As I write this the start of my season is only 8 weeks away so my thoughts have turned to goals I want to achieve. Accepted theory is that goals should be SMART
- Specific – check ☑️
- Measurable – check ☑️
- Achievable – hmmm…
- Relevant – check ☑️
- Timely – check ☑️
So here’s the thing. I’m not sure I’m capable of achieving these goals. Time, and physiology, is not on my side (unless I suddenly develop asthma 😂)
An “18 minute 10” and a “49 minute 25”. Project 1849.
To be clear, that is to complete a 10 mile ride in 18 minutes and 59 seconds or less – which means riding for 10 miles at more than 31.6mph. And similarly complete a 25 mile ride in 49 minutes and 59 seconds or less – which means riding 25 miles at 30mph or more.
My current bests are 19:39 and 51:40, which equate to 30.53mph and 29.03mph respectively.
About 1mph in both cases. It doesn’t seem like a big increase but in reality it’s massive.
I put both of my PB rides into BestBikeSplit. This is a tool that takes your power, the profile of the course and the ambient weather conditions at the time, and then uses complex mathematical models to estimate your CdA (the aerodynamic drag of a rider). You can then use the aero analyser to adjust aspects of your ride to see what the impact might be.
In reality I can either increase my power, or decrease my CdA.
The figures suggest that if all things remain equal I need to add around 20W in both cases and I don’t think I can increase my power that much. My tests over the winter so far suggest that I can’t and I’m training as hard as I can.
I have a new position on the bike but I have been unable to test this so far so I don’t know if I can decrease my CdA. However, let’s assume that I can by a small amount (I was pretty aero before).
Therefore I might, just might, be able to do combine a smaller increase in power with a smaller decrease in CdA. If I catch the right ride on the right day, I might have a slim chance. But it will rely on riding fast courses so I will have limited opportunities to do so.
I also have other specific goals which will be similar to previous seasons and revolve around PBs, Club and Local Championships and VTTA competitions.
All of this will be a big stretch but isn’t that what challenging goals are meant to be?