Race Face. You know the face. It’s the face of intensity, tranquility, and ultimately focus all in one. This is the face of CONTROL. CONTROL of your actions is of the utmost importance when entering an event or “battle” if you will.
The Samurai called this Shodo-O-Seisu. Shodo means “first move” and Seisu means “ to control” translating to “CONTROL the first move.” The first move is CONTROL of yourself and everything you do. That is everything from what you eat before the race, to your training before the race to your bike being race ready , etc… You CONTROL all these things. It also means you controlling your emotions and starting your race Fast but Relaxed.
I always tell my athletes to start Fast but Relaxed and often they give me a look of confusion. But by this I am saying I want them to start fast knowing that many races start at full sprint. At the same time, I want them to stay relaxed and focused. I want them to stay in CONTROL.
There is no need to panic. Stay in CONTROL and allow yourself to feel the energy of the race—what are your competitors doing? Are they attacking? Are they breathing hard? Is the start very fast or only slightly fast? Breathe deep and stay tucked in. It will slow and then prepare your next move.
Once that initial start line explosion fizzles, regain any loss of CONTROL
Now, I want you to FLOW.
Be smooth on the single track, your accelerations,your pedal stroke, your movements.FLOW with the course with the terrain. FLOW with your cadence.FLOW is less mistakes. FLOW equals Fast. FLOW is effortless and sustainable.
FLOW allows you to put your biggest efforts towards the end of your race. You have ridden efficiently and saved your energy.
Now it’s time to ATTACK!
ATTACK in a planned part of the course that is your strength like a climb or a technical descent.
ATTACK is only an acceleration. Your are still in CONTROL. You are still in FLOW.
FINISH strong. End your race with nothing left mentally or physically. Then celebrate your victory of having the best day you could possibly have on the bike. Always celebrate your victories