How do i get faster?

nacnudsmada
nacnudsmada Posts: 55
edited January 2013 in Road general
Simple question, Is this mainly down to fitness?
Reason i ask is i am have asked to join in on a ride they they average 18mph but i am only at 14mph.
I have a good road bike and have just brought some clips :lol:

What do you think?
Cheers
«1

Comments

  • On_What
    On_What Posts: 516
    pedal faster
  • declan1
    declan1 Posts: 2,470
    Simple question, Is this mainly down to fitness?
    Reason i ask is i am have asked to join in on a ride they they average 18mph but i am only at 14mph.
    I have a good road bike and have just brought some clips :lol:

    What do you think?
    Cheers

    Ride further. Push harder. Pedal faster.

    Groups are always a couple of MPH faster than an individual though.

    Road - Dolan Preffisio
    MTB - On-One Inbred

    I have no idea what's going on here.
  • haha, :lol: thought as much...

    Train Hard, If Hard Train!
  • declan1 wrote:
    Simple question, Is this mainly down to fitness?
    Reason i ask is i am have asked to join in on a ride they they average 18mph but i am only at 14mph.
    I have a good road bike and have just brought some clips :lol:

    What do you think?
    Cheers

    Ride further. Push harder. Pedal faster.

    Groups are always a couple of MPH faster than an individual though.


    Thank you! that make since!
  • Yes, riding faster is mostly fitness.
    If you're doing 14mph on your own then I'd think 18mph with a group is possible - there really is a large benefit from drafting. (I guess there's also a question of how long/hilly is their ride compared to your 'average' ride. If they do 18mph for 4 hours and you can keep up 14mph for 2 hours then maybe there's an issue).
  • Simple question, Is this mainly down to fitness?
    Reason i ask is i am have asked to join in on a ride they they average 18mph but i am only at 14mph.
    I have a good road bike and have just brought some clips :lol:

    What do you think?
    Cheers

    just go for it, you'll be faster in a group anyway. When or if you get dropped, don't despair, just turn up for the next ride and you'll probably have improved.
  • An 18 mph average is unfortunately a lot, lot faster than 14, and will require a lot of work. You may find you can go faster than usual if you can ride very close behind the others in the group, but that depends on your group riding skills.

    FWIW, my average on my usual routes has gone up from about 14 to about 15, in three months and a little over 1000 miles. I couldn't get anywhere near an 18mph average.

    I've only been on one group ride, so my group riding skills need a lot of development. Faster than about 15 and I was too chicken to stay close enough to really benefit, and my average speed turned out to be less than I did on my own.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I've only been on one group ride, so my group riding skills need a lot of development. Faster than about 15 and I was too chicken to stay close enough to really benefit, and my average speed turned out to be less than I did on my own.

    That doesn't make any sense unless they dropped you (in which case you were on your own anyway!). If you aren't close enough to benefit fully from the draft, you are still maintaining the same speed as the group but working harder to achieve it.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Camus
    Camus Posts: 189
    Go and shell out for the lightest, most expensive aero upgrades for the bike that you can get your hands on.

    If you're strapped for cash however, train harder for longer. Doing this will improve your aerobic (when oxygen is present and available to the blood/muscle) and anaerobic (when oxygen is in a deficit in the blood/muscle) fitness massively and also condition the cycling specific muscle groups in your legs and upper body to take more punishment therefore increasing the threshold at which you max out. All of these are key to going fast on a bike.
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    Move to Norfolk !

    Getting to 18 isn't that hard, I used to average about 14-15, then a couple of years ago I just put more effort in to everything, longer distances, more hills, bigger hills, plus I watched my food and now I'm generally around that figure, getting to 20 seems a world apart though and I'm guessing that I'll need to join a club to get there.
  • Calpol
    Calpol Posts: 1,039
    Well in my limited experience having been in a similar position last year I would suggest that you just ride as often as you can. Riding with faster, fitter riders will improve you as they will put you pressure to keep up and maintain an effort level that you may not when you are solo. However there are also a few other tips I picked up that can help.

    1. Prepare your equipment, clothing and bike well in advance. All you want to be worried about on the ride is pedalling

    2. Trust the wheel in front of you. Of course accidents happen but if you follow an experienced wheel you will be able to get within a few inches and therefore get full drafting benefit. this is scary at first but the worst that can happen is you can fall off.

    3. conserve energy when you can. Learn to get aero on descents. I don't mean doing a Nibali and perching on the top tube but def get in tot he drops with your chin on the stem

    4. Try and keep you cadence high rather than cranking a bigger gear.

    5. Keep yourself well fuelled and hydrated both before, during and after.

    Riding at 18 mph on relatively flat terrain isn't that hard solo with a decent level of training. I can manage it over about 20 miles with 700ft of climbing and thats with only really 1500 miles in my legs last year. in a group (and I dont mean 3 of you) then it shoudlnt be beyond you.
  • Rolf F wrote:
    I've only been on one group ride, so my group riding skills need a lot of development. Faster than about 15 and I was too chicken to stay close enough to really benefit, and my average speed turned out to be less than I did on my own.

    That doesn't make any sense unless they dropped you (in which case you were on your own anyway!). If you aren't close enough to benefit fully from the draft, you are still maintaining the same speed as the group but working harder to achieve it.

    Well this is exactly what was happening. It was the newbie ride, and no one got dropped, but I think it was just a bit slower on average than I would have on my own. Some of the time downhill I didn't go as fast as I would have on my own, since I couldn't see far enough ahead, but at other times they were faster, and I just wasn't confident enough to draft close behind and benefit - so I just caught up as soon as they slowed down on the next up. And up the hills I stayed back to keep the slowest rider company, so we were often the last up to the top as everyone regrouped. So some of the time I would have been faster on my own.

    But it was a 13.7 mph average, compared with 14.8 when I did a similar route on my own. I guess for a proper comparison I should do exactly the same route on my own.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • Go on your turbo every other day for 45 mins for the next month and suffer, suffer, suffer. Do a minute sprint every 5th minute followed by a 4 minute 60% effort cool-down. Finish the session with a sprint that will make your legs feel like they are going to explode. Do all this in the highest possible gear.
    the deeper the section the deeper the pleasure.
  • Core fitness takes time to build; that much is unavoidable. You won't get anywhere if you don't push yourself, though, and intervals are a great way to do that.

    Cycling is an endurance discipline, and key to endurance is recovery. In an incredibly vague nutshell, if you want to go faster you need to increase both your output at 'peak' level (that which you can't sustain for very long) and your ability to return to lower levels that you can hold for longer; which of course you also want to increase. If you blast up a hill and you get to the top feeling like you're about to die, can you push through and get back to 18 mph or 22mph or 25mph, or whatever? That's basically what we're talking about here.

    This can all get very complicated, with 5 minute, half hour, hour and so on paces (the pros measure this in power), but if you ascertain a pace that's hard work but sustainable, and then go flat out for 20 seconds or a minute, or whatever, you're on the right track. Heart rate monitors (I don't own one) greatly enhance this kind of training. I would warn you that you shouldn't expect to be able to do this kind of exercise for hours on end, though; it does take it out of you!

    But just so I've said it, the bike has nothing to do with it. ;)
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    Core fitness takes time to build; that much is unavoidable. You won't get anywhere if you don't push yourself, though, and intervals are a great way to do that.

    But just so I've said it, the bike has nothing to do with it. ;)

    I can not over state to you how true that is. There are guys in my club who turn up on 30 year old steel frame bikes with limited gearing and they just romp away when the going gets tough.

    Build your core fitness and leg strength (by doing the routines suggested above) and the rest will come.

    Time on the bike is the only way to get faster.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • markos1963
    markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Bozman wrote:
    Move to Norfolk !

    Getting to 18 isn't that hard, I used to average about 14-15, then a couple of years ago I just put more effort in to everything, longer distances, more hills, bigger hills, plus I watched my food and now I'm generally around that figure, getting to 20 seems a world apart though and I'm guessing that I'll need to join a club to get there.

    He'll have to get a whole lot quicker than 18mph for Norfolk, that's just a recovery ride around here :D
  • nolight
    nolight Posts: 261
    The simple answer seems to be down to power:weight ratio ie Mike Tyson legs with Manny Pacqiao body has the potential to be very fast.


    The more detailed answer seems to be:
    how much power you can generate (core strength, pedalling technique, bike fit) relative to bike + body weight (diet, exercise) and for how long (stamina, endurance) without starting to have discomfort (core strength, bike fit, endurance) and against how high a resistance (aerodynamics, wind condition, road surface, slope).

    So the important factors that can be trained are:
    core strength
    fitness
    body weight

    Also core strength is defined as all the muscles around the pelvis including hip, abdominals, glutes etc.
  • To add to the discussion...

    What riding can I do to build my core strength? Climbing out of the saddle, but what else?
  • LegendLust
    LegendLust Posts: 1,022
    To add to the discussion...

    What riding can I do to build my core strength? Climbing out of the saddle, but what else?

    Best way is to do specific core strength exercises (plank, side plank, stomach crunches, push-ups etc). Try some weight sessions in a gym, squats are very good for leg and core strength, and weighted step-ups as well
  • nolight
    nolight Posts: 261
    Currently I do:

    Back extension for lower back
    V sit-ups for abdominals
    Bridge for glutes
    occasionally front plank (hold for 1 minute) without the stability stuff which is too advanced for me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMkoS2QOb5E
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIkewqrsuYg
  • dabber
    dabber Posts: 1,926
    If you are a Strava user don't get carried away trying flat out with all the segments. If you ride an area where there are segments everywhere (many of them pretty illogical) you could be riding at a very uneven pace which may result in a fast(ish ) ride through a segment but then total slow down at the end of it - this will not make for good overall average speeds. Having said that, you could selectively use some segments as part of any intervals you do but think about it first.
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

    Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Specialized Roubaix Comp/Kona Hei Hei/Calibre Bossnut
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,467
    Don't even think about core strength exercises and gym work at your stage, just get out and ride as much as you can...

    If your 14mph average includes sections in town where there is significant traffic and junctions, you may find you can average significantly more when cycling out of town with no stops and starts.

    If you are completely new to it you have a lot of potential to improve, as well as basic fitness it will take quite a while for muscles and ligaments to adapt, also your technique will improve and that will make you faster (pedalling technique, position on the bike etc.).

    Just keep at it, it takes time! You will make a lot of progress in the first few months to a year, and will still be improving after that.
  • LegendLust
    LegendLust Posts: 1,022
    neeb wrote:
    Don't even think about core strength exercises and gym work at your stage, just get out and ride as much as you can...

    May I ask why?
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,467
    LegendLust wrote:
    neeb wrote:
    Don't even think about core strength exercises and gym work at your stage, just get out and ride as much as you can...

    May I ask why?
    Assuming that the OP is a complete beginner it's just going to be a distraction from the main objective of getting time on the bike and developing cycling strength, ability and fitness through actually cycling. Any gains to be made from doing anything else at that stage are going to be minuscule next to the really big gains to be made by just riding. It's a different story once you have reached a certain level and your rate of improvement is beginning to flatten out, but if you are starting from scratch the way to become better at riding a bike is just to get out and do it.

    Of course core strength exercises etc. are a good thing for anyone to do and may help protect against back pain etc, but it's not doing to be the thing that lets you go from being able to maintain a 14mph average to an 18mph average.
  • beams87
    beams87 Posts: 151
    Ride
    Your
    Bike
    "A beaten path is for beaten men"
  • lotus49
    lotus49 Posts: 763
    Some exercises will strengthen parts of the body usefully but some will result in extra muscle mass where it will not serve any useful purpose. Riding your bike will never do this.

    I play the piano. Some pianists do finger strengthening exercises but nothing beats playing the piano for becoming a better pianist. If you can get out on your bike do so. If you can't, use a turbo or rollers.
  • To add to the discussion...

    What riding can I do to build my core strength? Climbing out of the saddle, but what else?

    You can't. Core strength isn't a limiting factor for cycling (except possibly track sprinting), which is why:

    1. You can't train it on a bike (without spectacular contrivance, at least)
    2. Improving your core strength won't make you go any faster on a bike - if that's your goal
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,467
    I think maybe some people earlier in this thread were confusing core strength with core fitness... :)
  • LegendLust
    LegendLust Posts: 1,022
    neeb wrote:
    LegendLust wrote:
    neeb wrote:
    Don't even think about core strength exercises and gym work at your stage, just get out and ride as much as you can...

    May I ask why?
    Assuming that the OP is a complete beginner it's just going to be a distraction from the main objective of getting time on the bike and developing cycling strength, ability and fitness through actually cycling. Any gains to be made from doing anything else at that stage are going to be minuscule next to the really big gains to be made by just riding. It's a different story once you have reached a certain level and your rate of improvement is beginning to flatten out, but if you are starting from scratch the way to become better at riding a bike is just to get out and do it.

    Of course core strength exercises etc. are a good thing for anyone to do and may help protect against back pain etc, but it's not doing to be the thing that lets you go from being able to maintain a 14mph average to an 18mph average.

    True. But if a stronger core strength means the OP is more comfortable on the bike and as a result can ride longer distances with greater efficiency then this is a good thing and will speed up their cycling fitness and ultimately their speed. And doing core work doesn't have to detract from cycling time - I do my core/weight work during work lunchtimes.
  • LegendLust wrote:
    True. But if a stronger core strength means the OP is more comfortable on the bike and as a result can ride longer distances with greater efficiency then this is a good thing and will speed up their cycling fitness and ultimately their speed. And doing core work doesn't have to detract from cycling time - I do my core/weight work during work lunchtimes.

    That's a big "if". What evidence is there that core strength work is useful in the absence of a specific issue?