Steph Corker is an ambitious amateur Ironman athlete who recently qualified for not just one, but two Ironman World Championships – IM Hawaii 2015 (via 1st place F30-34 at Ironman Whistler) and IM Hawaii 2016 (via 3rd place F30-34 at Ironman Muskoka). Next stop: Kona! Steph currently resides in Vancouver, BC though can often be found riding her bike in Whistler or on any Hawaiian island through out the year.
Beyond the bike, she runs a thriving people consulting business injecting heartbeat strategies into companies who care (about their people!) and is a proud triathlon coach for Jasper Blake at B78 Coaching. We asked Steph to give us her thoughts about what she has learned through years of riding and training on her bike.
Photo courtesy of Cervelo
As a 12x Ironman finisher + 3x Kona qualifier, I have been blessed with copious hours in the saddle preparing for these start lines. While the tales of training and racing are abundant, the life lessons that translate from 100mile rides feel far more compelling to share. Because I believe that how you do anything is how you do everything! Here is 10 things I’ve learned about life from riding my bicycle…
The best way to stay fuelled on a ride is to constantly be eating and drinking. It reminds me of life as a child – small snacks, all day long. Whether you are on a long ride or having a long day at the office, keeping your energy level high with consistent fuel and hydration is so important. And heck, keep it real – real food is better than chemical food, always. I am a different person when fed and you might be too!
There is an unwritten rule to dress properly on the bike – spandex that match that are not transparent are pretty standard base lines. And beyond your outfit, on or off the bike – socks matter.
It’s way more fun (and usually faster!) to have the joy of company on a ride. Team work makes the dream work, right? Finding great cycling mates is just like loving the people you work with – the days go by faster and you smile for miles. Not to mention, making memories is better with your tribe!
Or don’t! But do plan your calories (see #1) and always bring a friend (see #3) who has a sense of adventure. Whether you are on two wheels or two feet, I think that is a great rule for life.
Or any set back for that matter. They happen. And it won’t be the last flat tire that you change, so in fact, get used to it! I keep my favorite flavored gel in my flat kit (usually a Gu Rootbeer!) so as soon as I need to change a tube, I first get a special treat. (Note: cry when your heart hurts, shed tears of celebration, but you mustn’t shed tears when the going gets tough – just get tougher!)
Literally and figuratively. Training on mountains is most excellent for your fitness. You can get quality sessions in while grinding uphill for a sustained period of time. Not to mention, it is also fabulous mental training to stay present in the moment without ever drifting to how great it will feel at the top. Relishing in the thoughts and feelings of climbing does indeed make you stronger on the flats and the calmer waters of life.
Logging hours in a chamois is pure gold! Training camps remind me of the power of focus and discipline. When you are able to take that same approach into your training outside of a training camp environment, everything else in your life is elevated. You can make a training camp out of a long weekend in your home town or sneak away to the land of sunshine – both options are awesome.
CEO’s have Board of Directors/Advisors. Leaders have mentors. Athletes have coaches. Because the life pursuit to be your very best is only complimented with the expertise of a teacher. In my opinion, it is more valuable to hire a coach then invest in a “faster” piece of equipment — invest in your engine and the exterior of the car won’t quite matter as much.
Commit to your start line or your goal regardless of the weather. (When was the last time that using the weather as an excuse was sexy? #superlame) Finding time to ride indoors during the blasting sunshine all summer definitely helped improve my strength on the bike outdoors. [This is a shameless self-promotion plug: we teach awesome classes at Method Indoor Cycling in Vancouver. Please join us! We will keep your cycling fitness strong all winter long] Whilst you are at it, ditch every other excuse for a goal that went along with a rainy day!
I mean, if you are not having fun, then what is the point? The joy of seeing the world on two wheels, of riding for your morning coffee, of chasing sunrises + sunsets…are all better when you earn it! And especially sweet when you share it. Find a friend, find a bike and ride happy.
Steph’s Website – stephcorker.com
Cervelo recent interviewed Steph’s journey to Kona on her P3. Check it out here