Originally posted on: August 22, 2013
I love the Internet and how it allows me to connect with others, research new or different ways to improve my running and all the other things that I do there. However, we have to be aware and careful of what we are reading and watching while visiting there.
Is what you are reading or watching based on reality on reality or is it what someone wants to be reality and make it easy for them to make a quick buck or two?
Does it really matter?
I believe it does - a lot
There are lots of people who are providing "questionable" methods and programs to runners to improve their running, especially newer or desperate runners attempting to come back from yet another injury, that make recommendations about running that make me go huh!
Too much of their "proof" is based on conjecture, questionable or cherry-picked research or something they simply pulled out of their ass.
I know the old saying CAVEAT EMPTOR "Buyer Beware" theory that some seem to condone completely online, but is that the direction we want or need our running community to go?
Stop and think
Stop and think about how easy it is for someone to claim to be an "expert", create a blog and a website, then publish an eBook about running (ripping off others ideas and methods), sell it on Amazon and other places, start a slick Internet marketing campaign and start shouting from everywhere that "you" should do something like:
- change your form - after all there is only one "true" way
- change your diet - this is the "only" right way
- change your training - this way is the "only" right way
- change your outlook - this is how you "should" see the world
- change your...you fill in the blank
and all the other "should, only, right, better ways to instantly become the runner you have always wanted to be, while never having to worry about injuries again. Then comes the kicker - we can do all this and more for a small price, because after all your health and your running are so important to you - well isn't it?
In my opinion if someone starts to preach the above - run a fast as you can in the other direction.
Those people scare me.
In the 40 plus years that I have been a runnah, I have learned the hard way that there is no single right way to run or train for every situation or runner.
There are too many variables involved like different distances, finish times desired, individual biomechanics, injury history, current gait and running form, personalities and all the other factors that need to be factored into our running, that do not and cannot fit into any one size fits all runner's plan or program.
Before buying into a "program" (either with cash or time) look at the author's (writing or video) credentials.
- Do they have the background and experience to be knowledgeable in what they are talking about?
- Where did they get it?
- How did they get it?
- How long have they been involved in this?
- Who else do you know that has used this program (online or real life)?
- What do other experts in the field say about this program or person?
- How much is it actually going to cost you?
- Can you do the concepts in the program without instruction or do you have to have ongoing coaching?
- How long does it take to see improvements or changes?
- Have you been following this person on Twitter, Facebook page, Google+, what are the responses that person is actually receiving on their program?
- What does success look like?
- Is the program a new and different take on something or does it build on the work of another author? Is credit given?
- Finally and the only thing that really counts - does it feel right to you?
Those and many other question are important to ask yourself before you jump in with both feet to use a particular program.
The reality is that
Just because someone has a great blog or website, does not mean that they have all the answers or that they are the experts they seem to be. There are many out there whose primary aim is to get you to give them some of your hard-earned money and not worry about if their program is right for you.
While I hope that many, actually I want to believe that most authors, blogs, website and programs are truly out there to help us become better runners, it is up to each one of us to make sure of that. We need to find and use those sites and programs that have qualified coaches, instructors or research behind them. Even a site or program with the best of intentions may not be giving information that is appropriate, research based or reasonable.
There is room in running for many different philosophies, plans and programs for runners, but there are no shortcuts to becoming a better runner, you have to put in the time and hard-work to do it.
If a training plan or routine promises you the world and it sounds too good to be true - be careful and do your research even more carefully.
I don't want to see anyone get hurt or say running sucks, because they used information or a program that is based on drivel and some shithead's wish to make a quick buck,
Just because it is on the Internet or in a book, does not make it true.
Think about it and do your own research!