Distances, Increasing them

Dizeee
Dizeee Posts: 337
edited August 2013 in Road general
Weird title I know but let me explain;

My question is about how quickly you started to increase your distances and what you found / learnt etc on the way.

A very brief background on me, ridden for many years but nothing of note. As a kid used to ride silly amounts, grew up let life take over, then in Spring 2012 bought an ally roadie. Last year I was doing 20 mile rides at an average of around 18.5 - longest ride 38 miles with breaks at an average of 17mph (with some decent incline).

Taken it seriously this year, shelled out on a second bike (carbon De Rosa) and after just under 4000 miles so far this year alone am seeing 30 miles off at an average of 20mph with the same incline as last year. I regularly do a weekend club ride of 40miles and that is at best 21mph average worst 19.2 but that was a solo effort - 2300ft climbing.

I have become so focussed on making sure that ever ride "looks good" either on Garmin or Strava that I forget about longevity. Today I did 60 miles with a friend, in the pissing wet and rain, and on my ally tank, at an average of 19.3. Thats the furthest I have gone. I have done a few 50 milers before, but, I would rather switch the garmin off and go home than continue and drop the average speed.

I know how ridiculous this is, and I know I need to change my training style, however, I am also aware mid ride that I am doing well and end up chasing myself. This has improved recently, but, I kind of feel I need to perform every time. This is good in terms of training / fitness, but not in terms of enjoyment and I get frustrated.

Some of the group I ride with are super fit and I should be glad I can stick with them, but where I start to lose fuel in the tank, they start to "burst", as in we are at the end of a ride and they race back. I stay with em but, sheesh, its hard.

Today I did 60 miles, my furthest yet, un interrupted at an average of 19.3 and elevation of 2300ft. I felt like that was enough. I could have gone further, but, I knew that all the hard work in maintaining that average may be ruined if I did say 10 further miles and it dropped to 18mph. It sounds so stupid as I type this, but, that's my mindset.

I aim to go out one day before winter sets in and just do 100 miles no matter what happens, sod the stats.

How quick did you progress the distance ladder? The people I ride with say I am up for it, but, I am not so sure.
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Comments

  • I think that you need to understand that you do not work for Garmin or Strava.



    They work for you. :mrgreen:
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • supermurph09
    supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    If you can do 70 miles you can do 100. All you need to do is eat and drink properly before, during and after. Its more of a mental thing to be honest, with the ability to do 70 your legs should be fine, it's the head that you need to focus.

    I think you really need to stop worrying about average speed on every ride, that kind of takes care of itself. Switch your focus to a couple of segments every now and again as that will probably give you a better feeling, bringing your own times down. It does sound like you look at the average speed because you are bothered by what others think, it's natural to look but don't let it be your focus.
  • Dizeee wrote:

    I have become so focussed on making sure that ever ride "looks good" either on Garmin or Strava

    I know how ridiculous this is, and I know I need to change my training style,

    I kind of feel I need to perform every time.

    This is good in terms of training / fitness, but not in terms of enjoyment and I get frustrated.

    May be you should try racing, then you'll realise that everything else is just riding your bike.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • morstar
    morstar Posts: 6,190
    As a youngster I started every single ride looking to set a new pb. Got to the point where going out required major mental focus and it wasn't much fun.
    I stopped that pattern of behaviour many years ago but this whole segments thing started to derail my riding in the same way last year.
    If it's a habit you really do want to break then your starting point is going out without your gps(or any computer). Can be very liberating.
    One thing I really enjoy doing is a fartlek type ride. Just do random sh1t as and when it takes your fancy. Sprint a short climb at full gas, do a TT interval on a fast section. Roll along and enjoy the view on the prettiest bit. Bearing in mind intervals are one of the best forms of training, start to use them and you'll have to be more relaxed about average speed.
    Clearly you've a competitive streak; enter a race! If competition floats your boat, your training rides will quickly become more structured as they'll be outcome oriented. You'll have to focus on a bigger picture objective.
  • verylonglegs
    verylonglegs Posts: 3,954
    If you aren't happy unless your average speed is at a certain level then what on earth do you do on a windy day? Switch the Garmin off as soon as you turn into the headwind? Seriously, you are way too obsessed with your numbers, which you acknowledge, they shouldn't be dictating how you ride your bike.
  • Dizeee
    Dizeee Posts: 337
    If you aren't happy unless your average speed is at a certain level then what on earth do you do on a windy day? Switch the Garmin off as soon as you turn into the headwind? Seriously, you are way too obsessed with your numbers, which you acknowledge, they shouldn't be dictating how you ride your bike.

    Windy days are some of the best days riding, yeah it hurts going into it but then I hammer it on the way back in and get some great results, in fact one of my fastest rides was on a very windy say, averaged around 21mph over 25miles.

    Fartlek style sounds good and interval training was something I have considered but not done yet, like it.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Just think - if you did interval training, you would become even more awesome than you are now... ;)
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    What are you going to do when you hit some real hills?

    *edit- Just looked at your Strava, you don't do any climbing. You're going to be awfully disappointed when you hit a hill...

    Average speed doesn't mean anything unless you're doing a TT. Concentrating on that is just as pointless as grinding up a hill in the big ring just because you want to feel manly.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • Dizeee
    Dizeee Posts: 337
    Grill wrote:
    What are you going to do when you hit some real hills?

    *edit- Just looked at your Strava, you don't do any climbing. You're going to be awfully disappointed when you hit a hill...

    Your looking at the wrong account then - I live in the Surrey Hills.

    In addition, my Strava / Garmin upload usually loses a good chunk of my elevation, always has done, and when I ride with others my elevation is massively low compared to others I ride with. For example a Sat loop we do that is around 2300ft of climb always uploads 1700 ft for me.

    As a result Strava says I have climbed 100'000 feet so far this year but the reality is I have done around 150'000.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Tell u what ...


    Take the computer OFF your handlebars and put it in your back pocket. Or if it's a map version, put it on Map but with no data showing. Don't scroll through to the other screens.

    Then, put your willy away and go for a ride. If you catch up with another cyclist - slow down and have a chat, look at the countryside, anything - it doesn't matter ...

    There will always be someone faster than you, there will always be someone who's climbed more than you - equally there will always be someone slower than you who only ever does flat rides. I come across someone who rides ~12 miles a day - relatively flat and she probably averages 5-6mph ... but she's out there whatever weather and is always happy to say hi... she's also old (as in very!) ... but you know what? She's riding her bike - that's a lot more than many do.
    Just for a few rides, forget the numbers - they don't matter - really, they don't - enjoy the ride.
  • VeloPeo
    VeloPeo Posts: 23
    Slowbike wrote:
    Tell u what ...


    Take the computer OFF your handlebars and put it in your back pocket. Or if it's a map version, put it on Map but with no data showing. Don't scroll through to the other screens.

    Then, put your willy away and go for a ride. If you catch up with another cyclist - slow down and have a chat, look at the countryside, anything - it doesn't matter ...

    There will always be someone faster than you, there will always be someone who's climbed more than you - equally there will always be someone slower than you who only ever does flat rides. I come across someone who rides ~12 miles a day - relatively flat and she probably averages 5-6mph ... but she's out there whatever weather and is always happy to say hi... she's also old (as in very!) ... but you know what? She's riding her bike - that's a lot more than many do.
    Just for a few rides, forget the numbers - they don't matter - really, they don't - enjoy the ride.

    Pretty much this.

    You're already past the threshold where distance matters - I found 30 miles was the "magic" distance for me. Once I could do that the rest was just more distance and longer rides.

    If you're going to look at your numbers, do it after the ride. Bung the Garmin in your back pocket so you've got it if you get lost. Rely on what your body is telling you for how well you're performing - it's a better guide than the computer. I enjoy looking at the stats but obsessing about them whilst you're on the bike ruins your ride.
  • NewTTer
    NewTTer Posts: 463
    Dizeee wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    What are you going to do when you hit some real hills?

    *edit- Just looked at your Strava, you don't do any climbing. You're going to be awfully disappointed when you hit a hill...

    Your looking at the wrong account then - I live in the Surrey Hills.

    In addition, my Strava / Garmin upload usually loses a good chunk of my elevation, always has done, and when I ride with others my elevation is massively low compared to others I ride with. For example a Sat loop we do that is around 2300ft of climb always uploads 1700 ft for me.

    As a result Strava says I have climbed 100'000 feet so far this year but the reality is I have done around 150'000.
    But you already said 2300ft of climbing on a 60 mile ride, that isnt hilly!
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    I wouldn't say my rides are hilly - although I'm trying to get some more in ...

    3000 miles with 150k feet of "climbing" this year. But - what constitutes a climb? The 60' hill in 0.3 miles isn't flat - but despite what someone has labelled the strava segment - it's not a hill ... fastest guy up has done it in 40 seconds and the vast majority are under 2.5 minutes... Yup - it can take a bit of effort and that 60' will count towards my "climbing" total ... but should it?! It's more a hillock ...

    For me at least, a Hill needs to be a bit longer and go a bit higher than that ...
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    Dizeee wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    What are you going to do when you hit some real hills?

    *edit- Just looked at your Strava, you don't do any climbing. You're going to be awfully disappointed when you hit a hill...

    Your looking at the wrong account then - I live in the Surrey Hills.

    In addition, my Strava / Garmin upload usually loses a good chunk of my elevation, always has done, and when I ride with others my elevation is massively low compared to others I ride with. For example a Sat loop we do that is around 2300ft of climb always uploads 1700 ft for me.

    As a result Strava says I have climbed 100'000 feet so far this year but the reality is I have done around 150'000.

    I'm most definitely looking at the correct Strava profile. Surrey is flat, as any 'hills' there are a joke. In fact I can't find a single hilly ride anywhere on your profile which leads me to believe that you're going to have a lot of difficulty when you do finally find something worth climbing. A climb should at the very least be categorised and unless it's hitting 20% should be at least a mile. It's also relative. Box Hill is not a climb when compared to Caerphilly Mountain even though it's almost twice as long.

    Your Saturday loop? http://www.strava.com/segments/4417919 Not hilly. Not even remotely.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Grill - I assume you approve of this: http://www.strava.com/segments/540 as a hill? ;)
  • 281ft of climbing? lolz.

    My usual hour long morning ride is about 15 miles and 1,000ft of climbing, and that isn't the hilliest ride I could think of ;)

    I don't see what problem the OP has; you want to ride further, go and ride further.

    As for worrying about average speeds, yes, it's stupid. Some hilly 50 mile rides I average, 12mph, but a flatter 50 mile ride at the weekend I averaged 18mph.
  • sancho_uk
    sancho_uk Posts: 141
    A little harsh Grill, although I do understand what you are saying.

    However what constitutes as a flat ride for some, may be hilly for others depending on where you live. As you state Surrey is pretty flat so this is probably about as hilly as he can make it? I dont know i dont know the area.

    Compare that to the Peak District or Wales for instance and it isnt really Hilly, but it depends what you want from your riding?

    I have friends who love hills and friends who hate them. Each to their own....

    Back on topic though, I have a Garmin 800 and the best advice i have seen here is:

    Garmin in your back pocket or the Map view with no other details showing. Some of my best rides have been when i havent been fixated on numbers.

    I have a horrible habit of making some rides overly competitive.. Pick your favourite segments if you HAVE TO make it this way and then just enjoy everything in between!
    Focus Cayo 2.0 Ultegra 2012
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    Slowbike wrote:
    Grill - I assume you approve of this: http://www.strava.com/segments/540 as a hill? ;)

    Indeed I do!

    @Sancho- Sure. My point relates back to the OP's original dilemma of not doing long rides because he feels embarrassed that the average speed drops as any real climbing will tank average speeds.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Grill wrote:
    Slowbike wrote:
    Grill - I assume you approve of this: http://www.strava.com/segments/540 as a hill? ;)

    Indeed I do!
    Thought you might ... :)

    Found it whilst in the area last year ... just had to ride it ... but didn't have all my gear with me - just the bike & the phone ... my better 1/2 drove to the top and I "raced" up in civvies ... ! Downed a bottle of drink at the top.
    Happy enough that I'm just above 1/2 way in the Strava leaderboard ... first time I've done a longer climb. Kills the average speed somewhat though! ;)
  • I did the Northern Angel sportive recently (68 miles) and at the start my cycle computer fell off so I had no idea how fast I was going or how far I'd been (unless I got my phone out my back pocket), and it was great, just riding along without having any numbers to fixate on!
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    Slowbike wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    Slowbike wrote:
    Grill - I assume you approve of this: http://www.strava.com/segments/540 as a hill? ;)

    Indeed I do!
    Thought you might ... :)

    Found it whilst in the area last year ... just had to ride it ... but didn't have all my gear with me - just the bike & the phone ... my better 1/2 drove to the top and I "raced" up in civvies ... ! Downed a bottle of drink at the top.
    Happy enough that I'm just above 1/2 way in the Strava leaderboard ... first time I've done a longer climb. Kills the average speed somewhat though! ;)

    Nice, I'll have to give it a go when I'm in the area.
    We did this one on a club run last week: http://www.strava.com/activities/75617954#1507281589
    I was really wishing I had brought out the compact as it was brutal on a standard, especially after a few weeks of the bike nursing a bad knee!
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Grill wrote:
    Slowbike wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    Slowbike wrote:
    Grill - I assume you approve of this: http://www.strava.com/segments/540 as a hill? ;)

    Indeed I do!
    Thought you might ... :)

    Found it whilst in the area last year ... just had to ride it ... but didn't have all my gear with me - just the bike & the phone ... my better 1/2 drove to the top and I "raced" up in civvies ... ! Downed a bottle of drink at the top.
    Happy enough that I'm just above 1/2 way in the Strava leaderboard ... first time I've done a longer climb. Kills the average speed somewhat though! ;)

    Nice, I'll have to give it a go when I'm in the area.
    We did this one on a club run last week: http://www.strava.com/activities/75617954#1507281589
    I was really wishing I had brought out the compact as it was brutal on a standard, especially after a few weeks of the bike nursing a bad knee!

    Well - if you do - make sure you do it on min 39/26 like I did ... oh - and that's stock wheels on an entry Allez with Specialized Armadillo tyres on ... I guess I saved the weight through lack of drink! ;)
  • sancho_uk
    sancho_uk Posts: 141
    Grill wrote:
    Slowbike wrote:
    Grill - I assume you approve of this: http://www.strava.com/segments/540 as a hill? ;)

    Indeed I do!

    @Sancho- Sure. My point relates back to the OP's original dilemma of not doing long rides because he feels embarrassed that the average speed drops as any real climbing will tank average speeds.

    Fair point and totally agree!

    I know its not the longest but i still wake up in cold sweats thinking about Winnats Pass :D

    Should add to Grills point here with regards to Hills hurting averages, that if its steep and categorised the time it will take you to recover will damage your speed for a bit afterwards as well. Unless it points straight back down then its all fun and games!
    Focus Cayo 2.0 Ultegra 2012
  • Slowbike wrote:
    Tell u what ...


    Take the computer OFF your handlebars and put it in your back pocket. Or if it's a map version, put it on Map but with no data showing. Don't scroll through to the other screens.

    Then, put your willy away and go for a ride. If you catch up with another cyclist - slow down and have a chat, look at the countryside, anything - it doesn't matter ...

    There will always be someone faster than you, there will always be someone who's climbed more than you - equally there will always be someone slower than you who only ever does flat rides. I come across someone who rides ~12 miles a day - relatively flat and she probably averages 5-6mph ... but she's out there whatever weather and is always happy to say hi... she's also old (as in very!) ... but you know what? She's riding her bike - that's a lot more than many do.
    Just for a few rides, forget the numbers - they don't matter - really, they don't - enjoy the ride.

    BINGO ! Nail on head ! May as well close the thread now!

    I really do think cycling was much better and sociable without all the Garmins and Strava etc, people used to just plod along with a smile on their face and say hello to each other, now it's all about cadence, ave. speed and how much you climbed whilst making sure you pass the guy in front on the big ring whilst grimacing and of course without acknowledgment as your a 'serious' cyclist. :D
  • declan1
    declan1 Posts: 2,470
    Having no GPS makes a ride so much more enjoyable for me. I sometimes have just my HRM display on the computer which helps.

    My average speed is nothing compared to most of you (around 16mph average for various rides) but I still love riding and that's what counts! Hopefully I'll get faster in years to come...

    Road - Dolan Preffisio
    MTB - On-One Inbred

    I have no idea what's going on here.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    I really do think cycling was much better and sociable without all the Garmins and Strava etc, people used to just plod along with a smile on their face and say hello to each other, now it's all about cadence, ave. speed and how much you climbed whilst making sure you pass the guy in front on the big ring whilst grimacing and of course without acknowledgment as your a 'serious' cyclist. :D

    I dunno - I quite like Strava - but you've got to be sensible about it ... I sometimes knock out some fast times - but most of the time they're just mediocre. I quite often set myself a target, but after starting the ride I'll alter that goal depending on how I feel.
    Garmins/Computers/Strava are not bad tools - they are just tools - it's the user that doesn't know how to use them properly.

    My 800 had to be sent back a couple of weeks ago - I recorded my rides with Strava app on the phone - in the back pocket - it was quite weird being out there with no speed data to view. I actually got a couple of PBs during those rides - because I could go "how it feels" rather than by fixating on the numbers.
  • mechanism
    mechanism Posts: 891
    If average speed was so important we'd pick a wide, flat, smooth road and ride up and down it for a couple of hours.

    Also, surely elevation should be measured in meters?
  • chrisaonabike
    chrisaonabike Posts: 1,914
    I really do think cycling was much better and sociable without all the Garmins and Strava etc,
    I'm friendly if I come across people, but I don't ride a bike to be sociable - I socialise in real life.

    I ride a bike to get fit. It's the only sport I do, and I'm too old and chicken to race. So every ride is a TT of sorts, and I like to monitor my progress - Garmin/Strava is excellent for that.

    In the old days, people were still interested in their times - My OH's dad was a keen amateur cyclist when he was young (and actually knew Tom Simpson a bit, but that's another story), and he showed me a scan of a certificate he got from his club, authenticating his 6 hour time for a 100 mile ride in 1958 when he was 16. His training had consisted of just cycling to school and back, and running with the school cross country team :)
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • trek_dan
    trek_dan Posts: 1,366
    You need to set yourself a target instead of just battering short rides as fast as you can. How can you train effictively without something to aim for? Book a long weekend in the Alps, do the coast to coast in a day (that'll show you some decent hills!) or book a climby 100 mile sportive away from your pan flat comfort zone where you live.
  • trek_dan wrote:
    You need to set yourself a target instead of just battering short rides as fast as you can. How can you train effictively without something to aim for? Book a long weekend in the Alps, do the coast to coast in a day (that'll show you some decent hills!) or book a climby 100 mile sportive away from your pan flat comfort zone where you live.

    Sportives would be the best choice IMO. Choose a long route where you just have to do it. He'll probably end up dying at the end, which'll learn him ;)