The (Sometimes) Unbearable Weight of Winning

  By Mara Abbott, Olympian, CTS Contributing Editor During the final week of September in Yorkshire, a fresh crop of road world champions pulled on new rainbow jerseys, including three young Americans (Congrats Chloe, Quinn, and Megan!). As someone who started winning significant races at a young age, I can say from experience that big …

high achievers

The Art of Patting Yourself on the Back (but not too much)

By Mara Abbott, Olympian, CTS Contributing Editor It’s tough for athletes and other high achievers to self-evaluate performance. To prevent burnout, maintain motivation, and guard your mental health for the long run, it’s important to learn to celebrate yourself on occasion. We should pause to celebrate our own hard work and accomplishments. At the same …

goals

Why You Need Goals Worthy of a 4:30AM Wakeup

By Mara Abbott, Olympian, CTS Contributing Editor Last week, I took my first coaching job. I won’t be charting watts or checking TrainingPeaks. The workouts will be measured in yards, not hours or miles – I am now officially the new assistant coach of Buffalo’s girls high school swim team. Swimming was my first love …

You’re Not the Athlete You Used to Be, And That’s Okay

By Mara Abbott, Olympian, CTS Contributing Editor I have been terrified to race for almost three years. I’m not talking about bike racing. I am talking about any athletic competition. I finished my professional racing career in 2016 with an absolute sense of finality. When people asked me about a comeback, or even when I …

desk job

Expert Advice for Surviving a Desk Job as an Athlete

By Mara Abbott, Olympian, CTS Contributing Editor As a professional racer, I struggled mightily to comply with constant pleas from team managers, my coach and a variety of ubiquitous-yet-unsolicited advice-givers who all desperately wanted me to sit down and put my feet up as soon as I got off the bike. That was not my …

goal setting

Goal Setting: Who to Keep or Kick Out of Your Support System

By Mara Abbott, Olympian, CTS Contributing Editor The pre-tour pundits took note of Simon Yates at this year’s first Giro d’Italia press conference, after the Michelton-Scott rider gave a one-syllable answer when asked who was the number-one favorite at this year’s race: “Me.” Fans immediately lined up, as fans will do, to categorize Yates’ analysis …