Coach Julie recommends: Atomic Habits by James Clear
As a goal oriented person, someone who has been setting goals since I was a young swimmer, this book shook up my thinking and approach. Instead of “I want to break 5 hours a X Race”, my mental approach needed to change. Achieving that goal is a momentary change, what next? I understand the concept of process goals, but Atomic Habits clarified it 100%.
- Change the system, to get the results: Daily/weekly commitments that become habits. IE: 10 min of mobility each AM, to help with balance and form in running, which will keep me strong for the last 10K of marathon in Ironman.
- Goals are at odds with long-term progress: The purpose of setting goals is to hit a time or place but the purpose of building systems is to continue to improve each and every race.
- The Two-Minute Rule for Building Lasting Habits: If you want to to run well off the bike, you need to break it down. Off each bike I will run 5 minutes, that is step one and attainable, then you build on that to longer runs, faster runs, etc.
Coach Alison recommends: Brain Training For Runners by Matt Fitzgerald
“Brain Training for Runners” helps us understand the brain’s role in our interpretation of fatigue and how to “train” the brain to re-calibrate its fatigue point
- The brain’s job is to anticipate catastrophe and avoid it, so it produces feelings of discomfort and reduces muscle activation in anticipation of fatigue, not because you’ve actually run out of energy
- Every time you execute a workout (running, biking, swimming, whatever) and experience fatigue but are able to keep going your brain re-calibrates when it anticipates fatigue
- So every workout serves two purposes: it’s developing actual physiological fitness, and it’s teaching your brain how long you can hold any given effort level and still be okay
Coach Laura recommends: The Way of Integrity by Martha Beck
This book completely clarified everything that felt off about the way we set goals and gave language to that dull sense of apathy that might be lurking underneath brief spurts of motivation or undercutting our ability to power through. As Martha Beck says, “Integrity is the cure for psychological suffering. Period.”
- The problem isn’t how hard you’re working, it’s that you’re working on things that aren’t right for you. Your goals and motivations aren’t harmonizing with your deepest truth. They didn’t come from your own natural inclinations – they came from the 2 forces that drive us all off our true paths: trauma and socialization. If whatever you’re doing isn’t working, the answer isn’t to do it harder.
- The way of integrity breaks down the process of attaining personal integrity into small, manageable steps, teaching us how to read the internal signals that lead us towards our true path, and to recognize what we actually yearn for versus what our culture sells us. One interesting concept that I’ve been using since reading the book that the direct opposite of your most agonizing belief is always the next step towards your awakening.
- You don’t have to believe your thoughts. In fact, if they’re causing mental anguish, you should really consider not believing in them. You can start to identify and question your beliefs through a specific 4-step process that Martha Beck outlines in the book. After all, the only true statement we can make is that we don’t know.