Just not improving?

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Just not improving?

Postby Tigerbiten » 6 May 2020, 10:29am

I wouldn't worry that much.
10 mph is a good average or a beginner rider, especially if the rides not completely flat.
I was stuck at that speed for years, a 10 mile commute which took me around 1 hour.
I only got faster by changing my riding style slightly.
I used to have a cadence of around 60-70 rpm and I now have a slightly faster cadence of 70-80 rpm.
The slightly faster cadence forced me into using the gears better.
At the start it was hard because I was changing a habit, I had to keep telling myself to keep the pedal pressure light and don't try and grind my way uphill.
But over time I got better at it.
Long grinds uphill are still long grinds uphill but they don't take so much out of my legs now.
So my overall average speed has increased to around 12 mph.
Plus this is for solo rides, group rides are a lot faster.

Luck ......... :D

PT1029
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Re: Just not improving?

Postby PT1029 » 6 May 2020, 11:05am

Agree about cadence, sometimes 1 gear down actually speeds you up. It partially depends if you are a pusher or a spinner (try both is you're not sure) - probably worth checking your saddle position first, as mentioned up thread. I know some who are spinners, some who are pushers.
Also do you use a pressure guage on your tyres/pump? If done by feel (fingers), tyres are often too soft, too soft = feels like treacle/slow.
From what you say, your aversage speed isn't particularly slow. Our club riding speed is typically 12-13 mph. Our average over the whole day (coffee and luch stop) is typically 7 - 8 mph allowing for stops.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Just not improving?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 6 May 2020, 11:26am

If you’re serious about improving, get a heart rate monitor ( at least ) or power meter(s) if possible, and something on which to display the data ( Garmin or similar head unit ). Then ascertain your Functional threshold power, and ride intervals ( a certain amount of time in a certain HR / power zone, varying times in each zone ). Ride up hills a lot, and try to get quicker going up them. However, there’s nothing wrong with your current speeds, cycling’s not all about smashing stuff the entire time. Speed is a pretty rubbish metric by which to judge your performance / performance increases anyway. There are far too many external factors that can influence that. Power is power, effort is effort though.

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531colin
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Re: Just not improving?

Postby 531colin » 6 May 2020, 11:27am

thatsnotmyname wrote:
531colin wrote:I apologise about the wannabee racers.

Try to get the terminology right, Colin. I started racing in the early 90s and retired about 5 years ago, so I'm not a 'wannabe' - I'm a 'has-been' :lol:

Yeah, but you're still riding.
Now that your times are getting slower, your average speed is dropping, and it takes you all day to do what you could once do all day.....
Whats your motivation to keep on riding?
I'll be 73 next month. I'm really slow, next bike is planned to accommodate an electric assist. Fleet Moss is getting tougher every year.
I still love to get out. I love the wind where my hair used to be, I love cresting a rise, I love controlling the bike off-road, or down a long tarmac hill with sweeping bends. I could get all that riding the same circuit every day, but it would be Groundhog day. (Worse than this bloody lockdown)
For me a huge part of the attraction of cycling is getting to different places by my own effort. Its just that to do what used to be a day ride, I now have to drive and park, or have a B&B stop..
I can still ride out to the White Horse at Sutton Bank and look across the Vale of York and try to spot Great Whernside, or Pen Hill in Wensleydale.
I just don't get it when all people talk about is chasing mileages, or average speeds, or whatever number it happens to be; it seems to me like living in a barren, two-dimensional world.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Just not improving?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 6 May 2020, 11:39am

Hi,
531colin, no need to apologise whatsoever.
Your last post is everything we want to be doing for sure.
My post is just another side of the coin another opinion.
At heart were all wannabe races really :)
And we can all dream a bit can't we.
The OP is still very young and will be very capable I am sure.

We just need to hear back from them now.

Edited -
Hopefully we haven't scared them off, they are a new poster.
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thatsnotmyname
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Re: Just not improving?

Postby thatsnotmyname » 6 May 2020, 1:43pm

531colin wrote:Yeah, but you're still riding.
Now that your times are getting slower, your average speed is dropping, and it takes you all day to do what you could once do all day.....
Whats your motivation to keep on riding?
I'll be 73 next month. I'm really slow, next bike is planned to accommodate an electric assist. Fleet Moss is getting tougher every year.
I still love to get out. I love the wind where my hair used to be, I love cresting a rise, I love controlling the bike off-road, or down a long tarmac hill with sweeping bends. I could get all that riding the same circuit every day, but it would be Groundhog day. (Worse than this bloody lockdown)
For me a huge part of the attraction of cycling is getting to different places by my own effort. Its just that to do what used to be a day ride, I now have to drive and park, or have a B&B stop..
I can still ride out to the White Horse at Sutton Bank and look across the Vale of York and try to spot Great Whernside, or Pen Hill in Wensleydale.
I just don't get it when all people talk about is chasing mileages, or average speeds, or whatever number it happens to be; it seems to me like living in a barren, two-dimensional world.


I see where you're coming from, and as for why I'm still riding - just for the enjoyment and exercise, like most others I guess. But that shouldn't preclude anyone who wants to, from improving performance and cycling competitively if that's how they want to spend their time while on a bike. It's pretty much all I used to focus on when I was racing. I don't race or ride hard anymore, but I also don't begrudge anyone else wanting to. Not saying that's what you're doing mind, but there's plenty of room on here for everyone, I hope.

simonhill
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Re: Just not improving?

Postby simonhill » 6 May 2020, 4:18pm

I'd be interested to know how you are measuring these things? Do you have a speed, distance and time measuring device?

If not, I would think about a basic speedo. These are called computers nowadays, and even the basic ones (£10-30) show current speed and also record max speed, average, total distance and time cycled, etc. Your 32 miles - was it really 32 miles. Your time, recorded - by watch? which included breaks. Sorry, but all these are prone to error. A 10 minute tea stop may actually be 25, etc, etc.

Apologies if you are toting a state of the art device and are working to metres and seconds.

reohn2
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Re: Just not improving?

Postby reohn2 » 6 May 2020, 4:23pm

531colin wrote:.
..........I just don't get it when all people talk about is chasing mileages, or average speeds, or whatever number it happens to be; it seems to me like living in a barren, two-dimensional world.

Nail,head,on!

That said if that's what strums their strings so be it.
It's their problem/dream,I love riding the bike eve if I'm 6kgs over weight and grovelling up climbs I used to dance up :D but the wildlife and scenery is a dimension number crunchers are sadly missing IMO.
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

MegGoesRiding
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Re: Just not improving?

Postby MegGoesRiding » 6 May 2020, 4:43pm

Wow thank you for all those replies! Sorry I'm at work at the minute so haven't had chance to reply but I haven't been scared off!

I'm happy to do a bit of both. I do think I am beating myself up about speed and things when I could just be enjoying the ride, but it is more difficult to enjoy when I can barely breath!

Feeling my tires this morning they are on a flatter side so I think this could have been a problem on the weekend but i am actually getting it serviced tomorrow so I might ask someone in the shop to get fitted and they can suggest in person whether the seat could do with riding. I have wondered if my position is wrong because I always struggle with upper back pain when riding long distances but just put it down to lack of strength/practice.

In terms of monitoring I have a fitbit which I could use, or purely just strava? I am not massively keen on getting a monitor that fits around the chest because I have used one in the past and the way it pressed on my diaphragm made me want to vomit, especially at high intensity, it really restricted my breathing.

I think I will try improving somewhat but also not put as much pressure on myself becuase what is the point, I'm not Froome!

simonhill
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Re: Just not improving?

Postby simonhill » 6 May 2020, 6:37pm

I was thinking of something simple like these - the analogue wired or wireless ones. Your bike shop could fit tomorrow when you have it serviced. No part makes contact with your body.

https://www.cateye.com/intl/products/computers/

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Just not improving?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 6 May 2020, 6:52pm

Hi,
The chest strap for your monitor et cetera goes around your rib cage.
If it's causing you problems I can't imagine where it is or how tight it would be?
Sounds like you need to sort out basic problems with your bike first.
If you're cycling with other people then they will probably be best people to ask for advice on your bike and getting fitter.
When I took up running I joined up with a workmate and we would run in the lunch hour.
A nasty trick we would play sometimes would be to set off before the other one had got changed.
The problem with that is you didn't know which way round the course he was going.
We used to work off each other one day you wouldn't feel so good the other would, so on a bad day you just have to keep up and grin and bear it.
You said you want to see an improvement, Is this to keep up or To meet some goal, or just personal satisfaction/improve fitness?
My best performance at running was attempting to keep up with someone I knew who was better.
In the end I beat him to the line, But I would not of done it without him of course.
Cycling in a group this is a way of improving performance, you force yourself to keep up.

There is no gain without pain, but only you can decide where you want to be.
Good luck.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Just not improving?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 6 May 2020, 6:59pm

Hi,
simonhill wrote:I was thinking of something simple like these - the analogue wired or wireless ones. Your bike shop could fit tomorrow when you have it serviced. No part makes contact with your body.

https://www.cateye.com/intl/products/computers/

an alternative to using a chest strap, is to use a software driven type of program, e.g. satnav/mobile phone.
Of course anything which ties actual speed of bike (wheel sensor) To the program will be more accurate.
In the olden days you would simply time yourself to and from work et cetera, add the mileage Via a basic cycle computer, even average moving speed is a very good place to start.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
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Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

whoof
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Re: Just not improving?

Postby whoof » 6 May 2020, 9:21pm

As per your post title and what you have written my understanding is that you would like to be able to ride your bike faster and find it easier to ride up hills.

I understand that you may have some issues regarding bike set up which you are following up on. Not surprisingly increasing your fitness may also assist you with riding faster. Improvements in fitness come as a result of some stress on the body, followed by rest and should be progressive. It does not preclude you from enjoying riding your bike actually it can make it more enjoyable. However stress doesn't mean having to go out on a ride and spend the whole time murdering yourself and rest doesn't mean sitting on the sofa.

I would suggest that a couple of times a week (assuming a Mon-Fri week Tuesday's and Thursdays would be good as they allow recovery between each and the weekend) on the way home from work after you have ridden a couple of miles starting slow and then building up to a steady pace then ride for about 4 minutes at a high pace. If you have some form of measurement for this that's fine if not; slow you could sing, steady you can talk to someone but certainly not sing, hard not able to talk to someone. Back to steady for two minutes and then hard for another four. Do this three or four times and a nice easy pace for the rest of the ride. On a ride its a total of 16 minutes hard riding. On the other commutes and to work ride at a pace that you find easy this is recovery but active recovery. On your hard sections try to mix it up a bit so some efforts are on the flat others include hills. Try and choose a hill that isn't too steep ride the first bit as If it feels a easy and then speed up from a point you can note and pick up the pace. The aim should be to ride over and not up the hill slowing at the top. So first time be conservative, go slowly from the bottom and pick a spot quite far up before picking up the pace. If that goes OK next time start a little further down the hill, each week choosing a point a little further down.

If your weekend ride is currently 30 miles choose somewhere about 20 miles away to ride to. A nice cafe, beauty spot or friend/relative. Clearly not in the present situation. Ride at a pace you can comfortably sustain. Enjoy the ride, enjoy the stop and then have a nice ride home. If it goes OK then next week a little further. There will of course be an upper limit as to how far you are happy to ride.
Every 5-6 weeks have an easy week cutting back on effort and distance.

Enjoy your riding. None of what I have said above will turn you into a racing cyclist. But carrying out some form of structured training can be very enjoyable. If you try it and find it's not you can always stop you are not making some form of
Faustian contract.

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531colin
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Re: Just not improving?

Postby 531colin » 7 May 2020, 1:32pm

^^^^^^^WOT HE SAID!!! ^^^^
Most of the time, ride easily within your comfort zone.
A couple of times on the way home, push it for a couple of minutes.
No chest strap/wires/gizmos/suffering necessary, but if you get out of your comfort zone sometimes, you will get fitter, quicker, than if you stay in your comfort zone all the time.
But first, lets try to get you sitting comfortably and efficiently on your bike.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Just not improving?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 7 May 2020, 7:07pm

Hi,
Define "push it"?
and for how long/proportionally to the length of ride.
I would just like to point out I do not look at my heart rate when I'm on the bike only study it after I have finished.
So there is no carrot for me to chase, my pace or exertion level I set all on my own.
but I suppose it's relatively easy for me coming from my background, no money no shiny new bike in my childhood till I left school and went to work.
Several years at school doing a paper round for 364 days a year with minimum protective clothing.
Leaving the bare minimum time to get to work, meant that you are all ways pushing it.
Today I just think of what I want to achieve, and then I hold that in my mind when I'm training, that's the carrot I suppose, the reward comes on the good days when you return a good performance.

I think the only way you can in-still that into someone Without beating them with a stick is to ask them what they want to achieve, some good advice on how to achieve it which can come in many forms from many people, and then it's up to the individual on how much they want it?
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.