increase average bike speed

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.






  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Use the biggest gear you can manage.

    Accept that easy rides do zilch.

    In a race drop down two gears.

  • 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.

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

  • 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,

  • What plan are you using ?
  • 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.



  • 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.   

  • Dave The Ex- Spartan wrote (see)
    What plan are you using ?

    Don Fink competitive plan


  • 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.


  • 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 moreimage

  • 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. 

  • 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 stopingimage

  • 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!




  • My plan above is free.   

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

  • How to increase average speed?

    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  • A 2mph guarantee ? Wow that's Impressive. I'm tempted myself.
  • That's what he says .....

  • Don't ride upgrades. Ride up grades. image

  • I can't remember who stated it,"You don't get fitter, you get faster"  

    I think that when riding you don't notice the fitness improvement over a given loop, say ridden once per month, you still feel tired when finishing, and the climbs still hurt, however you do tend to go a bit quicker each time as the trainingfitness improves.

    My average speed is increading all of the time, the more I train, the fitter and lighter I get and the time improves, but you do need to push yourself

  • 2 approaches i have used were

    Intervals (they are supposed to be hard).

    Volume. esp the long ride. if you are aiming at a sub 6 hr bike then you want to be happy knocking out big rides, and the base period (now, weather allowing)is where you build those up.... these will be easy in the first hour but will get tougher as the time goes on. a 4-5 hr z2 ride gets tough.

    Once you have the volume sorted, throw some IM or half IM effotts into the long ride

    Finally if you are a riding newbie it can take a while for the training to bed in.

    Finally on race day semi closed roads help as there is no real stopping at junctions

  • Thanks for all the replies I am going to start making some changes to the bike plan and see how that goes and poosibly drop a run session to fit in another bike.

  • Jason, thanks for asking the question. If it is any comfort, I am in the same boat. Following the intermediate plan and on the few occasions i have been able to get off the turbo, my speed is probably 4kmph where i want it to be.

    I kid myself that it is due to the hills i am doing, but the fact is quality time spent on the road that will count come July 7th
  • I helped increase my brothers average speed by not letting him coast down hill

    only stop peddling if you're above 35mph .... it's supprising the difference it makes image

  • WW,

    I did this in my ride last week, pedalled all the downhills etc and felt much quicker, even though i wasn't gong to spend less time coasting and more time pedalling, just hope I can keep it up for 112 miles in August

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