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Co-opting addictive media for good

The dangers of social media and addictive technologies are well-documented. Reactions generally fall into two camps—accepting defeat or attempts at teetotalism. Both of these methods are flawed. But there’s a third approach: use the addictiveness for good.

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A Week of Self-coached Sprint Training

I’ve been self-coached for a few years now; a couple spent just weight lifting, and the last two seriously competing in open & masters track meets. I’ve learned a lot, and continue to tweak my program based on how my body feels and my reading. A couple points about my training history and goals before digging in:

  • I’ve been sprinting competitively for over 15 years now, with a couple 1-2 year breaks along the way. There’s a lot of miles on these legs!
  • I have a long history of hamstring issues. The worst of them left me with permanent scar tissue, so I’m always careful to warm up and cool down appropriately. I’ll also shut down workouts early if I’m not feeling right.
  • I primarily compete in the 100m and 200m, though I’ll run 60s indoor and the occasional 400 if somebody dares me.
  • I’m no speed demon: my personal best, set this year, is 10.73. Last time I checked, that might just barely squeak in at the bottom of the top 1000 Americans.

With that, here’s a look at my training log from a recent week:

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Be a Tryhard

Popular culture doesn’t seem to value hard work and grit: what’s glamorized is either effortless excellence (really, just the image of effortless excellence—ask these paragons and you’ll find all of them put in the work) and intentional ineptitude. Favoring effortless excellence isn’t necessarily too bad, though if you ask and get a straight answer out of these paragons, you’ll find that all of them have put in the work.

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March 2021 Review

I’m getting in right at the buzzer here, so no thoughts about the month.

Goal Tracking

  • 🟢 Get 1% faster. I hit PRs in both of my time trials! I managed 10.73 for the 100m and 21.85 for the 200m. I’m so close to hitting my goal of being 1% faster (10.69 in the 100m and 21.73 i the 200m), and it’s still pretty early in the year.
  • 🟢 50% less discretionary spending. My March discretionary spending was 87% lower than my average monthly spend in 2020. Looking good!
  • 🔴One hour of solitary free time a day. I did manage my sub-goal from last month of keeping track of my free time. Unfortunately, outside of weekends, I’ve managed a single hour of free time (maybe two, if you include the hour I’m writing this post in).
  • 🟢 Twice-weekly live conversations with friends. 4/4 again! I remain surprised at how this goal has gone—maybe I should have been more ambitious.
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Unconventional Productivity

I think I’m a fairly productive person—I thought it’d be interesting to categorize some of my work-style habits as following the conventional wisdom around productivity or not.

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