It’s a common problem. Finding consensus for yourself and other athletes.
Hotel or Airbnb. Individuality or group training. Porridge or bread. Coffee or tee. Cycling is a lifestyle.
And I realized once again during Training Camp on Mallorca, we are similar on the surface, but different in detail.
Training with all kind of different athletes and myself included, I notice again and again that we as athletes work differently: What’s motivating for one, scares another. Where one is fighting hard to keep up, it comes naturally to someone else. If something is good for one athlete, it doesn’t mean that it’ll work for another. And vice versa.
This is true across almost all domains – starting from training, to nutrition, the gear, the mindset up to communication.
And riding and working with pro cyclists, it’s great to see that these differences are common around professional athletes. This observation is a great learning though.
No Right, No Wrong
What I’m trying to say – and this is what I can confirm for myself from my mallorca training camp – is that you as an athlete need to define, what right or wrong means for yourself. There’s no such thing as the one right way or the one right thing.
This seems logic and like an easy thing to do, but to be honest in reality it’s actually not that easy. Because there are many influences, impressions, critics and opinions that ( wanted or unwanted) hail down on us and have an impact on our self-assurance or insecurities.
As a result I build myself a guide to support. Hopefully this will help you in creating your own lifestyle in cycling.
1. The Coffeeride-Paradox
I love coffee and cake. Especially in comfortable atmosphere like on a nice walk or post training. But I can’t endure to stop for it during training. Therefore, just because 99% of cyclists are doing it, I don’t need to, if I don’t like it.
Note to myself: Stay true to yourself, if it keeps you thriving.
2. The Submission-Disaster
Every time where groups of people or athletes are involved, disagreement is at the very front. A big problem for me as I run into leaving my personal interests or goals behind in favor of others.
Note to myself: Despite team structures in cycling, perfomance depends on individual effort. Meet the best decision for yourself, be consequent and assertive. It’s your life!
3. The Sloth-Principle
Just keep it easy. Have a slow-morning. Running late to training or lacking car, I mean who cares everything will be fine again. What was awesome for me back in school is pissing me off today. Now, I admire people being structured, determined and well-organized. However, being dutifully is not equal to not having fun!
Note to myself: Get off your ass and get your shit together. Finish your tasks and avoid stress.
4. The Reality-Clue
On the one hand social media can be critical for self-promotion, entertaining or pure interests. It can be motivating and empowering. But on the other hand it can evoke doubt, frustration or envy. And sure there are moments where I get soaked into the digital world. However, it’s pointless because social media was never and should never portray reality.
Note to myself: Nobody is perfect! Everyone struggles somewhere. But social media displays our best, that’s just how it is. The reality however, has consequences.
Last But Not Least: The Sweet Spot
Creating a lasting lifestyle as an endurance athlete is like riding up a climb: To move up to where you wanna be you need to keep on pushing consistently and deal with yourself the way you are in the moment.
And as training is about being committed for months and months, it’s worthless without all the important surroundings. Because It’s about finding the sweet spot for your own way and not getting allured off it.
Because in the end it’s about doing what brings the best out of you. You love the coffee break? Go for it! I don’t like it. The training plan of your buddy is different than yours? Damn it. Maybe it matches next time! You need to work on mails, calls and stuff? Get it done immediately!
So, I hope you will take something from this small guide. Until next time! Roberto