FITNESS - Most cyclists know the importance of recovery, but few give it the attention it requires. Riding too hard on recovery days and not hard enough on hard days is a common cause of performance plateaus and sub-par performances at higher intensities. History has proven those who apply the "on/off" philosophy of riding harder on hard days and easier on easy days accomplish more than those who follow the "ride hard/train harder" approach.
An experienced coach can tell you when and how much to rest, but you are relying upon "their gut instinct" as to when "you" are fully recovered. The degree of recovery your body requires is a "feeling" that only you can accurately identify. A major emphasis of my training program is teaching riders how to balance the fine line between recovering enough to maximize each workout, with recovering too much and falling short of maximizing weekly improvements.
This balancing act is best accomplished through recognizing the subtle signals of overreaching/ overload and incorporating the best response to lactate threshold (LT) fluctuations. My riders are given guidelines as to how their power output and heart rate should respond during each workout and adjustments to make if they differ from what is expected. This process, together with continual rider/coach communication, puts riders on an accelerated path toward "mastering the art of recovery."
ATTITUDE - There is one common element that separates those who achieve their dreams from those who fall short—belief. Winners believe there are no limits to the success they can achieve and no limit to how quickly they can improve. To build a strong belief system you must focus on your goals, continue to strengthen your weaknesses, recognize your improvements, and eliminate psychological limiters.
A psychological limiter I frequently help riders overcome is their ability to attack. My long track-record of developing confident, successful, and dynamic riders shows that unleashing an aggressive attack has very little to do with genetics. It's a mental and technical skill that ALL riders can develop. A strong attack enables you to expend less energy while closing gaps, initiating breakaways, accelerating out of corners, and hammering over rollers. The extra energy will leave greater reserves for the climbs and final sprint.
Cyclists who place a balanced emphasis on fitness, attitude, strategy, & technique
improve faster and achieve more
than those who simply follow
a prescribed training plan.
There are many vital elements within the balanced fitness, attitude, strategy,
and technique concept, but each
has one particular element that
stands out in producing
able & confident riders.
STRATEGY - A coach developing a champion can be compared to a blacksmith forging a sword from a lump of steel. When a blacksmith hammers raw metal into a blade it is like a rider building power, cardiovascular endurance, muscle isolation, and handling techniques. The more the sword is hammered, the harder it becomes, just as a rider continues developing power, oxygen transfer, and technical skills.
The edge of the sword begins to take shape, and after time, it becomes sharp just as a rider builds intensity and refines skills during early-season preparation. Any flaws left in the sword are polished out, just like a rider peaking for a major event. Like a blacksmith ultimately creating a perfectly balanced and razor sharp weapon, I guide my riders toward polishing their skills and maximizing their performance.
Consistent and disciplined training forges strong riders, but to win you must master the concept of "tactical economy." The concept is best articulated in the form of a question. Each time you expend more energy relative to those around you, ask yourself-did that excessive expenditure of energy help ensure me a better position at the finish? I teach the most valuable weapon a racer can posses, the ability to conserve more energy relative to other riders, while maintaining optimal positioning and honorably doing their share of the work.
TECHNIQUE - The BE FAST Philosophy™ creates dynamic, technically proficient riders. The advantages my riders experience are a byproduct of the advantages I had as a racer. Having an eye for pinpointing individual elements within a technical weakness with proprietary drills to develop each element is what separates my program from all others. The technical aspect of cycling relates to the principles of dance. Dancers learn balance as a foundation, followed by basic and then more complex steps before performing a choreographed routine.
Many cyclists start riding competitively without learning the finer isolation and control principles of pedaling, attacking, sprinting, cornering, descending, climbing, and group dynamics. This can be directly related to a non-dancer jumping into a "tutu" and trying to perform a ballet. Most riders are not aware of their technical deficiencies and are shocked when they realize how small adjustments can result in huge improvements.
With nearly four decades of combined bicycle racing and coaching experience, I have developed an eye for technique, an ear for listening, and have cultivated an innate sense of what it takes to create winning bicycle racers. Whether you are a beginning cyclist or an elite racer, if you apply this philosophy you will... "BE FAST!"
2004 © David Brinton. The BeFAST Philosophy and logo are trademarks of Bicycle Coach David Brinton.