Are you crutching?

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Crutching, yes, I totally made up a word: reliance on a crutch.

Runners can have many crutches, and it’s the rare runner that has no crutch at all. The only real problem with crutches is that we can become too dependent on them.

Fairytales and Fitness

Reliance on technology
Guilty as charged. I’d say I don’t have many crutches, but you will never find me running without my Garmin, unless it’s to catch a train. I don’t always pay attention to the data, but it’s collecting it as I run. So far, knock on wood, it hasn’t failed me in a goal race. I did not have a Garmin until my second half marathon, though, so I did run in the beginning with not a lot of input — and that left me undertrained!

I’m pretty sure I’d just run the race if it did. Whether or not I’d run it better or worse is anyone’s guess.

Reliance on music
I started out running with music. Sometimes I think about going back to it, but I gave it up long ago. I know a lot of runners who really have a problem if for some reason their music fails them during a race.

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Reliance on other people
Most of us will probably never run a whole race with another runner. Sure, some people do, and I once walked a race with a friend (we’d planned to run it together, but she was injured).

It’s definitely easier training with a buddy. You just have to be sure that when push comes to shove, you can go it alone.

Reliance on outcome
I train hard for goal races. I train (sometimes) with PRs in mind. I’m also painfully aware that just because you train well — even if everything goes right — an outcome is never a given. I always have a few goals, and while I might be unhappy if I don’t meet a time goal — although I rarely actually have one — if I’ve done my best, I get over that pretty quickly. I usually only get upset if I feel I gave up, for whatever reason.

Reliance on good weather
Most will advise runners to do their training runs no matter the weather. Because you never know what race day will hand you. It’s sound advice. I have raced in all sorts of adverse weather, from freezing temps to a Nor’easter to blazing temps.

I will still often choose to rearrange my running schedule due to weather. I know, though, that I have — and can — run through almost anything the day hands me. Except sleet or slippery snow!

Do you recognize any crutches you think might be hindering you?

What would you add to the list?

Can you think of a way a crutch can be a good thing?

 

16 thoughts on “Are you crutching?

  1. Well my Garmin is a crutch but I use it to make sure I don’t overdo things so I can track my mileage more easily than trying to work it out on a map and then tot it up for the week. It’s also been invaluable at measuring (its version of) my heart rate as I adjust to some new medication. No music for me as I use headphones at work and like to have my ears free. My biggest crutch is probably running on surfaces and roads I know rather than being more experimental!

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    1. I like to go new places, but oftentimes it’s just a time thing. A 30 minute drive somewhere means an hour driving — I’m doing enough driving as it is! I still do try to vary where I run.

      My Garmin is definitely a crutch, I freely admit that.

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  2. Interesting.

    I do not rely on technology. Don’t wear anything unless I race.

    I do not rely on music. Now I sometimes listen to podcasts.

    I do not rely on others. I like them. But it rare to get someone to run the while distance at your pace.

    I do not rely on outcomes since I don’t train for them. I often don’t remember them until after. I race because I enjoy it.

    Not weather either. I have to run after work. No other time really. So if it’s hot or cold or rainy, usually I go. Not much choice. Long runs on Saturday. Period.

    Not sure they’re crutches but preferences. I like pretty scenery and flat surfaces. But not always available.

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    1. Podcasts are the same as music, a way to distract yourself. I know you’re not going to listen to a Podcast during the race, way to much to take in! Another pinch me moment for you.

      I suppose I’m lucky, I don’t really have any races that are bucket list for me. There are ones I’d like to do, of course, and sometimes when it comes down to that something changes my mind.

      I will always try to choose a route that mimics a race I’m training for. I think that’s important.

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      1. Music can be used to improve your pace. At least I used only download tunes to run faster to. I should go back to music maybe.

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  3. I’m right there with you on the technology and the weather. I often move my runs around or choose to run at the gym depending on the weather. I know that you don’t have that luxury on race day but why make yourself miserable when you don’t have to 🙂

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  4. Oh man, I am so guilty of relying on outcomes (specifically numbers) to determine my happiness with races and workouts. I have other non-time goals, but it’s still a bit of a pang in the chest when I don’t quite get what I want.

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  5. I really try to not be dependent on anything. Granted I prefer to run with music, but I’ve done it without and all has gone well. I do a lot of my long training runs with my friend, Barb, but this summer I have done several on my own (when she was out of town). It’s a definite confidence boost knocking out double digit runs solo 😉 I seldom wear my Garmin unless I’m racing, but even then I seldom look at it. I guess I’m pretty old-school LOL

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  6. Great theme
    I love the Garmin data, but sometimes it’s nice to just run without. Not on the Wednesday workouts or Saturday longruns but random weekday runs. I know the loop’s distance and I know about how long I’m out, so if it’s not charged/I forget it, it isn’t a run stopper
    I love running in the rain. Waiting to start a race, not so much.
    I need my music or a podcast though. Sometimes long runs are just too long to think the whole time.

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    1. Don’t love running in the rain unless it’s summer & a warm rain. Even then, sometimes I find it harder to get out the door if it’s raining!

      I don’t have set loops. I kinda sorta know some, but I really like to have the data! I’m also pretty good at not watching pace when I don’t want to.

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