Earth has spun around seven times, so we’re back for Coach Tip Tuesday!
Simple is elegant.
Yep, that’s it. That is what I want to talk about this week.
The industry I work in (fitness/endurance sports) is literally RIDDLED with gadgets, hacks, and fancy workouts/tools. I keep an eye on what’s going on out there, but as I accrue more years as a full-time endurance coach, the more I realize that the “basics” are the basics for a reason. They work.
So, this post is a bit of “buyer beware;” just because something is “new” doesn’t mean that it’s actually going to work. It’s honestly probably just “new,” and it might not even be new. It might be a different take of something that is already out there. (Read: A more complex version of a basic idea put in different packaging to make you think it’s “new” and “better” so you buy it or into it).
Complicated is sexy and it sells (hence why so many companies and people in this industry choose to employ this tactic), but complexity can foster and breed ineffectiveness simply by being complex.
Complexity can be harmful because it can stand in the way of what you want to do and where you want to go. And the more things that stand in between you and what you want, the harder it is to maintain consistency over time. As you all know by now from reading all of my posts over the years, consistency is actually the secret sauce to all gains.
Now, there are times when it is appropriate to introduce new-to-you ideas and methods. To have something remain “simple” isn’t to say that we stop learning and exist in the same place forever. But even as we embark on a quest toward goals that are new and big to us, coming back to fundamentals - yes, the simple things - can often be the most effective way to get where we want to go with the highest probability of success.
The athletes I work with can tell you that I place a lot of value on consistently doing “simple” things. I include daily stretching on every athlete’s schedule. I encourage a proper dynamic warm-up, and I also encourage a mobility routine. Many of these elements never change in their training plans, and there’s a really good reason for that. They don’t need to change. They are effective simply by being doable and by being done consistently.
Sometimes we don’t need the “next” best thing. Sometimes, we just need the best thing, and the best thing can often be the thing we’ve been doing, a simple thing, or both.
Simple can be, and is, elegant. The next time you see a complex version of something you’re doing and are tempted to implement it, ask yourself WHY you are seeking to change something. If what you’re doing feels simple and it’s working, you very well might already have the best thing. :)
Coach Laura Henry
Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.