Welcome to the new year…
Greetings, and I hope that your holiday break included some time to escape the rigors of daily life, as well as plenty of rest. We now put the year of 2020 in the rearview, and while we have continued challenges ahead, we are a collective with a passion for pursuing performance in the year before us. As we step into the new year, I wanted to frame some of the hot topics for Purple Patch performance upcoming, as well as a framework of mindset and strategy to maximize your opportunity for success this year. Let’s break it into two categories:
Setting up your success. Excitement and commitment are two common words I associate with the initial days of January. These are encouraging but also layered with risk. Too many folks launch into an obsessive drive that results in early niggles or a loss of motivation within five or six weeks of this ‘new you’. Let’s first remember our quest. For the vast majority of you, the phase of training we are in the midst of is preparatory. More than any prior year, we are being patient in progressions and looking to set up the system and frame for hard work ahead. Quarter One of 2021 is focusing on executing sessions well, not chasing classic performance metric improvements, but preparing your body to successfully adapt to really challenging work in months ahead. I should note -- and read this twice -- if you commit to this more patient approach then really good things will happen. Fitness will be bubbling up quietly, tissue resilience will improve, and you will arrive into March well ahead of what the signals are telling you on a daily basis. Add to this, that the more patient approach provides you with the capacity to focus on form and technical development. Pragma not dogma.
OK, great, so how about a success hit-list? Let’s make it memorable.
- Control what you can control. The coming few months will likely maintain the challenge of Covid-19. You likely won’t have perfect access to facilities, will need to take precautions, and will have some obstacles. Stay calm and do what you can do.
- Leave room to grow. If you have 10 hours, do 7-8, if you have 14, do 10-12. It is not the time to press against the limits of your capacity, as we want to have space to add load when the racing season approaches.
- Seek mini-victories. One day better. Every day, simply seek to execute sessions better than prior. This doesn’t mean faster, or more powerful. It means to focus on good form and proper execution relative to the demands of the session. If this is a recovery spin, this means avoiding high effort and pace chasing.
- Remember the 2020 lessons. We drew lots of approaches from the last year that can facilitate success this coming year. Here are samples:
- Embrace the soul-filling (easier) training. The escape is important and still a part of the fabric of your training.
- Consistency is king. Something daily, even if small, keeps things moving.
- Reduce the pass/fail mindset of training. Keep it all about the long-term lens.
And remember this: commitment isn’t the same as obsession.
It is important to be committed to the process, but that doesn’t mean it must dominate every fabric of your being.
What to expect in Purple Patch. Remember our wonderful saying ‘evolve or die’? We realize it was inappropriate for the environment of 2020, but the spirit remains. We are evolving how we support you -- no matter how you anchor your relationship with Purple Patch. A few elements you should expect in the coming weeks and beyond:
- Clearer roadmap. We are building out evolved road-mapping graphics for the general path of Purple Patch training to enable you to continually come out of the weeds and gain perspective. We have a clear 10,000 and 3000 feet lens of the training progression for the core group of Purple Patch.
- The future is digital. We are going guns blazing with the development of bi-directional video-on-demand (VOD) and live coaching. We are transitioning to a new platform that is specifically designed for our coaching, and we intend to build out key sessions that are coached live, or available for you to follow at a time that is most convenient. We intend to make this coaching the heartbeat of all coaching programs and is a massive differentiator of remote coaching.
- New strength programming: We are launching the new strength program, all video-based, and also enabling it to remain in the popular accessible format of mini-sessions. It is brand new for 2021 and includes tiered levels of each exercise.
- New services: We are readying to launch new consulting services around technical assessments and consulting (swim analysis, run analysis, etc). You asked, we are building in a meaningful way that includes actionable advice from the sessions that align with your programming.
- Deeper engagement with the 1:1 Coaches. Toward the end of 2020, we made a decision to redefine what it means to be a Purple Patch coach. We consolidated the team and now have an even more committed and engaged coaching team that is eager to provide guidance and support across the athletes of Purple Patch. You will be sure to get to know the coaches more and more this year and draw from the expertise of each.
- Broader education. We are planning several mini-events and deep educational seminars around topics you are asking for. Whether nutrition, strength, the female athlete, and beyond, we are building a series of special events to round out your performance education.
As you can see, busy times ahead, but exciting times. Let’s get rolling this 2021 and make it a good one.