Road cycling, want to increase my average speed How???
I have been cycling for about 4 months now, i have a GIANT TCR C2 2006 model so the bike is good to go fast. Now i am generally going out on a saturday morning on my own for 50kms to 90km bike rides and i would love to eventually do some racing over this distance. I started with an average speed of 25kms per hour, now i have gone up to 29kms per hour on a 72km bike ride which had some hills and a slight breeze. I am generally riding on my own although sometimes i will tuck behind someone but only for about 5 minutes max so i know it is all by myself.
Tell me how should i train to get speed. I have fitness but am new to the bike and not sure best approach. It gets a bit dangerous where i am at night after work so i got a wind trainer. So i am not sure, when i go out on a saturday should i push hard in spurts or keep it at a constant speed? Should i just be happy to continue to get the kms in the legs and as they develop so to the speed will increase? Will work at a Valadrome help???
Certainly any "healthy" activity will help. The real question is what will produce a faster average speed in the most efficient manner (and also help you maintain the faster speed).
Riding more helps but the real key is intensity. You should be breathing hard most of time (flats and hills) and try never to coast. Record the data you capture from your computer after every ride and enter it into a software program, excel spreadsheet, or even a simple ride log with pen and paper.
Riding faster, and wanting to ride faster, is more of a personality trait then anything. You have to feel amazing accomplishment when you set a new "record" for yourself and feel terrible when you fail to meet your goals. You should have 1 to 3 routes that you like to do and always do the same ride when you compare the speeds. Once a week you should go all out... always keep in mind that the person you are "racing" is your previous self.... you know, that weakling from last month. :) This thought should be with you on ever ride. "Can I climb this hill at just 0.3 kph faster?" or "I think I could do [this] section of the ride just a little faster"
Watch your average speed like a hawk. Compare your time-trial workouts over time and also sum up all the similar rides to see if your average speed trend is indeed increasing. You can also use your overall average speed across a few months to see if that is increasing.
Remember that small gains add up over time.
As for the amount that you ride, it really depends on your age and what you want out of the sport. To increase average speed efficiently, you should probably ride 4-5 times per week but if you are only riding 1x per week now, aim to increase your frequency to 2 rides or maybe 3. Once you get comfortable with that (and can manage the time requirements juggling work, family etc etc) then you can try to increase it just a little more. If you start to ride around 250 hours per year then get Joel Friel's book, "Cyclist's Training Bible" (but you should be riding at least 200-250 hours until the information in the book is useful and beneficial).
Anyway, that's my opinion and basically how I eventually went from a complete beginner to pro cyclist (although I no longer race pro now... doesn't pay the bills as well as my day job :)
Self-competition is the fastest way to improve anything in life I think. Have fun and enjoy it!
Do more uphill cycling and weight training...
try lower gears
Looks like you've made some good progress already. The only way to get better is hard work. Try some occasional sprints worked in with your regular ride and push hard up the hills. Aero bars might add a little speed, but they make the bike faster, not the rider!
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