First time post need a little help

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by cohiba1223, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. cohiba1223

    cohiba1223 New Member

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    I just finsihed my first Century and I want to get more serious. I finished in just under six hours, with three stops. As far as training I just ride with a group in the mornings about 25 miles and we average about 22-23 mph. Then I do around 60 miles on saturday with a recovery sunday. Right now all I have is a polar HRM, to know how many cal. I burn and a speed and distance meter. What should I purchase to monitor my training? why? and does anyone have any tips on how to make myself a better rider. My cycling experience is 2 years this month. Thanks.

    ben
     
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  2. Lucy_Aspenwind

    Lucy_Aspenwind New Member

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    Hi Ben...

    Good work on your century ride and such.

    My questions to you though are fairly simple.....

    What are your goals? Do you want to race? Do you want to do a century in say, 5 hours instead of 6?

    You mentioned wanting tips on being a better cyclist, well what would being a 'better cyclist' mean as you see it?
     
  3. cohiba1223

    cohiba1223 New Member

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    I don't think I will ever race per se, but I would like to have very strong legs that last for a long time. My ideal would be to haul 100 miles, but at the same time be able to slaughter my fellow riders on the sprint. I think what I want is to get stronger on the bike, being about to endure more miles, and sprint to higher speeds, right now the fastest ive gone is 34mph.
     
  4. Lucy_Aspenwind

    Lucy_Aspenwind New Member

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    Ok, fair enough.

    I'm in no way a coach or sports scientist. However, if I had your goals, then I'd probably emphasize a lot of tempo and threshold riding primarily. Tempo would be a spirited pace you can maintain for a while, but not at your limit. Whereas threshold riding would be the highest pace you can sustain for say, an hour. In power terms, this kind of approach is sometimes called sweet-spot training (SST), and it works.

    A lot of people here use PM's (me included), but a HRM can be useful. Especially at lower intensities since HR tends to mirror effort there, much better than at higher work levels where it lags.

    As for sprinting, well mine is quite good, but in fairness it is at least somewhat genetic.

    Improving your sprint involves, well, sprinting!

    There are infinite ways to do this, but a few of the more common ones are: a) small gear sprints, try a 39-15 from a near standstill on a slight incline , and b) in a 53-17 or thereabouts, go down a moderate downhill that leads to a flat, and then wind the gear out.

    A little unorthodox, but something I enjoy of late, is drag racing trucks and cars from lights on roads with wide shoulders. I've yet to lose! [​IMG]

    Without a PM you won't know your exact numbers, but practicing them regularly should bring about improvement. You could easily work on sprints in the course of long rides too which would save some time.

    EDIT: - I'd consider getting a trainer, like the KK, with their little power computer. Very useful and invaluable training resource.
     
  5. cohiba1223

    cohiba1223 New Member

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    Thank you for the help, but what is a PM? Should I get one of those?

    thanks
    ben
     
  6. Lucy_Aspenwind

    Lucy_Aspenwind New Member

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    Heh....a bit of jargon, anyway, PM = power meter.

    PM's are great tools, absolutely so in my case, but not everyone needs one to accomplish their goals. Moreover, some people are not well-suited to using one as it requires time, downloading files, analyzing data, extra software, etc. If sitting in front of your computer for a while, divesting files, and interpreting results sounds tedious, then skip the PM! [​IMG]

    Getting the power computer that comes with the Kurt Kinetic trainer, over spending big dollars on a full-blown PM, would be just an extra $50 and give you a whole new, and useful, component to train. Check out this thread to see just how much you can improve using a trainer with power data:

    http://cyclingforums.com/t314849.html
     
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