First law of thermodynamics

Hi Everyone!


Big congrats to Fran who ran the San Diego half marathon with minimal training and had a fantastic run! And to Anna who ran an ultra this past weekend. I can’t recall the distance (sorry!) because after a certain distance it doesn’t even compute in my head. Way to go!


Last week I spoke about group energy and how we can share it with each other for free. This is true. However, I’ve been thinking lately about individual daily energy. The kind that follows the First Law of Thermodynamics: “energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be converted from one form to another.” As this applies to our daily lives, our energy can be converted into running long, running fast, lifting weights, biking, swimming, etc… That all comes out of the same pool, so we can’t do it all at once. It can also be converted into thinking, being present in relationships, showing up for our jobs, volunteering, doing chores, … This all comes from the same pool of energy as our athletic output. I think about this a lot as well. We can (and should) choose where to spend our energy, so it’s not a first-come-first-served scenario. Everyone wants a piece of your energy. People will rarely say “you’ve given enough”. But it is actually a finite resource.


This dawned on me recently as one of my athletes (who I won’t call out but is on this list) noted that she didn’t do her long run because she was volunteering doing physical labour at a camp for the weekend and wanted to show up fresh. It struck me what a generous and intentional application of the first law of thermodynamics that was. It occurred to me that I would have probably done my long run and shown up diminished, with less to give in an attempt to “fit it all in”. But when we do this, we are spreading it out. That is ok and for most of us, these are the choices we have to make. Just know that you can decide and be intentional about it. You can shift it one way or the other, but don’t expect to be able to give 100% in every domain.


Everyone here lives a very full life with endless demands on their energy. That is to be celebrated for sure – we are valuable, needed and important! I do think that the nice thing about when we commit to training, whether it’s for marathons, triathlons, or other, is that we are saying “I am dedicating this amount of energy to me”. We are taking it back, whether others want it or not (they do). Is it selfish? Sure. But as long as it’s premeditated and intentional, I think we owe it to ourselves to devote a parcel of it to us.


On to tomorrow’s workout – back to hills! I’m liking Pottery these days – just such a good way to boost fitness without as much mechanical pounding as the speed. Let’s do reps of 1 x Full/ 1 x Half so we can get good efforts out of each.

I think we can aim for a range of 4-6 reps of that sequence (6 might be a lot – if you’re noticeably losing power and form, call it)


I’ll aim to be at Pottery around 6:05-6:10. Beach ppl, that is 1 x 400m/1 x 200m. Meet at Queen and Glen Manor at 6:00 am.


See you in the am!