Or rather, it’s all about you, and you, and you, and you. It’s about each of us, individually, and what makes each of us unique as a runner.
It is so easy to get caught up with the latest, newest thing to come down the trail. You know what I’m talking about. You read (or hear) about a different way of running, or landing your feet, or breathing, or eating before the race, or eating after the race, or eating during the race, or, or, or…
But, as you are also aware, it doesn’t always work for you like it seems to work for the person telling you about it.
In the end, what works for you, works. Everything else is simply an experiment to see if something else works. Just because something works for someone else DOES NOT mean it will work for you (and yes, I meant to capitalize those words, ’cause they’re important).
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it. Especially if that is an area of your running that you have been struggling with.
For example, a couple of years ago I made the switch to minimalist footwear. Actually, I went all barefoot, and have settled back a little. I still like running barefoot because the feedback on my form is, shall we say, “immediate”. I had some foot issues that shoes weren’t able to fix, that barefoot did. But that’s me. Not necessarily you. Bottom line is…if shoes work for you, wear the dang things. If you are having issues, be open to alternatives. But don’t take an “experts” word for it. Figure out what works for YOU.
Same thing with food/drinks. I don’t like carrying water (or anything to drink) with me when I run. That’s a big reason why I run at the river. Water fountains every mile(ish). I don’t find I need it every mile, but it is there when I need it. Unless that particular fountain is out of order, then I start getting thirsty!
I realize I will have to carry something when I run my 50K, so I’m experimenting with carrying a bottle. Actually, I’m just trying to run with it enough that it doesn’t feel so “foreign” do to it. I thought about one of the water backpack things, but read that they can make you heat up because the rest right on your back. I see a lot of runners using them though, so they obviously work. Maybe I’ll try one someday…
I heard from an experienced runner (thus an expert, right?) that for a half marathon, the most important meal was dinner the night before. He said that all you needed for a run up to about 16-17 miles, was breakfast. This actually has proven to work for me. If I am running long, I’ll make some oatmeal w/raisins & nuts for breakfast, and it seems to work just fine. For a run over 16, I’ll carry some gel (or whatever). Not trying to dis the guy, he is a runner with a degree in physiology, so I figure there’s got to be some truth in there. But…if it hadn’t worked, I would have tried something else.
Because in the end…it’s all about you.
Or in my case, it’s all about me!
Zookie thinks I’m crazy to worry about all this and that I should just start running. Maybe she’s on to something.
See you on the trails…
Mike & Zookie
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