Question about performance variations
I started riding regularly at the end of March. My speed has been gradually improving since then. Tuesday I went on a ride, and my average speed was 17.5mph, and my average heart rate was 157bpm. I had intended to take it a little easier on Wednesday, but maybe not as easy as I should have. My average speed was 16.8 and my heart rate 150. Today, after 2 days rest, my average speed was 16.4 and my heart rate was 172. This is all over the same section of road. At the end of the ride it felt like I had goose bumps, but it was 80 degrees outside.
I started tracking my calories on Sunday, and at the same time started a calorie deficit. I am not exactly sure what my consumption was previously, but I reduced it to 1600 per day based on the recommendation from myfitnesspal.com. I chose to lose 1 lb per week. So far I have been sticking to it pretty well, and I did go over a couple hundred on the days I exercised. Could my reduced performance today be related to my reduced calorie consumption? For the record, I think I had a protein smoothy for breakfast the first two rides, and a bowl of oatmeal and an energy bar this morning.