If you train 3 times a week, each week, and sweat then I’m pretty sure that you are fitter than you were a year ago.
Sometimes if you do regular tests you can manifestly see that you have improved. eg a bi-monthly bike CP20 or a monthly parkrun can show almost unarguably that you are getting better.
If you are at the point where there are only marginal improvements to be had, then it is sometimes hard to see. If you are training for triathlons and focussing on your weaker sports then it is sometimes hard to see if your ‘best’ sport has improved.
I was wondering about this for my cycling over 2014.
For sure I swim better and run worse.
However I dread the regular CP20/30/MMP type tests and perhaps don’t do them as frequently as I should. Consequently I don’t have all the markers that prove that 2014 is a good year.
I found that a little de-motivating, to say the least. Eeesh, I’m only better at swimming after all that effort!!
Then I did a regular (but not frequent) pyramid session on my turbo. I took the target numbers from a session earlier in the year when I thought I was doing well.
Result? I nailed the session with the exact same power wattages as earlier in the year with my HR only going into Z3/Z4…and it should have been a Z5 session at the worst part.
Result? Happier Christmas and a bit more rest than I previously thought I deserved.
Morale. Don’t beat yourself up. Refer to the first paragraph for a sense check!