How do you use tools and data?

What I see on my watch while running (if I look)

If a runner from 20 years ago was to look at what almost every single one of us has on our wrists and could comprehend all of the data these magnificent watches record, they would be floored.

The irony of this is that many coaches, myself included, are now worried that many runners are too fixated on that data and have forgotten how to listen to their bodies.

So how do you use all of that data that you have readily available in a productive way?

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How to pick the right running shoes for you?

We’re always looking for a better way to choose the right running shoe. For a long time, it was believed we wanted to find a shoe that would promote “neutral” pronation. That’s the world I grew up in and what I, along with pretty much everyone else during the time, believed.

Then, we realized that using this method didn’t seem to reduce injury risk. So along came the “just find the pair of shoes that’s more comfortable” theory. It’s one I adopted (and, for myself, it didn’t really change the shoes I was picking). I believe it works well but is it really the best? We haven’t seen injury rates drop dramatically, if at all, since switching to this method.

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Hurt? Look at everything

Just because it hurts while you run doesn’t mean running caused it

Recently, I’ve been dealing with an ankle/lower shin issue. I’m on the road to recovery, in large part because I think I found the primary cause of the issue and have corrected it.

However, the primary cause wasn’t where I was expecting it to be and it was where most runners don’t tend to look. It had to do with what I was doing in my leisure time, not when I was running or, for that matter, doing anything physically demanding.

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2020 in review (and a quick 2021 preview)

2020. What a year. I think we’ll all be glad to put it behind us with hopes of a much better 2021.

That said, I did want to take some time to reflect on 2020 at HillRunner.com and offer a sliver of a view of what 2021 might bring. There were disappointments here and not as much got done as I was hoping for in 2020 but HillRunner.com wasn’t at a complete standstill and I hope some things that happened set us up for a more productive 2021.

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Why does cross training work?

If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you’ve probably seen me mention specificity of training. In short, this is the idea that the best way to become a better runner is to run. You can do other things and they will help but they won’t help as much as devoting the same amount of time and energy to running.

But then, why do things like strength training matter? Strength training specifically is extremely different than distance running. It’s basically a polar opposite. So why does it help us run better?

Well, Alex Hutchinson offers some thoughts on that. An interesting read.

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Don’t lose yourself in the numbers

Record those numbers if you wish but don’t lose yourself in them

I have an admission to make. When I’m writing training plans for the runners I coach, I don’t even look at the weekly mileage I have them running. As I know can frustrate some, especially as we are just starting together, I very infrequently talk about specific paces to target.

Why don’t I do these things? Because your body doesn’t know numbers. It knows effort and duration.

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Ask me anything

The time has come again! Your chance to ask me anything you would like. As I always seem to mention, this is always one of my favorite things to do.

Almost nothing is off limits. Feel free to ask me about training, racing, my thoughts on running during these wild times we have been facing and will continue to face for some time, what’s going on at HillRunner.com. This is my invitation to you to ask whatever you would like.

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