I got a chance to talk to Ted King a lot during the ride on Tuesday. When I asked him about what races he fancies where he’ll get his own chances for glory. His answer gives good insight to a true domestique/team player.
“I’m not a great climber, or a great sprinter. Most of my chances at actually winning are pretty slim. But what I’m good at is riding at 350 watts for hours on end and when I train, I train so that I can do that really really well.”
So do you motor pace a lot?
“Sometimes, but not really since my job role doesn’t really require the need for top end speed. The racing itself usually helps enough to get my speed.”
Here’s what I’ve intuited from this conversation:
1. Identify your strengths and do it to the best of your ability
2. Train those strengths so that it can help the team. For instance, if you plan on giving a good leadout, make sure you train your anaerobic system and muscular endurance a lot. You need to be able to hold a good speed for a long time in the wind. But you don’t need to have a high top end so there’s minimal need to hit the neuromuscular system.
3. Again as a leadout rider it makes more sense that you hold back on climbing a lot or even working on top end speed. Train specifically to the efforts that are required of you to be successful. Likewise, if you’re a climber riding a bunch of crits with crit specific teammates, then focus on speed and technique drills rather than hills all the time. Same goes for the sprinter who loves to train the speed drills, work on your climbing if you want to help a climber.
4. We can’t train every energy system maximally each week, so it’s important to identify what systems to train prior to the identified races and what energy systems to train to support the success of the team.
5. I’d rather be great at 1 thing rather than just be packfill at many things.