It’s that time of the year for reflection. Have you done everything as an athlete to optimize your fitness and performance? What is blocking you from reaching your dreams and goals?
For many athletes, ego is what blocks them from reaching the final step of the podium.
Ego is a strong driver of improvement for new athletes. It gets you to the starting line. It pushes you to train so you don’t get dropped on that group ride. It keeps you from letting that athlete pass you.
For sure ego is an important driver, it gets you to 75%.
But ego can also block you from reaching your full potential. Do you fall into these traps?
You trained when you really needed rest, just to be on that group ride or show the result on Strava? Rarely do solo rides because you like posting faster and longer rides. Gone fast on an endurance pace workout as you were worried what your Strava followers would think? Instead of doing the hard intervals with recovery, you kept the speed med-high to get a higher average speed? You spend most of your time training your strength instead of your weakness? Killed it on the bike leg of a race to have an excuse for the run?
It’s human nature to want to look good all the time. And in our FOMO, share everything world it’s easy to get caught up in the immediate quest for kudos rather than invest in proper training for a longer-term goal such as a race victory.
Two key tenants for top performance are periodization, and rest. Periodization means there is a time of the year for building your endurance base, a time for speed training, and a time for racing. Rest allows your body to rebuild stronger from training stress.
Due to seasonality, most parts of the country have a forced “off-season” (and automatic periodization) due to cold weather. When I lived in New England there were no races November – to the start of March. Everyone cut back on intensity and logged base-winter miles. Speed workouts kicked in early spring and the C training racing starts about 6 weeks later.
Here in Florida, we are blessed with year-round warm weather, and you can find a race almost every weekend of the year. Because of this, there is the temptation to never change your training and race all year. This approach stalls improvement and limits your race results.
A strong training plan that incorporates periodization has the following elements:
*It is possible to have 2 shorter peak periods if they are spaced far enough apart in the year.
During your endurance base period if you are preoccupied with what others will think, just go dark! Turn off public sharing for your workouts, trust your training and dream of posting that podium pic from your A race in a few months!
Best wishes in the New Year!