Albert Einstein is widely accredited with the saying “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. Relating this to sport, it might be a stretch to consider many athletes insane, but it is a very common trap that we see many people fall into.
As a human race we generally love routine, and we take great comfort from being in control of what we are doing. It can be challenging and take guts to try different approaches to solving problems and stepping outside of our comfort zones. In sport we often see people training the same way, year in year out and wondering why they stop getting and better.
The body is always trying to maintain a healthy balance, a homeostasis. Physical training throws the body out of balance and, over time, causes it to adapt to its new state of being. This is called super-compensation theory. You provide a NEW training stimulus, cause enough fatigue to stress the body, and provide adequate recovery to allow the body to become stronger than it was before. Easy.
I highlighted the word NEW in capitals because this is crucial. When you start to train in a more organised way then simply throwing different stimuli at the body will provide a gain in fitness and performance. For us coaches being able to train someone with very little training experience in sport is a wonderful thing because the improvement curve can be so steep and exciting.
But what happens as you become an experienced athlete with a few years of training history?
Improvements in fitness and performance get a LOT harder.
The training you have done historically has made you the person you are today. If you now want something different, then you have to change what you are doing now, to create a difference for tomorrow.
Do you want to be a better athlete than you are today? Do you want to feel the glory of progression and improvement again?
If the answer to this is YES then you need to have the guts to push yourself, do things differently and risk failure.
What’s the common ‘problem’ we see in more experienced riders?
They drift into a state where they just ride longer and slower and stop doing all the harder intensity that will improve their performance.
Their bodies become this amazing aerobic monster, highly resistant to fatigue but with zero top end ‘performance’.
This might not be a problem at all if you are happy with being in a permanently ‘pretty fit’ state. If you are happy being a single speed rider. After all, cycling is predominantly an aerobic sport and most recreational riders don’t need a sprint or a big anaerobic engine.
But what if you still want to improve……….
What if you want to find out how much of the 30%(?) of untapped potential you could still unlock……..
What if you want to maintain your performance as you age from 40 to 50 and 50 to 60 and beyond……
If you are interested in ANY of this then you need to start training differently to provide new stimuli for the body to adapt to.
We use the training and analysis software WK05 to provide insight into your individual physiology. We provide this for every client who trains with power. This allows us to build you a totally individual training plan that can based on your strengths and weaknesses. These will be part genetic, but also part of a legacy of how you have trained historically.
Take 3 different riders. This graph illustrates their relative strengths and weaknesses along their power curve.
Rider 1 is a solid all rounder with no significant relative areas of strength or weakness.
Rider 2 is relatively strong aerobically, has an OK sprint but is challenged anaerobically.
Rider 3 is our aerobic monster with very weak neuromuscular and anaerobic capabilities.
The vast majority of adults we are introduced to are Rider 2 or Rider 3……with most of them wanting to be more like Rider 1.
The point is that if you want to be more of an all rounder then you have to train more as an all rounder. Long aerobic rides and threshold work are not going improve your neuromuscular strength or build you an anaerobic capability.
To get your body to change, you have to change.
What does this mean for your training?
- It means that your training has to become much more individual.
- It means that your training has to be based on facts we know about your physiology.
- It means that you will have to train in ways that feel unfamiliar, uncomfortable and challenging.
WK05 provides us with the insight and a framework to make every workout count. To not waste any time making you train the things that are not going to make any real difference to your performance. With optimised intervals and iLevel training zones we create plans and workouts that are totally individual. All you need is a power meter, an open mind and some guts and determination!
Here is just one of the dashboards we use to design your training.
- Are you stuck in a performance rut, wanting to improve but seeing no results?
- Are you training with a generic training plan that is, by definition, average?
- Do you wonder how good you could be?
If you answer yes to any of these, why not take advantage of our free Zoom video consultation calls where we can find out more about you, and take you through a tour of how we coach and the tools we use, using Zoom’s user friendly screen share feature.
I hope that you all have a great weekend riding and relaxing.