In my previous post I tried to explain in what sense cycling can use a bit of a revolution, and in what sense it needs to get the basics right. Remember? I also promised to elaborate on the topic, so here goes…
If you ask me what the basics are, then one word springs to mind: control. I know what you’re going to say: typically German! I understand. But I do believe “Deutsche Gründlichkeit” is essential for the success of any team or rider.
First and foremost, we need to control the training process of our riders. We are lucky that we live in this day and age. Thanks to modern cycling technology of all shapes and sizes, we are able to keep tabs on an incredible number of parameters: distance, speed, pedaling frequency, power output, heart rate, nutrition, recovery time and so on…
To start with, a detailed training and performance log is necessary. Only then – of course, starting from the right benchmark tests – can progress be tracked and training schedules adapted to each individual rider. It goes without saying that data need to be continuously collected and evaluated. And all of this needs to be supervised and managed.
Easy? Not really. Feasible? Sure. With the right structure in place (remember what I told you about the many pieces of the puzzle) it can be done. Making sure all this happens is my job. That’s what management is for. But may I also add “self-management” to this equation? That’s correct: once again it also boils down to the right mentality among riders, staff, trainers and coaches.
And that is the tricky part. Riders and staff have their own personalities and often their own habits. That is why it is my firm belief that having our own training bases and bringing riders together will make a difference. It is essential to forging a common spirit, common habits and a common focus. Training and working together is considered self-evident in other sports. I believe that one day that will be the case in cycling too!
By the way: should you have other suggestions for how we can make the team perform better, don’t hesitate to share them!