Jill’s Story

3 Tips to save you 10 years of waiting for your next P.B.

By Paul Roberts

“Successful coaches realise quickly that the process of taking an athlete from their current reality to their desired outcome is so much more about the athlete than it is about themselves.”

For this reason, I want to introduce you to a lady that I have had the pleasure to work with for the last 10 years; she is a great example of taking personal responsibility and learning to a whole new level. She will briefly share her story with you here and in the video.

In 2004 Jill was on top of the world. A year without work in 2003 had been a year of cycling personal bests and Jill was starting an exciting new business providing catering solutions for Business in the city.

Fast-forward to 2010 and Jill had spent the previous 5 years clutching at any indication of cycling progress with little to no reward. The business had grown rapidly and taken over. Where Jill had a great ratio of work to rest in 2003, she had switched to an all work and no rest ratio for the next 5 years. Something had to give!

The form and performance Jill had experienced with ease in 2003 returned and was surpassed in 2012 after making some pretty radical changes to her work life, training and approach to well being.

So here’s the three tips that Jill thought it would be prudent to share with you about how she turned from a struggling, under-performing endurance athlete to a champion high performing racing machine.

So what are the top 3 tips Jill has for you to save 10 years?

1) Not all training is equal, some will drain, and some will train.

Remember what you are training for! Getting sucked into the group doing junk miles when you need to be working on a better quality session can lead to over reaching, under recovery and freezing your progress.
Stick to your goals, not someone else’s.

2) If you want performance improvement, you had better take your recovery seriously.

During the years that I felt little progress I used rest days to cram more work, personal stuff and domestic duties into my diary, I spent those days wired with jobs coming out of my ears. Not a recipe for growth.
One of the greatest changes to my training has been my approach to recovery days, I now feel no guilt sitting still, stopping early, spending time on my mobility and taking it easy, in fact, I now enjoy them as I can feel myself getting stronger allowing the training efforts to absorb.

3) Don’t sweat what you can’t control.

Conserving energy from all wasted pastimes has been a revelation in driving my adequate recovery. Here’s a few of the traps that I regularly fell into during my 5 years in the wilderness.
Comparison will cripple- when things didn’t work out for me I spent far too much time worrying about what my competitors where doing. Focus upon yourself and control what you can control.
Dwelling on what ifs’- once a decision, a meal, a thought, a session or a race is done, it’s done. Spending time wondering what if in the aftermath is wasted. If you have a lesson to learn, learn it and move on.
Being too number focused- enjoy what your doing, I love my sport and during tough times sometimes I got way too focused on numbers for certain sessions. I have learnt to sometimes just let go and enjoy the ride for what it is; great time spent in the fresh air doing what I love.
Pressure of missing sessions, let it go- this is essential, if you miss a session, let it go! Trying to cram it into the rest of your week will leave you short of adequate adaptation energy and adding the session back in is likely to do more harm than good.

Enjoy the video!


Paul Roberts