5 Minutes on the clock, and here we go for my first ever Time Trail Tuesday Post.
Confidence is king!
I came to a realization this weekend, one I knew in part, but had known but never truly experienced in the wild.
Descending and riding well in general is 100% about how CONFIDENT you feel in your ability to control your bike!
Comfort is critical, it allows the athlete to focus on their effort, but confidence allows you to EXECUTE on that effort.
Until recent years, triathlon pads were built smaller and smaller thinking that the surface area needed to be smaller to limit weight and drag. This weekend I had an eye opening experience with the new maximal pad style that increases the surface area that makes contact with the athlete to increase comfort.
I just started riding the TriRig Scoops Ultimate which creates a contact patch that encompasses the athlete's entire lower arm, from elbow to wrist. (See below) This gave me more confidence than I ever could have expected.
Racing 70.3 CDA on Sunday I came to the top of the only major descent in the race and I happened to be by myself with no one in sight in front of me (story on that swim issue later) and I decided to go for broke.
Halfway down the hill, cruising at 45mph I was actually relaxed! Something I had never experienced before. With any prior setup there was always some fear, instability and doubt in my control. But Sunday, I was able to breathe calmly, relax the tension in my shoulders and back and just enjoy the ride!!
This was 100% because I felt completely in control of my bike, and I felt completely in control of my bike because I was so confident in my position and had so much contact between me and the pads themselves.
Honestly I did not expect the difference it made in my riding and the difference it made in my comfort and racing on the whole is absolutely enormous!
Getting aero is great, but if it reduces athlete confidence, then it may not be worth the trade off.
BOOM, Time is up, hope that was useful to some.
See you next week.