If you had to pick one element as the determining factor in performance… which would you pick: technique or exertion (aka all-out effort, giving it 100%)?
The doctrine of the sport & fitness industries is that its exertion that’s fundamental to achieving goals. So what do we do? We hire trainers and coaches to ‘push us harder’, we fuel ourselves incessantly so that we go harder. No different, we tell our children to ‘try harder’ at school, in sport, communicating that their effort thus far has been sub-par, mediocre, unimpressive. Yet… we wonder why are children deal with low self-esteem, opt out of sport, school, and social activities. Meanwhile, us adults approach our own goals as if hitting them harder and harder is key to our success. So far, I do not see wide spread success, at least not without health compromised in the process.
In this beast-mode mindset, if I was to ask you… in a race between a runner and a race walker, who would prevail? Undoubtedly, the runner would be heralded as the winner, no question. Why? Simple, because the runner can… run, like duh! The walker is like… walking, ya know.
Hmm…. So how do beast-moders explain Canadian Olympic race walker Evan Dunfee race walking the Vancouver Marathon and placing 133rd, out of 3654 participants. In his age category of 25-29, Dunfee placed 25th. Not bad for a Sunday morning stroll, eh!
What’s this got to do with technique? Simple. If an athlete – a race walker – who is limited by competition rules which prevent him from becoming air-borne like runners – can walk faster than 3500+ runners, can finish a marathon in 3 hr 10 mins (and 34 secs), a time that 3500+ runners would have liked to have crossed the finish line in, it says one thing… technique trumps effort.
Despite all the 100% efforts, all the exertion, all the beasts who ran through pain, agony, and whatever else… technique trumped all of it. Exquisite race walking technique, trumped the all-out effort that 3500+ runners could unleash at the Vancouver Marathon. Think how hard some of those runners worked to finish, yet despite having the freedom to run – i.e. both feet can be off the ground simultaneously – they could not come close to a walker.
If exquisite race walking technique put Evan Dunfee into the top 4% of all finishers of the Vancouver Marathon, then does it make any sense for any runner who wants to run faster next marathon to go back and ‘train’ harder in hopes of being faster? Not at all; that is unless banging your head against a wall is the entire point of your training.
The root problem stems from the fact that we have been sold by the sport & fitness industry that harder, not smarter, delivers our desired results.
The root problem is that technique training can only occur one one one, and for an industry which is more interested in draining every dollar out of you as opposed to your health and well-being as it claims, technique training will never deliver their sales & profit targets. Because you cannot train technique via app, via Skype, via emailed or downloaded spreadsheet, its impossible to monetize proper healthy performance training. Instead of doing things right, short cuts are sold as if they are long term healthy sustainable solutions.
Short cuts never are true solutions, that is why they are called short cuts. There is no short cut to performance. Performance demands proper training, which begins at a proper starting point, is delivered properly, is executed properly.