But maybe it's not that easy. To achieve excellence in any endeavor, there must be an investment of time and practice. If you believe Malcolm Gladwell in his brilliant non-fiction work, Outliers, the magic amount of practice time is 10,000 hours. Running is no exception. In order to run well, you have to run a lot. I can promise that Shalane Flanagan, the top American finisher in the women's field at this weekend's ING New York City Marathon, runs a lot. But she had never run a marathon before.
There's an opportunity in Boise tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. to learn enough about running technique to generate immediate improvement. Shu's Idaho Running Company is hosting a free clinic on Chi Running, which promises greater efficiency and fewer injuries with nothing more than some simple tweaks on your current form. While it's impossible to cram 10,000 hours of running into one evening, this is one investment of time that's sure to yield high returns—especially if you're already planning your own marathon debut next year.