This post/episode was originally published in May of 2017. The post/show notes are simply copy/pasted from the original post, but the podcast audio is a new take on the same subject.
All roads lead to Rome. ~Medieval Proverb
In the middle ages, Rome was kind of an important place.
So important that, as the saying goes, any road will take you there. You simply have to travel on it long enough.
There’s a lesson in there for us as runners…
There are Many Roads to Running Success
What is the best method of training to help you reach your running goals?
I’m about to get a little bit metaphorical here, and you know where I stand when it comes to metaphors:
In the middle ages, you could take almost any road and end up in Rome.
Today, you can follow almost any training plan or philosophy to help you reach your running goals.
The key, in both situations, is to pick one and stick with it.
Pick One and Don’t Waver
Last week, you may remember me talking about keeping the long view in mind and patiently making progress over time.
Today is kind of a continuation of that thought.
When you pick a training style/philosophy to help you reach your running goals, you need to be patient and really commit to that style of training for a long time.
You know the surest way to not make any progress toward your goal?
Switch up your training style every few months because what you’re doing “isn’t working yet.”
Improvement for runners takes a lot of time, sometimes years, before the results really show up.
If you’re switching your training philosophy every few months, you’re taking a huge step back every few months and restarting from almost zero every time.
To go back to our road analogy, if every couple of hundred miles you decided you were on the wrong road and went back to the start to choose a different route, you’d never get to Rome!
But if you pick one road and stay one it, you’d eventually get to the Eternal City.
It’s the same with your training.
Pick one method of training and stick with it, and odds are you’ll reach your own Rome sooner or later.
Which Road is Best?
That is, quite obviously, a very layered question and there are a lot of variables to consider when trying to determine the best road to take on your journey to Rome.
But one of the things that must be considered is what kind of trip you prefer.
Do you like highway driving? Then getting on an interstate, or whatever they have in Europe, is the best bet.
If you like taking your time and visiting the small villages along the way, smaller roads would be better.
The point is, sometimes the best way to figure out which road is best for you is to hire a sherpa to help you choose the route that is right for you. A good sherpa will also, and perhaps more importantly, help keep you on the route you’ve chosen when progress stalls a bit.
And in case you’re not following the metaphor, I’m the sherpa here.
When I start working with new clients, I’m acting as their sherpa.
- I give them the workouts they need to keep progressing.
- I keep them on track when they question whether or not they will ever get to their goals.
- And if they start to try to change tracks, I stand in the way and remind them that a dramatic switch of course is going to set back their progress weeks or months.
There is Wiggle Room
I do want to make one thing clear before I wrap this up for today.
Picking a training style and committing to it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it forever.
There are some training philosophies that will likely not work for you for a variety of different reasons.
If what you’re doing simply isn’t working, it’s ok to try a different philosophy.
If you’re working with a coach, talk to him or her about the struggles you’re having and why you’re contemplating a change.
A good coach will listen to your concerns and help you decide whether you need to press forward or switch gears and try something else.
The key, whether you have a coach or not, is to remember to give any philosophy enough time to see progress.
Because if you don’t, you’ll never get to Rome.
Need a Running Sherpa?
If you’re looking for your own personal running sherpa, I’d love to help you get to where you’re going.
Check out the coaching page for some general information about me and my philosophies on coaching. And if you’d like more information about my specific coaching levels, click the following links for all of the information about The Coterie and my 121 Coaching.
And if you would just like to bounce some ideas off of me when you’re dealing with a specific obstacle, schedule a consultation call and I’ll help you work through whatever you’re struggling with at the moment.
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