Newbie - Question about average speeds??



marcuscassius

New Member
Feb 8, 2005
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As a newbie myself....I started about 4 months ago and was riding a 40 mile route once a week. I thought I was gonna die at 160 BPM at 16 MPH. It was pretty flat and straight with virtually no traffic.
As the months went by I backed away from the 160 bpm mark and went to around 145. That's mostly at the advise I read in these forums. (Thanks guys) I dropped 20 pounds and I can breathe again. In Los Angeles that's a novel thing. Speeds way up and I do 70-110 miles on the weekends with minimal pain or a lot of recovery time. Two 30-40 mile rides after work in the mountains or the flats. I mix em up. Heart rate is up to 170 bpm on the hills.
I don't push the 80-95% thing. It was counter-productive.


What they say about listening to your body is dead on. In the obverse though, if you think that you're not doing enough when you slow down? Don't believe it. You're increasing endurance, body strength, mitochondia count, lung capacity, heart strength, raising your LT, and lowering your blood pressure.
 

marcuscassius

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Feb 8, 2005
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And tell us how the race goes. It sounds like a blast.

Lonnie Utah said:
RD,

I agree with this and your previous post. All I was getting at is different folks have different goals and objectives. What I also did say is I don't think my "max hr" is my "real max max". So that 85% I see on a regular basis is most likely somewhere lower that the "truth" as it's unlikely that I could do efforts like that as often as I do.
 

RapDaddyo

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May 17, 2005
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Lonnie Utah said:
Staggered Mass Start. 14 miles Approx. 4000'. Here's the profile. http://www.flux.utah.edu/~mike/climbs/html/bigc.html

I figured about 5-6%. There is a "flat" 2-3% section part of the way up. I've driven it, but never ridden it. Today is my flex day so I'm going out to do Recon with the GPS in a bit (in the car).

As I said, my goals are pretty mellow, I'm riding in the rec class, but I'd like to see where my times shake out vs. the Cat 4/5 riders.

L
Well, as frenchy accurately forewarned, I encourage you to consider a variable power pacing strategy. This is discussed at this link specifically for hillclimb TTs. http://www.biketechreview.com/power/supercomputers.htm. While this is a very complex subject, here's a simple pacing strategy. Apply extra power in the slowest (steepest) sections of the course, even if it means you have to back off and recover in the fastest (flattest) sections of the course. It's not so different from interval training.
 

Lonnie Utah

Banned
Aug 21, 2004
980
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frenchyge said:
Is that a MTB race or road race? It mentions MBT on the link.

Even from way out here in Kansas I can hear RapDaddyo crunching the numbers to spit out a variable power pacing strategy for you to test out on the ride. Get ready for some pain... :D
It's a road race, but the guy that did all the work and mapped out the climbs rode a MTB.

I finished my recon of the ride. There are 3 fairly steep sections (>8%). There are also a fair amount of false "flats". It was funny because on the drive back I was thinking exactly what you guys were suggesting. I was 136 when I stepped on the scale this AM. Those steeper sections look like my friends while I wasn't as thrilled with the false flats. There's about a 1.5-2 mile section of steeps about 2.5 miles from the end. My guess is the winning break will come in that section. I just wonder if I'll be around to see it (my guess is I won't).

I've did a rough crunch of the numbers. I took my best 1 hour time for the past month to figure my 60 min power (I assumed flat ground and no stoplights which wasn't the case). I multiplied that by .93 (S.W.A.G.) to estimate 90 min power. Plugged that into the power calculator for slope, speed and distance and came out with just shy of 90 mins for me to complete the course. That's my goal. I'll have to average just under 10 mph to make it.

They are starting us mortals an hour before the pros. A breakfast of french toast and watching the finish of the pro race is my reward at the top. Then I get to ride home....
 

RapDaddyo

Well-Known Member
May 17, 2005
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We look forward to your race report. But, how about getting a PM so we can get all the details? Just kidding. Have a good ride.
 

Lonnie Utah

Banned
Aug 21, 2004
980
2
18
RapDaddyo said:
We look forward to your race report. But, how about getting a PM so we can get all the details? Just kidding. Have a good ride.
When I talk the wife into letting me came down and do the LostWages Century, I'll just borrow yours!! :D

Seriously, first things first. New bike then PowerMeter. BTW, Why does a amature need such things anyway? Oh yes, to hurt my friends....

L
 

Eden

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Feb 28, 2005
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Can't wait to see your report. I'm doing a similar hillclimb in September. http://www.meyermemorial.org/hillclimb05.htm Its a bit longer at 24 miles, but the profile seems interestingly the same. It starts fairly steep, there is a small down followed by a false flat and then it ramps up again. The worst part is the last mile or two. A local rider posted up a TOPO profile, http://tera.kuren.org/cycling/mtbaker.gif
I plan to do it as a rec rider this year, if I do well I may compete next year. This will be my second time and I've been training seriously this year so I expect to really beat my time from last year.
 

Lonnie Utah

Banned
Aug 21, 2004
980
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Hi everyone,

Just got back. First off, I met my goal of finishing and time/pace. I rode the 15 mile course in 1:16:42. It was advertised as 14 miles but 15 was what my computer and my buddies showed at the end. My avg speed of the distance was 9.96 which is pretty close to the 10 mph I predicted. Avg Hr was 87% of max. I was shooting for 85%, but the steep parts really lifted it. My buddy rode the same course about 8-10 mins faster and his HR was about 90-93% of max. He has ridden the canyon hundreds of times, this was my first attempt at this ride. Having never done it before, I was approaching this as a hard training ride rather than a "race". Again, I'm happy with how I did (given they snuck an extra mile in on us and I made my original time goal none-the-less), but know I could have done better.

Before I left the house this AM, I was a nervous as a cat on a porch full of rocking chairs. I got to my buddies house and made the 7 mile spin over to the start. I had pretty much calmed down by that point. I had a good time it was fun to be in a group with so many folks. The sign in was a bit unorganized and we ended up starting 30 mins late. I rode kinda to the front at the start, just to get out of the mess. I knew that I was going to get passed later, but in 1's and 2' not 10's-20's. About 1/2 up I could feel my calves start to tremor. This was bad as for me, it's the first sign of cramping. I dropped a gear or two and started to spin. This always seems to help. This was going into a long false flat and several folks got by me at this point (also as suspected). I pulled through this section and got to the final big ramp. At this point I started pulling back some of the folks that had gone by me before. This was one of the sections where I did bump my HR up a bit. I got to one guy who was struggling and we chatted for a bit. I asked him if he wanted me to pace him for a while and he said yes. I pulled him a good mile or so. It was also during this time that I passed the impromptu aid station (volunteer). I told the lady, I don't need to drink, just dump it on my head. They loved it (they were laughing so hard) and so did I! My other issue today was my seat. I don't know why but it was just bugging me. I felt like I had ants in my pants. I stood up and coasted a couple of times for relief so I did lose some time there. Who knows?? Oh yes, about 2/3's of the way up I saw a guy who had flatted. Of course he was a lot more serious than I and had no tools, no pump and no tube. I guess he was waiting on "neutral support" I turned around to offer help but he sent me on my way. So there's another 30 secs there too! Breakfast at the top was Great! Big props to Great Harvest for the french toast. Yummy. The decent was a blast. I was between 35-40 mph for most of it. 40mph is the canyon speed limit and they warned us to to exceed it on the way down. The same nice sherrif's that were nice enough to pace cars around us, also have radar and aren't afraid to use it. That being said I maxed out at 45.5.....

As I said it was a fun day. Can't wait for next year. (better watch out, I'm gonna train for it....)

What I learned (what I'm sure all of you learned long ago.)
1). Pacing is everything. Don't go to fast right out of the box.
2). You gotta listen to you body.
3). Have fun!

I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of right now. The tummy is calling me to the table.....
 

dhk

New Member
Sep 1, 2003
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Lonnie Utah said:
Hi everyone,

Just got back. First off, I met my goal of finishing and time/pace. I rode the 15 mile course in 1:16:42. It was advertised as 14 miles but 15 was what my computer and my buddies showed at the end. My avg speed of the distance was 9.96 which is pretty close to the 10 mph I predicted. Avg Hr was 87% of max. I was shooting for 85%, but the steep parts really lifted it. My buddy rode the same course about 8-10 mins faster and his HR was about 90-93% of max. He has ridden the canyon hundreds of times, this was my first attempt at this ride. Having never done it before, I was approaching this as a hard training ride rather than a "race". Again, I'm happy with how I did (given they snuck an extra mile in on us and I made my original time goal none-the-less), but know I could have done better.

Before I left the house this AM, I was a nervous as a cat on a porch full of rocking chairs. I got to my buddies house and made the 7 mile spin over to the start. I had pretty much calmed down by that point. I had a good time it was fun to be in a group with so many folks. The sign in was a bit unorganized and we ended up starting 30 mins late. I rode kinda to the front at the start, just to get out of the mess. I knew that I was going to get passed later, but in 1's and 2' not 10's-20's. About 1/2 up I could feel my calves start to tremor. This was bad as for me, it's the first sign of cramping. I dropped a gear or two and started to spin. This always seems to help. This was going into a long false flat and several folks got by me at this point (also as suspected). I pulled through this section and got to the final big ramp. At this point I started pulling back some of the folks that had gone by me before. This was one of the sections where I did bump my HR up a bit. I got to one guy who was struggling and we chatted for a bit. I asked him if he wanted me to pace him for a while and he said yes. I pulled him a good mile or so. It was also during this time that I passed the impromptu aid station (volunteer). I told the lady, I don't need to drink, just dump it on my head. They loved it (they were laughing so hard) and so did I! My other issue today was my seat. I don't know why but it was just bugging me. I felt like I had ants in my pants. I stood up and coasted a couple of times for relief so I did lose some time there. Who knows?? Oh yes, about 2/3's of the way up I saw a guy who had flatted. Of course he was a lot more serious than I and had no tools, no pump and no tube. I guess he was waiting on "neutral support" I turned around to offer help but he sent me on my way. So there's another 30 secs there too! Breakfast at the top was Great! Big props to Great Harvest for the french toast. Yummy. The decent was a blast. I was between 35-40 mph for most of it. 40mph is the canyon speed limit and they warned us to to exceed it on the way down. The same nice sherrif's that were nice enough to pace cars around us, also have radar and aren't afraid to use it. That being said I maxed out at 45.5.....

As I said it was a fun day. Can't wait for next year. (better watch out, I'm gonna train for it....)

What I learned (what I'm sure all of you learned long ago.)
1). Pacing is everything. Don't go to fast right out of the box.
2). You gotta listen to you body.
3). Have fun!

I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of right now. The tummy is calling me to the table.....
Thanks for the great report on your event. Just under 10 mph doesn't sound shabby at all to me. Believe you did an avg vertical rate of climb of about 50 ft/min, or 900 meters/hr. That's a good pace for us recreational riders. To put it in perspective, it's about 1/2 of what Lance and the pro's do on the big climbs in the Tour de Georgia or TdF. And couldn't agree more with your concluding points.
 

RapDaddyo

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May 17, 2005
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What a great report. The part that really got me was when you turned round to help the guy with the flat. I thought, "You did what???" Really good to read your report and, of course, next year you'll also be able to post your PM file. Good ride. Paul
 

frenchyge

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Apr 3, 2005
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Lonnie Utah said:
As I said it was a fun day. Can't wait for next year. (better watch out, I'm gonna train for it....)

What I learned (what I'm sure all of you learned long ago.)
1). Pacing is everything. Don't go to fast right out of the box.
2). You gotta listen to you body.
3). Have fun!
Great report! Next year see if you can change someone's tire and still average 10mph. That'd be something! :D
 

Lonnie Utah

Banned
Aug 21, 2004
980
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RapDaddyo said:
What a great report. The part that really got me was when you turned round to help the guy with the flat. I thought, "You did what???" Really good to read your report and, of course, next year you'll also be able to post your PM file. Good ride. Paul
Paul,

Well if I had been truly serious about it, I don't think I would have stopped.

The other really funny thing that I left out of the original report was the safety brief at the beginning. All the usual stuff I'm sure, wear you helmet, obey traffic laws, etc., with the exception of "Be on the lookout for moose. We spotted one on the road this A.M." Awesome...

Thanks for the encouragement everyone.

L
 

RapDaddyo

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May 17, 2005
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Lonnie Utah said:
The other really funny thing that I left out of the original report was the safety brief at the beginning. All the usual stuff I'm sure, wear you helmet, obey traffic laws, etc., with the exception of "Be on the lookout for moose. We spotted one on the road this A.M." Awesome...
So, what's the protocol when passing a moose on the left? Do you say, "On your left?"
 

af2nr

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Aug 5, 2004
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brokenspokes said:
One last question... Do cyclist stick together?? You guys have been very helpful. And you have only fueled my fire even further, if this is going to allow me to add some new cool friends to my list....
Brokenspokes,
I am in the Shreveport area as well and also just started road riding, got my bike 2 weeks ago. I went on my first group ride last week with SBC and it was great. Like others have stated there are groups of various speeds and they all seemed very helpful and friendly. We ended up going 30 miles and averaged about 18mph. The Tues/Thur rides are the ones they say are for beginners as there are sweep riders to make sure everyone makes it out and back. If you want to get together and ride sometime let me know and we can exchange #'s.
 

marcuscassius

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Feb 8, 2005
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Congratulations. Great report. I'll use that for my format when I get to my first race. and your speeds give me something to go against when I do race. I have yet to do my first serious race. Been training for the Tucson century in Novemeber but want to do time trials before that. Any advice considering they're such different types of races?
I've been working out in the Santa Monica moutains to get ready. (My coach swears Lance trains up there in the same area. I'll post if I get any Lance sightings.) Since I'm in the mountains all the time I don't know how I'll do when I get to long stretches of flat.