It’s that time of year—the Tour De France is on TV, it’s hot outside and athletes are in the deep end of training and racing. Just as confident I am that the Tour is real and happening, as a Coach I am equally confident that the season when athletes question themselves and their support system is upon us.
How do we improve our fitness? We improve our fitness by increasing the demands on our bodies, doing more work and intense efforts followed by a certain amount of easing off for recovery. It’s a cycle—increasing the demands a bit more, recovering and repeating the process, over and over again.
Here on paper this is logical and makes sense to all of us. But as an athlete constantly under that applied pressure it’s common and somewhat expected to lose perspective.
As a Coach I most commonly see this expressed as:
“I’m just not sure I’m stronger.”
“I’m really tired.”
“Am I really improving?”
And as a race or big event approaches the inevitable “Am I ready?” is said.
After weeks and months of the continuous cycle outlined above it’s no surprise athletes feel this way.
As I like to say, “If it was easy everyone would be doing it!” Getting fit and race ready are HARD WORK.
Hard work makes us tired. When we are tired it’s easy to get a little discouraged and question the process.
One of the biggest advantages of having a professional expert coach like AYS is we know the secret…
And the secret is this. You rarely get to feel “great” during training. Not very often anyway – not during racing and peak training season.
Why? Because to get you to reach your goals the hard work generally gets harder, the let off is gentle and the demands are high. We also know this—it works. You are getting fitter, stronger, faster and making it happen.
How do we know? At AYS we use three primary indicators: science, communication and RESULTS! I monitor each of our athletes every day paying attention to the demands of the daily training or recovery; how that work load is accumulating; how much energy they are using; how fast, far, hard they went; and how that accumulated load is taxing their physical and mental energy. Equally important is communicating regularly with each athlete: “How are you feeling?”. As an overlay on the data even a brief comment tells me a lot. An “easy” workout that gets a “toasted” comment. A “hard” workout that gets a thumbs up. Getting each athlete’s insights, mood and status is vital.
This communication is one of the things that sets AYS coaching apart. This daily input fills in the blanks of the science and the numbers giving me a critical tool in support of the science and keeping the door constantly open for deeper communication as needed.
Finally, and most importantly, for each athlete is the “proof in the pudding.” The RESULTS. Finishing a race that hasn’t been finished before, winning a race or an age group, setting a new P.R., or consistently sticking with a training program like you’ve never done before. All year long AYS athletes are Amazing Themselves going from a feeling of “Am I ready?” to “Holy Crap I did it!!”
If you read my blogs you know I always want to make a point. Today my point is this: I’d bet you a month of free coaching that if you asked any AYS athlete right before an important race or event, “Are you ready?” all would say, “I’m not sure…” or “Maybe.”
If you asked me—their Coach—the same question at the same time I would say, “Absolutely.”
If you asked that same athlete the same question after the event I’d make that same bet the answer would be, “Wow – I did it!”
Racing is racing, big events are challenging and shit happens so of course AYS can’t guarantee you a win or P.R. or finish every time. But what we can promise is this. If you train with me, follow the plan and be honest in your effort and your communication on the days that count you will Amaze Your Self!
The best part of doing what I do is working with those athletes that make the commitment long enough that we both develop the history of knowing that come show time you will be ready and we will both know it! That is when really cool things can happen. When athletes can feel confident in taking on bigger, grander goals – Amazing Themselves even more.
If you are ready to transition from guess work and uncertainty to confidence and Amazing Your Self I’m ready to help you do it!
Yours in the Outdoors,