Are you stuck in a plateau? I know…it isn’t fun: That frustrating valley between two fitness breakthroughs where you are working harder than ever with little gains to show from it. You might not be stuck in a plateau now but listen closely as you most likely will at some point soon.
I love river swimming. I especially enjoy swimming up-river when the current is on the high side. When this is the case, you will be swimming along and then out of no where hit sections where you go no where even though you are swimming harder than ever. You are stuck…momentarily. Most people when they hit these sections in the river pull their head up, stop swimming, and look around in frustration at the lack of progress. When they do, they get pushed down river only to start back after losing much of the progress they have made. Instead, the smart thing to do is keep swimming when you reach these intense sections – stay steady. Eventually, almost always, the current releases and you take off. Surprisingly, after most sections of heavy current, there is a section of seemingly no current where you feel like you are flying.
The same is true with plateaus. Plateaus are normal periods in training, and as long as you treat them as such, there is usually a big breakthrough at the end. But…you have to keep moving. You cannot stop and pound your fist in frustration, and you also shouldn’t bury yourself in over-training. Instead, stay steady and consistent with your plan. The slack current is just ahead for those who remain steady.
I find so many get stuck in these plateaus over and over in their training and never reach the glory land on the other side. Don’t let this be you – have faith in what you cannot see and keep moving.