I'm about 200 miles into this summer - the first 200 miles in 10 years. I would like to do some fitness testing as a benchmark to track my progress.
I have a fitness membership "ain't never been there - they tell me it's nice" I would like to get some testing done.
What are some of the key metrics/tests I should be getting done? Which popular tests won't apply to a cyclist. My riding goals are this - in order.
1. Not get dropped from local club rides
2. Keep me mentally - physically in shape
3. Try some local racing
PS I"m 39 years old
I think the most important things to have tested are lactate threshold power (in watts), vo2 max power (in watts), and maximum sustainable power (1 hr power). Also they should note the heart rate that each of these efforts produces so you can train with a heart rate monitor. It's not totally accurate to go by heart rate, but if you don't have a power meter, it's a good estimate.
Right now, you are going to be doing Base training.
Because you are just starting, you need to spend some time laying down a fitness base. You do that with long rides that are easy, or moderate in effort. Seriously.
Ideally, you should have a cycling coach. Failing that, you could try one of those credit card coaches like CTS But I can get you into base training for a buck or two.
call Bicycling Mag, ask fro a reprint of "The Best Training Plan...Period" Feb 1994 pg 69. It's a classic Base training program. Do the advanced version, and prepare to suffer.
After a couple months of that you need to get evaluated by someone who knows what they're doing. This should be in person, so they can check the little stuff like riding position. They can also set you up on a program that will move you into the next phase of training.
Late - excellent advice thanks - Given my family situation I probably need to spend some of my time on the trainers. Thanks again.
Originally Posted by late
Late gave good advice. Just ride and have fun while developing a fitness base.
You might start losing weight, and your resting heart rate will probably start dropping. No need for heart monitors or anything fancy, just take your pulse for 1 minute when you wake up in the morning, and before you get out of bed.
The simplest and most useful fitness test is a time trial. Pick a local hill and time yourself up it. Record your time -- and your average heart rate if you're using a heart monitor. Repeat as often as you want. That's what I do.
Originally Posted by ginger green
I maintain a chart of climbing rate (ft/hr) divided by heart rate (beats/min). The values move around quite a bit, but I can get a sense of the trend.
I recently got the flu, and my fitness was way down when I got back on the bike. I rode every day this week, charting my progress on a short climb. The daily gains were substantial, and now I'm back to my pre-illness levels. See the chart below (the horizontal line is the average for the year). Since the chart tells me I've recovered my fitness, I can now start doing more intense training.