If you looked at the calendar recently and wondered where the “(Not so) off season” went, you’re not alone. If you’re starting to sweat your fitness level a little bit because you’ve been lacking motivation to get on the indoor trainer and hammer out some miles, you’re DEFINITELY not alone. If you’re thinking you have about 8 weeks until you should be riding with your buddies, racing or setting PRs in gran fondos, well, I’m right there with you.
That’s why I’m running a six week e-Bootcamp to kick your fitness up a notch or two.
Each week, you’ll receive an email with your weekly training plan, some relevant tips to help you achieve the week’s goals and my expert guidance. Here’s what to expect:
How much? A few hundred dollars for 6 weeks of training plans, coaching support and training advice? How about $60? That’s ten dollars per week.
Check out the e-Bootcamp information page for more detailed information.
Entry deadline is March 13th. Expect your first email on March 14th with your first week’s training plan and further details.
Do you have big goals this season? Are you trying to break a gran fondo PR or win your favorite race? Are you stuck on how to make this season your best season on the bike? A lot of the cyclists I talk to have ambitions such as those I mentioned, but they don’t necessarily know to go about achieving them. They keep on doing the same things they’ve done for the past couple of seasons and and hope they will magically find more fitness than they did before. This approach is how Einstein defined insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
I’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you make that leap from a “good season” to a “great season”, and I’m going to share them in today’s podcast. Check out the show notes, links and episode guide after the jump:
If you don’t know the strengths and weaknesses of your fitness, how can you possibly begin to work on them? If you don’t analyze your season, how can you possibly know your strengths and weaknesses? Sure, you can probably guess at those strengths and weaknesses and you might get some of them right, especially the glaring ones like “I can’t climb too well”. Some other weaknesses aren’t as obvious, and guessing at your fitness strengths and weaknesses, training blind and then hoping for the best is a ticket to failure, or if not failure, sub-optimal performance in races, group rides and fondo rides.
It should sound obvious that you need to do some evaluation of last season’s failures, but you should also evaluate your successes so you can improve upon your best performances. In this episode of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast I’ll discuss some tricks for what went right and what went wrong last season, along with why you’re reviewing your season now and how to change your training in the coming months.
Click through for show notes and more information:
A few days ago, I had the privilege of attending a meet and greet with Jens Voigt at a local NJ bike shop. The big, charismatic german, veteran of almost two decades in the peloton, did a Q&A with fans, signed autographs and posed for photos with anyone who asked. During the night, he imparted his wisdom gained from the trials and tribulations of racing in Europe, including a few nuggets that I believe are important to share with all of my readers.
Never forget where you came from:
It bears saying, that even the best of the best are humble in their beginnings. Jens spent more than half his life racing bikes, but he always fondly recalls where he came from. He explained how he tried track and field, and was ok at athletics, but not one of the best. He said that he had been annoyed that he couldn’t “do any better” (so much so that he joking described a rude gesture to his track and field coach….) He continued to explain to us that when the local cycling team came to town, he was allured by the offer of a free bike. The rest is, as you all know, history.
Coincidentally, he always remembers where he came from. His first bike was a Diamond. That company was purchased by Trek after the fall of the Berlin Wall. And he even bought a couple of them for his own boys.
So take a page from Jens and remember where you came from.
Never forget who you are and who helped you get there:
When a question was asked about who was one of the most important parts of his racing career, he described the relationship he has with his wife. He described that his career would not have been possible without her devotion and steadfastedness: raising their six children while he was off racing, standing by him throughout all the crashes, the contract negotiations, and the talk of retirement, he painted a picture of the woman behind the man.
Jens made it abundantly clear that everything he accomplished was not only his doing, but those around him. He plainly stated that he would never have been the force that he is if not for those people he surrounded himself with. And his message was clear: surround yourself with people who are like minded, who believe in you and will support you through and through. And when you succeed, don’t forget to thank them for helping you on your way.
From thanking his sponsors by becoming a brand ambassador to graciously allowing Juan Manuel Garate a win in the 2006 Giro d’Italia after not contributing a single pedal stroke to the breakaway’s progress, Jens has been putting this to practice for years. And what he said next is why he is so readily able to remember all those that helped him.
Believe in yourself unconditionally:
Jens pointed out that you have to believe in yourself. You have to believe in yourself without hesitation or fail, you have to dream big and you have to go out there and “get what you want”. He recounted his horrific crash in the 2010 Tour de France on the descent of the Col due Petit-Saint-Bernard in which he fractured his cheek and sustained a concussion. He regaled us with details like German TV announcers predicting he had a 50/50 chance to survive the night. And then he went on to explain how he was determined to return to racing, as strong as he was before.
And he did return to racing, crashing again in the 2010 Tour, but he maintained his belief in himself. To quote Jens that massive crash and chase back to the peloton on an ill fitting Mavic service bike: “I’ve had better days than this. But I’m still alive. It’s better than last year, you see? Last year, I was at this time in the race, I was in hospital already. And this time I’m still on my bike. Didn’t crash on my head, didn’t crash on my face, so things could be worse.”
So be like Jens: believe in yourself and dream big. Even if you fail a couple times, if you are able to get up and try again, you’re doing all right.
There are no shortcuts:
Considering that in this day in age everyone is looking for a quick buck, a shortcut towards greater fitness or a way to cut the corners to get something done faster, it was said that there are absolutely no shortcuts to your destination. If you want to be one of the best, you have to put in the time to get there.
With a touch of sadness in his voice, Jens recounted the final years of his racing career. He conjured up an image of a body that was less willing to suffer, a mind that was less willing to force the body to suffer and a longing to lead a less nomadic life, spending more time with his wife and children.
He also said there was no such thing as a shortcut when it came to coffee. And we all know that Jens loves his coffee.
Thank you Jens, for providing a little look into your life and your career. You’ve been an inspiration to many of us through the years, and we look forward to seeing you in a car, guiding the next generation of superstars to countless victories.
Short, sharp and steep climbs are a tough thing for many people to conquer. I see people have trouble with them all the time. When a group ride or race hits a small “wall” there’s always a contingent of riders who get spit out the back, then have to chase back on, which is no fun at all. To help you become a stronger climber, I built a workout based on the small “bergs” featured during the spring classics, which are the most brutal of races. Designed to build power for short climbs, this FREE workout will train the necessary physiology and techniques to go from last to fast on those little kickers!
To get the free “Berg Buster” workout, all I ask is that you like or share this workout with your friends, and challenge them to become a berg buster!
After the jump, you can pick up this free workout: