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jaydub_u
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
what kind of MPH should one strive to avg. in say a 40mile ride. No severe elevation changes. rolling hills and flat. I am trying to come up with some goals and want to try to knock my first century this year.
 

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Average speed is a poor way to judge performance... even if you are putting out the same power, the conditions on a given day (wind, other riders) make a big difference in your speed.

If your goal is a century, concern yourself with miles (or time on the bike) instead. The normal rule of thumb is to increase mileage, and the length of your longest ride, no more than 10% a week. Do some shorter faster rides and a long ride each week.
 

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jaydub_u
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ericm979 said:
Average speed is a poor way to judge performance... even if you are putting out the same power, the conditions on a given day (wind, other riders) make a big difference in your speed.

If your goal is a century, concern yourself with miles (or time on the bike) instead. The normal rule of thumb is to increase mileage, and the length of your longest ride, no more than 10% a week. Do some shorter faster rides and a long ride each week.
Ok, but when you say "shorter faster rides" do you mean faster as 10miles doesnt' take as much time as 40 miles? Or more of a sprint. I am a total newb 50 year old trying to keep in shape and set performance goals.
 

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Not a rocket surgeon.
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Just to give you an idea. Ride a 15 mile loop for training. Set a goal of say one hour. Do that three times, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On a weekend day ride 40-45 miles. Get a baseline. One week complete.
The next week kick it up 10% farther on everything. Try to keep the same overall time though. Ride lets say, 16.5 miles in the same hour and 45-50 miles on the weekend. Push for that. When you can do it (even if it takes two weeks) push the level up again. When you get to where you want to be. Maintain that.
 

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Adventure Seeker
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A from Il said:
Just to give you an idea. Ride a 15 mile loop for training. Set a goal of say one hour. Do that three times, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On a weekend day ride 40-45 miles. Get a baseline. One week complete.
The next week kick it up 10% farther on everything. Try to keep the same overall time though. Ride lets say, 16.5 miles in the same hour and 45-50 miles on the weekend. Push for that. When you can do it (even if it takes two weeks) push the level up again. When you get to where you want to be. Maintain that.
That's good advice. Your average speed depends on your fitness level. In reality, I'd look to average over 14mph for a century. My typical rides (30 to 45 miles) range 15 to 17, but I'm still getting in shape. Some people can average over 20, and a few can average over 25!
 

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jaydub_u said:
Ok, but when you say "shorter faster rides" do you mean faster as 10miles doesnt' take as much time as 40 miles? Or more of a sprint. I am a total newb 50 year old trying to keep in shape and set performance goals.
This doesn't address your first question, but as a former newb former 50-yo who was in the same position, I have just a word of advice: At least at first, set your OWN goals. Don't judge yourself by what others can do. I was a pretty good runner when I started cycling, used to being competitive in my age group, but I completely sucked at cycling. I got pretty discouraged until I realized I was enjoying the rides more when I didn't look at the computer. Just go ride, mix it up, climb some days and take it easy others. In six weeks or two months, you'll have an idea what you can do and you can set some longer-term goals. you'll reduce your chances of both injury and burnout if you don't push too hard at first.
I've never been very fast and I'm still not, but I've done 40 miles on the flat in as little as two hours or as long as 3+. Over the last 10 years, my average speed is probably around 14mph. Give me a break, I'm nearly a senior citizen.
 

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Captain Obvious
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keep in mind, if you ride with others, you can maintain higher avg speeds.

worry about time on the bike and not speed. you'll want to work you way up to longer and longer rides. 2, 3, 4 hours and such. at 15mph, a century is still over 6hours. worry about being able to ride for 2 or 3. by then you'll have a firmer grasp on your fitness and abilities.
 

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A better tool than a speedometer is a heart rate monitor. It's like a tachometer for your body. You can get a basic model for under $50, and it's a great way to judge how hard you are working. Figure out what your max heart rate is, then try to keep it at around 75% of that during a ride for 20 minutes. Then 30. Then 40. Before you know it, you'll be in great shape and your avarage speed will be very respectable.
 

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The key is to just ride. First you want to build up a base of miles. 1,000 miles is a common milestone before really starting to train. The base miles help improve fitness and reduce injury when the training begins. When training you need to mix things up. Some days need to be a hard effort to stress your muscles so that they react by getting stronger. Some days need to be easy to allow the muscles to build.

For your century try this plan http://www.kintera.org/htmlcontent.asp?cid=54755

It helped me on my first century.

Welcome and enjoy the sport.
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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Blue CheeseHead said:
The key is to just ride. First you want to build up a base of miles. 1,000 miles is a common milestone before really starting to train. The base miles help improve fitness and reduce injury when the training begins. When training you need to mix things up. Some days need to be a hard effort to stress your muscles so that they react by getting stronger. Some days need to be easy to allow the muscles to build.

For your century try this plan http://www.kintera.org/htmlcontent.asp?cid=54755

It helped me on my first century.

Welcome and enjoy the sport.
I think this is key. Getting significant miles in, while spending the majority of your time in the aerobic zone (easier riding than you think) is very important. I still do at least 300 miles a year that way (starting in January--November and December are always tough) before I do any significant climbing or interval workouts. This base mileage will do a lot to increase your cruising speed, and improve your fitness overall, without significant risk of overtraining or injury.
 

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Suitable goal

Faster than you did it last month.
 

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jaydub_u
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think that I understand now. I just got back from my first ride (over 10 miles) of the year. We went 30 miles and I did it in 1hr55min. I am 242lbs and that is down 44lbs down from last year. And that time was with my buddy having a flat. I started working with a trainer at the gym through the winter and It has really helped in strengh and conditioning. I am actually pretty excited by this. (baby steps) That time is about 20 min. faster than I ever did it before.
thanks for all the tips and help. It is very helpful.
 

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Not a rocket surgeon.
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jaydub_u said:
I think that I understand now. I just got back from my first ride (over 10 miles) of the year. We went 30 miles and I did it in 1hr55min. I am 242lbs and that is down 44lbs down from last year. And that time was with my buddy having a flat. I started working with a trainer at the gym through the winter and It has really helped in strengh and conditioning. I am actually pretty excited by this. (baby steps) That time is about 20 min. faster than I ever did it before.
thanks for all the tips and help. It is very helpful.
All right. Sounds like a good time. Amazing what a little conditioning over the winter can do huh?
 

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For me, the 10% "rule" is rediculous to go by. It simply doesn't work for lower mileage counts. If you are just starting out then you need to make big jumps in the numbers to shock your body into shape. You may end up going really slow, but you got to get used to being out on the bike for long periods of time.

Once you start getting up in miles you can change your routes to do less but harder miles one day and more but easier miles the next. Here the jumps won't matter as much so long as you keep increasing the mileage.

For instance, 10% of 10 is 1 so if your week one goal starts off with 10 mile routes well by the 10% rule you can't go above 11. However with 60 mile routes the 10% jump is up to 66.
 

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In the first 250 miles I have put on a road bike I have seen my average speed go from a little under 13mph to a 15 mph average. I am trying to get to the point where I average 16 or 17 on rides under 50 miles. I figure at that speed I should be able to keep up with most people that ride around here
 

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last year I was averaging 14-15, now I am in the 16-17 range. I ride mostly flat and rolling hills, 15 miles on a short day, 30-40 miles on a long day.
 

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sounds like you're on the right track...

jaydub_u said:
I think that I understand now. I just got back from my first ride (over 10 miles) of the year. We went 30 miles and I did it in 1hr55min. I am 242lbs and that is down 44lbs down from last year. And that time was with my buddy having a flat. I started working with a trainer at the gym through the winter and It has really helped in strengh and conditioning. I am actually pretty excited by this. (baby steps) That time is about 20 min. faster than I ever did it before.
thanks for all the tips and help. It is very helpful.
when I started riding/racing about five years ago I could barely finish 40 miles on my first few rides....I remember it was terrible. last week I went out with my team for 3 days and did 240 miles, 15000 ft of climbing, in about 15 hours of saddle time...and I felt relatively fine afterwards (tired, of course). its a progression and you should NEVER compared your ability to someone else's who may have more endurance (time) on a bike....

one thing I have come to learn (the hard way) is that learing to eat while on longer ride is VERY important...it can mean the difference between finish strong and not finishing at all.
I typically start chewin' on something around 30 miles in and about every 20 miles thereafter....some guys use their power meters and count calories to measure out the intervals (drink water every 100 cal, eat something every 400, etc), but I just pay attention to how my body is doing. on cold days, you'll burn a LOT more and not really feel it also...

if you're looking to shed weight, you really need to turn the bike uphill...its sucks..its daunting...and it hurts....but it does get easier with time and patience....so find a big hill and make it yours.
 
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