Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The older and more experienced (and more broken) I become, the less and less convinced I am of the need for "gut bustingly hard" herculean marathon efforts to attain exceptional results.

I've known my share of world class athletes and many (if not most) were NOT the hardest workers. I know this because if they had been trying hard in practice, there was no way I would have ever beaten them. And yet I beat them often in practice... and they destroyed me in competitions.

The "elite" work hard... very hard... sometimes. They can turn it on when they want to or need to, but most of the time they are cruising. Most of the time they are just cruising, making forward progress steadily, and making small, meaningful adjustments along the way.


Franz Snideman said...

Gerat point! I was never the best practice sprinter on the track and field team. I trained hard but seemed to do much better in meets. My brother was by far the BEST practice sprinter but he choked in meets!

Great point!!!

Boris said...


Anonymous said...

Boris, I came to the same realizations after reading some posts of Mark's Daily Apple (on "Primal Living"). It seems like in good training the frequency of certain intensity is to be inversely propotional to that intensity. Most of the time we should walk, sometimes run and rarely sprint very hard.

Ian King wrote that after third of workouts you should feel fresh. After another third - slightly tired. After the last third - exhausted.

I think this post connects with your post on caffeine. Caffeine allows people to do more - both physically and cognitively - but using it all the time diminishes its effect significantly and in fact prevents proper recovery.

Charlie said...

Yep, the older I get I find the more important it is to do just enough and not too much. I'm struggling lately to find that sweet spot. It's often tough to say to yourself, take a day off from training - ease off the peddle a little.

In Tai Chi it is said that doing too little is the same as doing too much. We have to find the "middle way."

In modern training terms we want enough training overload to elicit a positive adaption but not so much that we begin to break down.

Boris said...

Thanks Skor. I think the proportions are probably right on.

Thanks Charlie. Given a choice, it's better to under train than overtrain - don't know that that advice would hold in all fields, but it certainly seems to apply to strength training.

Petr said...

IN other words - live here and now (train here and now), not in the future (for future result and goal :)
Enjoy the way, not the goal.

Boris said...


Thank you Petr.