Friday, May 22, 2009

Schindler's List for Loving Your Next Race!

Someone once said that if you want to take the fun out of riding a bicycle, take up racing. Unfortunately this is true for many cyclists who race, they have lost the simple joy of riding a bike. I know this first hand because before Dotsie started coaching me, I dreaded every race. But now this has changed and here is how that happened.

There is a pressure to do well anytime you race. Whether it is peer pressure or pressure you put on yourself to do well, there is always pressure to get a good result. Well, the first thing a racer has to realize is that one is going to lose more races than one wins. So knowing this, if the racer is result oriented, then most of the time, he is going to be disappointed. That is not to say you shouldn’t want to win and try as hard as possible to win, but you have to enjoy the experience of the race just for the sake of racing.

My new attitude for race day is oh boy, I get to put on my best kit and ride my clean bike with my race wheels. I feel good, the bike is ready to go fast and best of all, I just have to race, not train. This is why I train, this is why I do the ride until you puke intervals, it is for the joy of going really fast with all the best stuff on race day. And then, as long as I know that I have done everything I could possibly do to win the race, I know I will have had a good ride regardless of the result. Winning is best and there is no feeling like winning a race, but if I do not win, although disappointed, I won’t let it ruin the day or leave the course in a negative mood. There is no reason to race if, at the end of the day it doesn’t bring you a feeling of accomplishment and joy.

One last thought, if you do the work, if you get the recommended recovery, and if you have thoroughly prepared mentally, racing should bring you joy because you are competing in a truly great and unique sport. Try and remember how excited you were as a kid when you got a new bike. Take that feeling with you when you race because this is the ultimate way to ride a bike.

Peter Schindler
Empower Coaching Client