Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Tao of Rupp

Recently I've been watching a lot of interviews with Galen Rupp on Flotrack (btw, any idea why this site doesn't work on Firefox?) and I've noticed that he has a peculiar disposition for an elite athlete: he is perfectly mild-mannered.  For someone competing at the highest level, I would expect something a little more fiery.  But whenever he is asked about one training method or another he never takes an extreme position, rather his response is always somewhere in between.

Rupp is in good company because Plato taught the same thing.  It's called the Golden Mean, and it is the idea that every virtue is flanked on either side by two vices.  For example if being greedy is one end of the spectrum and being careless with your money on the other end, then prudence is somewhere in the middle.

I'm sure that Galen Rupp doesn't style himself as any kind of guru (quite the contrary, he is famously private.)  But I can't help but wonder if his overall demeanor is one of the contributing factors to his success.  When any runner has a bad day there is a temptation to fly off the handle and make some wild change to your training.  But running is a sport about temperance, control, and consistency.  So maybe being quietly confident is the key to long-term success.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

You stupid monkey!

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.  I took two days off from running over the weekend instead of my usual one, so when I hit the roads last night I felt like a billion dollars.  My legs were fresh and light, and after two days away from my favorite sport I was longing for that scintillating sensation of speed.  That was the best of times.  The worst of times came today when I paid the price for running harder and faster than I was really ready for.

Nothing in particular was injured, but every element in my lower leg was sore.  Every step of a very slow two miles was painful.  I guess I learned my lesson.  Some weird pains have been cropping up in my knees and hip, so that coupled with my obviously over-used calf muscles means I'm going to take a cross-training break for the next few days to let this die down.  Biking and swimming would be good for me right now, and after about two months of nearly uninterrupted running at rapidly increasing speeds a rest is probably past due.

P.S.  I had to throw this in here: