Consistency Vs Flexibility

Posted: August 16, 2010 in It's All Important Stuff

Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago. Bernard Berenson


Most of us are creatures of habit – I certainly am.  Repetition is the basis for habits, both good and bad.

A consistent routine allows you to relax and enjoy the familiarity, even in unfamiliar surroundings, like a new race venue or office setting.  I like to lie in bed for a few minutes, squirm and stretch and plan my day before I get up in the morning. Popping straight up when the alarm goes off starts me off in a stressful state that lasts all day.

Over the years I have also developed a very specific view as to how I should be training.  When focusing on a specific goal, the discipline to execute consistently comes fairly naturally.

Let’s parse this though.  The important part to keep consistent is “doing it”.  Working out in the morning before work, swimming with the masters team, Martinis after the Thursday ride.  These all could be important habits which come from consistency.

However, how we go about our specific training should be flexibly adapted to our current goals, ability to recover, other life stress and so on.  My personal pet peeve are those guys who run 5 miles 4 mornings a week and have been doing so for 10 years.  Are they getting better? The answer is no.  In fact with each day the training effect is less.  They are actually becoming less fit.  Is it better than sitting on the couch? duhh, yeah, but let’s all understand what this really does.

Right now, today, I need to rethink my training.  I know more about my body today than I did a year ago.  Recovery is not as quick any longer.  I have different goals and different life stress to manage.  How I train needs to change.  This is the place to be flexible and adapt.

My new habit will be: to consistently re-evaluate and flexibly adapting my training.

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