Welcome to the “blog” portion of my The Tao of Running website. I might be confounding your usual notion of a blog here. I want this space to be a forum for, let’s say, actionable intelligence about running, so you’ll not find a day to day diary here or a lot of long narratives about how the last race went or the last big workout.
My goal here will be to offer advice based on thirty years of running experience, give you a chance to weigh in on that advice or offer advice of your own, and maybe spark some threads that offer a range of opinions on running topics. I think I can be helpful with standard issues like training techniques, equipment choices, race preparation and execution, and really just all things running, particularly for mid-packers who want to finish the race and enjoy themselves in the process, or just get the most out of running and avoid getting bored with it or burning out and moving on to, God forbid, golf.
But beyond the standard running issues, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the mental side of running and how running connects with other aspects of a runner’s life. That is the subject of my book The Tao of Running: Your Journey to Becoming a Mindful and Passionate Runner, which will be available in Spring of 2016. This is an area that gets less discussed but I believe is at the heart of getting the most out of your running and the key to really enjoying what you are doing. Hopefully this blog will be a place where that subject matter gets a lot of play.
As you probably already know, running, trail running and especially ultrarunning are full of trial and error episodes where you struggle to learn what works best for you, suffer through mistakes, and often question your methods. A little targeted advice can sometimes help you move past all the fog and get one little piece of the puzzle nailed in place.
Here’s an example. I was just in a race where the race director threatened bodily harm should he catch anyone tearing off the top of an energy gel packet and spitting it out on the trail. Now you do see those little scraps of packaging out there; they’re hard to keep track of and on top of that, after eating an energy gel packet you’re left with a sticky empty packet that you’re understandably reluctant to shove down into your running shorts.
Here’s my advice. Start the race with a cheap, empty sandwich bag in your pocket. You spit the tab in the bag, shove all the sticky empty packets you use during the race in there, and any other trash you happen along as well. It all stays neat and dry and at the end of the day, everybody’s happy.
So please comment on what you read here, ask questions, suggest topics to discuss, and we’ll see where this runs off to.