FAQ ~ Predicting Best Efforts
Medwyn Jones ~ on the way to another PB
I seem to produce better power and results in the
middle of a hard training block...
This wasn't really a question from Medwyn, but a great observation and one that has a straightforward explanation. So if you're all out there wondering when the form will come, here's the explanation...
This is a strange (but not unexpected) phenomenon experienced by a lot of riders, as they mature and develop with our programmes.
A Micro Cycle Page from one of our programmes...
I often schedule "critical" rider tests during the "Amber Week" of a training block, rather than the Grey Week when most would want, or expect, to be the best time to do one.
Many riders confuse the grey week with recovery; in reality it's an "adaptation week". Your body is adapting to the sessions you've done in the previous three weeks. This takes time.
You are still a little jaded in the grey week.
Although you are doing less volume than previous (pink line), the "recovery lag" is still in effect.
Fitness, as defined by the blue CTL (Chronic Training Load) line, may be rising. But the yellow TSB (Training Stress Balance) line is down, which means fatigue is high.
Here's more in-depth information on fitness and rest.
In the Green Week of a programme, you are still "finding your legs" as we move to new sessions and stress areas of your physiology we may have previously left alone. Once more, you're in the dark.
It all still seems harder than it should be as we present your mind and body with new activities, challenges and workloads.
When the Amber Week arrives, your body has adapted to the previous sessions; you now know your way around the new sessions you're doing.
You now have a better understanding of where your limit is, and you're not yet "over-stressed" from the cumulative fatigue of the efforts you are undertaking. This is your window of opportunity to excel.
Come the Red Week, you're usually declining mentally and physically to be able to put in a PB or a strong session. At this point, most riders are looking forward to the Grey Week.
There we have it! It's now clear why the amber week is the good week. Once you understand, and recognise, the rhythm ands cycles of your body and the adaptation to training overload, it helps you through the tough times.
The Event Horizon is the Amber Week. After that, there is just the black hole of darkness and pain we call the Red Week.. But that's where the magic happens, so we must visit it often. Suffering has its rewards.
Just don't expect many PB's in a Red Week!