I don't have a power meter, and I found I really wasn't using a heart rate monitor to any useful effect. I would look at the numbers after a ride and say to myself "Yep, I was working hard". My perceived effort told me as much.
So how can I judge my progress from year to year?
At the risk of seeming like a crazy stalker and confessed math geek I have come up with the following method to judge "form".
The Factor of M.
MM actually, as in Mike Montalbano.
Monte does the same early season races as me and my 503 Cycleworx mates, so a little of the old cross multiply and divide and I can find how we are doing. Conditions can change year to year but Monte is a constant variable.
Monte = FAST.
Here is the data I've compiled:
James= M+4%, Charlie=M+16%
James= M+14%, Josh= M+8%, Charlie = M+16%
James=M+10%, Josh=M+9%, Charlie=M+22%
James=M+.3%, Josh=M+5%, Charlie=M+13.5%
James=M+.01%, Josh=M+2%, Charlie=M+9%
James=M+2%, Josh=M+3%, Charlie=M+13%
So what does this all tell us?
I am showing some signs of improvement, James is getting F'ing fast, and Josh should ride a singlespeed all the time.
I must admit I did take a liberty with the data; I assumed I could do an extra lap at the same pace at Winsted Woods and Winding Trails to come up with a figure for me on those races, but HB, and SSAP, I raced the same length, so going from +16-22% to 13% does suggest something.