# Training & Nutrition - Measuring cycling progress

Bikeforums.net is a forum about nothing but bikes. Our community can help you find information about hard-to-find and localized information like bicycle tours, specialties like where in your area to have your recumbent bike serviced, or what are the best bicycle tires and seats for the activities you use your bike for.

View Full Version : Measuring cycling progress

ratebeer
01-23-07, 12:02 PM
I tried to set up a regular time trial to guage my progress and it's just not working. Seasonal and irregular winds simply make this useless. I also can't find a track or velodrome that will work for me either.

My Garmin 301 is measuring my heart rate and it does look like my average HR is dropping.

I also do sesisons on the trainer and I make watt estimates from that.

Still something's missing.

Help?

DannoXYZ
01-23-07, 02:10 PM
Set up a standardized century course. Do the loop two days in row with the 2nd day in reverse. Then compare your total times between different weekends.

CdCf
01-23-07, 02:35 PM
Since you live in an area where the road conditions are the same throughout the year (no, or virtually no, snow/ice), you could simply record every ride in a spreadsheet (I use MS Excel) and use various methods to determine whether you've improved or not. A simple x/y-plot for distance/speed on a monthly basis will give you a set of curves to compare with each other.

ericgu
01-23-07, 09:11 PM
When I've done the carmichael field test (which I haven't done in about 6 months...), I did three miles in one direction, recovered, and then did the second 3 miles in the other direction.

There is variation with wind/no wind, and temperature and rain will also mess things up a bit, but the data was good enough for me to check progress.

I'd also recommend riding at a time when the wind is less - for me, that meant early in the morning.

There are two effects that you should be looking for:

1) For a given length time trial, as you get more fit, you should be able to hold a higher average heart rate over the length of the test. When I was starting out last year, I could hold my heart rate in the 165-167 range, but by mid summer, I held 171 for about 5 minutes straight (175-179 is my max).

2) Look at the time it's taking to do the test compared to last time.

I should also note that this isn't something you want to do very often. Time trials are painful, and the 3 mile distance is a particularly painful one. It takes a lot of mental toughness to do it, and it takes a lot out of your body.