Success with Stamina
Success with Stamina
A little blog about being a triathlon coach. Here you'll find a little diary about my activities as a coach, the performances of the people I work with and my thoughts and opinions on what makes athletes faster for longer.

If you always do what you've always done then you all always get what you've always got - Anthony Robbins

AndyBby AndyBDec 5th 2009
So just how true is this statement and how does it fit into the comfort, stretch, panic model I discussed last time?

I believe it was Karl Rhonke who produced this model and I'll summarise it here and add in how it might transfer to training but you can also read more about it at the links I have put in at the bottom.

Comfort Zone
Imagine you are surrounded by an area within which you are completely at ease, you feel comfortable here, you would do these activities without a second thought. This might be walking to work the same way at the same time or in training terms this could be going for a bike ride at an easy intensity well within a distance you have ridden before. These activities (rides) have their place, they take up the majority of your day (training time) however, if you stayed within this zone all the time you would never experience anything new. Here, 'if you always do what you've always done then you'll always get what you've always got'.

Stretch zone
Outside the comfort zone lies another area, within this area things are a little new or different, they may make you feel nervous or a little uncomfortable. In training terms it could be riding a little further than you have been before, climbing a hill a little steeper than before or sitting on a stationary bike in front of a group of friends and unknown to have a mini bike race (see previous post).

Panic Zone
Outside the stretch zone is the panic zone. Activities here further increase your stress levels. In life you may feel your heart rate rise rapidly or look for ways of leaving the situation. Spending time in your panic zone often results in going back to your comfort zone thinking 'I'm never doing that again! That was too much!'. In training this might be pushing far harder or further than you have before and is often characterised by the over tired feeling and having to take a few days off or worse still even longer due to a cold or serious fatigue.

So it turns out consistency is key. Imagine in you were to live 10% of your life in the stretch zone. Doing things a little differently each day. Running a little further, descending a little quicker or pushing a little harder. You may have heard of the recommendation in training that you increase your volume by 10% a week, this is very similar. Rather than facing the boom and bust of rushing straight into the panic zone before having to recuperate back in your comfort zone. Try a series of small but regular steps and watch as your abilities and activities will expand and grow eventually making what was your stretch zone comfortable and what was a panic situation a little closer to stretch.

Further reading and a few other ideas:

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