Today's 90 minutes easy session on flat road was a perfect opportunity for me to catch up on some podcasts.
The episode I had chosen was a whopping 3 hours long. So, I thought, why not listen to it at 2x speed?
On one hand, the idea of increasing the playback speed to consume more information in less time sounds great. But, it is easier said than done, as I found out today.
It all started well but as the episode progressed, and I got a bit more tired, I found it harder to fully absorb and retain the information being presented. Certain words and concepts became harder to understand and I had to focus even more intently to keep up with the information.
Visualising what was explained, ignoring the external distractions that come with running, like my breath, the terrain, my route, and the occasional random thoughts that pop into my head, was also pretty challenging.
Today's choice was certainly too ambitious, as I listened to Lex Fridman's conversation with Dennis Whyte on Nuclear Fusion and the Future of Energy - an easy topic for an early Friday morning run!
I managed to achieve a 1.5x speed with reasonable comprehension, but there were a few moments when I dropped out completely. And let me tell you, my brain felt tired after that run!
So, my takeaway is probably an obvious one. While I may be capable of processing information faster than the speed I'm currently working at, a lot comes down to the complexity and familiarity with the subject I'm trying to learn, as well as external distractions. Next time, I'll go easier on myself and maybe listen to an episode on... quantum physics!
As someone who has lived in busy cities like London and Sydney for many years, I have come to appreciate the power of silence and the sounds of nature.
After years of being surrounded by the constant noise of traffic, sirens, and the hustle and bustle of city life, I have found that nothing soothes my mind and soul quite like the sound of birds singing and the peacefulness of nature.
It's a reminder that amidst the chaos of life, there's always a sanctuary of peace and tranquility to be found in nature. And I am so blessed to live in such a beautiful place.
As a runner, I know all too well the importance of recovery for my performance. One of the tools I use to aid in my recovery is an ice bath, also known as cold water immersion.
From a physical standpoint, I've found that the benefits of an ice bath include reducing inflammation, soreness, and muscle damage, as well as improving recovery time and performance. The cold water causes constriction of blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to muscles and decreases inflammation. I've especially noticed the benefits after intense exercise or a 100km race. The cold temperature numbs pain receptors, providing temporary pain relief while reducing muscle damage, and eliminating that involuntary intense twitching of my legs at night.
But the benefits of ice baths go beyond just the physical. I've also found that they have a big impact on my mind, improving my focus, concentration, and overall mental clarity, leaving me feeling more relaxed and less anxious. I think this is because the cold water stimulates the release of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators.
After a month-long break, and deep cleaning my ice bath, I jumped back in today with a 12-minute session at 5.6 degrees. And let me tell you, the love is definitely back.
This morning I gave in to the targeted endorsement by my favourite podcasters and subscribed to Athletic Greens, a supplement which promises to work wonders for my gut and to boost my energy levels.
Only time will tell if it lives up to the hype, but what I do know is that I am constantly looking for ways to experiment and change my daily rituals to optimize my mental and physical well-being in 2023
In time, I'll dive deeper (i.e. geek out!) into the specifics and look for performance differentiators, but for now, I'm targeting a few areas simultaneously with simple changes to create a baseline:
In running, achievements are the result of small improvements compounded daily through training and routines. Since I opened up to the opportunity to adopt the same approach to change and improve my life outside of running, I feel empowered by the prospect.
In my training plans and weekly schedule, I always make sure to include what I like to call "absorption" runs.
I believe the term was coined by Steve Moneghetti, and it refers to 30-45-minute runs at a very low intensity pace, so that the body has an opportunity to absorb the benefits of the hard workouts done previously.
Now, I know these runs have traditionally been called "recovery" runs, but I like to think that Steve's rewording highlights their value in a training program, rather than dismissing them as filler between workouts.
So here's to the "absorption" runs, and let's give those "recovery" runs a run for their money! Of course, the big catch here is that you still need to put in the hard workouts to have something to absorb.