5 days ago

Thoughts on 'The Practicing Mind' by Thomas M. Sterner

Having been on a journey to increase my ability to focus for some time now, I recently read ‘The Practicing Mind’ by Thomas M. Sterner. This book emphasises process, and the importance of not getting distracted by a goal while being in the process of working towards it. Let’s review what to take out of this book.

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13 days ago

Swiss Trail Tour, Incorporating Objective Feedback

Without feedback, you can only achieve what you already know how to do. With feedback, you can achieve what that you do not yet know how to do. I believe that feedback loops are at the core of any development. In this post, I am sharing my thoughts on incorporating objective feedback into long distance running training by visualizing data from Strava in Google Data Studio.

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28 days ago

Swiss Trail Tour, Training Differently

After more than a decade of running, I figured it’s time to understand how training actually works. Unsurprisingly, after digging through three books on the art and science of exercise, I have changed how I train for the Swiss Trail Tour this year. Maybe such research will change your training, too.

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43 days ago

A formula for converting pace from min/mile to min/km in Google Spreadsheets

If you are a runner and desperate for a quick-and-dirty formula you can use in a Google Spreadsheet to convert running pace from minutes per mile into minutes per kilometer, this nerdy post will give the formula to you.

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55 days ago

Thoughts on 'Pragmatic Thinking & Learning' by Andy Hunt

Having been influenced by the ‘The Pragmatic Programmer’ a long time ago, I recently re-read another book from one of the authors, called ‘Pragmatic Thinking & Learning’. The book caught my interest since thinking and learning are absolutely essential in my line of work, and learning is a great enjoyment outside of work for me. Let’s review what the book is good for.

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62 days ago

Swiss Trail Tour, Beginning or Comeback?

Having signed up for the Swiss Trail Tour in September, I am wondering whether this is a comeback to ultra running, or rather the beginning of something else? Either way: why do this, and how to prepare for three days of trail running─and hiking─a total distance of 103 km and 6000 m elevation gain?

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68 days ago

Thoughts on 'Focus' by Daniel Goleman

One of these rare moments: I finished a book. Called “Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence”. Reading it to the end is an accomplishment by its own, as I had started this book years ago but then put aside for a reason I can no longer remember. Although it’s clear that, back then, my focus must have moved on to something else. Reflections after finishing a book on what is an essential topic in the information age.

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110 days ago

Pursuit, a take on personal OKRs

The year 2020 taught me again how powerful good habits are, once established. How important it is to continuously do the many small steps that are required to achieve goals, from smaller to bigger goals. I wrote an app─nicknamed “pursuit“─which helps me to formulate, commit, and measure the progress towards goals. I will share the ideas with you, may it inspire you to progress towards your goals in 2021.

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112 days ago

Visualizing Strava activities with BigQuery and Google Data Studio

How to load Strava activities into Google Cloud BigQuery and visualizing the activities with Google Data Studio? This article is for (hobby) athletes interested in taking a walk through the Strava API, Google Cloud Platform and Google Data Studio; showing how to gain the freedom to explore and visualize the data you have been sweating for over years.

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295 days ago

A not-so-serious SARIMA forecast for running in 2020

Just for fun: what happens when you fit a SARIMA model (using statsmodel) over past Strava running activities in order to predict remaining running distance in 2020? Not much happens beyond the nourishment of my interest in predicting time series.

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299 days ago

Some hills, finally

In the past years, finding some way to train hill running prior to races was difficult for me. I tried office staircases but they were boring and the air was dry and stuffy, so I failed to follow my training plan. Ever since moving to Switzerland, this is no longer a problem. I ran some statistics over activity data pulled from Strava, and the results are promising.

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319 days ago

A computer scientist's diagram of the systems that turn macronutrients into energy for the muscles

How do the macronutrients we eat─carbs, fat and protein─turn into energy that the muscles can use as fuel? How to answer this question without failing to see the forest for the trees? In this post, I am trying myself at a high-level abstraction based on the book Lactate Threshold Training by Peter Janssen.

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326 days ago

A computer scientist's diagram of heart and lung supplying the muscles with oxygen

What happens if a computer scientist tries to understand more about the heart and lung supplying the muscles with oxygen? The computer scientists applies graph theory. Out comes the flow conservation principle, and─woosh─there’s a diagram relating cardiac output, oxygen consumption and oxygen intake.

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327 days ago

The sublinearity of spaced repetition learning

Spaced repetition learning (SRL) is a technique to memorize a large amount of items, such as vocabulary when learning a foreign language. In this article, I am writing about a primary benefit that I see in SRL: under the assumption that SRL is effective, I claim that SRL is also efficient; the amount of repetitions grows sublinearly in time and new items to learn.

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363 days ago

Factfulness, Straight Line Instinct & World Population

“Factfulness” is a fantastic book, remaining as current as it was when I purchased it. It gives us “ten reasons we’re wrong about the world and why things are better than you think”. Today, I am going to have a look at the Straight Line Instinct and the forecasted world population growth.

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376 days ago

Thoughts on Model Thinking: a smörgåsbord

A review of Scott Page’s Model Thinking course, which has been overall entertaining, inspiring, informative albeit at times a bit repetitive when going through arithmetics. If you are interested in trying to make sense out of the complex world around you, this course might be for you.

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404 days ago

Modeling Swiss basic health insurance

In this article, I am reverse-engineering the Swiss healthcare system, with the help of some maths and diagrams. In particularly, I am looking at the impact of the deductible when buying a basic insurance policy. How much difference does the choice of deductible make?

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407 days ago

Hello, Switzerland

In a typical programmer’s unimaginativeness, let’s print out a localized version of the few words that everyone starts with: Hello, Switzerland. After almost six years, a step into a new country again. It is time for a thought abroad.

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412 days ago

London ─ Towards British Citizenship

The fifth post on my “London ─ Living through history” series • touching modern British history • about Brexit • on gaining British Citizenship • let us maintain, build, and rebuild bridges.

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446 days ago

London ─ Impressions twenty-four-seven

Why London left a lasting impression • architecture, accumulated over millenia • where old meets new, in one place • why it is worthwhile to look at the same place at different times • where old meets new.

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471 days ago

London ─ Path to the outdoors

How to find the outdoors while living in London • London has surprisingly many green spaces • thanks to Paul New, Cliff King, Rachel Dench • thanks to the London Social Runners • on England’s history of volunteering • you cannot avoid the air pollution • you often have to stay on public footpaths • historic sightseeing in run-by mode.

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475 days ago

London ─ As far as the eye can see

London is large enough to accommodate the population of Switzerland • speed flatmating is not for me • receiving solace from Thomas Edison • London is more than what you can see on the tube map • Nappy Valley • between the Commons • some fences are pointless • houses, as far as the eye can see.

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511 days ago

London ─ Living through History

I moved to London from Stockholm at the beginning of April 2014. I left university life behind and moved on. Back then I had no idea how long I would live in London. And even less of an idea, what changes there were in store for me. I am now soon leaving London─although only time wil tell for how long. It seems only appropriate to add some closing thoughts on this chapter.

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519 days ago

UK taxes for dummies, a visual approach

In the UK, I was recently asked by someone how much money would remain from their income after taxes. While I could give a pretty good estimate, I discovered I had actually no idea how the net income is actually computed. None of the documentation I found was easy to understand. However, I can read maths. And I can look at pictures. So here’s a visual approach to a net income calculator for the UK, for dummies like me.

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537 days ago

Walnut bread: I'll be back

A second, brief post on my quest for becoming independent from commercially sold bread. Where I got tips for free (and then dutifully paid for merchandise), and where to get all the flour you cannot find in your UK supermarket.

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