Routine vs Practice; New 7hr 4m Everesting record set; the benefits of walking.
There's a difference between a workout routine, and workout as a practice.
When you workout as routine, you're doing it because you always do it. Like brushing your teeth, it's suppose to be good for you, so you do it. You go through the motions.
There are good routines, and bad routines. If you're reading this you've probably mastered a fair number of helpful, productive routines. A good routine helps guarantee things get done (like the routine of working out in the morning
), and can save energy by not requiring much mental power to begin taking action. But that is where the benefits of a routine end.
Practice and routine are different. When you practice, you actively engage, searching for ways to improve. You concern yourself with efficiency, speed, weight, and hold every variable up for review. You question your decisions, your methods, and test everything. Your senses and self-awareness naturally increase. Every workout becomes a living experiment. The results of a workout are not viewed as good or bad, but as explainable results based on prior choices. Practice can result in leaps in performance and unique solutions to difficult problems.
In practice you look for interconnectedness: how your sleep, eat, rest, recover, all play into account when it comes to athletic performance. A routine ignores all of this. In routine you go through the motions as if each activity is 100% insulated from another.
A routine can be killed by failure. In practice, failure is acceptable, anticipated, and embraced for the change it promotes.
A routine can be derailed by change. Practice promotes change, and seeks the inherit opportunity change affords.
A routine is boring. Practice is fascinating. Practice requires your body and your mind to be 100% engaged. People who follow a routine think they know everything there is to know about their sport. When you practice you can't wait to learn more, and your respect for the process makes you humble and receptive to learning more.
Your life can be lived as routine, or as practice. What will you choose?
And now for your weekly TT Times newsletter:
Training Thoughts and Updates:
- Ronan McLaughlin, a relatively unknown Irish cyclist, set the latest Everesting record of 7hrs 4mins. Dethroning Alberto Contador (2x Tour de France champion) by 20 minutes. McLaughlin followed a methodical method of pursuing marginal gains and refining his route (having set a top 10 Everesting time just two weeks before his record breaking ride). McLaughlin shared his methods and insights with Josh Poertner, of Silca pumps and Zipp wheels fame, in a fascinating interview on the Marginal Gains podcast.
- Not all routines are bad, and one of my favorite routines is my morning walk. The health benefits of walking are well established, but the mental benefits cannot be overlooked. As Nietzsche once said, “It is only ideas gained from walking that have any worth.”
Quote that Struck a Chord:
Remember, proper practice embraces failure:
“Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.” - Wilma Rudolph, US Olympian and gold medalist.
Have a great week!