I am a complete cycling newbie and am pretty darn slow. I don't mind not being the fastest one out there but when other triathletes complain about being slow and they are averaging 17-18 mph I know I have a problem. Most of my rides lately have been between 13-15 mph. I really enjoy cycling so I don't notice that I am going slowly but I also want to put up a respectable time at my upcoming triathlon.
So far this year all of my rides have been about increasing mileage. Most of my rides have been between 18-24 miles, with one 42 mile ride. Now that I have proved to myself that I can successfully complete the distance, I want to work on doing it faster.
Today the plan was to do 18 miles. My legs felt pretty tired from the start but I wanted to see what I could do. I kept the pace steady and moderate for the first half of the ride and then did 60-120 second pickups throughout the second half. My overall pace on the ride was just under 14 mph but I was pushing 17-18 mph during the pickups. By the end of the ride my legs were pretty shot, but in an oh so good way.
I am not sure why, but I don't feel much pressure to be a fast cyclist. I do for running but with cycling I feel as though I could be going 5 mph and it wouldn't matter. And even though I don't feel any pressure, I would still like to be able to pull times that I am proud of and will make me competitive.
My boyfriend is a cyclist and does century rides so I turned to him for help on getting faster. He suggested that I do workouts exactly like the one I did today except with even more sprinting during the ride. He also said that he noticed a big increase in power and speed after he started strength training.
Any other suggestions for getting faster on the bike?