Friday, January 11, 2013

What's Your Limiting Factor?

After our run at the Need for Speed clinic last night we had a little 'heart to heart' about our personal 'limiters'.  

In sport, a limiter is any performance factor that is holding you back.  Any factor that has stood in the way of you reaching your performance goal.  This could mean your climbing strength on the bike, your endurance in a long run or your skill on a technical mountain bike course.   I love this definition...

Limiting Factor: a factor or condition that, either temporarily or permanently, impedes mission accomplishment.
When looking at your goals for the coming year it is critical to analyze which factors are holding you back the most.  These are the areas that you should be shifting your focus towards.  In reality most of us gravitate to the things we enjoy most...which are nearly always the areas we are strongest at.  They feel good and make us feel good about ourselves so we do them more, there by strengthening the cycle.  The strong get stronger and the weak get weaker.
Well...let's face it folks, we all have weaker cogs in 'the machine' that could use a little more attention;)  When we train specifically to elevate these weaknesses we increase the strength of the entire machine exponentially.  We need to stop avoiding our weaknesses and start looking at them as portals to increasing our performance and reaching our dreams!  
This year, I challenge you to increase the amount of time and energy you spend on your limiting factors each day, week and month.  This focus will ensure you see positive changes that help you reach your performance goals for 2013.

We also looked at the complex concept of 'performance'.

Too often we become all consumed with the 'fitness' or physiology aspect of our sport.  This is, of course, an very important component.  But, it is in reality only one variable in the great performance machine!  
  • Physiology
  • Psychology (can you improve on this one?)
  • Skill (or this one?)
  • Tactics
  • Equipment
  • Environment (how about preparing better for this one?)
Each of these are powerful factors that have a huge impact on your performance.  And each of these factors is made up of a list of sub variables (of course:)  Many people forget that their physiology is not solely a product of their training sessions.   It too, is the result of many other variables such as:
  • Nutrition
  • Health
  • Rest
  • Fatigue
  • Travel
And each of these is a result of many variables...and so on... And you thought all you had to do was run faster to reach your goal, didn't you?  HAHAHAHAHA!

Feeling overwhelmed?  Don't think you have time to train all of these things?  How will you ever do it all!?  Don't fret my friends!  This is good news!  This giant list means that you have many many different variables that you can manipulate in your personal experiment to become a stronger, faster, fitter version of you;)  Have fun with it...AND be brave...try something different this year...

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein 

Didn't reach your goal last year?  Well, don't you think it's time you changed something? 

  • Do you take the time to consider all or very few of the variables listed above when it comes to your training program?
  • Which ones have you spent the least time on?
  • Which ones would you consider limiting factors?
  • Do you have personal experience / success from working on your limiting factors?  Please share your story!

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