Noticeable Improvements

I’m always looking for ways to measure my improvements. Sure there is FTP and watts/per x minutes, but the latest one for me was this…

I was riding with my buddy. He was on an eBike and I was on my road bike. I was practicing intervals multiple times and was really surprised how quickly my heart settled down during active recovery and I was repeat over and over. It took a good solid 1.5-2 hrs for it to feel like I “burnt my matches” was thinking…hey this work is starting to pay off!

So what’s your “hey this sh#t is starting to work” moment?

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Can’t ride outside from about November-March where I live, so my favourite part of the year is riding all of my favourite routes again after nearly 6 months doing nothing but structured training. Super cool to head out and nail all the climbs I used to outright dread.

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This dawned on me just the other day.

Did a 2 hour Z2 workout yesterday morning, my heart rate bumping around the mid 120s during the 75% section. I could keep that pace all day long.

Looking at a workout from several months back, I was putting out slightly lower power during sweet spot intervals, my heart rate was in the 150s and climbing. I was spent after 1 hour.

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My first metric century about 3 years ago I had an average speed of 23 kph and was totally spent when finished. Had to take multiple breaks during. Couple weeks ago I did another century during my training week, so not fresh, where I averaged 34.2 kph without stops. Both routes were dead flat and done solo.

Also, I used to struggle hard to hang on in the back of my group rides even though they were holding back for me. Now I’m the one riding on the front most of the time, even managing to drop some of my mates on the flat and on climbs.

Structured training is a thing of beauty :muscle:

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For me I can see in software (todays plan) that Z2 - Z4 HR vs Watts is about a 20% increase this year, which is not unexpected as I changed training plan from reversed periodised to normal periodised which has really worked for me.

I did a fe club runs in the last few weeks and my observations/comments from club colleagues where the strength of my pulls on the front, climbing and overall fitness, which is great because this is everything I trained for this year!

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For me it’s doing +ve gradients in the big ring whereas they used to be small ring.

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Today when in a steep hill I was sticking to the wheel of the israel femenine road champion after a 6x6 min 110% session and 3:20 hours of riding

Then 2 ineos passed us really fast and I was like, oh, girls are my benchmark lol

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About a month ago a local buddy asked me how is it that him and a few others whilst doing a group ride with everyone pulling have a lower avg. speed then I when I ride solo :joy: After that I realized that in the last 2-3 months my avg. speeds did get noticeably better, so I guess all the hard work is paying off :slight_smile:

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Being able to actually enjoy long rides instead of struggling with very high HR.

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I’m also doing the same routes in harder gears.

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Heart behaviour, big time.

My 2020 power at MAF has increased massively over my 2018/19 MAFp.

Heart is so much more stable during sustained efforts, but also much more responsive (on the downside too).

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Dropping the cx team on a 2min climb after a spring/summer of bikepacking trips and long slow rides.
Their Zwift legs kept them away for the first 30s then my aerobic endurance left them in my low cadence, high force wake. Happy days!

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