Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My Running Biases

Yes, I have many biases when it comes to running. I prefer trails. I prefer ultras. I'd rather run long and slow than short and fast.

I suppose many of these might seem like simple preferences rather than biases. Unfortunately, I also feel others should be the same as me! And I will often ridicule...maybe that's too harsh...I might make fun of those who have made different running choices.

Now I have seen the light! McNaughton Park mudfest may have been partly to blame (or do they get credit?). I'm tired of slow running in bad conditions. What's wrong with some road and track workouts? Treadmills have their place too. I still love the trails, but I am now mixing it up with a little road, bike path, treadmill, and track running. And some of it is fairly short and fast. I don't have to slowly slog through a trail run when conditions are bad. I'll hit the bike path or treadmill instead. I still PREFER trails to all other venues, but the others have a place in a well-rounded running program. I now have come to appreciate all the different kinds of running we have at our fingertips...or tips of our metatarsals.

By the way, you might want to allow your toes some freedom and run barefoot every once in a while. Spring and summer is a great time to toss the shoes and run barefoot on the fresh grass and soft dirt trails. It's great for your feet. We don't need expensive shoes with fancy cushioning and crazy support for motion control issues...woops...that's another bias of mine (that I haven't given up on yet). Feel free to run in whatever shoes work for you. Just don't complain to me that your feet hurt or you have blisters or suffer from plantar fasciitis. Many shoes CAUSE these problems rather than solve them. Interesting recent article here on the topic of shoes and their connection to runner injuries.

So, I apologize to those I may have offended when I mocked your choice to run on roads while I ventured to the trails. I'm sorry if I made fun of your decision to do speed work on the track while I did fartleks on the trails. If you like 5Ks, that's fine. I still prefer ultras, but I may see you at a few summer road races. We are all runners and we should support and encourage any choice to get out of the house and run. Hey, if you want to stay inside and run on a treadmill, that's OK too! Just run. Well, walking and hiking is fine by me too. It's all good.


Anonymous said...

Mi Compadre! I'm with you a 100% on that. How the pendulum has swung for me. When I came down with injuries, I went ALL trail. Now, I am almost all barefoot (or 5-Fingers). Like you, I am now varying my workouts as opportunities arise. Awesome.

Chris Ⓥ said...

Glad I'm not alone. Jeff Riddle is also good about trying new things and going barefoot (or with his 5-finger shoes). Jeff mixes up his running routine too--including long hikes instead of long runs.

Jerry Davison said...

I hope long and slow and muddy don't go out of style too quickly. That's ALL I'm good at! Running Central in Peoria just started carrying Five Fingers. Looking forward to trying them.