Saturday, February 26, 2005

Below base training via a detour

Coming back from Paris was rather fraught. The fundamental cause was my stupidity (something that streaks through most of my activities). We had flown to Charles de Gaulle airport with Easyjet, paid no attention to the terminal and just caught a taxi to North Paris. Going back we had no idea which terminal we needed but thought there were only two and that Air France dominated 1 so that 2 was the most likely.

When we got off the train there was no guidance, no information point, no list of airlines - nothing but arrows to 2a, b,c,d,e etc. We picked one of those at random and found an information desk where we were told we needed terminal 3 and that there was a bus, which we caught. It stopped outside a building and we walked through the doors only to find a dark deserted concrete space, with no signs of life or even any signs to show us where we were. We were frustrated and baffled. Eventually we found someone to ask and were pointed in the direction of an unmarked walkway to the terminal.

The point of this anecdote is not to wallow in my own helplessness; it is to show the value of good signage. It is something as ancillary to the main activity, that might seem unimportant. When it is done well we don't even notice it. However when it absent or badly designed it messes up movement and makes things difficult, even unusable.

I began to think of the equivalents in running - the unconsidered activities that are not counted as training, not even noticed but actually have importance for your performance. For me they would include commuting. Home to station, station to work I am active in a way that is not be included in any training diary but over the years gives me a base. For others it could be any activity that involves regular walking, standing or lifting.

This base is at a deeper level than base training - it is the substrate below it. The more active you are the better you can build. But there are other areas that could be worked on. Posture is a good example. I am terrible - I sit slumped in front of a computer most of the day. I should be holding myself better so that my spine is properly aligned so that when I run everything is straight and square and the forces are evenly dispersed.

These are unconsidered things but they allow you to be in good shape for your training, allow things to move more freely – a bit like good signage.

Reason No. 13 for running: It is built on the whole of your life.


beanz said...

some time no post - hope you are ok

Highway Kind said...

Yes there has been a bit of a gap - slight problem of computer congestion as younger daughter has been doing lots of homework (so I can't really complain).

But I will be posting again soon. At the moment I am reading Blink by William Gladwell and will try to make some sort of running connection.

Thanks for your interest Beanz