Sunday, January 31, 2016

Up and Over

A few years after I started my business, I approached a business broker about selling. Profits were bleak and the hours were long.

It wasn't until I prepared to release the business that I realized how much I loved it. In that moment, everything changed. I climbed the hill and pushed over into the magical descent into my life now.

I went up and over.

If you are a triathlete, chances are you have raced on some hilly courses. Most of us attack the hill (well, the first third of the hill). Then we hang on for dear life on the back half. As we approach the top, we back off, stop pedaling and coast down the other side.

The top triathletes don't attack the hill; they climb the hill at a challenging effort. They save their strongest efforts for the last third of the hill. As they approach the top they never, ever stop pedaling. They go strong over the crest and the first third of the descent.

How do you know if you are riding rollers/hills correctly? Check your VI (variability index on TrainingPeaks) from your last race. A VI benchmark of 1.05 or less sets you up for a great run. A VI over 1.05 means that your effort was choppy and you burned too many "matches" to run well.

Two mantras I use when racing hills (my ABPs):

  • Always Be Pedaling. This is especially true for small units. Anytime my speed is under 28mph I am pedaling. Rarely does my speed racing exceed that number.
  • Always Be Pushing. When the course is fast, it is easy to coast and rest. Resting is for after your race.

The key is to practice up and over in training. How do you know you are doing it right? When you no longer see the downhill as a time to rest. As you "flatten out the course" it all becomes work.

I find up and over applies to more than racing. I no longer look to coast in anything; my family, health and business. Anytime something is hard in my life, I have faith in my ability to push through. But when I reach my breaking point, I know that the descent is just on the other side. Instead of quitting, I remember that I just need to push up and over.

See you on the other side.


Sue started her triathlon journey with a 50 pound weight loss and continues as a multiple Kona qualifier. In 2013, she was named the Overall Ironman All World Athlete Champion in her age group and in 2014 won her age group at Ironman Texas. As a successful entrepreneur, she believes that, “You can run your business like your training and your training like your business!” As a coach (USAT Certified), she helps athletes to develop success in all areas of their lives: family, health and work. She blogs regularly at fewoman.com. You can find her on Twitter @fewoman.
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