If you want to learn more about a certain topic, this is a wonderful time to be alive.
No matter the subject, thanks to the internet you can pretty much learn anything your little heart desires for free.
This blessing of free information, however, can also be something of a curse.
Drinking from a Firehose
With so much running information readily available, it can feel a bit like drinking from a firehose at times.
The massive amounts of information can easily feel overwhelming.
A lot of times, instead of helping, too much running information can muddy the proverbial waters.
Especially when there are multiple pieces of conflicting advice on the same subject.
The Struggle is Real
I get it.
And I also recognize that I’m part of the problem!
Podcats. Emails. YouTube videos. Social media posts.
I’m putting lots of information out into the ether on a regular basis, which only adds to the noise.
In order to parse through the excess of info that is available, and find a few nuggets that might actually be of use to you, here are a few suggestions to help you make sense of it all.
There are No Prophets/Gurus
Avoid the urge to deify certain people in the running space.
Elites. Sub-elites. The lady that wins all the local races. Schmucks with a podcast.
People that are sharing information are, the majority of the time, legitimately trying to help.
But they (we?) don’t know everything. We aren’t sent by God. And we certainly don’t know you and your specific situation as well as you do.
As such, take all general advice with a grain of salt.
Something, something, one-size-fits-all.
Identify a Few Trusted Sources
There aren’t any running prophets out there, but that doesn’t mean that you should try to take in every piece of information from every person trying to sell something.
Instead, find a few people that you trust/relate to, and really make them your “go to” sources.
How do you find these people?
Perhaps it’s the type of person you see yourself in.
Or it’s someone that has achieved the type of goals you are striving for, and you think their experience could be helpful.
Or someone whose general philosophies are aligned with your philosophies.
There isn’t a perfect way to find your trusted sources. And you don’t have to “get it perfect” from the start, because you can always change sources down the road.
But having a few “go to” sources turns your fire hose into more of a drinking fountain, which is a little easier to handle.
General Info is Not Gospel
When you’re gleaning information and learning from your trusted sources, remember that nothing they say is gospel.
Especially when it comes to generic information.
I hate one-size-fits-all generic information as much as anyone, but when I’m podcasting or emailing or posting on social media all I can do is general info.
As such, even if I’m one of your trusted sources and we tend to jive pretty good most of the time, not everything I say is going to be right for you.
So don’t be afraid to disregard certain tips or suggestions from even your most trusted sources.
Pick a Lane and Stay In It (For a While)
One thing that’s important to remember is that progress/growth in our sport is a process.
And processes take time.
While there are almost always several options/philosophies/methods to help you grow as a runner, pretty much all of them require a certain level of patience and consistency.
So fight the urge to bounce around and keep trying something new every few weeks.
Pick a lane and give it enough time to yield results.
How long is required? Hard to say.
Could be a few months. Could be closer to a year.
But if you don’t give it long enough to pay off before bouncing to the newest “latest and greatest” thing, you might find progress is even slower to come by.
Stay the course. See what happens.
As challenging as it can be, at times, to avoid information overload, it’s important to always be seeking new knowledge.
The simple fact is that as we continue to change and evolve as humans, what works/doesn’t for us as runners will also continue to change.
If you want to keep growing, you have to keep learning.
Just try not to drink out of a fire hose any more often than absolutely necessary.
What are Your Trusted Sources of Running Information?
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