June 9, 2020 – Raising the Floor

Hi Guys!


I thought I’d share a concept I heard which resonates and which I think can apply to a lot of our lives. There are two different ways we can try to improve: we can raise the ceiling, or we can raise the floor. What does this mean? Raising the ceiling is raising our high water mark. It is the best we can achieve. It is our “personal best”. It is a nice bar to know is there – everyone likes to know that they are capable of great things when they put their minds to it. Theoretically, if we keep raising our ceiling, we keep getting better. And in some ways we can become defined by our “ceilings”. But sometimes they can be “one-off’s” and they’re pretty rare and hard to achieve.


But there is another way to improve and that is raising our floor. That is our baseline consistent effort which we can go out and do on any given day. When our floor comes up, everything else shifts up as well. It’s just another way to measure progress and improvement in the absence of “personal bests”. Raising your floor in training is generally achieved by consistent, effortful, but non-“magical” runs and workouts. We can definitely continue to improve without setting new high water marks. Just inch our floors up a bit.


Of course I think of how this concept applies to other areas of life. How can we make a difference in changing the structures of the society we live in if we’re not running for politics or leading organized movements or giving life altering speeches which millions hear? I’d consider those actions raising the ceiling. Maybe we can raise our floors through our everyday actions, by how we treat people, by what we read and consume, by what we teach our kids. These aren’t life-altering revolutionary actions, but they will gradually pull us up.


Ok, onto workout options for this week:

  1. If it’s been a couple weeks since you’ve done hills, throw them back in! Pottery Rd – any combination of full and half hills.
  2. Riverdale Hill option – I tried this one and liked it (thanks Mike!) – Go to the West side of the park (towards the zoo) and run a stride along the grass towards the cement hill and up to the top. Take the stairs down and repeat 3-5 times.
  3. If you haven’t done the “strides” workout of 8-10 x 80-100m strides that’s a good one the throw in.
  4. Tempo: 20-25 minutes, then 5 x 1 min with 90 sec rest
  5. Workout: 6-8 x 600 with 1:30m rest 20 sec per K faster than tempo

Also don’t forget that it’s going to jump in heat and humidity again this week, so adjust times to effort accordingly.


Have a good one.