Tipping Point

tipping point “commonly refers to a critical threshold at which a tiny perturbation can qualitatively alter the state or development of a system.”

My previous post talked about the upcoming season, setting goals and reflecting on what was achieved in 2011.  The next step was to set out goals for the upcoming year and as I looked back over the volume of training I did, the results, and my fitness I realized that I had achieved a lot but, at the same time, had not made the type of progress I could have had with a coach, a structured program and achievable seasonal goals. Rides were random and intervals and threshold training was done mainly in the races themselves which would be ok but a lot of time is wasted during the week with unstructured training.

As I set out to determine my seasonal goals I reflected on what I was capable of doing 20+
years ago, three years ago and this past year. Back in the 80’s I had form, three years ago I was fast-tracking old age (see pictures below) and in the past year I crossed a line that gave me hope of being an athlete again, albeit a recreational one. There are no silly illusions but I want to see how far I can go.




A noticeable tipping point in potential and finding form for 2011 came last week when I completed a second functional threshold power test (FTP) down at Ascent Physio with my coack Alicia. My FTP ( a measure of sustainable power for one hour) was up 21 watts from last spring. More importantly, I am lighter than I was in May (10 pounds) so this result will really help when I hit climbs and my watts per kilogram has moved to my advantage.

Strength and power zones have all showed improvement and I have to credit the computrainer classes with Alicia and the total body training from Greg at CrossFit Canmore.

With FTP data in hand my coach is now able to formulate an achievable seasonal plan based on goals, race selection and hours available to train.  This is a great advantage to any athlete; no more fumbling from week to week trying to decide what to do and then talking yourself out of half the things you probably should do. With my coach and training plan I now see the route that has me on a direct path that will ride deep in to the heart of stage racing with the expectation of solid results.

We (coach and I) recently met over coffee to discuss the upcoming season and I found myself, ironically,  at another cross-roads or a mental tipping point. Do you train to race consistently over the entire season or do you train to peak and take a great result? I stumbled and struggled with this question this morning as I find the former to be a goal but the rider from a previous generation disagrees. Time will tell but at this point and I will put my faith and trust in to my coach and follow the path that she has laid out for the season.

lets move!

About James Kendal

From finding form to building form
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3 Responses to Tipping Point

  1. Raf says:

    Great post James! Looking forward to seeing you at the races this season and nice improvement on the FTP!

  2. Angela Gabaldon says:

    Im impressed, great post! You Mr. James Kendal inspire me every Tuesday morning to be stronger and to push myself more to become a better cyclist. Your good company, AC/DC and all, here is to Alicia Evans, good music and bicycles!!! See you soon, ciaoooooooo

  3. Alicia says:

    Your blog is thought provoking, your journey is clearly inspiring others to strive to achieve personal goals. Looking forward to being part of it.

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