Consistency and company

The best performers are not consistently great, but they are great at being consistent.

It might sound a little boring but it works.

Cadel Evans was consistent for 20 years. And I mean all year long for 20 years.

Peter Sagan is always there.

Across 565 days of racing in his career, he’s had 189 top-3 placings. That’s a 33 per cent podium ratio.

I put this down to discipline and consistent training. He arrived in Australia, in January, for the Tour Down Under this year and he was fit. That means he didn’t let his hair down for long after winning the world championships last October.

Combined with a huge personality, it’s Sagan’s consistency that enables him to be cycling’s rock star.

To paraphrase the writer James Clear, “The single greatest skill in any endeavour is doing the work. Not doing the work that is easy or makes you look good or when you feel inspired. Just doing the work.”

In the previous article, I wrote about the benefits of regular rides – you’ll get better outcomes from four one-hour rides per week, then two two-hour rides. This is about extending that and setting patterns so you’re consistent from now until L’Etape.

As we’re all trying to fit our training around other life commitments – work, study, family, kids sports, etc – having a consistent plan for the days, and time of day, you train is the safest way to ensure you get the work done.

A consistent weekly routine also lets the other people in your life know when you’ll be available or unavailable.

And to help you consistently do the work surround yourself with the right people to train with.

In 2010, the United States Air Force Academy set out to understand why some cadets increase their fitness during their time at the academy while others do not.

The researchers discovered that the determining factor as to whether the cadets within a squadron improved was the motivation of the least fit person in the group. If they were motivated to improve, then the enthusiasm spread and everyone improved.

You are the company you keep.

Include your training in your diary, map out a plan (have variety in the training you do but consistency in when and how often you do it) and choose your training partners wisely.

Being one of the most recognisable voices of cycling, Matthew Keenan regularly forms part of the international commentary team at the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana, broadcast around the world from Europe, USA, Africa, New Zealand and on SBS in Australia.

Matt is one of the two official voices of L’Etape Australia by Le Tour de France.