My Form is -56

Things worked out this weekend for me to do a few decent road bike rides and I was very interested in the data gathered from these rides.  I was interested in the hard data for Strava because I recently signed up for a premium account which gives me all kinds of new graphs and charts to look at.  I was also interested in more subjective data, like I would feel on a 40-50 mile score April 2017

It occurred to me recently that it was April and the only tough road bike ride I’d done so far this year was Moe’s Buffalo Gap route.  It was a 30 mile gravel ride that hurt.  Normally by this time I’ve got in several tough gravel rides including 2 Dirty South’s that would hammer my body into shape.  This is the first year I haven’t done a killer hard gravel ride.

So I’ve become fascinated with Strava’s Fitness and Freshness Chart.  It tracks the accumulation of your training and the fatigue you get from the that training.  It is based on power and heart rate and rides what don’t include at least one of those measures are not counted in the graph.  This makes my historical data pretty useless because I usually forget to wear my heart rate strap on most out door rides and never wear it mountain biking.

My current level of fitness after the strongest training week I’ve had in a while is 50.  According to the chart my all time high is 57, which I scored in March 2016 after several months of non stop Zwift rides and a killer hard Dirty South ride.  From there it started going down dramatically because I stopped using Zwift, and didn’t use my heart rate monitor for that many rides.

So as I titled my post, my current form is -56, that doesn’t sound good.  Form is derived from subtracting your fatigue score from your fitness score.  So while the fitness score is relatively easy to raise, the form score is not.  It requires you to raise fitness in a slow and steady way and allow ample rest.  Really it makes sense, it’s not the training that makes you stronger, its the bodies response to training which is going to happen a few days after training.  It appears that with low intensity recovery rides you can keep fitness from dropping while at the same time allowing fatigue to recover.  We shall see.

So what do you guys think, is this important information and will it be beneficial to see how high I can get my fitness and form numbers to go, or is it just a numbers game?

Either way  If you’ve been wondering what the Premium features of Strava do, now’s the time to check them out.  They have a free trial going so it won’t cost you a penny to see this life altering information.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Barn Door Cycling, Racing, training and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to My Form is -56

  1. Sean says:

    Whatever happened to just riding bikes and enjoying the ride?

    • Matt Gholson says:

      It was killed by computers. For many years it I rode with a few different groups and it was all about riding the bike and enjoying the ride, and I liked that. Problem for me was when I went to do my first weeklong ride it was not fun, it hurt more each day. Unlike some people I know (you) I can’t take a year off of riding then show up at a ride with no problems LOL But I also liked the idea of training and seeing improvement, but unlike a serious athlete, I tend not to like that idea for a very long time.

      For the last several years I’ve rode a trainer over the the winter, and worked on tough training type rides in the spring, then by June I’m kind of just cruising and riding for fun for the rest of the year.

  2. Kate says:

    This makes me want to track down my HRM. I usually just look at my fitbit data later and do nothing with it. Honestly, I’d probably still do nothing with the information, but I still like having it and I’m already paying for a premium Strava account. And I love the way that Strava gives me a more objective picture of my rides; almost always riding with way faster people, I always feel slow, but Strava can show me that my slow is at least faster than it used to be!

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