I’m currently sat in my front room, on a typically gloomy January weekday pondering what my 2016 is going to look like.
I’ve gone through all of the obvious thoughts; work will undoubtedly be stressful, racing my motorbike will keep the bank balance lower than I’d like and will take up a lot of my time. But where does that leave me from a cycling perspective?
Rather disappointingly I don’t have any big trips or events planned, no multi-week continental adventures or trips to see Le Tour. On the face of it then, 2016 has all the potential hallmarks of a bit of a let down, surely?
That was precisely what I thought at first. But then I got to thinking about where I am compared to this time last year, and I realised that I actually have a lot to be positive about.
Firstly, I’ve done roughly the same mileage so far in January as I had last year, but I haven’t been commuting. Instead I’ve been doing focussed sessions on the turbo trainer, and solo rides with a focus on working on my weaknesses (climbing and changes of pace). Chuck in a couple of tough group rides with faster riders and it all adds up to me being in a much better place physically than I was last year. In May of 2015 my FTP was 207w, My latest FTP test yielded figures of 226w.
I’ve also treated myself to some new kit in an attempt to make my rides more comfortable and efficient, as well as to satisfy my inner kit whore.
My trusty Bont Riot’s have made way for a frankly beautiful pair of Bont Vaypor Sprint’s. I’ll be putting up my thoughts on them in future articles. Not a review as such, as I bought them so that wouldn’t be entirely unbiased. But they are definitely worthy of their own post.
The third reason for positivity is that I have been thoroughly enjoying some tough group rides over the last 6 months or so. After years of riding on my own, immersed in music to take the focus away from the pain it is brilliant to be able to go out with like minded riders and experience a totally different world of pain trying to keep up with them!
I’ve also been using Zwift (www.zwift.com) over the winter on my Tacx Satori Smart trainer, and am completely sold on the use of power in training. I’m now even more keen to convert this to my road riding. I am currently knee deep in DC Rainmakers reviews (www.dcrainmaker.com) trying to decide which power meter to but, but my wallet has currently cried foul.
If anyone has any opinions or suggestions on Power Meters I would be very glad to hear them.
I’ve got a series of posts planned for the next few months, this will likely change if I do invest in training with power. I’ll apologise now if it gets a little geeky, but I love graphs…
Over and out for now.
Get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org