How to improve my endurance

So I’m still somewhat of a beginner road biker. My last few long rides I have been keeping a pace of about 30-35 km/h nice 'n steady, but I find that between 60 and 70 k I “hit a wall” and just get slower and slower and hurting-er and hurting-er. I’m sure this is probably because I’m still getting used to new rides, and maybe because my bike is steel and heavy with (relatively) fat tires, but at the same time I’m wondering if the more experienced riders have something to point out, technique wise, for longer rides. Eg. I remember reading that lower cadence cycling is difficult to sustain aerobically, so maybe I need to work on staying in a lower gear? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

John,

I am probably not “one of the experienced riders on the team” but I do like to go on longer rides. I think you are right trying to maintain a high cadence. I am usually most comfortable with a cadence of 90 to 105 while it seems easier to maintain a high cadence if I go faster/harder.

Also, I think that you are doing pretty darn well if you keep a 30 to 35km/h average over 60 to 70k going alone; you beat me there.
In order to improve your endurance the best thing is probably to simply go for more long rides. Jon S posted a 90k ride on Tuesday, so why don’t you join us on that one? Hope to see you around!

hey john,
first thing that popped into my head: are you eating anything on these long rides? it would help to replace the fuels you’ve lost throughout the ride. it varies depending on the person, but i’ve heard every hour or so you should be eating something, at least drinking gatorade or whatever. i find that especially around the 60-70k mark it’s important to refuel. either a bar, gel, or banana, or pb and j sandwich (whatever you find works) it’s important to refill! by my calculations you’ve been going for about 2 hours and then you hit a wall. that’s a long time for any endurance sport so make sure you are eating enough to prevent bonking on your rides. also, riding alone is much harder than with other people, so that’s probably why you’re getting tired… no one to share the workload with!

Hey AJ

Maybe my estimates were too high? I remember seeing you ride at tryouts and you were a pretty strong cyclist, I felt, compared to myself. Also I didn’t mean alone, I usu. ride with others

I try using a computer and I know I’m hovering above or just below 30 most often when I look but I don’t trust the average numbers because of all the time stopping, going, and dodging people running abreast that seems to happen on MTL cycling paths. That stuff… shouldn’t count in the average.

Thanks Victoria.

I actually have never tried these “gatorade” type electrolyte drinks. I am curious to see what they’ll do for me!

Completely off topic, but I’ve always found the best way to maintain a steady 35+km/h was to have a nicely uncalibrated computer :wink: .

But yeah: Join us on Tuesday. AJ’ll lead the way, and I’ll happily sit on his wheel the whole time (heh). There’s plenty of room in that guys slipstream for another.

Don’t forget high intensity training, it is very important in improving endurance

another thing that is important, if you are trying to really up your time on the bike comfortably, go out and ride WITH FOOD 3-5 hours nice and easy. My typical weekend ride is in the range of 120-150k, however my average speed is usually around 27-28, this just trains you to get used to being on the bike all day making it so when I race 90k TT its only 2.5hours instead of 5 so feels like a breeze.

I can’t stress enough the importance of eating though. On average even when your cruising you are using up 500-600 Calories/hour. Racing this number is even higher.

Typically your body can only store around 1000 calories before it starts burning into fat stores and this is when people hit the wall. So you really need to eat a lot. Its not uncommon for me to eat more than 1000 calories on a long ride. And this doesn’t have to be powerbars etc. Often I have a pb sandwich and stuff like that

I have only recently started doing long rides as well though my experience so far is pretty much like what everyone else said. FOOD! it’s very important, just as important as water and you really have to figure out how much you need through riding.

Normally the more effort you put the more you will need to eat and drink so keep that in mind when you are doing hills or rolling hills, its not all about distance but more about effort.

On an other note, its good to do long rides because you get used to the saddle and as someone told me “After a while the main just doesnt matter as much”

Though you shouldn’t need to worry about that unless your going for 5+ hours ride.