Sunday, June 26, 2011

Committing to Starting Over

When working with experienced runners, the biggest obstacle I run into is that they are often obsessed with maintaining their mileage. So the thought of temporarily reducing their mileage to work on their technique is troubling for them. Another big obstacle I run into is that they expect the transition to happen almost seamlessly. They seem to think that I'm going to give them the "secret trick" that will make everything fall into place effortlessly. Usually once they realize the level of effort required, they completely lose interest. It's just easier to stick with the "status quo".

If you are thinking of adopting a new running technique, you should realize that doing so requires commitment and perseverance. Here is a short list of things you should think about. If you can't answer yes to all, or most of these, then you might not be ready for the transition.

  • Would you rather do things right and not just do them?
  • Are you willing to put all of your other running goals aside until you can perform the technique reasonably well?
  • Can you deal with a drastic reduction in mileage while your body adapts to running differently?
  • Are you willing to put your ego aside, and allow your running form to be criticized by your coach?
  • Are you willing to objectively critique your technique if you don't have coach?
  • Can you deal with a goal in which a successful outcome cannot be scheduled?
  • Are you willing deal with frustration and failure until you finally "get it"?
Changing one's running technique is difficult. Clearly more difficult for some than others, but it is an achievable goal for most people. Do your homework, be realistic in your expectations, and make a commitment to see it through.

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