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I have a question... In the past it felt like I used to be a fairly competative cyclist. Lately however, I am on my bike and I am working way too hard and not getting much done... ( I can keep up with others in the group as long as I am drafting, but I can't pull for love or money) it feels like I am spinning my wheels and I am getting crushed. I then get off my bike and feel like I wasn't even trying. No soreness. No pain.... Nothing. I feel like I am eating respectable, and getting enough rest. I have a ton of base miles in. I am just trying to figure out why I am not getting any faster... so,

If you feel like you have a good amount of endurance built up, what is the best way to work on speed?
 

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I'm no expert but isn't that what sprint intervals are for? So if you have a certain loop that you ride, designate part of that loop as a sprint zone, roll around the rest of the loop at a regular pace and then sprint through the zone, then use the rest of the lap to rebuild your energy and then spint again and so on. You can then slowly increase the size of your sprint zone as you get stronger/faster.

I am assuming of course that you are in an appropriate gear when you feel like you are spinning as otherwise yeah then that would kind of be a problem, that is kind of obvious though so I assume that isn't it.
 

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Have you been overtraining or just spending too much time on the bike? You say that you have a ton of base miles. Maybe it would help to take week off and then start up again mixing in some sprints and intervals. Are you still excited to get out on the bike or do you feel like you're in a rut?
 

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I have a similar experience. Through a few racing events this season, one crit and three road races, I have found that I seem to excel in short bursts of energy where others get caught off guard and barely hang on. But when I say short, I mean short: like 60 seconds or so. If the attack or surge lasts longer than that, I lapse behind, and my cardio just catches up with me.

So, I too, when riding in a fast club ride, find that as long as I draft liberally, and pull very little, I make it through just fine, not feeling like I have worked all that hard. But this past Tuesday evening, I did just what the previous poster recommended, and I found some parts of the loop we ride (32 mile loop) to really put the gas down and push the group to the brink. Mind you, I ride with the "B" group locally, which consists of "some-time" racers, but mainly fast recreational riders. I pushed the gas on a long climb, got a good surge, and found myself at the front, following about a 3-4 minute extended level climb. Then, later, in a particularly fast area where attacks are common, I laid down the law again, and pushed the pace very hard, basically exhausting myself and everyone else. Recovered for about 10 minutes, then opened up the gas again on the final mile stretch, flat as a board, and kept the gas at about 28-30 mph the whole time. Left the group behind, with only a few stragglers catching back on late.

It felt good to open up in different areas, once I had recovered. I tend to push myself to the limit without fully recovering. This is how I do well at Road races. As we all know though, I am going to have to deal with crits, as that is the most popular domestic form of bike racing. That is when something called "active recovery" comes into play, and something I suck at totally.
 

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What you just described sounds EXACTLY like what I went through a little over a month ago.I was slightly over trained.I put in a lot of miles over the fall/winter with no real time off and transitioned into doing intense workouts for racing this season,also with no time off.

I did a race and did pretty good last month.However,immediately afterwards I felt like how you are describing.I could go "fast" and keep up.Yet,my legs felt hollow and like I had no snap.

I took two weeks of easy riding with no intensity.I just spun and enjoyed the scenery.It helped a lot towards my mental burnout aswell.

Now I feel great and I actually feel stronger than I did last month at race time.You might want to think about getting some active recovery and taking it easy.
 
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