Forum home Road cycling forum Road general

Is 20mph average doable?

thejazmanthejazman Posts: 12
edited May 2018 in Road general
Hi all

I'm a (very) recent devotee to cycling. I'm 49, two stone/13 kilos overweight and live near Richmond Park.

I've started cycling 100 miles per week. 3 times per week roughly 30-35miles per trip 3/4 laps of Richmond Park and then home and intend to get to 5 laps/2hours. I absolutely love cycling wish I'd started years ago and I'm finding it very fulfilling.

Currently I'm comfortably doing 3 laps in 1.17 (c.16mph) and I ride solo. I don't smash it but I'm nicely worked out by the end.

By September I'm hoping to achieve 3 laps of Richmond park in an hour.

I'd appreciate feedback on the following 3 questions;

1. Is an improvement of this amount realistic?
2. Is 100-120 miles per week over 3 trips enough training to do this by September?
3. What impact on time will losing 13 Kilos have on my times/average speed?

As I said it's enjoyable no matter what, I'd just like to understand more of what might be likely.

Many thanks

J
«13

Posts

  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,154
    1. Yes.
    2. The amount of miles you do,in a week is not that relevant to increasing your speed. It is about the intensity of your riding that will increase your speed.
    3. Losing weight will have an impact but it’s hard to be specific.
    4. However it’s not quite that simple.
  • thejazmanthejazman Posts: 12
    webboo wrote:
    1. Yes.
    2. The amount of miles you do,in a week is not that relevant to increasing your speed. It is about the intensity of your riding that will increase your speed.
    3. Losing weight will have an impact but it’s hard to be specific.
    4. However it’s not quite that simple.

    Thank you, so I've inferred from your reply that the miles are okay as long as I mix it up with some sprints, intensity HIT type stuff and some hill climbs?
  • yiannismyiannism Posts: 344
    thejazman wrote:
    webboo wrote:
    1. Yes.
    2. The amount of miles you do,in a week is not that relevant to increasing your speed. It is about the intensity of your riding that will increase your speed.
    3. Losing weight will have an impact but it’s hard to be specific.
    4. However it’s not quite that simple.

    Thank you, so I've inferred from your reply that the miles are okay as long as I mix it up with some sprints, intensity HIT type stuff and some hill climbs?

    Yes it is. Its not only about how much you train, but mostly how. As far as about the weight the general answer is yes, but here its a trap. Try not to lose lots of muscle mass, you will feel weak.
  • mamil314mamil314 Posts: 1,103
    Quite unexpectedly - at least for me - this is, indeed, a trap. To drop weight, you will, obviously, go into calorie deficit, but you still need to ensure that you eat enough for training and recovery.

    As for 3. - your speed increases due to gains in fitness/strength, rather than weight loss. Then again, if you get to the point when you count seconds off RP lap times, every kg will matter.
  • After the first year of chasing times you will gradually learn that it is not important and just learn to enjoy the ride.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 5,434
    16 to 20 mph requires a 60% increase in power output, not taking increased wind and rolling resistant into account. So that's ambitious. A weight drop will help, but not that much around RP, because in the grand scheme of things its flat.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,696 Lives Here
    mamil314 wrote:
    Quite unexpectedly - at least for me - this is, indeed, a trap. To drop weight, you will, obviously, go into calorie deficit, but you still need to ensure that you eat enough for training and recovery.

    As for 3. - your speed increases due to gains in fitness/strength, rather than weight loss. Then again, if you get to the point when you count seconds off RP lap times, every kg will matter.

    If you're overweight you're eating too much anyway, so don't start eating EVEN MORE.

    Just make sure you don't bonk when you're actually riding and you'll be fine.
  • mamil314mamil314 Posts: 1,103
    @Rick, strawman was uncalled for, there was no suggestion to eat more. When i went into drastic calorie deficit and training at the same time, i ruined my immune system, was weak and ill most of time. I am just trying to let others learn from my mistakes
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,199
    16 to 20 mph requires a 60% increase in power output, not taking increased wind and rolling resistant into account. So that's ambitious. A weight drop will help, but not that much around RP, because in the grand scheme of things its flat.
    !00% extra from 15mph to 20mph when everything is taken into account. Apparently.
    http://mccraw.co.uk/wind-resistance-cycling-speed/
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • Buy a Power Meter
    Get a Coach
    Stick to a Training Plan
    Buy a Turbo Trainer
    Get Zwift
    Buy Faster Wheels

    Do your 3 laps of RP at 20 mph

    Devoted
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    After the first year of chasing times you will gradually learn that it is not important and just learn to enjoy the ride.
    Just because that applies to you it doesn't preclude others from thinking differently. :D
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Yes it's doable however there are different routes to train for riding quickly. One route is to do high intensity efforts on a low volume diet. This brings results if what you want to be good at is a hours circuit race or for most TT's. The other approach is old fashioned and involves riding alot (15+ hrs a week) often not at pace but in that time you do efforts up hills or riding a heavy bike so even moving it on the flat is work. This also works. This approach is better if you want to be quick over long distances. The latter approach brings other benefits too like uicker recovery times after hills and between rides.

    So your training approach does need to consider your goals. I would argue being able to ride at 20mph is not a goal in itself as that is possible some days more easily than others depending on weather and traffic conditions.

    So yes it doable, I do it but it's not a goal. Fast rides are part of training and training needs to have a goal not just being quick.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,703
    16 to 20 mph requires a 60% increase in power output, not taking increased wind and rolling resistant into account. So that's ambitious. A weight drop will help, but not that much around RP, because in the grand scheme of things its flat.

    Obviously you are taking wind into account, otherwise it would only be a 25% increase in power
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,679
    Set yourself a goal if it helps you to train, but be careful on how you set goals as they can be mutually-exclusive and so you may get discouraged if you set yourself goals that are impossible.
    To improve flat speed you need to put out more power which means getting stronger, increased endurance etc.
    To lose weight you need to go into calorie deficit to force your body to use stored fat as fuel.

    If you target one then you will probably see some increase in the other, but at 49 it will be very difficult to get that much faster and lose 2 sone at the same time.
  • If you are serious about losing weight, diet is important, recommend using something like My Fitness Pal to understand what you are eating and set yourself a daily calorie goal. Combine this with regular exercise and your weight will fall off but more importantly your fitness will improve which will get you round the park faster.

    Set yourself a goal of one lap in 20 minutes, before worrying about three.
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,192
    Get yourself a single speed and do some decent rides on it including some hills and fast sections. It'll really improve your cadence as well as your technique and power up those hills.
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,685
    It's early days so there is plenty of scope for improving your average speed :)

    If you only do one kind of riding your improvement will plateau presently so variety is needed. As well as intervals one good way to bring on your fitness is to do longer rides with people who are a bit stronger than you, so that you are hanging on at the end - it's surprising how much longer you can do this than when you're on your own.

    On losing weight, I'll repeat these responses to previous questions re. diet:
    "Too many carbs, too much sugar, not enough veg."
    and
    "Move more, eat less, mostly vegetables." - use fresh ingredients your grandparents would've recognised.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • thejazmanthejazman Posts: 12
    After the first year of chasing times you will gradually learn that it is not important and just learn to enjoy the ride.

    Absolutely, it's just a fun target to set myself. I enjoy having a target and goal but I'm mindful that the big win from this is that I will be out cycling 3 times a week and having great fun whilst improving my fitness! :D
  • thejazmanthejazman Posts: 12
    Simon E wrote:
    It's early days so there is plenty of scope for improving your average speed :)

    If you only do one kind of riding your improvement will plateau presently so variety is needed. As well as intervals one good way to bring on your fitness is to do longer rides with people who are a bit stronger than you, so that you are hanging on at the end - it's surprising how much longer you can do this than when you're on your own.

    On losing weight, I'll repeat these responses to previous questions re. diet:
    "Too many carbs, too much sugar, not enough veg."
    and
    "Move more, eat less, mostly vegetables." - use fresh ingredients your grandparents would've recognised.

    Thanks Simon, I'm good with the food, Red Wine is my evil curse! :oops: :oops: :oops: Whenever I knock drinking on the head the weight falls off so I know I can shift this rapidly. Of course when I'm getting fitter I want to drink less so the weight-loss becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. :)
  • It's definitely doable but will take time and specific training, as others have said. It also depends on the distance, weather, type of terrain etc. when you're riding. Obviously a flat ride of one hour in warm weather and little wind will be a lot easier than one hour in the hills into a headwind in the driving rain.

    I appreciate it's anecdotal but I thought it would be useful to give my view of weight loss. I lost about 1.5 stones last year and was pretty skinny for my height and build as a result. YMMV and some of it's probably obvious but I found that: (a) losing weight is primarily diet related rather than from exercise (although that does help, of course). Recording what you eat during the day, weighing portions, 5:2, reducing carbs on non-training days, reducing alcohol and chocolate etc all work if you stick with them; and (b) the only area where I noticed a significant difference at my lighter weight was climbing. I felt slightly slower when descending compared with mates whose weight had not changed and speed on the flat was about the same, although I felt that I was more efficient in maintaining that speed than when I had been heavier.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,199
    A slightly contradictory view. As someone who works long hours sat at a computer then exercise is more contributory than diet to weight loss. I lose weight while on holiday even while binge eating and drinking simply by being more active.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • denkfauldenkfaul Posts: 39
    Pick a day where the wind is moderately blowing from the SE, and do your laps counter clockwise. You'll get some wind assistance for the flatter / slight uphill bits, and only have to push into the wind going downhill from Richmond -> Kingston gates. Wind direction makes a big difference to RP lap times.
  • rower63rower63 Posts: 1,991
    A few years ago, just out of curiosity, I built myself a model of the physics of cycling, and also spent a few days doing a “gradient-survey” of the RP circuit (i.e. walking round physically measuring the gradient at a few hundred points).

    I can use it to give some quantities to your questions. Inputs include your and your bike’s weight, wheels moment of inertia, your (likely) coefficient of drag, your projected frontal area (which will scale with weight), tyres rolling res coefficient, and others. Using reasonable estimates for these parameters, I can then vary the “constant average rider power” input to arrive at your current time of 1hr17.

    I have also assumed your “correct” weight is 85kg and you are currently 98kg. Assuming no wind, the power needed to achieve 1hr17 comes out around 200W.

    Simply dropping 13kg (and scaling your size appropriately) and leaving power the same will give you an immediate 4 minutes, leading to 1hr13.

    At the “new” weight, the power required to achieve 60 minutes for 3 laps is just over 300W, which is a considerable difference.

    So it suggests you need to go from 200W at 98kg to 300W at 85kg to achieve a 17 minute improvement, all other things being equal. 300W for an hour is indicative of a reasonably good club cyclist.

    So, to answer your questions:

    1. Not by September, but with dedication and structured training, perhaps eventually yes.
    2. As for 1. , by September highly unlikely unless you are a former high-achieving athlete who’s currently a bit unfit.
    3. Ceteris paribus, 4 minutes.

    As others have said, wind conditions make a big difference too, so choose a day of light NE wind if you can – that’s when I have observed the best times taking place, and it’s what the simulation predicts too.

    I've also assumed you're always in the same position, but as you get better you'll learn to adopt more aero positioning, that will make a significant extra difference too.

    To get a better idea of how such specific predictions can be made, and how the model works, visit my website-sig below. It contains several tables of predictions of RP lap times.
    Dolan Titanium ADX 2016
    Ridley Noah FAST 2013
    Bottecchia/Campagnolo 1990
    Carrera Parva Hybrid 2016
    Hoy Sa Calobra 002 2014 [off duty]
    Storck Absolutist 2011 [off duty]
    http://www.slidingseat.net/cycling/cycling.html
  • thejazmanthejazman Posts: 12
    16 to 20 mph requires a 60% increase in power output, not taking increased wind and rolling resistant into account. So that's ambitious. A weight drop will help, but not that much around RP, because in the grand scheme of things its flat.
    That's interesting to know. Thank you for that information. How is that calculated out of interest?
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,679
    thejazman wrote:
    That's interesting to know. Thank you for that information. How is that calculated out of interest?

    There's various calculators that will do the numbers for you, e.g:
    http://bikecalculator.com
    Basically, power is related to the square of speed.
  • rower63rower63 Posts: 1,991
    singleton wrote:
    thejazman wrote:
    That's interesting to know. Thank you for that information. How is that calculated out of interest?

    There's various calculators that will do the numbers for you, e.g:
    http://bikecalculator.com
    Basically, power is related to the square of speed.
    Cube of speed actually, for aero power ... drag force varies with square of speed, and power = force x speed . Climbing power varies one-on-one with speed
    Dolan Titanium ADX 2016
    Ridley Noah FAST 2013
    Bottecchia/Campagnolo 1990
    Carrera Parva Hybrid 2016
    Hoy Sa Calobra 002 2014 [off duty]
    Storck Absolutist 2011 [off duty]
    http://www.slidingseat.net/cycling/cycling.html
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,679
    rower63 wrote:
    Cube of speed actually, for aero power ... drag force varies with square of speed, and power = force x speed . Climbing power varies one-on-one with speed

    I stand corrected. I actually meant to say that drag was related to the square of speed.
  • rower63rower63 Posts: 1,991
    singleton wrote:
    rower63 wrote:
    Cube of speed actually, for aero power ... drag force varies with square of speed, and power = force x speed . Climbing power varies one-on-one with speed
    I stand corrected. I actually meant to say that drag was related to the square of speed.
    :)
    Dolan Titanium ADX 2016
    Ridley Noah FAST 2013
    Bottecchia/Campagnolo 1990
    Carrera Parva Hybrid 2016
    Hoy Sa Calobra 002 2014 [off duty]
    Storck Absolutist 2011 [off duty]
    http://www.slidingseat.net/cycling/cycling.html
  • thejazmanthejazman Posts: 12
    Buy a Power Meter
    Get a Coach
    Stick to a Training Plan
    Buy a Turbo Trainer
    Get Zwift
    Buy Faster Wheels

    Do your 3 laps of RP at 20 mph

    Devoted

    Thank you for your suggestions. I will invest in a power meter, in terms of a coach I'm going to join a cycling club in RIchmond as a starting point for that. I'm not sure what turbo-trainers and Zwift are but I will certainly check them out. As for buying faster wheels... that is sooooo on my indulgent list and once I've done 5-laps I'm buying new wheels as a reward! I'm looking at some deep-rimmed Zipp things that look amazing. I'm sure they won't give me that much speed but the saving I make on red wine by cycling more those wheels will pay for themselves in 3 months! Plus they look great too :D
  • thejazmanthejazman Posts: 12
    rower63 wrote:
    singleton wrote:
    thejazman wrote:
    That's interesting to know. Thank you for that information. How is that calculated out of interest?

    There's various calculators that will do the numbers for you, e.g:
    http://bikecalculator.com
    Basically, power is related to the square of speed.
    Cube of speed actually, for aero power ... drag force varies with square of speed, and power = force x speed . Climbing power varies one-on-one with speed

    Thank you
Sign In or Register to comment.