When it comes to racing, improvements are tough to measure. One year you could win a race, but the next you might get 5th. Did you get worse? Have you not improved?
That happened to me this year. I had raced the Hilly Billy Roubaix back in 2013 and done well. I placed 7th in the u40 group and had a good ride. But this year, I got 9th. Sure you could look at the fact I was higher in the overall standings this year, 11th vs 14th in 2013, but the true measure of progress is the body.
I train heavily with a power meter. This year, Cameron Cogburn has specifically geared my training to be focused on race like efforts for my A races. That means I've done a fair amount of long intervals at the end of a 3-4 hour ride. I'll ride a bunch in zones 2-3, then at the end of the ride, he'll have me nuke it at threshold. It's incredibly painful, but the results are clear.
My power at threshold has improved dramatically over the 20-40 minute range, perfect for long climbs over mountains. And the repeatability has developed significantly. I'll be able to hit good numbers over and over in a given ride, pushing past old limits and shattering them.
Its been a great year of progression so far. I'm looking forward to seeing how the numbers propel me on the race course in the final few races.