QT: Some Rules are Meant to Be Broken, Especially the Dumb Ones

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How do you feel about rules?

Strict rule follower? Rules are meant to be broken?

Somewhere in the middle?

I’m not opposed to following the rules, provided said rules actually make sense.

I’m also not opposed to breaking the rules, especially when said rule is pointless.

First, Some Context

Recently, I took Adi to the library to get a few books.

The kid is a voracious reader, and I’m pretty sure the library was the first field trip we went on when we moved to GA.

When we pulled into the parking lot, I asked her if she had her library card.

She did not.

Not ideal, but I figured the library could simply pull up her account on the computer and check the books out to her that way.

In my 30-something years of having a library card at various libraries, I’ve forgotten my card a few times and never had an issue checking out a couple of books sans card.

Well, as they say, there’s a first time for everything.

Adi walks up to the counter with a couple of books, explains that she forgot her card, and asked if she could check the books out anyway.

Wait, what?

The librarian proceeded to tell us that without a card we couldn’t check out any books.

So I do what any good dad would do, explain that I haven’t signed up for a library card yet but that I’d love to get my card today so we can check out the books.

Excuse me?

A Stickler for the Rules

Apparently, in addition to having a rule forbidding looking up the name of a child that has a library card in order for said child to check out a book to read during summer vacation, this branch of the library also has a rule for when tax-paying citizens are allowed to sign up for a library card.

Are You Kidding

I wish I was kidding.

I was told it was too late in the day to issue new cards.

The library closed at 5 pm that day, and it was about 4:25 when we tried to check out.

I’ve gotten a handful of library cards in my day, and pretty sure the process has never taken more than 5 minutes.

Maybe if it was 4:59 and I was trying to get a library card, I could see their point.

(For the record, no, I still wouldn’t be able to see their point. But for the sake of the argument, maybe…)

But with more than half an hour until closing time?

The librarian was going to stick to two arbitrary rules, and in so doing, keep a book out of the hands of a child?


Now, maybe there’s some sort of viral tik tok trend of people coming into a library, saying they forgot their card, and checking out books on some random person’s card while claiming to be that person.

Yeah, I don’t think so either.

But from where I sit, that’s the only thing that makes any semblance of sense.

Otherwise, just type our name into your computer. Confirm that Adi has a library card. And give her the damn books!

Instead, in order to follow the rules, we had to ask Beks to find Adi’s card, take a picture of it, and then show the picture of the card to the librarian.

And you know what she did?

She typed the number on the card into the computer, manually, to check the books out.

Break These Rules

Based on my semi-contrarian world view, these two rules were meant to be broken in this situation.

It’s 2024 and you’ve got a kid that wants to read a couple of books instead of bury her nose into a screen?

Give her the books!

And if you really can’t type in her name and check the books out that way, just hand her the books and ask that we return them in the next two weeks.

Simple as.

But if you’re not bold enough to just let a kid read a physical book even though she left her library card at home, then issue me a bloody library card!

Whatever the “time limit” is on issuing library cards for the day, wave it!

Give me a library card. Give the kid the books.

Running “Rules” Worth Occasionally Breaking

In the running world, there are many rules that we all follow.

Some written. Some unwritten.

For the most part, the following rules make sense.

So follow them all blindly?

Don't Think You Need a Running Coach?

Understand the rules. Obey them, most of the time.

But when the rules don’t make sense in a particular situation?

Break them, without hesitation.

Never Try Anything New on Race Day

The goal of this rule is to help you avoid unintended chaos on race day.

Chafing. GI issues. Blisters. Or just about anything else that can derail your race.

So no new clothes or fuels of pacing strategies on race.

Everything needs to be trialed during your training, especially on your long runs.

The problem is, race day isn’t like a training day.

A 20-mile long run isn’t the same as hammering a marathon gunning for a new PR.

As such, something that works well for a long run may not work as well at race pace.

For some of us the only way to learn what works best during a race is to try something new on race day.

As such, experimenting on race day (especially for those of us that have been running for a while and have a pretty good idea of what to expect from our bodies in certain situations) isn’t just ok but could spur a massive leap forward.

Of course, it could also blow up in our face.

10% Rule

This rule is designed to keep you from increasing your mileage too quickly.

If you never ad more than 10% to your long runs week over week, or your total weekly volume, your risk of pushing your body too much too quickly is mostly mitigated.

And pushing to much too quickly is a good way to wind up injured.

Following this rule loosely probably makes sense, but no need to be too meticulous.

Especially at either end of the spectrum.

Low-volume runners may be able to increase their volume quicker than 10% per week without issue.

High-volume runners may actually get themselves in trouble if they add anything close to 10% in a week.

Don’t add too many miles too quickly, that’s some solid advice.

But what is too many miles to add? And how quickly is too quickly?

Running Social Media is Awesome

You can’t argue about how awesome running social media typically is.

But for some of us, running social media is anything but ideal.

FOMO and imposter syndrome can become a problem really quickly when scrolling social media or strava.

If you find running social media causing you more harm than good, change things up a bit.

Unfollow some folks. Switch platforms. Delete your account.

If it’s not working for you, it’s not working for you.

That doesn’t make you less of a runner, I promise.

400-500 Miles for Running Shoes

Most running shoes have a point when they are decidedly past their prime.

For some shoes, that could be a few hundred miles. Others can get closer to a thousand.

I have a pair that I only just stopped wearing every day with over 1300 miles on them, and they could still keep going if the uppers weren’t literally falling apart.

I Digress

The running shoe industry pushed this idea that after a shoe gets a few hundred miles on them they need to be replaced.

In some cases? That lines up about right.

But there are lot of runners buying new shoes when their current shoes could easily keep going for another few hundred miles, at least.

Instead of stressing about miles, pay attention to how you’re feeling.

If you are starting to feel some more aches and pains then usual? Maybe it’s time for some new kicks, no matter how many miles those shoes have on them.

But if you’re feeling good and the shoes haven’t fallen apart yet? Well, you can probably keep running in them, no matter how many miles they have on them.

Nothing Wrong with Questioning

These are a few common running rules, but the list is far from exhaustive.

And maybe you have a few rules that are your own personal rules.

Whatever rules you have, there’s nothing wrong with following them when it makes sense.

Odds are? It’ll make sense most of the time.

But every once in a while, don’t hesitate to question the rules that you have in place.

And in situations where the rule is silly or simply doesn’t make sense in the moment?

Break the rule.

Do It

Do you follow most rules religiously? Or do you find some running rules are meant to be broken? #runchat Share on X

What Running Rules are Meant to Be Broken in Your Opinion?

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