Over the last few weeks (and continuing into next week) I’m adding base miles so that I can get time in the saddle and get accustomed to riding long again. Upon my return to Florida, and after settling in, I plan on starting to train for a century again using the same 10-week plan I used last year. I probably wouldn’t need to go through this plan again except I spent so long without a bike over the winter that I think I need to. Plus I saw great improvements in my endurance and weight while I was doing it last summer so why not do it again?
This time around though I’d like to try and do this virtually with other participants. Don’t get me wrong, being able to ride with a partner or group is awesome but not many of us have partners/groups that could make time available to ride with someone either just starting out to ride or doing some specific training – like training for your first century. For instance, if the century training plan calls for 4×8 intervals on Tuesday, what are the chances of you finding someone locally who is doing the same thing? Probably not very good. That’s the way it was with me last year and why I ended up doing all my training alone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.
You’ve heard me mention in my last few posts that I’m now using DailyMile to track my rides. It’s a free training log like many others where it lets you define routes, enter workouts, and write about how the workout went. It also tracks all the numbers for you. What really makes DailyMile cool is that it’s a ‘social’ training log. It lets you send friend requests to others so you can see what workouts they’ve done and so on. It also displays your workouts stats compared to your friends in a leaderboard format. Yours and your friends postings are in a timeline very similiar to Twitter and when you do post workouts you can share them via Twitter and/or Facebook. There’s also options to link DailyMile with your Nike+ and Garmin Connect accounts. I think it’s totally cool.
While looking at the features of DailyMile, and after having a discussion with @jodycb on this post, I had an idea. What if I created a group on DailyMile that people could join and called it the ‘Biking To Live Virtual Training Group’ (or something to that effect). By joining the group we can interact virtually to see each others training workouts, progress, how we compare to each other, etc. And just because you’re a member of the Virtual Training Group doesn’t mean you can’t ride with a partner or group locally.
If the virtual group is training to a particular plan (like the 10-week century plan) then we can all relate our workouts to each other because we’ll all be doing the same workout on the same day (if we started the 10-week plan at the same time). This would make it easy to see how others are doing, provide encouragement, tips, advice, etc. Groups also have a discussion feature, similar to forums, where questions can be asked and so on. It also has a feature where you can upload photos to the group. To me it seems like a pretty cool idea.
Of course I would think it’s a cool idea but what do you guys and gals think? Please punch holes in my idea so we can flesh it out to see if this is something worth trying.
Image courtesy of Team Traveller.