Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Obscure Training Advice- Running

I consider myself a veteran of the sport. I have no idea if the title actually applies, but I’ve been triathloning for roughly 12 years. All of that has been self-coached. This may sound impressive, but in all reality, I’ve made mistakes. Lots of mistakes. Big mistakes. Small mistakes. Medium mistakes. There’s a good chance that I’ve made more mistakes than the average guy. But, I also have a science background, which is to say that I am a nerd. Science nerds don’t get deflated by mistakes, they learn and try again. Which begets more mistakes. Which begets more learning. Which…okay, you get the point.

After mistaking/ learning enough, you get confident that you know enough to start imparting your mistake wisdom onto others. Unfortunately, lots of other people have already started this process. Curse that infernal Internet and the information age in which we now live, my niche on the computer has been usurped by countless others who have probably made more mistakes that me and are definitely smarter (nerdier?). That doesn’t mean I won’t try.

Let’s play a game:
Question 1- If you want good training advice, where can you look?
Answer- If you answer Tri-Banter, then you have deluded yourself, because its not here. Check out the giants of the sport, such as the Friels, the Scotts (take your pick), the Nation, the Greenfield, and many more. They are making a living at selling advice. Some of it is quite good.

Question 2- What advice can I actually provide for you that they can’t?
            Answer- Obscure Training Advice/ Tips. These are the minutia detalia. They are so miniscule that the big boys and girls can’t sell them in their books or on their sites. For example:

Obscure Running Tip:
            Criterion 1- Running in the dark
            Criterion 2- Running outside
Criterion 3- Availability of a sidewalk

Which way do you run?

Suppose it’s wintertime. If you are running outside, then there’s a good chance it’s dark. The sun is only up for little more than 8 hours anyway and most of us work for a living, or occupy our time doing something that resembles work anyway. If you are a morning person or afternoon person, the conditions are relatively similar, dark or almost dark. Humans in general are uncomfortable with the dark. Darkness is the root of all evils such as Satan and Ozzy Osborn. Darkness steals the ability of our light receptors mounted below our foreheads’ ability to do their job properly. We try to banish our Vader with a little bit of our own Yoda that we call lights (see, Stars Wars reference to solidify my nerdship). We put lights everywhere, including on the athlete’s number one nemesis, cars.

Let’s assume that you are going for a run and it’s dark outside. There’s bound to be cars as they are everywhere. Now, you are ready to pick your route. You are a safe runner. You need to make a decision on your direction.

Here’s the tip: Run on the sidewalk with traffic instead of against traffic. The reason why- Should you decide to run against traffic, the lights closest to you will be in your eyes. This is especially apparent when it’s just you, the car, and its high beams. If you run with traffic, the lights of the vehicles closest to you will be at your back. The lights of the vehicles coming at you will be across the street. The vehicles at your back will illuminate your path. Those pesky high beams will allow you to see further. Make the cars work FOR you, not against you.

Running is fun and challenging. I can’t imagine why you’d want to purposefully blind yourself. Yes, running and not seeing is also a challenging sport, one that I’d prefer to avoid at this time.

I hope you have learned a little from this Obscure Training Advice. Check back later so that I can enlighten you further and help you avoid making more of the mistakes I have endured.

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