Mmmmm… pie.

I’m a visual learner. Concepts and information really don’t stick with me unless I read them, am able to conjure up a visualization, or write them down. Everything else goes in one ear and out the other. And if the idea is numbers-heavy, forget about it… I already have.

Because of this tendency, I like graphics and charts. Throw some information into a nice little diagram, and I am all over it. Succinct, structured, clear, fun colors- it doesn’t get any better!

I’m telling you all this because my sister sent me an article from the New York Times called Training Insights From Star Athletes, which features tips on organization, motivation, and concentation from professional endurance athletes. The part of this article that stuck with me were the parts about running was the section about the “energy pie.”

The general gist is this: Dr. David Martin, a physiologist at Georgia State University, helped a distance runner, Steve Spence, improve his performance by organizing his priorities into a pie chart called an energy pie. The pie was made up of all the things that demanded time and attention in Spence’s life, and slice sizes were determined by how much time they currently needed.

Spence realized that his training slice(s) needed to be bigger in order to reach his running goals, so he took an inventory of all the things in his energy pie and prioritized, leaving him with more training opportunities. Most notably, Spence carved out a massive slice when he quit graduate school to be come a professional runner. It was quite an extreme move, but Spence went on to make the 1992 Olympic team, and now coaches cross country and track at a Division II university.

All of that from a pie chart concept. Incredible!

So I’ve evaluated my energy pie, and here’s what I have decided to do: Quit my job and become a professional runner.

Ha! Kidding!

I need to get back to running before I evaluate my life pie, so I’m applying the energy pie concept to only my training energies for now.

What does my normal weekly training regimen entail? How can I reorganize so it’s better suited to my long term goals of world domination ongoing injury prevention and a marathon PR?

Roads, roads, and more roads.

And I wonder why I get injured every couple years? Lacking.

Let’s rethink this.

See?! More trails!

Less road miles, more strengthening. It’s a start!

Making pie charts is fun! Maybe I should factor in “pie chart making” when evaluating my life pie.

One more pie just for the heck of it.

If it isn't hoppy, I'm not enjoying it.

Mmmm… pie. What’s in your energy pie?

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9 thoughts on “Mmmmm… pie.

  1. this is why I hop on any piece of grass that looks like I can get a couple steps in. you know the pieces between curb and sidewalk…someone’s lawn. whatev’

  2. I love your beer pie chart. But you left out “doing back squats in the weight room” from your post-tendinitus training pie. Just saying.

  3. Oh man, I saw this post title and thought DOES SHE MEAN ENERGY PIE! Nice work, and don’t shy away from tackling the Life Pie (not Life of Pi) when it’s time.

  4. Love yoga! I just recently got into it and it’s great. My pie charts would actually look very similar to yours. I run at least a little 5-6 days a week and on my days off I typically do nothing =\ I need to add one day of lifting and one day of either biking or yoga to my schedule and cut running to 4 days a week… one long day, one hills, and one speed…. with the occasional train thrown in here and there. =) Good luck with your new plan!

    • Thanks, you too! Yoga and strength training seems to be an obvious must for me, but it feels so hard to build in and stick with sometimes!! Hills are my favorite. When I get back into it we should do some beastly hill workouts 🙂

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