It's probably more in my head than anything but thought I'd post and see what you all think!
I'm 34, 5.10', 180lb's (was 210lb's in Jan 2014), desk job, and on either my mountain bike or road bike averaging 3 times per week. Been mountain biking for a long time but got into road riding in 2014.
I for sure like my alcohol, and food (meat eater), but all in all I'm pretty balanced (I think anyway). I try to focus on high protein, lower carbs, lower sugar diet. I love sushi and eat it sometimes twice a week. But it's mostly salad, chicken, steak, vegies, and fruit, with some rice/potatoes once and a while.
I usually try to go every second day but with a wife and two kids sometimes I'll go 3-4 days between rides but I try to limit that. Once and a while I'll ride back to back days.
When I do ride, I really try to push myself, as in, I'm not out for a Sunday stroll. My road rides are anywhere from shorter 25km with 850m of hard climbing or 40-60km's with maybe 300-500m of easier climbing. I've done two 100km ride with about 1,500m of climbing and another 125km ride with almost 2,000m of climbing in the past month or so. I'm doing a bunch of charity rides with the big one being the Ride to Conquer Cancer which goes from Vancouver, BC to Seattle, WA and covers 250km over two days.
My mountain bike rides are typically between 10-20km's and mostly XC with around 350-750m of climbing. I'll be doing three mountain bike 4-6 hour endurance (with a partner) races this year.
The one thing I've noticed the most is that after a gut busting climb, the recovery time in the legs is a lot quicker. Which certainly is nice.
However, I don't feel like my legs are actually getting stronger especially when climbing steep grades. I struggle keeping my cadence/speed up.
Is there anything I can do, other than to just ride more, to increase the strength in my legs?