Fitness! I have missed you
Trish Albert | Published on 5/11/2021
I’ve been able to average 15-16.5 mph by myself. Twice I’ve drafted with higher averages, but I
still can’t get past 16.5 mph by myself. Speed isn’t something most people train by, but for me
it’s may be a good indicator that my fitness is coming back little by little. Riders may train with
heart rate (HR), perceived exertion (PE), or power if they have a power meter. I use all 3, which is such a
change for me. For the last few years, I’ve trained exclusively by power as I worked with a coach
for track and cyclocross racing. I invested in a power meters for each of my main bikes over the
course of a year and a half. My FTP is much lower now. My HR zones are much lower, and
sometimes my PE is way off for what my HR is. To complicate things ebikes calculate power a
bit differently than power meters. Say I’m averaging 15 mph on my road bike on a moderately
hilly ride, my average power may be 160 watts. On the ebike that same
effort may be 80 watts. This is one reason I have gone back to training with HR and perceived
exertion when on the ebike. If you don’t train by power, I recommend doing some research.
Power is an absolute number whereas HR and PE can vary.
12 months spent at 10-12 mph on a flat surface leaves you with nothing other than a tiny bit of
base. Myocarditis is real, and you have to make sure it's healed. Then a new mitral valve in my
heart. 3 months of a very challenging start to my healing--I'll be healing for 12 months at least.
I'm rebuilding from scratch. Until now the fastest I've done on 40ish has been 16.5. I am over the
moon that this weekend I averaged 17.7 mph for 45 miles by myself! Add this to a successful
Kissing Bridge Gravel race last weekend where I was 1 st women’s short course ebike and 3 rd
overall female to finish, I think my fitness is coming back. I will probably never be where I was
2-5 years ago with my fitness, but this is a step towards finding what my new normal will be.
And the new normal is always different. I still have no idea where my cycling will wind up, but
I'm along for the ride.