Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cam and Richie’s excellent adventure

Guernsey professional cyclist Tobyn Horton posted a link to this story by Richie Porte and Cameron Wurf - two Pro Tour cyclists (Sky & Cannondale respectively), where to celebrate Richie's 29th birthday they completed an epic 400+ Km training ride.

It is a fascinating read : http://cyclingtips.com.au/2014/02/cam-and-richies-excellent-adventure/

To me there were two standout messages that came out of the story :
  1. Chunking - they didn't verbally express to each other that they were going to do a 400k ride, but rather they broke down what they knew would be a long day into smaller more manageable chunks.  100k or so chunks were easy in their eyes and then it was just a matter of putting them together after ticking each one off.  The process of chunking whether against long term goals or an individual challenge is a great way of managing any situation which at first seems to daunting.
  2. Mental Strength - the ride was a huge physical challenge, but to athletes of their capability and training history it was within their capability.  However they doubted themselves and needed the buddy factor of reassurance to help themselves through it and used the chunking method to take them through the challenge as a process.  Whilst they will have gained fitness benefits from the ride, the benefits will be outweighed by the mental strength that they will have gained from completing the challenge.  This will go on to serve them well through this racing season and beyond.
From time to time in a training cycle it is really good to do an unusual session which serves a number of goals but whose immediate benefit may not be completely obvious.