Saturday, June 21, 2014

Aggregation of Marginal Gains

I just started a new book entitled "Faster," by Michael Hutchinson.  It's a book about bike racing.  I'm only a few chapters in, but can tell I'm really going to enjoy this book.  Good writing, interesting topic and lots of inside knowledge.

Right off the bat, you are introduced to a concept called the Aggregation of Marginal Gains (AMG).  Marginal gains can mean different things depending on the context.  In this instance,  AMG, is about ways to go faster.

Get faster, no matter how big or small the gains may be.

" works by breaking everything down into its component elements to see if you can make any improvement to any one of them."

Having a good diet is a positive thing when training.  Marginal gains is looking at diet before, during and after training.  Prerace, postrace consumption.   Ease of use on the bike.  It becomes the study of the exact right nutrients, in the exact right amounts, from the exact right foods at the exact right time for that individual.

Sleep is important.  What effects the quality of the sleep?  What are the best temperature to sleep, what are the best noise canceling headphones, whats the best background ambient noise.

One of the examples given to marginal gains was the importance to a warm down after a hard ride.  It may have been a sprint at the end of a stage or a hard hill climb.  Instead of just going back to hotel they would jump on a stationary bike and do a cool down.

Aggregation of Marginal Gains is about exploring the nooks and crannies of routine and sport to eek out the extra 1%.  Because if you find enough of them, you can make some nice improvements and ultimately go faster.  Faster in this sense is about biking, but faster can mean a variety of purposes.

How could you apply marginal gains in your work, your workout, your life?  Interesting to think about.

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