WINTER ON THE BIKE
f you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” This quote has been attributed to a few different individuals, but regardless of who said it, they were undoubtedly an earnest triathlete contemplating their winter bike training. Testing and training go hand in hand, or at least they should. But what do you choose first: the test or the training? How does one influence the other? For optimal results, you need a way of measuring your workload. Workload is best and most easily measured by power (the unit of power being a watt). Testing and training indoors without some sort of powermeasuring device is challenging – the remainder of the discussion below assumes that you have access to a power-measuring system, be it an on-the-bike system or a power-based indoor trainer. Back to the question above: What do you choose first, the test or the training? Consider the following approach:
Determine what aspect of your bike fitness you want to improve this winter. Top-end speed? Hill climbing? Longer, sustained “tempo” efforts? Endurance? Sprints? Select and perform a testing protocol that measures that aspect of bike fitness. Choose and perform a training plan that addresses improving that aspect of your bike fitness. Re-test, identical to what you did in point two above.