Here comes the chaos.
Summer can bring longer days and some shifts of regular scheduling, particularly around the family, but this time of year represents another shift for many Purple Patch athletes. Kids going back to school, the shortening days and, yet again... the emerging wave of Delta-flavored Covid-19 disruption.
We collectively find ourselves in a phase of change and turbulence, but let's rejoice together as a team: we are well practised at managing this by now (whether we want to be or not). With this said, it seems like a good time to refocus our lens on a few critical points for the remainder of 2021.
Here are my mission critical points for the rest of this year:
- Within turbulence, retain focus and structure. If life or logistics force a change to a planned session, simply do what you can to retain the theme and focus of the session. It is a simple, yet important, process:
- Understand the workout focus
- Retain all, or majority, of the main set (your meat and potatoes)
- Scale back the cool down and pre-main set
- Reduce but retain your warm up
If you can limit time-impact, but retain the theme, then you will keep progressing. You can hit consistency: the magic word for your long-term success.
- Don’t F*&k it up: This sport shouldn’t be a monkey on your back. Success in racing will see you arrive fit n’ fresh, but not desperate to turn your back on all structure. It is this time of year that we see athletes make their most critical performance mistake in the broader performance journey; they turn their back on all structure of training to ‘take a break’. I get it, you need a mental and physical break, but take it with purpose. The keys:
- Ensure your regular training is sustainable -- despite high focus required for success
- Refuse to compromise on key supportive habits that promote performance, health and energy
- Take a season break for a week or so, but quickly commit to a purposeful return
- Ensure your fall training is:
- Only 50-70% of regular weekly capacity
- Includes more flexibility to do ‘other fun and healthy stuff’
- Maintains critical sessions around preparation and technical development
- The training you do plan and execute directly prepares for readiness to optimize hard work early in 2022.
We have your back on this (and our postseason training will be aligned with these points), but the first step is a commitment to a purposeful break and not falling into a random and unstructured schedule. Most of us know what chaos and random feels like following the early stages of Covid-19.
- Don’t panic on the weeks that don’t go well. If you are coming toward key races of the year, remember that your readiness is based on what you were doing across the whole year (and even the year prior). It is anticipated and completely normal to face adversity and setbacks in the lead up to a big race. It might be logistical, a change of schedule, sickness, or something else. With races close, many folks panic and try to play catch up. Even worse, others ignore the situation and try to force themselves through training, compromising health or sleep. Play the longer game with confidence, and commit to the mantra: Fit n’ Fresh. That’s where the magic is folks -- not in stubbornly refusing to back off when things don’t flow in your flavor.
Let’s finish up with greatness. Take a short 7 to 14 day break if you need it -- then drive into the postseason: lots of freedom, fun, community, education and purposeful training without the same cognitive or physical load.
P.S. We're excited about the evolution of our postseason training this year -- stay tuned for details over the coming weeks.
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