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Most of us want more of it. We soup up our bikes, or soup up our engines, to accomplish more speed. We make our clothes and our bodies as aerodynamically slick as possible. Anything that is not absolutely necessary for survival, we leave at home to save a few grams of weight.

All of the above measures are necessary for more speed. There is no way around it. And, of course, speed is a relative term. One rider’s end goal may be another rider’s starting point. And those speed goals vary all over, from day to day, and often from minute to minute.

So, how do we motivate ourselves to accomplish more speed? And why? Is the common reason ” To keep up with the group” an obtainable goal even? After all, the ” group” is just individuals going the same way. And individuals, by our nature, have our own comfortable speed that can vary with conditions and how much sleep we had the night before. Why is it that some days we want, we need, to put the pedal to the metal and go faster, and some days we just have trouble going at all?

Training for an event can be motivation to accomplish more speed. Riding “base miles” is one way of increasing endurance and to be ready to perform. Doing intervals is an excellent way of increasing your speed. An interval is a period when you are maxing out your effort, followed by a period of decreased effort, or recovery. Try a few intervals on your next ride and see how you feel the rest of the day. Work on increasing the max time and decreasing the recovery time for maximum benefit.

How we feel at the end of the day is most important. Competition with others, or with ourselves is inevitable. We set achievable goals and work toward them. That competition is what ultimately drives us to be better. Whether it is better than the next rider, or just better than we were the last time we rode is immaterial. Not everyone lists speed as their goal, but no one has ever asked us how to go slower!