Friday, March 27, 2015

You Are Doing Something Wrong - So Keep Going!

We endurance addicts work hard every day and love it. However it's not uncommon to get interrupted by self-appointed technique experts just when you are enjoying a smooth flow. Disguised as well-meaning advice, people will eagerly point out that we are doing something terribly wrong.

You are over-pronating when you run! Your cadence is way too low when you ride! You are splashing water when you swim! Surely we have all been there - on both sides perhaps.

Nokia ironman-distance Finnish Champs 2004 - many things went technically wrong, but an age-group podium finish isn't that bad at the end of the day.
Even when we manage to nail it perfectly, the familiar formula of behaviour will appear: if you keep doing X, then Y will happen. This 'You Are Doing It Wrong'  brain-app has gone viral.

When I was a kid (well some might argue I still am) I learned to ride my bike pretty well by the rules, but still an aggressive driver thought it would be a good idea to dangerously cut me off and yell me in no uncertain terms that if I'd keep riding, I would be killed real soon now (no doubt by a driver just like him)!

I also clearly remember the guy who told me that if I keep running, my knees would be busted in three years. It was thirty years ago, and my knees feel better than ever now!

Anyway I was reminded of all this today, when I saw an old man (I mean real old, probably 70-80 years) swimming in the pool. Every morning I've been able to drag myself out of bed and into the pool by 7-8am, he has been there. He always has all the fancy gear like a mask, a snorkel, fins, pull buoy, paddle gloves, fins and a kick board. Obviously he doesn't know diddly-squat about freestyle swim technique. He always makes cardinal mistakes like dropping elbows. But he always gets his swim done with great determination and without whining.

When we were both finishing our respective sets, I felt tempted to point out that he could possibly swim faster by making a few simple corrections. Then I thought it might not be easy to do what he is doing at his age. Who knows what kind of pains are bothering him? Maybe he is not interested in getting faster. I noticed he was truly happy and probably proud of his pool achievements.

On my way to the sauna I just blurted out: 'You're doing great, keep going!'

6 comments:

Will said...

Congrats on the age group podium finish. Nice work! Ready for UTMB?

Trail Plodder said...

Thanks Will! No I'm never ready for anything, it's more fun that way ;)

Paul Wolff said...

The art of letting go is a lifelong task which calls for a lot of endurance indeed ;) Your strictly positive attitude speaks for you and I dare say you have mastered it – Thx for sharing your insights!

Trail Plodder said...

Thank you for the kind words Paul! "The art of letting go" - I like it!

Fegrig said...

Hopefully I will still have the ability to get in the water and propel myself up n down the pool, good read TP

Trail Plodder said...

Thanks Fegrig and many happy laps in the pool!