Sixty-year-old Wimpie van der Merwe,
Red Rush Athlete and AIM Preferred Member sets his sights on The Hour
My name is Wimpie van der Merwe, proudly South African and sixty years old. I recently attempted the master’s world record for the Hour. It’s the most prestigious record in cycling, attempting to ride the furthest distance in 60 minutes.
The Hour is even more valued than a Tour de France victory. Only the best in cycling have ever held this record. For most, it’s a career-ending effort. Not only is the Hour so physically demanding, it is so emotionally fulfilling that there is hardly any worthwhile goal to fulfill after achieving it.
An Impressive Cycling Career
During my cycling career, I have broken many records: 12 world, 18 African and 18 South African, setting records on both sides of the spectrum with distances from 200 meters to 1,000 kilometers. Presently, I still hold records: 12 South African, 11 African and 1 world, making me one of the most accomplished riders in the history of cycling.
Remaining very active on the international scene, I competed in the 1,400 km ultra-endurance London Edinburgh London (LEL) race in the first few days of August 2017. All of these achievements have made me one of the most knowledgeable cyclists when it comes to preparation of the mind and body for speed and endurance. And I’m willing to share some of these principles
The Science of Cycling Endurance
At the outset, I had to become my own scientist, learning through experimentation and making my own mistakes. There are no scientists who have been there to tell me what to do. In fact, scientists study and follow sportsmen like me. And at this level of competition, I had to accept that there is no manual to follow.
Mentally, someone who wants to do what I do should have a single-minded purpose, not accept “no” for an answer, have an innate desire to test the limits, never be satisfied with the status quo, be persistent and focused, make friends with pain and discomfort, be willing to sacrifice more than the rest of the competition, understand that limitations are man-made and that “impossible” is a silly word.
Most of the time it is easier to know what to do than to do what you know because it costs discipline and sacrifice to put knowledge into action and reach the pinnacle of
success. To be the best in your sport, there is no shortcut. So if you want to ruin your life and reputation, you can follow in the footsteps of Lance Armstrong.
Building a Foundation for Success
The basics of sport are the same as in building a house: to have a roof, you need to have walls and a foundation. The foundation of any success lies in the preparation phase, sometimes a multi-year period. Money cannot buy it. You cannot borrow it. You cannot replace it with a pill. Stamina, or mileage, the slow conditioning, muscle and body chemistry development phase is the primary part of any preparation.
About 60 percent of your time spent in preparing and nurturing stamina will be below an effort of a heart rate zone of 2-2.5 millimoles per litre (mMol) lactate. What follows is the power phase. About 30 percent of your time is spent at a corresponding effort of up to 4 mMol lactate. This is an effort that starts distinguishing the men from the boys.
The Hour record is done at an intensity as close as possible to the 4 mMol level. This is the “pay-as-you-go” level. The art of the Hour record is to be able to keep your effort exactly on this level. It can be explained as follows: If you go one beat faster, you are in oxygen debt and have to slow down, paying interest for the effort that was too hard. If you go one beat slower, it is ground you lost and can never make up again.
The final 10 percent of your time spent in preparation is in the zone above 4 mMol lactate. This is the red zone, the roof of your building. This is where strength manifests, lactic acid tolerance is developed and, at the same time, the most physical and mental damage occurs. It is the reason why you spend the least of your time here. It is quality time. It is the zone of pain and discomfort. It is the zone where your character is reflected. This is the zone that everyone subconsciously wants to avoid because fatigue makes cowards of us all. This is the top of the pyramid and as we all know, the higher the pyramid, the broader its base should be (stamina).
The Legal Edge: AIM Red Rush
Red Rush has proven itself so beneficial for these two latter zones because it delays the onset of fatigue. For the same workload to reach maximal heart rate, you can now last at least 16 percent longer. Because it enables the body to work more efficiently with fat as a source of energy, it lowers lactate levels at the same workload than before.
I drink one Red Rush daily to top up my nitrate levels and two before a major workout or competition to help me last longer and give me the legal edge to shatter human limitations they call world records.
Testimonials should not be construed as representing results that everyone can achieve.
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