Getting over the hump

I was able to get a great Ronnestad session in yesterday morning and got to thinking on my way home - figured it would make for a good discussion topic in the forum. To set this one up, it was below freezing, but the motivation was there to knock out a solid hour of quality zone “hard” work. After the workout, I realized that it was time to revisit some of the mental strategies that have fallen on the back burner after the holidays and a fall time period of not much racing/focus.

Here’s how the session played out:
Set #1 - great effort, finished feeling like I could (and wanted to) do another.
Set #2 - still a great effort, feeling the fatigue a little more, but ok. Mentally challenging, not sure about doing another).
Set #3 - steady focus, mentally got over the hump after the first 3 intervals. Finished feeling great.

So on the way home a couple questions came up:

  1. What did I have to do to mentally get over the hump of not wanting to do the 3rd set?
  2. What was my mindset like in past workouts that I would consider “failed” sessions? (e.g., not finishing, finishing but half-assing it, or finishing very reluctantly with a poor mindset)
  3. What are some of the other strategies that helped in the past at times like this?

Please share your own experiences and hopefully we can generate a good list of ideas that we can all use in the future!

Coach Ryan

I like to visualize money going into a piggy bank. The idea is you make it as full as possible, then you get to spend it on performance later (ie buy yourself something nice in a race)

Every single interval that is adequate to the purpose of the workout = money. I visualize bonus money for every interval completed following the point where it gets hard.

Sometimes I go by minutes rather than intervals. For example, when I’m doing a threshold TTE block, if it’s 10 minute intervals in session 1 and 15min in session 2, every single minute after minute 10 is bonus (eg, double)

Money works well because it dovetails with the piggy bank analogy but you could also just use points

  1. Trust your coach that the workout is achievable, this suffering is intended and exactly what you need

  2. “40% rule”: When you think you’re done, you’re really only at 40% of you capabilities

  3. Imagine race/group ride/KOM hunting situations that match the interval intensity/duration

  4. You can stop, but only when your BODY really gives out. Do one more interval/one more minute/10 more seconds