Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been riding a couple years and don't do any racing, but want to go further faster (who doesn't). I only ride twice during the week (tues and thurs) and then on Saturday and sometimes on Sunday. My weeknight rides are either on a closed loop or an out/back bike route and I do about 20-25 miles. I do this on Tuesday and Thursday. These rides are solo and I usually push myself pretty hard (at least what I consider to be hard) - ~19.5mph and heart rate goes between 175 and 180bpm. A couple times in the last couple weeks I have 'sprinted' during the ride and have seen 192bpm. This is the highest I have ever seen (36 year old male) for me (also saw it this past Saturday at 27.5mph). On Saturday I have gotten into a group ride that splits into two distinct groups -

1st group goes about 22-24mph and gets up to 28mph (I hit this speed this past Saturday morning and again saw 192bpm and dropped off the back).

2nd group goes about 16-18mph which is too slow for me.

About 60-70% thru the ride, I find myself 'without a country' and pretty much 'shot' from trying to keep up with the fast group and 'limp' the remainder of the ride at ~16-18mph.

Due to my limited time to ride during the week, should I hammer my solo rides each time or should I step them down a notch and hammer only on the Saturday rides? FYI, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I go to the gym to do ~25 min cardio (heart rate about 150bpm) , 20-25 min stretching and ab work, and 30 minutes of light lifting.

Any suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,230 Posts
hammer.
it's your only hope.
likely the guys driving it (and even a number of the guys sitting in) are riding a LOT more than you are.

but the way to get faster is interval training. repeat that level of effort, plus, that causes you to fall off the back for some lesser period of time, with rest in between (not too much), and increase it. hurt harder for shorter periods of time. you'll get there.

it hurts to go fast. it hurts everyone to go fast; you just tend to be able to hurt at higher speeds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,838 Posts
MCF said:
2nd group goes about 16-18mph which is too slow for me.


Due to my limited time to ride during the week, should I hammer my solo rides each time or should I step them down a notch and hammer only on the Saturday rides? FYI, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I go to the gym to do ~25 min cardio (heart rate about 150bpm) , 20-25 min stretching and ab work, and 30 minutes of light lifting.

Any suggestions?
Learn the route and ride/lead/pull the 2nd group around for a couple weeks, and then try the 1st group again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,230 Posts
while pulling a group is certainly much harder than sitting in, and fitness will improve, I think that for our hero to push himself in the A group (if he's not totally outclassed from the get-go) is a better, fasterer plan. You will rarely push yourself as hard as you will push to keep up with faster folks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree with this...

bill said:
while pulling a group is certainly much harder than sitting in, and fitness will improve, I think that for our hero to push himself in the A group (if he's not totally outclassed from the get-go) is a better, fasterer plan. You will rarely push yourself as hard as you will push to keep up with faster folks.
When I am pulling the slower group, I can keep slowing and slowing and no one ever steps up.....I think they may actually stop if I just stopped..hehehe...seriously though, I have slowed to about 12mph before someone actually stepped up and got in front. To some extent, I do think I am totally outclassed in the first group, but by the end of the ride, there were only two left in the first group by the end of the shorter 25mile ride on Saturday. I would have finished the ride in 3rd, but held up and waited for the 2nd group...a nice 5-10 minute wait at the 18 mile point. So it sounds like with as little riding as I do, when I do ride, I should just hammer hammer hammer and don't worry if my heart rate is 180bpm as long as I can maintain my speed/cadence? I get worried when it gets above 180bpm...don't want to 'drop dead'..hehehe. Maintaining 170bpm is doable, maintaining 180bpm is difficult, maintaining anything above about 180bpm is near impossible for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok..how about this...

bill said:
hammer.
it's your only hope.
likely the guys driving it (and even a number of the guys sitting in) are riding a LOT more than you are.

but the way to get faster is interval training. repeat that level of effort, plus, that causes you to fall off the back for some lesser period of time, with rest in between (not too much), and increase it. hurt harder for shorter periods of time. you'll get there.

it hurts to go fast. it hurts everyone to go fast; you just tend to be able to hurt at higher speeds.
The loop I do is about 0.8 miles long....if I plan on doing 20 miles, would hamering as hard as I can for a loop and then resting a loop and so on and so on be a good approach? Or maybe hammer 1 rest 2 or hammer 2 rest 1?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,230 Posts
please, for your own sake, step away from the HRM. you need to maintain a certain speed in relation to your compatriots (that's the goal, right?) regardless of HR; HR is not your goal, and it's getting in your way. HR can be useful to give you some (relatively) objective measure of your effort when you don't have any other reference measure, but it's not a goal in itself.
btw, your body will let you know well before you drop dead. First your ears bleed and then, I believe, your eyes (I've never gone harder than ear-bleeding hard). Before your eyes bleed, you will get faster.
there is precious better way to get faster than to ride with people who can make your ears bleed and, if they really wanted to, your eyes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,230 Posts
training to race (or rides that go like races, with attacks and surges) is an entire menu of efforts. you need to train both your endurance at various levels of effort as well as your simple ability to achieve that level of effort (i.e, generate that much power translating into that much speed on the bike).
the short answer is, one day you likely need to do the .8 lap really, really hard (ability to achieve that level of power production) and do two laps recovery, then on another day do two .8 laps (less) hard with one recovery lap (endurance). the harder you go, the more recovery you need to resume that level of effort, the less hard, the less recovery.
 

·
waterproof*
Joined
·
41,745 Posts
Bill has good advice but just fyi, my personal sequence goes:
- working really hard
- pulse / breathing / legs into the OMFG zone
- gray spots in the vision
- darkness closing in, tunnel vision
- "Pappy! Pappy! I've missed you! Wait don't turn away I don't want to go back!"
- it's only later that I notice the blood running down my cheeks, so I'm not exactly sure when the eye bleeding happens. And my ears only bleed from the pre-ride musical warm-up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok...I do want to ride with the faster guys, but I think I want to work just hard enough to reach the limit 'before' ANY bleeding starts! Thanks...I will 'hide' the readout for the HRM and only check it at the end of a ride to get a feel of where I was averaging. Otherwise, I will go as hard and as fast as I can for as long as I can and also work in some intervals - which I assume means hard and fast with about an equal amount of time to rest and then hard and fast again.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
I have to agree with the folks that think you should ride with the faster group. But not every time. I think you should ride group rides with your peers and the people you will commonly race against/with. This will make you faster. Solo rides just have never done it for me, but those Carmichael Crit training videos WILL get you stronger.

As for riding every ride with the fast guys, it's necessary to sometimes ride without any goal of getting faster or splitting open your ear drums with effort. Not every ride needs to be that intense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,832 Posts
An aside

MCF said:
When I am pulling the slower group, I can keep slowing and slowing and no one ever steps up.....I think they may actually stop if I just stopped..hehehe...seriously though, I have slowed to about 12mph before someone actually stepped up and got in front.
FYI, you don't "slow down until somebody steps up" but rather you give 3 hard pushes on the pedals, swing off (into the windward side) and coast. Whoever is behind you is now the lead rider. Simple as that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I go to the gym to do ~25 min cardio (heart rate about 150bpm) , 20-25 min stretching and ab work, and 30 minutes of light lifting.


Well, your gym sessions....there's a few more hours you could be riding...You say you're short on time to ride, skip the gym or do some crunches at home instead and ride your trainer, then go out and ride your bike those three "extra" sessions per week.

Try a little harder, too, to stay on to the fast group..Most of us are 'fooled' by how close to 'exploding' the riders who out-ride us actually are. They probably aren't significantly stronger than you, they just hide thier pain...It is often surprising to aspiring cyclists how much you must be willing to endure to keep up...But, do it a few times, and you get used to the hurt..sort of.
Don Hanson
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,270 Posts
I agree that three hours at the gym is more than necessary . . . if your goal is faster cycling.

I also agree about thinking that other people aren't hurting. More than once I've finished a group ride, where I was killing myself just to keep up, and some other guy will say to me after the ride, "That was a really tough ride, you were looking really strong and I could barely keep up," or words to that effect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I would like to ride every night, but I also enjoy lifting some as well...I used to be much more into lifting, but now do it just to maintain overall health. I can't give up lifting for riding unless I am training for a very long ride (like an MS150 type ride).
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top