What you do now, in the Winter and early Spring, can determine how you do in your big race in late Summer or Fall. Building your base level fitness each season is critical for performing at your highest level when you want to be ready months down the road. It requires a lot of planning, patience and motivation. Above all, it demands persistence. Consistently staying motivated to train, in order to perform at your highest level is not easy. In particular, if you have been training for less than 3 or 4 seasons, it is hard to build (or rebuild) your base in the Winter or Spring. Cold weather, nightfall at 5 PM, rain, snow, ice and a general lack of motivation, can all act to sabotage your breakthrough season, and the achievement of new heights. To stay motivated now, in the Winter while its cold, dark, and wet outdoors, is often a big challenge. And let’s face it, a lot of the base training needed at this point in the season is just not that fun or sexy.
That’s why I believe it’s critically important to see your whole season, really your racing career, and all your planned races as one long-term project. It’s also critical to understand that the (proper) training you do now, will potentially make the difference between achieving high goals, or not, months and seasons later. It can be the difference between PR’s, podium, championship level performances and mediocrity or worse. Lance Armstrong once said that the Tour de France is won in December, not July. I know, I know, maybe a bad reference because we now know when he probably did win the Tour. Cheating not withstanding, that statement is still correct. Building a solid foundation for high level performance now is critical. So, when you feel like calling it off, the weather stinks, or you have to train indoors, and you just don’t have the drive, know that you will come Summer and hang in there! Stay focused. This is one of my most important coaching objectives for my athletes at this time of the season: keeping the focus in the right place, and seeing the long view. Solid base training and consistency now will bring great rewards when you want and deserve them most.