How to increase speed?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by No E-mail, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. No E-mail

    No E-mail Guest

    I've taken up cycling over the last year and have enjoyed the sport
    quite a bit. I routinely cycle about 100miles a week. I seem to
    average around 17-18mph solo on some rolling hills over 26miles
    (Sandhill Rd to Canada Rd if you're near Palo Alto). Anyway, I'm
    trying to take the next step and increase my speed to average over 20
    mph.

    My end goal is to average 23mph but that's probably a lofty goal at
    the moment.

    I bought a cadence computer and have been trying to cycle 90-100rpms
    all the time. I found I am usually in this range naturally except
    going downhill when I go around 70 at a higher gear but I have been
    trying to push it higher on a lower gear now. I seem to average 85-88
    or so over a ride including breaking/stopping so seems pretty good I
    think.

    I've read some rough estimates on adjusting saddle height and realized
    my bike was about 2inches too low and that seemed to have increased my
    average speed 1-2mph.

    I average about 10-12mph climbing and probably ~20 on flats, 25-28
    slight downhill, ~33 steeper downhills. I can push myself to go
    ~15-16mph if I get out of the saddle and push like crazy uphill but I
    quickly tire in these cases.

    My main limiting factor seems to be fatigue from burning quads. I
    don't feel I push my heart rate that high. Wearing my heart meter,
    I'm probably around 160bpm on flats, ~180 on hills. I can push to
    around 190-200bpm comfortably running. My resting HR is around 50-55
    depending on the time/day.

    What should I do next in my goal to increasing average speed? Is
    there a book I should read or training problem I can follow?

    I seem to pass most people who are shorter than I am but tall people
    seem to be usually faster. I'm about 5'7, 155 pounds, male. Do
    taller people have a natural advantage like in running with their
    longer stride? Isn't that what the bike gears suppose to equalize?

    Just post here for everyone's benefit. Thanks in advance.
     
    Tags:


  2. jazzDom

    jazzDom Guest

    "Serious Cycling" is a good book. My personal recommendations are to
    find the best riders around and try to keep up with them. I do it as
    much as I can stand, even though it is quite humiliating, but you get
    better faster. Eventually you will be the one people are chasing.

    Breathing is another thing you can work on. I have been working on
    various breathing rhythms which have uneven inhale/exhale times, such
    as 3/2 or 4/2, always with the exhale being the longer. this seems to
    feed my muscles more efficiently with a lower HR and allow for longer
    efforts.

    Aerobars make you faster if you can ride them comfortably.

    All that being said, I would recommend not listening to most of the
    folks in here. (perhaps me too) Too many people trying to one-up
    eachother about silly things.

    My $.02
     
  3. psycholist

    psycholist Guest

    "No E-mail" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I've taken up cycling over the last year and have enjoyed the sport
    > quite a bit. I routinely cycle about 100miles a week. I seem to
    > average around 17-18mph solo on some rolling hills over 26miles
    > (Sandhill Rd to Canada Rd if you're near Palo Alto). Anyway, I'm
    > trying to take the next step and increase my speed to average over 20
    > mph.
    >
    > My end goal is to average 23mph but that's probably a lofty goal at
    > the moment.
    >
    > I bought a cadence computer and have been trying to cycle 90-100rpms
    > all the time. I found I am usually in this range naturally except
    > going downhill when I go around 70 at a higher gear but I have been
    > trying to push it higher on a lower gear now. I seem to average 85-88
    > or so over a ride including breaking/stopping so seems pretty good I
    > think.
    >
    > I've read some rough estimates on adjusting saddle height and realized
    > my bike was about 2inches too low and that seemed to have increased my
    > average speed 1-2mph.
    >
    > I average about 10-12mph climbing and probably ~20 on flats, 25-28
    > slight downhill, ~33 steeper downhills. I can push myself to go
    > ~15-16mph if I get out of the saddle and push like crazy uphill but I
    > quickly tire in these cases.
    >
    > My main limiting factor seems to be fatigue from burning quads. I
    > don't feel I push my heart rate that high. Wearing my heart meter,
    > I'm probably around 160bpm on flats, ~180 on hills. I can push to
    > around 190-200bpm comfortably running. My resting HR is around 50-55
    > depending on the time/day.
    >
    > What should I do next in my goal to increasing average speed? Is
    > there a book I should read or training problem I can follow?
    >
    > I seem to pass most people who are shorter than I am but tall people
    > seem to be usually faster. I'm about 5'7, 155 pounds, male. Do
    > taller people have a natural advantage like in running with their
    > longer stride? Isn't that what the bike gears suppose to equalize?
    >
    > Just post here for everyone's benefit. Thanks in advance.


    You would do well to forget about average speed. Easy to say ... tough to
    do. If you want to learn to go fast, you've gotta practice going fast.
    That means speed intervals! Since you seem to want to be able to ride at
    sustained high speeds, you might do something like start by doing sessions
    where, after a warmup, you ride as hard as you can sustain for a minute,
    then spin easy for three minutes. Repeat several times. The next week, try
    bumping the hard effort to 90 seconds and reduce the recovery time between
    intervals accordingly. Each week, keep stretching the hard effort a bit.
    You can't do this every day. Do it two or three times a week. You might
    also try a longer ride on the weekends where you do at least three hours
    with the first being easy, the second being as hard as you can sustain for a
    solid hour, then another easy.

    Just some thoughts. I can tell you from direct experience. If you keep
    going out and riding at 20 mph and hope it'll gradually creep up ... forget
    it. It won't happen. You need the intervals to learn to ride hard and
    sustain a hard effort. Oh, and when I say rest/recover between intervals, I
    mean go so slow and easy you'll be embarrassed to be seen. Don't compromise
    your recovery by trying to raise your average speed during an interval
    workout!

    Bob C.
     
  4. Local

    Local Guest

    I would calculate your maximum heart rate. It is probably lower for
    cycling than running.
     
  5. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "No E-mail" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I've taken up cycling over the last year and have enjoyed the sport
    > quite a bit. I routinely cycle about 100miles a week. I seem to
    > average around 17-18mph solo on some rolling hills over 26miles
    > (Sandhill Rd to Canada Rd if you're near Palo Alto). Anyway, I'm
    > trying to take the next step and increase my speed to average over 20
    > mph.
    >
    > My end goal is to average 23mph but that's probably a lofty goal at
    > the moment.
    >
    > I bought a cadence computer and have been trying to cycle 90-100rpms
    > all the time. I found I am usually in this range naturally except
    > going downhill when I go around 70 at a higher gear but I have been
    > trying to push it higher on a lower gear now. I seem to average 85-88
    > or so over a ride including breaking/stopping so seems pretty good I
    > think.


    I wouldn't worry too much about cadence, just do what feels natural.

    > I've read some rough estimates on adjusting saddle height and realized
    > my bike was about 2inches too low and that seemed to have increased my
    > average speed 1-2mph.


    Saddle height is probably the most important fit dimension. Assuming
    comfortable position, the important thing for speed is aerodynamics.

    > I average about 10-12mph climbing and probably ~20 on flats, 25-28
    > slight downhill, ~33 steeper downhills. I can push myself to go
    > ~15-16mph if I get out of the saddle and push like crazy uphill but I
    > quickly tire in these cases.
    >
    > My main limiting factor seems to be fatigue from burning quads. I
    > don't feel I push my heart rate that high. Wearing my heart meter,
    > I'm probably around 160bpm on flats, ~180 on hills. I can push to
    > around 190-200bpm comfortably running. My resting HR is around 50-55
    > depending on the time/day.
    >
    > What should I do next in my goal to increasing average speed? Is
    > there a book I should read or training problem I can follow?


    Muscle fatigue is complex. There are circulatory aspects, strength, endurance
    and adaptation aspects. While runners seem to start cycling with good C-V
    fitness, they need some time to develop the cycling specific adaptations. This
    is measured in years, not months. The absolute best way for you to get faster
    is to find a group to ride with.

    I'm surprised by such a large difference in max HR between cycling and
    running, hill climbing and sprinting seem to be able to red-line most cyclists
    without too much difficulty.

    > I seem to pass most people who are shorter than I am but tall people
    > seem to be usually faster. I'm about 5'7, 155 pounds, male. Do
    > taller people have a natural advantage like in running with their
    > longer stride? Isn't that what the bike gears suppose to equalize?


    Climbing is about power to weight ratio, speed on flats is about power to
    drag. Taller people usually have naturally worse power to weight and better
    power to drag. This makes them better time trialists than climbers, typically
    (of course there are always exceptions).
     
  6. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    > I would calculate your maximum heart rate. It is probably lower for
    > cycling than running.


    Care to elaborate on that apparently odd statement? Your max heart rate
    is a function of your physiology and shouldn't depend on what kind of
    exercise you are doing.

    Jeff
     
  7. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    > I would calculate your maximum heart rate. It is probably lower for
    > cycling than running.


    Care to elaborate on that apparently odd statement? Your max heart rate
    is a function of your physiology and shouldn't depend on what kind of
    exercise you are doing.

    Jeff
     
  8. On 26 Jul 2004 10:27:05 -0700, [email protected] (Jeff) wrote:

    >Care to elaborate on that apparently odd statement? Your max heart rate
    >is a function of your physiology and shouldn't depend on what kind of
    >exercise you are doing.
    >
    >Jeff


    Well, that isn't true on a recumbent, at least for me. One of the
    questions I asked when moving to a recumbent is why I could not get
    the heart rate up to the same levels as before per the Polar (moving
    back to the Trek moved the ranges back to the old).

    The two doctors that I asked said it wasn't unusual for a different
    rate for a radically different positions when exercising. OTOH,
    neither gave me a specific explanation why the reclined position was
    lower.

    Curtis L. Russell
    Odenton, MD (USA)
    Just someone on two wheels...
     
  9. Curtis L. Russell wrote:
    > On 26 Jul 2004 10:27:05 -0700, [email protected] (Jeff) wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Care to elaborate on that apparently odd statement? Your max heart rate
    >>is a function of your physiology and shouldn't depend on what kind of
    >>exercise you are doing.
    >>
    >>Jeff

    >
    >
    > Well, that isn't true on a recumbent, at least for me. One of the
    > questions I asked when moving to a recumbent is why I could not get
    > the heart rate up to the same levels as before per the Polar (moving
    > back to the Trek moved the ranges back to the old).
    >
    > The two doctors that I asked said it wasn't unusual for a different
    > rate for a radically different positions when exercising. OTOH,
    > neither gave me a specific explanation why the reclined position was
    > lower.


    I've seen this said too. One explanation I saw said it had to do with
    the fact that your body weight is being supported by the bike, not your
    legs, which means you just don't have to work as hard, and on a
    recumbent, this is even more so since you are, well, recumbent. But I'm
    just repeating in garbled fashion something I read and didn't pay close
    attention to, so feel free to ignore.

    -km

    --
    the black rose
    proud to be owned by a yorkie
    http://community.webshots.com/user/blackrosequilts
     
  10. Bill

    Bill Guest

    On Mon, 26 Jul 2004 18:25:51 GMT, the black rose
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Curtis L. Russell wrote:
    >> On 26 Jul 2004 10:27:05 -0700, [email protected] (Jeff) wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>> Care to elaborate on that apparently odd statement? Your max heart
    >>> rate is a function of your physiology and shouldn't depend on what
    >>> kind of
    >>> exercise you are doing. Jeff

    >>
    >> --

    My two cents on max heart rate.
    I bike normally at about 160-164, long distance speed.
    Getting out of the saddle to attack a hill gets me to 172-174.
    Running some sprints (not jogging) will get me up to 176-180.
    I hate jogging so I really run like I mean it, which is rare
    because I am mainly on the bike. Anything that raises your
    heart rate is a good thing, biking is just more fun.
    FWIW, I am 55, 5'7", 145 pounds, so my max heart rate doesn't
    go by the accepted formula.
    Maybe the difference is just because I don't run that much
    but there is a difference, at least for me.
    Any bikers want to go out and run and come back and post
    your results?
    Bill Baka


    Using M2, Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/m2/
     
  11. Roger Zoul

    Roger Zoul Guest

    Peter Cole wrote:
    || "No E-mail" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    || news:[email protected]
    ||| I've taken up cycling over the last year and have enjoyed the sport
    ||| quite a bit. I routinely cycle about 100miles a week. I seem to
    ||| average around 17-18mph solo on some rolling hills over 26miles
    ||| (Sandhill Rd to Canada Rd if you're near Palo Alto). Anyway, I'm
    ||| trying to take the next step and increase my speed to average over
    ||| 20
    ||| mph.
    |||
    ||| My end goal is to average 23mph but that's probably a lofty goal at
    ||| the moment.
    |||
    ||| I bought a cadence computer and have been trying to cycle 90-100rpms
    ||| all the time. I found I am usually in this range naturally except
    ||| going downhill when I go around 70 at a higher gear but I have been
    ||| trying to push it higher on a lower gear now. I seem to average
    ||| 85-88
    ||| or so over a ride including breaking/stopping so seems pretty good I
    ||| think.
    ||
    || I wouldn't worry too much about cadence, just do what feels natural.


    What if grinding up a hill at 40cad feels natural? Will that be good for the
    knees in the long run?

    ||
    ||| I've read some rough estimates on adjusting saddle height and
    ||| realized
    ||| my bike was about 2inches too low and that seemed to have increased
    ||| my average speed 1-2mph.
    ||
    || Saddle height is probably the most important fit dimension. Assuming
    || comfortable position, the important thing for speed is aerodynamics.
    ||
    ||| I average about 10-12mph climbing and probably ~20 on flats, 25-28
    ||| slight downhill, ~33 steeper downhills. I can push myself to go
    ||| ~15-16mph if I get out of the saddle and push like crazy uphill but
    ||| I quickly tire in these cases.
    |||
    ||| My main limiting factor seems to be fatigue from burning quads. I
    ||| don't feel I push my heart rate that high. Wearing my heart meter,
    ||| I'm probably around 160bpm on flats, ~180 on hills. I can push to
    ||| around 190-200bpm comfortably running. My resting HR is around
    ||| 50-55 depending on the time/day.
    |||
    ||| What should I do next in my goal to increasing average speed? Is
    ||| there a book I should read or training problem I can follow?
    ||
    || Muscle fatigue is complex. There are circulatory aspects, strength,
    || endurance and adaptation aspects. While runners seem to start
    || cycling with good C-V fitness, they need some time to develop the
    || cycling specific adaptations. This is measured in years, not months.
    || The absolute best way for you to get faster is to find a group to
    || ride with.
    ||
    || I'm surprised by such a large difference in max HR between cycling
    || and running, hill climbing and sprinting seem to be able to red-line
    || most cyclists without too much difficulty.
    ||
    ||| I seem to pass most people who are shorter than I am but tall people
    ||| seem to be usually faster. I'm about 5'7, 155 pounds, male. Do
    ||| taller people have a natural advantage like in running with their
    ||| longer stride? Isn't that what the bike gears suppose to equalize?
    ||
    || Climbing is about power to weight ratio, speed on flats is about
    || power to drag. Taller people usually have naturally worse power to
    || weight and better power to drag. This makes them better time
    || trialists than climbers, typically (of course there are always
    || exceptions).
     
  12. Local wrote:
    > I would calculate your maximum heart rate. It is probably lower for
    > cycling than running.

    maximal heart rate is a physological parameter which is independent of
    activity as such. If a person achieve a higher rate by running, that
    simply means that the leg muscles are not strong enough and/or the
    technicaøl cycling skills does not allow the rider to produce an output
    on the bike that allows him/her to reach maximal cardiovascular
    performance, i.e. you get a peripheral (leg muscles) fatigue before the
    limits for cardiac output occurs

    Pål-Dag line MD PhD
     
  13. On 26 Jul 2004 10:27:05 -0700, [email protected] (Jeff) wrote:

    >> I would calculate your maximum heart rate. It is probably lower for
    >> cycling than running.

    >
    >Care to elaborate on that apparently odd statement? Your max heart rate
    >is a function of your physiology and shouldn't depend on what kind of
    >exercise you are doing.


    When most people say max heartrate they mean the maximum heartrate
    that can be obtained in the activitiy in question. A more accurate
    term is "sport-specific maximum heartrate." That varies significantly
    between running and cycling.

    JT
     
  14. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:

    > Jeff wrote:
    >
    > >Your max heart rate
    > >is a function of your physiology and shouldn't depend on what kind of
    > >exercise you are doing.

    >
    > When most people say max heartrate they mean the maximum heartrate
    > that can be obtained in the activitiy in question. A more accurate
    > term is "sport-specific maximum heartrate." That varies significantly
    > between running and cycling.


    There was a lively discussion of this subject a few months ago,
    differentiating VO2max (actual max. cardio output) and VO2peak (max.
    cardio output for a specific exercise). VO2peak is always less than
    or equal to VO2max:

    http://tinyurl.com/3kn4u

    Summary: Since a trained cyclist can attain actual VO2max while
    cycling, VO2peak and VO2max are the same in that case, and the same
    is likely true for that trained cyclist's VO2peak when running.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://bike.terrymorse.com/
     
  15. NobodyMan

    NobodyMan Guest

    On Mon, 26 Jul 2004 01:24:55 GMT, No E-mail <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I've taken up cycling over the last year and have enjoyed the sport
    >quite a bit. I routinely cycle about 100miles a week. I seem to
    >average around 17-18mph solo on some rolling hills over 26miles
    >(Sandhill Rd to Canada Rd if you're near Palo Alto). Anyway, I'm
    >trying to take the next step and increase my speed to average over 20
    >mph.
    >
    >My end goal is to average 23mph but that's probably a lofty goal at
    >the moment.
    >
    >I bought a cadence computer and have been trying to cycle 90-100rpms
    >all the time. I found I am usually in this range naturally except
    >going downhill when I go around 70 at a higher gear but I have been
    >trying to push it higher on a lower gear now. I seem to average 85-88
    >or so over a ride including breaking/stopping so seems pretty good I
    >think.
    >
    >I've read some rough estimates on adjusting saddle height and realized
    >my bike was about 2inches too low and that seemed to have increased my
    >average speed 1-2mph.
    >
    >I average about 10-12mph climbing and probably ~20 on flats, 25-28
    >slight downhill, ~33 steeper downhills. I can push myself to go
    >~15-16mph if I get out of the saddle and push like crazy uphill but I
    >quickly tire in these cases.
    >
    >My main limiting factor seems to be fatigue from burning quads. I
    >don't feel I push my heart rate that high. Wearing my heart meter,
    >I'm probably around 160bpm on flats, ~180 on hills. I can push to
    >around 190-200bpm comfortably running. My resting HR is around 50-55
    >depending on the time/day.
    >
    >What should I do next in my goal to increasing average speed? Is
    >there a book I should read or training problem I can follow?
    >
    >I seem to pass most people who are shorter than I am but tall people
    >seem to be usually faster. I'm about 5'7, 155 pounds, male. Do
    >taller people have a natural advantage like in running with their
    >longer stride? Isn't that what the bike gears suppose to equalize?
    >
    >Just post here for everyone's benefit. Thanks in advance.


    There's really only one proven way to increase your overall speed -
    and nobody likes doing it. It can be summed up in one word:

    INTERVALS.

    They hurt. They suck. They cause agony. They work.
     
  16. No E-mail

    No E-mail Guest

    What's the best way to do intervals? On a trainer? I live in Sunny
    CA so I can bike all the time outdoors. Would buying a trainer do me
    some good or is it just for people who have winters/rain? Thanks.

    >There's really only one proven way to increase your overall speed -
    >and nobody likes doing it. It can be summed up in one word:
    >
    >INTERVALS.
    >
    >They hurt. They suck. They cause agony. They work.
     
  17. Sam

    Sam Guest

    Hire a coach to work with you to develop a good training plan.


    "No E-mail" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I've taken up cycling over the last year and have enjoyed the sport
    > quite a bit. I routinely cycle about 100miles a week. I seem to
    > average around 17-18mph solo on some rolling hills over 26miles
    > (Sandhill Rd to Canada Rd if you're near Palo Alto). Anyway, I'm
    > trying to take the next step and increase my speed to average over 20
    > mph.
    >
    > My end goal is to average 23mph but that's probably a lofty goal at
    > the moment.
    >
    > I bought a cadence computer and have been trying to cycle 90-100rpms
    > all the time. I found I am usually in this range naturally except
    > going downhill when I go around 70 at a higher gear but I have been
    > trying to push it higher on a lower gear now. I seem to average 85-88
    > or so over a ride including breaking/stopping so seems pretty good I
    > think.
    >
    > I've read some rough estimates on adjusting saddle height and realized
    > my bike was about 2inches too low and that seemed to have increased my
    > average speed 1-2mph.
    >
    > I average about 10-12mph climbing and probably ~20 on flats, 25-28
    > slight downhill, ~33 steeper downhills. I can push myself to go
    > ~15-16mph if I get out of the saddle and push like crazy uphill but I
    > quickly tire in these cases.
    >
    > My main limiting factor seems to be fatigue from burning quads. I
    > don't feel I push my heart rate that high. Wearing my heart meter,
    > I'm probably around 160bpm on flats, ~180 on hills. I can push to
    > around 190-200bpm comfortably running. My resting HR is around 50-55
    > depending on the time/day.
    >
    > What should I do next in my goal to increasing average speed? Is
    > there a book I should read or training problem I can follow?
    >
    > I seem to pass most people who are shorter than I am but tall people
    > seem to be usually faster. I'm about 5'7, 155 pounds, male. Do
    > taller people have a natural advantage like in running with their
    > longer stride? Isn't that what the bike gears suppose to equalize?
    >
    > Just post here for everyone's benefit. Thanks in advance.
     
  18. Sam

    Sam Guest

    "Jeff" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > > I would calculate your maximum heart rate. It is probably lower for
    > > cycling than running.

    >
    > Care to elaborate on that apparently odd statement? Your max heart rate
    > is a function of your physiology and shouldn't depend on what kind of
    > exercise you are doing.
    >
    > Jeff


    However, it is common for an untrained person not to be able to achieve the
    same maximal HR cycling compared to running. For one thing, if people are
    untrained as cyclists their legs tend to give out before their hearts/lungs
    do.

    So there is some benefit to having a mode specific HRmax.
     
  19. gwhite

    gwhite Guest

    No E-mail wrote:
    >
    > What's the best way to do intervals? On a trainer? I live in Sunny
    > CA so I can bike all the time outdoors. Would buying a trainer do me
    > some good or is it just for people who have winters/rain? Thanks.


    Ride/train with racers that are better than you.
     
  20. On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 03:25:28 GMT, No E-mail <[email protected]> wrote:

    >What's the best way to do intervals? On a trainer? I live in Sunny
    >CA so I can bike all the time outdoors. Would buying a trainer do me
    >some good or is it just for people who have winters/rain? Thanks.

    Trainers are really good because the workout on them is easily
    replicated and controlled. However if you have access to a stretch
    of road with a constant grade -- flat or climbing -- with no lights or
    stop signs that you can ride for ten or 20 minutes hard on, that might
    even be better.

    JT
     
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