The title of this submit is a variation on “marginal features”, the idea by which coach Dave Brailsford famously revolutionized British Biking. It’s mentioned in numerous locations together with the ebook Atomic Habits, and there may be an excerpt right here. Should you make a number of tiny enhancements, say about 1% every, they’ll add up over time to a considerable acquire (like compound rates of interest). However I lately discovered that this occurred to me in reverse within the final yr and a half, a number of minor adjustments added as much as a major lack of velocity on my bike. I observed this after I did a Strava Section that lasted just below an hour, at a median velocity of 13.2 mph. After which I remembered that I had executed a century journey in September of 2021, which was near seven hours at a median velocity of 14.8 mph. So again then I may go all day significantly quicker than I may lately go for below an hour. What has modified?
I observed that a couple of month after the century, I wrote a submit on “time-restricted consuming“. As a result of this appeared to have well being advantages, I began following it, which for me meant not consuming breakfast. Since I do my using within the morning I used to be using earlier than consuming. This brought about the primary vital loss in velocity. Just lately I attempted the identical Strava section however after consuming breakfast, and my time improved significantly, to fifteen mph. That may account for many of the change. I appeared for different marginal results. I then discovered I had written a submit “Recumbents Don’t Want Clip-in Pedals- Who Knew?” additionally a couple of month after the century. It’s handy and cozy to make use of common footwear and platform pedals whereas using. International Biking Community did a video right here that confirmed there may be little or no efficiency drop with platform pedals. However that is utilizing stiff footwear designed for biking with platform pedals. I used to be utilizing my common avenue footwear so I feel this brought about extra of a efficiency hit. Lastly, my century was in September with hotter climate, so I used to be sporting shorts and a tight-fitting jersey. Carrying extra garments in winter can gradual you down if they’re free and trigger extra drag.
I put all these little results collectively, first placing my clip-in pedals again on the bike and sporting the cycling-specific footwear that go together with them (mine have Shimano spd cleats). I made positive I wore form-fitting garments and ate breakfast earlier than my journey. I then did a time trial of about an hour yesterday, averaging 15.2 mph, and it felt the trouble was sustainable for for much longer. It’s reassuring to know that I haven’t gotten any slower previously 18 months.
Nevertheless it’s essential to notice that every one of this issues solely after I’m checking my time towards a earlier time, or attempting to submit a superb time on Strava or the equal. For relaxed rides, I can nonetheless put on common footwear and garments. Fortuitously, I’ve pedals which have a platform floor on one facet and clip-in on the opposite, so I can use both sort of shoe. I additionally nonetheless intend to do fasted rides and skip breakfast a number of days per week for the well being advantages. However on a day after I’m testing my efficiency, I’ll eat breakfast and have my full cycling-specific “package” on. Each little bit helps!