Categories
News Uncategorized

Real Race Training – #TopTipTuesday

Making the most of Time on the Race Bike – Real Race Training

Training I say? Squats you think? The tide is again turning slowly, but it seems for many involved in racing bicycles, at any level or discipline, when we speak about training, most people’s minds think about the “physical”. Intervals, sprints, strength training, “Vo2” and “cardio”. The specific race training, that “big bang for your buck” on your bike training comes a poor second best. In reality working on areas of weakness and specificity; aiming to arrive in any start-gate truly ready to attack any race course should make up not the majority but none the less a well organised portion of your training time. Especially if race progression is your goal. Here are some top-tips you can apply to your real deal on the bike training as all to often if you search our training advice all you’ll find is FTP, zones, barbells and box jumps.

 

1 – Set a Goal: just like going to the gym to work on maximal strength where you will try to lift the heaviest weight possible for four sets of three repetitions, having a goal for your on the bike training is critical. It sets the tone for the whole session and allows you to organise the details. This can be anything from braking points or visualisation pre-run, to bigger picture work like managing intensity over full runs or hitting top gear after only limited practice run/s. A goal should be individual to your needs but it must be defined both for the session planned and placed within the picture of your overall plan. Short range goals in the context of big product goals. More here from the Harvard Business Review.

AP-21GMEVM8N2111_hires_jpeg_24bit_rgb

2 – Define Your Process: A goal is only achievable with a process to get there – take that first example of working on ‘braking points’. Without a process that goal stays pretty abstract. Aim to define what features that require braking you are truly struggling with, define if you need to brake more, harder, less or more consistently. Define two to three spots on a track where the consequences of good/bad braking points will be evident. Try different braking strategies and then try to time a section that allows you to learn from different braking approaches. Consequences & knowledge of results are a must. We deployed many of these ideas with Thomas Estaque & Hugo Frixtalon HERE

WhatsApp Image 2019-10-12 at 21.02.43

3 – Focus: staying focused on the task at hand and your goals is a challenge as riding bikes is FUN! This however is also a  key area that many riders, even the best, struggle with at the races. Staying focused on the job of building a race run. You can try many things to improve focus during training. Key words – like “focus on” and then imagine yourself hitting a light switch. OR try riding a fun track between your focused race training runs. Nutrition can help too – planned lunch time, high carbohydrate snacks between runs and stimulants like caffeine could help.

 

4- Own your Mistakes: The best race training is training that is challenging enough that you make errors often. Mistakes are normal and are a great opportunity to learn. Instead of getting angry or upset about an error, own up to it, learn from it and take the opportunity it provides to grow. A mistake, from being a little off line to a huge crash is the outcome of many choices. So dissect and investigate where the mistake came from, see if you can change it short or long term and then move on. Move on happy in the knowledge that you’ve learned and grown as a racer because of it.

 

5 – Rest & Reflect: Rest between runs, especially timed or full runs can be an area often overlooked. Riders want maximum bike time, fun time or feel more is better, when in reality, better is better! Learning (whether emotional or motor skills) requires time for adaptation to occur. Short term and long term. Acute fatigue can be beneficial at times to help teach a rider how to adapt movement and technique for a tired body, but often the best  training happens with a minimal level of freshness and readiness. Likewise this rest time between runs allows the rider time to reflect on lessons learned and experiences gained in the session. Resting for minutes, not seconds between runs can allow you to adjust your goal and processes and make sure you are doing what’s needed to meet the goal set out at the start of the session as well as mitigate the risk of injury.

5 tips Race Training Copy

Categories
News Top Tip

The best of 2017?

Becoming an annual reflection I think, but what was the very best ride of 2017?

Some years, like 2016, there is a sure-fire stand-out. Fresh single-rack, the best of friends or the wildest moments? Some years maybe it’s no so clear-cut? Maybe it’s that all the rides were mediocre or the inverse, maybe every time those tyres touched dirt it was sensational wild times.

Reflection is what makes this sort of otherwise useless blog post important (to me at least)! The lens we see the past through is constructed from those very experiences we are reflecting on….but that lens , I suppose, is easily changed in tint, hue or shape by the outcomes of those very reflections!?

Curbing all that philosophical yip-yapping, 2017 had bike shredding in every month! From January to December, maybe the first time for me in years, but what it also had as mind-bending savagely good trails, people and times in each of those months. So a very “best ride of 2017” is just not possible to nail down. Via the scary power of social media though below is a collection of some of the highlight moments. From shredding with Point1 athletes on endless alpine gems or wild berms to getting barreled in the berms of Champéry’s “coupe du Monde” track. 2017 delivered. Some of the most enjoyable rides were probably the solo, 6 a.m. missions to the top of whatever hill or mountain was above the World Cup h venues, praying to find a trail that was not only good but would bring me back to the apartment in time to whip up a decent breakfast at 6:45 a.m. for FMD-Racing!

Anyways, all going to “plan” 2018 will dish up a double portion of the same……cheers bikes, you’re class.

Categories
News Top Tip Uncategorized

Discipline = Freedom

Currently learning a little but making a conscious effort to apply and above all “concrete” fresh ideas, concepts and thinking I’ve learned in the last 3 months (there has been alot of self-led learning lately). Application of knowledge is the best part of coaching, the most, maybe only essential part of coaching and at times the most taxing…at least for me.

For applying new ideas to real world situation and real people (athletes) sets them and ultimately me up for failures. As absolutes don’t exist in sports performance I’ve only got principles to guide me so as long as the application of new “things” is underpinned at all times by principle then, well, then we should all be OK!

Excepting success graciously and failure willingly and learning from either is after all key to growth!

16308150604_59b281c704_o
Prepared to learn no matter the outcome; mind at ease because discipline happened!?

Growth for the athletes I coach, myself as a coach or rider and growth in general is all about MINDSET – some even call it Growth Mindset and you’ll see plenty of sweet wee info-graphics out there with all sorts of “people with a growth mindset don’t watch TV” type think on the go out there! Lovely stuff!

So yes, I am all about the growth mindset, but I don’t think it something best actively cultivated more something that is made obligatory for you by your approach to your environment.

So Step 1 would be make sure your environment is pretty good. If it’s not change it or if that’s not possible….deal with it! Don’t have access to a sweet gym with Olympic bars and coloured plates? Only got too dumbbells and 5 X 5m sq. to train in – fine shut up and get to it…..but of your goals or needs involve increasing max strength or re-habing from injury then maybe seeking out the fancy gym or making your will have to happen. That’s environment management in a nutshell – deal with it or change it!

Tight-Rope of Mindset  Thanks to trainugly.com
Tight-Rope of Mindset – Thanks to trainugly.com

Anyway I’ll get to the point; Discipline = Freedom or Discipline creates Freedom. A guy called Jocko Willink said that. He was a military man where discipline keeps you alive in the country you’re invading for no good reason.

But the discipline he’s on about isn’t in relation to conduct in the presence of superiors. It’s self-discipline and that’s where it relates or transfer to all things coaching and performance. The key common trait in people that perform consistently is discipline and as I’ve said 100000 times consistency is King when it comes to progress. So where does the freedom come in you ask? Well everywhere. FREEDDDOOOMMMM! 😉

When you are disciplined daily then freedom happens. It may seem paradoxical…but it’s not. It’s freedom in light of your goals, wants, needs and desires. For example, self-discipline removes doubt, removes internal ego struggle and get’s ride of ineffective and incessant daily micro-management. All of the above suck time out of day and reduce your freedom. Not it may feel like sticking to your 6;00 a.m turbo session removes freedom, but all it does is create it.

When it’s done it’s done. Add into that the fact that you know after a hard turbo session you needs 60g of Carbs, 30g Protein and some fats, along with the fact you know you’ll be hunger again at 10 a.m. due to EPOC and BMR effects. So your A.M snack is sorted. Homemade muffin, a banana, 1 yogurt and some coffee anyone?

Discipline in daily choices creates simplicity in subsequent choices and that frees up all the space in your head to think and do much more, frees up all the hours outside of training or work or chores, job done!

No micromanagement means you not worrying about every wee detail….you’re not guilty about missing your morning training, you’re not wondering if you deserve that snack, your not wondering if you’ve eaten the correct thing before training this evening, your not wondering if 45 min between the end of work and picking the kids up is enough to warm-up, Mobile, foam roll, train, cool-down, yoga and then eat your Paleo brownies while praying to the high fat gods. All that micro management bullshit is finished with. Results happen because your discipline leads to consistency and that consistency frees up your life for anything and everything else!

Sounds to simple maybe? But the whole idea has it’s own built in safety net and back door. If you’re consistently disciplined and achieving your goals but not happy or not achieving your goals then those goals aren’t for you. Move on, next chapter, new focus!

For the coaches out there reading this you may be wondering how that relates to the you? Well discipline in your approach to everything you do with athletes you train gives them a solid framework, a system almost that they grow to understand and love, they will, if you do your job right preempt you in many of your choices and decisions, meaning that they to now have more freedom and that empowers to “buy-in” to your training philosophy. The athlete will know the goal of a session, understand the intention and desired out come and as such have the freedom to almost build their own training around the key outcome goals. They won’t be doing anything for coach it will all be for them!

22008612662_81be5caf09_o
Discipline = chicken dinners; just ask Callaghan

The final anecdote is a classic – the coach, athlete or exerciser, perceived by friends, acquaintances and family as the fitness fanatic. In reality they are just the disciplined and it’s easy, why? Because it works!

There’s a party or social gathering and you the “fanatic” refuse alcohol or the pre-dinner nibbles or whatever other processed filth is circulating the room. Some frown upon your “arrogance” or “impoliteness” others marvel at your self-discipline commenting about how it must be so hard!? But the discipline =freedom; freedom to know you ain’t missing out on anything by avoiding the pringles, freedom to eat plenty of extra meat and veg at dinner, freedom to know that there is no “catch-up” HIIT to “endure” because of your il-discipline one night, Freedom to eat the dessert; why? Because you know discipline works, discipline is easy, discipline creates freedom and freedom = fun!

20150409_141808

It’s the sporadic jump on a training plan, juice diet, boot camp loving, yo-yo dieting self loather that goes on a fitness binge or dry January that then must reward their “discipline” with something “forbidden” that never gets results, never tastes true freedom and never, ever has any real fun!

The disciplined has all the freedom; freedom to know that shredding 5 days in the Alps won’t kill them, freedom to eat that extra dessert, freedom to choose a road ride over MTB or freedom to just sit and enjoy a coffee with friends knowing the work got done, gets done and will again and again, get done!

The discipline to do the simple important stuff always has a knock on effect everywhere else in your life! Simples…freedom!

Categories
Testimonials

Greg Callaghan – Nukeproof Factory Enduro – 16th Overall EWS 2014

“Having made such huge improvements to every aspect of my racing in only one year of working with Chris, I can’t wait to see how much further we can go together. He is always striving to learn and improve, this, along with his work ethic means I couldn’t think of anyone better to help me achieve my goals. I’ve enjoyed this years training more than any year before and the results show that. He understands that a happy athlete is a successful one and that everyone is different!”