I’m reasonably good a setting objectives or devising a stategy. You know, the whole SMART thing: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely – I like putting together the process that sits under the objective too like training plans and working towards something: sometimes, shock horror, I even manage to achieve the goal.
This year saw the completion of a long running target for me: to hold the British, European and World Transplant cycling titles at the same time in both road race and time trial disciplines. The World Transplant Games in Sweden this June saw me complete that goal.
Great, now what? What I’ve discovered is complete focus on a goal means, achieve it or not, after it’s done, what the hell happens next? You can find yourself at a very loose end. My first road race in Shropshire after coming back from the games lasted 3 laps before I was blown out, I was tired, heavy, and going into ‘recovery’ after a peak in form. Great peak, lousy trough. So, what’s the answer? I dunno, I’d be a rich man if I did. One thing I do know is that setting a secondary goal i.e. a focus on what you are going to do after the primary goal doesn’t sound like a good idea – it would take your focus away wouldn’t it?
I suspect rest, recovery, even a bit of time enjoying what you have achieved is the right thing then, get yourself another goal. Sleep, rest, say hello to the kids and the family, maybe that’s the focus – maybe that’s the goal?
I’ve got the British Transplant Games in Belfast next week so I’m back on track. Good race last Thursday, 5k TT on the track next Monday and, rather than typing this, I should be out doing some intervals…..right, I’m off……targets and goals to achieve…
Great news at Mamil Towers this week. All of our lads Charlie, Ash and James ride and a fine start they are making to their cycling careers too: whatever they may turn out to be in the future, but young James Ireson has stood head and shoulders above his u14 competitors on the national scene this year. James is leading the points in the national series and, last Sunday, won the u14 National Circuit race in Bradford.
The race was held on a tough 1.85km circuit in Bradford, used for the Tour of Britain and contained a vicious hill. Many riders had been shelled out of the group before the race came down to a bunch sprint out of 20 or so with James taking it on the line. This means he gets to wear the red, white and blue bands of a national champion for a year which his Dad told him to fold up nicely and put somewhere safe at the track last Wednesday!
We’re really proud of the young fella who is taking the whole thing very much in his stride. Well done James – National Champion. It doesn’t feel so bad when he rides away from us on the hills now…..
Time flys when you are having fun and another week at Mamil Towers has splipped by at speed. This week we have mostly been collecting feedback from the riders who did our sportive so we can improve things for next time (pencil in 1st July 2012 if you fancy doing it next year) and checking out the reviews. The local paper, the inestimable Bridgnorth Journal, did us proud in its 15th July issue, keep a look out in next months Cycling Plus and British Cycling got in on the act too with a link on their website. Thank you.
I, me, Rich, had my first taste of race organisation on Thursday evening as it was my club's turn to marshall the road race league event. In truth, the administration of the league is so good it's really about marshalling the marshals and marshalling the 5 cars needed (including First Aid). It went off well, no injuries and no crashes on a lovely summers evening. Some guy called Andy Tennant from Rapha Condor Sharp won....
Way back in the mists of time: 2008 I guess, I did my first cycling coaching qualification, the UKCC Level 2 certificate in cycling coaching through British Cycling. Man, there's some proper work in that, ask anybody who has done it and they'll tell you. Truthfully, it doesn't allow you to do that much - you can't prescribed training plans to individuals or coach on anything other than a traffic free enviroment. You can however work on techniques and skills like group riding, cornering, etc which is really useful but to get your hands on individual riders you need to get a Level 3 qualification. So, logically, you've got L2, next it's L3 right? Wrong. You have to specialise first and do a Level 2 qualification in your specific discipline (MTB, Track, BMX, road and time trial) so, there's me in 2009 taking a sideways step to do L2 R&TT. Now it's on to Level 3 right? Yes, right. I did the 'core unit' all prospective L3 coaches have to do and I've just got confirmation from B.C that I've passed that so it's back up to Manchester in November to begin the home leg to full L3 qualification.
I love coaching, just love it. It's a real privledge and the courses have been great too - real quality stuff - we're unlocking the secrets of cycling here at Mamil Towers in part because B.C have let me look into their book of spells. I've also met some great guys, Dean Downing and Jeff Snodin to name but two - cycling aristocracy.
Tops for me was coaching the GB Transplant Games team for the past 2 years. We've just come back from the World Transplant Games Sweden with 10 medals from 8 riders and 15 rides in the TT and the road race. Not too shabby that. I'm very proud of the guys and looking forward to South Africa in 2 years time.
Well, what a day Sunday the 3rd July was! All the work and the worry paid off and we delivered our first sportive starting in Mamil's home town of Bridgnorth and sending 172 riders over the Clee Hill and, for the more adventuresome, the Long Mynd as well. We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day and a traffic free High Street which certainly helped things along as did the detailed planning and organisation (thank you particularly the wonderful Mrs Britton).
We are all riders here at Mamil Towers as are most of our families and mates who turned out to help us at signing on, feed stations, motor cycling marshalls, international rider rescue and the like. Most important for us what that we gave our riders, everyone of them, a proper day out on the bike and value for their 20 or 15 quid. I hope we did. I think we did. No damn it, I'm sure we did. James and Charlie, two of our lads rode it with Ash helping with photographic duties - you don't put your kids into something you don't have faith in.
If you rode it, please give us your feedback. Next year we want to keep the same friendly family feel but will always look at ways to make things better.
What a great day. More to come.