7. Beating a dead horse.

Running tip #7

Speaking of bread and butter (see Parker-house rolls, tip #6), there are a couple of workouts that anyone who has been in the running business could tell you about.  There’s the standard 5 X 1,000m intervals for cross-country and the (pardon my yawn) 10 X 400m for track.  Coaches across the nation use these same two workouts with variations on recovery (the time you stand around or jog between each interval) and I don’t know if it’s my rebellious nature or my intolerance for boredom, but I find both of these bread-n-butter workouts to be tedious and, ultimately, ineffective.  Sure, there is something to be said for physical repetition creating muscle memory … note, the Karate Kid’s “wax on/wax off” …. but one must weigh the benefits against the costs of beating a dead horse.  If you disengage mentally in a workout (or in any project, really) I believe your muscular/skeletal/neurological system will stop firing on all cylinders and your performance will flatline.  When your brain goes on auto-pilot, the body follows.

So, for tip #7 I say mix it up!  Stop doing the same dull workouts week in and week out.  And if you must do 5 X 1,000 or 10 X 400 … at least do them with a trumpet.

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