Faster, faster, faster. That’s the name of the game for many of us cyclists. If you are no longer seeing improvements in your speed, you might be making one these mistakes. Check out some of the most common mistakes and Bicycling‘s guide to fixing them.
You “ride lots.”
More miles doesn’t always equal speed. Starting out, any miles will make you faster because you’re getting fitter. But once you’ve reached a certain point, piling on the miles is just that—piling on the miles. To go faster you need to train your top end and boost your threshold so you can sustain higher speeds, according to Bicycling.
Fix: Do speed work once or twice a week. Bicycling suggests mixing up eye-poppingly hard short intervals like Tabatas (20 seconds full gas, 10 seconds rest, 8 times; 2 to 3 sets) with longer tempo intervals (10 to 20 minutes at about 75 to 85 percent max heart rate, 5 minutes recovery, 2 to 3 sets).
You blow off your core.
Core training should be like pumping your tires, something you do several times a week to keep from getting flat! Because when your core gets weak, you lose power transfer from your upper body to your lower body. That makes you less stable in the saddle, and you can’t push maximum power into your pedals to go fast.
Fix: If core is a bore, switch it up! Try new, different exercises. Check out these core exercises from Bicycling.
You don’t respect your rest.
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: rest is so important! Your muscles can never truly repair unless you give them time to get used to the stress they are under. Without rest, you are denying your body time to adapt to the stress.
Fix: As a rule of thumb, make your easy rides as easy as your hard rides are hard. If that’s a struggle, spend your easy days off the bike and work your core (see above) instead.