Pace Yourself

The Tortoise & The HareAfter watching Team Sky and the Great Britain cycling teams showing the rest of the teams how to win stages and races, it lead me think about how they make it all look so simple. Ok, they have a really amazing set of riders, but they also have a brilliant tactician at the helm.

Dave Brailsford became the team principle at Sky two years ago, after taking British cycling to heights never dreamt of a few years before. By all accounts, he is a driven, focussed and demanding man, but he is also highly principled and has spoken out vehemently against doping, which has been rife in the port for years.

His team of professional riders are perfectly prepared for each and every stage, with Brailsford’s backroom staff leaving nothing to chance in terms of everything from food to equipment, training to recognisance of the route for that day.

One of his most powerful tactics during races has been to allow the squad to pace themselves, perfectly demonstrated by Bradley Wiggins’ gold medal ride in the men’s Olympic road time trial. Wiggins kept an almost perfectly even pace over the entire 27.3 mile course.

What wins on the road, also wins in life, knowing the route, the highs and the lows of the road to come, and setting a steady, constant and unwavering pace. Taking your time to plan ahead, being constant and steady in your quest for a goal, and working as a team will give you the best chance of success in anything you do.

Remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. The Hare raced off into the distance, at the start of the race. The Tortoise set off at a slower, but steady pace. In the event, the Hare went too fast and had to stop to rest. By the time he was ready to continue, the Tortoise had caught and passed him, and went on to win the race.

So take a leaf out of Dave Brailsford’s and the Tortoise’s training manual. Be prepared, do the right things, be steady and be a winner. Trying to rush things through, to force the pace, is a recipe for disaster, so slow things down, take your time and be there at the end.

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