Coaching, Thinking, Training

Yes, No, Maybe… (Part 1 -Performance)

Yes, No, Maybe..  Part 1 – Performance

I wanted to share a performance tip that I often keep in mind when I’m trying to get the best out of myself…

It is based on something I heard the great Chris Boardman say when commenting on the Tour de France one year that really stuck with me.  When talking about competing in the Time Trial (TT – cycling’s individual race against the clock), Chris Boardman described his thought process quite simply;

You have three questions going through your mind: How far to go? How hard am I trying? Is the pace sustainable for that distance? If the answer is ‘yes’, that means you’re not trying hard enough. If it’s ‘no’, it’s too late to do anything about it. You’re looking for the answer ‘maybe’…

Although he was talking very specifically about performing on the bike in a TT, I think it has much wider application for people trying to perform in most physical events from running and rowing to SUP and kayaking.  Anything where you are pacing a measured physical effort over a distance against a clock you are looking for that ‘maybe’ zone.

I’d also go further to say that with the current emphasis on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), where you complete short bursts of high intensity exercises, you are looking to complete every interval at that ‘maybe’ intensity.  It is no use doing a 30 second interval but going so hard you are full of lactic acid and unable to do another repetition after 20 seconds.  Equally, if after 30 seconds you are not about to explode you were too far into your ‘yes’ zone…

So, whether it be racing, pushing for a PB (or even more important, a Strava KOM!) or simply trying to complete an interval session to the best of my ability, I often think of the ‘Yes, No, Maybe’ continuum and search for that ‘maybe’ sweet spot…

Find out how the same model can help you self regulate practise sessions too in my follow on blog, ‘Yes, No, Maybe… Part 2 – Practice‘…

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