Ride the High-Performance Wave Longer

by Jeff Spencer December 06, 2016 2 min read

Ride the High-Performance Wave Longer

Jason told me what great several months of training and performing he’s had. I thought to myself, “Is he lucky, as rarely can a person put in top performances several months in a row.”

That’s the exception to the rule in the world of high performance. What’s normal for a great training program is to have a period of performance brilliance followed by a performance decline. The decline signals the body’s in need of a recovery that must be carefully controlled otherwise a delay in recovery becomes more possible. Delayed recoveries set the stage for preventable injury or illness - key things any competitor should avoid like the plague.

The usual script goes something like this:

I’m having a period of great performance and am euphoric over it.
I know it won’t last forever so I need to get the most out of it before I have the inevitable pullback in performance.
The intoxicating effect of performing spectacularly well and at the end, feeling as if you didn’t do anything is a performers nirvana.

Trust me, I know that all too well. Few things match that sensation. But, to try and ride the wave farther when it’s as good as it gets accelerates the onset of the falloff in performance. Ideally, when performances are at their best is when it’s best to pull back and do less to ride the high-performance wave longer. This is perhaps the hardest thing of all to do as you’re asking someone to purposely step away from heaven on earth. The mind answers this by saying, “You’re crazy, why would I want to pull back when I’m at my peak?”

To the uninitiated continuing to train and perform at higher levels is predicted along with the disappointment, injuries, and illness that come from pushing a percent or two too hard when a pullback is what’s required. When a pullback is done mind and body function increase enabling continued high levels of performance to occur along with great recovery.

On today’s 100km ride with friends I had a magic day as at the end I felt as if I hadn’t even ridden.

The temptations there to go and do the same ride tomorrow. No, thanks, I’ll pass.

I want to ride this wave as long as possible.

Jeff Spencer
Jeff Spencer

At just nine years old, I used to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to practice hitting a baseball up and down our street. That competitive spirit led to winning a national championship at just ten years old and then becoming an Olympian at twenty-one. For the past forty years, I’ve been a professional student of human achievement. I’ve been driven by this unshakable question: why do some people succeed and others fail? After retiring from professional competition, I went back to school to earned advanced degrees in health and wellness. In the decades since then, I’ve worked with athletes in nearly every professional sport, Olympic gold medalists, and millionaire entrepreneurs. I’ve had a front-row seat as I watched these world-class achievers do what they do. For more information: drjeffspencer.com


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