Average Speeds

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Charlie Potatoes
Posts: 1692
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 18:21 pm

Re: Average Speeds

Postby Charlie Potatoes » Mon Nov 12, 2012 05:33 am

Simon Masterson wrote:It is, but it is a very easy number to quote; it carries more weight than the time in which you finished the ride, which is where the whole silly contest comes from. The difference between that and time is that it's harder - with only the time in which you finished the ride - to read further; it is what it is. Average speed on the other hand corresponds much more closely to what you're doing at the time, and of course you can have that number in front of you if you so desire. Whereas I can consider the time I did a ride in to be just a number, my average speed can easily be a distraction; it's much more important to focus on tough sections. The bottom line is that getting hung up on average speed isn't actually all that useful, and as I said in an earlier post, it accounts poorly for the highs and lows that merit your attention.


I think that a beginner is better served by just checking on the basics like average speed, distance and weekly mileage.
Increasing mileage and improving average speed are two things that helped keep my motivation in the first months.

I do take the point on focusing on tough sections but this came later for me.
Still very much work in progress :oops:

Strava is a good way of focusing on tougher sections. It's a good motivator when you move a few places up the leader board on a segment.

Just my view of course :)
"You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul

Pigtail
Posts: 419
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 08:08 am

Re: Average Speeds

Postby Pigtail » Tue Nov 13, 2012 20:18 pm

Simon Masterson wrote:
Pigtail wrote:but over time it's a great measure of your own improvement.


Except that it's not, unless you're measuring your performance on specific runs in similar conditions. You could complete a tough climb somewhat faster or slower (etc) and your average speed is likely to reflect it poorly. Using average speed to measure your progress is like summing up your entire day in a single sentence; it's superficial at best and useless at worst.


You're really not seeing the bigger picture. I'm not looking at an average on every ride on its own. I'm logging all my miles, over the past 18 months or so. I've got an average each month for instance and can compare it with the same month last year. I can pull out an average for each bike, an average for my commute, an average for individual routes.

That's far more meaningful for overall performance than your time up a hill!

Teisetrotter
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 14:14 pm

Re: Average Speeds

Postby Teisetrotter » Tue Nov 13, 2012 20:38 pm

If I feel like killing myself I ride quick, if I feel like a nice pedal through the lanes i ride slower. But watching our autumns, which over the last few years have been stunning, is the most important thing at present.

Because the wheels on the bike go round and round, round and round, all day long.

You ride more you get quicker ....... you get older you get slower.

Simon Masterson
Posts: 2488
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 15:52 pm

Re: Average Speeds

Postby Simon Masterson » Tue Nov 13, 2012 21:25 pm

Pigtail wrote:
Simon Masterson wrote:
Pigtail wrote:but over time it's a great measure of your own improvement.


Except that it's not, unless you're measuring your performance on specific runs in similar conditions. You could complete a tough climb somewhat faster or slower (etc) and your average speed is likely to reflect it poorly. Using average speed to measure your progress is like summing up your entire day in a single sentence; it's superficial at best and useless at worst.


You're really not seeing the bigger picture. I'm not looking at an average on every ride on its own. I'm logging all my miles, over the past 18 months or so. I've got an average each month for instance and can compare it with the same month last year. I can pull out an average for each bike, an average for my commute, an average for individual routes.

That's far more meaningful for overall performance than your time up a hill!


That's just it: I am looking at the bigger picture, which is why I disregard average speed.

I'm hoping that Rolf F might come in here with his graph of average speeds on multiple bikes; it's very insightful.

Average speed tells you next to nothing. Even if you log your average speed on a regular commute every day for a year, all you are left with is numbers unless you record the weather conditions, traffic, how you were feeling, bike problems, the bike you were using, luggage, how well you coped with particular sections, etc etc etc, and even then it won't tell you much. It doesn't tell you anything about the highs and lows and why they were high or low, which is what will make you improve. If you were to lay out your hill climbing times and the speeds you can sustain at different levels of effort on flat roads, etc etc etc, average speed would be completely irrelevant. Not to mention that if you're serious about training then you'll be riding at different tempos and using intervals (with or without HRM), and that will do nothing for your average speed.

Whereas I know that I could climb a certain steep hill near to where I live at around 15mph (not average) about 4 months ago before a summer of (not of my volition) non-cycling, whereas now it's more like 12-13. That tells me a great deal. :lol:

Pigtail
Posts: 419
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 08:08 am

Re: Average Speeds

Postby Pigtail » Wed Nov 14, 2012 06:20 am

Simon Masterson wrote:
Pigtail wrote:
Simon Masterson wrote:
Pigtail wrote:but over time it's a great measure of your own improvement.


Except that it's not, unless you're measuring your performance on specific runs in similar conditions. You could complete a tough climb somewhat faster or slower (etc) and your average speed is likely to reflect it poorly. Using average speed to measure your progress is like summing up your entire day in a single sentence; it's superficial at best and useless at worst.


You're really not seeing the bigger picture. I'm not looking at an average on every ride on its own. I'm logging all my miles, over the past 18 months or so. I've got an average each month for instance and can compare it with the same month last year. I can pull out an average for each bike, an average for my commute, an average for individual routes.

That's far more meaningful for overall performance than your time up a hill!


That's just it: I am looking at the bigger picture, which is why I disregard average speed.

I'm hoping that Rolf F might come in here with his graph of average speeds on multiple bikes; it's very insightful.

Average speed tells you next to nothing. Even if you log your average speed on a regular commute every day for a year, all you are left with is numbers unless you record the weather conditions, traffic, how you were feeling, bike problems, the bike you were using, luggage, how well you coped with particular sections, etc etc etc, and even then it won't tell you much. It doesn't tell you anything about the highs and lows and why they were high or low, which is what will make you improve. If you were to lay out your hill climbing times and the speeds you can sustain at different levels of effort on flat roads, etc etc etc, average speed would be completely irrelevant. Not to mention that if you're serious about training then you'll be riding at different tempos and using intervals (with or without HRM), and that will do nothing for your average speed.

Whereas I know that I could climb a certain steep hill near to where I live at around 15mph (not average) about 4 months ago before a summer of (not of my volition) non-cycling, whereas now it's more like 12-13. That tells me a great deal. :lol:


I'm really beginning to question whether you understand what an average is. On the one hand you discount them, and then you say that Rolf's graph is very insightful. So why is it insightful? Could it be that the information actually means something when you see it on a graph?

I gave examples of the data I have and how I can use it and you then try to say that your speed up a hill means more to you. Remember Rolf's graph- how much his speed varied over seasons? So your speed on a hill has dropped from around 15 to 12-13 over the summer. How much of that is related to the time of year? You can tell because you've had a significant drop in performance, but how on earth with these vague figures can you tell if your performance is slightly down, or slightly up?


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