If you were like any normal kid in the entire history of the world, there were times in your youth that you decided you didn’t like something without ever trying it.
Broccoli, brussel sprouts, or liver anyone?
At some point, you got tried the thing that you were certain would kill you and found out that it actually wasn’t that bad.
And in some cases, you might have even liked it. (Seriously y’all, liver is REALLY good!)
While we grow out of many of our childhood idiosyncrasies, the issue of making up our minds about something before we try it is something very few people outgrow.
And runners are no exception.
Don’t Believe Me?
I’ve been as guilty of this as anyone, though in my old age I’m starting to become more and more open to the idea that the way I do something may not be the only way.
Think about it, how many times have you seen a fellow running doing something and thought it was entirely ridiculous? I bet it happens more than you’d like to admit.
But what if you actually gave something a chance instead of looking down your nose at it? You never know, you might just like it.
- Run-Walk: Many veteran runners, especially distance runners, look down at the run-walk/Galloway method of training as something that is great for beginners but has little value for them. How do I know this? Because I was one of the snobs looking down my nose at the constant beeping and start/stopping. But a funny thing happened when I recently added some planned run/walk segments into my training: it worked! I’d been struggling with going too fast during some of my recent training runs on the local cross country trails. I’d go out and end up crashing and burning after 3-4 miles and get stuck walking a few miles back to the car. Until I tried the run-walk. Now, I run for 4 minutes, walk for 1, and more often than not I’m able to get back to the car with no issues at all. And now that I’m being even more conscious of doing my long runs at an easy pace, the run-walk strategy is paying off even more.
- Switching Shoes: Runners are particular about the shoes that they wear. Since shoes are pretty much our only real piece of equipment that we need to enjoy our sport, I suppose it’s a good thing to be particular about. But is it possible that the shoes you love aren’t a good fit for you? (Yes, that pun was intended.) I think it is. Actually, I know it is. The first several years that I ran even remotely consistently, I wasn’t wearing the right shoes for me. I rocked Asics for most of those years, and while I truly believe that Asics are quality shoes, they just simply weren’t the right shoes for me. But I didn’t realize that all of my shin and knee pain was as much to do with my shoes as it was with my poor form and infrequent training. Once I made a conscious choice to switch my gate to landing more on the mid-foot/forefoot, my pain disappeared but it became very clear that my shoes weren’t cutting it anymore. Shortly after that, I found Altra and the rest has been history.
- Carb Loading: Here’s one that might hit close to home for many of you. You are aware that the practice of carb loading with pasta the night before a race really doesn’t work, right? Yet many runners I know still swear by the practice. (To be fair, I fully appreciate the fact that the placebo effect is very powerful.) Have you ever thought about *gasp* not carb loading before a race and seeing how it goes?
- Running Naked: These days, the idea of running without a phone/watch/some type of GPS monitor to keep track of our miles and pace makes about as much sense as literally running naked, minus the bouncing and jiggling of course. But you might be surprised how refreshing a naked run (sans technology, not clothes) actually can be.
These are just a few instances where I’ve had my mind made up about one thing, only to find out that there were other options out there that work just as well, or in some cases work even better.
So the next time you’ve got your mind made up about something that you’ve never tried before, why not live on the wild side and give it a shot.
You never know, if you try it you might just like it.
Any Examples of Something Running Related You Were Dead Set Against Until You Tried It? Leave It In the Comments!