Complaining and microdosing

Hey Gang!


As usual, I left out a couple of results from last week’s Holiday 10K: Chris Fortin in what I think is a PB of sub-40 (wohoo!), and Ian Gray – honourary LES-er! I do believe races are done for a while – there is a Boxing Day 10 miler in Hamilton and a Hair of the Dog 9K New Year’s run in the beach if anyone likes to use those to celebrate those occasions.


I have a couple of messages this week. The first is inspired by my daughter who is doing the high school swim team. This means being in the pool at 7 am a few mornings a week. She loves swimming and the swim team but hates early mornings, being cold and being tired. I am letting her come to her own decision on this, and as a result she has “quit” and rejoined twice (the quitting has been unofficial as I believe everyone makes the team and they’ll take who they can get at 7 am). Yesterday morning she had nothing good to say at 6 am. It was all, I hate this, why do I do it, it’s cold, I’m tired, this is the worst. I let her vent and then reminded her that the night before she had said she was going, so we were up, and this could be the last one. I texted her after the practice to see how it went and she said “it was good. Sorry for being dramatic”. And I totally got it. I was like, “complaining is totally part of it! My friends and I complain all the time before we do hard and uncomfortable things. And then we go and do it”.  I told her it’s totally fine to complain – it seems to release something – but then you put your head down and do the thing.  Again, there is something undefinable that we love about pushing ourselves and doing hard things, but that doesn’t mean we have to pretend to enjoy every instant of it. If complaining loudly gets you through, go for it. I’ll listen politely and then say “ok, now let’s go”.


The other idea I wanted to share this week is the concept of “micro-dosing”. As popularized by Silicone Valley, it’s the idea that you don’t have to do the full thing in order to reap the benefits. In fact smaller doses might work better in many scenarios. In this case I’m talking about exercise not mushrooms, but now that I’ve embraced the concept I find it applies to many things (cleaning, shopping, even socializing!) I first started to pitch the idea as a way to get plyometric training into some of the athletes I train. Yes, having a full session devoted to that is great, but it rarely fits schedules perfectly and is the first thing to get knocked off a list of priorities. So instead, we tell them to a little bit at a time. Some hops before a workout, a set of little jumps in between heavier lifting sets, 20 seconds after a run. It all adds up. We can get attached to our ideas of big workouts and accomplishing large chunks of work, but little bits can really go a long way. 10 push ups in the morning, a 15-20 minute run, 10 one-legged hops while you’re standing in the dog park, … It really is better than nothing, and often is actually better than the full dose. Especially at this time of year when the full dose could put you in a stress hole or energy deficit. Just sprinkle little bits of energy around – it’s a mindshift, but I promise it adds up and makes a difference.


On to tomorrow’s workout – let’s do a Fartlek Social! Bring lights – we’ll head into the beach but it’s pretty dark in some sections. Meet at Lakeshore and Leslie – 6:05 Drills, 6:15 GO!


Let’s keep it simple with 2 minutes “ON”, 1 minute “OFF”. Paces can be tempo/easy. 8-10 of them sounds about right. Actually, that’s a very similar workout to last week (a good range of stimulus for this time of year) – just with a different view.


That is all – see you in the am!