Staying on track in a well-designed cycling training program can provide numerous health and performance benefits. If you are preparing for a cycling race, then training will most certainly help you achieve a good finish time. Average speed is a parameter cyclists sometimes use to evaluate their progress. However, this can be affected by many different factors, including your route, weather conditions, the surface, and your bike. Nonetheless, there are ways to improve your average speed while training.
Enhance Your Average Speed
Improving your speed even just a little bit can make a huge difference in your finish times. For instance, let's say that your average speed is 17 miles per hour. An increase of just 1 mile per hour can shave around 20 minutes of your time. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by riding with aero bars. It eases the stress placed on your hands, and allow you to change positions throughout your ride.
Another relatively easy way to enhance average speed is by riding in groups. It's natural for us to push harder when we have at least one other person riding by our side. However, they should be at least on your level, if not a little further ahead in their fitness. Otherwise, you will end up slowing yourself down so they can keep up with you.
Interval training is the best way to increase leg speed. It involves cycling for a certain amount of repetitions or for a period of time at higher speeds, followed by recovery periods. The pedaling speed should decrease gradually as you transition from fast to recovery. How long you decide to pedal fast for depends on various factors, including your current level of fitness and how intense your training is. An example however would be to pedal faster for 20 minutes, followed by 10 of minutes of slowing pedaling to recover.
The idea behind interval training is that you can only pedal at a higher intensity for so long, and recovery allows you to regroup mentally and physically for the next interval. Be sure to invest in a accurate cycle computer so you can trust the average speed and other data you are being given.
Increasing your pedaling efficiency also helps improve average time. One way to do this is by going on a slower-pedaling ride once a week or so. The pace should still allow you to have a conversation with someone else. This will of course also be good for just improving overall fitness as well.