Purple Patch Team,
Here we are. These are uncertain times and, with it, the strange feeling of living through a moment in history, which sometimes feels more like a movie than reality. I write this hours before San Francisco goes into ‘shelter in place,’ with the coming days and weeks holding nothing but a guess. It is undoubtedly stressful for all, but it is something that we can and will unite around and navigate through. As the leaders of Purple Patch, Kelli and I want to share some important thoughts and considerations with all of you, and invite you to join us in a commitment to resilience and performance as we collectively drive forward through this.
Training and Performance -- Now: Many of us have lost our compass -- events canceled, training roadmap destroyed, access completely evolved and limited. It is normal to have a phase of despair, frustration, and declining motivation. Surely there are more important things to worry about right now than selfish training? Maybe, but it remains critical. We no longer chase PRs and finish lines. We chase resilience and health -- both mental and physical:
This is a critical time for your mental and physical health!
Here are a few important factors when viewing your training now:
Structure Within Chaos: Whether managing your kid's schedule while they are home from school, organizing your workday, or maintaining training of some sort, an organized structure and set of commitments is massively valuable. You should aim to maintain a schedule and stay committed to fitness and health.
Shift the Lens: As a Purple Patch athlete, you want results, but it is broader than a PR right now. We aim for health, work, and life performance. The total focus, for now, is that latter part of the puzzle. You need to maintain resilience and health -- without giving in to falling into random. Random equals random results.
You Know What to Do: Every piece of Purple Patch education has provided you with the toolbox to empower you now. It is in front of you, so deploy it:
- Control the Controllable
- The Pillars of Performance
- Achievement in Adversity
- Change-Able and the Quest to Adapt with an Evolving Situation
- Embrace the Journey
A Little Shining Light: The irony of this situation is that many of us might benefit physically, over the long-term, if we adopt the right approach now. Each season, coaches (and athletes) have a tendency to cram, force training to fit into schedules, and aim to gain an edge. The result is a great performance, but can also end in injury, fatigue, or underperformance. We now have a few months to retreat to a truly patient build, develop resilience, gain technical ability and more. Take advantage of the areas you can develop, and get over focusing on all the pieces you might be unable to target currently.
The Essential Power of Community: Perhaps the most critical piece of this is our collective mental and physical health. Isolation, and an escape and ability to retain something for ‘you’, is a real concern in times like this. I encourage every Purple Patch athlete, from Pros to 1:1 to Squad, to lean into remaining connected and getting involved with any and all community aspects of this training. This is our primary focus, via video sessions online, deeper connectivity through our private Facebook, ‘meet-ups’ on Zwift, online video sessions with the coaching team to chat, connect, asking questions, and more.
So what is Purple Patch doing?
Our role remains exactly the same as it ever was -- to help you improve your performance within the context of life and situation. It now takes on a deeper and more critical importance over the coming months, and I feel we can and should be a grounding force for each of you. Individually coached athletes will have their daily program tailored to their exact situation and availability, and Squad athletes will receive highly flexible and evolved programming. Here are some key elements of the coming weeks from Purple Patch:
Squad Programming Evolved: I would like all Squad athletes to align on Baseline programming. We can evolve to race builds in the coming weeks or months, but let’s come together now. Please remove all programming from March 23 forward, so that we can drop new training into the baseline plan. We plan to integrate highly flexible programming for you.
- All original baseline sessions will remain (an evolution based on my progression of the Squad)
- We are integrating ‘swim at home’ circuits with bands - please get yellow or green - not the heavy gauge
- Coach Michael O. has created some ‘at-home’ strength, core and mobility routines
- We are adding some additional resilience sessions (bike and run)
Online Community Rides: We are hatching an evolving plan to nail down some fun community and coach-driven bike trainer sessions. We will utilize Zwift and online video plans. These will be:
- Coached Rides: We are finalizing the best experience here, as I don’t have access to the center for full streaming. It might be down and dirty, but it will be fun. Details to come, but myself and the coaches will lead online setups to guide you through the workouts. Watch for this as it evolves!
All details for these meetups will be outlined in an article on the Education Hub and shared in multiple formats as soon as we have details firmed up.
Education and Connectivity: We are planning a host of education, content, and meetups led by the coaching team -- all via Zoom. Let’s stay connected! I am driving to call on our resources and bring you some live Q&A sessions with many of the Purple Patch coaches and experts. I am looking to coordinate:
- Ivan O’Gorman on bike fit
- Andy Blow on Hydration
- Mark Fadil on Tissue Health
- Purple Patch coaches on a myriad of topics
Let's use this time to draw in our experts and educate!
Challenges: We are looking to map out a series of challenges and activities to help create a compass in the fog. We will set up opportunities like a buddy system of accountability, challenges on consistency, leaning into IRONMAN’s Virtual Racing and challenges (see below) and more. We are game for ideas here, so let us know your thoughts and ideas!
The Center and IRONMAN: We will obviously be delaying the opening of the center for as long as is required for this situation to pass, followed by invite-only friends and family before full opening. Kelli and I really appreciate the concern and thoughts around the stress of this situation, it is really appreciated. It is stressful, but we will be OK, and in much less stressful situations than many others such as medical workers, self-employed, hourly employees, families who rely on school meals to feed children, the list goes on. We are minimizing our cost and will get through to a bright future, but our challenges are nothing compared to what others go through. Besides, we have you!
I did get to speak to the CEO of IRONMAN, as well as the IRONMAN support team. As a company, they are stepping up to provide a series of virtual races over the coming months, as well as a bunch of community initiatives. They do want to support the athlete, and if they can pull off virtual races/challenges, then we will aim to get you involved.
Summary: This is a trying time, but one we will navigate. Humans are adaptable, but Purple Patch humans are highly adaptable and ready. We will make the most of the situation, look after each other, as well as find humor in a challenging situation.
Don’t forget, we are allowed to smile and enjoy ourselves, even when we navigate tough situations. We cannot do this alone, so let’s come together. If you need support, reach out to us. If you have questions, reach out. In the meantime, ensure you are connected:
Let’s get cracking!
Matt, Kelli, and the entire Purple Patch Team