to need some extra fuel along the way.

    Finally, if you're serious about improving get yourself a heartrate monitor, they're a great tool for helping pace yourself. Also up your mileage obviously!

    Try timing your 12 mile rides and try to constantly better your own score.
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Hiya :D

    I'm not sure I have the scientific answers to this one, but I certainly know what you mean... I have been riding for about 2 and a bit years and up until about 6 months ago I was like you, riding about 15 miles once or twice a week. I struggled to keep up, especially on longer stuff, uphill etc.

    In the past 6 months i've made a real effort to get out for longer rides, and it really makes a difference. It's bloody hard work, but it's getting easier and I can now blast up climbs in middle ring that I used to spin up in granny ring. In my opinion it's all been because I started to do more than my 'normal' riding, and this is what's made me fitter.

    It's impossible to answer to your question about whether you should be able to keep up after riding for a year - it depends on so much! All I would add is that there will ALWAYS be people who are slower than you and ALWAYS be people who are faster - I have learnt to ignore where I fit into this and to just enjoy the ride 8)
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    miss notax wrote:
    It's impossible to answer to your question about whether you should be able to keep up after riding for a year - it depends on so much! All I would add is that there will ALWAYS be people who are slower than you and ALWAYS be people who are faster - I have learnt to ignore where I fit into this and to just enjoy the ride 8)

    Cut out the wishy washy everyone is great nonsense :evil:

    People come first and people come last, by accepting this BS then you open the door to imposing limits on yourself:

    3JOJo.jpg

    2nd is first loser.
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Oy - i'm as competitive as the next person BUT I accept that I won't ever be a top race winning MTBer just as i'll never be on the pages of Vogue as a supermodel, and i'm happy with that.

    I always strive to be the very best that I can be BUT at the end of the day it's meant to be fun, so i'm not going to beat myself up each time i'm not first. Lifes too short.
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • The clue might be in your user name...."ditch the apollo".

    No, seriously.
    No-one wanted to eat Patagonia Toothfish so they renamed it Chilean Sea Bass and now it's in danger of over fishing!
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    That's fine, but if you want to compare yourself to other people then you should aim to be as fast as your physiology will allow. The brutal truth of racing is that you are competing. Hence you should aim to win at whatever category you choose to compete in. If you want to ride for fun then don't even look to others.

    Measuring yourself against the benchmark of others leads to one of two things, depression or elation/resting on your laurels. All of which stop you progressing.

    I am, however, the first to admit that i have a pretty brutal black and white outlook on things, I cannot understand competing for fun. It just doesn't make sense to me at all, mainly because to be successful you need to work bloody hard at any level and doing badly is almost as depressing when you haven't worked for it as when you have (albeit for very different reasons)

    That wouldn't stop me entering races to compete against personal goals, but I wouldn't really look at others unless i was training seriously.



    Riding is the same as anything, the more you put into something the better you become at it regardless of physiology. This doesn't apply to the comparison with others.
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Aha, I realise from your last post that you're on about racing and competing. It looks like the OP rides for fun (as do I) and not in races :D

    On that basis I agree - I compete to win but ride (and run!) for fun! :D

    Anyway, back to the questions from the OP!
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    to the OP, if you ride more and harder you'll go faster!

    Sounds like you've plateaued, if you want to get stronger mix it up with some shorter rides that are utterly balls out, and some longer ones, aim to up your long rides by 10% a week.
  • Thanks for the replies everyone.
    Sorry, it seems to have got a little heated!
    I Don't ride in competitions or races, as I'm not good enough. I ride for fun.
    Good points made from all sides though.
    I need to get out more, and push on.

    P.S. I did ditch the apollo
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