Old School – New Tricks

These posts are based on classical running wisdom from the exciting times of the 1970’s & 1980’s and explain the relevance of this knowledge today. The writings contain moving readings, real-life stories, and meetings with remarkable mentors, inspiring teachers and legends from the global history of the sport.

 “The biggest takeaway from every workout needs to be what did I learn?” – Art

“Regardless of your sport and regardless of your age, consistently doing your sport is what builds expertise and carries that improvement curve long into the future. What I mean by consistency is not just doing the same thing over and over in the same way. I mean you consistently make a commitment to refine the mechanics of how your body moves in all required motions of your sport. I mean you make it your goal to lean something new each and every day you train.imgres-2

Athletes who train without focusing on learning wear down. They get injured. They become rigid and less efficient as they age. They can also get frustrated. Without a commitment to body learning, it’s tough to keep any sport fresh, to keep out distancing your age by gaining new levels of performance. However those who continually search for more flow and fluidity, more power within the range of motion required of them, athletes who continually work just that small bit beyond what is required on race day, end up getting faster and better even into their later years. The key mindset is dedication to learning something new from the ground floor up every time you go out and do your sport.” (1)

(1) Mark Allen – Fast After 50 by Joe Friel


 Body learning opportunities from The Way Of Running

“I recommend that you do not run less than 50 miles for the hardest weeks of your marathon training, the ones with the most miles. If you cannot do this it is alright but I must warn you that if you only run 50 miles in the hardest weeks and 30-40 miles in the other weeks, you will not have prepared your body for the hard work of the marathon. You may have to drop out of the race or you will have a very bad day. You will also risk injuring yourself in the race and you cannot afford to be injured. So you must run enough miles to prepare your body for his kind of stress. For most runners between 80-120 miles for the hardest week is a good plan.

Of course you can always decide to run the marathon just to finish. Just run it slowly and don’t try to a performance time. If your work, or health or family prevents you from training as much as you would like, don’t give up, just think differently about the marathon and treat it as an endurance training run for an even later in your life. In this case running lower mileage might be alright. Go to the race for fun, start very slow, take a lot of time at every water station and try to reach the finish line even if you have to walk for some miles.”- Dieter Hogan, 1986

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“Games often create an order that resembles the cadenced life of ashrams and monasteries, and sporting expeditions are in certain respects like religious pilgrimages. The acts that they comprise are invested with special meaning and are pointed toward perfection. Athletes feel the effect of a playing field in their bones. Fenway Park or an Olympic Stadium or a famous golf course like St, Andrews can bring a quickening of the spirit, a concentration of energies, a connection with heroes past and future that give performances in these places a heightened quality.

And even when there is no stadium or arena involved, sport implicitly creates a sacred time and place. A mountain to be climbed, an ocean to be crossed, or a stretch of countryside to be raced on can summon up significance and power for us simply by being designated the field of adventure. The spatial and temporal boundlessness of sport, by ordering and sublimating our energies and by closing off the world’s drudgery and confusion, can evoke our spiritual depths like a work of art or monastic discipline.” (1)

“I discovered, within my innermost self, the thrust of the summits towards the sky.”-  Gaston Rebuffat

(1)  In the Zone Transcendent – Experience in Sports by Michael Murphy & Reah White (1978)

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WayofRunning-RootsRated

Art emanates a sporting “vibe” that acts as a hidden spiritual power, influencing others without their being aware of how it happens.

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