Contradictory title? Not in LETC. In the Army, they used to tell us that what you don’t learn through the head, you learn through the feet (translated from Hebrew) Essentially, this means, that what you don’t learn by being told, you learn the hard way, by doing. Today was an unannounced lesson in race tactics.
Lesson 1 – The tactics of Psychology
Lull your opponent into a false sense of serenity. First, Coach Andrew shows up on a commuter bike. All that was missing on said bike was a basket in front. Coach Alan says several times that “George, there won’t be any single leg drills tonight” “It’s a nice ride out to Camosun”
As we head out, I’m riding beside Amy Saari-Roth who tells me “Today, we’re just doodling along” As I doodle along starting up Spanish Banks, the super domestique, Bronwyn, passes me. Smart move by Coach Alan to send her ahead, knowing that she just raced a Long Distance Triathlon. In reality, it was meant to separate me from the pack. Halfway up Spanish Banks, Coach Alan passes me. I get on his wheel, and up we go. Towards the crest of the hill, he pulls a “Lance is faltering move” and I can smell the sprint prime in my grasp. Here is where I make my second mistake, by telegraphing my intentions with a downshift. Coach Alan pulls ahead at the end. However, as a good Coach, he tells me nicely how I screwed up.
Lesson 2: Let someone else do the work.
On Marine Drive, we get into a peloton. You would think that as the most senior rider in this group I would have the sense to draft till a few meters before the end instead of pulling most of the way. At one point, Amy passes me with apparent ease, so I have to hang on. As we approach the end of the time trial section, Coach Andrew shows up on his grocery bike and passes. Yup, that will always be a great confidence booster to your athletes riding sub 15 pound Cervelos. Brian and Coach Andrew take the first two spots and I just squeaked onto the virtual podium.
Lesson 3: there is no such thing as an easy workout in LETC.