Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shadd Smith shows how to peak for the Gateway Cup and Beyond!

Photo from "Outside Magazine"

Peaking should be simple right? "train hard, rest, recover, PEAK!" Simple. Well..... not so much. Everyone peaks a little different and the timing of a peak is different for everyone, yet also crucial to the athlete. Without an objective way to decipher how your performance is progressing, peaking becomes a guessing game.

Some people think that peaking happens immediately following a rest. Some can't rest or they'll be stale. Some need to rest, then build into a peak shortly thereafter. Some just think they're resting when actually they're not. Some just.... well, you get the idea. The bottom line: You need to be objective in order to understand how you peak and how to best use that to help you.  Hopefully, that can help all of us avoid that particularly frustrating scenario of peaking just after your BIG EVENT.  I see that happen more often than not... where the peak is missed by 5-10 days.  D'oh!

I'm going to talk about Shadd because deciphering how his peak truly worked and how best to extend it for multiple days challenged me. It took some time, and some combing through power files before we dialed Shadd in... just in time for Gateway Cup! The result: 4 top placings at the premier event in the Midwest, new season Max Powers for all time indices between 35s and 0:02:18. Also, new 2009 season Max powers between 0:4:47- 1:43:27. That's an across the board significant improvement in his ability!  This can be credited with the superb field and hard racing but Shadd still had to be able to produce these numbers or they wouldn't happen.

Furthermore, the final 5 minutes of an Elite Criterium are typically where you'll see the hardest efforts of the day. During those, Shadd produced some normalized powers of: Friday: 364W, Saturday: 443W, Sunday: 371W, Monday: 441W.  Those are definitely "WOW!" numbers and PRO quality. What does that tell me about his form? It means that he's holding his form throughout the 4 day event without any drop off. Shadd trusted me with the responsibility to get him on form and so far, we're both delivering!

Shadd then continued his upward trend from Gateway by notching a win in this year's Hermann Cross: Under the lights.  Keep an eye on him as he mixes it up with the big boys at Vegas Cross!

Obviously, Shadd can tell the story of his 2009 success better than I can.  If you see him, just ask!