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

Monday, November 7, 2016

A Brief Rant (no politics)

Runners tend to divide into two camps, the "do less" and "do more" camps. Most middle-of-the-pack and beginner runners want to know "what's the absolute least I can do and still succeed?" One of the best-selling running books is entitled "Run Less, Run Faster" and is inevitably bought by people who think the title means "run faster while running less: when in fact the book's about "running less, but running faster can get you similar results."

When runners decide to turn professional, they suddenly have an entire day to fill that used to be filled with a job. There's only so much more they can do; after diminishing returns, they start to become counterproductive and end up over-trained if they just keep trying to do more. That's why you start to see them talk about things like sports massage. Mostly, however, they decide "well, I could probably eat better" and then suddenly they try to convince you that they're experts and tout some fad diet... as if running 180 miles per week with much speed work has nothing to do with their success.

Then the beginner runner turns to the pros to see what they're doing and they see some dietary advice. They decide that they'll follow suit, because better runners are doing it and changing diet feels like they're doing something, when what they need to do is train better.

Put down the diet plan and go for a run.

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