Less is more?
The idea that less is more has been on my mind lately. The concept of expressing your ideas in the most elegant and efficient way was drilled into me during high school English and creative writing. I’ve been writing a lot lately and as I go back and reread some of these blog posts I’m sure that Ernest Hemmingway is spinning like a top in his grave. I try, and I’m having fun which in the end is all that matters. The fact that several people have told me the enjoy it is just icing on the cake, their words encourage me to continue.
So the law of “less is more” works in literature, how about training. My buddy tells me it does. He once quoted some wise old endurance athlete who told him, “Start slow then taper off.” I love that line. It seems like Chris Carmichael has made a living lately telling folks they train too hard and don’t give their bodies time to adequately recover. He wants people to train smarter not harder. Less is more again.
My personal experience is this: When I start cranking up the frequency and duration of my riding as I always do in April and May I get faster, more comfortable and have more fun. It sounds so enticing; the idea that we can work less and gain more, and I suppose for elite level athletes training specific attributes that may be the case, but I doubt that many of us are really pushing are bodies to the point where they can’t recover.
If you’ve been following along you’ll know I recently boarded the HAMMER TRAIN, as Miles put it. I purchased and used some Hammer nutrition products and have also been reading some of the literature that comes with them. Less is more shows up again, as the Hammer folks claim that most athletes overdo nutrition by trying to replace their fuel at the same rate it is expended during a workout or event. They explain that the stomach/GI tract is only capable of absorbing so much fluid and calories during exercise. Too much leads to poor performance or worse. Less is more.
The shifting action on my bike has been really going downhill recently. I’ve oiled it then went back and oiled it some more. I tracked the problem down to the cable slide underneath the bottom bracket. I oiled it and it got better for a few days, I oiled it again and was better for one ride. I oiled it again, it didn’t help. I realized my bike was covered in nasty black oil flung off from the chain and that doesn’t become someone who thinks he knows enough about cycling to write a cycling blog. I spent some time cleaning anddegreasing my bike and with the help of one little free upgrade it shifts better then it did when it was new. Want to know what that upgrade was? I’ll tell you later. (CLIFFHANGER!) When it comes to lubrication, less is more.
In the good news department I hit a new low again today. 246.5 pounds. There is about 30 less pounds of Matt Gholson then there was at this time last year and I can feel it climbing. I can shift down to a low gear and spin up, I can leave it high and mash up, I can stand and sprint up. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means fast, I’m probably not all that much faster then I was last year, the thing is it just feels faster, easier and better.