Tag Archives: statistics

2013 Season Summary

Veloviewer.com - 20,485 miles ridden in 2013 compared to 20,744 miles ridden in 2012 calendar year.Veloviewer.com – 20,485 miles ridden in 2013 compared to 20,744 miles ridden in the 2012 calendar year.

Veloviewer.com - total climbing elevation gain  2,594,511 ft  ... compared to 2,686,811 ft climbed last yearVeloviewer.com – 2,594,511 ft climbed in 2013 … compared to 2,686,811 ft climbed in the 2012 calendar year.

Veloviewer.com -  59days and 33 minutes spent riding my bike in 2013 ... compared to 59 days and 11 hours and 2 minutes in the 2012 calendar yearVeloviewer.com – 59 days and 33 minutes spent riding my bike in 2013 … compared to 59 days and 11 hours and 2 minutes in the 2012 calendar year

I look forward to writing this post every year, and this year I’ve got a new tool to help me – the veloviewer charts which compare stats from year to year. The three charts above show a comparison of elevation, distance, and time from the past five years. Note that I only used a Garmin in 2008 from Thanksgiving until the end of the year. This is the graphical version of the tables that I’ve been accumulating at the end of every season and which I continue to use in the rest of the post below – although the veloviewer charts are based on calendar year instead of my training/racing year.

End of the season statistics
The statistics below all run from October 29, 2012 until October 27, 2013 – 364 days worth of riding and racing. I define my racing/training season from the Monday closest to Nov 1 of the previous year to the Sunday closest to Oct 31st of the current year for all of these statistics and reports. Normally, this would include all of my racing for the calendar year. This year included an extended foray into mountain bike racing, which has more fall races, so the date range does not include two 2013 races (the November 23rd Oak Ass 100 mile mtb race and the November 30th Gravel Grovel ultracx race) and the associated training leading up to those races.

Statistics Summary
October 29, 2012 – October 27, 2013

Statistic Avg Max Min Total
Weekly training time (hours) 27:47 34:23 19:05 1445:04
Weekly distance (miles) 394.1 586.1 264.2 20,494
Ride distance (miles) 37.0 184.4 0.3 20,494
Workouts per week (#) 11 17 6 554
Weekly climbing (feet) 42,221 70,036 10,682 2,195,525

For eagle-eyed observers who note that the climbing total is lower than that reported on Strava, I will give the same explanation that I gave last year: I am generating these reports from my Polar Protrainer software. I wrote a converter that converts Garmin .FIT files and .TCX files into the .HRM format that Polar expects. The Polar Protrainer software then applies a smoothing filter when it is calculating total ascent and other statistics, but I can’t figure out how to turn it off so that the statistics match up with Strava, which doesn’t apply any smoothing filters.

Comparison to past years
All years run from the Monday closest to November 1st to the Sunday closest to October 31st. This should result in about 365 days for each year give or take a day or two.

Statistic
(per week)
2008
Avg/Max
2009
Avg/Max
2010
Avg/Max
2011
Avg/Max
2012
Avg/Max
2013
Avg/Max
Time (hours) 14.0/20.2 13.4/20.8 15.4/20.9 22.4/33.0 25.7/40.9 27.8/34.3
Dist (miles) 238/337 242/369 266/380 338/503 390/649 394/586
HR avg (bpm) 137/165 139/161 136/176 131/178 123/156 122/162
Workouts (#) 11/15 9/14 11/14 11/17 12/19 11/17
Climb (feet) 13k/20k 14k/29k 14k/23k 31k/52k 44k/89k 42k/70k
Statistic
(yearly total)
2008
Total
2009
Total
2010
Total
2011
Total
2012
Total
2013
Total
Training (hours) 726 698 798 1,167 1,336 1,445
Distance (miles) 12.4k 12.6k 13.8k 17.6k 20.3k 20.5k
Workouts (#) 560 445 546 580 632 554
Climbing (feet) 661k 677k 750k 1,598k 2,298k 2,196k

Racing Season Summary
The highlight for the racing season was winning my very first race of the year — the Southern Cross ultracx season opener in Dahlonega, GA. I knew I could do top 3 in the race, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to win, especially the way it all shook out. This win dictated my season a bit as I decided to pursue the ultracx series overall. Also, the new Southeastern Regional Series was on my radar from as soon as it was announced so I put all of those races on my calendar as well. By the time the season was all finished at the end of November, I managed to place 2nd in the overall for both series. The UltraCx series was really close, but it came down to a single point separating me from winner Mike “Simonster” Simonson. The SRS series was not quite as close with Winston David turning out a phenomenal year and me a distant 2nd. More fun was the KOM competition, which was my pre-season goal for the series, and I chased it hard but Andy Scarano was just too strong for me and I ended up starting out strong in the KOM points but fading to 3rd behind Andy and Winston. It looks like after checking the results I also ended up 3rd in the sprinter’s jersey competition as well!

Another highlight for the season was Tim Hall’s Nashville to Natchez ride. I think this really gave me the bug for ultra-endurance cycling, and I’m already planning on tackling a 500 mile race in 2014 as well as RAAM in 2015 and then possibly the Iditarod Trail Race in 2016. This led to a number of adventures this year documented in these blogs summarized below (click on each heading to go to a blog describing the adventure) -

NASHVILLE TO NATCHEZ (AND THEN ONTO BIRMINGHAM) – 444 miles on the Natchez Trace followed by another 418 miles home to Birmingham in the middle of summer. Tim Hall invited me on this fundraising ride for Team Red, White, and Blue – an organization helping veterans returning from deployment reconnect to communities through social and physical activity.

BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY AND CLEMSON FOOTBALL – I never did get a chance to write up a blog on this one, so I’ve linked to the strava activity. We had an awesome family weekend for the Clemson game against Boston College. This was my first Clemson game since graduating 15 years ago. It was my kids’ and Kristine’s first Clemson game. We tailgated, the whole 9 yards, and then Kristine and I stayed a couple extra days for me to get in a 184 mile ride from Clemson up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and take a new route across to Caesars Head. Found an awesome gravel road climb and descent a bazillion miles into the ride.

NASHVILLE TO BIRMINGHAM – a little bit of an arctic adventure in the deep south. I’ve always been fascinated with point to point rides so when the opportunity came for me to ride from Nashville back home to Birmingham after the Andrew Peterson concert, I jumped all over it. I wasn’t expecting temps hovering around 11 degF for an hour, though, and ended up having to cut the ride about 60 miles short. It still made for a 210 mile epic adventure. Technically this adventure will fall into next year’s training year but I will forget to write about it then so I’m including it in this calendar year.

RAPHA FESTIVE 500 – likewise, this adventure technically should go with next year’s season summary but since it happened this calendar year I’ll go ahead and include it. This was easily the hardest Strava challenge I’ve done and ended with one of the hardest bike rides I’ve ever done.

Finally, the graphs and charts!
CP curve - back down to 293 wattsCP curve – back down to 293 watts. Several efforts over the year caused Golden Cheetah to refit my data at a lower threshold. The black line in this pic is from my Whitewater Falls ride in October where I set the KOM on the Cat 2 climb (setting a 25 minute power record of 325 watts). (click to enlarge)

2013 - Much of my training is "distance-based" in that I aim for a particular weekly mileage. (click to enlarge)2013 – Much of my training is “distance-based” in that I aim for a particular weekly mileage. (click to enlarge)

2013 - time spent in heartrate zones ... I pay special attention to my heartrate ... ideally I'd like to be in Zone 1 or 2 or Zone 5. It's hard to put that into practice though. It is nice to see a significant drop in Zone 3 during the racing season and corresponding increase in Zone 3 during the off season. Explanation for this is that during the racing season, I spend a lot of time riding at very easy pace to recover from previous weekend's races.2013 – time spent in heartrate zones … I pay special attention to my heartrate … ideally I’d like to be in Zone 1 or 2 or Zone 5. It’s hard to put that into practice though. It is nice to see a significant drop in Zone 3 during the racing season and corresponding increase in Zone 3 during the off season. Explanation for this is that during the racing season, I spend a lot of time riding at very easy pace to recover from previous weekend’s races.

These three graphs are the ones that I pay the most attention to both during the season and afterwards during breakdown analysis. Also, the critical power curve is very helpful for KOM efforts and time trials where you can gauge the average power that you know you can sustain for a particular duration climb. Then, the next step becomes guessing what your time will be so you can know what wattage to target and weigh that against how tired your legs feel.

And finally many thank you’s
This is probably the first season in a long time that has not been my new “best season ever”, but it certainly wasn’t because of a lack of support. I owe so many people so many thank you’s far more than can fit here, but here goes – first to my amazing beautiful wife Kristine who has put up with many hours away from home on the bike and traveled to many races this year. Likewise, my kids are amazing and are quite adept at making an adventure out of what could be a lot of boring times on the side of a road in the middle of nowhere at a bike race. Plus, they have all put up with many miles in the car together as a family.

If you have ever wondered what kind of bike mechanic can deal with the crazy bike situations I find myself in, there are several in Birmingham from every shop in town who are certainly up to the task (what an amazing city we live in), but Craig Tamburello at Brick Alley opened up shop a couple years ago in Hoover just a couple miles from my house, and he has been amazing finding solutions to problems caused by all the insane rides my bike components have to deal with every year.

My new teammates from FGS Cycling, John Hart, Kurt Page, and Jeff McGrane welcomed me onto their team and helped me plunge into Tennessee racing including several new-to-me races this year (Hell of the South, Berry Peddlar, Rockabilly Classic, and Roan Groan). Awesome guys … thanks and I’m looking forward to next year!

Also, a big shout out to Mark Fisher who has challenged my climbing records and pushed me to dig deeper than anyone else has ever pushed me. Indeed, he has already passed me, and this year’s state road race was quite perfect. The two of us broke away on the second lap, and then Mark dropped me a little more than halfway up the climb on the final lap. I stayed with him longer than I expected I could, but as he rode away from me I was already thinking “this is fine, I’m happy to pass the torch of ‘Alabama’s fastest climber'” onto Mark. It’s cool, though, that we are still close enough that I can give him a run for his money in the end-of-the year strava shootout. We almost tied again this year … only 1 second separating us on the final climb!

And finally, to the entire Birmingham cycling community, wow. If you were to rank cycling communities the way they do football polls, there would be at least one #1 besides Birmingham. There is very little infrastructure (but not none, e.g., CommuteSmart has done some good work) to support cycling here, but my goodness there are a lot of amazing and dedicated riders who brave the car craziness and the hills and make it fun to ride to Birmingham. It is the riders themselves who have stepped up to replace what cities and communities have not done — made Birmingham a great place to ride.

2012 season statistics and reflection

With all that is happening in cycling right now, I definitely appreciate everyone who continues to follow my racing. I have never used any kind of performance enhancing drug, and it makes me sad/mad that so many of the stars of cycling from my generation have resorted to that during their careers. I think Phil Gaimon captured exactly how I feel when he describes Racer X at the end of this Velonews article. I will always love racing and riding my bike, so nothing changes for me in the wake of all that is coming out in the news now, other than a sense of responsibility to help promote clean sport. I’m not sure how or what difference I can make, but I’m open to suggestions and will continue looking for opportunities to help.

A picture is worth a thousand words so let’s start this long post out with a picture! My win at the Tour de Tuscaloosa road race to claim the Alabama state championship was definitely the highlight of my season. The inset pictures are the Alabama medals podium from Tuscaloosa as well teammates Boris and Kevin at the Pensacola stage race.

End of the season statistics
These statistics all run from October 31, 2011 until October 28, 2012 – 364 days worth of riding and racing. I define my racing/training season from the Monday closest to Nov 1 of the previous year to the Sunday closest to Oct 31st of the current year for all of these statistics and reports. The Polar Protrainer software makes it easy to calculate the statistics over the exact date range that I want to use.

Statistics Summary
October 31, 2011 – October 28, 2012

Statistic Avg Max Min Total
Weekly training time (hours) 25.68 40.87 15.4 1336.3
Weekly distance (miles) 389.8 648.6 255.8 20,271
Workouts per week (#) 12 19 6 632
Weekly climbing (feet) 44,199 89,354 17,936 2,298,327

For eagle-eyed observers who note that the climbing total is lower than that reported on Strava, I will give the same explanation that I gave last year: I am generating these reports from my Polar Protrainer software. I wrote a converter that converts Garmin .FIT files and .TCX files into the .HRM format that Polar expects. The Polar Protrainer software then applies a smoothing filter when it is calculating total ascent and other statistics, but I can’t figure out how to turn it off so that the statistics match up with Strava, which doesn’t apply any smoothing filters.

Some weekly milestone totals (from Strava):

  • 3 weeks with more than 500 miles of riding, including one 648.6 mile week
  • 25 weeks with more than 400 miles of riding
  • 26 weeks with more than 50,000 ft of climbing, including a week with 100,342 ft
  • 34 weeks with more than 25 hours of training/racing

Other statistical highlights (from Strava):

  • Approximately 640 different KOMs on Strava
  • A 249 mile mega ride to win the one-day Rapha Rising challenge with over 42,000 ft of climbing. I had some Garmin problems towards the end of the day and ended up losing 24 miles and 4,000 feet of climbing — but it was still enough to win the competition!

Comparison to past years
All years run from the Monday closest to November 1st to the Sunday closest to October 31st. This should result in about 365 days for each year give or take a day or two.

Statistic
(per week)
2008
Avg/Max
2009
Avg/Max
2010
Avg/Max
2011
Avg/Max
2012
Avg/Max
Training (hours) 14.0/20.2 13.4/20.8 15.4/20.9 22.4/33.0 25.7/40.9
Distance (miles) 238.4/337.1 241.8/369.4 265.5/380.3 338.4/502.7 389.8/648.6
HR avg (bpm) 137/165 139/161 136/176 131/178 123/156
Workouts (#) 11/15 9/14 11/14 11/17 12/19
Climbing (feet) 12.7k/20.3k 13.5k/29.3k 14.4k/22.8k 30.7k/52.2k 44.2k/89.4k
Statistic
(yearly total)
2008
Total
2009
Total
2010
Total
2011
Total
2012
Total
Training (hours) 726 698 798 1,167 1,336
Distance (miles) 12.4k 12.6k 13.8k 17.6k 20.3k
Workouts (#) 560 4451 546 580 632
Climbing (feet) 661k 677k 750k 1,598k 2,298k

1 When I first got my Garmin in November 2008 (which falls in the 2009 year), I was leaving my commutes as one ride. In other words, I would just stop the timer while I was at work and then start it back up for the return trip home.

Racing Season Summary
This season was another “best ever” season highlighted by winning the Tour de Tuscaloosa road race over a really strong field to claim the Pro/1/2 Alabama state road race championship, having my best finish ever in the Athens Twilight criterium (20th place), winning the 47 day Strava climbing challenge sponsored by Specialized (my 20th place at Athens Twilight was near the end of that competition), placing 11th in the elite national road race in Augusta, making the podium three times at the Georgia Cycling Gran Prix including third overall for the five day omnium, and doing well in my first real foray into mountain bike racing since high school and college (3rd at Southern Cross, 2nd at the Skyway Epic, 4th at the Barn Burner in Flagstaff, 39th at Leadville in Colorado, and 13th at Fool’s Gold).

We did a lot of traveling over the summer, including a long road trip out to Arizona for a cousin’s wedding, that included the Barn Burner mountain bike race in Flagstaff and the three-day Tulsa Tough criterium series in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the way home. I had slightly disappointing results at the Tulsa Tough, but it was still one of the funnest weekends of racing the whole year — especially with the Tour de France like climb through the crowds every lab on Cry Baby Hill on the last day of racing. Another great adventure that didn’t quite have the results I was looking for was the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race. I ended up 39th but that was after bonking pretty bad about 75 miles into the 100+ mile race and struggling for the last 30 miles home. Still, the race itself was quite an adventure getting to race alongside two different world champions (Christoph Sauser from about mile 30 to mile 40 and Rebecca Rusch briefly on the powerline climb as she blew by me at mile 75). Altogether, I raced in ten different states this year (AZ, CO, OK, LA, MS, AL, TN, GA, FL, SC) over a total of 41 days covering 2,996 miles.

Map showing the locations of all my 2012 races (click to enlarge). Over 3000 miles of racing in 10 states. I just realized I acccidentally left Arizona off the map because I lost my Garmin during the Barn Burner race so I didn’t have any data from that race to pull into topocreator.

Finally, the graphs and charts!
Critical power curve for 2012. This represents an increase from 288 watts in 2011 to 305 watts in 2012. This is QUITE a substantial increase, but it’s mainly because I didn’t have very much power data for 2011 to base my 2011 figure on. It only takes one GOOD effort to push the curve up, and I believe that effort for me was when I set the Karl Daly KOM (on June 16, 2012). (click to enlarge)

Much of my training is “distance-based” in that I aim for a particular weekly mileage. (click to enlarge)

I also spend a lot of time focused on climbing … usually this my daily focus as I will set a minimum amount that I want to climb that day and then ride as long as it takes to hit that amount. As it gets closer to the end of the week, I see what I need to do in terms of mileage to bring me up to the desired weekly mileage. (click to enlarge)

I rarely think about total time when training, but I do concern myself with time spent in different heartrate zones (particularly in the off season and base training period). I want to make sure I’m spending the right amount of time in the “red zone”. During the racing season, the race tactics that play out govern how much time is spent in the red. I aim NEVER to get into zone 4 or 5 during training during the racing season since I am racing pretty much every weekend where I spend a LOT of time in those zones. (click to enlarge)

You can see when school is in session because my “number of workouts” goes up dramatically since I have at least two rides per day (my commutes) during the school year.

Two new screenshots this year from Golden Cheetah … both “metrics” graph which highlights my best power output for a given time. This is like a discrete version of the Critical Power graph focusing on some well-known time intervals.

Aerobic power (best effort over longer time intervals). (click to enlarge)

Anaerobic power (best efforts over shorter intervals). (click to enlarge)

And finally, finally, some more thank you’s
A huge thank you to first of all my beautiful wife, Kristine Toone, and my kids Analise and Josiah, my parents and all of my teammates, friends, and family. I’ll be working over the rest of the week on a separate post with more maps of all the places that we traveled, all the places where we have stayed for races, and all the places where I have ridden this year. In that post, I’ll thank people by name who have helped out so much. Just as last year, I’ll leave this exceedingly long post with just one more thanks – thanks!