Picking up your average speed

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
How best to go about boosting my avg. speed on longer rides? I'm old, 50, slow and fat. The latter I'm working on via diet and cross training, the first I can do nothing about, so the middle one is my target.

I've stepped up a group in our club, now riding with the intermediates rather than the fast social group, but find the 'mere' 16mph avg over 35 - 45 miles results in me really having to work hard over the last 5 miles, when they tend to pick the pace up, and where this involves long drags I struggle. (Sunday, oh the shame, I got dropped.)

Is it just a matter of keep going out with them, grit the teeth, and stay in the group no matter what and it will come?
 

mr Mag00

rising member
Location
Deepest Dorset
from my perspective i have been riding in larger gears and climbing out of the saddle to increase my strength. what food/drink do you take on 45 miler it sounds to me like you are running out of energy and may need something more than water. some people knock energy driks/gels or make thier own. i can testify ifyou have been working hard for a couple of hours they do indeed help you get to the end. there is nothing wrong with using them, they are not only for top athletes
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
Maybe try doing some intervals on a turbo or something, you can already cover the distance no problem right? So now you need to push up your speed, so maintain endurance by training it, but less often (once a week will be fine), and focus on speed training.

15 mins warm up, ramping up to about 70% max effort, then 20 mins hard (90%), 5-10 mins rolling recovery, 20 mins hard (90%), 5-10 rolling recovery, 15 mins cool down.

Average speeds and HR over 1st and 2nd interval should be about the same, if the second is lower speed, or hgher HR, you went too hard in the 1st, likewise if the second is faster or lower HR, you didnt go hard enough in the 1st. The aim is to be able to complete them leaving very little left in the tank, but enough such that the second interval can be completed at the prescribed intensity.

Once (or twice when you get used to it) a week. Follow this day with an easy medium length ride, 60-90 mins at a leisurely pace.
 
OP
GrumpyGregry

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
I can ride 100+ miles 200+ km and further at my own pace, around 13 mph OK It was easier last year but a hairline fracture in my femur in January stopped me doing as much cycling as I'd wished at the start of the year. Maybe I just don't have enough miles in yet.

Proper hills, and short sharp stuff, I can conquer those by spinning up them or sheer brute force in the latter case. In many cases overtaking lots on the way up. But uphill slopes/drags? I may have 30 gears but dang if I can find one that works for me.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
If you can cycle 100+ miles or 200+ km and these club rides are 45 miles long, its not because you havent put in the miles. It would suggest you are built for endurance, not speed, simply down to how you choose to cycle to date.

If you want to go faster, you need train faster.

And long climbs, Im not a climber, Ive hardly seen a hill on my bike, but I'd hazard a guess that you just need to train for the situation. Training specificacy (<- terrible spelling) or something like that is the phrase used by coaches.
 

lukesdad

Guest
How overweight are you (sorry to be rude) but that sounds like it could be your problem. If your hauling to many kilo s doesn t matter what training you do you are going to struggle.
 

Davidc

Guru
Location
Somerset UK
Old at 50? How dare you?

I'd agree though that speed gets more difficult after about 45, especially if you have medical issues as well.

I'm a bit older and find that my average now over anything between 25 and 60 miles is only about 13 mph at best and I don't seem to be able to raise it. Oh for the speeds of my teens and twenties.

More relevant is that nothing's changed since then with the need for extra food when going over 25 miles. I like a couple of bananas then, and a wholemeal sandwich at about 35. For more than 45 miles I stop for a light meal.
 
OT 50's not old. A few weeks back on the club run (we were going about 19mph and were about 35 miles into the ride) and the chap next to me starts chatting away it went something like "I used to race 50 years ago" and from the other thing he said he must of been at least 75, chapeau :blush:

I'm sure you are aware but a lot of our more experienced club riders tend to sit at the back for a while and let other folk do the work and why not they deserve it.
 
OP
GrumpyGregry

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
lukesdad said:
How overweight are you (sorry to be rude) but that sounds like it could be your problem. If your hauling to many kilo s doesn t matter what training you do you are going to struggle.
How very dare you!

in my pomp, 25 years ago, at 6' 2" and nigh on 17 stone I was regarded as morbidly obese or some such phrase by my then GP in Lampeter. I pointed out I was an uber-fit mature uni student, with scare an once of fat, who happened to play in the second row and who had jogged to the appointment from Llandysul. :blush:

Nowadays, atrophied and shrivelled, at 15 and a bit stones I'd say I'm probably about a stone overweight.
 
OP
GrumpyGregry

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
HLaB said:
OT 50's not old. A few weeks back on the club run (we were going about 19mph and were about 35 miles into the ride) and the chap next to me starts chatting away it went something like "I used to race 50 years ago" and from the other thing he said he must of been at least 75, chapeau :blush:

I'm sure you are aware but a lot of our more experienced club riders tend to sit at the back for a while and let other folk do the work and why not they deserve it.
Tell me about it, I had a super-vet world champion time trialist draughting me on Sunday.:biggrin:
 
OP
GrumpyGregry

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
Davidc said:
Old at 50? How dare you?
It's all relative, I'm older now than I was when I made the OP!

I'd agree though that speed gets more difficult after about 45, especially if you have medical issues as well.

I'm a bit older and find that my average now over anything between 25 and 60 miles is only about 13 mph at best and I don't seem to be able to raise it. Oh for the speeds of my teens and twenties.

More relevant is that nothing's changed since then with the need for extra food when going over 25 miles. I like a couple of bananas then, and a wholemeal sandwich at about 35. For more than 45 miles I stop for a light meal.
I think my fuelling/hydration strategy needs looking at for runs at a higher level of intensity. I've no idea what my speed in my 20's was; I'd jacked cycling in then to concetrate on playing Rugby.:blush:
 

lukesdad

Guest
GregCollins said:
How very dare you!

in my pomp, 25 years ago, at 6' 2" and nigh on 17 stone I was regarded as morbidly obese or some such phrase by my then GP in Lampeter. I pointed out I was an uber-fit mature uni student, with scare an once of fat, who happened to play in the second row and who had jogged to the appointment from Llandysul. :blush:

Nowadays, atrophied and shrivelled, at 15 and a bit stones I'd say I'm probably about a stone overweight.
:biggrin: A doctor in Lampeter....! Surely you mean a Vet. Im 50 too... Havn t nearly got the speed I used to have, but tend to do more endurance based type of events now.
 
OP
GrumpyGregry

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
lukesdad said:
:sad: A doctor in Lampeter....! Surely you mean a Vet. Im 50 too... Havn t nearly got the speed I used to have, but tend to do more endurance based type of events now.
Could never afford the vets bills down there, GP was free but rubbish!

Long distance stuff is more my style too. I have my eye on the "Montgomeryshire Madness" 200km permie Audax in August. Tortoise and Hare like I've scalped a few (much) younger friends, who aren't 'serious' cyclists, on imperial centuries and metric doubles. It occurs that lifting a 13mph avg to 16mph is a 20%ish step up, which is going to take time, and focus, to acheive. If at first you don't succeed, etc..

Anyway, I've now modded my commute route to encompass the hills I've previously largely avoided, a couple of 3+ km drags, and this morning I set myself the goal of "no backing off" on both.

Do-able.
 

amaferanga

Veteran
Location
Bolton
As others have pointed out, the key is doing threshold-type riding. 2 x 20 intervals at an intensity you can just sustain work well on a turbo. 20 minutes is a bit arbitrary though so on the road just ride hard for as long as the terrain allows - the longest continuous climbs on the roads I cycle take about 17 minutes so that's what I do.

Proper training (as opposed to just riding a long way at a comfortable pace) will make a huge difference to your speed. I used to do long rides at the weekend and 100 miles commuting through the week, but it was all at about the same pace - I didn't push hard enough on hills to really benefit on the shorter rides. This year I've been training to race and for sportives. On a hilly 50km route I often do after work I have almost broken the 20mph barrier this year, where as last year I was doing it at 15-17 mph. My long distance endurance has suffered as I have only ridden 100 miles a few times this year, but I'm still significantly quicker on these rides (my recovery time from them is therefore much longer).
 

jimboalee

New Member
Location
Solihull
GregCollins said:
Could never afford the vets bills down there, GP was free but rubbish!

Long distance stuff is more my style too. I have my eye on the "Montgomeryshire Madness" 200km permie Audax in August. Tortoise and Hare like I've scalped a few (much) younger friends, who aren't 'serious' cyclists, on imperial centuries and metric doubles. It occurs that lifting a 13mph avg to 16mph is a 20%ish step up, which is going to take time, and focus, to acheive. If at first you don't succeed, etc..

Anyway, I've now modded my commute route to encompass the hills I've previously largely avoided, a couple of 3+ km drags, and this morning I set myself the goal of "no backing off" on both.

Do-able.
Its a 60% step up...:biggrin:

The power vs velocity graph is CURVED.
 
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