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Training by feel: Eric's Blog Posted on January 22, 2014

As the number of training gadgets increase, and as they get increasingly more affordable, we’re becoming more connected to our gadgets and less connected to our running. On any given day, you might be getting through your run by being glued to the pace on your Garmin while your iPod is pumping Kid Rock into your head (I dunno. You like terrible music, I guess.), and your iPhone is posting details of your run to your Facebook account. Some coaches think that all of this distraction has made us lose sight of how we actually feel on our runs, meaning we’re not paying attention to whether we’re tired or not. This, in turn, has us blindly following training plans, and potentially hindering our own training.

These coaches think that it could be beneficial to throw away the training plan, leave the gadgets at home, and train by feel. I’m here to tell you that THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA. Let’s be honest, if I got up every morning and decided what I was going to run by how I felt, I’d go straight back to bed, and I LOVE running. Still you’re brain doesn’t want you to run a marathon; it wants you to sit on a bean bag chair and eat an entire bag of Oreos while watching a How I Met Your Mother marathon. That’s why your brain has evolved to kind of look like a bean bag chair. Honestly, it’s just science.

Look, do you really think we evolved so we could create things like pillow top mattresses and the internet because our brains want us to DO things?! Especially something like running, which we’ve made absolutely unnecessary with technological advancements? I’ll tell you – the answer is: nope, which is exactly why we need to get out there and do it. It’s good for your body and your brain. And, honestly, I’m all about raging against the machine; sometimes it’s a great idea to leave the Garmin and iPod at home and just slip on your shoes and go run.

I’m no coach, but as far as training advice is concerned, I’m not sold on training by feel. You should, however, always listen to your body. If you need an extra rest day, take it. If you’re feeling good, pick it up a bit. But you should almost always get out there and run, regardless of what your fat, lazy brain tells you to do, because we all know that more miles = more smiles.


*Eric is a freelance blogger for the More Miles More Smiles team!*

by Mark Spewak


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