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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello All:


I look forward to asking all of you annoying questions as I am new to cycling and did not realize how many things one can learn about cycling. I just wanted to get on a bike and ride for health and exercise (I still do), but I enjoy learning as many aspects about something that I can.

The past four days I went on three 12 mile rides and have averaged a pace of 13 mph. I hope I can make some kind of reasonable progress that will allow me to ride with more experienced riders who seem to average 16 to 18 mph because I am sure that will be the best way to learn - from their experience.

Any thoughts on what it can take to reach that goal?


Thanks,


Matt
 

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Welcome newb. The answer to your question is both easy and very complex - ride lots. The best single thing is "consistency". Four days per week, regular, is way better than going crazy for a week and then doing nothing for three weeks. But - here is the downside - if you do too much you will get burned out and quit the sport. You must learn to curb your enthusiasm as it's only during rest that we improve. If you don't rest, recover and allow the body to get used to the overload, you don't progress and you regress.

And it must be some form of progressive overload too - if you always curl 20lbs you'll never curl 50lbs. But do too much overload too fast and you get hurt. Don't bother with books and articles on training just yet. Get to love the sport as it's the love of it that will keep you coming back for more.

Take the whole year for doing "conversational pace" rides - alone and with friends.

If you do it right you just might get to your 51st year in the sport - as I did this year. I'm keener than ever. I'm probably old enough to be your dad and I can average the speeds you want and for 5x your distance. But it sure didn't come overnight. In fact I'm getting slower; much slower and it's the lifetime love of the sport that keeps me going.

Now get out and ride - but not too hard or too far.
 

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Just ride often. Before you know it, you'll be able to cycle for longer periods of time, covering much greater distances, with greater speed.
 

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Is it the future yet?
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Go for base miles. You don't have to hammer it out right now. Just maintain a comfortable pace and go for mileage.
Try to get to 20 miles as your minimum.
Then start adding hills in. Some days go for mileage, other days, hills and not so much mileage.
Then add a headwind to the hills and mileage.
After that, add in dehydration toward the end of your ride.


Of course I'm kidding about the last two.
 

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First off remember this always...you will never learn all there is about cycling, what is taken to be the gospel today is junk tomorrow.

You need to get yourself on a schedule if you want to see improvements, and stick with it the schedule and not try to get ahead on it; anyway see this: Training for a Century Ride Brisk can be substituted with interval training; here are some ideals on how: CYCLING PERFORMANCE TIPS -

There are different ways to train and what I've shown is just one, doesn't mean it's the best but it will make you improve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I really appreciate the responses from all of you. I needed a little direction and you guys have offered it.

Good to know this board exists with people willing to share their experience.

I have signed up for a 40 mile ride here in Texas on 6-1 so hopefully I will be able to kick that 40 miles ass, but it ain't that far away!!

Kudos to you all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Mike T!

I appreciate the passionate response as it is a message that carries depth and weight. A truth, I do have a tendency to find something new and get a little too excited and have the potential to get burned out - so thanks for mentioning that.
 

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Thanks Mike T!
I appreciate the passionate response as it is a message that carries depth and weight. A truth, I do have a tendency to find something new and get a little too excited and have the potential to get burned out - so thanks for mentioning that.
You're so welcome Matt. Yes, be very careful with the enthusiasm - that and expectations set far too high. I've formed and operated two cycling clubs in my life and have seen many cyclists come & go. The ones who quit cycling soonest are usually the ones who go nuts from their early days in the sport. They either get some form of overuse injury (usually the knee) or they find an easier sport. Four days per week for you is lots and increasing long rides at 10% per week (or 5 miles max) won't injure you or burn you out. Going from 20 miles to 40 overnight might.
 
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