Years ago I read a book titled Body, Mind, and Sport: The Mind-Body Guide to Lifelong Health, Fitness, and Your Personal Best. Its aim is to help you become the super athlete you want to be while expending as little effort as possible, working within the principles of Ayurveda (a form of alternative medicine native to India) to gradually build fitness without stressing the system. Stimulate, don’t stress the system, says this book.
When I started bike commuting, I felt obligated to turn every leg of my journey into a high-intensity interval. And then when I had bus access, I got hooked on the bus, because riding the bus is way easier than putting myself through a rigorous workout to and from work. And then I grew older and wiser and decided to actually employ the stimulate-not-stress principle I’d learned years ago. So I’ve recently become hooked again on bike commuting over the bus, and I’m having a lovely time cruising along rather than racing myself. Ain’t in no hurry, just toodling along with a smile on my face.
This book strongly influenced me in regard to breathing: I started doing yogic breathing (although didn’t know that’s what I was doing), meaning that whenever possible I breathe only through my nose. The idea is that as you train, you build cardiovascular strength, and will ultimately reach the point where you can run/bike/etc. as hard as you want or fast as you need and still easily breathe only through your nose, ensuring that 1) you are only stimulating, not stressing your system, and 2) you are retaining prana (life force), because prana wants nothing to do with mouth exit/entrance. I dunno, it made sense in the book.
Plus, gently stimulating my system doesn’t make me super hungry, so adhering to the W30 is easier. I remember training last summer, when I’d go training for a couple hours, and then come home and eat everything not nailed down. Sure, it was fun, but I was hoovering up a lot of garbage.
True fact: I’m already feeling the W30 chill come over me; my daughter is again sitting next to me eating homemade cake balls and I’m utterly uninterested. Where the obsession nettled, only peace remains (at least today).