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 ride.
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.