On October 11th, 2014, Spinning® Master Instructor, Pedro Maia of Portugal, competed in the Wembo 24HR World Solo Championship in Scotland. The race ran 24 hours through mountain and forest terrain, often cold and soaked in rain. After competing in Cross-Country and Marathon mountain bike races, he began 24 hour racing in 2007 and became a top contender, finishing 16 laps to take the gold medal in his age category.
How did you qualify for the World Championship 2014?
As a 2010 and 2011 Iberian Champion and 2013 European Champion, I easily qualified for the Worlds.
How did Spinning® help you prepare for the competition?
The Spinning program has always been an asset in preparing for these kinds of ultra-endurance races, not only physically but also in the mental aspect. I don't use my classes to have a workout, I'm there to give a ride to my students. When I want to train, usually I train alone. At home, I use my Spinner® bike because it’s also of great value when weather conditions do not allow outdoor training and it permits me, like Johnny G when he was preparing for the RAAM, to be closer to my family.
Where did you feel that you really needed to push through the obstacles you faced?
Riding in the Scottish Highlands will always be a gamble, and although it rained the day before, during the race the weather remained stable, which made it less difficult despite the cold. At night, the temperatures dropped to zero degrees Celsius (32 F) but with no rain it didn’t cause much inconvenience.In a 24 hour race, you need to be alert all the time, starting smart to finish strong, but most of the time the real competition is against the elements, especially during the night at 3 AM. After pedaling for 15 hours, your body wants to go to bed, and that is when you start seeing "ghosts". But you have to endure and wait for the sun (that's why it is so mentally tough). Until then I need to go as smooth as possible, managing the effort and my most direct competition and trying not to make mistakes. It's a tough job.When I was able to have one lap in advance to my competition and later two laps, it was the sensation of having things under control. Sweet moments.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a competitive cyclist?
First of all, you need to have a dream, a goal, but a realistic one. If not the dream will became a fantasy. Second, you need to be prepared for battle, you need to train like a champion and recover like a warrior. You'll need to be prepared not only to train but to win all the battles of life. And remember you got you family, your friends, your job. Don’t forget them. Real life is the true competition. Use your bike and your knowledge to keep everything under control, you don´t need to train a lot, you just need is to train enough to accomplish your goal. Keep everything in perspective. I waited 55 years to become a World Champion and so can you. Start smart to finish strong; that's what I do in the races, that's what I do in my classes, and that's what I do every day of my life.
What’s your advice to instructors about becoming more active to encourage Spinning® trainings and education in their community?
You got to show to people the true meaning of being the instructor of the original indoor cycling program. Show them what it's like to belong to a group of well-educated fitness professionals that have the tools of the trade to get the job done. Be yourself and don't try to change the world, be flexible and face life as it is.Pedal Strong.