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been riding for hard this year and can see some results but would like to see more. 17.5 average fro about 55 miles (live in austin) so it has some hills, kinda a bigger rider 215lbs, but I would like to be faster and ride longer. where do i start?
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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Ride lots.

Ride slower some of the time
Ride faster some on the time
Ride slower for longer distances
Ride faster for shorter distances
Ride Lots
 

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Yea everybody else has given some really good ideas. Sounds like you should kind of section off part of your ride since 55miles has alot of factors that can vary. What I do is section off a part of my route that lack cross streets so I can get in the zone and maintain. Frontage roads are great for this since the cross streets are usually 1 to 3 miles apart. Now looking at your speed isnt the best judge because wind is a big factor in that. What does work however is judging by picking a gear and watching your cadence. This way you can do the same route every time and improve by either increasing the cadence in your gear or picking a cadence to stick with and try increasing the gear each time. Another thing that helps for hills is doing intervals either on flats or even on a treadmill. Pick a speed that is about 95% of what you can max in the saddle. Then do a minute at that speed followed by 30 seconds at 75% of the first speed. Repeat process as many times as you can. This doesnt really help you in climbing but definately helps stop you from being dead after each hill. I used to be this way where I could climb any hill in the area but Id blow up at the crest. What the intervals do are help with your heatrate recovery so after a good effort you can get back to a reasonable pace quicker. Since this isnt specific to cycling you can also train on a treadmill. I would do one minute at 8mph and then 40 seconds at 4mph. Repeat process for 3 miles. Youll notice that it really starts working after the first week.
 

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As B15serv said, average speed isn't a great way to tell your performance unless it's on a relatively unencumbered course. On one route I ride I have to push hard to get a 15MPH average on my computer, and rarely do- lots of stop signs and signals. On another route I can often get 18MPH- big difference. All the cyclocomputers and GPSs I've seen have 'moving average,' but I've yet to see one that has 'cruising average,' which would be more helpful.

The traditional way to get faster in cycling is with interval training. There's lots of information on it here and all over the web. It will make you faster, but it hurts.
 

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Mahatma Kane said:
Find a group ride in your area. Find some riders who are faster than you and ride with them, chase around after them on a regular basis and you will get faster.
This really is the best advice and how I've been able to get faster.

I joined a club last year and started riding with them. When I started riding with the club I was about 250 pounds (started the year at 286 pounds), and just joined in with a group at the speed I knew I could ride. I pushed myself on the climbs and kept losing weight. Within a month, I had jumped to the next fastest group and stayed there the rest of the riding season and actually became a ride leader for that group.

By the end of the riding season I had dropped to 223 pounds and was quite a bit faster than at the beginning of the summer.

I then kept working out on my trainer and joined any group rides during the winter when the weather was nice (though put 20 pounds back on because I ate....A LOT over the winter).

However, I was still keeping my speed up and was asked by the clubs race director if I was going to race any this season...which I wanted to do some Time Trialling but that was about it....so he invited me to join the team.

Now....I'm down into the low 190's, ride with the race team and can hang with anybody on the flats, though some of the climbers can move out up a hill...I've raced 3 road races and 5 TT's this year (only placing lower than 3rd in one TT in my category) and will be competing in a Team Time Trial next weekend.

I've gotten faster because of the group and having to keep up...also by my desire to lose weight and not get blown away by others...as they say in our race group (called Hammer & Nails)...sometimes you are the "Hammer" and sometimes you are the "Nail". I don't like being the nail...so I worked my butt off to become the hammer.

I ride 6 days a week, 3 hard, 2 easy, 1 medium and 1 completely off the bike. Last week I put in 270 miles, this weekend over 4 days after tomorrow I'll have in 200 with some pretty high intensity work including TTT practice.

I also just purchased a cyclocross bike this weekend to race cross in the fall, will race a little MTB this summer, will race a few more TT's and will compete in a few more Road Races.

Join a group and then you will find out how fast you really are and how fast you either need to become or want to become. Until then...you will never really know.
 

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Intervals are the cornerstone

No question about it, you can get amazing training in short periods if you're willing to bust your hump. There are a couple routines but one really nice one is two minutes max effort, 1 min recovery, 2 on, 1 off etc... Do like 15 of these and you'll know pain. Allegedly these will get you used to building up lactate and become more effective at clearing it. One biological characteristic most of the guys who have won the grand tours is that they could still ride their bike and generate power when they had these sickly high lactates. It's not that they don't feel the pain, they just ride through it. The winning quality of any bike racer.
There's a lot to be said for perceived effort and experienced riders can often do intervals without any gadgets. But I think most physiologists will agree, gadgets can really work. Power meters are the holy grail. But at least a HR monitor and if you're lucky a cadence meter, and you can really think how you're riding. If you're really serious coaching is the key, especially getting full advantage of your power meter. Racings a great testing ground on applying these efforts. It's what you do all the time when you race. Sprint, recover, max effort, sprint, recover etc....
Then again you can just go out and have fun in the sun. It is all about the joy of the ride.
 

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1. Lose some weight.
2. Ride five to six days a week, including one spinning class, at least one challenging group ride, and at least one challenging solo ride.
3. Ride harder and longer.
4. Sleep more.
5. Acquire and read the Bible.
 

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California L33 said:
As B15serv said, average speed isn't a great way to tell your performance unless it's on a relatively unencumbered course. On one route I ride I have to push hard to get a 15MPH average on my computer, and rarely do- lots of stop signs and signals. On another route I can often get 18MPH- big difference. All the cyclocomputers and GPSs I've seen have 'moving average,' but I've yet to see one that has 'cruising average,' which would be more helpful.

The traditional way to get faster in cycling is with interval training. There's lots of information on it here and all over the web. It will make you faster, but it hurts.
Been averaging 21 mph over 25 miles in our group ride. 15 miles mostly flat, last 10 hilly.

Oh yeah - the AA's are pushing 24-25 mph. That's freaking FAST. My sprint can't keep up with them when they are flying by :(
 

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Dirty. Nerdy. Unemployed.
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jonathan09 said:
been riding for hard this year and can see some results but would like to see more. 17.5 average fro about 55 miles (live in austin) so it has some hills, kinda a bigger rider 215lbs, but I would like to be faster and ride longer. where do i start?
Austin Tri-Cyclist ride. Saturday morning, 8.30 I think. Lots of people and hammerheads at the front. It'll make you faster if you stick with it and it'll make you appreciate your own slowness
 

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Supply and demand.

Improve the supply side of the equation by smart training to improve sustainable power output.

Work on the demand side by reducing the resistance forces working against you, such as gravity (by losing unecessary weight, especially helpful when climbing and accelerating) and aerodynamics and rolling resistance (esp when on the flats/descending - so getting into a more aero position and using faster equipment - losing weight usually also makes you more aero as well).
 
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