|Still some 300 VAM to go!|
The circumstances vary and many of us don't do those very often anyways. Also, as important as it is to listen to your legs and whole body, they can be deceiving. At least my legs fool me quite a bit.
A fitness/fatique analyzer based on heart rate and/or a power meter is a great tool to get the bigger picture of your current form.
As a Strava user I rely on their Fitness & Freshness tool*. It sums up the relative effort of my training based on the HR to track my levels of fitness, fatigue and form over time. It counts the efforts of the last 3 months exercises, laying more emphasis on the most recent ones. Read more on how it and the new mobile app training range tool work here.
Taiwan KOM Challenge is only a month away, and my initial idea was to do it again this year - now in good form. I've been training with that in mind but unfortunately stars didn't align and I can't attend it this fall.
Usually I check the fitness&freshness graph over the last six months. Yesterday I chose to view a whole year. To my surprise, it showed that before Taiwan last year, my fitness factor was 23**. Yesterday it was 89!
Yes, I feel that I am in a better shape now. I knew it's been pointing upwards this summer - but still, quite a big difference. Too bad I can't make use of it on that iconic climb.
* Available only for Premium/"Summit" accounts.
** To be honest, I didn't use a HR belt on every ride last year which affect the equations.