January 7, 2013 cburnham

Happy New Years! Make those goals stick!

Happy New Years!

The new season is starting, goals have been set, the days are starting to get longer, and cyclocross is winding down.  It is definitely time to do work!  But what do you do if things start to go wrong?  You miss a workout.  Or you lose your head and eat two cupcakes, a box of Red Vines, and a whole pizza after that 4 hour ride on Saturday. Or you get injured.  At those time times the best thing you can do is take a step back and simplify.

Simplifying doesn’t mean easy.  Just eliminating options to those things that make the biggest difference. Keep falling off your nutritional plan? Then simplify your meals to one or two options for breakfasts, lunches, or dinners and pre-plan your post ride nutrition so you don’t grab everything in sight when you get home.  A shoulder injury keeping you from riding outside (yeah, I know a little about this one)?  Then simplify your workouts to one or two that affect the most change in a short period of time on a trainer.  Can’t decide between paper or plastic, bring your bags next time. Toss out the extras.

These guys have no option but to get up the hill.

The concept of decision fatigue is a huge issue with athletes.  Decision fatigue is basically the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long, or multiple, decision-making session.  This fatigue leads to irrational decision-making and a reduction of will power to make good choices.  Eliminating, or automating, any basic decisions you have throughout the day can make a big difference when you have to make the important decisions or tap into a little extra will power to keep from eating that double chocolate brownie at the end of the day.  If you find yourself making irrational decisions, impulsive actions, or overwhelmed with lots of choices then simplify. Taking options away can make it significantly easier to stick to a plan.  This is one of the biggest advantages of working with a coach.  They are looking at your training objectively and making the workout decisions for you.  The athlete can then use their energy to execute the workouts as best as possible.  Having a well-organized team can also be extremely helpful in simplifying an athletes preparation for events by handling a lot of the smaller decisions done before racing.

Decision Making

Regardless of your goals, simplify and execute your actions at 100%. Do everything you do with purpose, and be the best that you can in each moment.

This doesn’t really have anything to do with anything above but I just thought it was rad:

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