The Optimal Athlete | 5 Insights That Elevated My Performance Last Week


AR Weekly: Race/Workout Report

Mid South (162km gravel race, Stillwater, OK)

Race Description:

Let’s break down the 160km course into three parts, each defined by a crucial pitch point.

The first part spans 21km, ending with a very short single track that circumvents an unrideable water crossing. This made the fight for positioning fierce from the start, with the pace steadily increasing until the crossing. I was 3rd into the single track and immediately started pushing the pace, finding myself in a selection of 8 with the majority of the favorites. We were finally caught after a hard 10-minute chase by 2 substantial groups, which brought the front peloton to 30-40 riders.

The 2nd part culminates with GNARNIA, a 2km long abandoned double track with deep holes and extremely rocky and bumpy terrain. I entered the sector first and took the responsibility to push the pace. At the end of it, I was in a small group of 5, but the gap wasn’t big enough to justify a big push. From there, we had about 60km of either attacking or chilling, ultimately thinning the group to approximately 20 riders.

The 3rd part is from the last single track to the finish. The entrance to the 2km single track can almost be seen as the first finish line; if you want to win, you need to enter it very close to the front. Unfortunately, I flatted about 20km before it. Fixing my front flat tire took me a little over 3 minutes due to a very long cut, which killed my chances. Despite this, I decided to go all out until the finish, having a lot of energy left in the tank and given that there’s no race next week, I wanted to use this opportunity to challenge my body to its limits, as I would have done if I had kept air in the tire.

At the risk of repeating myself, I was extremely happy with the sensation of the bike. Valley Of Tears serves as the perfect way to get the racing mind & legs back, and it’s now clear that I did the work needed this winter. I wish I had the privilege to battle it out until the end, but it will have to be in the near future instead.

Number Analysis:

  • Intensity Factor: 0.831
  • TSS (Training Stress Score): 310 TSS
  • Calories Burned: 4,949 cal

#1 Takeaway: Being in a great position is a choice

During the race, I managed to be in great position when it mattered most, because I did not allow justifications to creep in. This decision was made possible by a surrender to risk—accepting its inevitability in the front group and understanding that battling for position doesn’t necessarily amplify it. In fact, the heightened focus and commitment required for optimal positioning might even mitigate it.


AR Weekly: Energy Tip

To view bedtime as an appointment,

I’ve recently read Bryan Johnson’s books and found many of his ideas compelling. One practice I’ve started implementing is treating bedtime as the most important appointment of the day. If I schedule a meeting with someone, I ensure punctuality; the time is non-negotiable, as agreed upon in advance. However, my bedtime was easily disrupted by daily demands. I’m now committed to continuing to set a precise bedtime and halt any negotiations with myself about it.

That being said, I’m open to flexibility for social occasions. I’m willing to sacrifice a bit of energy occasionally for additional time with family or friends. This new perspective on bedtime is a strategy to simplify my typical routine and to gain a slight increase in energy.


AR Weekly: Book Suggestion

The Five Invitations by Frank Ostaseski

 3 Quote I’m pondering from the book:

  • I am not romantic about dying. It is hard work. Maybe the hardest work we will ever do in this life. It doesn’t always turn out well. It can be sad, cruel, messy, beautiful, and mysterious. Most of all it is normal. We all go through it. None of us get out of here alive.
  • Rest comes when we become more by doing less, when we don’t allow the urgent to crowd out the important
  • We cannot be truly alive without maintaining an awareness of death. Death is not waiting for us at the end of a long road. Death is always with us, in the marrow of every passing moment. She is the secret teacher hiding in plain sight. She helps us to discover what matters most. And the good news is we don’t have to wait until the end of our lives to realize the wisdom that death has to offer.

AR Weekly: Technologie(s) that Enhanced My Work

You’ve most likely realized by now that I’m riding for DT Swiss

To make a long (and frustrating 😅) story short, winter riding in Canada is very harsh on equipment. In the past, I would go through at least one rear hub every winter. This changed when I was introduced to #DTSwiss hubs. This attention to quality sparked my love for the brand, and when the opportunity for us to work together presented itself, it was a no-brainer.

For now, I’ve only ridden the GRC 1400, and if you’re looking for durability and lightweight, this is THE wheelset! 

    AR Weekly: Note To Self

    Luck is created through the combination of skill, which is inherently linked to your level of preparation, and opportunity. Hence, luck can only materialize if you have previously dedicated the requisite time to become proficient enough to seize a given opportunity.

    While we all receive varying levels and frequencies of opportunities, they are bound to occur. Given that this variation in opportunities is outside your control, to augment the chances of experiencing luck, your only focus should be on preparation.

    Thus, your task is to enhance your potential through consistent and intelligent work so that you are able to capitalize on opportunities when they present themselves. Luck plays a crucial role in any significant breakthrough, so ensure you are well-prepared.


    BONUS: Barrel Brothers – Skyzoo & Torae

    Thank you for your attention, and as always, take care of yourself by making the most optimal choice in every moment and do the same to take care of the ones you love.