Tuesday, March 22, 2016

My Running Secret

If there was a secret to running and you miraculously stumbled over it, would you tell anybody?

So you've been running for years and have found that no matter how hard you train you just can't break into that class of runners who make it all look so easy. They are the ones who pass you talking glibly amongst themselves as they bound ahead and out of sight while at their "slow" long run pace. That pace btw is your current 5km pace on a downhill course with a tail wind behind you and 3 cups of coffee in you. You have wondered how they do it? Is it how they train, what they eat, their bone structure, muscle fibres, mental cunning, emotional fortitude? Demographics? Genetics? Or maybe all the above or a mixture of some but not all of them? God knows you've done all you could and to no end. Well I suggest to you that it is none of that.

For the most part I have come to believe that it is quite simply statistical luck of the draw. Of course to even consider this argument you have to agree that there are at least two different ways of running and that one of them makes some people much faster then others without added effort or training. So let's assume that there are at the very least two ways to run. The Right Way(TRW) and The Wrong Way(TWW). The right way is how the top 20% of runners run and the wrong way is how everybody else does it. So how did this top 20% of runners learn to run correctly when everyone else did not? Statistically, when they learned to run they would have had a 50/50 chance of doing it right or wrong like everybody else. However their chances of running TRW increased if their parents(who they would model themselves after) also ran TRW. It may also be possible that there are more then two ways of running in which case if there were four ways of running then each person would have a 25% chance of running one of those four ways and again their chance of running one way or another might be further influenced by those they modeled their running patterns after. If it is statistics which determine how we eventually run then statistically I would also assume that a certain number of runners could relearn their running patterns.

In fact of all of the scenarios, relearning a running pattern seems more doable then changing ones bone structure, muscle fibres, demographics or genetics so if you do hope to someday run TRW then you certainly hope that my statistics theory is true. If it was true and you figured out how to run The Right Way one day while charging down a hill and everything just clicked then consider what might follow. All of your dreams suddenly come true. You begin "running like the wind" in all of your races. You win a local 5km breaking your PR by 2 minutes, you win a big National marathon, qualify for Boston and set an Age Group World Record. Then you tell everyone how you did it and they all cheer and thank you for discovering the secret to running. Then what? Well now everybody knows how to run, just like you do and you go right back to being just another runner in the race.

So I ask again, if there was a secret to running and you miraculously stumbled over it, would you tell anybody?

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