Two or more years ago, I recall standing in my garden crest fallen due to water restrictions preventing me from watering my dying grass. Not long after people complained that their houses were burning and the entire bush, it seemed, was alight with bushfire.
I look back now in the midst of yet another extension to covid lockdown and more deaths and wonder who I was that experienced those calamities, so relatively small in the context of now, so huge in their realities. It doesn’t take much for me to drift even further back to New York, 911, and even that seems strangely small. We evolve and so too our view.
Today I have a training on the bike turbo. I’ve put the text from the explanatory notes from Sufferfest – my favourite app, below. What does it show? It shows our view evolves with us.
In short, to build your career you must not be afraid of stress. Stress is overload and, it is this that builds your capacity. However, it must be managed with interim periods of recovery and below stress in order to evolve you.
Sweet dandelions are the metaphor for operating below threshold. Low paced recovery – working below stress. Sweet dandelions are tender, mindful, sweet periods of contemplation without the anxiety of performing at your optimum.
So many people seek the all or nothing paradox – either stress free or always stressed work. This – as in the training with Sufferfest, is sub par.
When was the last time you bought, looked at, smelt sweet dandelions at work, felt poetic, sketched a flower, hummed a tune? If the answer is longer than 24 hours you are operating in the stupid zone, self sacrificial for what? Money? Glory? To prove what? That yr lovable because you gave it all?!-and if you want to live stress free, you are really seeking a death wish, it’s the only place on earth without stress.
If you find yourself dreaming of desert islands, no money, no worry, no work, no stress, you’d better see a coach or a doctor, it’s a self sabotage slow suicide pact. Please beware…
The notes from Sufferfest – replace FTP with optimum productivity at work
“As you increase intensity from 80% of FTP up to 100% of FTP, your legs begin to produce more and more metabolites, but the rate at which your body CAN clear them is almost the same. As you close in on 100% of FTP you suddenly are at a point where production of metabolites equals your clearance rate. Now move just a bit over FTP and those metabolites are going to continue to build until you drop your effort back below FTP.
To improve your bodies clearance rate for those metabolites, you need to spend a decent amount of time with more of those metabolites in your system than your bodies current clearance rate can handle.
That is what this session is all about, short hard efforts above FTP to build an excess of metabolites, followed by steady riding at 80% of FTP. This steady-state effort between surges is high enough that your body will still be working at max clearance rates but low enough that you can keep doing those surges over and over again, which is good for you because this is not a short interval.
While you can achieve the same training stimuli by holding shorter blocks above FTP, those sessions have their drawbacks. The main one is nailing the exact right intensity above FTP that will allow you to accumulate enough time in that metabolite flooded state. While we like to think our FTP is set in stone, the reality is it can fluctuate from day to day, which makes finding that balancing point for a session like that so difficult. You can easily go too hard and blow up early, or not go hard enough and never really push that clearance rate to the max. By hitting surges well above FTP, then holding an effort a good deal below FTP, any day to day variation in your FTP becomes less of an issue because you never have to dance 5W above or below it.
The added benefit to this Surge and Settle workout style is the boost it can give to your Anaerobic Capacity. An improved AC means you can recover faster, not just from sprint type efforts, but from repeated MAP and FTP efforts as well.