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WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
8/21/08 12:24 P

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Great advice so far - I second pretty much all of it!

If you're just starting out I'd just ride as much as you can. The simple act of cycling regularly will get you faster. If you want, sprint whenever you like (if you run, you should have heard of "fartleks") at random intervals - just that dose of speed should help.

Learn how to use your gears too, especially for hills. Oh, and while I'm at it - hill repeats are great for building strength.

I don't stretch before cycling - I hop on and warm up for 10' before doing anything hard. If it's an easy ride I'll spin slowly and gradually build up to a cruising speed. Afterwards I always stretch - calves, quads, ITB, hamstrings, hips. I have a pretty well ingrained stretching routine which covers everything and it feels really weird if I've not done it getting off the bike.

In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


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MYVISTA's Photo MYVISTA Posts: 86
8/21/08 9:03 A

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Hi, Actually I have done intervals, hills, pushing myself against the clock, working out in the gym, reconfiguring my bike, making my bike lighter, changing my gearing and crank length and seat position etc. to improve my speed - and they all work to some degree.

But the biggest changes for me - after and with all those changes - was almost seeming a contradiction. I lost weight by dieting AND then I put panniers on the bike with kitty litter in them. ( started at 10# then worked up to 30#) My speed increased considerably more than with all the other changes combined. So now I keep myself fit ( ok I am a little out of control now but getting back) and do my training with the extra weight on the bike.

THEN when I want to go fast I take the extra weight off the bike and I feel like I have wings - and my speedometer goes nuts!

One Caveat ----- USE LOWER GEARS AND SPIN MORE TO NOT HURT YOUR KNEES and don't increase the weight to quickly!!
Bob

Do, or Do Not.
There is no "TRY"!
....YODA

It is obvious that we cannot use the same thinking to solve a problem that we have been using to cause it.


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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
8/21/08 8:40 A

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Sarah

Like the previous posts indicate time in the saddle will improve your speed. Working out on your lower body will help this as well.

Since mid April I have gone from 14.2 mph avg speed on my rides to 19.4 mph. It does work but you have to be willing to push yourself at times as has been already indicated.

If the route takes you 60 mins for an example make it a goal to finish it in 59 mins and 30 secs. and continue on. Before you know it you will have cut off 5 mins or so in no time.

Jim

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LDJONE2 Posts: 71
8/20/08 9:51 P

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Muscle endurance and aerobic capacity have a lot to do with it, too...

You can work on both of these with intervals as described by MyVista below... Works pretty well.

To be frank and honest, nothing happens right away. You have to keep working at it for a while. Set small challenge goals - if a section of your commuting route is clear with no traffic, etc. start keeping track of how long it takes you. Set a goal that is slightly less time than what you are doing. As your time on this section improves, your overall speed will improve also.

Also - make sure you are eating enough and hydrating enough for the riding you are doing.

and - - have fun!!

 
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MYVISTA's Photo MYVISTA Posts: 86
8/20/08 8:00 P

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Hi, The speed you go is just a function of how much power you can generate. So it's a function of your strength. You can improve your leg strength with leg presses or simply push yourself for parts of the ride to work then back off. It is a kind of interval training. Other than that you can make sure your tires are properly inflated and your bike is in good condition. Big tires are harder to push - so you could put on thinner tires.

Don't worry too much about speed. It will improve if you push a little every so often. As you get stronger your speed will improve.
Stretching is controversal, But I think a little does help to limit your soreness after exercise. Good Luck

Do, or Do Not.
There is no "TRY"!
....YODA

It is obvious that we cannot use the same thinking to solve a problem that we have been using to cause it.


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SARAHGMD Posts: 834
8/20/08 7:44 P

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Hi all,

I'm just starting with Spark, but I've been working on longer rides for a month or so.

I decided I wanted to be able to commute on bike, and can get between work and home in 14.5 miles.

I take classes one night a week and the trip from work to school to home is about 21 miles.

I have a couple questions.

Right now I seem to be stuck at under 10 miles per hour what can I do to improve that?

I haven't really been stretching what stretches are most important after a long ride?

Thanks,
Sarah

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