wo. okt 13th, 2021

Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.

Earlier, I wrote about 10 lessons in running which I learned and today, when I rushed to the store in order to buy the new edition of Runner’s World, guess what they put  on page 20?

Right!  10 mistakes which many runners tend to make.

Now, their first and basic observation is absolutely correct:

Runners often focus on the smallest details, while ignoring the very basics.

Many of their Top 10 items are similar to the ones I listed earlier:

For each of these mistakes, there is a fix, but usually it’s not a quick fix.

Many of the issues at stake require changing habits. (Source quote.)

This point is clarified in the article:

Runners are hesitant to change their rituals (…).  By all means, embrace change. When you get feedback from your body, respond to it (…). Ignoring the reality of new conditions and circumstances, and not changing accordingly is silly, and simply not sustainable.

Change is difficult of course: first of all because it makes you nervous, scared, and often, not changing at all is easier. Unfortunately, most of the fun happens out of our comfort zone.

But second, because change often comes in a very unattractive format, as in: hard, demanding, etc.

In this respect, I really liked this example: motivating people to take the stairs instead of the escalator is almost impossible, our natural-born laziness is really hard to overcome. But if the change is “packaged” nicely, and it looks inspiring and attractive, well, then who is not going to prefer the stairs in this (wonderful) case?

In the article, it is pointed out that from time to time, you have to deviate from your training schedule. I think that’s very important, to be flexible in this respect.

Perhaps this depends a little where you are in your development track. When I started running marathons, I really needed more structure and the first “schedule” I got was truly a gift from heaven. My last (and so far, my best) marathon was prepared in a much more intuitive, almost playful  way, without a strict schedule, and this was okay.

As a sidenote, the new edition of Runners World has an interesting interview with Koen Naert. Impressive, how much progress he’s making, 2 hr 10 min in Berlin is quite amazing! But then, rather predictably, they ask him if he will manage to improve the record of  Vincent Rousseau from 1995 (!) in Berlin (2 hr 07 min).

(Source picture)

Well, that’s 20 years ago! I went through old articles & old movies about Vincent Rousseau’s track record.

First of all, there’s the nostalgia, those days when we had athletes like him, etc.

Winning cross cups, winning 1.500 m races, 5.000m races, 10.000m races, … and in 1993 he became World Champion in the Half Marathon race, in 1 hr 01 min!

But also, he’s still an inspiring role model, not only in terms of sports, but also in terms of ethics, his position towards doping, etc.

And of course, what I liked a lot, is the way he did things: on his terms & conditions: if he wanted to pull out just 1 minute before an important race, he just did that.


Have a great weekend!


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