This is the time of year when many of us "Club Cyclists" are at very different levels of fitness.
This is clear when going out on club rides, people who are generally stronger than you are struggling, people who you are generally stronger than you are leaving you gasping for air as they ride away from you on the climbs.
This can lead to a lot of self doubt and questioning of yourself "Am i training correctly?", "I should be stronger". These negative thoughts can be harmful and debilitating as the now famous "Chimp" bends your ear!
Well lets break this down:
1) Its perfectly reasonable to expect that individuals in the pack will be at different levels, hell it would be amazing if they were not.
2) When are these individuals going to be racing, some of them have already started or are planning to race at the Perfs Pedal in February, they may be planning an early peak and having a break to peak again.
3) Different individuals react better or worse according to the prevailing weather conditions.
What your "Chimp" should be nagging you about is:
"Have you been following your own training plan?".
"Does your annual training plan need revising?".
"How are you performing against the metrics that you set yourself?".
Another couple of points to remember are:
that this time of year your workload should be in about base2 or build1 phase which deals almost completely with the Aerobic and not the Anaerobic therefore working on force, strength and endurance .... this will pay you back big style in the season.
Anaerobic Training such as Intervals are so efficient that you really only have to carry out a few sessions to see great improvements to build on ....(remember your gains last year?) whearas Aerobic training is a tough , slow, build that you cannot afford to skimp on!
The Chimp Paradox