Just your average 'high-functioning' lunatic, capable of passing as 'normal' for short periods of time.....
“The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.” - Albert Einstein
“We all know that light travels faster than sound. That's why certain people appear bright until you hear them speak.” - Albert Einstein
for me, as a relative beginner and someone trying to get in better shape, cadence is most important.
Time + perceived effort.
Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
"If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter
This is the Road forum, after all ... not the Racing forum.
I don't really care how fast I go. I have no interest in racing anymore.
However, that said, I do like to cover 200 km in 13.5 hours or less, maintaining a minimum speed of 15 km/h over 200 km, including all breaks.
And with those numbers in mind, I also like to complete a century (160 km) within 10 hours and 40 minutes, including all breaks.
My "measure of performance" is whether or not I can do a century (160 km) or 200K with some time to spare ... at least 2 hours is good. It usually means I'll be able to handle a 300K relatively comfortably.
I use a PM when i'm actually actively doing intervals. But i do use time for one particular stretch of road (i'm not on strava) - my after work loop in the south bay includes alpine ride out of palo alto and I time myself from the stop sign at the free way to the stop sign at portola valley road. its my own personal 3 mile false flat stretch of hell.
The rest of the time the PM is for data collection and analysis post-event
But actually caring about cadence helps me mentally to avoid cruising on flats and downhills and forces me to keep pushing throughout my ride
I can see the slow upward progress jmx talked about in an early reply. I have a lot less data, though. My HR meter is connected to my cyclocomputer, whose software (sigma) absolutely sucks and isn't worth using. I gather data with endomondo on my smartphone, but all I can see is splits, gps-based elevation and speed.
I train based off HR. Every so often I'll try a long sustained TT-like effort.
I'm not trying to race, I'm just trying to get better. I'm still not in awesome shape but I doubt I'll suddenly become uninterested in riding hard if I do reach some level of competence.
1. I have 4 years of power data. This is the gold standard as far as I'm concerned, I track short and long term stress and how my body responds to training stress. I have a graph that shows my personal best power vs time so if I do an interval of 1 sec to hrs I know instantly how my effort compares to the best I have ever done.
2. A 10min climb at 6% or greater seated. This is almost equal to power. Wind is a factor but much smaller and I can't go very far anerobic to cheat.
3. Heart rate monitor. I rarely wear it these days but it is a good tool to gauge if I need rest. If the heart rate does not come up with effort it is time to take an easy spin day or two or just rest.
4. Perceved effort for me is just about worthless unless I know I'm fully recovered which is rare for me unless I have a couple of days off and even then it is suspect.
5. Average speed will vary by 4mph depending on wind.
You ability to analyze your performance improves with your experience and willingness to spend money on doing it. On day one, your basic measure is "I completed 5 miles, 10 miles", etc. $25. dollars later you start comparing average speed for your rides. $100. later, you are interested in Heart Rate and how long you ride in the various Zones. $1000.+ later, you are interested in power and the dozens of statistics it provides.
For the few who are serious about training (racing or other) I figure it is fine for those who know in the 41 to help dispel a few myths and misconceptions to try and steer folks in the right direction. Sometimes we forget that for us year round, longtime cyclists a lot has become 2nd nature and we "know" by experience and listening to our bodies. I see nothing wrong with people who are not in that position obsessing a little over gauging fitness/performance since the ultimate goal is usually riding faster/better so they can ride farther and more interesting/difficult terrain. Especially for those who have limited ride time and want to maximize their training.
Oh, for me personally I no longer use PWR or HR but that is for some specific personal reasons. I'm just happy to be riding after a lengthy forced hiatus. Only thing I use is a speed comp to stay right with LEO.
^ The problem, for me, is that all the "I'm going to raise my average speed" threads, and all the "training threads" crowd out the more interesting ones. And when somebody who's completely uninterested in training posts a general cycling question, a lot of the responses that come in are useless and boring to them.
It would be nice if there was a forum for people who wanted to talk about riding bikes, but not about how they should be training with a PM or HRM, or what they should be buying. More threads about things like your idea about compiling a list of climbs by state, pictures of your bike with water, where people ride, tips about climbing or riding in urban vs rural environments, or nutrition or hydration, or group riding skills, or whatever... There's a lot more to road riding than an overriding obsession with speed for its own sake.
Don't believe everything you think.
- made it to the top = pass
- fell over clutching your chest, gasping for breath = fail
If I get a passing grade, I'm happy. If anyone wants to measure my progress, they could do it by asking which mountains I've biked over.
Don't believe everything you think.
I frequently ride the same routes and to test my fitness I just see how long I can hold a certain speed over a section of road. Try to sustain 24mph for as long as possible, that should tell you how fit you are at the time imo.
Oh the joys of 41...
EDIT: When I say "these threads" I mean one's regarding common newB misconceptions. Not this thread specifically hhnngg1.
Last edited by HokuLoa; 05-25-12 at 01:33 PM.
This week's weekend ride thread has been started ... feel free to get in there and start talking about your rides this weekend. Talk about where you ride ... the terrain, the weather, the urban or rural aspects.
And here's a list of the photo threads ... ride and post pics ...
I've just recently started a You on Your Bicycle in 2012 pics thread to get some photos of us riding our bicycle this year.
And one pics thread that isn't in that collection, is a "Pictures of Your Bicycle and Flat Prairie Landscape". If you can't start that one, I certainly could.
If you want to talk about nutrition or hydration, go to the Training and Nutrition forum ... lots of that sort of talk over there.