need help on being a faster rider



LB CYCLIST

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Mar 22, 2010
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hi everyone
im pretty new to cycling, i been riding for maybe a lil over 2 monthes.
heres my situation, i been riding every tuesday and thursday night at a local spot for a hour to hour 15 minutes.its a circle road thats about a mile in radius,wich means every lap is just about a mile. i weigh 210 and i been doin 16-18 miles in a hours time.and on other days i try to ride every chance i get.even if its a quick 4 mile ride around the neighborhood.i usually do between 35 and 45 miles a week.
lil by lil i see im gettin a lil faster as time goes on.
i would really like find a way where i can get in better shape and be able to ride behind the pack some day.i imagine if i keep doin what i do i will eventually some day be able to keep up with em.
its kinda hard for me to train and get out in ride,i work a job like everyone,and when im off work i have my son who is 3.i do have a indoor trainer that i plan on riding on, it just gets hard to do some times tryin to ride and watch my son a the same time.
so far my wife has been able to get off work a lil early so i can go ride tuesday and thursday nights.

any info or pointers will help thanks for your time.
;)
 

CalicoCat

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Jan 10, 2010
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LB CYCLIST said:
hi everyone
im pretty new to cycling, i been riding for maybe a lil over 2 monthes.
heres my situation, i been riding every tuesday and thursday night at a local spot for a hour to hour 15 minutes.its a circle road thats about a mile in radius,wich means every lap is just about a mile. i weigh 210 and i been doin 16-18 miles in a hours time.and on other days i try to ride every chance i get.even if its a quick 4 mile ride around the neighborhood.i usually do between 35 and 45 miles a week.
lil by lil i see im gettin a lil faster as time goes on.
i would really like find a way where i can get in better shape and be able to ride behind the pack some day.i imagine if i keep doin what i do i will eventually some day be able to keep up with em.
its kinda hard for me to train and get out in ride,i work a job like everyone,and when im off work i have my son who is 3.i do have a indoor trainer that i plan on riding on, it just gets hard to do some times tryin to ride and watch my son a the same time.
so far my wife has been able to get off work a lil early so i can go ride tuesday and thursday nights.

any info or pointers will help thanks for your time.
;)

First of all, let me say that I know how difficult it can be to find time to ride/train, and I don't even have kids. I really admire people with young children who somehow find the time.

Since you just started riding, I think that you are doing the right thing to get in some good solid STEADY endurance miles in. This will help you establish your fitness base and get your body accustomed to cycling.

That being said, if you really want to see improvements on a tight schedule without many training hours, you will have to start incorporating intervals into your week. The best way to do this is to find a stretch of road without much traffic or stop lights/signs. Maybe your 1mi loop fits this criteria? Then try some interval workouts (harder efforts interspersed with easy riding for recovery, rinse and repeat).

I am a big proponent of 2x20min intervals. These 20min should be as hard as you can maintain for the duration and usually end up being pretty close to your FTP/LT. I do 10min of easy riding in between the two sets. These are great for boosting FTP (and hence making you go faster) but they hurt :) 20min can feel like a lifetime when going "all-out".

I also like a 3x3min 3x2min interval workout that I do. These intervals should also be as hard as you can maintain for the duration and thus the 3minuters are done above your LT (ie, harder than the 20min intervals I described) and the 2min intervals are done at a higher power than the 3min. In between the 3 and 2min sets I ride 5 min moderate pace. After the 2min set, do 10min easy riding and repeat all of the above. Recovery after 3min on is 3min moderate pace (not quite a full recovery, but you should feel pretty ready to hit it again). Recovery between 2min is 2 min moderate pace.

Good luck with your training, and let us know how it goes!
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
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Finding time to ride can be a challenge at times, especially when other family members 'require' your time too.

Training indoors during the week, either late evening or early morning, and going out very early at the weekends is one option.

A popular trainer session to increase performance is two sets of 20 minutes (ie 2x20) with a rest inbetween of say, 5 minutes. Have a warm up before and a cool down after of maybe 5 minutes each. As it's indoors you can do this session anytime - even after you put the little one to bed. If you find that 2x20 is not enough either go harder or go longer, 2x25 and then maybe 3x20.

Those wireless radio (or even video) kid monitoring systems will allow you to be in a different room and still keep tabs on your son while he sleeps.

When riding indoors a big fan is a must. The bigger the better. High volume and low speed is the best. Lay a towel down over the top tube and handlebars to catch the sweat.

At the weekend going out early can help with family scheduling arrangements... an this has the added benefits of riding with less traffic and in cooler temps...
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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Good on ya for getting after it in the time available. Good advice above, but consistency is really important so keep riding when you can and try to get on the bike at least four if not five days a week even if some of those are only twenty minute rides.

You might try bike commuting a couple of days a week if that's a possibility, indoor trainer sessions as others have suggested are good and short morning or evening sessions can round out your other training days. One way or another strive for consistency in your program rather than loading up big days just once or twice a week with too many rest days. The body responds well to steady and frequent training loads with sufficient rest but it's hard to make progress if you don't train often enough.

Good luck,
-Dave
 

LB CYCLIST

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Mar 22, 2010
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thanks everyone i apreciate the good advice and pointers im gonna try to ride every chance i get, tuesday,wednesday, thursday at the local ride spot thatrs almost a mile radius,and a decent ride on either sunday or saturday. and i plan on buyin a spare rear wheel for my trainer.rather than have my rear tire eatin up.

i found alot of useful info in this topic, info i didnt know before.

thanks everyone you guys are the best.
 

NomadVW

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Aug 12, 2005
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I'd also say, don't sweat speed. I have a good friend that does his intervals on a nice loop around here with his 2 yr old daughter in the bike trailer and his road bike. It's all about intensity, so the added weight just makes him go slower - but the intensity is the same.

All the posts above are good, but I wouldn't recommend jumping into 2x20's quite yet. If you're doing 35-40 miles per week, just keep riding for now. 2x20's are an intense workout.

I'd start down at the 3 x 10 range for now, until you get a feel for the intensity. It's going to take a couple times before you get a feel for the level of effort to complete 2x20's. Jumping right into them you're probably going to fail the second effort the first few tries. But with 3x10's, regardless of how hard you went on the first or second, the shorter 10 minute intervals are more likely to succeed.

You might not think you have a fragile ego, but go a couple weeks without completing your interval sets, and the frustration will definitely set in. 3x10's for now, then 2x15's, then 2x20's.
 

frenchyge

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Apr 3, 2005
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If you can hold 16-18 mph for an hour then you're probably already able to keep up with some of the local recreational cycling groups in your area. Do a search for cycling clubs near you and you'll probably find that they have organized rides during the week for riders of your ability.

Getting out to ride with others can add a lot of fun and motivation to those weekly training rides, and you'll make friends too.
 

LB CYCLIST

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Mar 22, 2010
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NomadVW said:
I'd also say, don't sweat speed. I have a good friend that does his intervals on a nice loop around here with his 2 yr old daughter in the bike trailer and his road bike. It's all about intensity, so the added weight just makes him go slower - but the intensity is the same.

All the posts above are good, but I wouldn't recommend jumping into 2x20's quite yet. If you're doing 35-40 miles per week, just keep riding for now. 2x20's are an intense workout.

I'd start down at the 3 x 10 range for now, until you get a feel for the intensity. It's going to take a couple times before you get a feel for the level of effort to complete 2x20's. Jumping right into them you're probably going to fail the second effort the first few tries. But with 3x10's, regardless of how hard you went on the first or second, the shorter 10 minute intervals are more likely to succeed.

You might not think you have a fragile ego, but go a couple weeks without completing your interval sets, and the frustration will definitely set in. 3x10's for now, then 2x15's, then 2x20's.