How to make bike racing easy? Don’t try to make it easy.

The overwhelming majority of the time I’m facing a challenge in coaching, it is not trying to solve a physiological challenge that my athlete has to sort out. It isn’t some case of digging through exercise science to pull out that extra 1%. Instead, it is usually that the athlete lacks confidence that things can be hard and that they’ll be fine or thrive.  In other words, that they aren’t willing to go into a fight with the understanding that they’re gonna get hit.

When a race gets hard, it does not mean something is wrong with their preparation. When it gets hard and one looks around, many have taught themselves to see that everyone else is fine and that they are suffering. Defeated.

You won’t win most of your races.  In Eddy Merckx’s peak, between ’69 and 75, he won 35% of this races.  The greatest one only 1/3.   There are plenty of pros who never win.  You are going to lose (as in, not win) most of the races you do.  If this was the fight game, you ARE going to get hit.  You are going to get kicked.  Even if you do win, you are going to take some damage.  If you can do a race without taking any damage, you are sandbagging.

I’ve seen guys who have 20something less on the VO2max test than others, but beat them regularly. That grit. That toughness. That stubborness. There’s not enough of it in this game, yet it takes a lot of it to be the best that you’re capable.

When things suck, be it a race, be it the way your legs feel when you start riding, be it the way you feel when the lap cards come out, or even if there’s still 49 miles of a 50 mile race to go…it is just part of it. It is going to happen.

It is a near impossible task for me to fully help someone who comes to me or coaching in general with the mindset that they want me to help them make the bike races easier for them. It’ll never be easy enough for those people.

When you are fit and prepared, the easy parts are easier. But you get to start making the hard parts hard.

Get your head to the point where you are making the race happen for you, not that the race is happening to you.

Things may not get easier when this happens, but they get better by every measure.

Go ahead, click my day.
Second Echelon

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