I recently read the book Faster: The Obsession, Science and Luck Behind the World’s Fastest Cyclists. It’s a fantastically interesting book that is hard to categorize; part history, part science, part training. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves understanding our sport better. However, that book is not the point of this post. What I’d like to talk about is some things I have seen/read/thought lately about what it takes mentally to be a “successful” cyclist. I mean “successful” in the sense that you can continually get faster and achieve your goals. Whether those goals are to be a pro cyclist, or just to get out of cat 5, if you achieve them then you are successful.
In “Faster”, the author mentions that he was surprised how many athletes and coaches were willing to talk with him and divulge their “secrets.” He thought that maybe they wouldn’t want to let them out and lose their advantage. What he learned was:
Just knowing [how to train] isn’t enough. You had to be able to actually do it.
This is one of those ideas which is simultaneously very simple, and yet also extremely powerful. It’s easy to stress about whether our training is perfect, but a perfect training plan is useful if you don’t do it. So get out there and do it.