Yes, a video of a Caveman on a bicycle. Fitting, right?
Well its pertinent because I am in my testing phase in preparation for a small race in 3 weeks time. This involves over race pace workouts to ready the body for the effort of the day. While there is more rest in the last few weeks, the work quality is also higher, so as I have stated before, I am becoming less fit, but faster. It’s a contentious time for any athlete as the will to go out and train is still there, but you simply can’t. The focus is rest and trusting that you have done the miles.
Testing is an interesting protocol, and after a hopeful announcement tomorrow, I will be able to tell you more about my 2011 year as well as the testing protocols that I am going to go into later in the year, with said coach of Conrad Stoltz. I will be moving back to training with power and hopefully breaking some more ceilings by training smarter in 2011, after a 16 months phase of training much longer, harder and further than I have ever done.
Contrary to popular belief, coaches are not there to change your life. They are there for you to consider possible alternatives to blow through some ceilings that may have kept you from your best performances in the past. They are not there to make you happy. If anything, a good coach will know how to challenge your thinking and break you down systematically, building you up better than you were before, all without you really knowing what is going on.
I can only learn, and share forward and I have been blessed with a very special peer group who I have direct access to. People far smarter than myself. Testing myself against myself, physically as well as emotionally, psychologically and soulfully at times. It’s been radically uncomfortable at times, even if I have been smiling.
The importance of testing is also to perform a standard set of tests at different times in the same environment to the same protocol. This allows you to track vital elements, like we just saw in that video. Benchmarking is a vital part of any athletes best performance management. As simple as your local hill climb, riding it at the same heart rate every week and watching for time improvements to as in depth as fat oxidative rate testing (which I would love to do – highly valuable to anything over 4 hours), benchmarking is a vital element.
Testing doesn’t have to involve high heart rates or lung sapping leg bursting maneuvers. It could be as simple as riding a flat road at a relative intensity point to point. Often the high intensity stuff doesn’t relate to race day performance, especially when its of the extreme endurance stuff I love.
On a different note, Urban Ninja is back into the top 2 sports blogs in South Africa, as voted by you. On Friday I will find out if its the best, or 1st loser (2nd place). I will let you know.