increase average bike speed

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24/02/2013 at 21:40

can anybody give me any advice on how i can increase my bike average speed?

I currently ride about 3 times per week, brick session on Wednesday, sufferfest DVD on Thurday and a long ride on Saturday. The 2 Triathlons i did last year i averaged about 15mph.

This is the garmin data from my last 2 long rides if it helps.





24/02/2013 at 21:53

Use the biggest gear you can manage.

Accept that easy rides do zilch.

In a race drop down two gears.

24/02/2013 at 21:57

Not really enough detail in what you are doing now to suggest changes - what are you doing for the brick session, which sufferfest and how are you measuring the intensity?

3 sessions, one long and two higher intensity, should be enough to get you to a reasonable standard if you are making the most of them.   

The only thing that really sticks out from the info you've given is your race speed last year is the same as your long ride speed this year - normally you'd race a lot faster than you'd average on a training ride - so something is going on there.

24/02/2013 at 22:04

Really what i would like to know is what is the best use of my time if i have 3 sessions free per week.

24/02/2013 at 22:06

I am currently training for outlaw. I dont feel the bike workouts on my plan are giving me the best chance of a good time,

24/02/2013 at 22:09
What plan are you using ?
meface    pirate
24/02/2013 at 22:12

There are only a few  things that can limit you. Aerobic capacity, absolute power/strength, endurance/strength, bike handling and to some extent cadence.

What is your limiter?

Bike handling would be poor lines through corners resulting in speed loss etc. Power has to be reapplied to accelerate. Two bikers of equal power output can have different ride times. Think how many corners you can lose speed on, pot holes you can hit, or swerve. It is not the time lost that is the issue it is the power used to reaccelerate that results in slower speeds overall.

Power/Strength - capability to turn a big gear. I can out bike some skinny folk who are much better than me at running. I have big strong legs that let me turn big gears. Gym work will add pure strength

Endurance/Strength - ability to use above for as long as you need. Just plain biking.

Aerobic Capacity - can the heart/lungs meet the demands of the legs. In my case yes easily. Rarely out of breath but legs just won't do any more - my theory is running stresses the heart/lungs more and therefore I am OK on the bike.

Work out your limiter and then seek to improve it. It is probable this can be done by amending bike workouts but may be weights/plyometircs involved if absolute strength.

Big gear workouts, high rpm workouts, intervals all help. It is not just crank out as many miles as you can on the turbo trainer in the time you have. Sometimes you have to use gears you don't want. (I hate everything above 80 RPM and am happiest at 70 RPM - so I do schedule in workouts that try to up RPM - just not very often).

Hope this helps.



24/02/2013 at 22:31

If you have 3 sessions.

Long ride should be longer than you are doing - 3 hours straight through at a good pace or longer.   Don't just up the miles week on week - maybe alternate a 3 hour ride done hard one week with a longer steadier ride the week after - the longer rides you can use to explore new roads - the 3 hour ones should be on fairly flat or rolling quiet roads where you can sustain a constant effort.  If there are local groups doing long rides at a time that suits then join them.

I'd scrap the sufferfest and do a 2*20 session - plenty on the internet about them to look up - I'd do them at an intensity as hard as you can sustain without slacking off over the intervals.  You would really benefit from some measure of speed or power if   doing them on the turbo (and a massive fan) - but when the weather allows try them on the road too.   Do these in your race position - that means tri bars if you race on them - see this as the one bike session you really don't enjoy but has to be done.  No point in doing shorter intervals for a race which is constant effort over 100+ miles.  

For your brick session you could do another 2*20 - but you may find you build too much fatigue with other training on top of the bike stuff - so I'd probably find a rolling loop of maybe 90 minutes - ride it hard but partly on feel - and run off that.

Personally I would steer clear of gym work or big gear work and only work on high cadence if you have a problem with sustaining say 80 odd - not saying these things have no relevance to cycling but the jury is out on them and on 3 bike session a week concentrate on the basics - gym work may help your running though so you might consider it for that.   

24/02/2013 at 22:44
Dave The Ex- Spartan wrote (see)
What plan are you using ?

Don Fink competitive plan


Doner Kebab    pirate
24/02/2013 at 23:08

imo you are way off course for that plan if you are only averaging 15.8mph over a not so hilly 45 miles - your first link, i reckon you should be following the intermediate plan because the workouts that come when peaking for the competitve plan are a very long way off where you are now. Again, imo, Finks plans arent just about the time commitment, whats the point in spending 18 hours a week working your ass off on a program that is written for competitive people who are aiming at sub 12 hour times when you might be better off spending 12 hours a week on a plan thats aiming to improve a mid packer. Mind you i may be very wrong, you might not be a great biker but can run a sub 3 mara and have a sub 1 hour swim, and in that case doing the competitive swim and run bits would make sense and just do the intermediate bike section to up your game.


seren nos    pirate
25/02/2013 at 07:33

fink  only gives times for his long rides.......nothing about speed or intensity.....

I think his bike times are well under timed for all three areas............he gives tarario of swim training to bike training is too close to i add an hour or two at least to every long bike ride..........

but then i'm slow on the bike........I have done 5 or more rides over 4 hours already tghis year for outlaw and Fink doesn't have you anywhere near 4 hours.....

so if you change to the intermediate bike......all you are doing is decreasing the length of time on the bike even more

Iron Pingu    pirate
25/02/2013 at 07:56

For what it's worth, Outlaw is a fast course, I usually average between 15/16mph but did Outlaw last year (in windy conditions) averaging about 18mph. 

seren nos    pirate
25/02/2013 at 08:00

i was thinking yesterday when having to stop start for all the lights in cardiff and newport again that it will be great to do a bike ride with minimal stoping

25/02/2013 at 09:34

I wouldn't normally plug an online coach but I am training for Austria at the minute and getting some help from Simon Ward ('the triathlon coach') on my bike stuff.  He does a '2mph' guarantee increase with his bike plan.  I don't care if it works or not - but the stuff he has me doing feels brill so far. I am following fink and adding in simons stuff in place of some of fink's sessions.


2 sessions I did last week  both 60 min turbo.  1 had  4 reps of 4@ 90-100%MHR (then 4 mins easy)

The other had 6 x   ( 4 min @ 60 rpm 80% MHR and 2 mins easy).


Both these sessions absolutely killed my legs  - felt great.  I think it's going to really help me.


If you sign up to his email updates he is forever offering money of his plans.  Last week everything was half price for his birthday!




25/02/2013 at 10:15

My plan above is free.   

25/02/2013 at 11:15

 (yeah well I think I will be nicking that as well - it all helps )

25/02/2013 at 11:23

How to increase average speed?

"Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

cougie    pirate
25/02/2013 at 11:40
A 2mph guarantee ? Wow that's Impressive. I'm tempted myself.
25/02/2013 at 11:46

That's what he says .....

TheEngineer    pirate
25/02/2013 at 12:08

Don't ride upgrades. Ride up grades. 

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