More is better?

234 hours.  The first and most likely guess is that it involves Mexican food.  And Tequila.  That might be possible.  Though I have to add this confession to the puzzle.  I’ve only ever purchased two fifths of Tequila in my life.  And they both happened this week.  Sure, there was that wedding in 1999 where I got bombed on El Toro.  And sometime in the mid to late 2000’s my brother bought me a fifth of Hornitos, but that bottle lasted until 2012ish.

Maybe there’s a correlation between the calories figure and Mexican food?  I’ll give you that.  I am physically active so that I can eat Taco’s.  I don’t even care if you judge me for that.  Taco’s are good.

Hour counts are just that.  A number for you to figure out.  When someone gives you a number– their number– it’s an interesting piece of information to chew on.  There’s no way they have that many hours in or WOW I figured they would have more time in the boat than that.  But after a few years, you learn that the quantitative figure being tossed around in discussion is not a great indicator of speed and performance.

Counting hours is like fishing.  Everyone wants to have a bigger fish than the next person.  So the number gets escalated.  The misinformation is real.  Paddlers start counting earlier.  They fluff their number and pad it in newer and creative ways.  They paddle lots and lots of garbage hours.  Bro.  I’ve seen your Strava.  You floated from Mio on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of summer.  I’m guessing there was an inner tube involved.  And beer.  And bikini’s.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But I’m not sure what you’re actually training for.

From a young age, an endurance athlete is told the harder they work, the faster they will get.  More miles for the runner, more speed for the cross country skier, more hours for the paddler.  More more more.  So when someone starts in the canoe racing world, it’s natural to want to know how much is enough.  News flash.  There is no “right” number.

For the people married to the hour count, if they do come up with a right number, it ends up like this article.  A menagerie of words, strung together to hit a quantitative goal.  None of it really works together, the flow is choppy and broken, and if I had to grade it as a writer that didn’t know the purpose of the piece, I’d give it a C- for effort and tell me to keep trying.  Which is often what happens to the hour counters.  They go through the motions and turn in the paper on time.  The quality is lacking though.

Rather than worrying about inflating the count, focus on training with a purpose.  Make every training session count towards whatever the overall goals is.  Don’t worry about the number.  Have a plan.  And make it work.

For those of you that didn’t get lost in that muddled mess of words.  My 234 hours is a cumulative total for all cardiovascular activities completed in the calendar year 2017.  Running, cross country skiing, paddling, roller skis, there’s even some aggressive trail walks in there.  And I rode a bike a couple times.

The horror.

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