COVID19 has put a hiatus on events until further notice. Competitive Cyclist of all disciplines has flocked towards Strava for some competition. Here are our best tips to help you nail a PR on your favorite Strava segments.
Do your homework. Strava – PR segments can be down to the seconds. It could be a lot shorter than you think because it requires a higher intensity effort. The effort could also be a bit longer than you think because it requires saving a little bit more in the tank. What it comes down to is understanding the entire length of the segment of where it starts and where it ends. Use the satellite map to find some landmarks for the start and end of the segment. You want to finish strong through the finish line without leading into it for the fastest time.
Have a Power Meter – This is a game-changer and if you don’t have one, we highly suggest you get one. What the power meter will allow you to do is help you understand what your training zones are and abilities to sustain an effort. Having a power meter will allow you to tackle a climb at a designated wattage and you come into the climb confidently knowing you can hold the power for an extended period.
Ride in good conditions. If it’s windy out, be sure to capitalize on the tailwind and not the headwind for your desired segment. A 5-10mph headwind can greatly influence the time for your segments. On top of that, be sure to ride in very cool conditions. With a maximum effort, your body is going to be fighting to keep you cool. Look towards riding in the morning or towards the evening where you have optimal temperatures. Heat can reduce your peak performance and when going for a PR segment, you want to be riding in the most optimal times.
Have a Reference. Check if there’s someone near your fitness level that has done the climb before. Look at their power and times so you can carefully gauge how you will perform. If you know your fitter than your rival, set for a higher power target and finishing time. Knowing someone with similar power to weight ratio to you can help close the gap of the unknown.
Have a Pacing Partner. Pushing the maximum amount of power for a PR segment is no easy feat since it requires a lot of mental focus and sometimes, you have to get yourself hyped. Having a pacing partner is even much more powerful during longer segments because of the draft effect. Find your target power and have your pacing partner set the pace for the duration of the climb.
Utilizing these elements in your arsenal when tackling your next PR Strava segment is bound to get you a solid result.