I’ve been thinking about this idea of reduced effort for quite a while before I read this article by Derek Sivers: https://sivers.org/relax
In it, he talks about how he’s going super hard on this bike route and it’s making him exhausted. It’s not really that fun anymore. But when he dials back the effort (quite a bit in his case), his time only suffers slightly. His all out effort was only gaining him a 4% percent faster time.
I think about this on the bike a lot. Mainly because Paul tends to ride about 1-2mph faster than I do on the flats. It’s not a huge difference, but over an hour or two it can really make my legs burn to stay with him. I’ve found that by dialing back and falling off his pace, I can finish just a couple minutes behind him but feel significantly better than I would have if I’d tried to keep up. And that lets me keep happily biking (that day, the next day, etc). And he gets a nice rest break to boot. It’s kind of win/win.
But reading the article reminded me of this. And it’s been spinning around in my mind a lot over the past couple of weeks. For biking, especially as I contemplate a real and actual Everesting attempt. With my anti-racism and racial justice work. With my day-to-day job. Even with simple things like cleaning the house.
Comfortable, continuous effort for long-term, sustainable results versus a hard, charging effort for slightly increased results but high risk of burn out. It seems obvious, but sometimes I need reminding.
And with that, I think it’s time to go stretch, relax, and watch some Star Trek.