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Not Winning to Win

I am always amazed that when I get feedback on a blog post. Not so much anymore that people actually read some of the stuff I write. I endevour to post things I learn along the way. There is some 4+ years of archives on this site, and I sometimes go back and read some the old stuff to see how far I have come, and to remind myself how far I have yet to go (and how much I can't seem to be able to proofread).

This week I got feedback on my last post. Scott, at the track, sent me an email with a Youtube video from a TEDx of Natalie Dell O'Brien, an Olympic rowing Bronze medal winner on losing and how it adds perspective to training. I know all about losing. I do it enough. When I watched the video two thinks came to mind: something Ed Veal repeated during indoor training this winter and what happened at the Good Friday Road Race.

Ed, a two time Provincial Road champion, told us over and over again about how many races he lost. Sometimes you don't have it on the day or you make some mistakes in the race that cost the win. Secondly, I made some critical mistakes and completely underestimated the race in Ancaster, ON. Those mistake got me angry at myself in a way that drove me to consider what I did and how it was never going to happen again. The point being, the bad result fuelled my desire to push on and to learn from the experience rather than be upset about it.

So on that note, I offer the video on Losing to add perspective to your training.



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Ride Faster: Push your limits

There is an adage in racing that suggests in order to get faster, you have to ride with people faster than you. So many are chasing down the win on a lower rank races, never actually getting there, to work on speed. One has to be able to just hang on "to the big boys" perhaps in a category or two above, in order to win one's own category.


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VLOG: Migrating from Trainer to Road

This spring in Toronto has been, well, a lot like winter. It's April, and it's still in the single digits in the morning. And, as Sat happened to show, it sometimes doesn't get warm in the afternoon. I had planned to do the Donut Ride on Sat. April, 5 as training for the Calibogie race the following weekend, but I awoke to see snow on the ground. Not something I expected. This VLOG post goes through some of the thought processes I experienced that morning.


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VLOG: Training Day

Last year, I had a rough start to the season because while I had a lot of intensity, I didn't get my endurance work. Track races are extremely hard, but also very short. Typically, 12 mins or less. So, this year I look hard at my schedule. I was not willing to give up strength training, because that has effects well beyond that of the bike. So, I just added cycling training to the same days I do strength training. I had to say, I am much better for it. Last year, I would be dragging myself from FITS...and this year, so far, I'm full of energy.

Two weeks ago, I took the bike cam and brought it around with me on my day. I took some video of the ride outside in the cold (-10C), at the Real Deal Performance studio, and at the FITS Toronto center. Check out the video below.

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Motivation is...

Motivation is...

Suiting up after work after watching the temperature drop all afternoon from -6C to -10C with windchills below -14C.

Treking down to the University of Toronto by bike to be tested on a 5 min critical power test, a test designed to leave you completely wiped.

Suiting back up again and heading out, in the dark, into the night, by bike into the cold for the ride home.

Realizing that it's gotting colder as I ride.

Facing a 20-30km wind that is in my face the entire ride.

Riding my fixed gear bike and suffering with a cadence that never makes it over 80RPM because of the wind and a speed that never makes it to 28km/h.

Realizing as you cross the Bloor Viaduct, that there is still 30-40 mins to ride.

Riding up Leslie St. in full out TT mode and struggling to get up the hills that normally are easy.

Hitting Leslie and Sheppard and realizing that you are about to bonk as you stare at the last remaining "hill" on the ride.

Yet, still, somehow, out of nowhere managing to find the energy to get out of the saddle and give every last remaining bit left to sprint up the "climb" because, dammit, the only thing you wanted more than the pain in the legs is to get inside, in the warm house, and dammit OUT OF THE COLD.

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