The Power of Perseverance

June 13, 2013

by Shawn Heidgen, Training Peaks Training and Nutrition Software

Last week we published an article comparing three riders’ data analysis from the 2013 Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic. Race winner Kiel Reijnen of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team shared his data, and you can check out the power numbers here (including the race-winning move of 11.4 w/kg for 60 seconds!), but this follow-up article is not about big numbers. It’s about something else that sets some athletes apart and makes the difference between good and great, between success and failure: the ability to persevere through setbacks and hardship.

Many people watch professional athletes and think about how gifted they are or how much easier it must have been for them to climb the ranks of their sport. While it is true that successful athletes may (not always) possess some sort of superior genetic ability, they must also have the mental strength to persevere through hardships and struggle. No one makes it to the top without overcoming obstacles that would push most people to quit. It is that mental determination and the ability to endure that makes the difference between success and failure.

“You’ll have a lot more bad days than good days,” was a phrase I heard frequently throughout my own pro cycling career and guess what? It was true. When we see someone on the top step of the podium, rarely do we know how many times they didn’t finish in the top 3, top 25, or maybe even finish at all. 

Kiel’s Story

Kiel Reijnen grew up on a small island near Seattle, WA and was hooked on cycling by his high school graduation.

Read the rest rest of this great article on the Training Peaks website »

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About Training Peaks

Founded in 1999 by athletes and coaches, Peaksware, LLC, develops software for endurance coaches and motivated individuals, to monitor, analyze and plan their fitness and nutrition for peak performance. Peaksware’s suite of products include the world’s leading web based training log and food journal, TrainingPeaks.com accessed online and through iOS and Android applications; PC desktop analysis software, WKO+; and a family of GPS activity tracking apps for iPhones including Run Tracker Pro, Cycle Tracker Pro and Walk Tracker Pro.

About Shawn Heidgen

Shawn Heidgen has been involved in cycling for over 20 years. She raced professionally for three years during which she completed 2 Giro D’Italia Donne (Women’s Tour of Italy ) and competed on the National Race Calendar circuit.  Shawn has also coached cyclists of all abilities for many years, and has led and directed training camps all over the world. Shawn also has a unique history, as a former Chronic Pain Patient at the Mayo Clinic (before racing professionally), she overcame what should have been a career ending hip fracture and went on to race professionally. 

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