By Coach Robbie
Over the weekend I woke up super pumped for what I expected would be a harder than normal ride. However I was coming off an easier day just before so I “assumed” I would be fresh and ready for one of my harder main sets. Just because I assumed I was fresh made success inevitable right?
The main set was 7min at 100% FTP, 5min at 105%, 2 x 3:00 at 110% and then 2 x 2:00 at 115%. All on 3:00 very easy recovery. I thought I had it in the bag before I even got on my trainer. About midway through my first 7min interval I knew this would be much, much harder than I thought. Was it my ego or was it really that I did not have the mindset when I started?
The reality is that I just wasn’t ready to put up a fight when the pain came. I finished the first 7min interval barely hanging on for dear life and thoughts of quitting had already entered my mind. I took my 3:00 recovery and then proceeded to totally bail midway through the next 5:00 interval. I told myself “I just did not have it today” and just finished out my 1:30 in a zone 2 moderate effort a bit disgusted. It did not sit well with me the rest of the day. The truth isn’t that I “just did not have it.” Its that I did not choose TO HAVE IT.
I had told myself a story that it was my “legs that did not have it” and just move on to fight another day. Don’t get me wrong. That happens a lot and as you know I always encourage you to listen to your body. I was much more disappointed in my effort and mindset then my ability to perform. I went to bed that night and told myself that if I had the opportunity to do just the main set the next day I would take it. I would not obsess over the numbers but I did want a better effort.
The next morning I hopped back on the trainer with just my music, the baby monitor and a mindset that said ” No matter how bad it hurts…. I am ready for the pain and I will do this to the best of my ability.
About 50mins and a lot of pain later I had nailed every interval with a little extra each one just for good measure. Was I proud of my numbers? Sure. I was more pleased and proud of my effort and my mindset. You see, every single training session is hard. Every single one. The 25min chill runs, the easy rides, the interval sessions, etc. They all bring their own challenges and life, work, relationships just compound the difficulty. The fact is that every day we have to be prepared to meet the challenge and not assume we can just “do it”. We must be ready and expect it to be painful. To hurt. To be uncomfortable. If we do not, then we usually get beat and we throw away an opportunity.
When I was first getting sober a little over 4 years ago someone told me that it was not the really the great times or the roughest times that caused people to drink again. It was not the promotions, the parties, the trauma or the tragedies or even the triumphs that make people pick up. It was the Tuesdays that killed people. The days where you just “thought you would have it.” The days you don’t do all the little things you know will lead to success. Those are the days that kill us. Training and recovery have many similarities. It takes consistency, commitment, hard work and it must be done every day in order to be really successful. Never take anything for grated and always choose to do your best and be successful.