What lessons did you learn in 2018?

I’m sure there will be plenty of threads in the upcoming about goals for next season, but lets take a second to look back on this last year.

What are the biggest lessons you learned in 2018?

That consistent training is not a goal I can achieve…and that’s okay.

Consistent output is something I can achieve but it needs outdoor cycling and focus to achieve. :biking_man:

Health and weather are not excuses, they’re legitimate reasons for terrible performance.

Training for half Ironman events instead of full Ironman events is not “taking a year off” :rofl:

I can run faster. :+1:


Over training is real! Don’t do more than you can handle, and it’s okay to do a minus workout if you’re not at your best.


All TSS is not created equal. And riding just to add TSS to raise CTL is stupid.


Be patient when coming off an illness (flu beginning of March)


I learned that No… you CANNOT ignore HR in a race as some have suggested (or at least I can’t)

Sometimes you have to go slow(er) to go fast! Having some breakthroughs in swimming, going to put them to the test when mountain biking since both have technique involved, and if you try to go too fast without using good technique you might be wasting a lot of energy to go a specific pace.


I think my big lesson learned is that I’m not 25 anymore…my diet matters now, and i’m not going to achieve “racing weight” just by riding lots…

Strangely enough my wife is a sports dietitian…maybe I should listen more…


I learned a lot of ways to train running that didn’t work.

  1. I can’t do polarized, heart rate-based run training on a treadmill (I don’t have a treadmill at home, and gyms are too hot for decent heart rate data).
  2. In fact, treadmills at gyms are really pretty awful training for me regardless. Even fancy gyms don’t give you treadmill rooms with the kind of airflow you need for real indoor training.
  3. Run training solo is not very motivating after running with a group for years. I just end up not doing it.

Other than that, I learned that a good bike fit is worth at least 20W for me personally.

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Setting an accurate FTP and making 98% of the the workout targets over the course of a season works way better in the end than using a slightly elevated optimistic number and only making 85% of the workout targets.

Doing a relatively small number of all out short sprint workouts outside reaps quick, and impressive, benefits once you are in the specialty phase.

Being lighter really does work. Its just math.

I also learned that while launching an attack with one lap to go is a long shot, if the course suits your abilities, you strike at just the right time and everyone is sleeping just for a few seconds, it can work!


20w in added power or aero gains?

Added power. I did two 70.3s four weeks apart; the first I had some discomfort on the bike leg that led me to sit up more often, soft pedal to take a break, etc. Got a fresh bike fit afterward because I was really not happy with that, and in the second my average power was 20W higher and I was able to stay aero except for some hairpins and climbing.

My lessons?

Hard days hard; easy days easy.

How to pedal.

Don’t half-ass things. When I’m on the bike it really is all about the bike. When I’m off the bike, the bike doesn’t exist. My spouse sacrifices just as much as I do to support my selfish hobby so I make sure my time off the bike is just as focused and productive.

Lesson I need to learn in 2019?

How to dig really deep.

@Pete detailed the math/physics of this in a recent podcast; very informative. Basically hold your attack for 5 seconds longer than the chase group and you’ll have a good chance of staying away. :+1:


It probably sounds stupid, but one of the best things I learnt this year was the feeling of truly enjoying a race. I’ve always enjoyed the post-race feeling when I push hard, but I ran two trail races this year with the sole purpose of enjoying them and not caring about the result. I’d almost never done that before, always pushing reasonably hard even in so-called ‘C-races’. You have to love the sport that you’ve chosen, but it’s easy to lose sight of that sometimes in the never-ending quest for PBs.

‘A-races’ are still all-out and life-consuming though, and I’m ok with that! :wink:


Hi All

My biggest lesson this year are:

I was able to finally to understand that I am in a journey to be happier, healthier and being fit. My body is not a machine and I cant expect linear increase in fitness.

I am 38 years old, I have been training for the last 2 years with not previous experience to structured training. I learned that I am not late to this thing called Competitive Cycling and structured training. That we all have different journeys in our lives and that we are never too late for nothing. In other words that my journey is different from everybody else, and that I have a Personal Yardstick to measure my progress

Lastly, that FTP, VO2 max, # Training hours, TSS, CTL, ATL are just good reference points, but at the end of the day they are just data. In other words not getting hang up with numbers



I’m not a sprinter, so stop coming to the end of the race in the bunch. Commit to the break and rather blow up than fade in the sprint.


If you haven’t already, I would recommend reading How Bad Do You Want It by Matt Fitzgerald. I know that Nate has mentioned it a few times on the podcast, but it’s a great book.

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Biggest lesson: don’t blame my (lack of) performance on my equipment. Spending a lot of time riding with groups where everyone has the newest, fanciest bike/wheels/groupset/whatever can lead to a bit of an inferiority complex: “My bike didn’t cost $10k, of course I’m going to be slower!” Turns out nope - I have a lot I can improve before the limiting factor is my equipment, and I can totally be successful without buying a new bike.


I’ve requested it from Santa…but not sure I’ve been good enough this year. :persevere:

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For me this year was rather an understanding of my previous years, that one can get mentally trapped with being competitive, training, numbers, endless analysis. My coach told me on one of days, you need to enjoy what you are doing first of all. For many of us, competing and training are not our jobs, then one needs to answer what he or she really wants to be doing and how far ready to go. Training, racing and competing can be addictive and, perhaps, it is not a bad thing until it starts effecting other things in life, equally or more important, especially when things start going not by the plan. Enjoy the journey.

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I learned to race a different way. No more waiting in the bunch and hoping for the best in the sprint or chasing down everything that goes, but ride aggressively. I set myself goals of getting in the break in certain races, and I managed to achieve that on all but one races this year. I learned how to race in crosswinds, and when to attack. I learned how deep you have to go to make it stick. I learned that if all your team mates aren’t riding the same way then they can ruin the day.

I learned how hard you have to train so that you can have the ablity to go, then go again, and again, and again. I learned that sometimes training the old school way works best. I learned that no matter how much power I had, if I didn’t get down to a competetive weight I’ll never achieve what I want.

I learned that I needed more than a new FTP to achieve, and set out trying to improve power in different areas.

I didn’t have the results I’d hoped. Indeed propably had worse results than previous years. However, I am probably a better, and wiser racer for it. I now have a 5 year plan, and a taste of what it’s going to take to achieve it.