Technology is not always your friend !
After coaching now for twenty two years I am of the firm belief that we are not progressing as a sport. Yes, the numbers are up for sure but so are the level of injuries and the times are getting slower overall.
We can debate a number of reasons for this for sure but I want to focus on one main suspect- technology....
My good friend and legendary USA distance runner Dick Beardsley, over lunch with me in Boston one day fifteen years ago regaled me with stories about how he and his coach Bill Squires used to meet at an old tea shop in Boston and coach used to give Dick his workouts written on a paper napkin- funny really, didn't stop him from running 2.08 did it?
These days more and more of newer runners have access to just enough information to make them 'dangerous' to themselves, information overload that has a nasty habit of accelerating their learning curve, seeking immediate gratification without literal or figurative patience to develop at the appropriate rate..Everything now has to be instant response time, uploaded, downloaded, logged into, information to your watch every millisecond which in the hands of a Sports Physiologist in a controlled environment may be very beneficial but in the wrong hands (or wrist) it is downright detrimental to developing the very skill set that will help you to develop the one thing you wish to do and that is to become a better, faster more informed runner....informed....now there is a word....not extrinsic informed but intrinsic informed !
This past Friday afternoon with my athlete and training partner Caitlin, we ran a tempo over the very challenging and technical Navesink Challenge 15k course run mostly over the hills of Middletown Township NJ... A run over approximately a time period of one hour, no mile splits, no Garmin, no constant external check in but running with the skill to monitor one's effort constantly as measured against distance run, distance remaining, the environment, the terrain with a keen sense of pace via 'The Triangle' as taught in my Run Tall, Run Easy book available now as an e~book at Amazon and ITunes. The book will help you understand the essential aspect to breathing cadence matched up with the foot strike and left upward forward moving wrist being adjacent to the left hip at point of ground contact (left foot) and out breath (short and sharp over one step)....constant intrinsic diagnostics that allow you to relax, stay in the moment and understand your body's effort from its own signals and information (instrument panel) not that of exterior feedback that may or may not be accurate and in no way teaches you or causes you of 'how to' respond to the information because it is one dimensional not allowing the absorption of many facets of information and diagnostics that your body is organically providing you...and on the subject or Garmin...on the track, you absolutely do NOT need it...for goodness sake, use four laps to a mile and be done with it....stop worrying about someone 'stealing a plant pot off your front porch whilst someone else is taking is your flat screen TV's out the back door'.....
Look at these various photos below of different running situations and understand the innate natural running in all of them, on feel, from the elements and surroundings matched to the internal organic feedback of the body and mind, no techno gizmo gadget designed to lead you to believe that you cannot survive or excel without it when in reality, not only will you excel and develop but you will do so with a much much higher ceiling than you will if you rely on this modern technology, so I say K.I.S.S. Keep it simple stupid, and go back to the future, sometimes, just sometimes, it's good to go back to the 'good ol' days' !
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