Thoughtful practice; latest podcast w/ Stephen Seiler; Robert Chung method of aerodynamic testing.
Lately I've been riding a quiet loop west of town to conduct "aerodynamic field tests". The goal being to determine how much faster/slower various equipment is and how different body positions affect my speed. It's been fun trying to control as many variables as possible, only tweaking one variable at a time and see if I can register a change.
Though it was not my original intent, this has become an exercise in 'thoughtful practice'. The goal is to address every detail. Clothing choice, tire pressure, body position, wind speed, temperature, etc. Its been an eye opening experience to dive in and ponder how these variables play upon one another. I've found myself become more aware of my surroundings, my actions, and of course my equipment choices. Hopefully this results in a marginal (or big) gain in performance.
I've raced bikes for 16 years and I'm embarrassed to say this is the first time I've done something like this. I’ve always considered myself a student of the sport, but these tests have opened my eyes to how little deep, thoughtful work I've put into my craft in the past.
How often do we simply go through the motions of an activity without asking "why do I do it this way?". Or how often do we take somebody at their word when they say "this way is better" or "this item is faster"? More than anything, field testing has shown me that I am in control of more than I ever imagined. Even small, marginal gains add up over time. All it takes is a little preparation, thought, and good note taking skills.
And of course thoughtful practice does not only apply to racing performance. We can apply it to our work, private lives, and personal hobbies. If we are going to spend the one resource we can never get back (time), should we not do it thoughtfully and with the intent to improve?
Now down to business... here is your weekly TT Times newsletter:
Weekend Race Report-
- The swim was cancelled at the inaugural Ironman Ireland, but that did not stop 2x Olympic Gold medalist Alistair Brownlee from running away with the win in his Ironman debut. Expect to see Alistair mix it up with the top men at the World Championship race later this season.
- 70.3 and Ironman World Champion Miranda Carfrae continues a dominate return to racing form with another win this season, this time at 70.3 Mont-Tremblant.
Events We're Looking Forward To-
The shop will be open July 4th from 10am to 2pm.
Training Thoughts and Updates-
Another great podcast with the Velonews crew
and favorite guest Dr. Stephen Seiler on keeping training simple and when/how to include high intensity training for the endurance athlete.
Gear That Caught Our Attention-
If you found the intro to today's newsletter intriguing, all you need is a power meter, a speed sensor, and a quiet road to conduct your own aerodynamic field tests. The protocol I'm using is called the "Chung Method
" and though it can be a little intimidating at first you can begin deciphering small differences in aerodynamic drag with practice and controlled conditions.
Quote that Struck a Chord-
"More & more I find the training process to be simple. And precisely because it is simple, with no shortcuts, far too hard for many." -Stephen Seiler
Have a great week!