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Avearge bike speed - help!

I've had a road bike since Feb. Nothing flash, just a Giant OCR3. I live on the Isle of Wight, famed for it's rolling hills, bad roads and worse drivers.. I don't get out too much on the bike, maybe 1-2 times a week, but I try for at least a 2 hour ride on Sundays. I average 16-18 mph dependent on wind/rain/hangover.

For comparison: I'm 33, I swim 600m in 11.20ish and can run 10k in 44ish.

Has anyone any advice how I might build up my average speed?

Mat

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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Do you mean your average bike speed? I don't think 16-18mph for 2 hours is not too bad at all considering you haven't had your road bike for long. To be honest at this stage it is all about the miles. You could start doing intervals etc. and yes these will help, but in the long run the miles you get under your belt will do you more good. The cost of interval training is the recovery needed.
    I used to be a bit like you, I wasn't bad at the shorter stuff but I no endurance, I used to take forever to recover after hard bike sessions. I changed this by going out on the bike, a lot! I currently go out on the bike every day, I do 3 hard workouts a week and typically 4 easy ones where I will go out for 1.30-2 hours. These easy sessions in between the hard workouts have been the best addition to my training.
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    diddsdidds Posts: 655
    advice I've received has been along the lines of ride often and ride long to build endurance.

    find a better cyclist who will pull you, and learn to sit on his/her rear wheel - it will get you cycling faster. It really works too!

    undergearing builds cadence speed, overgearing build endurance/muscle. But get the endurance in first otherwsie you'll just injure yourself.

    good luck

    didds
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    risris Posts: 1,002
    16-18 ave over a couple of hours sounds pretty decent to me!

    as others have said it is about doing more cycling. get the miles down and you should see the ave creep up. you can do intervals and drills though which can help build strength and get the body used to pushing harder. i do short sprint ones in my commute so i can fit them into the traffic flow.

    there have been other threads where people have recommended their sets - i think there was a 5mins hard, 4mins rest, 6 hard, 3rest, 7hard 2 rest etc. it was recent enough the search should pick it up.

    now if you could supply the secret of a 44min 10k in return...
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    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    That's not too bad a speed. Especially as you are not doing it under racing conditions. And I bet you are not doing an out and back route (i.e. you're not cancelling out head wind effects).

    Do you have a heart rate monitor? Are you getting into the a racing sort of zone? Do you have a computer - something that will tell you cadence as well as speed.

    Having something that measures cadence is very very useful - and not expensive.

    - Pick a route - something that takes about 30 min. Try to cycle it at a fixed cadence of, say, 90 rpm. Note the gears that you have used at each stage. Take the time. Then try it again, a couple of days later, using higher gears at every stage - at the same cadence. And see how you improve. This is as much a mental exercise as a physical one (although it ought to start hurting) - you should have a simple goal to work at - it will help you to understand how to squeeze out the extra speed - and what it feels like. This is at a microlevel - i.e. far easier to understand/do than, say, trying to knock 5 mins of an overall time, or push up average speed by 2 mph. Don't let the cadence drop (it's better to change down a gear). Of course, if you are in the top gear all the time, then you need to get something bigger at the front!. Repeat if you like it! Watch out for changes in wind, as this will affect things terribly.

    - Find a 10 mile TT to do (might have to venture to the mainland!). Use that as a benchmark. Aim for breaking 30 minutes! (20 mph).
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