Learn your training zones. It’s easy to spout off terms like “zone 1” and “tempo”, but what do they mean for you? It’s certainly not mandatory that you work with a coach, but it’s relatively simple to go out and perform a fitness test, from which your different training zones are derived. It’s easy to default to JRA, “just riding along” where you end up at an endurance pace for the vast majority of your rides, unless you start working other areas of your fitness. Spikes of intensity and longer threshold intervals will increase your on-bike strength — and your speed — tremendously.