Body Performance - Part Three
Creating Time & Energy For Big Goals
In Part One I laid out my philosophy of Body Performance:
Know Your Goal
Trust Your Body To Find Its Way
The Importance of Emotional Stability
In Part Two I recommended you pick one target:
I laid out how you could shift your focus with the seasons. Across all seasons, I recommended you create a life situation where gains are inevitable.
Inevitable gains come from consistent work supported by:
By getting the basics right, I predicted you would improve without needing to increase load.
This article is about the nuts & bolts of positive change.
What I mean by stress reduction
How to create an environment focused on excellence
Stress has both an internal, and an external component. Let’s start by considering the internal experience of stress.
The Say-Do Gap
What do your actions say about your goals?
I ask because most endurance athletes act as if they are focused on driving weight down.
It’s deeper than a desire for fat loss. In our demographic, there is an enduring obsession with getting lighter and lighter.
If that’s you then own it.
To shift your actions, shift your identity.
Strongest training weight - I want to be strong.
Stable weight - I want to hold my weight.
Serene - I want to enjoy the process.
Nurturing - I want to take care of myself.
Strong - Stable - Serene - Nurturing
This shift in attitude will align your goals and your actions.
An integrated approach starts a virtuous circle:
Lowering the internal chatter.
Reducing the likelihood of a downward spiral.
Decreasing your internal stress.
To make the shift easier, get your environment right.
I’m going to start at the World Champion level. What does it look like when performance is our #1 priority?
Choosing Less & Reducing Stress
Listen to champions and you will hear the themes of this section repeat.
Build the environment.
Reduce life complexity.
Limit decision making.
What are they trying to tell us?
Schedule - control it, insert empty space, block out training & recovery time
Commute - kill it or bike/walk it
Friction - reduce it via home gym, home town choice and habit energy
Boss - be my own sponsor
Travel - keep the goal in mind
Time Zones, Heat, Altitude - limit stressful transitions and use with intent
Ownership - limit choices requiring time & emotion
Noise - limit
Anything That Disrupts Sleep - goes
Alcohol, Drugs and Anyone Associated With Them - goes
Triggering Situations & Relationships - goes
It took me 15 years to get control of the above, then my kids arrived.
My success matched my commitment.
Same with the athletes I coached.
I’m a performance nut. Let’s keep it real.
I have ideas for you…
I started with a much shorter list.
I was working full-time
Traveling >100 days a year
Training for Ironman
This list represents achievable excellence.
Sleep - Inside a cool room => earplugs, eye shades and blackout curtains.
Commute - Pay a premium to drive less.
Schedule - Limit disruptions to the routine.
Start every day with exercise
Short workouts at lunch
Go back to work in the evening, when required
Binary - I trained everyone around me by being 100% consistent. It takes time. People love to tempt us. You can handle temptation. It’s useful training for pace control in a race.
Less - Accept less to control your focus. In most areas of my life, I am less successful.This gives me the time and energy to focus on my One Thing.
Take these five principles and make them your own.
Sleep - Commute - Schedule - Binary - Less
Whatever your goal, getting the key five locked down will make a difference.
Did you notice what’s not there?
Food Group Elimination
Training Intensity Prescription
We are easily distracted.
Sleep - Commute - Schedule - Binary - Less => these are root level.
This is where you get the time and energy for big goals.
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Back To Table of Contents
The downward spiral is laid out in Part Two of my Overtraining Series.
My articles on Olav Aleksander Bu & The Bergen Boys and Nils van der Poel have embedded podcasts that are worth your time. Champions live simple lives.
Travel with the goal in mind. What’s the goal? Crossing time zones, being in airports and getting tired does not support success. Stay put, do work, recover.
Set a time every day when the work day stops. Screens off… focus on the PEOPLE who make your life special. Relationships endure far longer than athletic excellence.
My other Substack, True Wealth, shares lessons from a life of conventional success.