No particular question, just a personal story and a thank you. I’ve been cycling for almost 10 years now (I’m 32). Never did any kind of training or racing, just riding around with friends and strangers. Ofcourse I got fitter and stronger over the years, but I never had any way of really quantifying that progress.
Usually winters meant no cycling. I did some spinning classes a couple of times but never enough to keep my fitness on a decent level. This winter I decided to spend some money and buy a trainer (Kickr Core) and check out Zwift and TrainerRoad. After the free week of Zwift I was convinced riding indoors was the thing for me. I sat on that thing staring at my screen for three hours straight, crazy! Although I enjoyed that week I could already tell that Zwift wasn’t going to keep me engaged. So I tried TrainerRoad. Somehow the blue bars and yellow line were enough to keep me motivated. When a silly program tells me I can do 300 watt for 1 more minute, I’m going to do 300 watt for 1 more minute! I guess I’m a simple man. When I did my second ramp test after the first block and saw an increase of about 4% I was so happy. Structured training works? You can really see the results? Wow. Who knew.
Starting with TrainerRoad I felt like getting to a 10% increase of FTP before the start of spring would be awesome. It wasn’t a goal I set for myself, you cant really influence the progress you’ll make like that, but just a cool milestone I was hoping to reach. Right now I’m at 12% and rising, and I was already really fit when I started.
Last weekend the weather over here was finally good enough to ride outside. This was the real test; did the rising FTP on my indoor trainer mean I was going to ride faster outside? Long story short, yes, yes it did. It was so amazing to work as hard as I did last year but go way faster. Again I had that realization; wow, structured training works.
I also learned that I can push myself so much harder than I thought I could. Having done these crazy over-unders, vO2max efforts and loooooooong threshold sessions I now know I can push through that pain. ‘Shut up legs’ really is a thing.
But not only am I fitter than ever and am I super hyped to go outside and break all my Strava PRs, race against randoms and just fly up all the hills, I also learned something else. Training works. Putting in the hours works. I picked up playing an instrument because of this sentiment. Just practice for 30 minutes every day, even when you don’t want to, and you’ll get better. There are other little elements in my life where I noticed a change in perspective. I did not expect all this when I bought that machine and subscribed to TR.
Maybe 32 is late to learn all this, but better late than never. Thanks TrainerRoad!