Steve H

Large Member
... my mates are faster and fitter than me.

I've been cycling fairly regularly for a couple of months now. I try to get out 3/4 times a week and I've been gradually building up the mileage.

I've got a couple of mates interested as well now, but they are both lighter than me, faster up the hills and have more stamina. Although it is all good spirited fun, I'd like to improve and occasionally leave them for dust for a change!

I can fairly comfortable do 25 / 30 miles now as long as I don't take on too many killer hills. Am I better off going for more distance, or I've also heard a couple of people on the forums talk about interval training. Would this be better for me? If so, how do you go about doing them?




Fuelled with Jelly Babies
South Wales
Best way forward is to get some new mates.Preferably overweight smokers .:-)

If thats not an option I think you need to do a mix of longer steady rides to build up endurance and shorter faster ones to get the speed up a bit.


Velo, boulot, dodo
I'd stick with just riding regularly for a while, throw in some longer rides if you like. It takes some time to find your legs. Ride more than your mates and the chances are you'll soon ride better than them.

Once you have a good cycling fitness base certainly look at interval training- there is a lot of advice out there on the web, your library should have a few cycling training manuals.

Interval training programs can be a bit regimented- I never stick to them and get discouraged, other riders are different. My take on it is to do one or two hard rides a week and take it easier the rest of the time, it works better than just riding everywhere at the same intensity. As it happens trying to leave your companions for dust is good in this respect.

If you want to get better at hills you need to climb them more. If you are a heavier rider you'll always be at a disadvantage- unless you can lose weight- but you might find you can drop your mates by riding into a headwind on the flat.

I'm a skinny sod, going uphill is easy. Headwinds I find hard.


It's largely a question of building up your leg muscles and developing your pedalling techniques together with a bit of weight loss and riding on a good bit of kit.

Having packed in and then come back a fair few times I have settled on getting the speed right through short reps of a mile and and then gradually building up the stamina rather than the other way around. The advantage is that you can squeeze a worthwhile 15 -30 min training schedule into your day more easily and you are less persuaded not to go out by bad weather or if you are not feeling 100%.

I'd try this and perhaps try and get out at least 5 days a week.


Do your normal 3/4 rides a week and stick in some intervals, couple of hills maybe. Sprints are always good either up a slight incline or into the wind Use a road sign or similar as your marker. Gives your daily rides a bit of interest. Time them if you want between 2 points.


Well-Known Member
I often go out with a couple of overweight mates and they can,t get near me going uphill but going downhill its totally the opposite.
They find that pushing a bigger gear easy plus the extra weight helps. We often half a good battle between us.


Man or Moose!
Most likely too soon to do interval training, need good base training down first, just keep at it, you will get quicker. Well unless you have been involved in sports before now? Have a read of Joe Friel's cyclist training bible, he will explain much better about base building and the reasons not to hit the intervals too soon than I can.


Active Member

I am just the new mate you need you will feel as sleek as a jaguar and I need all the practise I an get in order to have a hope of getting to Paris in September.



New Member
Locate some towns about 15 - 20 miles away ( not the same town, it becomes boring and tedious seeing the same roads every trip ), preferably with a good patisserie.

Get up some speed along the open sections and sprint off traffic lights.

Don't worry about hills. They are on the route you MUST do. There's no escaping them and no avoiding them. The longer you delay the steep hill climbs, the slower your strength improvement.


New Member
Continue as you are building your base fitnes level up. Gradually increase your mileage and incorporate some interval training. Hills are always a challenge and getting up them fast is a matter of fitnes, technique and machine. As has already being mentioned, lighter riders will always have the advantage over heavier riders. We all have strengths and weakneses, I used to ride with a guy who I was always fitter than but I could never beat him up a hill. Hill climbing was his strength.
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