Don’t get lost in science

Some time ago, I was listening to a podcast interview of a high school coach with a PhD in exercise physiology. He pointed out that his athletes could be using watches that measure heart rate, oxygen saturation, cadence, ground contact time, and a crazy number of other values. However, while some had these watches, he didn’t have them paying attention to those values while running. His runners learned how to run by feel.

I wrote down a few notes from that interview and came across them last week, which prompted this post.

So, why would a coach who is among the most qualified in the profession to use all these real time physiological values not use them? Because he understands when they are valuable and when something as simple as paying attention to how you feel works better.

These measures have value. Some have more value than others but some definitely have a lot of value. However, while you’re running, they are not of concern. The most valuable measure while you’re running is how you’re feeling. Unfortunately, when we start focusing on other measures, it becomes very easy to lose your focus on that most important measure.

Just because you can measure something doesn’t mean it’s better than developing the ability to know and follow the immeasurables.

Note: As I was writing this but deep in enough that I had to committed to it this week, I realized I’ve already written about this topic twice in the past several months. I’ll try to lay off this topic for a while now but, while I don’t want to beat a dead horse, I do hope this tells you how important I think this topic is.

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