I find it very interesting how non runners react to runners. We get all sorts of comments:
- Doesn’t it hurt your knees?
- Running will give you ___________ (pain, arthritis, tendonitis, etc) later in life!
- It’s too hard on the body. You should stop.
- And, the infamous…you are running 26.2 miles? You’re sick. I can’t even drive that far!
There was even a post on peoplethinghater.com:
Who are these types of people who run and smile?
I hate running. More to the point - I hate shin splints. I really don’t like the idea that my body now needs additional exercise to stay in shape. Where is my happy pill?
I bet that guy is fun to hang out with.
A couple of days ago USA Today published an article entitled, “Runners, take your time: Marathon training can lead to injury.” Well, duh. From the tone of the comments left about the article on the site (except mine), it seems many people view distance running as risky.
I get it. Runners get injured. I got injured. At any given time lots of runners are either injured or recovering from an injury. We live, we learn.
What I struggle with is this overall belief that marathoners are crazy. That we put ourselves at too much risk. That we are jeopardizing our health. That we are running ourselves in the ground. If you’ve been running for any period of time, you know the drill when you start training:
- Don’t do too much too soon
- Cross train
- Ten percent rule ( increase intensity, frequency or duration by no more than 10% per week)
- Pull back if you are getting sick or experiencing continued pain
- Fuel and hydrate correctly
- Don’t eat pizza the night before a long run (or you’ll have the runs)
- Put band aids on your nipples
Following these rules of thumb will not guarantee you will be injury free. But it greatly cuts down on your risk.
Maybe that’s why we runner stick together. We get each other. When I tell you I have a 20 mile training run, you don’t balk and tell me I’m nuts. You wish me luck and remind me to bring the toilet paper. When I tell you I think someday I might run an ultra or do a half ironman, you tell me you know I can do it and that you might do one too. When I tell you I’m going to sit on the couch for 48 hours and watch a Beverly Hills 90210 marathon and eat Chips Ahoy, you tell me NO, don’t do it! Step away from the cookies. Get your ass going!
We build each other up. We have a spirit that wants to move forward and to do more. It’s called living fully!
In my mind there are riskier things to do than running. Like, for example, sitting on the couch eating Oreos. Like not exercising at all. Like playing video games until you can’t see straight. Like remaining stuck in the same old rut you have been in for years.
There could be worse things than training for a marathon.
Run on my friends!