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Why does my performance suck?

Old 04-09-11, 03:49 PM
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tbonez
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Why does my performance suck?

I've been on the trainer all winter and have been putting 20 or so miles on the bike a day...Today I did an approximatly 30 mile charity ride. I went with one strong tri rider and two guys that haven't ridden in a year. We averaged 17mph with no stops. I was pretty much at the back of the pack the entire day and felt like I was hammering it the whole time.

I understand getting smoked by the tri guy because he trains hard and has a coach. I don't understand how I am getting smoked by the other two who haven't put their leg over a bike. Yes I know I suck but this is frustrating..any advice?
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Old 04-09-11, 03:53 PM
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What kind of workouts did you do on the trainer?
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Old 04-09-11, 03:54 PM
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Sufferfest mostly but some coach Troy....Is 17mph average dog slow over 30 miles or something?
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Old 04-09-11, 03:55 PM
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Pretty simple, riding the trainer isn't the same as riding on the road. No matter how realistic you make it amnd how good your trainer is, the road's always going to be tougher. Don't worry about comparing yourself to others until you line up for that first crit or road race. Just keep riding and try to keep riding a bit farther and faster each time. Eventually you'll be putting the other guys in major pain.
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Old 04-09-11, 03:57 PM
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What is your past riding history? Were you doing intervals on the trainer, or just spinning along at minimum effort? For the 20 miles rides what is your average speed? Dehydrated, sick, not eating right recently?
I have met a lot of people who have decided to get in shape and spent the winter in the gym on a spin-bike. Different world out on the road and they get frustrated when they see what they can really do. If you are just starting out, it can take a long time to build up the endurance needed for this sport. Try and ride with them more often and the speed and power will happen.
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Old 04-09-11, 04:02 PM
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I started about 9 months ago. I was putting 120 to a 150 miles a week at the end of summer. When winter came I started doing an hournon the trainer a night and really pushing it. For the last month I have been putting about 100 to 120 a week doing intervals and doing hrm rides with the hr at 170 to 175 on the road...thanks for the advice so far guys.
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Old 04-09-11, 04:22 PM
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Just so as I get this correct; You have been riding 9 months,
last summer you were putting 120-150 miles a week,
you went to the indoor trainer for about 20 a week,!!!


And you go on your first ride of the year and expect to kill it?
REALLY**********?

Hmmm.....

Get out there and ride your bike! The indoor trainer is NOT the same!
You will improve your overall fitness quicker this year than you did last year.
BUT!!!
You need to lower your expectations, at least this early in the season!
9 months is not enough time in the saddle to know your fitness levels!
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Old 04-09-11, 04:28 PM
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9 months isn't long. I'll be at 2 years in July, still feel very much like a beginner, and I hope I still have a lot of room for improvement. I've heard that progression varies greatly by person, but it seems that 3 years is pretty average to get a lot of the physiological changes in place.

That said, I started to see pretty dramatic improvments after 9 months, but I also started training with a power meter around that time.

This year, the biggest change I've noticed is my ability to recover quickly during a ride. I used to be 'done' after a hard effort, now I'm ready for more after backing off or sitting in for a couple minutes.

When I started out, averaging 16.5 mph was pretty good for me. Withing 9 months, 18 was reasonable. I can average over 20 now, but mph isn't really a good metric unless you are doing TT's. You'll quickly learn that a 20mph group ride can be much, much harder than a 22mph ride, it just depends on who is pushing the pace and when.

One thing you need in cycling is patience. Genetics are also good. You might try reading Joe Friel's "Training Bible". It's really written for a racer in mind, but you can learn a lot about the physiology of cycling if you are into that sort of thing.
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Old 04-09-11, 04:31 PM
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I can average almost 20mph on a trainer but can barely average 15 on the road. I think it's pretty normal.
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Old 04-09-11, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by twobadfish View Post
I can average almost 20mph on a trainer but can barely average 15 on the road. I think it's pretty normal.
pretty sure you only go 0 mph on a trainer
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Old 04-09-11, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Val23708 View Post
pretty sure you only go 0 mph on a trainer
lulz
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Old 04-09-11, 04:44 PM
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Riding every day at the same pace isn't enough. You need to read up on training as a cyclist, like someone said above, I would grab Friel's book. You need to alternate between easy and hard days, and do certain intervals at certain times in the year in order to make your body make the most use out of them.

Training on the trainer is enough to keep the body in good shape, but unless you were doing some seriously intense training, it's just not the same as the real world. Just build a solid base of mileage on the road the next month or so and then start incorporating some intervals and your body will come around.
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Old 04-09-11, 04:44 PM
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Have a look at the Garmin thread to get an idea about averages, etc, but keep in mind that those guys are really fast, and are oftentimes showcasing their abilities. Some people (like myself) just post our rides so other people can get a baseline of what the normal, non-supermen do. I've been riding about a year too, and our moving average was in the 16s today. Depends on if you're riding flats, rollers, or hills/mountains. I also used the sufferfest videos a lot while on the trainer this winter, and thought they were tough workouts. It's all relative. It's as tough as you make it.
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Old 04-09-11, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by tbonez View Post
I started about 9 months ago. I was putting 120 to a 150 miles a week at the end of summer. When winter came I started doing an hournon the trainer a night and really pushing it. For the last month I have been putting about 100 to 120 a week doing intervals and doing hrm rides with the hr at 170 to 175 on the road...thanks for the advice so far guys.
Here's a simple recipe for a newer rider to improve his performance. Monday, hill repeats. Tuesday, recovery. Wednesday, group ride with faster riders. Thursday, recovery. Friday, hill repeats. Saturday, distance ride of 50+ miles at a moderate pace for endurance. Sunday, recovery. You can mix these around to fit schedules, but you need recovery after hard efforts. Recovery can be an easy ride in the small chain ring or a day off. If you do this, you will improve. For hill repeats, find a challenging hill and ride up it for five to seven minutes, then down and repeat immediately three or four times. Then rest for a few minutes and do it again. Rest again, and try another cluster. If you like the structure and training, you can look into Friel's Cyclists Training Bible and learn about periodized training.
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Old 04-09-11, 05:48 PM
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Halfspeed gave good advice. Trainers do not simulate road riding and the effects of wind resistance. Have you had any rest from the riding in the last 2 weeks? It's OK to go hard, but you need to have some light days too.

Last edited by mvnsnd; 04-10-11 at 06:59 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-09-11, 06:20 PM
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Your turning your feet to slow....
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Old 04-09-11, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by WHOOOSSHHH... View Post
Your turning your feet to slow....

You know that besides all the reasons above, it comes down to THIS!

Pedal faster!

Where is umd when we need him.
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Old 04-09-11, 06:55 PM
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The two guys who have't ridden in a year are not telling the truth. Claiming how little one is riding is a favorite past time of cyclists.
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Old 04-09-11, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by sdgrannygear View Post
The two guys who have't ridden in a year are not telling the truth. Claiming how little one is riding is a favorite past time of cyclists.
+1 on this. 2 things I hear constantly at the beginning of group rides:

1. I haven't been riding at all, really out of shape, been sick, injured, etc.

2. I rode really hard (this week, yesterday, etc.) and my legs are shot, I'll be doing well to hang on today

These are both big red flags that someone that is about to kick your butt.
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Old 04-09-11, 07:05 PM
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I started riding with a Tuesday-Thursday ride and those guys are mostly faster than I am. Well, that's okay. But this last time, I was talking to one of them, and turns out, he's hurting, too! It's not just me!

Anyway, 17 mph is faster than I normally average, and I got in about 8,000 actual road miles last year. So I'd say you're doing fine and just riding with the wrong guys. Go ride with some slower people and you'll get the warm fuzzies and be good.

If someone hasn't ridden any but is still an athletic person, it wouldn't surprise me if they could outride me, either.
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Old 04-09-11, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
Here's a simple recipe for a newer rider to improve his performance. Monday, hill repeats. Tuesday, recovery. Wednesday, group ride with faster riders. Thursday, recovery. Friday, hill repeats. Saturday, distance ride of 50+ miles at a moderate pace for endurance. Sunday, recovery. You can mix these around to fit schedules, but you need recovery after hard efforts. Recovery can be an easy ride in the small chain ring or a day off. If you do this, you will improve. For hill repeats, find a challenging hill and ride up it for five to seven minutes, then down and repeat immediately three or four times. Then rest for a few minutes and do it again. Rest again, and try another cluster. If you like the structure and training, you can look into Friel's Cyclists Training Bible and learn about periodized training.
I am saving this for my own improvement. I didn't ride all winter, and only had from Aug. to Nov. of last year to ride. I have a basic starting point, and need to improve it. Anyways, a couple of questions on your advice...

1. Would a 2-5 mile area of rolling hills be a good start to do the hill training? Or would an area like where I live which has a ton of hills, and some flats be good for this? ( I can go about 20-30 miles with only stretches of a mile or so that is flat)

2. Should I keep them in this order, or can I mix it up?
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Old 04-09-11, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Sinister View Post
I am saving this for my own improvement. I didn't ride all winter, and only had from Aug. to Nov. of last year to ride. I have a basic starting point, and need to improve it. Anyways, a couple of questions on your advice...

1. Would a 2-5 mile area of rolling hills be a good start to do the hill training? Or would an area like where I live which has a ton of hills, and some flats be good for this? ( I can go about 20-30 miles with only stretches of a mile or so that is flat)

2. Should I keep them in this order, or can I mix it up?
pretty sure the general advice is mix up painful rides with rest days. if it doesn't hurt then you arn't going hard enough
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Old 04-09-11, 07:48 PM
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I make sure almost all rides by myself hurt my legs. Problem is I tend to go into a recovery mode when I feel it. I need to learn to stay in this hurt mode for a little longer. I tend to feel the pain, relax a little, feel the pain, relax a little, and it goes on and on...

Also I need to drink more water before a ride too, I did get real thirsty real fast today.
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Old 04-09-11, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Sinister View Post
I am saving this for my own improvement. I didn't ride all winter, and only had from Aug. to Nov. of last year to ride. I have a basic starting point, and need to improve it. Anyways, a couple of questions on your advice...

1. Would a 2-5 mile area of rolling hills be a good start to do the hill training? Or would an area like where I live which has a ton of hills, and some flats be good for this? ( I can go about 20-30 miles with only stretches of a mile or so that is flat)

2. Should I keep them in this order, or can I mix it up?
1. I think you're better off with one hill you can spend 5-7 minutes climbing and then coasting down. Consistent on/off efforts are key.
2. You can mix things up, but you want recovery days between hard efforts. If you do multiple hard days in a row, you don't get the most from either your hard efforts or recovery days.
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Old 04-09-11, 07:56 PM
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tbonez and Mr. Sinister - halfspeed gives a good thumbnail sketch of one way to train. Joe Friel's Cyclist Training Bible is pretty much the standard reference.

Friel's books are targeted pretty much exclusively toward racers. If you don't want to race, but want to go faster and longer, one good source for training for that goal is Chris Carmichael's Time-Crunched Training Program. It assumes you have 6-8 hours/week to train, and has separate programs for racers and for other folks (like me). He does a good job of explaining the how and why of training, and of the different kinds of intervals you'll do. The training plans are much simpler than Friel's; even if you want to get into more advanced/complicated training plans, Carmichael's book makes the more complicated plans easier to understand.

A thumbnail sketch of how he does it is pretty similar to what halfspeed wrote above. You usually have two interval sessions during the week and another one on Saturday, with Sunday being an endurance-pace ride. The plan runs in a cycle of about ten weeks; you take a month or so off of structured training and do it over. It ain't easy - I kicked my own butt on this morning's interval session - but it's relatively simple. Oh, yeah, and it works, too.
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