Is It Time to Make a Change?

by | Mar 17, 2021 | Gear, Training

Consistency is a big deal. One of the best indicators of who will finish first is who shows up for training. In fact, we value consistency so much that one of our three tenets  of training is “90 % of life is showing up.” (You can decide who said it first, but those who keep showing up will be rewarded!)

HOWEVER. The issue with showing up is that occasionally, there might be a nagging issue that you are ignoring when many other people might go to the doctor, take a rest day or change up something within their environment. We push through the annoyance, the minor pain, and often, this can land us in hot water. Our type A personalities that serve us really well much of the time can come back and work against us.

The Goal is to Keep the Goal the Goal

For instance, Peter is a very stubborn athlete. This has served him well in many endurance events but has also gotten him in trouble more times than he would like to admit. Recently, shoes that had been great for many years started rubbing his pinky toe and after ignoring it for a few weeks, it became so painful it was affecting his training. He nearly did the classic “cut the side of the shoe to let his toe have some space,” but caught himself. Rather than modifying shoes, which is what many athletes tend to do in this case, he took a couple of days off, checked in with a doctor to make sure there wasn’t a deeper infection at play, then worked to figure out a solution that would fix the problem (e.g. a few days off the bike, out of those shoes). An issue that, if left unchecked, could easily turn into a more serious hammertoe situation that could hamper training, let alone daily life, for a much longer duration.

Taking a break or going to the doctor might seem like it’s giving up or “not being tough” but both of those interventions can make for that long-term consistency we’re actually looking for. They also help you avoid the trap of going through the motions or rarely training with quality as you limp through each workout. Many athletes come to us for coaching or consults because they have ‘plateaued in their training, or they have reached a breaking point. They are confused why the routine they have ‘always done is not eliciting the same results or is even hurting them. Be careful you aren’t chasing numbers that aren’t relevant to your goal.

What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There

We have seen this with certain training regimes, certain weekly hours targets and very often with chasing a certain TSS (training stress). In most cases, the issue is either a lack of adjusting the training as you adapt and/or not adjusting for signs that your body isn’t adapting (mood, motivation, soreness are good ones).

A few more examples, just to give you some ideas of what to think about when we’re talking about what to change:

  • Change your saddle because you’ve been riding the same one for 10 years and it’s wearing out
  • Change your shoes because they no longer fit right
  • Change your training routine that you’ve been doing the exact same way for the last five years (e.g. periodize your training)
  • Change your bib shorts because they have worn out and now one wants Saddle Sores (check out Molly’s book if this is your ‘limiter’) 
  • Check-in with a physio because your knee feels a little ‘off’ after three miles of running

If you’re reading this and nodding along because you can think of a few things that you’ve frankly been too stubborn to change, this is your reminder that a day, week or even month off of training to correct a small injury now could save you a year away from training and allow you to break through to that next level. Buying a new pair of shoes to fit your feet as they are now, not as they were 10 years ago (yes, foot size changes throughout your life!) can save you a visit to the podiatrist and potentially even a foot surgery. And replacing your saddle when your nether regions start to chafe on every ride can save you from some serious saddle sore issues.

Habits are great (heck, we wrote a whole book on them) but habits done without any thought or any check-ins to see how you’re feeling can be dangerous. Ask yourself, is it time to make any changes?


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