In this week’s podcast, I outlined a high level guide for success in 2021 IRONMAN performance. I should note that the principles could just have easily been about almost any endurance event, but I stuck with the beast of IRONMAN for the audience. In building this show, it allowed me to come out of the weeds of mapping and guiding the programming and approach for Purple Patch coached athletes (individual and Squad alike) and reconnect with some of the morning guiding principles of what it takes for time-starved athletes to truly be successful.
On a personal level, occasions like these shows really help me pause and reflect, eager to dive back into the nuts and bolts with renewed perspective. So, what are the major takeaways from my reflections as they apply to us, the Purple Patch athletes? A few important ones come out, including a heads-up for the coming couple of months:
- We must begin now: reconnect with the importance of the journey. Plans must remain fluid -- with the craziness of the world situation -- but preparedness must be absolute. Racing will come, and we want to be ready. Like never before are you afforded a chance to build gradually, without massive time-pressure, to enable performance. Let’s unite and globally take advantage of the misfortune of the current situation.
- The opportunity to focus on tissue resilience: A reminder that this is a wonderful time to patiently build tissue resilience -- especially via frequency of easy running -- so we send out a call to retain patience in this area, and leverage the time we have to do something that will promote performance in this season and beyond.
- Double-down on our special sauce: As a Purple Patch athlete, you should know that the backbone of our bike training is low cadence ‘strength-endurance’ riding. This is the time! We are building much of the programming around these sessions, and I cannot think of an athlete who shouldn’t be salivating at every opportunity to nail these sessions. In fact, we are going to shine a heavy spotlight on the strength-endurance work in March, making it the emphasis of our first Challenge of 2021. We will drive education around each session, share the pain and stories, build a focus weekly session that as many Purple Patch athletes as possible can execute, then finish it with a big Strength-Endurance come together on the first Saturday in April. It is going to be fun, but it also keep us all on track.
- Don’t throw away the anti-chlorine shampoo: We are highly aware of the restrictions around pool access for many. Don’t fret -- we are on it. Even those who have been regular in swimming, everyone can look forward to a heavy spring into summer of swimming. We don’t plan this to just bring the swim up to scratch, we want to draw on the benefits across disciplines from regular swimming.
- Keep your head out of the weeds: A gentle reminder that, while frustrations continue, we will emerge from this situation and we can expect racing to return. Beyond this, double-down on the fact that the journey itself provides great reward, many lessons and is the gateway for you to thrive across all aspects of life. The last thing we do when things are chaotic is to throw away the very things that help things stay structured and on track.
- Finally: ...bring others along for the journey? Yes! Look at you, staring in the mirror with that grumpy, woe-is-me attitude, stressing about canceled races, start lines, and finish times! Joking aside, we collectively are striving for serious performance this year. That quest stays on. Give that gift to a friend, relative or peer who seems to be challenged or struggling. Invite them on the journey, provide the gift of sharing. You will be doing them, and yourself, a big favor. Oh, and if you need us to hold them to account and support, then we have the frying pan ready ;)
I hope that helps. Don’t miss this coming week’s podcast on our focus on strength-based training, and get excited for the Strong Like Bull March Challenge. Details coming soon...
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