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Improving my Average speed

ineedalagerineedalager Posts: 374
So this is where I'm at, I was a MTB just causual riding to lose weight and get fit. I'm 56 years old and in the last 4 yeasr since starting riding I've lost 4 and a half stone. I was knocking on 17 stone now I'm 12st 7lbs I'm 6" 1' so my weigth has about leveled off now. So no more weight loss and I've had to increase my food intake a bit to do my 100 miles a week or so of riding.

I started road biking in Oct 2011 and bought a Specialised Allez. I cycle mainly 20-30 mile routes and have one 20.3 miler I do regulary to measure my improvemnt. I have a Boardman Hybrid which I converted to drops for consistancy and used it as my winter hack. My 20 mile time on a route with two 3/4 mile long 16% ish hiles on it was 1 hr 16m 30 secs on the Hybrid last Oct. So when I got the Spesh I new I could improve on that because it felt so much faster. Also when I got the Spesh I did a 23 mile flat route and craked the 20mph avg which I never thought would be possible since I had only manged 18.8mph avg on the hybrid.

I did the 20 mile hilly route in 1hr 10 30secs about 17.2mph avg in Oct 2011 on the Spesh. I ride with a club on Saturday mornings 28 mile about 17- 18mph avg. The rest of the week I ride solo. I rode all winter weather permitting and trimmed of the last 1st 7lbs to drop me to my present 12st 7lbs weight. Since the weather is turing to spring now the last couple of weeks I've been going faster.

2 weeks ago I did the 20.3 mile hilly route in 1hr 8m 50sec 17.7mph avg then a week ago I managed 1hr 7m 52secs 18mph avg. Then yesturday I put my new Mavic Aksiums on my Spesh and went 1hr 5m 26sec 18.7mph avg.
So I am amazed to have knocked 5 minutes of my time for a 20 mile hilly route since last Oct and I am now knocking on the door of a 19mph avg for 20.3 mile hilly route.

I suppose have upped my avg by 1.5mph I should be able to have a go at that flat route 20.3 mph avg and push that up by 1.5 aswell. On one of my hills where I usually see 6 or 7 mph I' v'e upped that to 9mph and saw 10-11mph yesterday.

if you told me last Oct I would be going this much quicker on my regular ride I would thought you were crazy.

Now the qusetion is what should I do to carry on improving I am getting a Computer with cadence soon as I done tend to push too high a gear instead of spinning so I can have a look at what cadance I'm achieving and maybe work on upping that.

I want to keep going faster I tend to put in as much effort as I can when I ride solo I only cruise along when I ride with the group on Saturday mornings when I'm not on the front.

I have done a couple of 60 mile rides avg 15 to 16mph also but my rear end went a bit numb towards the end. I am not looking to go racing I just want to keep improving. If I keep banging away a the 20 to 30 mile routes will my speed go on up or should I be looking at doing more distance work I suppose I would like to do a 100 miler this year. maybe.

Any suggestions for me to keep on improving?

Posts

  • I'd try working on a bit of distance, dropping from a high 18 to 15 is a big drop to be honest obviously depending on what the elevation is like. Are you going out on these 20 miles rides with the intention of beating your time everytime you attempt the route?

    I've been down that road of racing my local route everytime and it took me on the fast track to overtraining lol.
    Despite sprinting up hills and shouting at my legs my HR would go above 170, 4 days in a row of averages of 21 got to me.

    Could you use bikehike or something similar to show us your local route?
    10 mile TT pb - 20:56 R10/17
    25 - 53:07 R25/7
    Now using strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/155152
  • PseudonymPseudonym Posts: 1,032
    unless you're actually 'training' for a specific purpose (racing, TTs, etc) then forget about average speeds and just enjoy riding at a pace you are happy with.
  • ineedalagerineedalager Posts: 374
    Thanks for the replies guys, I don't try and beat my time every ride as the conditons don't always favour that wind direction makes a huge difference. If I end the ride into the wind rarely will I come close to it as it's almost half the ride into the wind. I do try to put in a lot of effort anf if I don't do a couple of hills I don't feel like I've done anything.

    I here what your saying about over training as I did let my weight drop to 12st 2lbs after riding 9 days without a day off and after a 30 mile ride even with some food and drink I felt light headed when I got ip to quickly and then passed out found myself collaspsed on the floor. I reliased then I was training to hard and not eating enough. So I let my weight go up a bit to 12st 7lbs (79kgs) and try to allways throw in a couple of rest days a week. Because ny weight loss and sort of levelled off now I find I have to eat a bit more to keep my energy levels up to still do the miles I have become used to 100 miles a week.

    I just depends how I'm feeling and how fast I am going if I go for a fast one when I went 18.7 mph avg the other day I was seeimg 19mph avg after the first 7 miles which was 1 mph faster than ever before so I knew a fast time was on so I went for it. It would be interesting to see what my HR is doing on a ride. As It stands now I never felt fitter in my life as I do at the moment my weight has not be this low since I was in my late 20's

    I been riding with my local club on Saturday mornings for 5 months now and they do Sunday rides races TT's and age ralated racing as I never going to keep up with fast fit 30 year olds the unfit ones maybe.

    So I suppose I will have to get involved in some sort of racing or progress to the longer Sunday rides they do.
  • kettrinboykettrinboy Posts: 619
    +1 to what Pseudonym said, several years ago i got into the trap of trying to go faster and faster and started to find every ride a strain to the point where i didnt look forward to going out on my bike,i dont race or TT so ive no need to train to ride at 22-23 mph,at my fastest i only got to around 21 mph anyway, so now its back to 16 to 18 mph enjoying the rides and only caning it when i feel like it instead of feeling like youve got to thrash it all the time and ending up hating it.
  • ineedalagerineedalager Posts: 374
    Ok thanks for that. I suppose I'm pretty close to as fast as I will go and need to back off a bit and cruise along a bit more. I must admit you can't beat the feeling when I'm out with the group on a Saturday and we are cruiseing along at 18mph to 20mph and it feels like I not putting in much effort the sun is shinning and there's no wind. You just feel on top of the world!
  • Ok thanks for that. I suppose I'm pretty close to as fast as I will go and need to back off a bit and cruise along a bit more. I must admit you can't beat the feeling when I'm out with the group on a Saturday and we are cruiseing along at 18mph to 20mph and it feels like I not putting in much effort the sun is shinning and there's no wind. You just feel on top of the world!

    Pfft, do that on my own! :P
    10 mile TT pb - 20:56 R10/17
    25 - 53:07 R25/7
    Now using strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/155152
  • ineedalagerineedalager Posts: 374
    So for todays ride I decided to cruise a bit more and not go flat out I took in 3 hills first one is almost a mile long faitly steep so a bit of a test went up it on the 39/26 still had a gear left in reserve that was about 12 miles in and I doing 17mph avg even though I trying not to go flat out.

    Total tide was 27 miles 3 hills 18mph avg which I was pretty plaesed with as I had some in reserve as I tried not to blast my way round. it seems I am becoming used to cruising that bit faster as I have become leaner and fitter over the winter.

    I can do 18 to 20 mph avg on my own also it feels alot easier when you in a group is my point! :roll:
  • So for todays ride I decided to cruise a bit more and not go flat out I took in 3 hills first one is almost a mile long faitly steep so a bit of a test went up it on the 39/26 still had a gear left in reserve that was about 12 miles in and I doing 17mph avg even though I trying not to go flat out.

    Total tide was 27 miles 3 hills 18mph avg which I was pretty plaesed with as I had some in reserve as I tried not to blast my way round. it seems I am becoming used to cruising that bit faster as I have become leaner and fitter over the winter.

    I can do 18 to 20 mph avg on my own also it feels alot easier when you in a group is my point! :roll:

    Do all my training on my own :P and for god sake bikehike or mapmyride your damn route so we can see what your actually doing.
    10 mile TT pb - 20:56 R10/17
    25 - 53:07 R25/7
    Now using strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/155152
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Ride above your current ability. Will sort you out.

    Although even if your racing it's much for much. Probably far better training to
    Power than speed. I can't ride 50 miles solo at 24mph but in a race it's easy.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,746
    I think that it's fine to try to increase your average speed, as a goal to focus on, but it's not the best way to improve.
    For a start you should include a decent warm up and cool down, so make sure these is not part of the bit you time or you'll be tempted to cut them short. Also an obsession with averages might mean you miss out hills or don't do intervals, both of which will improve your averages in the long run.
  • Team4LukeTeam4Luke Posts: 597
    your probably unlikely to average anymore than that on a regular basis on a normal road bike, conditions and wind will always be a factor and also drag on you, position and clothing, get a TT bike if you want to do your loop faster, but then you might as well get into racing. 20mph averages in my book for around an hour is a high level of fitness and strength. Drop your effort and do some longer rides too and build up some endurance, sounds like your doing well and club rides are comfortable for you, well done.
    Team4Luke supports Cardiac Risk in the Young
  • Team4LukeTeam4Luke Posts: 597
    okgo wrote:
    Ride above your current ability. Will sort you out.

    Although even if your racing it's much for much. Probably far better training to
    Power than speed. I can't ride 50 miles solo at 24mph but in a race it's easy.


    that's only of use if he trained at a power level that gave close to and above the speeds he is currently training at, otherwise he would be undertraining.
    Team4Luke supports Cardiac Risk in the Young
  • ineedalagerineedalager Posts: 374
    edited March 2012
    Thanks for the positive replies guys. I had a look at mapmyride and I don't have a fancy phone so that's no good. I put my route regular route in Bikehike and it siad my first climb was 360ft going from the 300ft elevation I'm at to 660ft 17% gradeint .8 of a mile. How do I put my route on here with bikehike? I saved it as a KML file to my PC. I don't have a fancy bike computer with GPS I just use a Cateye Velo.
  • Dont you just copy and paste the address?
    10 mile TT pb - 20:56 R10/17
    25 - 53:07 R25/7
    Now using strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/155152
  • Regular mid-week club based TT to keep an eye on improving speed.

    Longer less intensity on one of w/e rides. Do some sportives or audax's for fun.

    And work out some form of interval training. Or find a faster mid-week chaingang to get used to faster/harder speed group riding.

    Otherwise, I reckon you will eventually stagnate just timing your own loops
  • I've never bothered with intervals and my times are pretty good, will have to try them at some point though I suppose
    10 mile TT pb - 20:56 R10/17
    25 - 53:07 R25/7
    Now using strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/155152
  • ineedalagerineedalager Posts: 374
    I going to start some faster mid week through and off chain gang riding next week.

    We did some today and went a bit quicker than normal 18.3 mph avg for 27 miles flat route 1hour 39mins usually we do 17.3 mph avg

    I am going on a 50 mile ride with the club tomorrow and I fitted my Cateye Strada so I can have a look at my cadence and see where I'm at.

    I'll have a go at that Bikehike thing later as I'm on a different PC which dosen't have the saves.

    I can't get the bikhike thing to work. I open the course creator upload my KML file save and my route is there but when I copy the address to Bikeradar I just get a map of my area with no route which is just the course creator!
  • ineedalagerineedalager Posts: 374
    I did a 50 mile ride Sunday wirh 8 guys from our Club we went from Swindon to Chelworth GLoustershire via Cricklade, Fairford, Queninton, Ablington Bibury then Chelworth cafe stop and back down the white way I think they called it to Cirencester then on the Ashton Keynes Road back to Swindon, It was amostly flat route with only a few small hills in it. Moderate pace 16.7 mph avg and It took me 2h.58m door to door of riding.

    I really enjoyed it we did a bit of fast chain ganging on one 2-3 mile fast section but mostly a comfortable pace. I felt a lot fresher than when I ride 60 miles solo (didn't get saddle sore which is down to the saddle on my CB Hybrid which is getting changed this week to a Spesh BG riva) so I'm looking forward to next weekends rides. I going to give the Tuesday evening rides a miss until it stays light a bit later as I would need to fit lights as we would finish in the dark. Because I can ride during the day it would be criminal to not go out in the day instead with this glorious weather we are having.

    I did some spinning and tried to keep the cadence up to 85- 90 but that only lasted for about 10 miles before I started to tire and went back to pushing a bigger gear. Good fun though! :D
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