8 tips to increase average cycling speed
Increasing the average speed of your bike rides? It seems like a trivial question with equally trivial answers, but it really isn’t. Obviously, much is dictated by training: we’d be liars if we told you otherwise. But there are some tips that go beyond physical dexterity, and these you can take into account. Here are 8 tips that will surely help you to increase average cycling speed a little on your outings.
1. The right goals
Try to push the limits, but don’t overdo it. Whoever your partner is, it’s best to agree on the route first, so that it’s feasible.
The secret is to pedal without thinking too much: set yourself short-term goals and keep an eye on these (the climb, a few specific kilometres…) instead of the final distance. And don’t look too closely at the miles or the drop you’re going to make.
2. The right company
Knowing your own and your riding partner’s strengths and weaknesses and sharing your understanding of cycling are two fundamental things.
Then, a partner who is too slow or too fast could cause the harmony, which is fundamental, to be lost. This is not to say that you shouldn’t go out with those who are going faster or slower, but if the goal of the day is the final average speed, it is better to have the right company.
You can go out on your own if you want, but keeping a high average without anyone’s help is complicated even from a mental point of view. The ideal combination? 2/3 of the people with similar objectives.
3. The half wheel
Do you know that habit that less experienced fans in particular have, of being ahead of their training partner while advancing in pairs, advancing by half a wheel, forcing the other to increase the pace to reach him? Annoying, huh?
But that’s not all. Doing this can cause energy drops because, in order to keep up the pace and balance this half wheel, the pace is increased until you lose control of the situation and cause high wear and tear.
4. About RPM
If you want to maintain a good average, you have to be consistent. Avoiding changes of pace.
For this reason, too, it is necessary to choose the right partners and avoid those who are moaners and/or cannot keep up.
Moreover, it is a proven fact that on climbs (especially long ones) a constant or progressive pace to the end is much better than an intermittent pace with continuous accelerations.
Too long a break could be counterproductive, both because mental stimulation is lost, and because getting cold and warming up again is harmful to the legs and head. It is much better to make several stops, but short, maximum about 10-15 minutes.
To ride steadily, it is essential to “have a full tank“. This means eating regularly, even if you’re not hungry.
It is also applied to water during the winter season: dehydration produces fatigue and less lucidity, which results in a lower speed.
7. The right days and times
You can’t leave at 7 a.m. for a long trip in winter and at 12 noon in summer. The hours of the day have a great influence on the cyclist’s performance because with the right temperatures the body works better.
It is also important to consider the day: if it rains or is too hot or if we simply don’t feel fit, it will be quite difficult to finish the long ride comfortably… let alone maintain a good average speed.
Always riding is not nice, and it is not worth it even if the goal is to increase the average speed. It is much better, and more efficient, to share the task of pulling the group. Playing with the sections, fighting with the wind and helping each other between the members of the group will be much more stimulating and fun. Doing this will make the time go faster and also increase the pace of the group.
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