I love assessment week. I hate assessment week. I love it. I hate it. Both, at the same time.
It is a week of great value, that offers a checkpoint for coaches and athletes, a chance to pause and reflect on prior training, gain a status check in on fatigue, and perhaps even glean insights into some areas of performance improvement.
On the flip side, the week has cause to send athletes bonkers with over-analysis and a shift in pass-fail mindset as to whether their FTP or numbers ‘improved’.
So with that in mind, let’s define assessment week and align on a few things:
- It is a baseline checkpoint for our coming months ahead, not a definitive pass-fail mark. The assessments are not a test of self-worth or talent level, but a broad insight and into current fitness. Some athletes will experience a drop in peak season performance / number levels in this October assessment week. Others will see personal record-breaking numbers, likely the result of shedding underlying fatigue that might have been present in assessments in mid-summer or spring.
- It provides a gauge for where you should train. It is never definitive, as it is a "spot check" assessment taken on one single day of training and effort. You might be a little tired, or even more fresh that usual. Nonetheless, it is nice to create a set of data points to help align effort and output and build a rough framework of where you anticipate power or pace numbers to be in the upcoming weeks of training.
- It can help raise the red flag. Some of you might have had a series of ‘really tough days’ in recent weeks, and experience a big drop of performance metrics. This doesn’t mean regression per se, but can be good pause for reflection. Have you been inconsistent with training over the last months? Are you carrying fatigue from life, over-load of training or poor fueling? ‘Bad’ numbers can be a valuable opportunity to evolve and seek answers to help in the context of broader performance, and the platform of health we are looking to build this winter.
There is no pass-fail in assessment week. All we seek is insights and information. Besides, standing alone, they are great individual sessions and can even be fun.
I would love you to join me for the LIVE class version of the bike FTP assessment. Doing these nasty little things together is much more enjoyable than suffering alone ;)
Let’s roll our sleeves up and see what’s what.
Please sign in to leave a comment.