I’m driving through Wellesley last Saturday morning and I realize what my next blog post is going to be. Every Saturday and Sunday morning from January to April, there will be packs of runners crossing through Wellesley into Newton along Route 16. And every time I see these packs of runners, I cringe. They way some of these people are running looks so painful to me. And if you can get a look at the expression on their face, you know they really are hurting. And I bet a good percentage of these runners (if that’s what you want to call them) is dealing with some sort of injury: a calf strain, shin splints, plantar fasciaitis or some other -itis. And I’d also bet a good percentage of these people have no business training for the marathon, unless they are willingly committed to destroying their joints.
I’m one to talk. I’ve run three Boston marathons, so I’m putting myself in this group. But not once did I very feel good during training. My feet always ached. My back was always sore. I developed shin splints. I ran through a stress reaction in my hip. I strained my calf numerous times. And the last time I strained it was at mile 5 of last years’ marathon. Feeling I had to finish the race, I ran through the strain making it worse and worse. I limped to the finish and limped for about 4 weeks after that on a swollen and purple lower leg. All of this to run a 4 hour marathon. No prize money. Just a mylar blanket to keep me warm.
Needless to say, most of us are not made for this type of training. We are not made to jog. We were made to walk or to run, not jog. Jogging is just an incomplete biomechanical pattern that is repeated over and over again. It’s not good for you. But that is not going to sway any of these marathon “joggers”. They’re going to to train for that marathon no matter how bad any one tells them it is for them. So a couple words of advice for these lunatics , “Take care of yourself”. Foam roll. Stretch. Strength train. Cross train. Training for that marathon is not just about running, it’s about staying injury free.