Part 1: Athletes and coaches have a responsibility to consider development across time of a full spectrum of skills, tactics, and physiological systems. Istvan Balyi, one of the world’s pre-eminent voices in athlete development, offered his assessment of both long term athlete development and shifting paradigms in coaching at the recent USA Cycling Coaches Symposium.
Have you been performance tested? If you’ve yet to take this step, off-season is a perfect time to start – or to compare your current fitness to a prior baseline. Every test tells us something important about each athlete and, when compared to a previous test, it shows how well the training program is working to help them achieve their specific goals.
Tell the truth: How much do you want it? Desire is rocket fuel for your cycling experiences. It can get you over fear. It can give you access to your deepest sources of energy, strength, and power. It can make the difference between missing out and getting the most from your cycling – and yourself. The mentally fit cyclist knows how to tap into every possible ounce of desire in reaching for goals, growth, and fun on the bike.
This article was originally intended it to be a straight ahead supplement recommendation. Sort of a top 10 list of the most highly recommended supplements for cyclists. In order to create that list I went to see Dr. David Allen one of the leading doctors in the field of alternative and integrative medicine. However, after talking to Allen I realized that this topic was not as simple as I had thought. Supplementation is unique to each athlete and what works for one person might not work for…
We spend time, lots of time, looking at the minutiae of training. What watts are necessary to produce what outcome. How much carbohydrate to take. Which tires produce the least rolling resistance. It can all be very engaging, and very fatiguing. Rather than looking at another study or angle on high performance training, let’s spend some time in the real world.
Many people are afraid to get on a bicycle because they are uncomfortable riding in traffic. Motorists may honk with annoyance at cyclists, often leaving the rider confused about what aggravated the driver in the first place. Most cyclists will tolerate traffic but may be uncertain how to behave or react in different situations. What can you do to minimize your risk when riding a bicycle in traffic?
As we conclude the 2010 road season in the northern hemisphere, now is a good time to look back on this past season and start looking forward to 2011. Notice I said “road season” and “northern hemisphere.” With cycling being so global and having multiple disciplines, some athletes are just beginning their cross season! The point is this exercise can be done at any major time of transition.
The thrill of beating a competitor to the finish line. The satisfaction of leaving it all out there. The fulfillment of helping a teammate. All are welcome rewards of competing. But what can the heat of competition transform within you? The mentally fit cyclist uses competition to grow not only as an athlete but as a human being – to develop the self-awareness, emotional skills, and authenticity that translates directly into better experiences on and off the bike.
The silly season they call it. This time of year we start getting hints and suggestions about who might be going where, what teams are folding, what teams are merging, and which of your favorite stars will be in what colors come 2011. What about you? Chances are if you are reading this you probably compete at some point, for something and maybe, just perhaps you are looking for the next step.