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Hours training to get 16mph + average.

kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,148
How many hours per week do you cycle to get good 16mph average ?

Or just how many hours a week do you train ?

I work full time - and like to spend some time with my family - about now (high summer !) my average is a good as it gets 15.5 mph is very good for me, but I only put in 6 hours per week

I know there are lots of variables, like terrain, age , bike, equipment

But roughly my question is what on you on bike hours and your average speed

Posts

  • JoshgavJoshgav Posts: 158
    Solo or group?

    I don't do many bike hours right now (never have as I need to fit in running, swimming, work and family). I max at 3 hours on the bike a week and can fairly easily hold 16mph+ usually 19mph over a semi hilly 20 mile loop. That being said, I do have a large aerobic base from all the running and I'm also 29 so fairly young for a MAMIL.

    Do you push yourself much? Do you vary the type of riding you do e.g. steady state/intervals/threshold?
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,059
    kingrollo wrote:
    How many hours per week do you cycle to get good 16mph average ?

    Or just how many hours a week do you train ?

    I work full time - and like to spend some time with my family - about now (high summer !) my average is a good as it gets 15.5 mph is very good for me, but I only put in 6 hours per week

    I know there are lots of variables, like terrain, age , bike, equipment

    But roughly my question is what on you on bike hours and your average speed

    Wow, that's an open question!

    I probably used to cycle that amount, and the best I could get to on a hillyish 50 mile route was probably 16.5, and 17.5 on a 20 mile loop.
    This year I started using Trainerroad, and cycle 7 hours a week, pretty much every week.
    I have since managed the 50 at 17.5, and the 20 at 18.4, although feel I could go faster on those with the correct pacing, and of course more training.

    I like you, have a full time job, and in my case a young family who I also want to spend time with, so try and work my sessions so they have minimal impact.
    For example my gf is out two nights a week at band practice, and yoga, so I utilise that time to get 3 hours worth of turbo in.
    Two more days (Gf is at work, and daughter at school) I work from home, and can flex my time to some degree, so I use my lunch, plus another hour to carry out a workout on each of those days, and simply work later in the day to make up my hours.
    That's 4 of my 5 sessions sorted, and the other one I just attempt to cram in whenever I can, early one morning at the weekend for example, but if I can't fit it in, it's not the end of the world, I'm still getting faster.

    Fwiw, I'm enjoying my cycling more than ever, when I do go out now, I feel like I have so much more power than before, it is currently quite the novelty!

    They do also have a low volume course that my gf is following as it happens, think that is something like 4 hours a week, 3 rides, but I dare say you would still see some decent improvements with that as well.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
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  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    some people can do it without traiinng others need to train a bit. IT will also depend on the bike and how hilly your routes are. on my commutor bike with panniers 16 avg is good. on my race bike 16 mph means I am slacking or I have tired legs.

    in short now one can answer your question as it depends.

    focusing on speed is a good way to stop enjoying riding. If your goal is to enjoy riding then training (ride more to build base fitness and go hard on some hills) is a ging to help you enjoy riding more as you will be more capable. let the speed come from that and be what it is.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,258
    Hours is largely irrelevant. Quality/intensity is what matters. If all you are asking is what hours people do, then you are not asking the right question.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 15,964
    9 hours
  • Very open question, indeed!

    Is this 16+mph average for commuting in an urban setting? It can be done, depending on the route's terrain and luck at traffic lights, even on a flat bar bike. eg. http://www.strava.com/activities/1111792889

    But on a hilly extended ride home, I've no chance of 16+mph eg. http://www.strava.com/activities/1112038506

    It's far easier to have a better average on a drop bar bike on long, flat-ish rural roads. eg. http://www.strava.com/activities/1109275351 (not a "flat-ish ride," my last rural ride, but still over 17mph average). Very few traffic lights, some long roads, not many junctions.

    I started from a very low baseline in early January (had only been commuting ~30 miles per week for three years, but barely cycling at all November to March each winter since my RTA), been "slack" by this year's standards the last few weeks during the gloomy weather, my average for the year is ~100 miles per week (a mix of direct commutes in, extended commutes home up hills, 2+ longer recreational rides on Cube per week since May).
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • There are commuter specific training plans for time crunched people. It's a chapter of the CTS book.
  • stevie63stevie63 Posts: 481
    I would say that 6 hours per week is plenty to increase your speed. However it means that you need to put in some quality training. Something that really helped me to see a big jump was following a plan from RST sport. They are not free (a 12 week plan is about £60) but within 6 weeks I was able to go from averaging 16mph over 50 miles to just under 18 for the same distance.
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    I care not a jot about average speeds, they are a by product. Average Normalized power to weight, and VO2 max are the only metrics I use to gauge my performance levels by. In terms of hours training? That's also a horse poo metric. Judge it by KW.h, the same as the power supply companies do to your home / business.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Depends on so much.
    How old are you ? How long have you ridden ? What bike are you on ? What kind of terrain ? Over what kind of distance ?
    I don't worry about average speed - depends on who I'm with and how I'm riding. Winter rides are slower due to winter tyres and extra clothing. Summer rides - yeah around 16 or so. Sportives - faster again.

    If you did 6 x 1 hour or so of proper turbo training you'd improve.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
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  • Here's the book. Buy it, find a plan you like, do it.

    It's designed to optimize performance for folks who can realistically max out at 6 hours per week. I've read it/own it and would recommend it.

    I put in 5 to 6 hrs a week with probably 4 of that being EM zone and 2 of it being hard intervals. Hard meaning at and above threshold. That doesn't mean 2 hrs is spent in that zone, but you spend 2 hours a week doing over/unders, max, steady state workouts.

    I looked at those Strava posts above. Not sure your age but the avg BPM seemed a little low, in other words, suffer more.

    https://www.amazon.com/Time-Crunched-Cy ... ed+cyclist
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,059
    Here's the book. Buy it, find a plan you like, do it.

    It's designed to optimize performance for folks who can realistically max out at 6 hours per week. I've read it/own it and would recommend it.

    I put in 5 to 6 hrs a week with probably 4 of that being EM zone and 2 of it being hard intervals. Hard meaning at and above threshold. That doesn't mean 2 hrs is spent in that zone, but you spend 2 hours a week doing over/unders, max, steady state workouts.

    I looked at those Strava posts above. Not sure your age but the avg BPM seemed a little low, in other words, suffer more.

    https://www.amazon.com/Time-Crunched-Cy ... ed+cyclist

    That is an excellent book, I used it for a year, and saw good results - it does (or did in my case) take a fair amount of work to program it into workouts to use on my Garmin 500. Trainerroad is similar, but all the hard work is done for you, though of course you have to pay an amount for that luxury, but you could argue for the time crunched cyclist, that is even more of a necessity!
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  • For the book......

    I'm using the gym trainer at work with powertap pedals to do the "regimented" intervals that are at set power levels and times.

    EM miles without super specific intervals are fine outdoors. EM miles are a wide range. Something like over/unders I feel MUST be done on a trainer to do it right. The "powerintervals" can be done outside, they're a max for 1 to 3 minutes, easy.

    I just memorize the workout. I set the thing to power control and do the work. All you have to remember is something like "60 minutes EM, 3x8min SS with 5min RBI" or "90 minutes EM, 3x12min 2O,2U with 8min RBI". You just put the trainer power on the exact power for that interval and cry tears as the last minute of each interval winds down.

    I do the longer EM rides and recovery rides outside on the real bike. Powermeter or not, it's very hard to do specific intervals outdoors with wind, hills, and annoyances.

    Here's today's trainer ride.....mind you I'm in Week 1 of the plan and have only ridden a year. Note the power is stone steady at the workout's demanded output. The trainer takes care of it for you.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/1115634406

  • I just memorize the workout. I set the thing to power control and do the work. All you have to remember is something like "60 minutes EM, 3x8min SS with 5min RBI" or "90 minutes EM, 3x12min 2O,2U with 8min RBI". You just put the trainer power on the exact power for that interval and cry tears as the last minute of each interval winds down.

    Do you think this will ever replace riding a bike outside?
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,059
    For the book......

    I'm using the gym trainer at work with powertap pedals to do the "regimented" intervals that are at set power levels and times.

    EM miles without super specific intervals are fine outdoors. EM miles are a wide range. Something like over/unders I feel MUST be done on a trainer to do it right. The "powerintervals" can be done outside, they're a max for 1 to 3 minutes, easy.

    I just memorize the workout. I set the thing to power control and do the work. All you have to remember is something like "60 minutes EM, 3x8min SS with 5min RBI" or "90 minutes EM, 3x12min 2O,2U with 8min RBI". You just put the trainer power on the exact power for that interval and cry tears as the last minute of each interval winds down.

    I do the longer EM rides and recovery rides outside on the real bike. Powermeter or not, it's very hard to do specific intervals outdoors with wind, hills, and annoyances.

    Here's today's trainer ride.....mind you I'm in Week 1 of the plan and have only ridden a year. Note the power is stone steady at the workout's demanded output. The trainer takes care of it for you.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/1115634406

    Ah I remember those workouts well, used to really enjoy the over unders, really beneficial in my experience.
    When I used the book, I didn't have a proper power meter, only a standard HR monitor, and latterly a powercal heart rate strap thing - however it still worked in that it made me faster, just not as accurate or immediate.
    I did a mix of workouts on a fluid turbo, and out on the road - luckily round here once you get out in the countryside, traffic lights are rare, although as you point out, downhills can add to the challenge somewhat - a nicely placed up hill for a hard interval was always a good occurrence.

    Actually thinking about it, I would create the workout in Training centre, and on the bits inbetween intervals, I would sometimes set it to 'press lap button' instead of a time, and then I could tailor when it started to where I knew the terrain would suit, so sometimes starting earlier, or sometimes later, if I knew it would help me complete the interval.

    I must be doing very similar workouts now on TR, but without having to think about it or creating any programs - although I gather you can create your own workouts in TR, so should give that a go at some point.

    Last night I nearly made myself sick with a properly hard workout of only 75 minutes in duration - 4 pints of water were consumed, and both fans on high. Took me 30 minutes to recover properly, much food and drink were consumed afterwards, feeling surprisingly fresh this morning though.
    That's the kind of workout I simply would not have been able to make msyelf do outside, aside from the fact it would not have been safe for a number of reasons.

    I know it's already been said, but in reply to the OP, it's all about the quality of the hours you put in, 12 hours pootling about at a steady pace, would likely not be as beneficial as 4 hours of structured intervals - in MY opinion.

    I put quality in italics, as it's subjective, but IF you are looking to get faster, than I feel it is relevant.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
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  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    I'm going to write a book. I'll call it the big Power times hours most excellent cycle training plan book. I'll get it sold on Amazon. This time next year, I'll be a millionaire ( Rodney ).
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,258
    I'm going to write a book. I'll call it the big Power times hours most excellent cycle training plan book. I'll get it sold on Amazon. This time next year, I'll be a millionaire ( Rodney ).

    Hmm, I'm going to write an antidote to the 'time crunched' book, called "The 'loads of time to train but can't be arsed' training plan". Maybe we should talk about a two-for-one deal?

  • I just memorize the workout. I set the thing to power control and do the work. All you have to remember is something like "60 minutes EM, 3x8min SS with 5min RBI" or "90 minutes EM, 3x12min 2O,2U with 8min RBI". You just put the trainer power on the exact power for that interval and cry tears as the last minute of each interval winds down.

    Do you think this will ever replace riding a bike outside?

    On the whole, of course not.

    But there's certain work best done in a "controlled" environment.

    Doing an interval for 12 minutes outdoors might look like this for power on the chart:

    200, 210.....a hill is starting, 220, change gears......down to 170, 180, 190, finally back at 200......200, now going down a hill.....160, 150...change gears.....

    An interval workout on a trainer will literally be "perfect":
    5min warmup at EXACTLY 120w, 5min of EM at 150w, 12min interval of 200w, 5min rest at 150w.......

    You don't do ALL of you training on a trainer, just the work that has to.

    Not everyone lives near endless miles of gentle terrain of steady riding or 15 minute long sustained climbs.

    You can't do quality intervals with stop signs, stop lights,1 minute long hills, dogs, turns, etc......

    Even with Zwift. That seems a wonderful service. You could pick a flat or a sustained climb to do intervals on.

    If I lived near a 1000 foot climb or endless flat fields of wheat, I would definitely always do my intervals on the bike outside.
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,148
    o/p here - thanks for all the replies.

    its round about 7 years since i rode with a club - but thats what i would like to again. the problem is the clubs seem to cater for 16mph average or touring rides at around 12mph.
    I know im never going to be the fastest - but i like racey style bikes - and have recently treated myself to some deep section wheels - so would feel a pratt on the slower rides - but not sure i could ride with the faster groups.

    at the weekend i did 58 miles, 3000ft ascent with an average of 15mph - but that did include some really fast sections.
  • kingrollo wrote:
    the problem is the clubs seem to cater for 16mph average or touring rides at around 12mph.

    If you can hold 15mph on your own then in a group 16+mph should be no dramas. Ride with the club and with riders who are stronger than you are. It is arguably the best way to get faster and improve your bike handling skills. The second best way to get faster is to just pedal harder...


    cooldad wrote:
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    You'r both wrong. Those are just threads.

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  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,025
    7brix_demo_exercise_1.png

    That should work
  • I started road cycling in January. On a 17 mile loop from my house with approx 1000ft of climbing I was initially averaging just below 13mph.

    I've done an average of 60 miles a week every week since then, I now average approx 16.5mph on the same loop.

    So, errr, yeah, it takes that much. For me. I don't have a specific training program as such, I just ride my bike.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,737
    Our normal club rides might be anything from 16 to 18 mph depending on hilliness, but on my solo rides I'm likely to be doing a bit less, on the hilly rides say 15 or even 14 mph on the really hilly ones (and I do ride similar routes solo). So on that basis if you can do 15 mph solo you should be able to keep up with a club ride average 16 mph no problem.
  • tonysjtonysj Posts: 361
    Bit of a comparison for you OP.
    I'm 54yrs 5.10 12stone 4lb. Only fitness I do is road cycle 2 to 3 times a week.
    Bought a road bike in December 2016. Ist 18 Mile of 1400feet of elevation round route on it was 13mph average speed.
    Done this route probably 7 or 8 times plus other longer rides up to 63 miles . My average speed is 17mph now but that's riding how I want to do it with a very slow cadence average of 65 to 75.
    Yesterday after a chat with a work colleague who said get your cadence up and use the gears as and when you need to but keep above 90 cadence.
    Same 18miles 17.2mph but cadence was 93 average and I was knack****. 155 average bpm when it's normally 140bpm for that ride.
    I don't train to a plan I just go out on a route I fancy with the time I've got to spare and give myself a good workout.
    I do the same hours per week from the day I got the bike in December 2016. 2 or 3 rides a week for around 50 miles a week.
    Hope this gives you an idea of someone who sounds like in a similar position.
    Regards.
    Tony.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,463
    When I used to work and didn't have a lot of time I would do 2 mid week sessions lasting about an hour. Which consisted of warm up then intervals of 20 seconds hard 40 seconds easy times 5 2 minutes rest then repeat doing either 3 or 4 sets warm down.
    These would enable me to ride for 4 hours plus at 16/17 mph depending on the terrain.
  • borisfaceborisface Posts: 273
    Easy - move somewhere flat. I live in Portugal where its very mountainous if I average 15 mph for 30 miles and 1000-1200 metres of climbing I'm fairly happy. However, when in the UK in north hampshire I can easily average 18 mph for 30 miles and 500 metres of climbing. Beware houses in north Hants are pricey.
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