This week: Cyclocross Nationals; rest vs doing nothing; flowing downhill.
Image: Pro rider Anna Megale training in Boise
Here is your weekly Tri Town Times newsletter:
Weekend race report:
Local professional cyclocross racers Anna Megale (see image above) took 6th overall and Allan Schroeder took 21st in Hartford, Connecticut at Cyclocross Nationals.
An interesting study indicates people prefer effort over doing nothing. Honestly, this does not surprise me. The study was focused on cognitive effort, though I suspect the findings correlate to physical effort as well. I have yet to meet a good athlete who does absolutely nothing for a few months during the off season.
Of course, this is not to downplay the importance of rest. Do no confuse 'doing nothing' with 'rest'. Rest is the necessary recovery needed after periods of productive activity. An athlete needs rest as much as they need physical activity. A rose needs regular darkness as much as it needs regular sunlight.
When a person comes to me for coaching, one of the first questions I ask is what type of training are they currently doing? If they say, "I've been doing nothing", I see this as a sign that something is broken inside. Not physically, but mentally. This is a much tougher path to navigate with an athlete. The athlete will first need to learn that they always have the power to do something. Even if it's the wrong thing, or even if it's the smallest step, they can always learn something from it, and thus grow.
Quote that struck a chord:
"Look for situations where the energy is already flowing downhill. Invest in relationships where there is already mutual respect. Create products that tap into a desire people already have. Work on projects that play to your strengths. And then, once the potential of the situation is already working for you, add fuel to the fire. Pour yourself into the craft. Act as if you have to outwork everyone else—even though the wind is at your back.
The idea is to sprint downhill, not grind uphill." - James Clear
This quote reminds me of one of my favorite workouts: downhill run intervals. I'd typically start these intervals 4-8 weeks before a race, and a version of this workout would include 4x 5min downhill run at upper Zone 3 or lower Zone 4 on a slope of 1 to 3 degrees. The slope should be enough to give you real good pace but not have you running out of control. Our lower foothills trails with long gradual descents are perfect for this. The value of this type of workout is that you can develop the skills needed to run faster. Leg speed (cadence), longer stride length, and higher ground impact forces are all factors fast running requires. This is one way a runner can develop these characteristics with less aerobic fatigue.
If you have a moment to spare:
- An article about the amazing performance of local ProTour rider Matteo Jorgenson at the 2022 Tour De France.
- A long read on the value of almost any exercise in treating back pain.
- The crazy terrain at Cyclocross Nationals.
Train smart, and have a great week!
Tri Town Bicycles
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