September
14

Rider Q&A: Are results linear?

Q: It’s been about 5 weeks since I’ve been doing the DB combo program and really like it. I do have a question for you regarding results.

I wonder if you could talk a bit about the relationship between exercising and when results appear. It does not appear to be a linear relationship. For example, there are occasions where I can workout with the DB combo, then take a day off, ride the next and have a real difficult time, almost like I’m taking a step back (digressing)… this is after seeing an improvement in the prior week. Conversely, you may be exercising/riding for a couple of weeks you may not see any progress then one day, bang your clearing technical steep uphills that you couldn’t do before.

I guess the question is, are positive results linear or do they occur randomly over a period of time ?

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Ah, the ultimate question – how do I know when and what type of results I will get? There are so many factors that can go into it that it can be tough to say. For example, if you did a hard workout and then did not get a good nights rest and then had a bad day at work you will most likely feel that you have taken a step back on the trail. Remember that Training + Recovery = Results. A lot of stuff can detract from your recovery which can slow your results. That is why it is so tough to draw direct parallels from pro athlete’s training programs because they have so many advantages in the recovery side of things that the training side can be very misleading.

However, there is some evidence that results can happen rapidly in short periods after relatively longer periods of no results. There is certainly not a linear line when it comes to results. This is why consistency of effort is so important and why it can take years of training to really get several levels higher. At first results can come quickly but the longer you train the harder it is and longer it takes to get to the next level. Going from 60% of your potential to 80% isn’t that tough. Going from 80% to 90% is much tougher. Going from 90% to 95% is very tough. Each 1% increase after that is extremely tough and that is why so few people really realize their true potential in anything.

The take home message is that what you are experiencing is a normal part of the training process and should be embraced and not a source of frustration. Time and consistency will see you to the next level and most people will quit before they realize that.

-James Wilson-

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  1. Jacq says:

    Great advise James. I will keep that in mind when I hit the trail today practicing how to hop over large logs. It has been the one thing that really slows me down on the trails… after learning how to mountain bike for three years now, I can ride pretty technical trails now except that I have not learned how to hop over obstacles. Love your blog. Keep up the great work!

    Reply • September 18 at 10:26 am

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James Wilson
Author and Professional
Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson