The Final Push

Cross-posted from ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Now that races are appearing all over the world, at all times of the year, it becomes more difficult to signify the "end" of the season. Having said that, many of us in the Northern Hemisphere are working towards our final season peak (between the months of September and November). This is a tricky time for many of us. On the one hand, we want to be our fastest of the year. On the flipside, we do not want our fastest day of the year to be on our local training roads.

Here are a few pointers to follow in your final build of the season:

Mix up the routes. It can be really tempting to go out and set PRs on some of your favorite training routes as you begin to reach your season’s final peak. Give some of these routes a rest until the next base period and find some new and interesting routes to train on. This will help keep things fresh as well as helping you avoid the constant need to set weekly PRs on the same terrain you have been training on all season.

Consciously hold back. When things are going well in your training, make a conscious note of how well you are feeling. Instead of picking the pace up or going even harder, just relax and know that when your race arrives, you will have that final gear. When this feeling becomes a constant in your training, you will know you are ready. Resist!

Learn from the season’s mistakes. Every season provides us with numerous learning experiences; in training and in racing. Take some time to actually sit down and write down the lessons you learned and how you are going to apply them to your last race of the season. Without recognizing the mistakes we have made, we are likely to fall right back into the same patterns. Allow yourself to have a moment of self-realization to become a new (and smarter/better) athlete this fall.

Do not forget to have fun. As the season comes to a close, it is common to feel as though certain sessions are a bit of grind. To help avoid this, remember what you truly enjoy. Allowing yourself to have a bit of fun in between the serious sessions will keep your more consistent in the long run. Nearly all of us got into this sport for this factor; don’t let anything take that away from you.

I hope you all have had a great season to date. Use the above tips to help you close out this season successfully.


Epilogue: I would add: learn from the season's successes. I mentioned learning from mistakes, but you should never forget what has worked as well.