How are we able to measure performance increase or monitor training? In this digital age where we can obtain data from our rides, there’s an existence of software and applications that compute data and provide us simplified information on our rides, as well as certain programs and ready-made videos to enhance our experience while training indoors. I would say that Strava is the ultimate application for cyclists, not only it monitors training progress and data but it also introduces an aspect of competition into rides. In Strava, you can “follow” professional cyclists as well as the local cyclists within your area to observe their trainings or rides, at the same time put yourself to test on segments analysing the distance of your routes from the KOM (fastest timed rider).
Though, Strava can be addictive but if used well, it can boost your riding speed. Personally, I monitor my training with TrainingPeaks, which is another good tool to view data from training. It helps check on my fatigue levels, however TrainingPeaks is not user-friendly for cyclists that have no free time to read up additional information and jargons.
Sometimes, the inevitably bad weather takes over forcing you to train indoors on the turbo trainer / rollers / static bike. Those of you who have spent time training indoors can grasp the feeling of pain and boredom. For instance, I spend up to 8 hours a week training on the turbo trainer during winter. How do we kill that feeling? In the past, I used to listen to hardstyle / techno mixsets, or catch up on the latest Naruto anime but all these turned blunt after a period of time. Then, I moved on to watching Sufferfest and GCN training videos, which proved to be highly entertaining and took my mind off the pain. A new program in the market that has taken over the indoor cycling world by storm – Zwift – is turning out to be the most effective way for the past years. Compared to Strava, Zwift is more addictive, as it has made indoor cycling into a game. Cyclists are placed in a virtual world with various routes that you can ride and race, therefore, I strongly recommend everyone to give Zwift a go!
With the invention of new and affordable tools being introduced to the market, training can be tough but fun at the same time. Take note: There are heaps of information out there to be found. Read more magazines, visit your local bike shops to exchange knowledge with the specialists. Last but not least, always remember to be sociable when riding in a group. By having a simple chat with fellow cyclists, you will definitely learn and gain more!
He is a Malaysian living in the United Kingdom. He is usually found riding his bike in a skinsuit with a pointy helmet around Warwickshire or skiing the groomed pistes in the Dolomites during winter when he’s away from his day job as a Mechanical Engineering Lecturer in Coventry University, UK. He is still actively racing as an amateur for his local bike shop team, The Nuneaton Cyclery – Klin Cut Apparel. Chris is hoping to enlighten and inspire other young cyclists to keep the pedal turning, passion burning and improve their riding without losing the love for the sport.
Email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Facebook (Chris Yip), Twitter (@chrisyipkt)