What is a good speed for a novice?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by martinlross, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. martinlross

    martinlross New Member

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    As a fresher to road cycling I go for an hour plus cycle every week or so on my new road bike and average 16-17mph (or 26 kmh for my non Scottish friends). I am interested to know what other people's average speed is for the following reason:

    At the end of said typical ride I am pleasantly knackered but feel that I'm not really exerting myself. This is reinforced by the fact that I am 28 lbs overweight and enjoy a happy but basically unhealthy lifestyle....

    Heart rate analysis seems a way forward but I would dearly like to know what speed/heart rate targets others set themselves.

    Mart
     
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  2. RalleighOke

    RalleighOke New Member

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    Hi Martinlross,

    It really depends on what your level of fitness is, what type of terrain you are riding i.e. hills, flats etc.

    I for example have a lot of hills and when I started my average was 22 km/h. Yet when I went to a famous weekend ride (mostly flat) I was able to avg. 30km/h. I don't have a HRM yet, so can't tell you what my HR was like.

    But it sounds as if you had a good start to avg. 26km/h.

    The nice thing about it is with practise it only gets better.

    Good luck on increasing that avg.
     
  3. Shibumi

    Shibumi New Member

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    Mart
    I don't think anyone else's average speed or Heart rate is useful to you. The important thing is what is right for you. I recommend you get yourself a HR monitor, work out you HR 'zones' (there are a few different methods, all producing roughly the same answers, and can be found on the web), and try and ride within your fat buring zone. This is a zone which is not too tough (you should still be able to hold a conversation) where you should spend your long rides in, and get those excess lbs knocked off. As you get fitter, your average speed will increase for the same HR.
     
  4. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    In the UK, the first goal for a Time Trial rider is to go under the hour for a 25 mile TT. It does take some time to get there.
     
  5. Lazy legs

    Lazy legs New Member

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    Mart, it also depends on what your goals are. If you just want to loose those extra pounds do the following:
    1) Body pounds = go with what Shibumi said!
    2) Monetary pounds = my account nr is .... ;)

    If you wantto go for tt'ing or road racing it's a total different ball game, then you can look at some of the other training threads on the forum there are heaps of usefull tips and onfo.
     
  6. Shibumi

    Shibumi New Member

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    I'd say that the first goal for a TTer is to perform a 10 mile TT in less than 30 mins, breaking 'evens', ie exceeding an average of 20mph. I was at a TT last night with 30 other relatively fit triathletes, and 6 of them have still not gone under the 30mins (although they are still in their first season or so).

    25 miles for a TTer is an attainable goal, but definitely not the first one! As you say 2LAP, it takes some time to get there.
     
  7. maarten

    maarten New Member

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    Differs from person to person and your fitness as most of my mates and I ride 2 to 5 hours at that speed(30min for 10miles), for trained races this is more or less endurance ride speed on easy roads with decent weather.
     
  8. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    I completed my first 25 minute 10 when I was 15 and went under the hour for a 25 at 16. I think these are good goals for the club cyclist that is starting out at and wants to be good at TT's.
     
  9. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    I watched the hour record attempt on Wednesday night in Manchester, Hutchinson climbed off after 40 minutes a long way off Boardman's record pace!

    I was just thinking how far off Boardman's record is for the amature cyclist let alone the beginner cyclist. It is a frightening gap!!
     
  10. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    The difference is *huge*. At the power output that Boardman put out for the 'Superman' Hour, i could maintain for ~ 120-secs, when i was a 2nd cat rider. I'm the same height and mass as CB. Sometimes, i'm going down hill thinking this is fast (50 - 55 km/hr) and then realise i'm going slower than Hour Record pace :eek:

    Ric
     
  11. kylewhite

    kylewhite New Member

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    That's pretty impressive, but I must say I agree with Shibumi.
    I didn't started cycling till I was 40, and although I was fairly fit, it still took quite a while before I did 10 in under 30.
     
  12. SteveJC

    SteveJC New Member

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    Well thats all been good for me to read, for sure I can do a 10 in 30, it just gets tough after the initial gains right?

    Guess I need some fixed goals to measure progress, which I need to see to keep the motivation up.
     
  13. Shibumi

    Shibumi New Member

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    I need goals to motivate me too. I started trying to get fit a few years ago. I had been playing rugby for many years, but that was more strength and skill based rather than aerobic. Anyhow, as a suggestion, here are some of my goals, in order of attainment!:
    1/ Complete a half marathon
    2/ Complete a triathlon
    3/ Don't come last in a '10'
    4/ Don't come last in a '25'
    5/ Break 30 for a '10'
    4/ Complete a 50 mile training ride
    5/ Win the club's "most improved time trialler of the year" (not hard to do when you start at 33 mins!)
    6/ Break evens (75 mins) for a '25'
    7/ Exceed 24 mph for a '10'
    8/ Exceed 24 mph for a '25'
    9/ Exceed 25mph for a '10'
    10/ Break the hour for a '25'

    I've not achieved all of these, but it's easy to see that once you've reached one goal, it's easy to set another one. Note that not all of these goals are SMART, particularly 3/ and 4/, but achieving them was still fun!

    I've also had other goals, which have really just been by-products of the above, eg weight loss of Xlbs, and a reduction in my resting heart rate .
     
  14. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    If you're only riding once a week then being pleasantly knackered is a good thing, doesn't matter what the numbers are. Guarantee you won't be doing the stuff of the bragging on the thread on a once a week ride. Ride more and you can balance more of that fun but unhealthy lifestyle :)
     
  15. David_Zen

    David_Zen New Member

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    interesting discussion... I was just wondering though... what do you all mean by HR zones and how does this come in to play in increasing your average speed? I don't have a Heart Rate monitor and never used one but it seems like a good thing to have. Today, I rode 31.36 miles in 2:04 at an average speed of 15 MPH (on my mountain bike). I figure if I had road tires I would have been able to average at least 18 MPH.
     
  16. Shibumi

    Shibumi New Member

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  17. martinlross

    martinlross New Member

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    Thanks guys for all advice and opinions. I have no intention of TTing or racing quite yet so will settle for being pleasantly knackered and increasing my average speed day by day even if it is by 0.1mph at a time.

    I'm finding that I can do now do 35-38 miles at 15mph (hilly) and this is gradually improving, as is my recovery period. This is a novice with less than 300 miles under his belt remember (credit to MBR guy doing 15mph on knobblies).

    Perhaps most importantly I enjoy myself which is the best thing and it's nothing like the boring hard slog of middle distance running which I used to do.

    Funnily enough on one ride I caught sight of another cyclist in teh far distance and the adrenaline rush of catching and passing him over maybe two or three miles gave me a higher than usual average speed. Maybe time I found myself a training partner.

    Martin
     
  18. Skunk

    Skunk New Member

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    I am a novice like yourself. I started cycling a year ago at 41 after doing little or no exercise from age 21.
    I started on a mountain bike and now ride a hybrid. I now use the bike for work everyday and do about 150 miles per week.
    On long journeys i tend to average 14 miles an hour but to and from work which involves canal tow path riding and town roads, I average about 12 miles an hour.
    Due to childcare etc. the longest I ride at one stretch is 40 miles, very occassionnally 50. I tend not to push myself for a higher average speed as I have found this has come naturally over time, and I tend not to push myself on the flat as I live in West Yorkshire and I find the hills are enough exertion!! Over the last couple of weeks I have found getting up hills that were impossible three to six months ago.
    I have got as far as attempting the C"C ride next month from whitehaven to newcastle.
    I am tempted to get a road bike but I don't whether it's worth the outlay for the level I ride at. what do ya think?
     
  19. martinlross

    martinlross New Member

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    Skunk

    For what's it worth I think you should buy a road bike given the miles you do. I reckon your average speed would also increase by 1 or 2 mph but maybe that is not of interest to you.

    FYI I bought last year's model of a Lemond Nevada City (made by Trek). It is a standard Reynold's 520 chrome-moly frame (as opposed to a sloping top tube frame), runs with cheap but perfectly acceptable for me Shimano Sora kit, has quick shifters and hidden cables, Mavic XP21 rims, Suntour chainset, looks the biz and weighs 22.5lbs according to our electronic scales, so give or take a pound.

    This bike cost me £400 (down from £500). It was that or a bottom of the range Giant OCR, albeit aluminium framed, at around the same price, but I thought the Lemond was more a "proper" bike with the Giant looking like a mass produced for Joe Public version (complete with clear plastic chain deflector on the back hub which I thought looked naff). However I am not one for form before function but, sitting on the Giant and giving it a quick spin just did nothing for me. It is still a nice bike though for a budget buy (i.e. my price range) and I nearly did go for it.

    Anyway, I ended up buying the Lemond local since it was on offer at the same price as on the web although generally, where I live, I find I can buy much cheaper on the web than anywhere within 100 miles.

    I considered a hybrid but am glad I went for the racer although until I bought eight panel shorts the saddle was excrutiatingly uncomfortable. The fact that I was new to the game might also have lent to my pain!

    Funnily enough and talking of hybrids, I cycle most of my time on the top bars except when going downhill when I drop to the lower bars to increase my pedal input and be in easy reach of the brakes (45mph in the Scottish Highlands is easily achievable). I also tend to stay in the saddle, even on hills, but I am finding that I start to come out of the saddle without thinking as my leg muscles get stronger.

    However, assuming your hybrid is a road bike with flat bars I have to say I'm not sure I could cycle 40 or 50 miles in an upright position with such wide bars - that's why I would definitely go for a road bike now that I've bedded in a bit. However it's your choice and you should ride at least three road bikes or so to get a feel for it - be warned - they ain't comfortable to start with!

    Martin:cool:
     
  20. Naughty_hitter

    Naughty_hitter New Member

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    I began cycling threeyears ago, at the age of 15. Started of with a cheap MTB-- $100 :))
    Two year ago I picked up a Schwinn Aluminum Frame Hard Tail, and had the tires switched to slicks. cost me $500. I could've got a road bike for that price, but i decided I'd rather geta decent MTB hardtail then a bottom-of-the-line roadbike.
    on my schwinn rite now I'm averaging 34kmh on flats /occasiona hills. On all-out climbs, I don't bother too much with the speed (depressing!) cause I only use them for training, but i usually get to the top--well, not the top, but a landmark--of a nearby mountain in 40 minutes, and its a 12k ride. Steepness hard in some spots, decent in others. II usually go up, speed down, climb again, and then coast down w/o pedding.
    sorry for drivelig so long...
     
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