Deliberate Practice

I run a lot of sessions as a coach and deliver many more for you to get done away from the coaches eye.

I believe this could be one of the most important pieces of advice i have given for a while and believe that its critical to your success as an athlete. Get this right and a lot will fall into place. 

Training isn’t a race – its an opportunity to prepare for a race. Unfortunately I am seeing athletes still judging the success of a session based on how quick they went or how they “felt”. We all like to be quick in training and feel amazing of course. It gives us comfort that we might be improving. But mostly – it just doesnt work that way. 

As I described in my Race Outcome Model there are so many more components to your race outcome than how quick you went. To give a few examples, this list is just a short sample of the things you can get out of a session : 

  • Mental strength 
  • Equipment choices
  • Adaptability
  • Pacing 
  • Nutrition (Pre, during and post session)
  • Strength up hills 
  • Technique 
  • Bike skills 
  • Coping with bad Weather 

Every single session is an opportunity to test yourself. It isn’t a race where you get an outcome. It is a series of mini challenges that you can test your skills and knowledge in. 

A few examples : 

  • TT’s…. A great chance to handle pre-race nerves. Good chance to see where your speed/endurance was at. How was your pacing? What equipment did you use? When you weren’t going as quick as you hoped how did you manage your mindset mid-TT? How did you justify it in your mind post-TT? 
  • Long ride ….. an athlete used the training opportunity to have a full dress rehearsal and found the wind knocked around their equipment preference of a rear disc and front 808. What a great outcome ! 
  • Another athlete was doing their long ride also in prep for an upcoming race and was turned around by a road closure. Mid-ride they had to adapt and overcome. Their run off was lonely, hot and hard. Just what the race will deliver and they got the opportunity to experience before the day. 

Your race outcome will definitely be dictated largely by your fitness. But it will also be dictated by many other things that you can prepare for. When you are reflecting on your sessions, think through what you learnt as well as how fast you went !!!