What do you do when you want to learn how to do something new? You can invent hot water or find out how to heat cold water. What would you think if I told you that the best results are obtained with a limited number of efforts? I’m not saying that little effort gives great results: I’m saying that most results, statistically, are the result of a limited number of efforts. And yes, I’m telling you that to learn to run well you have to focus on doing a few things well.
The Pareto principle, also known as “Law 80/20”, notes that statistically most of the effects are due to a small number of causes. Or in other words: a limited number of efforts determines the largest number of effects. The proportion of 80 and 20 refers to percentages and is a principle that applies to many fields: 80% of sales come from 20% of customers, 80% of workforce efficiency comes from 20% of workers, 80% of an airline’s revenue comes from 20% of its most profitable routes.
Are you already bleeding profusely from your nose? Let’s get to the interesting part.
Statistically, this proportion can also be applied to learning: 80% of the positive results when you learn to do something new are determined only by 20% of the efforts you make.
You just have to figure out which efforts to focus on and work on, forgetting that 100% efficiency doesn’t come from focusing on 100% of the things you have to do to do something, like running.
But here’s step by step, what you have to do to learn to run.
How the big boys do it
Even if running is natural, doing it right is not so natural. You can try out endless techniques on your own until you find your ideal (using 14 lives) or see how the big boys do it and take much less time: studying how they run, what they eat, how much they train and how.
Focus on doing a few things well
Learning a new thing is beautiful: the speed with which you improve at the beginning is the best incentive to continue to do so. To learn how to do something well (at least 80%!) you only need to focus on a few key aspects.
If you’ve just started running or you’ve been running for a long time but you’re not better, try focusing on it:
Is there a better way to run than others? Yes, and it’s based on the setting, the inclination of your torso relative to the road, the type of support, etc.
You have to breathe to live and you have to do it well to run! Upright bust and wide shoulders, breathing at a pace, using nose and mouth. Everything is explained here.
Fast or slow, it tries to maintain a constant rhythm, at least in the first outing. Concentrate on being like a car: not too strong, not too slow, but in a condition of comfort (we’ll think about it later). Making the movement of the race automatic allows you to be more attentive to the reactions of your body: pain, fatigue, sensations.
Talent is commonly understood as the innate ability to do something and do it easily. A beautiful idea, unfortunately not true, otherwise Messi would not train and Uto Ughi would play his violin only at concerts. The thing that unites the best in the world is that they practice a lot to do and redo the thing they know how to do better. It’s more heroic to think that Federer is all day to whizz in Ferrari and then wins Wimbledon because he passed by there but the truth is that the secret even so secret of every champion is to train a lot.
So don’t think about the times, don’t think about the road and the km. Just think of these things and do them perfectly. When you ride a bike you don’t think you’re cycling and MIRACLE HOMIODDY I’m IN BALANCE WATCH MAMMA! No: *Cycling* is an action that you have learned and that for you is automatic. It doesn’t require mental effort. Running must be like that, but first you must have learned to do it in the best possible way.
Listen to the advice
To improve you need to be observed by an expert and listen to his advice, because only those who know about certain flaws in the setting see them. Some people you can’t even see for yourself. If not, why do elite athletes have a coach? If they need it, don’t you think you have it?
Don’t give up
A lot of people quit before they get really good at it. I’m not saying the best in the world, but good. The concept of “good” is very relative: good is also who weighs 110 kg and starts running and in 12 months weighs 80. If he had given way after the initial euphoric phase because he did not continue to lose weight as he thought or due to an injury he would not have made it.
Everything new that we learn to do causes the brain to release dopamine that makes us feel so good. When we now know how to do it, the new effect and dopamine are eliminated. It’s at this stage that they give up a lot: they no longer have the cue and the desire.
You just have to know, right? It’s not the end of the world and it has a scientific explanation. But more importantly, it doesn’t mean you have to give up because you’ve already got what you could have got. It just means that you are in a phase where the improvements are no longer as noticeable as they were at the beginning. They have not disappeared: they are less perceptible. In this phase you don’t have to give up. The prize will be improved, continuing to work on 80% to overcome it.
To sum up:
1. Study how good people do it
2. Focus on a few actions (breathing, posture, step)
3. Repeat repeat repeat
4. Let a coach follow you
5. Do not give up. Never.