On Friday the Tour of GB cyclists whizzed through our neighbourhood and we took time out to shoot them flying past. It was a first for all of us and boy, was it a whistle-stop lesson in teamwork!
Fascinating to realise that in what appears to be just a frenzy of fast-moving lycra, the team strategy is being followed every inch of the way. The competitors cover a phenomenal distance each day – this 205km leg was Bath to Hemel Hempstead (quite a car journey let alone on two wheels!) – and yet it’s the marginal gains that make all the difference to reaching the end goal.
Chief coach of Team Sky cycling, Sir David Brailsford, in a recent interview with The Times journalist and author Matthew Syed, set out all the elements that count: “It’s about marginal gains. How do you improve at something? You do it incrementally. Each tiny improvement, whether in bike efficiency, or nutrition, or in performing under pressure, may seem trivial. You might think it is not worth doing. But the cumulative effect can be devastating. You look at where you want, to be, and they you start working backwards. You reverse engineer everything that might impact upon getting to that target, and pursue them ruthlessly.”
Why not think about a target you are aiming towards and ‘reverse-engineer’ it the Brailsford way? And what will be your equivalent of the yellow jersey for each stage of the journey?