I arrived a little late to the AudioFuel party last night so I missed a lot of the cold hard facts about the purpose of Chrissie Wellington being sat sownstairs at Bespoke Cycling on the Farringdon Road in this here London town. From the assembled crowd it was quite clear who was the star of the show though.
The purpose of her visit was to launch ‘Tri Harder’ – a range of training programmes that Chrissie Wellington commentates over to instruct and guide you through the workout.
By the time I was settled and paying attention Chrissie was already nearing the end of her interview session and approaching a Q&A spot. I was just in time to catch an interesting point about orthotics – Chrissie pointing out that she began to use them because her knee would collapse in when she ran, but she realised the reason her knee did that was actualy due to muscle weakness elsewhere. In addressing that muscular issue the orthotics were no longer necessary and she was stronger for it. Food for thought, and I’d only been there two minutes.
Chrissie was asked a question about aims and goals, to which she answered with a message we could probably all learn from – namely that she didn’t go into the Kona Ironman expecting to win, but just to fight her best fight. Luckily for her that ‘best fight’ resulted in her finishing first; but it’s a timely reminder perhaps to realign goals, targets and your approach and not to be too down-hearted if you feel you’ve done the best you could.
That suggestion was swiftly followed by sharing that one of her biggest fears is losing an Ironman – combine Chrissie fighting her best fight with confronting her biggest fear and it’s no wonder she’s the athlete she is.
When asked about her approach to races her response was to stay in the moment. In her Kona swim she needed to focus on controlling pain and not over-exerting herself. She came out of the swim happy that she was able to carry on, meaning she had a positive mental attitude when she got on the bike. After poor swim Chrissie made up ground and came off the bike in 6th, again meaning she was happy. She passed the leader just one mile from the end to win. She said that never before had she lacked confidence in her body, but by staying in the moment and not thinking too far ahead she still got through.
How about that?
She was asked what had given her the most satisfaction. Humbly she replied “achieving more than I thought I ever could”. Nice. In terms of specific races Chrissie said she had got most satisfaction from her world record last year. She said she was most proud of Kona 2011.
Finally, Chrissie was asked what advice she could offer for first timers, to which she replied…
- Enjoy the journey – celebrate that rather than seeing race as be-all & end all
- Accept the race will hurt!
- Try not to get caught up in the ‘more is better’ approach
- Train sensibly – you have a life and family too!
- Don’t beat yourself up after a bad session – some sessions are bad, some are good, but they’re all building towards the same goal
- Enjoy it – it’s amazing!
Since the event I’ve downloaded one of the AudioFuel bike workouts to understand more about what this is all about – listening to the early part of it I smiled to myself as it instantly became clear that my girlfriend Wendy will get a lot from them. Chrissie dishes out clear instructions (including guidance on the gear to use) and the music means that by pedalling to the beat you’re doing the right RPM. Perfect. And she gets to have her idol tell her what to do!
For those who prefer listening to music to watching film footage this will offer a decent alternative to the likes of The Sufferfest, whilst also giving a more instructional approach than VeloBeats provides. It also means you can do specific and relevant sessions without keeping track of time as Chrissie tells you what to do and when.
At the moment there seems to be three bike-specific workouts available and some run and swim considerations too (only logical given Chrissie’s sport of choice!). I’ve not looked into the others, but they’re there if you’re tri-inclined.
I plan to use the workout I’ve downloaded for a roller session later tonight – I’ll feed back more later…
Tags:audio fuel,audiofuel,barry scott,bespoke cycling,chrissie wellington
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