Well that was an eye opener!!

ct8282
ct8282 Posts: 414
edited June 2013 in Road general
This morning I went out for a quick 10 mile circuit with a mate who's been riding around a year and does TT's, but also cycles every day on a 14 mile round trip to work.

Now I've only had my bike a few weeks, first ever roadie, and it was my 6th time out on her. I've been averaging about 15.5 to 16.5mph which I was pleased with and already I feel reasonably strong. My bike has standard chain rings which everyone keeps saying I should change to compact, but I figured I'd keep working and eventually be strong enough to manage them, but I certainly notice that when a hill gets long or steep-ish I tire and slow very quickly indeed. On flats, gentle grads and downhill I feel good but when the grad increases I suffer, but I'm sure in time I will improve.

Now, this morning my mate left me for dust. It was almost embarrassing. I could not believe just how much faster he is. To add insult to injury he said that he wouldn't drop past the equivalent lowest gear so we were even there but he just left me standing. Even on flats when I thought I was really moving some he'd drop the hammer and just disappear.

However, by busting my nuts off trying to keep him in sight I did beat all my PR's on Strava for that circuit but its made me realise I have a long way to go!

Comments

  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    I've always found that the best way to improve at anything is to hang out with someone better than you at it!

    Keep it up.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • I do this whenever im out with my mate who is an animal. Makes me feel crap but sure as hell works.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    It takes a good 18 months to develop the muscles and lungs for sprint road riding.
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Yup, unrealistic to expect too much too soon
  • Fil6914
    Fil6914 Posts: 74
    But just think in 12 months time how much better you will be !!

    Phil
    Road - Giant Defy 0
    Road - carrera virtuoso
    MTB - Kona cindercone MTB 1997
  • ct8282
    ct8282 Posts: 414
    I very much hope so. I'm a very fit guy indeed and have clearly made the mistake of thinking my fitness would translate to quick riding. I'm looking forward to the challenge of getting faster and stronger now.
  • Sprool
    Sprool Posts: 1,022
    Keep it up, you'll be amazed looking back, how fast you improve if you already have good basic fitness.
  • Mindermast
    Mindermast Posts: 124
    Such a "training opponent" wouldn't give me much motivation. A little faster is fine, but much faster doesn't work. Perhaps it would be better if you went out for training together, but on a short round course, of 2 miles or so. Then both of you go at your own pace. Eventually, you could have some "technical sessions" about pedaling, cadence, gear shifting, training mechanics, balance, behaviour during races and the like. And finish the day with two or three recovery rounds together, at a pace of your convenience (or use the way home instead).
  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    I have a friend who is fortunate enough to make a full time living punting a ball around. We did a big tour together a few years ago and I can quickly demoralise him on the bike. So don't take it badly, no matter what you do now a seasoned rider will run rings.

    At least you have a healthy target to aim for.
  • Most people can ride fast for 10 miles. Wear him down with your endurance over 20.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • TheSmithers
    TheSmithers Posts: 291
    My riding buddy is one of the top triathletes for his age category in the South. He's also one of the top time trialists for our local club, The Fareham Wheelers. Suffice it to say he's pretty handy on a bike.

    I on the other hand have been a couch potato for much of my adult life until about 3 years ago. I've only been road biking seriously for about 9 months now, and have also just given up smoking. Whilst it's encouraging that I actually seem to give him a bit of a workout on our rides now, the chasm that exists between our fitness levels and abilities on a bike remains vast!

    However, I strongly echo some of the comments here; riding with someone who is considerably fitter than you is an enormous benefit, both for fitness and motivation. I have improved in spades since we started riding together. He's even starting to get me into TTs! :D

    I do not find it at all demotivating when he drops me up climbs, because he has every right to do so. He's put in hard work most of his life to get where he is. I find it's the reverse, and I actually feel spurred on to climb harder!
  • ct8282
    ct8282 Posts: 414
    Yeah, I don't find it demoralising either. It pushed me to produce PR's on all segments we went through sp hopefully the next time I can go faster again. I'm used to pushing myself to the limit from many years of training for many different things and last weekend I smashed ToughMudder so I will keep pushing. I guess it just surprised me how much better he is as I wrongly assumed my excellent fitness would automatically translate to being quick and strong on the bike. I was indeed very wrong.
  • overlord2
    overlord2 Posts: 339
    What will really pi$$ you off is when you find out you train 3 times more than him and still be slower.
  • pilot_pete
    pilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    Keep working at it. As has been said, it will take 18 months or so to see the real improvement. I started 3 years ago, from a very fit background ans was reasonable to start with, but rubbish compared to serious club cyclists. 3 years later I am the one they call the 'train' who sits on the front into the headwind and pulls them all along, usually dropping half of them! I'm closer to 50 than 40 now, but thus far this year have improved my 10m, 25m and 50m TT PBs; my 10 time by 30secs to 22:10, which is an absolute gulf. I have broken the hour for 25 and two hours for 50 on 'J' courses which aren't that fast. I will have a PB for a 100m TT next month (it'll be my first!) and a 30m TT PB on Saturday (again my first at that distance!)

    So, it all comes down to miles in the legs and adaptation. A 'seasoned' TTer in our club, of a similar age, who has competed all his life is my target - he was beating me by a minute + on a 10 last year - I am within a few seconds of him now. I am aiming at just over 4hrs for the hundred....

    Keep at it and just ride, ride, ride to start with. The more miles the better. Once you are strong you can then work on speed by doing intervals. I used to think an average of 16mph on the flat was reasonable. I can now average 20mph over 75 miles on my road bike on the flat if I am pushing it. It's all relative though, I came second out of the vets in a VTTA 50m TT a few weeks back with a 1:59:46. The overall event winner (non-vet) overtook me like I was standing still. He posted a 1:48:14 :cry:

    Carrots to aim at are good. They spur you on to improve. Keep up the carrot chasing!

    PP
  • Sounds like your mate is on epo. I'd Insist on an A and B sample to be taken prior to each ride. Just make sure doesn't come along with a sample already made up.
  • tlw1
    tlw1 Posts: 21,869
    Sounds like your mate is on epo. I'd Insist on an A and B sample to be taken prior to each ride. Just make sure doesn't come along with a sample already made up.

    no, it's all about the bike :)
  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    Carbon clinchers are good for another 2 mph..........................................................................................
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    You're friend is just fitter than you are! However when you say you are stuggling on hills, are your gears too low? What's the biggest cog you have on the back? It could be at this point that you do need to switch to a compact and possibly even get a bigger cassette so you can improve your hill climbing - not necessarily go faster at this point.

    Also; does your friend have a better bike? Is he lighter than you are? All these thigns can be marginal but add up to a real difference on the ground.

    I also have a friend who I ride with occasionally who smokes me on the hills, it doesn't really help my training as I'm then struggling to keep up, and pushing my heart rate beyond what I can sustain and end up going slower, so I'm better off practicing on my own and aiming to get PB segments.
  • mike6
    mike6 Posts: 1,199
    If he is that much better than you talk him into doing bit and bit. That way you can draught him, like a derny, and gain some speed. Then you do your bit on the front, at your pace. Agree that when he comes past you again its at a reasonable pace, so you can get his wheel, then he can pick it up again, so you can hang on.
  • ct8282
    ct8282 Posts: 414
    You're friend is just fitter than you are! However when you say you are stuggling on hills, are your gears too low? What's the biggest cog you have on the back? It could be at this point that you do need to switch to a compact and possibly even get a bigger cassette so you can improve your hill climbing - not necessarily go faster at this point.

    Also; does your friend have a better bike? Is he lighter than you are? All these thigns can be marginal but add up to a real difference on the ground.

    I also have a friend who I ride with occasionally who smokes me on the hills, it doesn't really help my training as I'm then struggling to keep up, and pushing my heart rate beyond what I can sustain and end up going slower, so I'm better off practicing on my own and aiming to get PB segments.

    My gearing is currently 53-39 and 11-25. I've only been out on the bike 7 times now and I'm making good progress each time so I don't want to give up just yet and go in for the compact setup. Yesterday I went out for a 17 mile circuit and smashed all of my PR's and upped my average speed on that circuit from 15.2pmh to 16.5mph. As perviously metioned I am very fit so I believe (maybe wrongly) that given a few months I will be able to properly handle the standard setup I have and wont need to go to a compact. I guess it's my goal now to be able to improve sufficiently to not warrant a compact setup so this has really given me something to aim for. I'm motivated!

    His bike is a Carerra Virago and I'm on a Giant TCR Advanced so my bike is superior. I would say he's maybe half a stone lighter than me but I'm certain his better performance is simply down to his experience and having much more time on a road bike.
  • dmclite-3.0
    dmclite-3.0 Posts: 845
    Grill wrote:
    I've always found that the best way to improve at anything is to hang out with someone better than you at it!

    Keep it up.

    I can't imagine that you have found anyone that good, eh ? :P
    I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast, but I'm intercontinental when I eat French toast...
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    ct8282 wrote:
    I'm certain his better performance is simply down to his experience and having much more time on a road bike.

    That and that there are different kinds of fitness, yours just hasn't built up yet. Anyway looks like you have things under control, just keep doing what you are doing. Good luck :D