Festive 500 in progress and workout tracking

9:53 pm Unknown 0 Comments

Summer is a great time to clock up the base kilometres, building endurance, checking out new routes, revisiting old ones and reminiscing about faster segments.

I've been looking for a few ways to track progress and set new challenges and the first challenge for me is completing the Festive 500! The target is 500km between Christmas eve and new years eve.

I started with a few days off the bike due to a small mishap trying to put my bike together and losing part of the seat post clamp in my frame somewhere.

A photo posted by v0nm (@v0nm) on

The day before the challenge we arrived in Horsham in crazy hot heat and did a leg spin in the early evening. This totally shrivelled my hope that it would be easy to clock up the kms on the flat terrain.

Warming up on the Horsham Track - the only action this track will see this Christmas with the Carnival moving to Ballarat instead.

On Day 1 we knocked out 106km in the morning before it got too warm out. I had to get back to work phone calls and I really struggled in the last 20km. It was the first time I had clocked up that distance in months, and was grateful to have Shane nurse and encourage me to the final petrol station outside of town to re-fill bottles and spin easy home.

A small detour in the works to drain a little colour from the landscape

Mt Arapiles - no vert in this hurt

Day 2 was Christmas morning in Horsham and 52km were complete before present opening! I had picked up a new Fondo kit for myself as a present and it was great to ride in something super aero in the head and cross winds. Shane and I shared the load of work and I felt vaguely useful, but it sure took a little while to warm up after such a big day before.

A photo posted by Shane Miller (@gplama) on

Day 3 We had progressed on our regional family tour to Ballarat and it was cold, raining and bloody windy again! Declaring a rest day - there were no complaints. Shane bought a ultrasonic cleaner in the sales and we all got smooth running drive trains :)

Day 4 in Ballarat and it was certainly a good idea to get some vertical ascent. Stephen Lane joined us and we headed out to Buninyong Road Nationals course. I managed a solo lap before catching up with Serene Lee and friends. We rolled 2 laps and showed her the lay of the land, before settling down for coffee. While out and about Peta Mullens was motoring around the course, sharpening up before the big event of Elite Nationals in a few weeks. We rolled back past the Christmas Track Carnival in Sebastopol and that was enough for me in the wind for one day with 73kms in the bank.

Peta looking pro with Shane and I goofing around

I've completed 231kms total and was looking at ways to continue to plan and track this. A basic Strava account tracks the progress to date for a challenge. In past history I have used an excel spreadsheet.

Basic Accounts
I've used Training Peaks over the last year and started to play with Today's Plan to compare the features. The issue I have is that with the basic accounts for these 2 products, is you cannot plan out any future workouts.

With Training Peaks, if you want to alter the planned daily workout (that you or a coach has setup), you can adjust any of the target values. This is not possible in Today's Plan. It reports on what has been executed against the set regime. If you have not purchased a Plan, you cannot setup a target for the day and then upload a ride to see if you have met it. It will just log whatever you have executed.
Also there are no fancy graphs in the basic Training Peaks, only totals for the week.

Premium Accounts
Strava allows you to compare your workout against your previous workout/rides and what the other products don't offer - comparison against other riders. The premium version of Strava allows further breakdown of other riders in your age and weight class, plus all the other goodies that the other players have.

The other main features for these products are - detailed power analysis, future workout planning and adjustment, canned/generic training plans, progress tracking at workout and training plan level.

There are other little unique features that try and differentiate each product, but they are pretty much all equal apart from the price points. I have years of data in Training Peaks, some backlog in Garmin Connect, and patchy coverage in Strava. I haven't worked out which product to use for myself this next year, so I'll keep tracking the remainder of my Festive 500 in Strava.

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