What stands between you and being a better rider?

We all ride for different reasons, but one thing we all agree on is that if we can be more comfortable during our rides, or ride more, that would be great. Whether you’re a commuter, casual rider, or aspiring racer, improving your fitness level can make a big difference in your riding. Being more fit is better in life too, with lower risk of illness and disease as well as longer life being potential side effects.

If you use Strava already, you know how it can be a great tool to track your rides. If you’re a competitive person you probably like the ability to compete with others on your favorite segment of road, but really, the app is what you make of it. You don’t need to be competitive, you just need to ride or run for fun to make it worth it. If you use a Garmin device, many can be paired to share your data with Strava, giving you a log of all the rides you do in a year. It also records your personal records on your regular rides, giving you a goal to shoot for on the next one. In my case, that means  even if  have no hope of beating that elite-level racer up the hill by my house, I can beat my own previous time, and that’s good.

Available for android and IOS, Strava is an app you can use to track your rides or runs, as well as your total mileage. It's also a great way to connect with other cyclists like members of Erik's Riders Club

Available for android and IOS, Strava is an app you can use to track your rides or runs, as well as your total mileage. It’s also a great way to connect with other cyclists like members of Erik’s Riders Club

If you want to be a better rider, however, you’ve got to think about it, and your rides along with how you eat and live can take you to the next level. I love being active year-round, and I wouldn’t consider myself a “racer” (more on that in an upcoming blog) just like you may not, but I know that when I am at my ideal weight and eating the right food I feel better. When I feel better, I perform better; I enjoy my ride time, I get more out of my days in general, and I surprise myself by blowing away goals. To track this, I have had great luck with MyFitnessPal. Its database of foods and exercises allows me to track my intake and output with impressive accuracy.

MyFitness Pal tracks your calories via food and expended from working out or just living life.

MyFitness Pal tracks your calories via food and expended from working out or just living life.

You'll notice A LOT of food in and a great deal of exercise. This particular day was a 50k ski day... for fun.

You’ll notice A LOT of food in and a great deal of exercise. This particular day was a 50k ski day… for fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it’s possible to combine the two apps for great information sharing across platforms. By connecting Strava and MyFitnessPal (MFP), your ride data is automatically shared to your to your MFP Exercise Diary, allowing you to accurately track your nutrition relative to your rides and runs. Like any tool, the key is in using these to better your performance, but it’s been shown in scientific studies that tracking your progress is not only helpful in losing weight, but tracking via an electronic device enhances weight loss further.

How to connect?

To Connect your android or IOS device, simply go to Settings > Link to Other Devices > and check MyFitnessPal

To Connect your android or iOS device, simply go to Settings > Link to Other Devices > and check MyFitnessPal

It’s as easy as that – no more manually entering in your ride data and guesstimating how much intensity or effort you put in during a given time period, and hey – even if you’re not looking to best a personal record, isn’t it nice to know if you really EARNED that donut?

What’s your take – are you for or against technology in your cycling? Let us know in the comments.

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