From time to time we are all too guilty of focusing on the negatives and giving ourselves a hard time for not being where we want to be. It’s great to have goals and ambitions that we are passionate about working towards, but we also need to not neglect the progress and personal wins we make along the way.
She who dares wins! The only real losers are the ones that don’t make it out on their bikes.
Measure your power
The best way and most scientific method to measure your progress as a cyclist is by use of a power meter. It can measure the level of power that you can put into your pedals. The power is measured in watts. You may be familiar with a FTP (functional threshold power) test, here it’s a 20 minute test to determine the average number of watts you can produce for 20mins. You can then determine how many watts produce divided by your weight.
Power meters can be found on most smart trainers and also get them for your bike. They are quite expensive starting at about £300 going up to over £1000 for better accuracy. You don’t need to get a power meter to improve or review your performance.
Test yourself on a segment
You can find a segment on strava and do a test to review your progress. A climb is best as the wind direction won’t make too much difference as much as riding on the flat. Plus, you are forced to push hard. That’s an important point to make, you should always ride as hard a possible for the test and over the same conditions and ensure you are well rested.
We all want to get faster
Many riders like to look at their average speed. Obviously faster is better. But, there are often conflicting factors mainly that being the weather and nice tail wind will speed you along with very little effort. On the other hand you may feel frustrated with a strong head wind and going a snail pace. If you are looking a speed try to look at the average over time and notice the changes.
Take part in a TT
Time trials are a great way to get into competitive cycling. It is just you and the clock. You can often ride the same course, so you can review your time. You can see and compare your performance against other cyclists. Again, take a bird eye view and your components might also be getting stronger too or having a bad race. Events can also provide a supportive community in conjunction to feeling great when we beat one of our components.
Celebrate how you are becoming more resilient
If you have been cycling for a while, remember when you first started and that ride that nearly killed you? Now, it’s part of your weekly routine.
Get a Coach
It’s a coach's responsibility to make sure that you make progress and improvements. Make sure that they listen to your goals. At Girls Get Strong Cycling, we make sure you know when you are achieving your goals.
You can’t perform at your best everyday
Sometimes we are tired due to many factors, such as a few hard days on the bike, work or life stresses or lack of sleep to name a few. So don’t give yourself a hard time if you don’t feel great on your bike. See it as a sign that you are in need of rest.
Remember, a day on the bike is always a good day. Take a mindful approach to your cycling, celebrate the small things and remind yourself how far you have come since your started. Never get complacent as there are always ways that you can make improvements.
How have you made progress in cycling this year?