Success with Stamina
Success with Stamina
A little blog about being a triathlon coach. Here you'll find a little diary about my activities as a coach, the performances of the people I work with and my thoughts and opinions on what makes athletes faster for longer.

'Simply pushing harder within old boundaries will not do' - Karl Weick

AndyBby AndyBNov 20th 2009
A couple of weeks ago I went along to a local Rollapuluza evening. For those who don't know Rollapulza, it is the glitz and glamour of a fixed wheel race. A straight head to head on a stage riding fixed wheel bikes on semi-attached rollers, spin as fast as you can for 500m. The emphasis here is on leg speed, no strength a little endurance but mainly leg speed. As I sat on the red bike on the raised stage facing my competitor on his blue bike I realised quite how nervous I was. In front of us were a crowd of people including many friends from BAD Tri who were all waiting in expectation. The Head Coach and a sub 10 hour ironman, he had to be good right? My fear of showing myself up in public was playing heavily on my my mind.

When I had finished I realised just how good it had been for me. What to some people might have been easy this was actually a little challenge. To step outside my comfort zone in that way is something I need to do more.

At the end of every year I sit down with my athletes to discuss what they can do to improve over the coming year and achieve their desired goals. Together with an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses we discuss what it is necessary to change. 'Simply pushing harder within old boundaries will not do'. So; What are we going to do differently? How are they going to push themselves outside their comfort zone to improve next year? When does this need to start? Constantly challenging yourself in different ways, pushing the boundaries of what you thought possible, stepping outside your comfort zone can all help improve your athletic performance and also cross over into other areas of your life. While also using this challenge myself attitude at work or at home can also make you look in different ways at your athletic performance. It's a win, win situation!

Remember two things: 1) It is all personal, no matter how small it appears to others, it's your challenge. 2) Taking things one step at a time will make you more likely to get there. There is a comfort, stretch and panic model which illustrates this beautifully well. I'll discuss this next time.

Back to the rollapulluza!

Well, I was rubbish not just poor, but rubbish however, I loved every agonising 27.01 seconds it took for me to compete the 500m (the fastest were sub 21s) and got off the bike with a huge smile on my face. It was a small step outside my comfort zone but has helped it expand.

Bring on the next one.
by guest: , Nov 21st 2009 17:17
I love your point. I have an example to illustrate it as well. Last Summer I went camping with my boys. I the morning I decided to take a trail run to a waterfall. it was 8 miles round trip which was a bit of a stretch. What I discovered was that it was straight up a mountain. I made it to the waterfall and back. I regained sensation in my legs after a while and looked back on the run as one of the hardest most rewarding workouts I had ever done. Over the next couple week my average mile pace dropped almost 45 seconds and my running enjoyment soared. I found that spring in my pace that has been missing since my 20s. It took that little misjudgment to knock me from the stretch zone into the panic zone. As a result I reaped huge benefits. Now I just have to work on the mental toughness to find that zone deliberately. Thanks for the post.
AndyBby blog author: AndyB, Nov 22nd 2009 11:35
Hi Freefly93

Thanks very much for your comments. As mentioned in my post I'll talk more about the comfort, stretch, panic model next time however, briefly the panic zone is not the best placed to be. Spending time in stretch will allow you to expand your comfort zone, your panic zone may be a little too far. Hopefully your experience was a bit more stretch than panic.
Justinsandersonby member: Justinsanderson, Nov 23rd 2009 15:49
Great blogs Mr B...

I'll bear in mind the section about 'false recovery being a delayed taper peak" next time and hopefully avoid completely bonking in the middle of a busy swimming lane!! :o)
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