Read the Books, Watch the Videos on Running

There is more to improving our running than “just” running and in my opinion at least is a necessary component – becoming more knowledgeable about running.

This year I have made a point of re-reading and finding books or videos on running that I have not read or seen before from some of the better known running coaches and/or authors. One of the results of the pandemic is that I have more time on my hands to see what pearls of wisdom I could glean from their works that will help me improve as a runner.

Ummm, Harold, you are in your 63rd year on this little blue marble and supposedly in a precipitous decline by all the numbers and metrics that us runners think are important. Let’s be honest now, you are not going to improve all that much, if at all.

That may be so, but then again…

Even though I am in my 60s and have been a runner for almost 50 years, there are areas of my running that can still be improved considerably and I know that I still have a lot to learn about being a runner. Yes, I also know that I will never get back to being as fast as I was once upon a time, but I know that I can do better with my running efficiency and train smarter or more consistently.

Improvements in your running can be done at any age if you have the motivation to improve, are mostly realistic about what you want to achieve and have the knowledge about what needs to be done to get there. #runchat #running

My idea of improvement probably differs from yours.

Too Much Information

Unfortunately, from where I sit, there are too many “experts” clamouring for our attention and there is probably too much information being provided in books or videos that confuses, contradicts, and sometimes makes you scratch your head and go WTFO.

There lies the problem, there are so many running “experts” out there in today’s world of anyone can add in their ideas or beliefs on how to improve as a runner.

Who can we trust to give us good advice or guidance to improve our running?

Ask yourself about who those whose works you are reading or watching:

  • What are their background and expertise?
  • Are they currently a running coach (I tend to hold a good running coach in higher regard about how to improve as a runner than I do many other backgrounds)? How many years have they been coaching running? Where do they coach? Who are their target audiences and who are they coaching now?
  • What search results are found when you search for their name or brand’s name? Not just the first 4 or 5 either.
  • What is their coaching/running philosophy? Is their way the only “correct” way?
  • Does their philosophy or guidance go along with other generally accepted concepts about improving your running that you have learned or is it something completely different?

and so many other questions you have to ask yourself when reading or watching books or videos about improving your running.

You do have every right to question the authors’ credentials (book or video) even when their reputation in running is legendary (Lydiard, Cerutty, Daniels, Bowerman, etc.), even then you have to ask if their methods have stood up to the test of time.

It is okay to be a bit skeptical of what you are reading or watching as you figure out if what they are providing for information fits into where you are in your running journey, your goals, and your own willingness to learn more about running.

The reality is that

There is a wealth of knowledge and experience that is available to us to improve our running if we are willing to sit down and read the books or watch the videos.

The hard part is sifting the good advice, methods, or processes from the questionable, bad or simply WTFO and who in the hell are you to be writing that about running anyway.

You know kind of like this blog at times. 🙂

When we stop and think about those kinds of things it is up to each of us to decide how to incorporate all those words of wisdom into something that works for us in our daily runs or training programs or else find someone to coach you on your journey to improve as a runner.

Although I do have to admit that I am learning more than a few “pearls of wisdom” from all this reading and watching that I have been doing over the past three to four months. Time will tell if I do improve as a runner or not, but at least I am making the attempt and doing the work as best I can.

How about you, what are you doing to improve as a runner?

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