Why golfers don’t get better and runners don’t get faster

Working towards the perfect swing

Today’s run (street): 2.5 miles

When I was a kid, my dad was into golf and he spent a lot of time focusing on technique that would improve his game. I can recall the various devices made up of ropes and whiffle balls (I called them his toys) that he’d swing in the house in hopes of improving his swing. Did they help? I’m not sure, but I should ask him.

Bringing this to today, I know people who are equally focused on improving their golf form. There are numerous magazines, websites and TV shows that provide tutorials and theory on ways to optimize your golf skills. With all these resources, you’d think anyone could measurably elevate their game. Yet, despite this help, most people can’t get past a certain level.

Running seems to be that way for me. I read Running Times, Runner’s World and Trail Runner magazines and pay attention to articles about technique and performance. I practice some of what I read and occasionally see results from the changes I made. But at the end of the day, I still run about the same race pace as I did three years ago. On a daily basis, I’m a little slower. 

I ran my daily route 19 seconds faster today than yesterday. To get where I want to be requires me to run that course 3 minutes faster than I did today. Until I commit to really doing that core and hill work, speed play, and intervals, I’ll never find myself running sub-9:00 paces on a daily basis. Resources are great, but only if you actually use them.

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