Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NYTimes-The Human Body is built for Distance

Great article from the NYTimes Well Blog found by my friend Eddie Knapp. If you are a runner and have not read "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall you should as this book gets to the essence of why we run and why it is so elemental to humans. These insights into why we were Born to Run are helping me get back to the basics of running: run for fun, simpler shoes, and varied surfaces. The NYTimes article expands on the subject. The two key paragraphs:

"Mr. McDougall makes the case that running isn’t inherently risky. Instead, he argues that the commercialization of urban marathons encourages overzealous training, while the promotion of high-tech shoes has led to poor running form and a rash of injuries."...“It’s only recently that running has become associated with pain and injury.”

"What’s the solution? Slower, easier training over a long period would most likely help; so would brief walk breaks, which mimic the behavior of the persistence hunter. And running on a variety of surfaces and in simpler shoes with less cushioning can restore natural running form."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mid Mountain Trail: Park City UT

One of my favorite all time trails and Runner's World thinks so too as their October 2009 trail of the month Totally run able or easy walking as it really does stay pretty close to "level" . Start at Deer Valley at about 8000 feet and end at the Canyons at about 6600 feet. The whole trail is actually 30 plus miles if extended to Pinebrook. The Mid Mountain Marathon in September every year is a spectacular event. Many variants to go shorter particularly on the Deer Valley Park City Mountain Resort end. Hats off to Mountain Trails and all the other participating organizations and landowners for building and maintaining this gem!

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Plodders Have a Place but is it in a Marathon?"-NYTimes

A provocative article in the NYTimes about slow marathoners. I believe that with training most people who do not an obvious handicap or are advanced in age, can Run a marathon in under 5 hours. It is great that the participation is 3X since 1980 ... while average times are getting slower, 40 plus minutes slower. While slow is fine, I do question if it is really wise or healthy for some to marathon when they haven't done the preparation. Any pace puts a tremendous stress on the body. Many of the plodders are in this category. I saw crowds of them at St. George recently. As far as running and finishing vs. actually racing hard the barometer remains as always a Boston Marathon qualifying time, graded for age and this is what many shoot for. Yet while even Boston qualifying times have loosened in the last 30 years shooting for this goal creates a natural separation between runners and finishers.