It really does work!
Carl sent through some interesting stats the other night. Basically it was everything we'd timed over the past 12 months both in racing and training. He did the same for Emily although her data only goes back to April this year.
Basically we're both getting faster. Not just a little but rather dramatically. For example in Round 1 (October 2008) of last year's Trek Summer Sprint Series my Flying 200 time was a personal best of 14.72 seconds on a calm day. That was only the second time I'd gone under 15 seconds and I was happy. By the last round in April 2008 I was down to 13.94 - the first time under 14 seconds. Last Sunday on a windy day I was down to 13.32 seconds, a new PB. I know comparing outdoor times is fraught with danger because the conditions play a big role but the times in training at DISC also reflect this trend. There's ups and downs of course, you can't set a PB every time you train but the trend is unmistakable.
If you would prefer to talk about speed rather than time then we are talking 48.91 kph in October 2007 versus 54.05 kph in November 2008. That's a speed increase of over 5kph which is very significant on the track.
Emily's improvement is also substantial. In April this year she set 16.1 seconds for a flying 200 at DISC which was not only a PB but gave her the state title very comfortably. On Sunday on a windy day at Blackburn she set 14.92 seconds. So her speed has gone from 44.72 kph to 48.26.
The above is a long winded way of saying that training really does work. Not just any training but structured, planned training with particular goals and outcomes in mind. The easiest thing to do is ride your bike a lot, throw in some efforts here and there and fall for the myth that if a little bit of something is good for you then a lot of the same something is even better.
We can do better of course. I'd like to build my speed endurance to a point where I can use my kick and speed at the end of a scratch race or in a handicap not just in a 3 lap match sprint. I'm sure we'll get there. We just need some structure and planning...