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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    8

    1st 25 Mile ride, need to go FASTER!

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    I am proud to announce that I did my very first 25 Mile ride Saturday!! It was the Crane Cruise in Medaryville IN. My daughter went with me, and rode my husband's bike. Both are Specialized AT bikes. Not built for speed, so I always ASSUMED my 10 mph max speed was partly due to the bike. well, since my daughter (and everyone else, including 2 people on tandems with children on the back), were passing me like I was sitting still, I realized, I NEED TO GO FASTER!!! So, my goals are 15 mph, and a 50 Mile ride next spring. Now, any advice on HOW to accomplish this?
    Last edited by bikerchick2; 10-29-2007 at 06:52 AM. Reason: mispelled word

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    Hey Biker chick, that's one of the things I'm working on too. Can you take a spin class? that's a great way to improve over the winter. It's a killer workout.
    having a lighter/racier bike helps too. When i went from the hybrid to the Bianchi, I had an instant speed improvement. I didn't have the strength to sustain it at first though... Like i said, still working on that one.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    8
    Thought about a new bike, but if my daughter can do 15 mph on the same bike, there's not much reason I can't. The bike will go that fast, I just can't.

    No spinning classes in the area.

    So, do I take short rides, and ride hard and fast as I can till I improve speed and THEN add distance? Or, keep plugging away and the speed will come?


    When I started a year ago, I could only ride about 7 mph, 6-12 miles. so, I've improved most definately.

    Since I'm new to this, I'm just not sure what is right. I stayed with the 6-12 miles and rode harder to get to my speed up to 10mph.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    yes, i think you have the idea. Interval training. ride 20 seconds as fast as you can, followed by 40 seconds of recovery. That's one of the things we do in the spin class.
    As you start really accumulating the miles, your speed will improve. Try doing 25 miles once a week every week, and some smaller rides in between. And then move up to bigger rides. And add hills. HILLS will make you stronger.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    8
    Got the hills covered! I live in NW Indiana, and although they aren't HUGE, they're big enough for me right now. There are a few inclines in the State park where I like to ride. some are steep, some are just long steady upgrades, but they are a workout. (at least for now). so I will take your advice, and do what I'm doing. short hard rides, followed by slower recovery, and throw in the 25 mile ride once/week. I might have to get a trainer though for the really cold months, or maybe just use that YMCA membership I have. They have a few exercise bikes, it's boring as it gets, but at least when the weather is too bad, I can fit it in. I do walking tapes at home when I can't ride, because it's easy to fit into my life, and adds variety.

    Thanks for the advice! It helps when you know your on the right track!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    737
    Nice job on the ride! I went through a similar thing this summer. Had been riding my MTB and did a 50 miler for the MS Society. I was slow slow SLOW! Even on the flats, I'd be pedaling as fast as I could while my brother, on his road bike, could just cruise. That convinced me to get a road bike, and there was an instant speed improvement! But before that I had put road tires on the MTB and that definitely helped. Other than that, the only thing slowing me down was me. The more you ride, the stronger you'll get. I find that short rides are good for working on my speed, while a longer ride once a week will keep my endurance up. I have a set route that I do after work, and it's nice to see that I'm able to complete it faster and faster. And yes, as much as I despise them, hills will definitely make you stronger. Just keep riding!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Posts
    115
    Hi biker chick! Congratulations on your 25 mile ride!!! I'm excited that you're already ready for more & setting a great new goal for yourself

    You're in NW Indiana, I'm in SW Michigan ... so I understand what a long, long winter we have ahead of us! Here are a couple of thoughts for improving through the winter....

    You said you don't have a spin class near by, but I wonder if you have an indoor trainer or could buy a new or used indoor trainer to put your bike on? Having my bike setup in my basement is a real incentive come January .... I can come home from work & put in as little or as much time as I want to. And having my own bike (instead of a bike at the gym) to ride indoors means I'm working exactly the right muscles to make me stronger, faster, and more comfortable in the spring! Sometimes, my husband and I invite friends over & we'll all do an indoor workout together, with some music or a movie on...the time definitely goes faster that way! We mix it up, sometimes doing long and easy indoor workouts, sometimes adding tough 'sprint' like intervals in, sometimes doing those awful long+hard effort workouts.

    General fitness ... bike specific fitness is important for getting faster & improving endurance, but if you just can't ride (or can't ride as often as you want to) through the winter, cross-training can pay huge dividends in the spring. It helps to think about your own strengths and weaknesses. For me, power and core strength are weaknesses, so I work on light strength training and core work (pilates, other ab/back work) several times a week once the cold & dark hits, but still try to ride my trainer 1-2x/week & get outdoors for a snowy ride or xc ski 1-2x/week! Other people might feel that endurance is a weakness for them, and choose to add long walks, swimming, cardio machines, running, etc. to their winter routines.

    Keep it fun Whatever you decide to do, keep it fun and be patient with yourself. The more you ride, and the more variety you ride, the stronger you will become! Mix up your rides so that you have a variety of lengths, terrains, and intensities/intervals, plus the occaisional ride to the ice cream shop (of course!), and it will never be boring

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    98
    Adding miles is WAY easier than adding speed, it seems. One thing you an do, mechanically, to add speed is switch to clipless pedals, if you have not already. They allow a more efficient transfer of energy from your feet to the crank. Won't give you 5 more mph, but you will notice the difference.

    One of the other threads linked to this information on interval training. I think it is golden, and this kind of training will go a long way to improving speed (at least i am told so! I know that when I did interval training on the tread mill I quickly increased my max mph and felt way more energy all day). Here is the link:

    http://www.trifuel.com/training/bike...scientific-way

    (with thanks to the woman who posted it on the other thread).

    I am not fast on the bike, on a 50 mile ride I will average about 12.5mph. So, I feel your pain with not being able to go faster. I hate holding other people up, but hate being left behind too. This winter I hope to be able to increase my average.

    You said you want to do 15mph by spring. That is pretty ambitious. Good to have goals, though.


    Barbara

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, CA
    Posts
    801
    Congrats on the 25 mile ride! I know what you mean about getting passed...I always think I'm riding pretty fast until I get passed like I'm standing still! I feel like increased speed is coming pretty slowly for me. I've increased my speed by about 0.5 mph on hilly routes and 2.0 mph on flat rides over the last 6 months. At any rate, getting out there and riding, especially on hills, will definitely help with speed in the long run.

    I second the indoor trainer idea. I just picked up a magnetic trainer at an REI used gear sale and I can already tell that I've improved my spinning. For some reason, the trainer has made me realize that I have been mashing too much on hills. I don't know why I didn't realize this while I was actually on the hills! Anyway, now that I've practiced some really good spinning in the comfort of my living room, I am doing a much better job of pulling the pedals all the way around the pedal stroke when I'm going up hills. And amazingly enough, this increases my speed too!

    Good luck! I'm sure you'll get there with the speed thing. And even if you don't, at least you're out there riding!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Shelbyville, KY
    Posts
    1,473
    Congratulations and keep up the good work.

    I second the suggestion of using a trainer during the winter months. Using a trainer is boring, I'll admit but it pays off in huge ways in the spring. Do you have a local bike club? Do they offer "trainer tours" during the winter months?

    Once it warms up and you are outside again on a regular basis ride and then ride some more. Try increasing your mileage by 10% each week and over the course of a few months you will find your endurance and speed increasing.

    Do you have a bike computer? Does it have cadence? I would suggest you focus on your maintaining a steady cadence first, speed will follow. Find a zone, say 80-90, that you can ride comfortable in consistently and focus on spinning. As your strength and endurance builds try bumping your cadence up a little and again the speed will follow.

    Keep up the great work!
    Marcie

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Bellmore, NY
    Posts
    1,347
    I am all for using an indoor trainer also. This will be my 5th season it so that puts me at riding consistantly for 5 years. Once you get back outdoors, you will have lost very little fitness level if any at all, infact you probably will be stronger.

    However, this winter season, if them temps are as low as the forties, I plan to take the bike outdoors on the weekend.

    ~ JoAnn

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    I'm thinking about getting a trainer, but not because I want to improve my cycling--just so I will have another way to improve my fitness besides walking, lifting, and exercise classes during the winter.

    Is most of the benefit just for cycling, or can it help my fitness, too? I'm not racing or into super long distances or anything like that. I have no mileage goals. I just want to bike for fun. Which, for next year, I want to have fun doing a century at the end of the season.

    Do you think a trainer would be worth the money for me?

    Karen

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    186
    Karen,

    I do think a trainer would be a good investment for you. It's good for your cycling specific fitness, which makes your outdoor rides more fun. And it's good for your overall fitness, which makes your whole life more fun.

    I find that having convenient exercise options make it's easier to keep the workouts regular. In the winter, I like to go to classes at my gym, but it's also really good to be able to just pop in a workout video & do it on my own schedule at home.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Posts
    115
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckervill View Post
    Is most of the benefit just for cycling, or can it help my fitness, too? I'm not racing or into super long distances or anything like that.
    Karen -- riding an indoor trainer would most definitely improve your overall fitness, in the same way that riding your bike outdoors will improve overal fitness.

    On the trainer, it can be a little easier to incorporate intervals or focus on certain aspects of your fitness (examples would be strength or cardiovascular fitness). Why? In an outdoor ride, weather and terrain play a huge role. If you are going out for an "easy ride" to put in some base miles, a super windy day can make you work much harder than you had planned. Doing an easy ride while watching your favorite movie is a great way to get a base mileage or recovery workout in. [And, of course, it works the other way too...it can be very convenient to push yourself to do 5 high intensity riding on the trainer, whereas out on the streets you might need to stop for a red light or train in the middle of a high intensity section of your workout.

    Hmm...that's probably more info. than you were looking for. Sorry! Bottom line? Whether it's for cross-training or cycling-specific training, USING an indoor trainer can improve your fitness and performance. The key is USING the trainer...a certain amount of motivation and creativity are helpful to keep the trainer from turning into an expensive bike stand...because riding indoors by yourself can get boring!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,135
    The tires make a **huge** difference and are a lot cheaper than a bicycle :-)

    Of course, riding a bike that takes more work makes you stronger, so that when you get on something more efficient, you FLY!

    And don't forget to work on technique.

 

 

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