The Pause That Refreshes

Coke had an ad campaign that first appeared nearly 100 years ago. It was the late 1920s and the American economy was cratering … Hmm, does history repeat? The Spanish Flu epidemic was also coincidentally 100 years ago.

Coke wanted an ad campaign to make itself appealing when people were struggling. Their "modern” life was getting busier. Getting ahead was becoming tough. Coke was branding itself as the way to reset and re-energize.

It’s this pause to refresh (not drinking a Coke) that's a great annual principle. Apply it to your season in the late October to early November period.

Pause. Stop. Reflect.

Go slower to go faster.

The idea is to start your mind and body onto a new training trajectory. Take some time away from structure. There's no need to be on-form for much of anything right now.

Figure out a revised or completely new way of training for you. Look at a different goal for next year. Add new training modalities to get you there.

Yes, this step back will drop your TrainingPeaks “Fitness” (Chronic Training Level – CTL). It might even crater. Don’t freak out about it.

In fact, Fitness is just a number to guide you. It can keep you from doing too much too soon (your Ramp Rate). It can be a visual reminder when you're slacking off. It’s not a particular number to chase.

But hey, keeping an open mind here, it could be a number to chase in next year’s goal. What was your peak Fitness number this year? Try your own N=1 experiment next year and beat it. See if it works for you. I won’t say it won’t.

But right now, this time of year, pause and refresh and reflect.

Grab a Coke – like the ad tells you. Or grab a coffee. Maybe a few days worth of coffee breaks here. Because I want you to have at least a week or two of little-to-no bike training. Other training is fine. But de-emphasize your bike. Be curious. Make note of at least one thing you hadn’t noticed before. This could be in your training. It could be in another area of your life.

Remember: Pause, stop, reflect.

If you join my ES Academy before the end of the year, you can book a Season Review with me. I will help you dig into your training data for the past year looking for insights. These could let you know what to do more of (or less of) next year to hit your goals.

We’ve had more than a “Great Pandemic Year” at this point. It has given us way too many moments to pause. These have all been thrust upon us by our current world-wide circumstances.

Here, now, you take charge and set your own pause parameters.

Slow down. Listen to yourself.

Get clarity and make deep self-connections. Frame out what you want 2022 to give to your amazing cycling lifestyle.

Take leadership … self-leadership. Pause and Refresh. Pause on purpose. Pause to perform.

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