The first signs that you're getting there with fitness

Discussion in 'Training, Fitness and Health' started by Andrew_Culture, 25 Jul 2012.

  1. Andrew_Culture

    Andrew_Culture Internet Marketing bod

    We all know that cycling starts tough, hits a plateau, then remains tough, before getting tougher, but I've been giving some thought to what indicators there are that progress is being made.

    My 'getting there' indicators have been:
    • Noticing that my gut no longer stands proud when I lay on my back
    • The ability to make it to the top of hills without seriously psyching myself up first
    • Thinking I'm in an easy gear, looking down and realising I'm in a very tough one
    • Getting a KOM on Strava
    And then last night I was mumbling about the headwind, then realised there wasn't one, it was just the wind resistance my ample frame was creating!
    So come on, what are your 'key performance indicators', and I don't mean goals, I mean those pleasant little surprises cycling brings us.
  2. ohnovino

    ohnovino Large Member

    Thinking you've got a great tailwind, then realising it's all you.

    Accelerating so you get clear of a pinch point before a following car tries to overtake, then looking back to see you've dropped them.

    Riding a stretch of road you haven't been on for ages and thinking, "I'm sure there used to be a hill here".
  3. Moodyman

    Moodyman Guru

    Keeping up with moving traffic - i.e. 25-30mph range.

    When you're cruising at 20mph and barely out of breath.

    When you hit a big roundabout with enough speed that you don't need to pedal until you exit.

    My personal favourite is when you hit that sweet spot with rhythm, power, progression and pain. Where you feel all four in equal measure. Where your legs and lungs are burning, yet it feels so rewarding that you attack even more.
    smutchin likes this.
  4. OP

    Andrew_Culture Internet Marketing bod

    All brilliant! I only realised yesterday that I was travelling at the same speed as traffic now!
  5. GrasB

    GrasB Veteran

    Nr Cambridge
    When at about the half way point of a 15km climb you look back to see everyone else struggling, then say your apologies & attack the rest of the climb anyway :evil:
  6. redcard

    redcard Über Member

    When you realise no one has overtaken you for weeks.

    This could be a result of my fitness, or it could be the folks on my commute are now wise to the fact they're getting a faceful of gob if they try it on.

    I jest, of course.
  7. Moodyman

    Moodyman Guru

    Or you live somewhere like Paisley where cyclists are a rarity:tongue:
    Aiden_23 likes this.
  8. smutchin

    smutchin Cat 6 Racer

    The Red Enclave
    The corollary of this is being able to use the drops comfortably.

    Thinking you've got a nasty headwind then realising it's all you... (ie you're going fast enough for air resistance to be more noticeable)

  9. GlasgowGaryH

    GlasgowGaryH Über Member

    Wife says she can see my ribs
  10. Sittingduck

    Sittingduck Guru

    When you start to feel guilty everytime you're on a group ride and a hill approaches.
    Andrew_Culture likes this.
  11. ColinJ

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    I found that I was riding my hilly local loops a whole chainring higher the last time I was fit! I used the 39 ring where I'd previously used my 30-tooth granny ring, and I used my 52 where I used to use the 39. I did a whole season where I didn't use the smallest ring on either my road bike or MTB. :becool:

    These days, I use a 26 where I used to use the 30 (or even the 39!) and the 39 where I might have used the 52. I do still use the 52, but mainly on downhills or with a tailwind. :sad:
  12. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    When you drive the same route you've cycled and realise you didn't really notice that hill....
  13. ColinJ

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    I tried to climb Holme Moss on 3 occasions and was forced to dismount on the steep section each time to rest and stretch my back.

    I headed that way again in 2007 on a mega-hilly 141 mile ride down to visit my family in Coventry. I had a rack and panniers bodged onto my bike so that was extra weight to carry and I kept worrying about the steep section of the climb and whether I'd be able to get up it on the bike. Suddenly, to my shock I found myself on the flat section at the summit by the TV mast - where had that tough climb gone!

    I had the same experience on every steep climb on the way there, and on the way back a week later. Everything was fine. I thought Snake Pass was an absolute doddle and steamed up it. Even the 25% ramp of Ewden Bank was merely 'stiff' rather than the impossible gut-buster I'd encountered on my previous attempts at it.

    And then I let all that fitness slip away again ... :sad:
  14. Peter Armstrong

    Peter Armstrong Über Member

    When you win the dour de france
    MattHB likes this.
  15. zigzag

    zigzag Veteran

    when you don't get involved in silly commuter racing anymore, as you know you are the fastest anyway :becool:
    brockers and defy-one like this.
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