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More speed needed on the flat

Discussion in 'Training, Fitness and Health' started by 515mm, 11 Feb 2008.

  1. 515mm

    515mm Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Carmarthenshire
    Hi guys - I need help with altering my training to get more speed on the flat.

    Went out with two pals yesterday on a hilly (for us) 45 miler (Llanelli-Carmarthen-Porthyryd-Tumble-Llanelli) in the gorgeous weather and noticed that I couldn't take a decent turn on the front of our "peloton" whilst we were riding on the flat bits.:angry: When we came to the hills, I was fine and was really pleased with the way I went up 'em.

    Trouble is, I am not built like a Rasmussen. I'm 5'8" and 13 stone, surely I should be crap on climbs but decent on the flat. What's going on?

    My 'training' is my 14 mile each way commute 4 times a week which has two small climbs on it that you racing snakes would laugh at.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated. We've signed up for 3 sportives this summer and I don't want to let my pals down.
     
  2. walker

    walker New Member

    Location:
    Bromley, Kent
    Firstly it might be worth checking that thew bike set up is correct, as climbing, you are on a different position on the bike, and that's including sitting down, and if your not using the whole of your leg through the rotation it's going to be hard to get any power down.

    The best way to gain speed on flat's is interval training I'm afraid. giveit a go, or if you want to do what I do and sod the interval training, try and hold a constant speed of 20mph for as long as possible. have a few roads where the tarmac is a better quality and just go for it. once your able to hold the 20mph, move it up to 21.5, etc etc.

    try this, if it does'nt work, come back to me.

    you could also try holding your speed into a head wind, the best workout for speed IMO.
     
  3. Will1985

    Will1985 Über Member

    Location:
    South Norfolk
    I'm no expert, but could position be a factor? When climbing, your frontal area shouldn't matter as much as your power due to the speed; but on the flat at a higher speed anyway, a larger frontal area would offer more resistance. Unfortunately I am not sure how you could change this unless you tucked lower on the drops - this is what I do when not on my own.

    On the other hand, the only obvious solution to me is as walker says....interval/resistance training for strength conditioning.
     
  4. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    You can go out and buy a decent training book like Joe Friel. But essentially it is just intervals. (And optimal positioning, as Will points out, for translating your fitness into actual miles per hour).
     
  5. 515mm

    515mm Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Carmarthenshire
    Thanks guys - very helpful indeed! It's what I thought vis a vis interval training. Oh well, I've done that before on the indoor rower, I'm no stranger to pain.....

    I've moved my seat forward 5mm as your comments reminded me that I noticed I moved my arse forward to get more power down during the ascents. Let's see what happens eh?

    Oh, how often should I interval? A couple of times a week?

    Thanks once again.
     
  6. walker

    walker New Member

    Location:
    Bromley, Kent
    I would aim to do it twice a week for around 2-3 weeks.
     
  7. 515mm

    515mm Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Carmarthenshire
    Thanks walker, twice a week - as I suspected. Shouldn't be too hard to organise, I ride into work two days, train in third day, ride in last two days so if I interval on the second two days on the way home.......

    you get the rest.

    Thanks once again, much appreciated. Here's to skinning my mates on the flat!:smile:
     
  8. walker

    walker New Member

    Location:
    Bromley, Kent
    515, depending on your commute, you could try cycling to work at an easy pace, and on the return leg go for your life, when you get stopped at a red light, sprint away on the green one.
     
  9. 515mm

    515mm Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Carmarthenshire
    Aye, that sounds good. The lights are irregularly spaced too so my bod wouldn't get used to exactly 30 seconds hard 2 mins easy sort of thing.

    I shall try it on Saturday!

    Hasta Luego!

    ;)
     
  10. ChrisKH

    ChrisKH Shorts Adjustment Expert

    Location:
    Essex
    Nothing personal, but you could probably lose a few pounds given your height(not that I can talk) and this will have some effect. I have a need to do the same as I'm carrying too much weight for long duration cycling. I'm 13 stone 8 and 5' 11 1/4. The 1/4 is very important. ;) I do find when I'm at a lighter weight in the summer my climbing and stamina improves.
     
  11. walker

    walker New Member

    Location:
    Bromley, Kent
    weight doesn't really come into it on flat out speed Chris, infact it's an advantage.
    Its only when it comes to going up hills is where you lose out.
     
  12. 515mm

    515mm Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Carmarthenshire
    My mass is dropping slowly Chris - 12 stone 12 this morning, but it's always been a real battle for me. It's taken riding 120 miles a week to reduce my weight significantly, something two years of going to the gym failed to achieve. I do appear to be showing much greater muscle definition these days, so hopefully it's fat coming off as muscle goes on.;)

    Last week was really tough - I think I should have taken it a bit easier after that long ride on Sunday but I felt so good that I really went for it during the week. By saturday (a week ago now) I was shattered. This week I rode in on Tues, Wed+Thurs used the train and rode in Fri+Sat (yesterday) and feel much better. I shall make more of an effort to recover properly in future.

    Fingers crossed for a solid week of quality training next week!

    Thanks chaps!
     
  13. walker

    walker New Member

    Location:
    Bromley, Kent
    Also another way of working on speed, other than intervals, is to do groupset days, go out only working in your lower chainset, thus building your cadence, and in other days go out on your higher chainset, thus building power. Don't purposely avoid hills on this day as you won't get the full effect of building power
     
  14. stevenb

    stevenb New Member

    Location:
    South Beds.
    Ive certainly noticed my flat speed increasing since I bought my turbo trainer. I use it to do a few types of workout as well as fitness.
    One of my workouts is to sustain the same cadence rate for 50mins...switching between cogs when my legs get tired and back again when I have recovered enough.
    I have also fine tuned my bike and I now feel at one with it a lot more.
    I find myself in a more aggresive race position easier and more comfortably...which in turn allows me to pedal faster and harder.
    :biggrin: