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?
But I have been working on something else as well.
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.