76 PR’s in March …

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According to Strava, I completed 76 PR’s (Personal Records) in March riding routes I have cycled for years.

Am I really that much faster?

I work at becoming a better cyclist. I train regularly. Eat a well balanced diet, and stay away from alcohol, sweets, dairy, and meat products. And, improved my recovery methods. I train to improve my FTP, fast intermittently to manage my weight, and  increased by power / weight ratio by 14% in a year.

Is this the reason for the 76 PR’s?

Partly.

But I have been working on something else as well.

Economy.

That’s right. Economy – the ability to ride more efficiently. It includes many things –

  • developing a more efficient pedalling stroke;
  • pedalling in “circles”, and avoiding those watt-leaking dead spots;
  • spinning in a lower gear but at a higher cadence to save energy;
  • remaining seated while climbing to maximize sustained wattage;
  • carrying momentum over the crest of hills;
  • recover, but continue pedalling on the descents;
  • get into, and maintain, an aerodynamic, tucked position;
  • wearing tighter, more aerodynamic clothing; and,
  • equipping bikes with the best equipment you can afford.

This doesn’t happen all at once. It takes time. And practice. It seems I have worked at this for 40 years 😂

Slowly, my pacing has improved. Slowly, I began noticing that every ride, I recorded several new PR’s. Every day, I got a little faster. To record 76 PR’s on 3 routes I have been cycling for years, tells me my pacing has improved; tells me I have become more efficient on the bike. In part, it is because I am fitter and lighter.

It is also because I am more efficient.

As we age, we lose muscle mass, gain weight, and train less intensely. So, there are 4 things older cyclist can do – continue to train intensely, lift weights regularly, lose weight, and learn to cycle more efficiently.

There is always room to improve.

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