Monday, March 17, 2008

Like a cairn in the mist

I have another blog that I write to more occasionally - "Cairn in the Mist" - where I put up photos of my hillwalking trips in the Scottish mountains, as well as other photos and thoughts.

The idea of the title is that often when you get to the top of a hill you do not see anything - just a cairn in the mist....but that is not the point. The point is the walk, the process.

I've climbed lots of hills where, at the top, all you see is a cairn in the mist. Sometimes enjoying the climb, the journey, the process is more important than getting to the goal.

That idea is actually a rebuke to me to stop me being so focussed on getting the goal, the tick in my book. I need to slow down sometimes and avoid the stress that comes with being driven to get to a target. I need to appreciate the journey not just the achievement.

Anyway, all that is just to give some context to this link:

Lyle McDonald has put up a couple of really useful and thought-provoking posts on this topic:

UPDATE 19 March 2008

Vern Gambetta had something relevant to this on his blog

How often in training are we just chasing numbers rather addressing all components of athletic development? Numbers like Max VO2, max bench press, max power clean and 40 yard dash times are numbers – what do they mean? Do they really transfer to performance improvement or are they artifacts, mere curiosities that people have latched onto as being significant? I think we need to challenge conventional wisdom and see where these numbers fit into the big picture of athletic development. There is no doubt that it is easy to get caught up chasing numbers, and see better numbers, but what do those numbers really mean?

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