Old Dog, New Tricks? Absolutely!

By Rogue Coach: Kim Wrinkle

I could just as easily have titled this blog Do as I Say, Not as I Do since much of my advice to my athletes involves my mistakes as a runner not being repeated as a coach.  So what has this “old dog” learned?

Patience, for one thing.  I appreciate “waiting” for results, “waiting” for the healing of an injury, “waiting” for patience itself (Oh, the paradox!). As a younger Kim, patience was not a virtue, but rather seemed to be a curse since it was forced upon me time after time by failure to reach a goal or by yet another injury due to rejecting the lessons that such setbacks taught me.  The older (hopefully wiser) Kim realizes that every setback is an opportunity to learn!

 Not surprisingly, we all learn more from failure than from success. With success often comes complacency; with failure comes knowledge. If so, my “education” in the school of running has made me not only a better student, but a better teacher.  I and my athletes benefit from my less-than-satisfactory “report cards” in Running 101 and in every “class” thereafter. Call it “Old Dog University,” and I have certainly earned my PhD.

As “Dr.” Wrinkle, then, we’ll call Old Dog New Trick #1 Patience. Learn to wait for improvement.  Enjoy the journey; the destination is worth the trip.  Every worthwhile goal, in running and in life, takes time.

New Trick #2: Pain is not an enemy, but a friend. If so, I have embraced this friend on more occasions than I have avoided him/her. We avoid our enemies but welcome our friends.  Pain, the friend, has a lot to teach us, old dog or puppy. For one thing, pain is a signal, whether it be a sign of effort or of injury.  The pain of effort teaches us how to deal with greater and greater amounts of effort, and hence greater and greater amounts of pain. Embrace this friend! The pain of injury teaches us to respect our “friend,” not to neglect him or her.  Ironically, respect makes this painful “friend” leave us, while neglect encourages this unwelcome guest to stay. Learn when to embrace and when to respect pain.

New Trick #3: More is not always better.  However, “more better” is always better. Training involves adaptation; we adapt to increasing levels of stress or to different types of stress.  This process can’t be rushed or simply thrown together by adding “more” of anything without a specific purpose. More mileage will only lead to improvement if lack of mileage was the issue. Knowing when and what to add to a program is the key. That may involve more mileage, but it may involve more rest instead. Knowing the important component to increase will improve both athlete and coach.

  Enough lessons for one blog!  As an Old Dog, I’ve likely forgotten more about running than most people will ever know.  Nevertheless, I continue to learn more about myself and more about the runners I am so blessed to coach. I’m glad I’ve experienced practically everything (except childbirth), good and bad, that my runners will ever experience. Time to pass the “bone” of wisdom along to a younger generation of running “puppies!”


 Wanna chew on a few more bones from this ole dog? He is the John Shcrup of CP! He coaches Rogue’s premiere training program in Cedar Park. It’s called Team Rogue. If you wanna take your marathon or half marathon to its highest level … then click the link and sign up! 


2 thoughts on “Old Dog, New Tricks? Absolutely!

  1. Kim- from one old, wise dog to another, I love what you have to say about patience and “pain” as a friend… In my bellydance practice, patience has definitely proven to pay forward in results. As I was in Downward Dog at yoga a couple of weeks ago, I tried to reframe my purpose in that pose and ask myself what I could get out of it instead of planning how quickly I could get out of it!!!

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