Constantly on the search for the perfect running technique? Forever trying to find those elusive perfect running shoes? Maybe you’re convinced all you need is the best running gear money can buy in order to reach peak performance?
What if we told you that there are no one-size-fits-all when it comes to running? No carbon-copy “perfect technique’’. No single best pair of shoes. No gear that will magically take you to an elite running level. Are we saying this to dishearten you? No. Quite the opposite actually. We’re telling you this because we believe that every runner is unique in their own way. And knowing that is the true key to success.
Every runner is unique
A short surf of the web will leave you with an abundance of noise and confusion. “This is the perfect way to run”, “land on your mid-foot for the best results”, “try to maintain neutral pronation at all times”, “shoulders back, head up and you’re good to go”. But you’re probably already familiar with this. What you may be less familiar with is the notion that there is no single “right” way to run. Every single runner, every single run and every single step – is unique.
There are forefoot runners and rearfoot runners. Runners with a cadence of 180spm and runners with a cadence of 150spm. Runners who swear by one shoe brand, others who wouldn’t be caught dead in them. So, why is there so much discrepancy and disagreement when it comes to the optimal running choices? Because there is no right or wrong. Every runner has their own way of running. And that’s what makes it exciting.
Just take a look at all the different distances you run. You probably use different techniques for each and every one. Your cadence during interval training will naturally be way higher than when you go for a steady 5k jog. Your running posture is more likely to change over greater distances too, as your body gets tired, it tries to reserve energy and that will impact your technique. But this is normal. It’s natural. It’s nothing to be concerned about.
What is concerning is people trying to fit this one-size-fits-all mould of what the perfect runner should look like. Putting your body into unnatural positions to try and emulate elite runners you see on TV. This is a one-way ticket to a nasty injury. Obviously, there are certain things you can do to prevent injury. Certain steps you can take to help progress your performance. But ultimately, it is an understanding of your own personal running profile that will determine whether you will be one of the runners who actually one day achieves their full potential.
You can see this in abundance right now during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Some runners are known for their pace and excel over shorter distances. Whereas they could never compete with the runners who are known for their endurance. Why? Because their bodies, their technique, their training, are all tailored towards that single event. That one distance. That one run. It’s unique.
Understanding your body, your strengths and your weaknesses. Your unique running profile. That is the stepping stone to becoming a great runner.
There’s a whole world of data out there. Ways in which you can analyse yourself and track your progress under a microscope. Instead of looking at this data and thinking “how can I change this to replicate that of these Olympic runners?” Try looking at it and begin understanding what it really means. What kind of runner does this make you? How can you make small, incremental changes to get the best out of your running? Fueled by this data.
”Make the data work for you. Not against you.”
Knowledge is power. And so is knowing that you are unique, and so is everybody else. Use this to motivate yourself. Not compare yourselves with others. Only you know your body. To what degree is the determining factor of whether you will ever wield its full potential.
This change in perception is the first step. The first step of your unique running journey. One we’re happy to be a part of.
We are happy to welcome you to the next step of our ARION journey. A step which we’ll take together, to discover your own running identity. Keep an eye out on our socials and website, as we are ready to start discovering everyone’s own running identity.
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