Short and hard or long and limp?

GoatBeard

Active Member
Nothing unusual about the title, real question! Curiosity has killed the cat and I've been snooping other riders routes on Stava. I'm trying to improve my times and fitness. So far I'm thinking about 20 miles or so which is about an hour on the bike should be ideal? I go hard and fast covering a good mix of tough hills and varied terrain.

However, some riders seem to be covering 100+ miles over 6 hours! Staggering.. That really a better approach to improving performance and averages?
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
Firstly, 20mph for a solo training ride is very respectable. But if you think 100 in 6hrs is good, try googling cyclng time trials competition records. You will be staggered.

Will be the first to recognise that terrain and weather conditions would have been perfect, but you will be amazed.

If I said 3hrs 13mins for a 100, would you believe me?
 
If anything I'd say sustaining 20mph for an hour is harder than 100miles in 6hours.

But both are possibilities for lots of cyclists if that's an aim they want to get to.

Now, sub 4hour 100s, that's something I could never imagine getting anywhere near regardless - but of course there are people who do that and some.

Anyway, if you want to improve your fitness put more effort in to the sort of rides your are interested in, there is no magic formula other than no-effort, no-gain - you need to ride above your sustainable pace some of the time.
 
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Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
Location
Kirton, Devon.
Your best bet is to join a cycling club. Riding with others is a good way to improve your ‘performance’.
Time trials are also good (fun) and a gauge of improvement.
Ultimately it depends what kind of riding you want to do...riding hard 20 milers will make you good at that. Riding regular 200kms plus will make you good at that.
Or, you could just enjoy riding your bike....
 
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Electric_Andy

Heavy Metal Fan
Location
Plymouth
The question that must always go with "how do I get fitter", is "fitter for what?". I'm guessing you want to increase your VO2max so I'd read up on how best to do that. Under 20km and this won't be so much of an issue, but you'll notice it over longer distances as you'll be making better use of your oxygen so your muscles won't become fatigued as much
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
Nothing unusual about the title, real question! Curiosity has killed the cat and I've been snooping other riders routes on Stava. I'm trying to improve my times and fitness. So far I'm thinking about 20 miles or so which is about an hour on the bike should be ideal? I go hard and fast covering a good mix of tough hills and varied terrain.

However, some riders seem to be covering 100+ miles over 6 hours! Staggering.. That really a better approach to improving performance and averages?

Both, the common ratio is do 80% of your cycling long and slow the other hard and fast. Ideally doing mostly base work in the off season building mitochondria with Zone 2 riding. Then making these new mitochondria stronger with high intensity workouts.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Mix it up, but the key is regular rides. 100 miles once a week will be less beneficial than say 10 miles 5 times a week. Plus you won't enjoy the 100 miles much unless you've got the base miles in.
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
Plus you won't enjoy the 100 miles much unless you've got the base miles in.
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