The Secret?



steingang2

New Member
Apr 15, 2010
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I've been biking for about 5 years, but can't seem to get any faster. I ride about 1,500 miles per year, 20-40 at a time. My endurance improves as the summer goes on but I can't get any faster. What's the secret? I can maintain a 80-85 rpm comfortably but don't seem to have the leg strength to push harder without wearing out sooner. Any tips? I'm 46 years old. I've been reading about interval training lately and want to give it a try.
 

BikingBrian

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Sep 25, 2003
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What are your goals? Just "get faster" is too vague for anyone to give you specific advice. Do you have a set distance you want to cover faster? Some event you want to enter, etc?

Do you follow any type of schedule or plan? If not, it will be difficult to improve. I would suggest you look into either a suitable training book (The Training Bible, Racing with a Powermeter, one of Carmichael's or Lemond's books, etc) and create a plan based on your own goals and your strengths and weaknesses or hire a coach to do so for you.

FWIW, 1,500 miles a year is quite a low volume, and considering your self-reported ride distances (20-40 miles) means you average probably only 50 or so training rides a year.....if this is because of work or other schedule conflicts, then that is what you have to work with. But, if it isn't, then I would also suggest that you probably need to do much more volume and more training sessions, but again, this depends on a lot of variables; some people can do very well on low volume but typically this requires higher intensity to make up for it.

Good luck.
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
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There are no secrets.

If you want to go faster you either pedal harder, you lose weight or you get more aero... preferably you do all three.

As far as training goes, it's an aerobic sport, so therefore the more time you can spend riding pretty hard then the fitter you will become. Just remember to adjust diet and sleep as appropriate.

Shorter intervals are great for holding speeds you would rarely achieve otherwise. If you ride everywhere at 18mph and you want to progress to 20mph then you have to start riding at the power required to do that for a shorter time period.

Thankfully for most riders the biggest improvements come from improving the rider themselves - not by buying lots of fancy and very expensive gear, unless of course your bike doesn't fit and you need to buy a bike that does.
 

An old Guy

Active Member
Feb 12, 2011
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Originally Posted by steingang2 .

I've been biking for about 5 years, but can't seem to get any faster. I ride about 1,500 miles per year, 20-40 at a time. My endurance improves as the summer goes on but I can't get any faster. What's the secret? I can maintain a 80-85 rpm comfortably but don't seem to have the leg strength to push harder without wearing out sooner. Any tips? I'm 46 years old. I've been reading about interval training lately and want to give it a try.
Easy way: Find a group that rides a bit harder than you want to. Ride with them. After the ride continue riding even if you are tired. Make this in addition to your normal rides. When this group gets too slow, find a harder group.

A tip: To increase your speed pay more attention to when your speed drops below your average. The further below the average the harder you should work.
 

jhuskey

Moderator
Oct 6, 2003
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Eat better, push harder for short periods even if you have to slow down for a while to recover. You will find that recover comes more quickly in time and get plenty of sleep.
 

daveryanwyoming

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2006
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Originally Posted by BikingBrian .

...FWIW, 1,500 miles a year is quite a low volume, and considering your self-reported ride distances (20-40 miles) means you average probably only 50 or so training rides a year.....if this is because of work or other schedule conflicts, then that is what you have to work with. But, if it isn't, then I would also suggest that you probably need to do much more volume and more training sessions...
+1, maybe there was a typo but it sounds like you ride a day or two per week on average or perhaps you ride three or four days per week but for only a couple of months per year. If you want to go faster or ride longer rides more comfortably you'll want to ride more frequently and ideally for most of the year even if some is indoors or on a gym bike. Even if cycling is just a spring through fall activity you should find an active aerobic winter activity and try to ride 3 to 5 days per week (even if some are shorter and easier) during the months when you do ride your bike.

As Eddie Merckx said, if you want to get faster... 'Ride lot's'

IME, 3 days a week is pretty much an absolute minimum for riders wanting to do longer rides or go faster and things really take off for folks that can manage five days per week on a regular and ongoing basis. Find a way to do that before worrying about specific intervals.

-Dave
 

tonyzackery

Well-Known Member
Dec 23, 2006
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Maybe you didn't choose your parents very wisely./img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

Joking aside, as the others have mentioned ride as much you can, and sometimes go harder than what feels comfortable and for longer than what feels comfortable. Gotta push yourself on occasion. That said, you need to recover at periodic intervals as well...keep ridin'.../img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
 

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