I’ve been neglecting the run chat around here lately. Honestly I haven’t been running as much as I used to. I’ve really enjoyed walking lately so I’m going with it! I figure it’s a win win… I get a break during the hot and humid Texas summer and will also feel refreshed at the end of September when (or if, rather) I plan to start training for the Houston Marathon in January.
I read an interesting article in Running Times the other day called, “The Running Machine Myth.” Here are some points I found really thought provoking.
- It used to be thought that by maximizing the running efficiency and stride of one’s individual body would produce faster times and stronger runners, similar to the way machines work.
- The flaw in this logic is that runners are not machines. Machines can’t continue to function after a key part malfunctions. Humans however, have the ability to recover from injury or even get the job done with missing parts. This is thanks to our ability to shape coordination around individual peculiarities.
- Think of the way if you were to run the same loop in a grassy field over and over, you would eventually carve a trail in the terrain. The body works similarly. The more you do the same thing over and over the more you wear and tear the same spots in your body.
- It’s been found that in order to maximize your performance and minimize injuries, you have to keep your body guessing. We should regularly shift our running parameters; pace, distance, terrain, surfaces, footwear. Such variation allows the body to offload accumulated stress and encourages recruitment of new tissues. (I guess this is why we did barefoot running regularly in college… who knew!)
- This inevitably leads to a stronger, more efficient runner who is less prone to injury.
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