On Dogma Avoidance

Sometimes it is hard to spot a dogma.

What are those rules you follow blindly without ever investigating the science behind it or the evidence that would make the rule valid?

Here is a prime example of how a dogma followed without thinking can be harmful. Tim Noakes went against all conventional wisdom to state that drinking too much fluid during endurance sports can be harmful.


Didn’t we all learn that drinking is essential to avoid dehydration?

It appears the body is so much more capable to self-regulate than what we used to think. I personally always hated to be reminded to drink. I am not thirsty that easily and hate carrying water bottles during runs. Often I get away with running up to 15 miles without the need to drink. Only if it is hot I have to start consuming water after mile 10. I always felt it was odd to force someone to drink something without any signs of thirst. I am glad that common sense was revisited here.

How about other dogmas? What are your dogmas that you follow blindly?

Is it “I can only be promoted if I sit at my desk from dawn till late at night?” or is it “I should eat moderately to lose weight.” Or is it as simple as “I need to lie on the couch to relax.” The month of January is a good way to rethink some of the rules and statements that form your habits.

Here are two dogmas that have been crippling me for a while:

  • I need to be in the office to be productive.
  • Only targeted speed and interval training will drive improvements to my running performance.

So I added two challenges to my life to drive improvements to my well-being.

  1. I do not need to sit at my desk in the office to be productive
  2. I will also change what I eat to improve my running performance.

Let’s see how it goes. So far I am on day 2 of improved eating with no bread, pastry, pasta, fruit, yoghurt, rice, potatoes, legumes, or milk. Two weeks of this to see if I am carb sensitive. I will add back what I can tolerate. So far so good. I feel great.

I also am saving 2h of commute today to work the administrative and routine tasks off from home. I rescheduled all face to face meetings for tomorrow. This seems to be a reasonable improvement plan. Instead of driving these long 120minutes, I will use 60min for a lunch break run. This should improve my mood and worklife balance.

How will you be challenging yourself in 2016?


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