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improving fitness and speed

greenacregreenacre Posts: 20
edited August 2010 in Training, fitness and health
Done a ton of cycling every week for 5 month. Now at 15 stone(age 28, height 6').

Joined a club and the club is fast!(TT speeds!) 24-30mph 1x a week. I found my average speed has increased massively in trying to keep up after several weeks. Although after halfway, i have to slow down otherwise i burn up. I can never maintain the speed over the 20-30 mile distance.

A few questions, observations and thoughts.

I can travel at 20mph+ but only if i take in plenty of carbs.
I am censored at running. I quickly become out of breath, (despite traveling long way on bike).

Despite lots of cycling week in, week out in past to improve fitness, including the fast club run. I am now of the nature(due to the poor club run performance), i should go back to basics and drop the club and concentrate on lots of base miles at a slower speed to improve my basic fitness. I was thinking of taking up running as well, for better aerobic conditioning. Am i just poor cycling fitness and too heavy for those speeds?

Thanks, your good help would be appreciated.

Posts

  • furragfurrag Posts: 481
    I put in about 30-40 miles of structured running per week; intervals, reps, tempos, easy runs and a log run. I have a 10k best of 39:34, and 5k of 18:58. It's not wonderful, but fairly accomplished.

    Why am I telling you this? Because I'm in the same boat as you cycling wise. I don't think running has improved my cycling ability. My high end speeds on the bike aren't bad, but I can't maintain a respectable average (I have to push to do 18mph over 30 miles and I still get dropped easily), so I'd lose out in 30 mile crits, and 10 or 25 mile time-trials. I think if I were to apply running principles, it's getting in 50+ mile cycles at an easy speed, and doing intervals, with some examples listed here: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/cycling/cyclingplan.htm
  • greenacregreenacre Posts: 20
    Due to the high intensity changing speed of the club run. It very much like long extended intervals with hard anaerobic workout thrown in.

    Maybe i'm expecting results too fast and not ready for fast club runs just yet. I have progressed good in a short time. I had thought doing the club run would get me fit fast along with my normal riding. Could it be doing several longer regular ride as well(50-70 miles) has resulted in going backwards. The body is weakening, more than it is repairing and strengthing.

    I will first try longer slow rides mixed with the fast club run. Doing intervals as well, would be too much for me and not be able to recover good.

    I have a theory. I pretty much now think, i have been relying on carbs too much for the fuel and energy. Once the carb energy goes, i have less efficient fat burning energy left. I will try less carbs, forcing the body to utilize it's natural fats more.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 24,102
    Possible true - sounds very much like you have the same problem as me (see old post) - I had no simple reponses either (no offence anyone)

    Perhapsd people are nt telling us their secrets cos they don't want us to get faster! :wink:
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • greenacre wrote:
    I have a theory. I pretty much now think, i have been relying on carbs too much for the fuel and energy. Once the carb energy goes, i have less efficient fat burning energy left. I will try less carbs, forcing the body to utilize it's natural fats more.
    All that will do is force you to ride more slowly overall, or require you to slow down earlier on your hard rides.

    Eat a healthy balanced diet and learn to train well.
  • greenacregreenacre Posts: 20
    edited August 2010
    greenacre wrote:
    I have a theory. I pretty much now think, i have been relying on carbs too much for the fuel and energy. Once the carb energy goes, i have less efficient fat burning energy left. I will try less carbs, forcing the body to utilize it's natural fats more.
    All that will do is force you to ride more slowly overall, or require you to slow down earlier on your hard rides.

    How fast can a fit cyclist go on few carbs? I ask because If they can do high speed 24mph+ on very little carbs for a decent duration. Then Is that, not a real measure of there true fitness speed? eg. A athlete can go fast or long time naturally. They don't need loads of carbs.
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,257
    You don't need to stop eating carbs O_o.

    I find using good quality energy bars I can go all day at full power. I use these Torq bars and think they're brilliant. It's cannot be a coincidence that when I have these on 150-180 mile rides I am stronger throughout compared to a 70 miler where I rely on snickers :lol:
  • I'm trying to promote fat loss for a period, eat less carbs and going longer slower is a good thing? I find if my muscles are topped up fully with pasta the day before. I can go long or fast and have more stamina, getting by on water without having to eat carbs before or during the ride.

    @freehub
    I have a look at Torq. I also take some milk(protein+carbs) recovery on the way back from a long ride because i believe i'm feeding/repairing the muscles sooner than at home.
  • ddraver wrote:
    Possible true - sounds very much like you have the same problem as me (see old post) - I had no simple reponses either (no offence anyone)

    Perhapsd people are nt telling us their secrets cos they don't want us to get faster! :wink:

    Making more sense typing and reading. I think i found a possible answer from reading Alien Biker's blog who races. I am going into the red too much(anaerobic exercise)without a good enough aerobic base despite all my previous cycling.

    Rule 1: Always develop a proper aerobic base before engaging in ANY anaerobic exercise. It reported to take a couple of years to establish a good aerobic base!

    If you not got a good decent aerobic base don't bother going fast, even for short periods.

    Read this
    http://alienbiker.com/category/cycling-base-training
    I should have been focusing on base training the last two years 90% of the time, instead of trying to keep up with the faster rider
    Base and aerobic cycling should be the focus esp. the first couple years of cycling or longer as strength and power are built on top of a big aerobic base and synergisticly help your anaerobic system work better. I was all icing and no cake.

    What you think?
  • @ddraver

    What i glean from that is concentrate on base training :wink:. It builds the endurance to maintain a higher speed over a longer distance. It's a strong brick foundation, not one built on foam. Even a experienced rider can lose some of there base fitness.

    Lots of regular short and long slow rides + 10-20% of fast intervals/anaerobic = strong fast endurance fat burning machine.
  • freehub wrote:

    I find using good quality energy bars I can go all day at full power. I use these Torq bars and think they're brilliant.

    £1.40 a bar. As a regular keen rider I think if you made your own flapjack bars with maltodextrin, fructose and the ribose you save a fortune.
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,257
    greenacre wrote:
    freehub wrote:

    I find using good quality energy bars I can go all day at full power. I use these Torq bars and think they're brilliant.

    £1.40 a bar. As a regular keen rider I think if you made your own flapjack bars with maltodextrin, fructose and the ribose you save a fortune.

    How much are tubs of said substances?

    I use about 12 Torq bars a year.
  • greenacre wrote:
    What you think?
    I think there are better people to listen to than a blog which perpetuates more cycling training myths.
  • greenacre wrote:
    I'm trying to promote fat loss for a period, eat less carbs and going longer slower is a good thing?
    Provided you train consistently, then just consume, on average, fewer calories than you expend from exercise and daily metabolic requirements and you will drop body fat levels.

    Not eating carbs will simply slow down what you can do, which will inhibit the development of your aerobic fitness - which is what is required in order to improve our ability to reduce reliance on glycogen at higher effort levels.

    Don't fall for the "fat burning myth".
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    greenacre wrote:
    ) I am now of the nature(due to the poor club run performance), i should go back to basics and drop the club and concentrate on lots of base miles at a slower speed to improve my basic fitness. I was thinking of taking up running as well, for better aerobic conditioning. Am i just poor cycling fitness and too heavy for those speeds?

    Thanks, your good help would be appreciated.
    This may come as a shock but - If you want to get faster on the 'bike' then you need to ride your bike either more consistently, perhaps more intensively on specific occassions, or perhaps more steadily overall. Running will make you good at, shock horror RUNNING!. Additionally, unless you've got upwards of 20 hours + per week to train - riding slowly will make you good at riding slowly.

    This whole ride slowly for better aerobic conditioning is a bit of a myth. For example, our faster club runs are 18mph for 3 hours. I generally average 20mph for 60mins when out training solo and can ride in the faster groups of 22/23mph. My faster solo rides (aerobic conditioning) means I can ride with the 18's group very comfortably.

    Don't put yourself under too much pressure it sounds like you've made good progress in a short time. Just keep training at a steady effort (even pace, except for hills; not laboured breathing, so you can talk briefly but long conversation would be difficult) such that you can recover and put in a similar effort maybe 2/3 days in a row or on alternative days. In my experience lots of plodding 4 hour rides often feels quite fatiguing and may take longer to recover from than a brisk 90 minute ride
  • ProssPross Posts: 31,663
    I think anyone on here would be struggling on a club run with a pace of 24 - 30mph, that's seriously quick (race pace or higher).
  • freehub wrote:
    greenacre wrote:
    freehub wrote:

    I find using good quality energy bars I can go all day at full power. I use these Torq bars and think they're brilliant.

    £1.40 a bar. As a regular keen rider I think if you made your own flapjack bars with maltodextrin, fructose and the ribose you save a fortune.

    How much are tubs of said substances?

    I use about 12 Torq bars a year.

    Not worth for 12 then.

    Here's my modified receipe idea from several top flapjack receipes.

    Flapjack Rockets

    200g Tricarb
    50g Ribose
    450g oats
    350g butter
    100g demerara sugar (reduced amount due to added tricarb)
    50g golden syrup (reduced amount due to added tricarb)
    100g smooth peanut butter
    100g pumpkin,sunflower,sesame mix(vitamins + minerals)
    150g chopped dried dates or dried apricots
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp ground ginger
    3 bananas

    mix oats, Tricarb and Ribose for a good 5 mins to ensure well mixed before adding rest of ingredients. bake in oven for 25-30 mins. if mix is too dry add milk or water for right stiff consistency.
  • Toks wrote:
    This may come as a shock but - If you want to get faster on the 'bike' then you need to ride your bike either more consistently, perhaps more intensively on specific occassions, or perhaps more steadily overall. .

    Don't put yourself under too much pressure it sounds like you've made good progress in a short time. Just keep training at a steady effort

    I started at 15mph, now ride round at 20mph average with consistency. Trying to jump upto 25mph too quickly. I think i am overreaching too much. So I think more riding slower, will benefit me more and what you said.
    Pross wrote:
    I think anyone on here would be struggling on a club run with a pace of 24 - 30mph, that's seriously quick (race pace or higher).

    I estimate it must go 35-38 on certain parts. Due to the speed, riders at the back were strung out doing 32mph and we were still being left behind.

    That's my anaerobic workout done!

    A 5lb lighter bike and the best wheels wouldn't make the difference - It's not about the bike...
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    freehub wrote:
    You don't need to stop eating carbs O_o.

    I find using good quality energy bars I can go all day at full power. I use these Torq bars and think they're brilliant. It's cannot be a coincidence that when I have these on 150-180 mile rides I am stronger throughout compared to a 70 miler where I rely on snickers :lol:

    With respect, pretty much any energy bar is going to provide a better release of energy than a snickers.
  • brettjmccbrettjmcc Posts: 1,361
    greenacre wrote:
    I also take some milk(protein+carbs) recovery on the way back from a long ride because i believe i'm feeding/repairing the muscles sooner than at home.

    That will help you replace some of your stores if you are having lower glycopgen levels. Try have a more focused protein drink after you are riding when you are not working and stressing the muscle fibre. Look for a good quality prootein that can contain quick and slow release.

    I come from a more weight training/rugby backgound and use a mixture of high level protein on smaller rides (25-30), and all-in-one formulas after longer rides. Especially after the longer rides it will provide protein and carbs to quickly fuel the muscles again. Some have creatine in, which I don't know how some people on here feel about that, it certainly helps me be explosive in short bursts up hills.

    On top of that I am taking Glucosimine and Chridontine twice a day with a multi-vitamin and cod liver oil... old weight training joints siezing up....

    Also, don't forget, and this is just my opinion, to hydrate. I have read on here where some people don't drink for miles. I personally couldn't as I sweat, and need to take some form of electolyte drink with me. Especially after I go out after work as I drink too much coffee and probably not enough water during the day. Plus I like the placebo effect it has on me :)
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  • Brommers76Brommers76 Posts: 234
    Greenacre, I'm sorry but I would like to know what club goes out for a group ride at between 24-30mph and as you say in your last post it is 35-38mph in places. Either you are getting your KPH and MPH mixed up or something does not add up here. What is the real average speed?

    Is the ride actually a chain gang? Is the 38mph estimate based on going down hill? I wouldn't worry about what you are eating I would be more concerned about what the other riders are injecting.
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    Brommers76 wrote:
    Greenacre, I'm sorry but I would like to know what club goes out for a group ride at between 24-30mph and as you say in your last post it is 35-38mph in places. Either you are getting your KPH and MPH mixed up or something does not add up here. What is the real average speed?

    Is the ride actually a chain gang? Is the 38mph estimate based on going down hill? I wouldn't worry about what you are eating I would be more concerned about what the other riders are injecting.

    I would say he's telling porkies or he's got his mph/kmh mixed up.
  • Ok, now my club run performance doesn't feel as bad now. Doing better than initially thought. The club is way out of my league, used it as a training aid. I will find another club. The calibrated MPH speed is real on the straight flat for a short distance, when there is no wind. I estimate 34mph-38mph from powering away with ease. The average speed is always 25mph+. When sat in a tight pack, much higher speeds are attainable yes?

    It might be chain gang, a bicyle chain in motion. The one's at back just hang on for dear life and not able to participate. I not able to get to front to see in effect :lol:.
  • a_n_ta_n_t Posts: 2,011
    Thats not a "clubrun" as most would know it. It's pretty nippy for a chaingang tbh!

    What club is it?
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    That's as fast if not faster than the races I've done this year!!
  • Name the club?

    That's faster then chain gangs I've been on.
    The British Empire never died, it just moved to the Velodrome
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