Carmichael Training Systems
Look Beyond the Leaderboard: Racing against your buddies is great, but many of these sites can give you training feedback you can’t get any other way. “GPS data, especially altitude and elevation gain and loss, can be helpful for interpreting data such as power and heart rate, because it provides context,” says Carmichael. And when you’re on the road, the extensive libraries of training rides can come in handy. “They’re a great way to tap into local knowledge for routes,” says Carmichael.
Stick to Your Training Plan: There’s a reason successful athletes pick a handful of events and then spend most of their time training. If you’re always competing, you never build a solid base or recover. “The danger is gunning for KOMs every time you ride or getting sucked into a challenge like accumulating 100,000 feet of climbing in 10 days,” Wallenfels explains. “It throws off the flow of a training plan and eventually decreases results.”
Diversify Your Feedback: “No single site fits every need,” says Lim. Strava is good for comparing your performance—to yourself and others. MapMyFitness is good for tracking athletes in real time. TrainingPeaks is good for collecting data and keeping a training diary. As with any good tool set, you might need a few different sites and apps to get the best results. And if you’re serious about training, Lim advises, supplement with a coach. “No social media can ever replace the feedback and daily interaction of good coaching.”