The Tri Town Times: 1/29/24

The Tri Town Times: 1/29/24

This week: Intervals w/ Chris Horner; used bike for sale; the backwards law.

Image: Chris Horner giving Billy Demong a lift to the top of Mt Bachelor.

Hi all,


Here is your weekly Tri Town Times newsletter:



Training thoughts:

Years ago, I worked as Chris Horner's and Levi Leipheimer's personal mechanic, wrenching for them during the Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend, Oregon. Although Levi was the star of the race and heading to the Olympics that year, Chris was the more fascinating athlete to work with because he seemed to shun many of the traditional training, racing, and nutrition guidelines of the time. I'll never forget Chris giving a fellow pro rider a "lift" up Mount Bachelor during the race (that rider turned out to be future Olympic gold medalist Billy Demong, by the way), or Chris downing a gas station corndog and coke thirty minutes before the start of the time trial. Actually, Chris drank two cokes.


So it did not surprise me then to see Chris say he never did intervals in training. He was not an athlete who embraced rigid structure. He just loved racing and riding his bike. From what I could tell, he trained and raced mostly on feel, which is ultimately all any rider really has to work with. Fortunately for him, he usually felt well enough to put most other riders deep into the hurt box. This lack of training structure dovetailed nicely with his personality. When Chris felt good he went hard and did plenty of 'natural intervals' in racing and training, and when he felt off, he simply took it easy. Chris' approach is not for everyone, but he had the experience and self-confidence to know when he was ready to work hard and when he needed to back off. Many athletes would benefit from taking a nod from Chris' playbook and remember that the most important device they can consult when training and racing is, well, themselves.



Gear that caught my attention:

This fall and winter we've built up a nice selection of quality used bikes. Every bike in our "certified used" fleet has been tuned and ready for many more years of riding and training.



Quote that struck a chord: 

"Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication…In the long run- in the long run, I say!- success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.” Viktor Frankl


Last night the San Francisco 49ers beat the Detroit Lions 34 - 31 and secured themselves a place in this year's Super Bowl. The Lions were up 17 points at half time, seemingly assuring victory. However, in football, the stakes are high and the pressure is real. The 49ers ultimately erased the deficit and took the lead in just eight minutes during the second half of the game.


I use to live in Detroit and would have loved to see them in the Super Bowl for the first in franchise history. No doubt, that was on every player's mind in the locker room during halftime. They started off strong; the Super Bowl seemed theirs for the taking.


Yet the moment the Lions began thinking about the Super Bowl rather than the game they were playing, they lost. You could see it in their play during the second half. They thought too much about what winning would mean, and not enough about the simple steps, plays and actions required to win in the first place. Yes, football is infinitely complex, but at its root, it is simply about coordinating eleven players to do a lot of little things better than their eleven opponents.


Philosopher Alan Watts popularized a concept called the "Backwards Law," which states the more you try to grab hold of something, the more likely it is to slip through your fingers. The more you try to get to the Super Bowl, the less likely you are to be present in the moment, make the right moves, and take the right actions that results in you actually getting there.


Does this mean you should not try hard? Of course not. Always do your best. It simply means do your best at the variables within your immediate control and let everything else be what it will be, including the final result.


"This is the real secret of life- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play." - Alan Watts.



If you have a moment to spare:

- Interesting article from Dan Empfield, the founder of the triathlon bike and wetsuit, on how certain body types may run faster off of triathlon training vs strict run-only training.

- Consider supporting the Greater Boise Aquatic Center at their Benefit Gala.



Have a great week!


Antonio Gonzalez

Tri Town Bicycles


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