Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Tri a little Wu Wei

There is a principle in Taoism called Wu Wei. A similar western concept is to “go with the flow.” While this may sound corny and cliché, the idea really is to become one with yourself and your environment; to proceed in an observant but detached fashion. A lot of folks get hung up in their own heads when it comes to racing; “Who’s behind me?” “Who’s in front of me?”, “What’s that noise coming from my bike and why the hell won’t it stop?”, “Where the hell did this wind come from?”, “Why didn’t they start the race earlier if they knew it would get this hot?”, “Why is this course so bumpy, curvy, hilly, dirty, boring, remote, congested etc…?” or on a more personal level there is the parade of self-statements “I should have, could have, need to, have to…”, “Why can’t I, didn’t I…?

While these thoughts may have some validity and even necessity, they do nothing to increase your speed or endurance, they do nothing to improve you nutrition or cadence, they do noting to reduce your weight or fatigue. Quite the opposite, they are all likely to be performance limiters during a race and deterrents to solid training in the training phase. Practice converting these and other thoughts into dispassionate observations, think like Spock and these thoughts suddenly become valuable information either to be acted upon or stored for future reference but they are robbed of the emotional dead weight.

Save your emotion for after the race or intentionally, skillfully, inject it into your race strategy at appropriate times. However, during the race just Tri a little Wu Wei.

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