2022 has been a mixed year. I achieved half of my goals. Mileage targets of 4,000km for cycling and 300km for running were met. But weight and strength goals were not.
- I actually liked the new balance between cycling and running. With a lower cycling mileage, I could focus on ride quality and this translated to a lot more climbing. I close to doubled 2021’s elevation. I actually felt stronger on the bike this year despite riding significantly less.
- Running is still the most efficient cardio activity for me. (I can’t swim well.) I made some progress towards running faster but the needle did not shift much overall . I ran more and kept my body engine maintained.
- Weight was a tough nut to crack. I tried a strict diet for two weeks before being unable to continue. This was the diet I could handle for 6 months around 5 years ago. Body ain’t the same any more and I have to change my approach.
- Strength. I just did not have the interest. If given 30 mins free time, I would prefer to run or spin.
2022’s biggest joy came from cycling overseas. The trip to Italy was the best cycling investment of 2022. A trip that I would recommend to those interested in climbing the historic Italian alps and dolomites. It was a great bucket list ride and I am keen on experiencing it again. The wonderful experience pushed me to go on a single ride in Cameroon Highlands. A nice climb that rounded off my year.
The climbing focus of 2022 meant that I actually spent more time spinning indoors than riding outdoors. I needed long climbs that Singapore’s terrain could not provide. Zwift was able to. Besides many ascents of Alpe du Zwift and Ventop, I also cleared Zwift’s longest routes below – PRL Full, Uber Pretzel, Mega Pretzel and Four Horsemen. While 2021 heralded my first metric century indoors, 2022 saw more metric centuries and my first imperial century.
I am going to try a very different approach for 2023. For the past six years, I have primarily measured performance in annual mileage. That is going away. I have seen the benefits of thinking less about mileage this year and want to move that completely off my mind next year. Instead, I will focus on becoming fit and lean where the only measurable outcome is power/timing and weight. Here is what I will focus on:
- Cycling. Break the 230w barrier. Ride twice a week even if these are short rides. Try spin training plans. Keep to one 100km ride a month.
- Riding. Break the sub 20-min 5km barrier. Run twice a week. Keep to one 10km run a month. Try for one 21km run.
- Weight. Drop to and maintain 68-70kg. Focus on cutting down meal portions instead of embarking on extreme diets.
My hope is that more active days will better improve fitness as compared to pushing out that weekly 80km ride and 6km run. We’ll see if this pans out. More active days is a challenge. Having to do at least one ride and one run on weekdays will be difficult.
Aside from performance, I will be riding in Switzerland in June, and more importantly with my wife. This will be the highlight for 2023. Like this year, I hope to be able to do one or two small overseas rides nearer to Singapore. But we will see if family and work commitments allow.
Wishing everyone the best in the coming year!