by Angela Reed-Fox
11 things Indoor Cycling can teach us about business and professional life
I've seen lives changed by indoor cycling. It's such a simple thing, and yet it has such tremendous power to change lives for the better. Including my own. Getting ahead in life and work often pulls on those lessons learned in the saddle.
Taking metrics is important. The way we feel is so subjective - we may not feel we're getting fitter, even when we are. And that's why you need metrics. Is your recovery rate going down? Your jeans size? Your resting heart rate? Your blood pressure? How about your functional threshold power - is it going up? How about your maximum climbing gear? Just as you wouldn't run an ad campaign without checking the metrics, in the saddle metrics are keeping you accountable and on track. AND they're a source of motivation as you can see you're getting fitter, healthier, stronger. Just as in life and work you want to make sure you're moving forward - if you can't see you're moving forward, you probably aren't.
Have a goal. A really big, beautiful, ridiculous goal. And then break it up into manageable chunks so you can plot your course. Those who do best in indoor cycling always have an aim, just like in business.
The beauty of indoor cycling is that it's cycling under lab conditions - you don't have potholes, road furniture, slippery white paint or snotty drivers, you can just concentrate on your own ride. Just that. And that means there are things you can focus on that you wouldn't be able to so well when out on the road. Things like...
Technique is what gets riders the results they want. It's not what you do so much as how you do it. Committing to refining your technique helps strengthen muscles and burns more calories than someone who's bouncing around in the saddle. Same in work life. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well. Good stuff always stands out.
Work on weaknesses, work on strengths
You want to make your weakness less weak, and your strengths stronger. Maybe you're good at a sprint, but not so comfortable chugging away at an endurance climb. Well, it's time to round your character. If you're in business, you have no choice but to develop those skills you might not naturally gravitate towards; if you're looking for onwards movement for your career, you might need to prove your skills in new areas.
Ah, the joys of the fixed wheel! On the road, you can skim down hills with zero effort, but in the studio, you're responsible for every revolution. That's not to say you can't enjoy the ride of course - but there's tremendous satisfaction in doing that whole workout!
Pacing is good
Pacing means you get more stuff done, better, in the time available. Essential on a bike, essential in your working day.
Of course. Resistance. Using a little more resistance than you're really comfortable with, pushing a little further outside your comfort zone, that's where the gains are made - in life and in the studio.
No one ever regretted a good workout
You might not massively be in the right frame of mind, but getting that workout done feels good. Clearing your desk? Same. Each workout changes you as a person, and makes you more the person you were destined to be.
The importance of me-time
Just being on the bike, that's time just for you. Personal development is an investment and should never feel self-indulgent. You're worth it.
Enjoy the win
Unlike life perhaps, a great indoor cycling session will leave you feeling like you won. Enjoy. Take that victory and see what you can do.
See you on the bike. ;-)