Ownership and Running

Ownership requires courage. When everything falls apart, if you are the owner, you get stuck with the bill. And there is no insurance available.


Running with your eyes closed

“Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.”

It’s a refrain I occasionally hear as a coach. It makes sense: “Do this, in this way, on this day” makes a new pursuit seem much more manageable.

A few problems crop up with this:

  1. (the most disastrous) Runners do what they are told, even if it’s to their own detriment (like running through injury because “I have to keep to the schedule!”)
  2. (the most common) Runners don’t do what they are told, because life happens, or because they just don’t feel like it.
  3. Runners do the schedule to no ill effects, but it wasn’t very well suited to them.

It’s also possible that you follow a schedule, and it works out great, and you improve, and you are happy! But this strategy will not work forever.


Running with eyes open


Despite the confusion that can come with ambiguity and options, there are a lot of benefits from taking charge of your training direction. You are the captain; you chart the course and you make the calls.

Relying on somebody else to be the captain of your training is like having someone steer the boat you are riding on with a remote control from shore: they can't see from your perspective, and if they crash, you suffer.

“Wait, but isn't that what a coach does?”

Maybe if you are coaching children, but adults are allowed to get a driver's license. I see the role of coaching adults more as a consultant: the athlete still gets to make the final call, but they also get the advantage of having the counsel of someone with a bit more knowledge and experience.


It's pretty foolish to set sail knowing nothing about boats...


Even with a coach, if you are going to take ownership of your training with confidence, it’s important to

  • know some stuff
  • to know how little you actually know
  • and continuing building on what you know


We will continue talking about more of these regions of knowledge and how to continue growing in them. But in the meantime...


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