Sometimes we can get somewhere with the conventional wisdom and sometimes we need to cut against the grain to blaze our own path, even if it means breaking with the accepted norms and collective wisdom. Sometimes there are exceptions to the rule which end up defining our entire lives, career paths, and relationships. Sometimes it fits go go with the flow but sometimes we must run contrarian, against the wind, carving out our own running identity and path, blazing our own trail or bending the trail to fit our talents, gifts, and abilities.
Are you a running contrarian? Have you ever wondered that? Do you always take the path of least resistance? Do you travel the road less traveled even if it is more challenging/difficult?
For example: Society tells us we should carbo load with lots of pasta on the night before a race? Good idea? Nope! Sweet potato dinner is better, especially for a marathon. Pasta might be okay for lunch before the race but not too much for dinner or lunch can be harmful.
Here’s another running myth to disspell: runners don’t need sleep! WRONG! Try functioning on 4-5 fitful hours of sleep (or less) a night and tell me you can be effective, positive, and function effectively without falling asleep or getting crabby, grumpy, and irritable. We need not be grumpy old men…and women.
Another: runners can eat whatever we want as we just run it off! Want to see my high cholesterol and triglyceride readings from 2 years ago to disprove this?
How about this one? Drink lots of beer, it will help your running. No, not really. Actually, overconsumption of alcohol causes all kinds of derivative problems, derailing runners, running careers, interpersonal relationships, and communications. Caveat: one glass of red wine per day might actually be helpful. Moderation. 🙂
Is moderation in all things wise? Perhaps. Although moderation in wisdom may not be enough. Moderation in vision, desire, motivation, and willpower may not be enough. Moderation in confidence may be insufficient although we all need to rein in our egos and serve others before serving ourselves with self-serving sanctimony.
Another myth of running? Reach your goal and then sit on your laurels. Better yet, sit on the couch. You can run and not need to do any other exercise, cross-training, or recovery workouts. WRONG! When you reach your goals, reset new ones. And cross-train and recover. It matters significantly in your success as an athlete and a person.
Oh here’s another myth! Run 17 miles, then ignore your family and take a nap all weekend. great idea! NOT! No, you must still interact with the world and spread that powerful creative endorphin effect around equally to everyone you know. Quick! Before it vanishes into thin air! Or into a sandbox! Running is like a sandbox, the sand shifts, and we must adjust our lives accordingly. If we don’t, it’s hard to re-enter the sandbox later.
Another great running myth: Eat back all the calories you ran off! Especially meat, potatoes, and dairy! Then eat more! Go for 5000 calories of eating every long run day. OK, no not really a good idea. We need to keep our nutrition much more restrained and intelligent than that.
The world will tell you what is acceptable, but we must test it and UNLEARN what is incorrect or no longer useful. Contrarian running education means learning new powerful transformational ways of operating in running, eating, drinking, and sleeping/resting. If you are interested in talking about running contrarian and living contrarian, I would like to talk with you.
Test the world first. Then RUN CONTRARIAN! It’s good for you! Stop and think. Use critical thinking, reason, intuition. It works wonders if we remember to use these great gifts. If the majority and the conventional wisdom tells you to train, run, and live one way but your powerful intuition and critical thinking tells you the opposite, cut against the grain and do the opposite of what the conventional wisdom tells you to do. It will unleash new possibilities and blaze promising new hopeful paths before you.