Dr. Hutch

From de­cent cy­clist to in­dif­fer­ent run­ner, where does the Doc go next for his com­pet­i­tive fix?

Cycling Weekly - - FLAMME ROUGE - Doc­torhutch_­cy­[email protected]

These bleak, chilly days are the per­fect time to plan your goals for the sea­son. Re­al­ity is far enough away that it won’t im­pinge on your dreams. You can think big in early Jan­u­ary, and you should. I mean, if you put on five ki­los in two weeks over Christ­mas, it stands to rea­son that you can get rid of them, and an­other five as well, by the start of Fe­bru­ary. Win the Tour? Why not? Af­ter all, it’s got to be eas­ier than the Giro since you’ve got an ex­tra six weeks to train.

Soon you’ll have to calm down a bit, of course, and adopt re­al­is­tic am­bi­tions. And this is where my prob­lems will be­gin. I used to be quite a good bike racer. I was ded­i­cated, I trained both hard and in­tel­li­gently. In short, I used to win things, and not just be­cause no one else turned up.

Now the way I look at it, from my re­tired­from-rac­ing po­si­tion, is this: I am still ev­ery bit as good as I was back then. I have lost not one sliver of my great­ness. The only threat to this point of view would be mak­ing any sort of at­tempt to prove it.

Over the last cou­ple of years I’ve been get­ting my com­pet­i­tive kicks from run­ning rather than cy­cling. Run­ning had the out­stand­ing ad­van­tage that I wasn’t much use at it. It was per­fect. Be­cause I was start­ing from a low base I could see im­prove­ments pretty eas­ily. I could set medi­ocre tar­gets, achieve them or miss them, and best of all I could re­as­sure my­self that what­ever hap­pened I was still a star, just not in this par­tic­u­lar sport. Like a politi­cian play­ing foot­ball with a group of chil­dren, I felt it was ac­tu­ally pretty de­cent of me to even have a go.

No more run­ning

But now my run­ning ca­reer seems to have come to a pre­ma­ture end due to an in­jury sus­tained at last year’s Lon­don Marathon. “You go­ing run­ning won’t end well,”

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