The focus of episode 91 can be simply summarized in a single, powerful sentiment: There is great value in keeping track of your numbers, at analyzing the data you’ve gathered with your power meter, heart rate strap, or other device, but if all you do is focus on the numbers, and make them the end-goal themselves, you are missing out on very critical aspects of your training. So, the underlying message of episode 91 is simple: Think of the numbers not as the target or the goal, but as a tool. And what we will emphasize today are the many critical aspects of training and coaching that don’t show up in the numbers.
Our primary guest is a very successful former professional cyclist turned coach Julie Young, whose road racing career stretched over a decade with teams including Saturn and Timex. She continues to race today at a very high level across multiple disciplines and is currently part of the talented team behind the Kaiser Permanente Sports Medicine Endurance Lab in California. We’re also joined by co-owner of The Cycling Gym, Coach Steve Neal, as well as Trek-Segafredo’s Ruth Winder, the reigning American national champion on the road. Now, set your preferred analytics software aside for a minute. Let’s focus on you, your brain, and this moment. Let’s make you fast!
Primary Guest Julie Young: Former pro cyclist, coach, and member of the Kaiser Permanente Sports Medicine Endurance Lab
Secondary Guests Steve Neal: Co-owner of The Cycling Gym Ruth Winder: U.S. national road race champion of Trek-Segafredo
Welcome to Fast Talk, The VeloNews podcast. Everything you need to know to ride like a pro.
Chris Case 00:12
Happy New Years Fast Talk friends. We’re excited to be speeding into 2020 with our new company Fast Labs. For starters, and due to popular demand, Fast Talk will now be a weekly show. Starting next week, you could expect a new bonus episode of Fast Talk. And these bimonthly episodes will be a bit shorter than the traditional Fast Talk episode you’re used to, but in them, you’ll find similar detailed scientific physiology explanations, special interviews with your favorite pros, coaches and experts. We’ll also regularly answer your questions. To that end, thank you to the listeners who called and left us a voicemail over the holidays. We’ll be recording a special listener questions episode in the next week, so be sure to get your questions in as soon as you can. The number to call is 719-800-2112. Again, to call and leave a question for Coach Trevor and I just dial 719-800-2112, and leave us an actual honest to goodness voicemail. If we can hear you loud and clear in the message, we may include the recording in the show. Now, Episode 91. The focus of this episode can be simply summarized in a single powerful sentiment. There is great value in keeping track of your numbers at analyzing the data you’ve gathered with your power meter, your heart rate strap, or other device, but if all you do is focus on the numbers and make them the end goal themselves, you’re missing out on very critical aspects of your training. So the underlying message of Episode 91 is simple. Think of the numbers not as the target or the goal, but as a tool, and what we will emphasize today are the many critical aspects of training and coaching that don’t show up in the numbers. We will go beyond the numbers. Our primary guest is a very successful former professional cyclists turn coach Julie Young, whose road racing career stretched over a decade with teams including Saturn and Timex. She continues to race today at a very high level across multiple disciplines, and is currently part of the talented team behind the Kaiser Permanente Sports Medicine Insurance Lab in California. We’re also joined by co-owner of the cycling gym, Coach Steve Neil, as well as Trek-Segafredo’s is Ruth Winder, the reigning American national champion on the road. Now, set your preferred analytic software aside for a minute, let’s focus on you, your brain. And this moment. Let’s make you fast.
Chris Case 02:58
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Steve Neil 04:06
So the quick history behind what initiated or brought about this episode is actually Julie and I were having a conversation back and forth on email. And we were talking about something that that we’ve heard in feedback before, which is, in some ways on the show, we’re a little contradictory. Here, we try to be very scientific about the training, which really lends itself to talking a lot about the numbers, and we have dive deep into power and heart rate and all the metrics. But at the same time, everyone saw this theme comes across of don’t be too reliant on the numbers and we have been asked so which is? Are the numbers king or should we not be looking at the numbers? And that’s what Julie reached out to me about, we had this great conversation over email and at some point during email I said, we need to get you on the show. Let’s talk about this because she had really great perspective on this. And we’re gonna go pretty deep into this conversation on today’s episode. But I would say the one sentence summary is, there is a great value to the numbers. And they can really help training, and we’re going to talk a little bit about what some of the values are. But on the flip side, if all you do is focus on the numbers, if you make the numbers the end goal themselves, you are missing out on very critical sides of the training. So think of the numbers not as the goal or the target, or the end all be all, but a tool. And what we’re going to talk a lot about today are the very important sides of coaching and training that don’t show up in the numbers. Julie is at a good kind of one, two sentence summary?
Julie Young 05:54
It is, and I don’t think it’s a one or the other. It’s just a balance. And using both, you know, just the numbers, I think, as you pointed out, they’re fantastic. There’s, they’re such a great way to communicate to create a system that’s quantifiable to understand what is to happen, what was to have been, and what did happen. But there’s a balance. And I think it’s it’s always keeping that perspective, and then also just really giving respect and appreciation for the mental side of it. And that I think there’s this balance between the numbers and then the mindset.
Steve Neil 06:35
Chris and I were actually talking about that right before we got on this call of I think we need to do some more episodes on the mental side. And I’m really glad we’re gonna go into that here, because when you talk to top pros, the higher the level they are, the less interested at least from my experience less interested, they are talking about particulars of intervals. And the more they talk about the importance of that mindset, in racing, and in training.
The value of Focusing on the Numbers
Chris Case 07:00
The amateur racer, perhaps, because they don’t have the time to focus on everything, so they focus on the things that are a bit easier to measure, and that’s the power heart rate, it’s just one of those things, it’s like, everybody’s on power now, so that you have to focus there and then yet you’re forgetting of 50% of the or more, depending on, you know, your argument, of what it takes to be at your best. Well, before we dive into sort of the balancing act, the mental side of things, let’s just do a recap of the things that numbers are great at doing the value in using numbers that are, Trevor and Julie, this question is both for you, What is the value of number focusing?
Julie Young 07:54
For me, it is a clear way to communicate, and it is a clear way to, I hate to use the word prescribed, but it is prescribed like what what is to happen, and and then also creates a system and a quantifiable progression. So that’s that’s where I think there’s value.
Steve Neil 08:17
I think as a communication tool, it’s hugely helpful. A lot of us coaches work with athletes who are far away, and if all we got was descriptions of their rides, we really wouldn’t know what’s going on. That said, this gets back to your balance. I’ve worked with athletes who record every single bit of data, they have multiple power meters, but I can’t get them to write more in a two word description of the rides. And I find that equally as difficult to see what’s going on and keep telling them I need the descriptions. I need to hear what was going on. So that that again, it’s about that that balance. But you know, I think the other things that the numbers allow is analysis. It shows trends. It gives you targets for workouts, which can be helpful, and again, you have to be a little bit careful there. So there’s there is a lot you can do with it, but Julie, one of the email conversations we had you brought up something that I think was a fantastic point, which I’d love for you to expand a little bit on is numbers are a fantastic tool, but they shouldn’t be the goal. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Julie Young 09:30
I think you guys have really done a great job on on this podcast of just trying to keep the perspective. I mean, I think we are so fortunate as cyclists to have power as our oftentimes our metric for training and those quantifiable targets. I think people have lost a bit of perspective on that, and I know you guys have have mentioned this as well. But oftentimes, you know with the FTP test for example, it becomes kind of competition in and of itself, and the abbreviated FTP test, and then these great power numbers. I think people forget the whole reason we’re trying to, you know, quantify that number is, so we can then develop good training levels or zones, however you want to refer to them. And I think people are kind of missing the point there that, you know, this is not like the power number isn’t a competition in and of itself, it’s simply a tool. And we’re kind of shooting ourselves in the foot or more trying to, you know, create, like, create a competition out of it, because we’re, we’re missing those important ingredients in our training, which are developed based on those good training zones, and that good data that’s developing those training zones. But you also want to step back, Trevor, and I agree with you Like, I think a big part of this is the relationship between the coach and the athlete that it can’t simply be based on, you know, analyzing the data that’s in training peaks, because there’s so much that can be missed. I think it’s really creating that relationship, that communication, that allows you to fill in all the details around the data.
Dangers of Focusing on the Numbers
Chris Case 11:10
Another question for both of you guys, what are some of the dangers of focusing too much on the numbers, Trevor?
Trevor Connor 11:18
So I see two things here. One is some of the important energy systems to train take a long, long time to develop. And if you are watching numbers, and looking for numbers to change, that can get very, very discouraging. You can spend months training and really not see that much of a difference. As a matter of fact, in some of these numbers, I’ve shown this to people, I’ve compared my numbers back when I was a Cat 4 getting popped in Cat 4 races, to when I was racing Pro, and the numbers really weren’t that different. If you looked at those numbers, I didn’t improve at all, but obviously there was a big difference in my performance.
Chris Case 11:59
Trevor Connor 12:00
So I think if you are making the numbers a goal and you’re training effectively, it can get discouraging, because you’re not really seeing the changes.
Chris Case 12:07
Doesn’t seem like you’re making any progress at all.
Steve Neil 12:09
Right. The other thing, we had an episode about a year and a half ago, we had Dr. Bucky on the show where we talked about ego versus task orientation. Where ego is really focusing on how you stack up versus others, or even how you stack up against yourself over time where task orientation is very much what’s the job I need to get done in order to improve my training? Ego orientation has a negative effect of you can get easily discouraged, and when you get discouraged, you start wanting to quit. And my belief is if you focus too much on the numbers as a goal, you become very ego oriented, you’re needing to see that number change, and that gets you away from focusing on the task at the time, a task at hand, and focusing on what’s my training plan? Where am I trying to get to the bigger picture?
Chris Case 13:08
It takes you away from seeing the bigger picture, in a sense, because you’re so focused on an individual number that if you don’t hit it, you get that sense of discouragement and you get off track. Whereas, if you’re stepping back and you have a list of 10 tasks that you must complete in their smaller bite sized chunks, then you can slowly but surely work your way through that list.
Trevor Connor 13:33
And Julie, sorry, we’re stealing some of your thunder here, because these were points that you made in the email conversation. So do you want to expand on this?
Julie Young 13:41
No problem. Um, yeah, so I think agreed that for me, like, again, the FTP tests are tricky, because it is a it’s a great way to, create that measurement and that target. But I also think, to your point, Trevor, people are kind of missing the point that there’s so much happening that we can’t understand through those tests, like physiologically and metabolically that, you know, the improvements that that are happening kind of under the skin, we can’t measure those in the test. And so, you know, people like again, the power numbers aren’t going to infinitely keep getting better. There’s there’s always going to be a ceiling, but it’s the riders becoming more efficient, there’s less stress to the systems at those power numbers. I can’t quantify that in an FTP test. So I think, you know, to your point, that’s, it’s tough to just go off those numbers. And then I think we’re probably going to talk about this a little bit later, but I agree, like in terms of kind of the motivation and you know, ego versus task orientation, or you really trying to tap into more of that intrinsic motivation, like why are you doing this? I feel like that is such an important factor in a really healthy relationship with athletics and the bike. So I think that’s something really important to dive into.
Trevor Connor 15:09
When we were talking with Steve Neil at the cycling gym, we asked him about this mental side of training, and if he could see it in the software, what are elements of training that you think really important that don’t show up and WK or don’t show up on on a graph.
Elements of Training that Don’t Show up in the Data
Steve Neil 15:23
So, you know, I use a lot of different kinds of software, when I look at, you know, WKO5 and today’s plan and exert and I use them all with my athletes, and it’s very interesting that you know, exert can maybe even start to help us point out where possibility of the mental side of things, or maybe the ability to suffer, is missing and might need some practice. So it’s funny, you know, I would have said that the mental aspect wasn’t able to be seen in software, but I think it’s starting to, I think we’re starting to see that, you know, I’ve, I have used that software to compare different time trials or climbs or with with athletes that have been in the same event, and it’s kind of interesting when you see how they both do it. So, you know, normally I would have agreed and said, maybe this mental part doesn’t show up in software, but I think it’s starting to at least give us an insight. A lot of people use step tests in a variety of ways, and if you if you take a step test and put it into exert, you can see that a lot of people finish one step before they could keep going. Even in race data, the same thing, kind of so that, to me applies when you’re riding hard with someone else, it’s really a saying of canter won’t, you know, I don’t know where that I can’t remember the person who I learned that from my friend always says it, and he always tells me he didn’t invent it. But canter won’t is kind of an interesting thing that does show up in that software, and, then you can actually sort of address that through training. And, you know, because it’s funny, I’m, you know, we went through some percentages of the split at the gym, and there’s, you know, it sounds like a lot of high intensity training. But when you look at the split, it’s five to ten percent. And so some of that training can be used for your mind. And it doesn’t always have to be used for your VO2, or your anaerobic capacity. It can be used to practice to learn how to go that hard in a situation.
Trevor Connor 17:30
Steve and I have both run trainer classes up in Toronto, and I certainly learned a lot doing it. Here’s the story of one of my experiences.
Steve Neil 17:37
But I’m going to I’m going to share a story here of kind of the extreme. But what I always thought was almost a little bit enjoyable when I was seeing this is I’ve said on the show a few times that we that I used to teach a morning trainer class. So this would we’d have 12 people in the room, all coming in and doing the same workout and everybody would have their own little box up on our TV screen showing what power they’re using, and unfortunately, they all showed everybody’s FTP. And I learned very quickly, nobody was coming in to really do the workout or they were coming in to do the workout. But that wasn’t the focus. The focus was who’s got the highest FTP. Right, right. And you you would see it in this class where you’d have people the they hadn’t been training for a couple months, they’re just starting up the season, and clearly that was no longer their FTP, but it was such a focus such a goal, such a competition. You literally see them killing over falling off their bike, but gone, but I did it. So my FTP is still 280
Chris Case 18:40
Steve Neil 18:41
And it just turned into this, this contest, and it wasn’t, did I do the workout right? I just fell off my bike, maybe I was doing that too hard. That was never the discussion. It was now mine still 280 and his 270. So I’m winning.
Chris Case 18:56
Well, you’re talking about competitive people in a room with a target on the wall in front of them. Yeah, I think that by nature, humans are prone to going the easy route. And if you give them that, that target that single digit target out in the ether there, they’re going to strive to hit it. That’s sometimes the what, what causes the problems. Let’s move beyond the numbers a bit and talk about the things that you don’t get from focusing on the data. Julie, could you give us an overview of what that encompasses?
How Focusing on the Numbers Affects Training
Julie Young 19:33
So I think when people just focus on the numbers, and they think that in training just by hitting numbers, they’re guaranteed a successful outcome in a race. I think that really marginalizes what it takes to put together a successful performance. And I think, you know, for me, it’s it is really, training provides all those aspects of conditioning that lead to a successful performance. So it has to be more than just chasing numbers on the device.
Steve Neil 20:09
So Julie and I, during our conversations, we came up with a list of some of the areas that both of us as coaches feel are absolutely critical to training critical performance that just don’t show up in the numbers. So I’m just going to do the quick list. And then we can take a deeper dive into each of these. But the first one is a really like Julie’s terminology for this building mental and physical competence. The next one, that’s a big one for me is knowing and focusing on the big picture. And that includes having both balance in perspective, and also having purpose and goals. So Julie, let’s, let’s throw it back to you, and tell us a little bit about what you mean by mental and physical competence.
Mental and Physical Competence
Julie Young 20:55
So for me, and again, I go back to podcasts you guys have done, and you talk about executing the workouts. And, you know, I think you you guys did a great job explaining that, you know, sound training is not this ever changing, like circus of workouts where you’re simply just trying to entertain the athlete, but it’s a core group of workouts that the athlete does better and better and better. And to me execution is not about chasing a number on my power meter, it’s about using that as a reference and definitely getting in that zone. But mentally, like using that to that training session, to put yourself in an upcoming race, like an important piece of an upcoming race, like visualizing yourself while you’re doing this, this intense workout, mentally visualizing yourself in that that part of that race. And I think thinking about ways that, you know, you’ve mentally you take your mind beyond the discomfort of the physical sensations and whether it’s focusing on a fluid pedal stroke, your breathing, your posture, whatever it is, you know, but essentially, these are things that you’re going to lean on in the race. I know for myself, like being in races, I’ll fall back on, you know, a training session and just say to myself, hey, this is no big deal. This is just a hill interval. So for me, like the execution is really about, again, mentally using that interval to put yourself in an upcoming race versus just again, chasing that power number, or mentally taking off the time. I think we really, we lose out on a lot of the benefits of training when we we approach it that way. And I feel like when again, when you can attach this, this mental like visualization, you’re going to glean so much more effectiveness out of your your training sessions.
Trevor Connor 22:58
Another example I’ll give this is one of my favorites, because it’s just a pure example is hill climbing. One of the things that I think is really valuable to get out of training is a sense of yourself a sense of how hard can I do a five minute effort? a climb? How hard can I do a 10 minute, how hard can I do a 30 minute and really get a sense of your own limits. And you see that with riders who learn that and build that competence in a race versus riders who don’t have that competence. riders who don’t know themselves, well who don’t have that competence, when they hit the climb, they’re just going to bury themselves to stay with the leaders until they absolutely explode. Where a really experienced, competent rider, when they hit that climb, they know, okay, I can handle a few surges at this pace. They know the line of if I go over this line, I’m going to explode. And I’m going to avoid that as much as I can. And ultimately, they know what is their pace for whatever the length of the climb is. And you see very experienced riders, they might respond to one or two surges, but if they assess this is too hard for me, they’re actually going to let the leaders go drop into their own pace, knowing that’s their best chance to get over the climb. And yeah, anybody who’s watched the tour, you’ll see this where sometimes the tour leader gets attacked, doesn’t respond at all, because he just knows that’s too hard for me, but I don’t think this guy can, can hold that pace. And sure enough, 10 minutes later, they’re bringing that person back. And that takes a huge amount of competence. It takes a huge amount of self awareness. And I again, I think that’s not that that’s beyond knowing the numbers, because the numbers and training the numbers of what you can do in a race are different. It’s a feel thing. And it’s a competence thing.
Julie Young 24:54
I think for me, too, I think there’s this the sense of like, I think all the great Like athletes and champions have this incredible sense of calm and composure. And I think that’s a huge part. You know, when you have that confidence, it just creates this calmness and you know, you can, you can deal with with the situations and and again, I think in training gives you those those those mental focuses that, you know, again, it’s not just chasing like, for me just personally chasing a power number on my device, I feel like I’m wrestling my bike, I don’t feel like I’m fast and efficient. But when I focus on okay pedal stroke, rhythm, breathing, posture, those kind of things, that makes me a better rider. And I think that’s like, again, in the race situations, you know, to mentally take the focus there and find that calm and that composure to me, you know, results in in a good performance.
Chris Case 25:54
We talked to past US National Champion Ruth Winder with Trek-Segafredo. She also brought up the importance of feel and knowing yourself on climbs, let’s hear what she had to say.
Trevor Connor 26:04
What things do you look for in your fitness, or try to train that you feel are really important, but just don’t show up in the numbers at all?
Ruth Winder: What are Aspects that are Important to Training that don’t Show Up Within the Numbers?
Ruth Winder 26:13
I think that that’s just general feel, like I think I know how I feel when I’m going to climb, I know how I feel, and I feel good, and I know how I feel when I feel bad. So I just guess I look for that like, general feeling of like, it’s not hard, almost, you know, I know, if I ride it 200 watts and my heart rates, you know, 155 or something like that, then I know that I’m feeling pretty good. Like, that’s a really good sign for me. So I know those numbers. I didn’t use numbers. But I don’t know all of the numbers. But I know that those numbers like I feel good about those ones. So I do have like a kind of a middle baseline. But also just, I know myself really well at this point, I’ve been racing my bike a really long time. And it’s hard to describe, like, you know, when you feel good, and you know, when you don’t feel good. And I don’t need to necessarily, I don’t need to look at my power meter to know if I’m doing that 200 watts at 155 heart rate, like I know how that feels. Before I even look down.
Trevor Connor 27:07
Chris takes us back with a question for Trevor and Julie.
Chris Case 27:09
So one thing I’m hearing from both of you as coaches is that you’re not just physiologist, but you’re psychologists in a sense. And I’m curious, in your particular case, Julie? Do you? Are you comfortable in that role? How did you learn those tools to then deliver to the athletes you work with? Where does that come from? Is it purely based on your own experiences in racing? Or are you studying psychology to then deliver the best advice to your riders and athletes?
Coaching, not just a Physiologist but a Psychologist
Julie Young 27:42
I think it’s a mix. And again, for me, it’s this is really about relationships, and just really understanding the client athlete. You know, I think that’s, for me, probably the most important piece of this, like Trevor had mentioned, it’s hard, you can’t just go off the the data that’s in training piece, you have to understand the individual. And for the most part, the majority of my clients are busy, professional professionals with families are pulled in all these different directions and really understanding the dynamics of their life. So you really do provide them with a training plan that fits into their life that isn’t like they receive this training plan. It’s like oh my gosh, I can’t possibly do this, this does not fit into my life. And so I think just really having that opportunity to create that relationship with the client/athlete. And then you do really find yourself. Like I joke that, you know, we don’t make psychologist wages, but we’re definitely I feel like we’re just as much psychologists as as, you know, physical trainers. But I do think it is incredibly valuable. I’m also in a Master’s program. So it is interesting to just studying the psychological piece of sport and being able to apply that so that’s super fun.
Trevor Connor 29:00
I still feel my biggest failure as a coach was many years ago, where I was as a coach a little too focused on the numbers, and and that perfect execution of I’m not going to say that because we’re talking about execution is a good thing. But I was trying to absolutely perfect this one athlete’s training, but I was trying to perfect it more on the number side. So I wanted certain number of certain amount of volume each week I wanted a certain TSS, I wanted intervals at a certain power number. And in that particular case of this athlete, we saw a lot of improvement. And halfway through the season, he gave me a call and said, You know what? I’m in my 40s, I’m a dad, I have a life,
Chris Case 29:50
Leave me alone.
Trevor Connor 29:51
Well, this is working. I’m learning to hate the bike. And it was a real eye opener for me, I completely forgot about the person here.
Julie Young 30:00
It’s funny you say that Trevor cuz I oftentimes I thought about this, like, you know, I’d see these training plans that that were put out by some coaches and, you know, I thought to myself, gosh, I don’t know if I train that hard when I was training for World Championships, you know, and I think there’s like, sure, there’s this, like, physiologic ideal, you know, like, kind of the textbook, but then I think, does the athlete have the emotional or mental capacity to tolerate that training, and, you know, maybe they do for whatever, three months or six months or, but then I just can’t, you know, like, in most cases, it probably leads to burnout. And, and again, I think with the majority of folks, I train, like, I think it’s harder than being a professional athlete, because they do have all these other stressors in their lives that just bleed over, you know, there’s not this hard stop when they walk out the door of the office. So they’re contending with all these other demands on their energy. And, you know, I just like I’m so I’m in such admiration of these folks that I train that they have the energy, you know, to do this, but it’s but again, it’s keeping that balance, like not making this feel like another job to them, but making it like, we’re riding bikes, it should be fun, it should be this positive outlet, and I think keeping that balance again of Okay, what is that physiologic ideal with like, again, what each individual can mentally or emotionally tolerate, I think is important.
Trevor Connor 31:32
You know, this was something I was taught and took me a long time to understand from my my mentor, Glen Swan. His training was was very, very simple. We had a Tuesday night training race that lasted about 15 minutes, we had a Thursday night time trial. During the season, he would then race on the weekends, during the bases, and he would just go into long rides in the weekend and all those other riding was just super easy. This is before I’d heard about polarized training, or really understood any of the concepts of training. And it just floored me because this guy was a multi-time national champion, he destroyed all the local races. And you look at that and go, that’s really not very hard training. And I asked him about it. I said, How are how are you winning? Because everybody, it seems like a lot of other athletes who are training much harder and it goes, that’s half of how I’m winning, I show up on the weekends fresh. They show up in the weekend, chronically overtrained and tired. And they might actually, if they were fresh, be stronger than me, but they never show up to the rice fresh.
Julie Young 32:34
I think, you know, again, kind of just the the value of a coach, it’s it’s really that ability to keep, you know, keep reminding the athlete of that big picture, the perspective and I think the rest part and you guys have talked about this at length, but that is the toughest sell, is just convincing athletes that rest is training.
Trevor Connor 33:02
It’s also it’s again, where’s the the mental focus. And if you are a racer, and you’re focusing on and you’re you have races that you’re targeting, but you’re either consciously or subconsciously making the numbers of the goal, you end up ultimately making some interval session on a Wednesday night your target that destroys you. And then when you actually get to the race, which you claim is your target, you’re you’re too tired.
Chris Case 33:31
We did a really good job, having a discussion about the dynamics of coaches and athletes in the psychology of have that relationship with Neil Henderson and Rebecca Rush for those that want more about that conversation, check out that episode. So Julie, let’s dive a little bit deeper into that question of what all good coaches know about the mental side of training.
All Good Coaches Know the Mental Side of Training
Julie Young 33:57
It is it’s understanding each individual athlete and I feel, you know, everybody operates from probably, like different norms in terms of, you know, what their, what their motivation is, is it a little bit intrinsic, more extrinsic, little extrinsic, more intrinsic, but I do feel that,
Trevor Connor 34:18
What do you mean by by intrinsic and extrinsic,
Julie Young 34:21
intrinsic meaning it’s something more internal, something more like what you’re driven by something that’s important to you versus extrinsic, maybe just like, I don’t know, maybe kudos on Strava, I don’t know, maybe something like that, like more, like more the social accolades, I guess would be considered more the extrinsic. But anyway, I just think if an athlete can tap more into that intrinsic like, why like, and for me, it’s just it’s like that, that idea that I think cycling is such a great outlet. You know, whether we’re In a profession, or whatever our walk of life, that it’s that thing that we own and you know, business I think is, is blurry and other people’s decision or indecision can often like skew outcomes. I think, like having the bike is that thing we can still own and it’s like, we go work, we train hard, and we see these results. And, you know, I think the bike is this opportunity, like, constantly self challenge ourselves, to challenge ourselves, and continue to learn and improve. And so I think, like having that kind of approach that perspective, it keeps the bike really healthy. I also think, like having different goals. So it’s not just podiums, but there’s there’s different goals along the way. So sometimes people refer to like process goals, where maybe we focus on doing our training better, with better intention, better execution, that sort of thing. performance goals. So like, for example, a Cyclo-cross race, you know, we think about, okay, each lap, I’m going to ride it better, smoother, better, you know, better technique, strategically ride it better, tactically, ride it better, those those intermediary goals that, you know, if we really put the focus there, the results happen. And really, it takes the pressure off. I also think like, if we can think about races more as just these wonderful feedback mechanisms, like there’s nothing better than racing to give us that great feedback, I think it’s the best way to learn. And, you know, I think it takes the pressure off, because in a race like, best way, when you try, you learn, and I think just keeping it that way that there’s no failures, but I think sometimes, like we can be, we can learn much more from a disappointing performance, and that can fuel the motivation, much more than than a good than a good performance. So those are, those are some things that I think about. And then I also think, again, kind of goes back to just better understanding each individual and kind of how they tick. And, you know, kind of back to our initial conversation of trying to find this balance between numbers and maybe going more by feel, you know, I have clients that don’t want anything to do with data, they simply want to go up perceived exertion. And I have the other extreme of, you know, often use like a software engineer that who I work with, and their whole life is about data, and they bring that to the bike. So I think in both those cases, trying to help those athletes find more of a middle ground like for the perceived exertion athlete, like, there are great, you know, great times and places to incorporate more data like on those structured workouts, give you more that numeric target, and then, you know, for that software engineer, try to help them, encourage them to divorce themselves from the data on those endurance days, and just go ride your bike and have fun and make an adventure and go explore. And so just trying to kind of bring each person to more of that middle ground.
Trevor Connor 38:17
I have an athlete that’s absolutely obsessed with the numbers. I kind of fight them a bit to get them to be a little more let’s go on feel let’s not be so right because done the numbers. Where Chris can tell you, who rode for years without a heart rate or power. When I have somebody who was all RP I go, let’s let’s put a power meter, put a heart rate strap on, and let’s let’s get a little more numbers. So it’s kind of whatever they’re into, I push them the other way. And it’s I like the way you put it, it’s find that balance.
Chris Case 38:49
When you’re working with somebody and you’re setting some some of these goals to to help motivate an athlete, you want to set up goals that are attainable, so that they’re set up for success rather than setting somebody up for failure time and time again, because success is bring about confidence. I wonder if you if you’re working with somebody who’s maybe new to the sport, you set goals that are relatively achievable, so that they gain some confidence pretty quickly, and they use that to sort of stepwise progress in the sport. But as somebody is at a more somebody that’s at a more elite level, you might create goals, to motivate them they’re a little bit more difficult to achieve, to give them something to to strive for. Is that is that true?
Setting Goals for Athletes
Julie Young 39:47
I think it’s a great point. And I think in both cases, you obviously want to create those those goals that are achievable. So but but yeah, I think that’s that’s true, and it’s finding that balance, of like, where were how far can you stick the carrot out. But also, you know, even for the elite athlete making sure like, they’re super honest with evaluation of their performance, because I still think that’s, that’s really important. You know, I know for myself when I was racing in Europe, I maybe almost to a fault like my, my whole, like, career, I felt like, it was more important to feel like you left it all out there. And I feel like in that way, like, the results came, but I think having that, that willingness to just leave it all out there. And like in a performance, when you’re in a pivotal section of a race, and like maybe a little doubt creeps in, and you just you run through that doubt, as opposed to running away from it. Like to me those are, those are valuable. And that’s important that the the athlete really still even at that elite level is evaluating their performance. Because in bike racing, there are so many factors involved. And you know, you can feel awesome, invincible, but just some something out of your control gets in the way of that result, or you know, you did, you’ve left it all out there mentally and physically, to me that that’s still a success. So I think, you know, to your point, Chris, I think it is it’s important to have those little stepping stones, and then obviously really challenged that more elite athlete, but I still think it’s important for that elite athlete to have those, these these kind of stepping stone goals, to those result goals.
Trevor Connor 41:40
You brought up something that to me is very, very important. It’s a distinction that not everybody makes but a very important distinction. There is a difference between performance and results. I think if you talk to any experienced cyclist or athlete, and you ask them, what were their best performances, and what were their best results, they’re probably going to tell you about different events. But what’s important here is to remember that you have control over your performance, you actually have very little control over your results, you could be having the performance of your life and it just happens that you you went back to grab a water bottle at the moment that the winning breakaway went away, and you just lost a podium, you could be in the winning move and just a couple miles away from the finish and you get a flat tire. And again, you don’t get the result that you wanted but your performance was great. So I love that you brought up the importance of having performance goals, and not just results goals, because results, you have a lot less control over and then you think you have complete control of your performance. And that goes back to what we were talking about with numbers, is I think a lot of people like to make the numbers a goals, because that’s very, very results oriented.
Julie Young 42:56
Yeah. And I think when you have these other intermediary goals along the way, it keeps the experience positive. And then you know, if it’s positive, you’re going to keep coming back for more.
Trevor Connor 43:08
Armando Mastracci is the creator of Xert training software. Well, a lot of engineering has gone into his tool, one of his focuses is to allow the riders to just ride without focusing on the numbers, and let the software find the valuable information.
Armando Mastracci, Individualizations Within Software Training
Armando Mastracci 43:22
What I think is amazing terms of what’s happening today is that we’re seeing a greater proliferation of athletes now with training with power. Now, with the price of power meter is starting to decline, as well as the interest in Winter cycling. So we’re seeing a growth of individuals now, using trainers indoors, as well as you know, these virtual environments like Swift, which would become extremely popular, and all of these are based upon power. So all these market forces are really bringing a lot more individuals into the market in terms of wanting to train with power. And what’s, what’s different about these is that they’re not necessarily really competitive athletes, they’re not necessarily professional or, you know, looking to be the top racers in the country. Why these are very much recreational cyclists, right? So they’re just they want to use power just to stay fit, right, they want to use power to kind of track their progress. That’s different, right? When you when you’re looking at what software needs to do, right? So software has always been characterized by Oh, and how do we use the tool so that we can better analyze all the data for these top athletes. So usually in the hands of either sports scientists, or really the enthusiasts, who are really into examining the data, those were the original kind of targets for the use of power data and for interpreting it, but now that this become a started the greater proliferation of power data and power meters, we’ve got to start to look at how do we provide information about their own fitness and their own progress within the software without having to dive into all of the analytics per say, that are currently available. So this is kind of what we focus on within our software is how do we make the application and understanding of the power data is something that’s more accessible to a broader range of people. So as an example, individuals who, you know, they’re not going to do FTP tests on it on a regular basis, if they still want to track their progress, right, so so you know, we provided a tool that allows them to kind of track how well they’re improving, and how well they’re progressing. So this is really, really important, I think, for the greater, greater population. Another one of the other key things that I’d like to add, though, is that an Ned kind of talked a little bit about this in your last podcast, which was kind of cool, which was that trainees got to be fun.
Chris Case 45:45
Armando Mastracci 45:46
Right. And a lot of people who are looking to train, they know, they don’t necessarily want to follow the rigorous program that would be provided by let’s say for a static training plan, or from a coach per se, who’s going to be very specific about the training that that’s going to be prescribed and how it’s going to be followed. So they really want to see how they can use the power data to give them sort of a visual and understanding of how well they’re how well they’re training and what kind of training they can do to improve without the structure necessarily, that you would see within a professional athlete, for example, these athletes have their lives, they work, they travel, they’ve got to have a system in place is going to accommodate their kind of variability that they have in their life. And so I think that’s another aspect that we’re going to have to start to see in software is something that’s going to be more accessible to a broader range of people something a little more adaptive, yet still provide direction and guidance and improvements and individualization of those improvements.
Trevor Connor 46:51
So Chris, we are growing, we’re expanding, we are no longer just Fast Talk, we are now Fast Labs. That’s the new business. And part of the reason for the this different name, is we want to offer camps here in Colorado, here in Boulder. And we are partnering with CU Sports Center, that is one of the top facilities in the world, when it comes to bike fit, physiological testing, coaching, all these different services that are normally just reserved for the best of the best, the elite.
Chris Case 47:24
So if you’re as excited about these camps, as we are, go to our website, www.fast labs.com, Check us out, we have three camps in 2021. One the last few days of April, first two days of May, one in June, and one in August, check out fastlabs.com, enter “fast labs 2020” as the discount code and receive $500 off a purchase at this performance experience training.
Chris Case 48:01
Let’s shift our focus a little bit to that big picture keeping the big picture in mind when you’re when you’re doing your workouts, the season long, big picture or or career long, big picture for that matter, will the importance of that. Julie, what are your impressions first, to sort of give an overview of the importance of the big picture?
Importance of Looking at the Big Picture
Julie Young 48:25
I think it’s always it’s important just to continue to, you know, bring the client kind of out of the weeds and keep maintaining that that picture that big, that big picture, and also just continue to keep reminding the athlete of the why and, and the connection of like, why they’re doing things, you know, one day workouts or the phases of the workouts because or the phases of the training. I just, I think that’s the best way to have that intention and that purpose which are invaluable to the infect the effectiveness of the training.
Trevor Connor 49:10
I think the purpose is incredibly important. And that’s a word I love to use. I see this with athletes where they’ll they’ll buy a program or though they’ll get on board some sort of prebuilt program that they can play on their TV in front of the trainer. And they’ll say, you know, look at my numbers, look at my power. Look at what I’ve been executing, and they’re quite proud of it. And yeah, they’re putting out good numbers and doing the work. They should be proud of that. But if you ask the question, what’s the purpose of this? What are you trying to accomplish? And they can’t answer that question, there’s a real danger there. And one of the biggest issues that I see crop up as a coach, is athletes will hit all the numbers do all these workouts and ultimately hit their peak form at a point in the season when they don’t care when they get to a target event or something that they really care about. They’re starting to push burnout, not just executing the workout is important, but knowing what is the purpose of this workout? How does it fit within the bigger picture, is always important to the point that I’ve told all my athletes, if you ever go out to do a workout, and you can answer the question, why am I doing this workout? turnaround go home, give me a call.
Chris Case 50:32
It seems to me like there’s there’s multiple layers in an athlete needs to be aware of and a coach needs to be aware of at any given time, there’s the daily layer, there’s the weekly layer, there’s the monthly layer, there’s the life layer, and they all have they all interact with one another, they all give a greater context to what it is that you’re trying to achieve at any given moment in time. Is that correct?
Julie Young 50:56
For me, and this may be a little bit of a tangent, but there just is not a silver bullet. And as an anything, there’s never that silver bullet. And and I think, you know, I was thinking about this, like, when I’m learning something, I’m new to something, it’s so easy for me to really go like, Oh my gosh, it’s all this and just go all in on that one thing or, you know, like, so just really be it’s easy to really think in absolutes. But then I feel like the more the more I learn, I feel like the less I know. And so, yeah, there’s just all these ingredients. And I know, it’s been referred to as like the intangibles like so you know, we’ve talked about the like the mental side of things, and just those intangibles that lead to the successes. But I would agree with that, Chris. And I think the fun part about this is it is a process. And it is like keep adding layers and it’s so fun. Like, you know, you don’t want to throw everything on an athlete at once. But slowly add these layers in. And that’s what makes it fun is we have this continual opportunity to learn and improve.
Steve Neil 52:03
So I want to give an example here. And I think this touches on a lot of what we’re really trying to get across today. This is where the if you just focus on the numbers that can be an issue, why the big picture is important, why the timing is important. So this is a story of a an athlete who asked me to grab a cup of coffee and talk with them, several years ago, he was a cyclo-cross rider, and really looking to improve his performance in cyclo-cross. He was doing these trainer sessions in the morning with with the whole team and showed up to a session in January. So remember, he’s cross his season starts early September, and in middle of November. So he had taken a rest over December, went to the trainer sessions in January, and his FTP was significantly lower, and asked me to grab a cup of coffee with him because he was extremely concerned about this. So he told me the whole story. And I went well so what’s your first target event? And he described a race that was in late August, and I probably was a little less sympathetic than I should be. But I just looked at him and went, so what’s the problem?
Chris Case 53:18
Trevor Connor 53:20
But he was so, it’s the number and his FTP had dropped. So that was very concerning. And we had to have this long talk about, you need to look at the big picture. And it’s actually good thing that your fitness has come down so you can build it back up. And peak for when you should be, you don’t want to be peaking in March, you’re not racing in March. But this also gets to what you’re talking about, of really focusing on the process, really having other goals besides just these results goals, because what I get is this was discouraging for him is, it’s a very long time before his season. And all he seen is his numbers have dropped. And if his only goal is the numbers, that’s very discouraging, especially discouraging, knowing you’re not going to see your good race numbers for another six, seven months, which makes the training hard. So what we actually had to talk a lot about was setting other goals, and setting these interim, where do you want to be by March? Where do you want to be by May? That were a little less number centric, so he could feel he was accomplishing something and not be discouraged by the fact that he wasn’t going to be seeing the sort of FTP he wanted to see until much, much later on.
Chris Case 54:37
Are there any warning signs? This might not be a question that’s very easy to answer. I’m just curious from a coaching perspective, if there are warning signs when somebody is progressing too much too quickly. If you can say oh, we need to nobody should be progressing this fast or this much in a given season, given who what the athlete who the athlete is, and you can stop them or slow them down from progressing too much, is that something that you see and deal with? Julie,
Warning Signs of Progressing to Quickly
Julie Young 55:11
When I see an athlete, that’s just just too obsessed with, with the numbers, you know, like, I think that’s for me like a warning, again, just kind of chomping at the bit, and in trying to pull back the reins, and help them understand that this is a process and that, you know, I always think like, even though we’re feeling super invincible, at a certain point, we still have to have respect for the process, that it’s, you can’t rush the process, and that, you know, we’d still need these times of build, and we still need these times of rest. And we need to be as respectful of those times of rest, you know, we need to be respectful of the process. And so for me, that’s, I guess, just kind of trying to be aware of that. And not I mean, not necessarily, I think, you know, there’s great stories of people that have advanced through the sport, like at an accelerated rate. So I don’t think that’s necessarily, you know, obviously, that’s not a bad thing. I think it’s just more again, keeping perspective for that athlete.
Trevor Connor 56:10
I’m actually going to expand on that your point much earlier on about being the psychologist and looking at the mental side, when I’m looking at the timing of athletes, I actually really listened to the way they talk, I listen to what they have to say about the workouts, because that’s where I think it shows up first.
Chris Case 56:28
Trevor Connor 56:28
And when an athlete is coming on to a peak, that’s when you start hearing them talking about being invincible, how they never want to skip a workout, and everything feels great. Like, it’s all really positive, and you want that, but you want that at the right time. Because when I start hearing that language, I know. Now the timers started.
Chris Case 56:46
Mm hmm. Theres a limited window here.
Trevor Connor 56:49
Right, and there on the you know, three, four weeks from now, we’re going to start hearing the Oh, that workout felt awful, and start hearing the signs of burnout. So if I start hearing that language, when an athlete is way far away from any sort of target event, then I’m concerned, we’re off track. When we’re far away from any target events, the language I want to hear is, yeah, things are going well, I don’t feel tired or really off, but I just kind of feel flat, getting the workouts done. It’s pretty good. If you ask me to take tomorrow off, whatever. You just want this kind of calm steady,
Chris Case 57:28
Trevor Connor 57:29
And and you want that, now I’m going to crush it, I feel invincible, feeling very close to the target. I actually just had that with an athlete this year. And I hope he doesn’t mind too much. I won’t use his name, but use him as an example, because we’ve been talking a lot about this lately. So he is a cross rider, but he also does a road season, and he had some good form in the summer. But when we got to early August, sorry, his target cross races were middle of October, actually, right when we’re recording this right now. And beginning of August, I said, Okay, we need to back down, like I want you off the bike for at least a week. And then we want another week of just riding easy I want you to I want to take all that top end off for you and then rebuild. So you hit the timing right. And he wouldn’t do it. That week that I want him off the bike. He was getting calls from friends, I know I supposed to be off the bike, but my friends wanted to ride, so I went out and look how badly I crushed them. And then the following week, when we tried to get back into it, it was the same thing you kept going out with friends. And I kept saying you are not backing down enough, I you need to back down more. And he was just feeling so invincible. He wouldn’t do it. And finally, we had the conversation. I said I am concerned. We didn’t get the back down that we wanted, and you might not last to your target races. But at this point, we have no choice. So we’re going to move ahead. And sure enough the races in September, he was killing them. He was winning the races. He was fine. But now that we’re at his target events, he is burnt out.
Chris Case 59:02
Hmm. I wonder Julie, you’ve mentioned you’ve mentioned a person’s why multiple times now. And I wonder if you could dive a little bit into that and talk about what you in an ideal world, What is the why? And what are some of the when it comes to someone’s why what are the ones that you don’t want to hear?
Julie Young 59:24
For me it just more it just generally goes back to that motivation. Like really, why are they initially doing it in the first place. And again, it feels like if it’s more internal, it’s important for them personally. You know, and they’re having fun. I think like you’re always going to succeed when this is a fun, I mean, there’s certain days that aren’t so fun, but for the majority, it’s fun. Like that, to me is a real a positive why. Also like I’d mentioned, just having like using the bike as this opportunity for self challenge and opportunity that you can continue to learn and improve. And again, it’s more of a internal personal motivation, as opposed to again, like, you know, just doing things to put on social media or get get the get the exposure socially. So I think it’s just like that, when we can really tap into that intrinsic, it stays positive. I really believe in those situations, athletes thrive and succeed.
Trevor Connor 1:00:31
I think that’s critical just because of what we talked about earlier, which is, if you are training, right, there’s going to be extended periods of time, where if you’re just looking at the numbers, you’re not going to see a lot of changes. And if all you want is those quick social media hits, or to post something showing some great result, it’s going to be very discouraging, where if you have what you’re talking about these intrinsic motivations, that’s going to get you through these extended periods of time, where you’re not going to see them, so you’re not going to see those those really exciting, Wow, did you see that workout moments.
Chris Case 1:01:10
Yeah, that comes back to perspective, and knowing that you’re doing this for fun, you’re not, we’re, for the most part, we’re talking about non-professionals here. So it’s not about a paycheck, it’s the whole reason for you doing this is fun, and fun could be from results, it could be from just improvement, it could just be from the joy of being on a bike, or racing against people or the community of it. But you have to keep that perspective about what it is that keeps it keeps it fun.
Julie Young 1:01:40
And I think to again, kind of back to the folks that the majority of the folks I train, these busy professionals, it’s to me the bike is an escape, I think it’s like, you know, and I think that’s why I really still love like structured workouts is because, you know, when I’m on my bike, or, you know, when clients are on their bike, like they’re thinking they’re focused on that they’re not focused on the emails, or the business projects they have to do when they get off the bike, but you’re really present and, and, you know, focused and so for me, like I think the bike is, is a great escape and, and I think it provides as much as much mental health as physical health,
Trevor Connor 1:02:21
There’s nothing better than after a rough day of work, or just come home and just get down Zwift, turning the brain off and just pounding out a set of intervals. And half the time I look back, when I have this experience, I look back and go, Well, that was a stupid set of intervals. Boy, I neded that, because it works.
Chris Case 1:02:41
Exercise is really, really good medicine.
Trevor Connor 1:02:43
Most Important Takeaways
Julie Young 1:02:44
And I think other than just to not go on and on here, but I think, again, just big picture. And, and the you know, I think, I don’t know, Trevor, if you have this situation, but oftentimes I’ll have people say, Hey, I want to get ready for this event in three months. And it’s just like, oh, like, kind of, like, I feel like I get hit in the gut, you know, because it’s just, I think trying to help people again, appreciate that this is a process and that it’s like a consistent investment. And that’s, that’s where they’re going to reap the the greatest, the greatest benefits. And so, you know, trying to convince people if they’re willing to do the year round training, that each phase has a specific objective and, and we talked about, like off-season, or I guess it’s now called transition season, and again, to me, it’s not just it’s not just the the physiologic adaptations that are happening during that period, it’s to me as much it’s the mental regeneration. And like really taking that time to, like I think, you know, for me, like when I would come off like we’d be finishing World Championships and I’d give myself like six weeks and I just go you know, run or totally mix it up, and it was the mental regeneration that was as valuable as what we’re doing physically during that time. But I think you know, each, when you train on a year round basis, you really have the luxury of having these specific phases that you know can have this specific focus where like the offseason is more that free flowing, you know, kind of go have fun endurance work and then some some structured work in the gym, which provides mental and physical variety, you know, versus and in trying to create, like have the training feel more like a lifestyle as opposed to you know, someone hires you for three to six months and you’re just feels like this terrible cram session. And then people don’t get that sense of really what it feels like to make training, feel more lifestyle and sustainable versus like this big cram that often leads to burnout.
Trevor Connor 1:04:51
There’s just there’s only so much you can do in three months,
Julie Young 1:04:54
Trevor Connor 1:04:55
There are improvements which are really your biggest improvements, which take years, they’re very, very slow you, you don’t even notice them until you look back over over a few years. So I agree with you, if you go and hire a coach and say I’ve got an event in three months, get me on my best form for this the proper answer from a coach is, I can get you on the best form that you can do in three months, but it’s going to be far from your best form that you’re capable of.
Chris Case 1:05:27
It’s interesting where we’re sitting here. And I think the three of us are essentially lifelong athletes,
Trevor Connor 1:05:35
Chris Case 1:05:36
But not everybody is, you know, some people dabble, some people find it late in life. And some people, it’s just a distraction. Some people just don’t have the time. So it must be challenging working with people, not in a bad way, but just challenging because people do want this,” oh, I’m new to this make me better now” type mentality, and there’s only so much you can do. And if you’re a lifelong athlete, you understand that if you’re a coach, you understand that, but a lot of people getting into a sport for the first time or just dabbling in it probably don’t understand the, the length of time especially correct me if I’m wrong, but cycling seems like takes a lot of time, both on an annual basis, but you know, just throughout life to develop the muscle, the the physiology, the know how.
Steve Neil 1:06:32
I would say one of the biggest mistakes that I’ve seen in athletes, especially when they’re very number focused, is they don’t understand this lifelong concept. They don’t understand this long term commitment. And I will see athletes that expect to find the perfect training plan to be able to get to whatever level they want to get to in a year. And when that doesn’t happen, they get frustrated, and you see them year after year after year, just completely change up the training or change their coach. And they never really get anywhere because they’re never making that long term commitment to exactly what you’re talking about Julie, its in doing that time in the Winter to solely build that more structural aerobics side, looking, you know, being more intrinsically motivated and being okay with doing a lot of work that you’re not going to see the gains from it in a while. They want numbers they want immediate, they want it now. And when they don’t get it, now they’re going to find that coach or that perfect training plan that’s going to give it to them. And they’re just constantly changing things up and really never is end up spending and wasting time.
Chris Case 1:07:39
There is a lot of immediate feedback needs out there, in terms of people that yeah, that thrive off of encouragement in that in those bite sized chunks, but constantly, that makes sense.
Julie Young 1:07:54
I often think that just reminding folks like it’s trainings like, it’s like anything else, any other you know, thing that we’re trying to master in life, like it is a process and it just takes time and patience. But again, that the the best way to approach it is that you love it for what it is, you know, you’re not just always rushing towards some end point. But you just love it for the value it brings to your your life on a daily basis. Yeah, so again, I always kind of think about that. It’s like, gosh, it’s like nothing. It’s like everything else in life. It just takes time.
Chris Case 1:08:28
So Julie, as a as a correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you’re a fan of Fast Talk. So you do know that at the end of each episode, we like to give our guests and ourselves 60 seconds each To recap, the show, take give people take-homes that they can walk away with. So Julie, I’m going to start with you what are the most important things that people should take from this particular episode?
Julie Young 1:08:52
I am a fan of Fast Talk. Yeah, thank you. And for me, it is it’s perspective. And I think as a coach trying to constantly help my clients maintain that perspective. And that, you know, again, we all kind of operate from different different norms in terms of data are not data, but just understanding there is a balance to it. And that in my experience having successful events or race performances is much more than just simply chasing a power power number on my device during a training session. It’s mentally connecting the dots of why I’m doing that particular workout and then again, mentally placing myself in that event where I feel like I get so much more effectiveness out of the training. I think it’s also really valuable to oftentimes just keep reminding yourself why you’re doing it, you know, like what’s, what’s your why is it important and valuable for you and keep it positive and that it’s an opportunity for self challenge and you ability to learn and improve. And also it’s like we’re riding our bikes, we should keep it fun.
Chris Case 1:10:06
Trevor, what do you think?
Don’t Focus on the Numbers in the Short-run
Trevor Connor 1:10:07
oh, boy, there was so much in this episode that was great. It’s gonna be hard to boil this down. But I think I’m going to go with an analogy, and please understand I do not have a business degree. You hear about these businesses that get obsessed with their quarterly numbers, and every quarter is just about giving good numbers so that they look good. My understanding is that’s not in the long run, a healthy way to run a business. It’s not that the numbers are bad, you need to watch your numbers, numbers are very important. But when you obsess over them and obsess over them in the short run, your business gets unhealthy. The Healthy businesses are the ones that have a purpose, a long term goal. And sometimes that even means in the short run, the numbers are going to get bad, but knowing that they’re heading in the right direction. So I see training very much the same way. Businesses need those numbers, numbers are very valuable. But if you just focus on them in the short run, you get in trouble, Chris?
There are Multiple layers of Training, Stay Focused on your Why
Chris Case 1:11:07
Well, I think I need to make or I want to make two, points. First of all, I like to think of the multiple layers of training, in terms of the chronology but also in terms of complexity. And in a sense, you’ve got daily workouts, you’ve got weekly goals, you’ve got monthly goals, you’ve got target races, and all these factors and things that you’re doing kind of work in and kind of hate to say about an ecosystem. It’s a buzzword these days, but they all have to be taken into consideration when you’re thinking about that big picture. And it sounds like it might be complex, but that’s why you just need to step back and take a long-term view, a wider view of where it is you’re trying to get to. I think that also feeds into my second point, which is keeping a good perspective on your why your purpose, your motivation. There’s a spectrum here, there isn’t so much a black and white distinction to be made between healthy reasons and unhealthy reasons. Context certainly matters. But you can have positive reasons, joy, the pursuit of excellence, as your motivators or you can have somewhat negative motivators like peer-pressure, or pressure from a parent or coach or things like that, or just this, I need to gain self worth. So I need results result. Keeping that on the healthier side of things is extremely important. And something you should always be considering when you’re when you’re thinking about that layers of training.
Chris Case 1:12:57
That was another episode of Fast Talk. As always, we’d love your feedback. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to Fast Talk wherever you prefer to listen to your favorite podcasts. Be sure to leave us a rating and a review. Become a fan of Fast Talk on facebook at facebook.com/realfasttalklabs. On Twitter our handle is fast_labs_real. And on Instagram find our profile @fasttalklabs. Fast Talk is a joint production between VeloNews and Fast Labs LLC. The thoughts and opinions expressed on Fast Talk are those of the individual for Julie Young, Steve Neil, Ruth Winder, Armando Mastracci, and Trevor Connor. I’m Chris case. Thanks for listening.