It was a fun summer for the Moran family. Unfortunately, the fun included too much food and drink, and now I’m faced with losing a few pounds of extra me. So I’m back training and eating better.
As I was out for one of my runs the other day I had a revelation (as I sometimes do when I run), actually a double revelation – sounds like quite a run, I know. Nevertheless, I had two insights that I want to share with you. To start with you need to know that I don’t enjoy running. I don’t look forward to it, or feel like I miss it when I don’t do it. And I most certainly don’t get a “runners high,” not even close. What I get might be better classified as an “unpleasant experience that can’t end soon enough; high,” if you can call that a high; anyway, my revelations.
My first insight was around the impact a little extra can have. In my efforts to power through my run I typically do about 15 minutes. What I realized is that the hardest part of the workout is showing up. No kidding, it is the toughest part. Once I get there, doing it is not so difficult. Its all the excuses I come up with in my head that makes the getting started such a challenge. I realized that once I’m in my workout, once I’m out running, an extra 5 minutes or an extra mile is not a big deal. To tag on a few extra minutes to my run, or to go another mile or so is not that difficult. Perhaps it’s that “body in motion, stays in motion” thing. I don’t know, I just know mentally and physically it’s easily doable, but the impact can be huge. A little extra of the right stuff can make a huge difference in shortening the time it takes to get the result, as well as the magnitude of the end result.
My second insight dealt with the perspective of time spent on a particular activity. Again, back to my training. I’ve committed to working out 5 times per week. For the most part it takes me about an hour to get in a good workout. I know you can do the math, but that’s a total of 5 hours per week. Five hours out of 112 waking hours. That means I have 107 left after my workouts for all the other stuff I want to do. Clearly, working out five times a week does not demand a significant chunk of my time. At times it feels like it does, but really it’s less than 5% of my time. Even though the total time spent training is relatively insignificant to the whole of my time, each individual workout represents 20% of my total workout time. Here’s the really important part – skipping a workout adds very little additional free time to my week, but takes away significantly from the total time I’ve dedicated to training, and ultimately my results.
Now, just to be clear, dedicating more time is not always the best way to create a higher level of performance. In fact, in some cases it actually hinders your performance. But when it comes to a keystone or core activity often a little extra effort can accelerate your pace and increase your results.