Details, details, details!
As a college coach, I can never stress enough to my student-athletes the importance of attending to the details of their discipline.† Basically, there is more to running than just running.† In previous writings, I have illustrated how some runners look for shortcuts to running.† In essence, they really donít like running!
If you are really into running and desire to be productive and successful, you must pay attention to the details that can make you better.† It is not just about running a lot or running fast.† Take care of the details on a regular basis and you will run farther and faster without risking illness or injury.
The first detail is keeping a training log so you have a record of what you have done to see where youíve been and if you are heading in the right direction.† Training logs are overlooked as an important detail.† Add to your log things like weather conditions, what you ate before/after your workouts, and how much sleep you get gives you the ability to see trends and things you will forget if you donít write them down.
Speaking of sleep Ė rest is another important detail that many of us overlook.† Just how much sleep we get regularly effects training outcomes.† If you are training at a high level (over 60 miles a week) rest is important and not getting enough may lead to illness or injury.† You may need to schedule a midday nap to give your training and recovery a boost.
Are you doing the non-running things like stretching, cross-training, strength training and the like to make you a more efficient and stronger runner?† Many runners (Iím guilty, too!) go through the motions.† You have to take it seriously, no matter how insignificant you may believe the activity may have on your running.
Some gifted runners can get away not attending to certain details, but they will eventually come up short when it matters.† The unnatural, but determined runner must take on as many details as possible to have similar successes as the gifted runner.† For example, if you are not too flexible, stretching is an important detail that needs to be incorporated into oneís daily training routine.
What are you eating and drinking?† This is another overlooked detail that many runners take lightly.† Again, Iím guilty as charged!† In my day, my thinking was that if I am running, I can eat anything.† Iíve known some runners who used running as an excuse so they could drink a few more beers because they were getting liquid carbs.† Well, thatís just WRONG!† You cannot eat a bunch of junk food and expect to consistently run well.† Treat your body like a high-performance car rather than a beat-up clunker.
Perhaps the most overlooked detail some runners miss is their shoes.† A good pair of running shoes these days can be expensive.† However, not replacing worn out shoes frequently can lead to problems and setbacks.† What can be worse are the types and or kinds of shoes one wears when they are NOT running.† We runners spend good amounts of money for running shoes to protect our feet on the run, but when we are walking around, we leave our feet vulnerable in flip flops, worn-out shoes, or -- for the vertically-challenged Ė shoes like high-heels that are potentially more harmful than how they look!
Related to our feet, another detail we need to consider is the terrain we run.† Nowadays we have too much pavement to run on and not enough good old dirt.† The pavement gives us a nice smooth surface, but weíll do better varying the terrain that we run on.
Details, details, details!† So many details that I know Iím overlooking some to share.† I just want to remind you that donít overlook the small things to make you a better runner that doesnít necessarily involves always running.
One last detail Ė create a check list so you donít forget all the details you need to keep up with!