Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pan Am Games

The Canadian Women's Pursuit team of Steph Roorda, Jasmine Glaesser and Laura Brown won gold at the Pan American Games in Mexico on Tuesday.

In the Qualifying Round they set a new Canadian record of 3:25.093 (previously 3:27.255) over 3000m.  In the Final they won gold and set a new record, improving by an amazing 3.6 seconds!  Hopefully they can ride this momentum through the winter and into the 2012 Olympics in London.

I have raced for nearly 20 years and invariably, at least once a season, I am asked why I race.  I have always answered the same way:  racing brings out the best in me.  When I race, competing against others will help me push myself harder than I ever will in training.  I strongly believe the adrenaline of competition appeals to something deep down in our DNA.  And having teammates there on race day and in training will help me push those boundaries even more.  I don't view myself as externally motivated but I still know that on a cold winter ride with teammates, I will do things I would find difficult to do by myself (see our Spring Training Camp).  And I will do them harder and faster.

I think the women's performance in Mexico is a perfect example. The three of them challenge each other every day in training (they are based in LA for access to a world calibre training site and good weather).  They then go to an International event and go faster than any other group of Canadian women has gone in competition.  And finally, with the increased adrenaline of a gold medal final, the three of them dig even deeper and improve that record by almost 2% 

That kind of improvement is usually found over entire seasons, not from the morning till afternoon.  It will be interesting to talk to Steph more about it (celebrity call out: our Liisa is her 'life teammate') but i think the team probably just raised their level a little more due to the excitement and pressure of competition.

So... ? Race your damn bike!  Whether on the track, in the mud, or on the road, you will push yourself farther and faster.

*Here* is a link to an interview on Canadian Cyclist with the coach and Jasmine.

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