“I’m not getting any better!” (You don't know how to Suffer!)
I HATE that statement. “Better” is a completely loaded term. It implies perception over analysis, and it’s my job as a coach to be a shrink, a cheerleader, a gentle critic, a cajoler, and an overall positive influence. But what is NOT my job, is to DO THE ACTUAL WORK ON THE BIKE. YOU have to learn how to SUFFER!
I have a client. Low overall Threshold, REALLY low overall HIE, and what I’d call an ARTIFICIALLY low Peak Power. I KNOW this client can do better. But this individual, and I’m going to be harsh here…. This individual DOES NOT KNOW, AND DOES NOT UNDERSTAND, HOW TO REALLY, TRULY, DEEPLY --- SUFFER.
Do the Work - Reap the Reward. Suffering is GOOD at times.
Training requires WORK. You USE ENERGY to GENERATE WATTS, and thus – GET FIT. FITNESS gives you the ability to use MORE energy, and generate MORE WATTS, and thus – GET MORE FIT!
But when you don’t DO THE WORK, you don’t GENERATE the POWER, and your FITNESS STAGNATES. It really is that simple.
This individual has everything; Great job, two great kids, expensive bike, extravagant components, custom wheels, Rapha Kit that gets replaced when bike grease inevitably shows up on a jersey pocket. The works. But what this person DOES NOT HAVE, is the ability to SUFFER!
I tell my clients – “You have to suffer like a barefoot Russian in winter!” Hey – they beat Napoleon! You can, too!
Well, there’s a time to suffer; it’s called interval days and it’s meant to be a controlled, “Focused” intensity. Do the work, reap the reward. But some people just…… either don’t want to, or don’t understand just how hard “Work” really is.
"Volume IS Work! It's not ALL SUFFER(ing!)"
I met with this individual, after they signed up for Xert. I helped them program the head unit. I explained the concept of volume, intensity, frequency, Focus, and fitness breakthroughs.
For TEN WEEKS, this individual’s numbers JUST. KEPT. DROPPING.
I couldn’t figure it out. Until Finally, it dawned on me to try ONE MORE THING.
Too MUCH intensity, and NOT ENOUGH VOLUME, can affect overall fitness.
You can't go HARD all the time. Sometimes - you have to go LONG. Suffer slow sometimes.
I prescribed MORE volume, in the “Green/Red” zone, on the days this individual was not in my studio. Working around the work schedule, we figured out how to essentially double capacity.
It took time, but JUST LAST WEEK, it finally clicked.
Interval One – BREAKTHROUGH.
Interval Two – BREAKTHROUGH.
Interval Three – BREAKTHROUGH.
Interval FOUR – BREAKTHROUGH.
Interval SEVEN – BREAKTHROUGH.
Prior Fitness Signature?
Peak Power: 487
Threshold Power: 143
Peak Power: 485 (I’ve all but given up on this one, but work with me…)
HIE: 6.5 (14% improvement)
Threshold Power: 144
Now – I know this is NOT MUCH. But – it’s a start. And the fact is – this person has MUCH more ability than what the numbers show.
"FIT"ness comes from "Frequency", "Intensity", and "Time". (FIT - get it? Good.)
But the light bulb switched on. It clicked. They finally “Got It”. Work the MPA using colored watts to pace yourself, and when slope or terrain changes, or intensity intervals change at the coach’s urging, GO FOR IT. Earn that breakthrough. It’ll help you. It’ll help me. It’ll help the system. You’ll learn how much more you can give of yourself, and when, and how long, and then work the recovery. Fitness is a game. Xert Fields on a Garmin head unit help you play that game.
When it clicks, watch out, because the cycling will become that much more fun. I don’t request breakthroughs every time. That’s impossible. Oh, I do love seeing people who have been in my studio for years, break through their plateaus, and achieve more.
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