My cycling month in review: July 2015
A new month is upon us and, as I always do at the beginning of a new month, this morning I’m going to review some of my cycling highlights, personal records and totals from the previous month.
July was quite a noteworthy month for me. All sorts of demanding and stressful personal and professional issues pulled me in different directions. Rather than let those things become excuses to let my training slide, I used them to help fuel my biggest month on the bike ever. In fact, training is probably the only thing that kept me sane.
In order to get my training in I had to wake up each morning no later than 4:30 AM (often earlier). I’d work for a couple hours, then ride from about 6:30 until 9:00 (give or take depending on the length of the ride). Each morning after my ride I’d go outside and do grueling physical labor for about 4 hours under the sizzling Florida sun, after which I’d shower, eat, and then work at my desk until bedtime.
The strenuous activity, the stress and the heat made for a pretty brutal month. Those things are probably why I got sick towards the end of the month, but I trained through it. Oh, and most of July was spent on a new saddle that was incredibly uncomfortable, and caused me to develop painful saddle sores (the saddle was returned a few days ago, more on that next week). For all these reasons, it’s especially satisfying to have set new single-month personal records for distance, elevation and saddle time. I also set a new single-week PR for distance, more than 50 PRs for time on various Strava segments, and one a new power PR. It was definitely a challenging month, but also a very good one.
Before I get into all the numbers and details, here’s my Cycling Photo of the Month for July 2015. Actually, I rode so much and had so many memorable photos and rides that I could not pick just one photo for this month. Here are a few of my favorites (click to enlarge):
Monthly Totals for Distance/Elevation/Time
- Total Distance Ridden, July 2015: 1,311.7 miles/2,111.0 kilometers – NEW PR! (Previous PR, set August 2014: 1,274.5 miles/2,051.11 kilometers)
- Total Elevation, July 2015: 46,795 feet/14,263.12 meters – NEW PR! (Previous PR, set August 2014: 45,333 feet/13,817.50 meters)
- Total Riding Time, July 2015: 65h 50m – NEW PR! (Previous PR set August 2014: 65h 48m)
Other Cycling Personal Records & Achievements
Over the past month I set a total of 51 cycling personal records for time on various Strava segments.
For Strava’s July 2015 Monthly Training Series (MTS) I rode more kilometers than 99.263% of Strava MTS cyclists worldwide, placing 1,362 out of a total of 184,732 athletes with 2,111 kilometers ridden from July 1st – July 31st.
Along the way I set a new single-week distance personal record, putting in 342 miles the week of July 6-12.
I also completed Strava’s toughest challenge in quite some time: The Tour de France Challenge. This challenge required me to ride an average of 73 kilometers per day over a period of 23 days (1,680 kilometers in total). It was not easy, especially since I got sick towards the end of it, but I did it. I’ve completed every Strava cycling challenge to date so far in 2015.
My Training Calender: July 2015
I’ve been using the awesome Strava companion site VeloViewer for quite some time now (in fact, that’s where some of the stats and charts in these monthly reports are obtained). If you’re a Strava cyclist who craves even more ways to crunch your ride data, then you owe it to yourself to check out VeloViewer. There’s a lot there, so explore and have some fun.
One of the features of VeloViewer that I really like is its innovative and unique VeloViewer Score.
The VeloViewer Score is a cool way for Strava users to compare themselves against other cyclists: It is the average segment position score from a cyclist’s top 25% (up to a maximum of 100) non-downhill segments. What I like about the VeloViewer Score is that it’s derived based on an algorithm that actually weights the number of other athletes who have also ridden the segments. In other words, VeloViewer understands and takes into account that a KOM with only 20 cyclists on the leaderboard is nowhere near as impressive as a KOM with 1,000 cyclists on the leaderboard.
Because of the way the VeloViewer Score is computed, it’s a unique method for cyclists who live far apart and never ride the same segments to compare their overall performances.
Go create your own VeloViewer account and see how you stack up with your Strava friends across the globe! Note that as of November 2014 VeloViewer is no longer a free service. The cost, however, is only about $16.00 (USD) per year, and I feel its features are well worth what comes to a little over a buck a month.
2015 Distance, Elevation and Riding Time
My 2015 distance total (212 days) is 7,275.3 miles (11,708.46 kilometers). Average daily distance is 34.32 miles (55.29 kilometers).
My 2015 elevation total (212 days) is 262,415 feet (79,984.09 meters). Average daily elevation is 1,237.81 feet (377.28 meters).
I’ve spent a total of 358h 49m in the saddle so far in 2015. Average daily riding time is 1h 42m.
My riding streak continues, and I have now ridden my bike every single day for 578 days straight (at least one ride every day from December 31, 2013 forward). My minimum standards for this challenge are as follows:
- The bare minimum for a ride, or rides, to count is 10 miles/16.1 kilometers.
- Multiple rides on the same day that total in excess of 10 miles/16.1 kilometers are acceptable.
- Indoor trainer rides (in excess of 10 miles) count.
Here are comparisons of my distance and elevation for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 YTD. As you can see from the zoomed view, I’m still ahead of pace from any previous year on distance, and considerably ahead on elevation (click to enlarge):
Here’s a zoomed in view that shows how 2015 YTD distance compares to years past at this point in the calendar:
Here’s a zoomed in view that shows how 2015 YTD elevation compares to years past at this point in the calendar:
Power Output Personal Records
Here’s a look at my current power curve (click to enlarge), followed by a chart with my actual power output personal records at various time intervals.
I set a total of 1 new power output personal record in July.
Here’s my complete power output chart (my current power chart can always be found in the “Cycling” section on the main menu, above):
Power Output Personal Records as of July 31, 2015 - Weight: 78.29 kg - FTP: 305
|INTERVAL||POWER (WATTS)||WATTS/KG||DATE||IMPROVEMENT THIS MONTH|
|1 second||1167||14.91||July 14, 2015||+55|
|5 seconds||1035||13.22||January 18, 2015|
|10 seconds||983||12.56||January 18, 2015|
|15 seconds||956||12.21||July 5, 2014|
|20 seconds||936||11.96||July 5, 2014|
|30 seconds||855||10.92||July 5, 2014|
|45 seconds||725||9.26||January 18, 2015|
|1 minute||610||7.79||January 18, 2015|
|1.5 minutes||519||6.63||October 18, 2014|
|2 minutes||487||6.22||October 18, 2014|
|3 minutes||431||5.51||October 18, 2014|
|4 minutes||384||4.9||June 2, 2014|
|5 minutes||369||4.71||June 4, 2014|
|6 minutes||351||4.48||February 14, 2015|
|7 minutes||345||4.41||September 19, 2014|
|8 minutes||338||4.32||November 19, 2014|
|9 minutes||340||4.34||November 19, 2014|
|10 minutes||342||4.37||November 19, 2014|
|15 minutes||309||3.95||November 12, 2014|
|20 minutes||306||3.91||August 20, 2014|
|30 minutes||287||3.67||April 21, 2014|
|45 minutes||281||3.59||April 21, 2014|
|1 hour||279||3.56||April 21, 2014|
|1.5 hours||253||3.23||April 30, 2015|
|2 hours||249||3.18||November 12, 2014|
|2.5 hours||244||3.12||November 12, 2014|
|3 hours||228||2.91||April 30, 2015|
|3.5 hours||208||2.66||March 21, 2015|
|4 hours||203||2.59||May 23, 2015|
|5 hours||184||2.35||February 7, 2015|
|6 hours||162||2.07||October 5, 2014|
|7 hours||116||1.48||April 6, 2014|
|8 hours||109||1.39||April 6, 2014|
|9 hours||109||1.39||April 6, 2014|
|10 hours||109||1.39||April 6, 2014|