Why, oh why, do people have to complicate something that is not? I love running because it is so simple (nothing even close to rocket science involved) just one foot in front of the other and repeat. I’m not a complete Luddite and do appreciate some of the technical advances; wicking socks (I love Wigwam Trail Trax Pro), breathable waterproof jackets and Facebook. I enjoy posting photos of my scenic runs to wind up my friends living in cities. But for me running is basically the same as when Ron Hill first invented those brilliant tracksters and when men were running across the plains of Africa.
So I was disheartened and a little annoyed (very annoyed actually) when I saw on Facebook someone asking how much they should eat and at what intervals during a half-marathon. Their Garmin told them how many calories they used on various runs so they were trying to work out how much to eat based on that. I wanted to go on there and shout rather loudly (type in capital letters) just eat your breakfast run the half-marathon a bit later, then have lunch and have a few more chips and a pint of beer to allow for the fact you have done a bit of exercise. But quite a few people had already commented with ‘helpful’ advice about how much to eat and whether gels were better than real food like jelly babies (when have Jelly Babies been real food?). If it wasn’t for marketing departments and magazines and websites needing to sell advertising the world of running would be a lot simpler.
I left that post and had a quick scroll down some others. ‘My Garmin won’t sync to my PC’, ‘ My Garmin and Strava on my iPhone show different results’, ‘What are the best poles to use for a mountain ultra?’, What barefoot shoes do you use? (isn’t that an oxymoron).
So reading that lot I’m thinking to myself that the bit in Born to Run about man being a natural runner and chasing down prey with persistence running is a load of rot. There were no checkpoints with isotonic drinks and Jelly Babies and how did they get back to the women and children with no GPS to show them the way. And if it is not on Strava and posted on social media it didn’t happen. Although looking at the logo on the flier for the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon I think the bushmen used poles.