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This is an attempt to write down a set of principles. It is inspired from the example of Ray Dalio in his book (although I disagree with many of his principles).

A principle is some kind of heuristic that allows you to make better decisions by relying on a formalised rule or protocol. A lot of them are probably Cliches, but of course we don't believe of truly understand cliches until we have experienced them in person.

A reason for writing them down is to name them (see Murder Ghandi in Useful Tools), and make them easier to recall.

It also makes it possible to improve over time, by updating, removing, adding principles.

(not to self, should anything be split off into its own zetl? do so if need to link to it from elsewhere)


Don't be ashamed to walk

I had run on and off for years before finally getting a decent 10 months of running in 2018. For the first time I was improving consistently, running without any pain on injuries (until my ankle blew up at the end of the year). The big change came from buying Daniels' Running Formula. I had seen various run-walk and couch to 5k plans in the past, which included walk breaks in runs for the first few weeks/months, but as someone who has been active (cycling, swimming, gym, etc.) all my life, I always thought "nah, not for me, I am no couch potato, I'm trying to be a runner not a walker" etc. Seeing Daniels, whose plans can be pretty daunting, suggest walk breaks for beginning runners, finally got me to give it a go. For the first time I was able to run 5-6 times a day, get a solid base, never overstress my body and become injured, and launch into some proper training. It didn't take more than a few weeks before the plan dropped the walking breaks, but they were incredibly useful in getting my body used to the stresses of running.

Run every day to avoid injury

I have found that my body recovers better when I run every day. I used to keep Monday as a rest day, but have changed that to doing a quick, light 20 minute shakeout run instead (this is possibly superstitious, in my mind 'rest day' equals 'the day you somehow become injured'). A few theories why are:

  • It avoids becoming tight, which might alter my gait the next day, causing an injury
  • It avoid feeling very fresh on the post-rest day, going out too fast, causing an injury
  • It allows your body to become used to the daily stress of running, which makes it more able to recover
  • At the same weekly mileage, you will be running shorter runs if you run 7+ times a week
  • You simply get more practice, which results in better gait, and less injuries

Regardless, this seems to work great for me.

Be conservative about mileage increases, even if you feel great

After a good 10 months block in 2018, I eventually hurt my ankle. The day before I felt excellent, had a good longish run, finished strong. Looking back my mileage had been going up very fast, probably 20% over 2-3 weeks. While I felt good, the stress was compounding, and I eventually got hurt. This time I am sticking to an increase of 1km/weekly-run (Daniels suggests 1 mile), which will be 7-10k increase. This is per block, not per week. I do 4 week blocks, with 1 down-week (drop mileage 20% or so to allow me to recover) just before the mileage increase. This assumes no change in intensity, so if I am adding in a long run or some speed-work, the increase should be smaller. To give an idea of how slow this is, it to get from scratch (30km) to 100km, it would take more than 6 months! Maybe 9 months if being careful and increasing intensity.

Stretching (unsure about this one)

See Stretching. Currently do 15 mins a day, and seems to help keep knees feeling good.

Getting things done

Talk about motivation, habits, execution, planning, etc.

You need to be making progress fast enough

It is important to make progress daily, but it is not enough. You need to extrapolate your current speed and see if it is quick enough to reach your destination in an acceptable amount of time. This can be obvious for language learning for example (if I learn 20 characters a day, I will have learnt 5000 in 250 days, etc.), but can be easy to overlook in other cases.


Talk about reading, writing, notes, srs, languages, practice, etc.

The good life

Talk about stoicism, morality, cooperation, shiny balls of mud, tidying!, etc.



People follow incentives

Also: concentrated benefits, dispersed costs, etc.

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Last modified 2020-01-10 周五 13:11. Contact