Hal Higdon once said, “Running is easy. Other than walking, it is the simplest sport. Sometimes we overthink running and make it more complicated than need be.”
I couldn’t agree more. Running is easy. Nothing beats hitting the road or trail and getting lost in the motion of running. It’s great to shut off the mind for a bit and simply enjoy the flow of running. Yet, it’s hard for me to ignore that we (including myself) sometimes find ways to make running complicated.
“Should I give those Vibram Five Fingers a go?”
“I see some runners wearing compression sleeves, should I?”
“Should I stretch before I run?.. during?… after?… at all?”
“Will training with a heart rate monitor enhance my performance?”
These are just some of the questions I hear and read. Do I think they are valid? Certainly. Do they need to be in the forefront of our minds? Not always. We need to remember that all running takes is putting one foot in front of the other. That’s it. It’s that simple foundation that makes running so beautiful. I found that the less I think about all the little intricacies of running, the more I enjoy it.
Yes, there is a time and place to run against a certain standard (e.g., race pace runs, speedwork, hill repeats, the looooooooong run, etc…). But, every now and again, leave the running watch at home. Run at whatever pace you desire. Let the roads and paths lead you. Enjoy running for the simple art it is.
Running isn’t complicated…unless you choose to make it.
Doug started running in 2007 and is a RRCA-Certified Running Coach and proud coach for DC Road Runners. He lives in the Washington, DC metro area and works for the Federal Aviation Administration. He’s the chapter coordinator the Medals4Mettle Washington, DC Chapter, which collects finisher medals donated by runners and gifts them to children and adults dealing with chronic or debilitating illnesses.