Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Do you have the right approach?

I'll say this and I know I may get a lot of disagreement but I don't believe you can be a "recreational runner," that is, someone not completely dedicated to the activity, or to any physical activity. It requires dedication, commitment and practice, whether you run shod or unshod and injuries will occur but the goal is to avoid the really serious injuries. We all have constant pains here and there. We are impatient in each instance. I'll stop preaching :), but, again, I wonder how much better the running experience would be if beginners spent years only running short distances until they were very proficient at short distances, then starting increasing distance. I've improved in the last 4 months more than the last 2 years because I decided that if I can't run 1 block correctly, then I shouldn't run 1 mile, or 2 miles or a 5k, or 10k, or half or full marathon. Hence, I'm still only running 5ks and I won't even sign up for a 10k until I run at least 5-10 good 5k races. This isn't about pace/speed as that goal is relative to each individual but it's about running the shorter distances with good form and technique and finishing healthy and without injury then expanding.



  1. Harry -- with all due respect -- I think your competitive nature has you writing things that just don't make sense.

    Running is just like any other sport. The more you do it -- especially if you do it properly -- the better you'll be at it.

    To say you can't be a "recreational runner" is the same thing as saying you can't be a recreational golfer, or a recreational basketball player.

    Of course you can.

    While you'll never be great at a sport you don't dedicate a lot of time to -- you can still enjoy yourself.

    It's part of your nature to be competitive. Some folks are happy with running short distances a few times a week just for fun.


  2. Al, you make a great point and I'll expound further as I expected to have some folks strike back at me, which has happened. When I say "recreational runner," I'm not referring to someone who can run a few times a week, without problems. However, most recreational runners are constantly injured and most of it has to do with elements like being overweight, lack of practice, commitment or learning how to correctly run, all of which requires practice and commitment. Most attribute the injury to the fact that running is hard on the body, or some similar excuse. I'm not afraid to call out some of our problems as a society. We are a lazy society, plain and simple. We will drive a few blocks, instead of walk or run. We will take the entire winter off, then lace up the shoes when it's warm and run 5 miles and wonder why we are injured a few weeks later. We will take whatever the shoe companies or shoe salesman tells us at face value, without questioning or our own research.

    Running is unlike many other sports. Running engages many parts of the body simultaneously and without constant breaks. If, for example, you play basketball or golf incorrectly you may suck at the sport but still not hurt yourself. Conversely, if you run incorrectly, you can serious hurt yourself.

    We are lazy and spoiled and it's time we start addressing it. When school funding falters, we cut gym. We do whatever we can to take the easy road.

    So, yes, I'm a bit passionate about this and, yes, I'm competitive. Everyone is competitive even those that don't know it because they are scared to test and push themselves so they chalk it up to something else.

    I want to be part of a healthier society and see healthier children grow up so I'm going to continue to offend some folks as I continue to talk about our lazy society.



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