Monday, December 28, 2009

Born To Run?

I'm reading this book Born To Run. It's very good and pretty much re-enforces a bunch of things I already knew.
It hasn't made me want to run yet. Nothing can make me want to run. :)
I do plan on putting some running back into my program, just once every week or so to maintain the skill.
Where does my great disdain for running come from? It comes from being a runner. Not just a runner, but a lunatic runner. While I was still in the Marines it wasn't unusual for me to get up at 5 to run a few miles, then run PT with the platoon a few more miles, then run all the run drops (people who couldn't keep up on the unit PT) for a brisk 3-5 mile run. That's Marine Corps logic for you. "You couldn't keep up on the run, so I am going to now make you run even more in the hope that you'll somehow magically get better at it." I would also routinely log miles in boots or full combat gear. I would run in a gask mask, I would run up and down hills and with a pack on. I still sucked at hiking because at the time I didn't realize the problem wasn't my endurance, it was leg and back strength. I wasn't even all that fast. My fastest three mile time on record was 18:30. The trick was that I could run forever.
I was also running with shin splints for about 6 years, as well as various other impact induced problems.
Point being, unless you're an ultra endurance athlete there probably isn't much you have to tell me about distance running.
That bring me full circle back to 'Running may not be the greatest thing for you.'
I'm always amazed at the horrible running form I see displayed by people running down the street, or people running in full on mechanical leg braces! Are you freaking kidding me? I know someone who has to go in to get some meniscus snipped out, and she is still running!!!
Use common sense in your running. I think part of this goes back to a sense of entitlement, as if there should be no skill acquisition required in order to begin running. At some point you had an innate ability to properly propel yourself across the earth just as you understood how to properly squat and roll from side to side, but those days are gone. Now you indeed must re-acquire these 'lost' movement patterns.
Particularly if like the Author you took it up late in life.


  1. of all the things I miss being able to do I miss being able to run the most. even more than gymnastics.

  2. "Born to Run" will eventually revolutionize the running industry. If you ever decide to give running some serious thought, keep McDougall's lessons in mind.

  3. "You couldn't keep up on the run, so I am going to now make you run even more in the hope that you'll somehow magically get better at it."

    Its not magical. Its called specific adaptation to imposed demands (SAID). If you suck at running chances are you need to run more. Granted if there is a problem you address it but, I don't believe you should stop running because you didn't pass the FMS. Just run smarter.

  4. There is a big difference between SAID and what we were doing. It was the 'march or die' philosophy. You already are a slow runner, so at the end of the day when you're already exhausted I take you on a death run. It was punishment, not training. Don't confuse the two.
    Run smarter means not running yourself into an injury. FMS isn't a pass/fail affair. It just points out your flaws. It ip to you if you want to fix them or not.