Do you find yourself struggling to get better on the bike? Ever wonder if you’re making any progress at all? I do and I bet others do as well.
That’s why I keep a log of my training. It isn’t detailed, or even linked to a GPS enabled cyclocomputer, but it tells me what I need to know about my riding and if I’m making any progress.
For instance, I went back and looked at my rides over the past three weeks to see how my average speed was doing. I felt like I was riding faster but I wanted to see if there was any truth to my ‘feelings’. I went back through three weeks of data and found the following:
- Average Speed Three Weeks Ago – 13.475 mph
- Average Speed Two Weeks Ago – 13.775 mph
- Average Speed 1 week ago – 13.975 mph
Those aren’t huge numbers, only a .5 mph increase, but considering my level of fitness and weight, they tell me that I’m improving. Do I feel like some of that improvement Is due to my ongoing Fit with Bicycle Lab? Yes, but I think part of it is due to my legs coming back as well.
Regardless, I wouldn’t have been able to look at this data if I wasn’t logging my rides.
Seeing empirical data showing progress is important because I don’t feel like I’m making much progress on the bike. Granted, I’ve only been riding again for a month but I feel like my gains are coming very, very slowly and I’m not making headway on my weight. At all.
Not A Great Week Last Week But Time To Get Serious
Last week wasn’t that great. I had a good ride on Monday, woke Tuesday morning with a terrible sinus headache and didn’t ride, flatted five miles into my ride on Thursday, and cut a tire/flatted on Friday. Then I didn’t ride either Saturday or Sunday due to being out of town with the family. Only 43 miles on the bike last week and none of it felt very good. And then when I weighed myself on Friday morning I found out I hadn’t lost any weight. No wonder I didn’t feel like I was performing very well. My training log is telling me a slightly different story though as my average speed is obviously getting better. I’m not where I want to be though.
Don’t get me wrong, Average Speed isn’t the only thing you should look at. It’s just all I have available due to my old cyclocomputer. Ideally, and I’ll get to this one day, we should also be looking at our heart rate and recovery times.
Since I started riding again in July, I’ve gotten 237 miles in. For the year I’ve ridden 419 miles. Certainly not huge numbers but I think I’ve gotten enough in to start riding harder. I’m not going to see significant, measurable results by riding 43 miles a week at 14 mph. I need to increase my daily mileage and start adding intervals into my rides. I’ve got to get that weight scale needle moving to the left.
Do you log your rides?
If so, do you review your data to see what progress you’re making? Leave a comment below to let me know what you’re doing.
Photoc: Jeff Werner