In December 2005 I committed to riding at least one century a month in 2006 and ended up with 23 long rides (90 or more miles). For 2007 I decided to continue that commitment and rode 33 long rides (28 centuries and 4 double centuries), posted here.
Late last year I started keeping better track of some of my statistics like miles, time on the bike, average power, heart rate, and cadence. That tracking has helped me to see that I’m slowly getting stronger, especially when I focus on power and heart rate. Basically, keeping the power and heart rate up longer during training helps me more than simply putting in the long miles. Not exactly rocket science but it’s great to see the results of hard work.
In 2007 I rode a total of 7400 miles: 4600 on the road and 2800 on my training bike in my home office. My average power on the trainer is up from around 140 watts in early 2007 to over 180 watts in the last three months. My average heart rate is up from around 100 bpm early in the year to over 110 in recent months which is around 60% of my max heart rate. I’m also spending more time at 75% of my max which helps a lot with conditioning.
In October I started working with Bruce Hendler of AthletiCamps which has been a huge help to my training. I’m expecting 2008 to be a year of more long rides but much stronger performances thanks to Bruce’s help.
My main objective in 2008 is to be the best prepared I can be the big rides I’m doing this summer like the Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge. I plan to shave off a lot of time from the rides I’m repeating for the third time this year. More than that I want to continue to have fun riding with my friends, especially members of the Almaden Cycle Touring Club which I joined December 2006. 16 of my 33 long rides was with the club riding in the Bay Area. I’m sure I’ll do at least that many with ACTC again this year. I’m glad I found a group of people who like riding long distances on a bicycle.