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Digging deep?


Digging a hole?

There is a difference.  

A really big one.
One you need to be aware of.

Bike racing and training is chock full of moments where we have to dig deep, push through the pain threshold and either complete the interval, make the bridge, or win the sprint.
We all do it.
We all have to.

If you don't, odds are  you are going to fall short of your goals.
Thats just fact.

Successful athletes are dedicated to 'being true to the work". 

That's the good news.
The bad news is, sometimes that dedication goes over the red line, we overdo it in our zeal to improve, don't want to take shortcuts and instead of digging deep, we start to dig a hole.
Make no mistake, digging deep leads to form and fitness gains.
Digging a hole does the opposite.
Form goes downhill.
We don't recover.
We start to question our training.
It's a bad place.


The line between digging deep and digging a hole is a fine one.
We have to know how to do one, and avoid the other.
Therein lies the trick.
Here's how:
1. Watts, miles, hours, all important of course. Let's call them bedrock metrics, However, pay attention to additional, peripheral information.
Basic metrics like resting HR, HRV, respiration rate(if you have a fitness tracker, WHOOP or the like) can be very helpful. 

Resting HR in particular, track it. Look for trends, look for consistency. When it goes up, pay attention. Your body is telling you something.
How about much more simple things like walking up the stairs? Always tells me how recovered I am, or not.
Also take note of your HR during your workouts.

 Is it very depressed or going sky high?(it differs between riders, either can indicate problems).
As a simple example, if you typically ride Z2 or SS at X HR and X power, then on the next ride start to see X+ HR above where you usually are, these are the signs the body is not recovering well, a high stress level or maybe some sickness coming on.
You HAVE to pay attention to these things.
If you don't, the downward spiral may start and make no mistake, that can take time to climb out of.
2. Staying 'in the box' during your workouts. There are prescribed upper and lower range targets for all of our workouts, ie, 'the box'. This allows you to work within a 'doable' range of watts, per the described workout.
If you can't hit the lower end of the box, something is amiss. Your coaches only give you workouts we believe you can complete.
If you feel great and want to go above the box, or add an extra interval, that's fine unless you really go above and beyond repeatedly, because, first of all, that is a different workout, and second, your increased workload can now begin to affect the next scheduled workout. These days are all carefully sequenced, pieces of the training puzzle, and they have to fit together.
Repeatedly overdoing it  can lead to overtraining and down you go, yep, you guessed it, diggin a hole.
Having a great work ethic and pushing yourself to get better is a wonderful thing.
The trick is knowing when to push yourself so that it is productive, not destructive.

Of course your coaches are always here for you, questions or help anytime.


Coach Rick

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