I am currently using a hybrid bike, 10kg of weight(quite light for the category I've head) and my longest ride has been 65km at an average of 18km/h in a mostly flat terrain. In this ride for many kms I had a big muscle pain on my legs, by the end of the ride stopping in any traffic light was extremely painful, it took hours also at home to go from huge pain to just normal muscle pain. I do not think I could have gone any one kilometer further.
I was pedaling at a good cadence, shooting for 90rpm. At no moment I felt like instant burning on my muscles, I would choose easy gears to keep me in high cadence and light strokes, it felt relaxed but still after 35km I felt 'loaded', after that the pain started to increase more and more.
I will participate in a race of 180km with a time limit of 9 hours (so I need 20km/h and I am fine with finishing in 8h59m, I just want to finish), 3 months for now.
So I roughly need to go a little bit faster and improve my endurance 3-fold in 3 months.
My current plans for improvement are (my bike is 500$ giant-escape nothing-fancy):
- Buy clip-on aerobars . This should make me reach the speed I need, the terrain in mostly flat.
- Buy clipless pedals. To help me use different muscles. I do not know how much would this help with endurance. I hope 10% or so.
- Buy energy gels, I did not feel like lacking energy but I guess they will help. And on the race day I'll need them for sure.
What other gear, training techniques and race day tactics can be used to improve endurance quickly?