I'VE GOT TO GET THIS OFF MY CHEST, BECAUSE 90% OF BIKE RIDERS ARE PLATEAUED OUT: they simply haven't grasped what constitutes base miles. While I hate to give away my hard earned secrets, I know for a fact that 90% of the 90% won't apply this no matter how simple I 'xplain it.
Most of us start here - short and low... easy efforts, and it's lots of fun... as it should be.
We progress to here - fat middle... we realize if we ride a little more and a little faster it's even more fun... plus we can keep up and even be faster than our friends.
The problem is we get all geeked up and go here. This is just human nature, being greedy... just because a little more riding and a little more effort made you faster, it does not mean more of each and none of what go you here is better. In fact, it's worse, a lot worse.
Because you wind up here - broken pieces... and outta the sport, fat and on the couch again.
What you want to do is this... spend the vast majority of your time at conversational speed, cruising with your friends, feeling the pain of a hard day spin right out of your legs.
You'll add some tempo without trying... and I heartily recommend you do all you can to avoid tempo. You're going to get it anyway, and it's not very useful.
See what this gives you?... a great big giant base of easy, pleasant miles. You're rested, so that when it's to time get after it you can really get after it in ways you never thought possible.
I know what your thinking... trust me, you're going to screw it up anyway and ride too much tempo and too much intensity. I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible for you... so you can get a lot faster and KOM everything in site... I believe in you, do you?
That's what base miles are,
the foundation for greatness.
No base, no greatness
Corollary: You can apply this to anything: work - clean up lot more, get organized then execute on the good stuff; dating - romance a lot more, open doors, bring flowers, just talk into each others eyes, then the special times are truly special.