"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's not what you ate or what you wore

The problem I have with blogging about running is the problem I have with politics. People develop a view of how they want to believe things are, then they seek out those who tell them what they want to hear; they cherrypick facts to get the ones that mesh with what they already believe and then twist the rest to fit.

You want to believe that there's some magic bullet, some little-known secret that will let you run faster with less effort. You stand at the starting line and look at people's gear, wondering if compression sleeves are the answer. You read somewhere that you only need to run for 8 minutes and eat goji berries and you wonder if it might be true. Your friends are taking classes in some new "ancient" way of getting in shape and it sounds like more fun than going for a run on a cold rainy day.

Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile barrier wearing leather shoes; any running shoes you buy are going to be better; as long as they fit (and that's a very important thing), a different pair of shoes are not going to make you a better runner. Bill Rodgers won the Boston Marathon on a diet of pizza and junk food; if he'd eaten "better," he'd have run no faster - a perfect diet creates at best a neutral environment, nothing you swallow will make you faster.

I say it's talent and hard work, pure and simple, that gets you to the finish line. And you go on to someone else, who might tell you what you want to hear.


Anonymous said...

I run because it's fun

Samantha said...

You mean my shiny new running skirt won't make me run faster? I'd never worn one before so I figured that's what I was missing. Damn.

pensive pumpkin said...

I'll tell you flat out that drinking coffee makes me run slower. Mainly because of bathroom stops, so I spend a lot of time not running.

So in my case, it isn't what I ate, but what I drank. I just enjoy being argumentative. You know that.

Hope all is well in your world.

Dale Jamieson said...

Sure I agree, Steve; most people 'can't handle the truth'.

But you strike me as the type of person who does not surround yourself with people telling you what you want to hear? Why then make such a generalised post?

Talent and hard work are not the only things that get a person to the finish line and you know it; I know plenty of people without any talent for running who still complete ultra's, I being one of them.

For me there is something mythical about talent. I dare say by the time I have amassed your years of experience I may be in a position to conclude on it.

Knowledge is an area that helps people and perhaps this is why so many blog about running. For example, haven't you considered the principle of marginal gains?

To effectively rule out nutrition as an area that can help an aspiring athlete or even just someone who wants to break through their performance ceiling you are quite simply wrong.

Carilyn said...

Bravo, Steve! I'm definitely guilty of wondering if everyone knows something I don't. But, I don't smart enough, or dedicated enough, to do anything but run.

stillwaterrunner said...

Being chased by zombies will make me run faster.

Jordan Hanlon said...

Yes, I have found that they are minor things in the grand scheme of things as well. Time and effort not diet and shoes are were it's at.