Friday, March 13, 2015

Information overload

A friend of mine at work recently announced she wants to run the Honolulu Marathon. Her first long run event. It seems like only yesterday I said the same words, so naturally I began to shower her with all the knowledge I had gained in the last couple of years. She is a very smart person, and it wasn't long before she began to point out conflicting bits of information. Runner's World says this, Training Peaks says that, and so-and-so says something different again. The two things we all agree on are 1) she should start with a walk-run program that gradually increases the run duration, and 2) she should wear proper running shoes. I guess you could say the the confusion started with which brand of shoe, and went off in all directions from there. How often to run. Where to run. What to eat. When to eat. Smartphone vs. dedicated HRM vs. smart watch vs. activity tracker.

The other day I thought it would be helpful to share some of the books I have purchased for my Kindle. Come to find out that not all Kindle books can be loaned, those that can can only be loaned once, and only for seven days. None of the books I wanted to share are load enabled; so much for that. So I did the next best thing, I sent her a bibliography. Keep in mind this is not exhaustive, just some books I have found to be useful.

Abshire, Danny (Mr. Newton). Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger, Healthier Running.

Dicharry, Jay. Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed, and Injury Prevention.

Fitzgerald, Matt. 80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster By Training Slower. (Bought but not yet read, supposed to be good.)

Fitzgerald, Matt. The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition: A Cutting-Edge Plan to Fuel Your Body Beyond "the Wall." (Target is advanced runners but good to know. I used his training plans for half marathons, went very well.)

Friel, Joe. Fast After 50: How to Race Strong for the Rest of Your Life.

As I put this list together I realized how much material I had, and how badly I wanted to re-read some of these. The Dicharry book especially, since I have so many range of motion issues. I am still reading "Fast After 50" and even then it will take a lot of time and study to implement Friel's advice. Then there are the books I did not list, especially Friel's "The Power Meter Handbook" and Fitzgerald's "80/20 Running."
Oh. Her response? "Will tag for later; currently on information overload."

This week I managed to find time to get started implementing workout suggestions from "Fast After 50." The more I worked on my Training Peaks calendar, the more confused I got.

Then came a question about protein intake. According to Friel (well, the research he refers to) and old guy like me needs to consume a lot more protein after a hard workout than a young stud. I am a big fan of chocolate milk, and while one 8oz. serving supplies a nice dose of recovery nutrition for a typical morning run, it is not nearly enough after a hard session. I thought the best person to ask was my strength and bike coach, Dorian Cuccia, and yep, he recommends protein powder. Do you have any idea how many brands of protein powder there are? Or that some are considered downright unhealthy? It's crazy.

This afternoon it hit me. I have so many different sources of information that the task of blending them into a smooth, cohesive whole seems impossible. I have a hunch this is how my friend, the new runner, feels. This is not to say I plan to turn my back and just go by feel. Nope. I know that all this information has a role to play in making me a better athlete. What I am looking for is balance.

I'll get back to you when I find it.

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