Get Yourself Committed

It is training Wednesday and today we have another guest post from Steve Weller of Bell Lap Coaching. Steve has been coaching since 2004, and brings practical experience and a scientific background to his athletes. Steve began racing while attending Dartmouth College, where he studied biology and physiology. In his years of coaching, Steve has helped both amateur and professional athletes acheive their goals, with dozens of wins, medals at National and World Championships, and upgrades to Cat. 1 and 2 in road and mountain, as well as Pro MTB. With experience in road, track, cyclo-cross and mountain bike racing, Steve now focuses on the New England and NRC road season, racing for one of the nation’s top amateur teams, / Cannondale (formerly Fior di Frutta).

Be sure to visit the Bell Lap Coaching website for information on coaching and training. Steve will be posting regularly on Wednesdays about training and racing – if you have any questions for Steve, let us know.

Part of cycling’s lore and mystique is the unfaltering commitment of its athletes.  We’ve all heard tales of huge training blocks, four-hour basement trainer riders with the lights off, and cyclists’ dedication to training and recovery above almost anything else.  This commitment to the athletic lifestyle and long-term goals often pays dividends in increased fitness and skill.

A long time friend and client of mine brought up an interesting point in a conversation the other day, highlighting the importance of commitment on a much smaller scale.   Juxtaposed with the dedication that comes with being a competitive athlete are those moments in a race when we decide to launch solo off the front of the field, jump across to an early break, or sprint for the finish.   My friend astutely explained that as athletes, we owe it to ourselves to fully commit to that solo break, attack, or sprint, and give it our full focus, mentally and physically.

Now, don’t get me wrong:  I’m not saying that you should burn all your matches following every attack in a race, or take a solo flier at the start of a 100 mile day.  Rather, I’m encouraging you to race confidently and commit to going “all in” during your races.  Try new things, jump on those attacks without hesitation, and embrace the process of learning from those experiences.  By really committing and giving 100% in races, you’ll push your limits, gain fitness and experience, and learn more about yourself and racing, while never having to wonder if that break would have stayed away if you had only taken a few more pulls…

Make a pledge to yourself, or better yet, set the goal of committing during your races:  react to the dynamics of the race and go all in.  Then, after the race, review those times when you gave 100%.  Did those efforts pay off?  What lessons did you learn?  What will you change next time?

In addition to those epic training rides, skipping out on the family hiking trips, and politely refusing dessert, don’t forgot to capitalize on those precious race-day opportunities, or better yet, make your own opportunities!  Commit yourself 100% to the decisive moments that make up each race day, objectively review those efforts, and reap the benefits of your commitment as you learn and improve.

To contact Steve, email him or give him a call at  413.376.4880.