Now the Freakonomics guys have added their two cents: "The how of learning is deliberate practice."
This is true in sports, music, math, programming - everything. Technique matters; it's how you do it.
I've found that to be true in my new running venture. My new-found techniques learned by running barefoot have made it possible for me to run the Manchester Road Race without pain or stiffness. I was able to run the next day without any discomfort, although I will confess that my legs were tired. The only after-effect that consistently follows a run is tiredness in my feet. They're finally waking up after years of slumbering in their shoe cocoons. I think I've succeeded in learning how to run injury-free in middle age.
I have to remember that more when I work on my programming skills. I need to identify objectives better and be more aggressive about conquering them and making them mine.