Today it is our privilege to bring you an interview with Olympic Silver Medalist and former Tour de France Cyclist, Steve Cummings. We discuss training for the Tour de France, overcoming setbacks, Steve’s plans for the future and much more…
How did your passion for cycling begin and develop?
Mainly from watching the Tour de France. I was an energetic child, my parents encouraged me to participate in all sports. Cycling was eventually my clear favourite.
What are your personal stand-out moments from your career?
Winning two stages in the Tour de France and the resilience to pick me up and continue fighting after every fall – physically and psychologically.
What did a typical week of training consist of when you were training for a competition?
Ranging from 15 hours – 35 hours. Somewhere in the middle would be average. Eventually, I found I worked best around 20-25 hours – almost all on the bike. A lot of intensity, a lot of concentration, proper planning, and short, medium and long-term vision.
Can you tell us about an experience where you’ve overcome setbacks to achieve your goals?
I fractured my clavicle, sternum and scapula in a race in April 2017. I required one surgery. I was recovering at home, pretty well, I slipped on a wet floor and fell again. The fall at home made the injury worse, and I required a second more complex scapula surgery.
I trained indoors with a strap attached around my chest to the roof. I could not take any weight through the shoulder. The strap and 2 ribs were the stable frameworks which enabled me to train exceptionally well – under the circumstances.
After 10 rides on the road, I returned to racing at the British National Championships – June 17. The first ride back outside I had struggled with balance, my shoulder was structurally stable, but it lacked stability. I won both the Time Trial and Road Race despite my shoulder feeling fragile and vulnerable.
In July I was privileged to ride the Tour de France in the national champions jersey. I gave my all to win a stage, but unfortunately, it was not possible. I crashed in the final week of the tour and broke 2 vertebrae.
What advice would you give to someone who is demotivated or doesn’t know where to start with getting into sport and fitness?
Identify your outcome goals. Health and happiness is perhaps the most important thing to us all. To be healthy, the WHO recommends exercise. The evidence is there to support that statement.
Perhaps for others, performance goals are motivational – I recommend the same process. Formulate a short, medium and long-term plan. And work towards your goals. It is vital to concentrate on taking small steps and not getting over roared by overreaching.
‘Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible’. Francis of Assisi
Recognise that you cannot feel super motivated every day – we are human – it’s normal. Remembering why you are doing something has always been vital for me to stay motivated.
Are there any people, books, or experiences that you would be willing to share with us, that have really helped shape your mentality?
Steve Peters – The Chimp Paradox
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to take their passion and turn it into a successful business/ career?
Establish your life values, give 100% to strive for them, and enjoy the process.
What’s some advice that you would give to yourself in your late teens/the early twenties, in light of your experiences?
Go to university and develop yourself as a person, learn every day, and that will help you as an athlete.
What are your goals and plans for the future?
Exploring and learning new things every day. My family and I are healthy and happy, so I would like to continue along this path.