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What is your why?
First off, I was away Fri-Mon last week, so I am behind on the bike fitting post from last week. Rest assured, it is coming and its a good one! I will double up next Friday. Todays coaching / training topic is a bit of lead to next months coaching discussion… Call it a prologue? It will make more sense in a few weeks, I promise.
I initially wrote parts of the post below at the start of the Covid pandemic and I would like to add the edited version to this publication, with a few additional thoughts now that we are a few years in. I think it is clear that the pandemic had a significant impact on the cycling industry - Mostly good with so many people getting into cycling , which is awesome, but also not so good with major supply chain issues, smaller bike brands struggling, increased burnout among cycling industry professionals and more.
WHERE THERE IS CHALLENGE, THERE IS OPPORTUNITY
It might sound like a total cliche, but there is a lot of truth to that. It was initially hard to look past past the challenges, but the growth of the sport of cycling has shown us that the cycling industry as a whole was able to find the hidden opportunities, and cyclists, particular those new to the sport, also used the pandemic as an opportunity to explore the sport either for the first time, or get into it more than ever before.
In sport, we learn to actively search for the opportunities when we are faced with roadblocks. It is a lesson I learned when I raced as kid, teenager and young adult, often times the hard way. After a while, you get pretty good at finding the opportunity in obstacles and you are able to do that quite fast, too.
Without a doubt, the obstacles were plentiful for everyone over the last few years for various reasons, and I was initially concerned with many athletes feeling discouraged due to events getting cancelled, postponed, etc - I found it interesting to see how people responded to the lack of events. Some went on to take on various challenges (everesting rings a bell?), while others took it a bit easier and/or shifted focus to other activities.
WHAT IS YOUR ‘WHY’?
This is the number one question I think every athlete, recreational or otherwise, should ask themselves. The last few years have been a good time to remember why most of us started training / riding to begin with - for the love of the sport, the freedom (and joy) cycling brings, the personal challenge and sure - to test ourselves in competition as well. Your ‘why’ will change over time, and I am willing to bet that it has changed over the last couple of years, whether you are a seasoned rider or one who started as a result of the pandemic.
Even if you think you are clear on your ‘why’, I encourage you to do the following. Turn off distractions and write down (yes, pen to paper) your thoughts on the points below:
What got you started in your sport / activity? What is your ‘why’? Did that change? If yes, how? Was the change a positive one?
If the change was not a positive one, how can you can back to your original why? What will it take?
What are your current strengths are weaknesses?
Do you have body imbalances that need to be looked at?
Mobility and strength work that could improve your health, wellness and performance?
Technique work to do?
Bad habits that need breaking and swapped for good ones?
How’s your recovery? Sleep? Nutrition habits?
What are you really good at?
A big part of this exercise is to take stock of where your mindset is at right now and practice finding the opportunities in the challenges.
Some food for thought… Want to share your ‘why’? Did it change over the last few years? Comment below!
That is all for this week’s edition of Endurance Collective! I hope you found this article valuable & interesting. If you are not a subscriber yet, hit the button below and share this post with those who might be interested.