Runners like talking about running. After all, running is what we do, so it’s only natural that we talk about it. And so after thirty years of talking to runners I’ve learned a couple things.
1) The best thing to do when meeting runners is asking questions that get them talking about their running. “How’s your running going?” or “Got any races coming up?” are my go to running ice breaker questions.
2) Talking about my running when not specifically asked usually bores people to tears.
Let’s face it, in the grand scheme of things, our workouts and our races are not that important. Of course, our family and friends will care about what’s important to us, and if that happens to be running, of course they will be interested. But that doesn’t mean they want a blow by blow account of yesterday’s run. Runners are often deeply invested in their running, and for good reason, but let’s face it, everyone including runners, has more important things going on in their lives than running. We have family, jobs, and other activities, and it’s hard for anyone to muster up more than a polite enthusiasm about your next 10k. And our training involves a rather mind numbing sequence of times, distances, and other trivia. Do you really care how far I ran yesterday? Didn’t think so.
And so for the last fews days I’ve thought about removing the DailyMile gadget off this blog which dutifully listed each days run with my comments, and today I did just that. It was hard to see the point of having it there. Keeping a daily running log is about carefully documenting each workout so that you can look back on it someday, and figure out what works, and what doesn’t work, and tiny snippets of this are not something I think most people would find interesting. Of course, I could try to make it entertaining with witty comments about each run, but what can you really say about a run that’s new and fresh that you’ve already done a bunch of times already. The result was some pretty innocuous commentary on this DailyMile gadget, such as “Felt pretty good, day off helped”. Boy, doesn’t that sound exciting!
The thing to remember is that running is not about individual workouts. It’s really about the totality of weeks and months of hard work, slowly ascending to your goals over the long haul. Sure, you can have a big day and pop a really good workout, but just like distances races themselves, training is a lot about steady persistence. And so a training log book is bound to reflect that, with most days being rather routine.
And just because I can broadcast my daily running log book to the world doesn’t mean I should. Running is a rather personal endeavor, and I often only discuss it with my close circle of family members, friends, teammates, training partners and coaches. I’d like to keep it that way.