Recent Bike Activity

Saturday, June 2, 2012

It's all about the Saddle Time

In the interest of science, I set out to examine the ubiquitous biking guidance that one needs 10 hours of week of riding to really become faster and stronger.  OK, I didn't really set out to prove to prove anything, but in a year of riding I think I have proven that three to four hours per week does not make one either faster or stronger, and when I compare my times to a previous time of relatively intense riding (seven to eight hours per week), I demonstrate that, just as expected, improved times come from more saddle time.

Numerous websites recommend 10 hours per week of training in order for the average individual to improve in fitness.

Using Strava, I recently downloaded the data on two of my most frequent ride over the last few uphill 1.5 mile Cat 3 trail called Space Mountain, and a 1.4 mile descent called Rosewood.  I chart my average miles per hour on each ride below.  I also chart my speeds from rides back in 2008 recorded on my Garmin GPS when I was training for a Century on a road bike.  Those times are shown as the green line, with the dates shown not consistent with the actual dates.

Improving Downhills, but Uphill Speed Stays Stagnant Compared to 2008 Century Training

 In looking at the data, I maintained stagnant times on the uphills on Space Mountain, while improving my downhill times.  Meanwhile, examining the century training times, I made very dramatic improvements in speed over the five month period I was riding with more intensity.

Again, riding time over the past year...3-4 hours per week.  Riding time when preparing for the century...7-8 hours per week.  Obviously, time in the saddle is the difference.

Next blog posting...I change up the goals!

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