Absolute Motion

The Performance Journey

When starting the coaching journey and being introduced to Training Peaks and the Performance Management Chart as well as FTP testing one can easily fall into the trap of trying to put cycling performance in very linear categories.

For example, if your CTL (Fitness as defined by Training Peaks) and your FTP (Functional Threshold Power) goes up, you must perform better, right? Yes, if those numbers are up your probability of performing better increases, but it is by no means the only defining factor.

This is like saying that if someone has the highest marks in Accounting he will be a great business man. As in business, cycling performance is also dependent on intuition, mental strength, tenacity, skill, and a number of other factors that have no bearing on your CTL or FTP.

We have so many examples of this in our coaching business, but one of the best examples is of Joe (not his real name). Joe has been training with us since 2015 and competes in the Veteran categories. Joe is dedicated, committed and involved with his training … yes the perfect client. Joe’s CTL and FTP has not increased by much in the last 18 months or so, but his results have made a huge jump forward, so what has changed?

  • Joe has always been a strong climber, but still worried when he started to suffer … now Joe enjoys suffering, because he knows the other guys suffer as much, or more.
  • Joe was very nervous going down hill in a bunch and often got dropped on the downhills. Now he trusts his ability and remains stuck in. 
  • Joe always wanted to keep something in reserve for the end and spend most of his time toward the back of the bunch and this always resulted in him missing the break. Now he remains attentive and aggressive and trusts his training and believes that he will have enough left at the end if he goes full gas from the start.
  • Joe also now uses a power meter on his bike allowing the coach more information to work with when looking for limiters.

We see it time-and-time again. Cycling performance is a journey and as with all journeys there are ups and downs … but the one that stays the course always get the results.

Johann Wykerd

Head Coach: Absolute Motion

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