I’ve been involved in distance running for over 30 years and witnessed a number of changes during this time. Hygiene has certainly improved. Back in the day we would cool & “HYDRATE” ourselves with a sponge. We would throw the sponge on the ground – a volunteer would pick the sponge up – place it in a contaminated drum of water (along with other discarded sponges) and then place the sponge back on a table for runners further down the line to pick up etc etc. Knowing a clean sponge was a strong possibility was added incentive to be in the front pack.
Running attire involved headbands, ¾ length socks and short shorts. Casual training runs were dictated more by how we were feeling, and when we ran hard – we ran hard. Race results were published in a “hard copy” some days/weeks later. Digital watches came along and advanced from 10 to 50 to 100 lap memory. Heart rate watches were next on the scene with the strap around chest being the only option.
Turn the clock forward 30 years and the headbands have gone however strangely enough the socks have become longer. Events now provide online live updates re how any runner is progressing and eventual online results show every 5k split. Totally amazing! Watch technology has gone through the roof. It’s incredible the different types of data we can now obtain from a sat nav watch.
I do become concerned when watch technology takes over. I’m aware of runners who get caught up in an online challenge to outdo each other re km’s travelled each week and also overall average km pace for the week. Such a challenge plays havoc with one’s necessity to involve adequate “recovery”. It’s exciting to be able to take advantage of advancements in watch technology however just like most vices – a healthy amount is fine but an over indulgence can be detrimental. Reduced recovery increases the likelihood of injury and or fatigue.
We need to be dictated by what is realistic for us “individually” rather than getting caught up with online challenges and coming off worse for wear. Same deal goes with following a training program. It’s possible to download a generic program or use an app however we’re not all the same. In an ideal World you will be following a training workload that is realistic for YOU based on where you’re currently placed. My local newspaper recently contained a “Beginner” training program involving “6” runs/week. I find such a workload to be unrealistic for the majority of runners. Seldom do I set more than 4 training runs/week.
Possibly you’re about to set sail for a major running goal in the 2nd half of 2015 and if so I encourage you to acknowledge your capability and build on this gradually. Keep online challenges to a manageable level, and to involve sufficient recovery time in your training program. NB: Your next run is only as good as your last recovery.
I can help you prepare for any event. I will set a training program factoring in where YOU are currently placed by taking into consideration your recent training workload. You will have the opportunity to converse with ME as often as you wish.
All the best with your running.