Yesterday I had the pleasure of having lunch with one of my Google+ friends, Mark. We talked mainly about running , and in particular how running is individual to each person.
Earlier this week a friend sent me an article about stretching – does it actually decrease injury and/or improve performance? Well I’m sure we’ve all heard of the very gifted runner who can go straight our their door, never attempt to stretch, and never gets injured. That runner might not need stretching, but I know I do. And how about the many articles discussing what type of the shoe is best: minimalist or a more traditional s shoe? Well I actually run quite well in a minimalist shoe but a few of my other friends do not. After all, we are two different people with two different body types, two different sets of feet, two different running routes, two different levels of flexibility, two different groups of tight muscles, and the list goes on and on. And how about the many discussions on what to eat pre-long run? A paleo dish or a plate full of pasta? For me, I prefer salmon and sweet potatoes but Meb Keflezighi eats pasta, as he has traditionally done for his many years as a runner. For paleo activists, that is a big no-no. And what about the discussions surrounding training schedules? Miles per week, recovery runs after long runs, number of speed workouts… Well for me, my body can handle about 50 miles per week currently, but someone else may be able to run 75 miles per week. Again, two different bodies and two different sets of circumstances.
My point in the following: every runner is very different. No two bodies are alike, no two runs are the same, no one has the same set of circumstances as another runner, and no one’s training is exactly like someone else’s. The important thing is to be aware. Be aware of the of what’s going on in the running world, but more importantly be aware of your body. Learn what works best for you. Learn the foods the fuel you the best, learn the stretches (if any) that help you perform better, learn your weaknesses and learn your strengths. Only then, can you find what works best for you.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,
(No running for me today. We are traveling back home to NC so I’m taking the day to rest.)