Cross season is back. It’s time to get some updates out. Bring on the mud.
Otherwise – we’re still full with current clients.
If any openings appear – I’ll post them here.
The next few months are key to a successful season. Get the basics sorted first.
1) Check your race bike over – if you’ve been training on your winter XC bike, don’t expect your summer XC/CX bike to be in perfect order.Take it down, run through the gears and brakes, check it all works. If you’re not competent enough fixing it – take it to your local bike shop and get it sorted.
2) Check your shoes – the winter is terrible on kit and cleats. Check your old winter cleats are in working order and if in doubt, swap them out. Its only a few quid and it will save you a world of pain if you pull out of your pedals in a race.
3) New bottles – your ten year old fateful water bottle may not be your best friend. dragged through a winter of mud and slurry it probably is covered in some nasty things. Get some baby bottle disinfectant and get it clean. This goes for all bottles, there is no point in getting a GI infection at this time of year.
As ever the months of March and April are about base. Focus on what you need to be doing – riding your bike, getting stronger off the bike. Take it all, get prepared now and the next few months will be a lot easier on you.
You have to want something to make it happen. You have to work. You have to give everything to achieve even the smallest thing. Sometimes this means failure. Sickness. Strife.
To some this comes as a door blocking any attempt to get better, to progress past the point they know they should be at, but with no knowledge or drive to do it.
For others it is a challenge, a door that needs to be picked to show us what lies behind with the treats of victory and progress behind it.
Getting past that door takes commitment. Time on wheels. Time out in the dark, the rain, the cold. It gives you the edge. Puts you across the line first. With everyone else looking like they are still behind the door.
What did you commit to last in your training?
Six years away from track riding and I thought I’d lost the bug. But spending a week back and forth from the track in Manchester with an athlete racing the worlds has taught me one thing. I still like to turn left, I love watching it, the noise, the smell, the atmosphere. The bug is back…seeing her get 3 medals may have helped One or two things stayed with me. The most basic of which was posted outside the USA pit area:
The second, it is ok to suck. Sometimes we do. We are the meaning of suck, at life, at reality, at everything we do. But others can help us not suck. Those people support us, drag us kicking and screaming from a pit of suck onto the beaches of success.
I have only resurfaced from sleep after 4 hour nights all week. Staying up to cook food, to wake up to prepare bottles and coffee, to convince and persuade an elite athlete that they are elite…it takes a lot from me. But damn, it feels good when they perform. Results for a coach are proof that the pudding not only tastes good, but stays down.
Time to cook some more.
Time to suck less.
Some of our athletes are finished for the year. Taking a break, looking back, knowing that you did what you could. All of these are important skills that each athlete needs to learn.
Congratulations to Tim at the London Triathlon at the weekend – goal achieved despite a season of training skewed by external pressures.
Similarly well done to Sean, performing at Bontranger 24/12 despite a massive reduction in training time and increase in life stress. One place off the podium in a harder field than last year. Some gains are not measurable by position.
Autumn is about to fall. The weather has broken and many athletes are just awaking. Keeping motivated in the lead into fall races is always hard, hours are less, weather more unpredictable, life catches up after the summer break.
Focus. Simplicity. Targets.
All of these things will allow them to continue.
We’ve been quite quiet of late.
Athletes are training and racing. Coach is trying to do the same.
Time for words has decreased. Time for sunlight is here.
Commiserations to Phil at the Highland Trail race – retiring due to a mechanical is never fun.
Congratulations to Sarah for victory at the Skerries Triathlon – injuries are never as bad as they appear.
Continuations to all athletes, racing, training, suffering the fitness that has emerge – enjoy the summer. Winter is coming.
Stunning week for Stoic Focus athletes:
- 2nd place Vet and 5th over all at the European 12 Hour MTB Championships for Phil
- 1st place at Round 3 of the Irish XC NPS for Claire
Summer is coming and people are going fast. Keep them coming.
A referred email from clients. Advice about the psychology that is needed to cover 100km by foot. No talk of pace, no talk of time, just thought.
It made me think, so I share.
BIG question there. “What do you need mentally to get through an ultra?”
For me, from both an ultra running, triathlon and cycling background it comes down to one thing: You need to want it. More than anything.
If at any point you feel that you don’t belong at the race – you’re in trouble. You can not let that even cross your mind.
Training is training – racing is racing. You train to race, not the other way around. Simulate the racing in your training – be focused on the fact that it’s not a long run today and a long run tomorrow.
It’s a run today, a run tomorrow.
It’s not long compared to 100km. So do it, move on, then come race day it will be easier. Incremental focus. Focus on the task, not the enormity of it.
During racing itself incremental focus is more important than anything. Breaking a race down is the way to deal with it. Don’t think of a 100km race, think of an easy paced 10km run. Then think about another easy paced 10km run. Repeat until you happen to cover 100k. Focus on the total of the event and it will break you.
However, fail to understand or appreciate that totality of the event and the demands that it will place on you physically at your peril. It may break you. But so may stepping off the kerb.
Be aware, not wary. Knowledgeable, not paranoid. You are capable of making the decisions, not the race itself.
Mostly. Enjoy it. 100km is not that far.
Another weekend of mountain bike racing and the girls are smashing it.
1st place for Claire Breslin at the first round of the Irish XC National Points series in Cong county Mayo, and another 1st place for another athlete at the Southern XC series. The ladies are doing me proud.
More results as they come in, but the summer looks like a good one.