Last year when I purchased my bike I knew I had made a commitment, I was not going to spend that kind of money to let it go to waste. I bought a simple road bike that would get me started cycling. A year later I am still cycling and loving every minute of it. In addition to my triathlon’s this season I peppered in two bike events, both ended up being in down pouring rain. When I started my cycling program I had very low endurance and often felt sluggish on the bike. By the end of the season, while I do not think I was faster by the look of the numbers, I know my endurance and ability to go further and longer has definitely improved through out the season. As I have grown stronger I have found the challenge of cycling to be both fun and rewarding and I feel there is still allot I need to complete to be a competent cyclist.
Looking at the numbers proves difficult as there are so many factors that go into each ride: elevation, duration, distance, training load up to the ride, weather… just to name a few. Quantifying my cycling performance with all these factors has posed a challenge in my desire for analysis. As I mentioned, feel wise, I feel like I have gotten stronger as a cyclist. I know I can now cycle for 30 miles before I start to hit the limit on my physical ability. When I started cycling at the beginning of this training phase I could barely do 10 miles with 20 miles proving to be a stretch.
By The Numbers
- 71:43:41 hours:minutes:seconds of total cycling. This averages out to 6:31:15 per training phase (most phases are four weeks)
- 850.01 Miles total distance with an average of 77.27 miles per phase.
- Average speed per outing 12.65
- Average Distance per outing 16.83
The rest of the number are really hard to determine patterns and improvement. Looking at distance, its obvious I started to put more miles in later in the season and I was completing more riding distances and hours. Speed wise seemed to get faster then drop again. It appears at one point I hit around thirteen mph just to drop back down into the upper twelves. I guess from the standpoint of the start of the season into my first triathlon I did gain roughly a mile per hour.
One of the goals for this season was to participate in two cycling events. I originally had my goal set for sixty to hundred mile distances, but changed the idea to match more realistically my abilities. The first event I participated I rode 37 miles and had to ride the last 10 miles in high winds, down pouring rain, falling branches and trees and the worst possible weather (read about it here). My second ride proved a better experience in all regards except for the rain. The entire 48 mile ride was accompanied by a deluge of water at various velocities. Overall these experiences were a fun diversion from my triathlon season. I probably will not do these next year as I am going to focus on my Olympic distance triathlon races.
The one sore spot with the bike for me was my final triathlon, my first Olympic. I had a great swim and was pumped to get on the bike and start the 24 mile ride. Immediately my steady stead abandoned me and an hour later I was DNF due to blowing three tubes on the back tire of my bike. On a flat and fast course the bike took me out. Next year I plan to revisit that race and finish it.
Right now the run and the bike are competing for my worst sport, but I might have to just give them both credit. Since I bought my bike zero last year I have grown into a better cyclist and I feel like I have grown stronger. I need to look at the numbers more to gauge my goals for next year but I know I certainly would like to get above 12.5 to 13 mph average speeds. It getting cold and money has been tighter with a new cat and existing cats bills, so I still have not fixed the tire and I have already moved indoors. Can’t wait til next spring when I can start logging some open road miles again. Its been a good cycling season, but I have work to do. Til next time.
Suggestions on increasing speed in the off season?
- AmeliaMan Olympic Triathlon Race Report: Not the End of Season I was Hoping For (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- 2013 Triathlon Season In Review: By the Numbers (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- 2013 Triathlon Season In Review – The Start Part 1 (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- 2013 Triathlon Season In Review: The Swim (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Bike Purchase Tonight (singletrackedmind.com)
- Topics You Won’t See on Triathlon Websites (trimadnessblog.wordpress.com)
- How It All Began: My Love for Triathlon (321delish.com)
- 2013 TRIATHLON SEASON IN REVIEW – Marching Towards Triathlon (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- The next 28 things you should do to become a master cyclist (epicasports.com)
- Quest for My First Tri Bike – Part 1 (iowatribob.com)