My strength has returned (though my gut is still not entirely happy).
Actually, I’ve been riding at very high sustained levels hardly seen even in 2012, though my peak power is still well below the best 2012 levels—different energy systems.
Many thanks to the persistence of Kevin over at 3DBikeFit.com with this fit. It clearly is letting me generate 10-15% higher sustained long term power than my peak year of 2012.
The workout below follows a demanding prior week. For me 243 watts on this standard workout is quite a high power level. Clearly my gluteus muscles are engaged because this did not even feel hard—and note the heart rate of 131 bpm at 243 watts, solidly aerobic.
This ride below was much harder and shows a clear need to train the high end (peak power). The disappointing 296 watts up Tunitas Creek felt very hard—I should be doing 340 watts for that perceived effort. It took a few days to recover properly.