Segment vs Segment
Segments are a great way to have fun, engage with other cyclists, and have some friendly (or not so friendly) competition. In my opinion, the best use of Strava segments are the ability to track, measure and compare your efforts. Taking your own crowns is what matters most because its all about being the best cyclist you can be, not focusing on being better than someone else. So instead of wondering if that person ahead of you on the leaderboard had a lead out train, the removed their bottle cages to save weight, had a tailwind, or are just that much better than you… just focus on what did each time to gauge your own improvements.
Recently I went out and made an effort on a segment called Jump Off Rock in Hendersonville, NC. It is a 4.23 mile segment at a 4% average grade. Then, two days later, I did it again. I got the crown the first time and stole my own crown the second, by a lot. So I thought, lets break it down and see what I did differently each time to gain a little insight on what makes a difference.
Its easy to get caught up in the achievement, but to really get better each time, try to assess what went into each effort and get an idea of what works, what doesn’t. Of course, it is really difficult to tell what really made a difference… for example, maybe I was just more rested on the second attempt.. or it might be due to having an idea of how the climb is and how to use my energy more efficiently on it… At the end of the day, one thing isn’t likely to make or break your effort, but it does help to take a more in depth look at your own performances.