To thrive, do you think or do you act? Both? Which happens first?

Did the chicken insist the egg came first? Or was it the egg that gave way to the chicken?Which comes first, the chicken or the (cracked) egg? Or rather crassly, does the rooster not come first? (End of year dad joke apologies).

David Abbott, an above average runner, and a coach says on X, “Don’t follow a training plan; follow a training philosophy.” Thinking and acting go hand in hand. So here’s why we think a philosophy and not a plan is a useful way to frame our thirst for success (however we might define success for ourselves).

Knowing yourself is important. Seeing your environment for what it is, is also vital. And these two bits of knowing, help us understand how they interact. So knowledge without action, is not living… and movement is life.

Further, movement for movement’s sake will get you anywhere, but probably nowhere far as you traipse or race in circles and squiggles. To do one moving/thinking without the other is not great.

Certain strengths apply (and so do weaknesses). And so in my running I outsourced analyzing the data and planning the program to a coach. Running is a game of adjustments. I’m far more confident in my ability because I have a philosophy that guides me; and I use professionals to put the physical plan in place for me. This allows me to focus on what is important to me, without having to worry about the details. And it enables me to take a long term view of my training (and life). So… when running, thinking plus action are a good bet to achieve success more readily, and those actions include in different proportion:

strength and speed intent to succeed teamwork makes the dreamwork1 – Bet on strength. It makes you faster, more resilient, and increases workload capacity. Strength training is a foundation to support running better (or any cardio exercise).

2 – Bet on base (that is, lots of easy work). Build a huge engine; big engines do easy work for longer. Jog as much as you can. Cycle. Hike. Put in many hours of easy work to build a big aerobic base. You won’t run a good marathon without the necessary endurance. “No base, no long race.”

3 – Bet on speed 1x/ week (ability/goal dependendant). Develop your “VO2 max”. Run fast on the track/flat. Go hard on the hills. Use the bike to get your HR high. 20-30 minutes of *skull* is all you need to see big fitness gains. These hard sessions push your endurance limit higher, just like strength does for your speed.

4 – Bet on build, then sharpen the axe. You’ve done the slow long stuff building base; building the endurance. Its time to unleash your new easy speed. Late in the game is when you throw down your specific-important runs. Long. Fast. The adaptations from these runs set you up for a better personal best. So, the base allows you to make quick adaptations to your short-term goals.

How does this apply to life and leadership?

Firstly, know yourself. While there is no “scientific method” or “foolproof solution” to this, a coach can assist with various personality profiles (birth order, Disc, Myers-Briggs, etc) and leadership styles.

Secondly, understand your cycles. That is, how to work on your base, how to get stronger strengths, where to bolster your weaknesses with help, and when to focus on adaptations to close the deals.

there is peace in changeThirdly, we all change, accept it. What is true for now, and today, will have changed tomorrow. We don’t always have the perspective to see or acknowledge the changes. Having friends, colleagues, and professionals assist us with these things will help. Often we overestimate what we can achieve in a month, but grossly underestimate what we can achieve in a year.

These are some things to think about over the next 2 weeks, the Holiday Season.

Here’s wishing you peace on Earth. We are not free until we’re all free. Here’s wishing you growth, so that we may all grow. Here’s to movement and life.