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.
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.
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?