Masahiko Mifune×Niseko Classic #3: Two important skills for the race!

Have you all managed to conduct training during the Golden Week?

During the past years, I have been tied up with many events and the same went for this year – I could not train at all. I was hosting Gravel Criterium in Mukaiyama Koyoto and the first half of holiday was dedicated to this event. The second half – I slept over most of the time to heal the fatigue…

But come to think about it, I am commuting with a bicycle more than 3 times a week and each ride is 60km – so I am treating a routine as a part of training. But to be honest with you, considering the race date, I really wanted to put burden into my body and check how body responds…

Less than 2 months to Niseko Classic now. The training that we all need to focus for the next 4 weeks is to – if possible – increase a burden, or usual level of burden but a longer distance. During the race, we will encounter a period that we all need to face situations where we need to put 120% efforts.

As a starter, there is a climb during the beginning of race and it is nice to train in a way so that:

・We can endure a set of time with medium to high burden.

・We can recover while cycling moderately after a high-burden period of run.

Acquiring these two skill sets are very important. When there is a tight race near the finish line, the very first thing is to leave some energy left to the goal and when the time comes – have confidence and go all the way!

When I was a professional racer, I was good at the final sprint of race. Some cases, I was uncertain about when to initiate the final sprint and I could not achieve the desired outcome that I wanted. One time, my team mate told me, “Don’t stay behind the other racers and wait for others to engage – have your confidence and engage by yourself!”

This teammate knew that my ability is that I can accelerate rapidly from low speed to high speed.

The race after that, it was 1km remaining – moderate uphill with wind against us – everyone was keeping eye on when to engage the final sprint. 500m to go and albeit it is early -I initiated the final sprint. After that, I was on the position to compete the third position but when we reached 50m to the goal – I stalled and ended up on the 7th.

I was very shocked but the teammate said, “That was fine – the moment you engaged – no one could follow up. You just need to have confidence on your skill set.”

Then Tour of South China Sea 2004 Second Stage. I engaged again at 500m before the goal. 150m to go and some came ahead of me. At that moment, it rushed my adrenaline and I went faster – ended up keeping the first position for not only this stage but the further ones.

More you practice, the better the outcome it gets.

Keep training for the rest of weeks!