Welcome back to VIP Pro Tips. I’m going to break these articles up into few categories including nutrition (last week), training, and tech.
So we will take a turn this week towards training in the first of a series of articles on how to prepare for your transition season. Your transition season is the time of year between our endless summer of riding and cool dry days of fall miles. We’re looking to keep the summer fitness rolling through fall and winter so you are ahead of where you were last spring.
This series of transition season articles will talk about how to measure where you are now, how to properly set goals for the next year, and how to keep moving forward on those goals through the fall and winter.
101: keep track of your riding. As soon as you can is best. If you have a basic cycling computer that tracks speed and distance that is great, and we can work with it. If you have a GPS enabled cycling computer, then you are ahead of the curve.
A basic cycling computer is a fine place to start. Seeing how far you went, speed, ride time, cadence maybe. That is all good data. It’s important to have this because if the implied goal is to get better, then you need some metrics to track that progress. Your memory is short, and jaded, so having only subjective data (“It was good, I went hard”) isn’t track able. But if you have even the basic training data then you should record it. Will the 2017 goal be to go further? Will it be to go faster? Then you need to have known how far and how fast you went in 2016.
Unfortunately, the numbers of your basic cycling computer aren’t stored, except maybe the odometer. So you’ll need to record them somewhere. Old school, use a note pad. Otherwise I would recommend some sort of digital recording, you could use an excel spreadsheet, but even that seems very 2001. So I would recommend the free version of TrainingPeaks. Sign up for free, enter data and metrics manually. You’ll have them for the future when you decide to go back and know what you actually did last year.
If you have a Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT, Garmin, or similar device that’s great because not only do they track what you are doing in real time, but they also save all of that data, each second! So you have a complete record of what you did.
You can use an IOS or Android app. like Strava or Wahoo Fitness to both record and save your data. Though I would recommend a physical cycling computer over the app.
Something like the Wahoo ELEMNT is super easy to set up, easily pairs all for your sensors, and sync’s nicely to your phone for giving you directions and saving data.
Whichever you choose, it’s important to save that data off the device. Your computer will die or get lost at some point, so keeping data on there indefinitely isn’t a good idea.
We’ll talk soon about what to do with your ride data, but for now, if you have any goals currently, or think you’ll have any goals in the future, then track your data and save it.
If you’re in the “no rules, no garmin” or #outsideisfreecrowd, that’s cool too. But even your basic commuter rides on Strava’s extension called are Metro http://metro.strava.com/ is used for making your streets safer, so consider it.
Reid Beloni is an Expert Coach for Carmichael Training Systems and an elite bike racer in various disciplines for Organic Valley / Hiball Energy Cycling Team, benefiting globalbike. Reid has been active in many aspects of the sport for the past 12 years; racing domestically and internationally, managing a bike shop, receiving a Bachelors and Masters degrees in Exercise Science, and working as a professional coach. Reid is a longstanding member and contributor to the I Love Road Cycling VIP Facebook group. He can be contacted professionally via his email firstname.lastname@example.org