We launch into the fourth quarter of the calendar year this coming week and, from a performance standpoint, it is one that always brings mixed emotions for me. A part of me always remains frustrated seeing folk fall into a performance-sabotaging approach over these months, while another side of me feels the building excitement of the opportunity that the coming months bring. Perhaps it is the tugging tension between my English and American sides. Optimism and cynicism. I will let you guess which one is which ;)
Today, I choose to lead with optimism and excitement. Once your last race is complete, and you take stock and a nice breather, you get to look forward with all the opportunity ahead. This quarter offers you the chance to execute critical preparatory work, which we know is a powerful predictor in the recipe to long-term performance, as well as have a little fun and spend more time in other aspects of life.
A part of this recipe is strength training.
The first sessions of our next phase of training commences this week, and with that comes a fresh set of strength sessions. As we always seek to evolve, it is completely evolved again for this year ahead. We are leaning more and more into the video aspect of the training, including powerful watch parties. These help us hold ourselves and each other accountable, but also allow you to receive critical coaching on form, execution and technique.
This new strength signals, for me, the start of 2022. We all know that strength is one of the pillars of performance, and the coming months are the ones in which strength training bubbles up to become a top priority in any week. Personally, I am a little like many Purple Patch athletes, in which the strength training isn’t my favorite. I understand its value, I strongly believe in it, but I would prefer to dance off into the trails for a social run.
I do it, but do it kicking and screaming.
Starting this week, I am doubling down on my commitment and consistency. I am planning to follow the Purple Patch program consistently over the coming year, before joining my brothers for a riding adventure through the Alps as a participant in the Haute Route. I believe strength is important for my health and success, and so I am diving in. I plan to hit the whole offering, dive into watch parties as my schedule allows and make it fun. Hey, I have a gym where I work (the Purple Patch Center), so I am low on excuses!
My question is: how many Purple Patch athletes plan to join me and nail down consistency in the strength?
It begins this week, or right after your last race of the season. I hope I am not going on this journey alone... will you join me?
If the answer is yes, I would add that these fresh strength sessions are part of a larger evolution in the training for Q4 and 2022. In addition, look out for these in the coming weeks and months:
- Expanded Watch Parties to cover more time zones. These are one of your most powerful tools for accountability and connection, and you get real-time coaching as well. As with the live bike classes, they are incredibly high value, and we encourage you to embrace them for both bike and strength. If you haven't joined one yet, make sure to reserve a space in any upcoming Watch Party through Interval.
- Improved education on the Pillars of Performance and tools for optimizing your platform of health: we will be having the InsideTracker team in for an Expert Office Hours session on October 14. We'll also be utilizing new features within the Today's Plan mobile app to deliver embedded education around critical topics like nutrition and recovery -- stay tuned for more on that soon.
- Structured runs in Squad: these are a 'beta test' of sorts. There will be a power file associated with each run, but to ensure alignment with our methodology and make them as accessible as possible to all regardless of terrain or equipment, they are programmed only to deliver interval time and effort prescription (Z2, Z3 etc) only. There will not be pace or HR targets included.
- The return of the Consistency Challenge. After a wildly successful community challenge last December, we will be embracing this once again, and our strength training in the back half of Q4 will be aligned to support it. Frickin' Joaquin, I hope you are ready!
Let's charge ahead.