Last month I spent 8 days cycling in Alabama at a training camp run by Aldo Sfalcin, a retired pro from Windsor, Canada. Think of the camp as “spring training for cyclists”. His words of wisdom for a successful cycling season is that “you must go slow to go fast”. He encourages adult cyclists to put in at least 800 miles of cycling early in the year spinning easy gears at a high cadence to get the heart pumping and to regain muscle memory.
Can you relate to this advice? Have you attended numerous seminars and workshops and been inspired by keynote addresses and dozens of great business books? Afterwards, did you think, “This will work great back at work”? Did you buy books for each of your leaders and send them to the same workshops? When you asked everyone to pick up the pace, how did that work for you? Did you achieve "speed to market" or flawless implementation" of a new program?
When you try to “go fast” before learning to “go slow” the results are predictable. Frustration sets in and eventually everyone resorts to the familiar. And, when your team sees you returning from a workshop or seminar, they brace themselves for another round of “going fast” knowing that they’ll soon find themselves “going slow”.
Back to Aldo’s camp. The first day we rode 28 miles and I thought I was going to die. I was struggling up the hills (yes, Alabama has them) barely hanging on at the back of the group. Each day I got a little stronger and by week’s end I had logged 350 miles and felt great. Now that I’m back in Chicago I’m looking forward to logging those additional 450 base miles. Then, I’ll work on speed. I’m confident that I’ll meet my goal of riding 3,500 miles this year.
Establish a little muscle memory with your team. Focus on the basics. Go slow, then go fast. Then you’ll be ready to go the distance.