It is okay to admit it. If you are like me, you HATE running. I may be exaggerating, but I do strongly dislike it. Yes, if you have been following my blog you know that I recently ran a half marathon. That was silly! And after this upcoming weekend, my running season will be over for the year (perhaps). I cannot wait!!!
With that said, happy National Running Day! I run because I was told by doctors that I never would again. I run to keep a healthy balance to my workouts and fitness.
The allure of running
We have this grandiose idea that running will make us thin. If I could only run, I would – fill in the blank. You have in your head, the farther you run the thinner you will be! This is contradictory to science. So where does this idea come from?
Is it the runners we see in the Olympics? Who looks more fit and healthy – sprinters or marathoners?
Maybe it is the neighbor who runs 6 miles a day.
Maybe you ran often and never ate when you were younger and were thin. (Note: It was the never eating that kept you thin.)
Is it that running is the only cardio exercise we can immediately think of?
Fellowship and community
Despite the fact that I dislike running, there is something that I am drawn towards. I run because it is an opportunity to spend quality time with my crazy friends who actually like to run. It gives us a chance to spend hours together – talking, venting, or simply trying to breath. We have a connection – always something to talk about or someplace to go (while running on foot). I have built deep, meaningful relationships through running – relationships I would have never otherwise known.
I prefer to lift
One fact still remains. I much prefer to lift weights. Heavy weights. Kettlebells. Olympic lifting. Barbell complexes. I would choose any of them before running. My lifting regimen often makes my legs tired and heavy – making running challenging and less than fun. Further, lifting is safer than running and poses less risk of injury. Have you ever met a dedicated runner who has never been injured? I have not met one yet.
Sports Injury Rates (Hamill 1994)
Injuries (per 100 hours)
Soccer (school age) 6.20 UK Rugby 1.92 USA Basketball 0.03 UK Cross Country 0.37 Squash 0.10 US Football 0.10 Badminton 0.05 USA Gymnastics 0.044 USA Powerlifting 0.0027 USA Volleyball 0.0013 USA Tennis 0.001 Weight Training 0.0035 (85,733 hrs) Weightlifting (snatch, clean) 0.0017 (168,551 hrs)
“The overall yearly incidence rate for running injuries varies between 37 and 56%. If incidence is calculated according to exposure of running time the incidence reported in the literature varies from 2.5 to 12.1 injuries per 1000 hours of running.” (van Mechelen, 1992).
It is okay to hate running. And know, you do not need to run to be thin – if that is your purpose for running or wanting to run. In fact, running is not a very efficient method for fat loss. And the risk of injury is far greater than weight training! Use that as food for thought.
Do not get me wrong, the benefits of running are incredible. But it is not for everyone. I write this post on the eve of my departure to run 200 miles will 11 of my closest friends. 200 miles of laughter, smiles, tears, and so much FUN
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Hamill, B. (1994). Relative safety of weightlifting and weight training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 8(1), 53-57.
Stone M.H., A.C. Fry, M. Ritchie, L. Stoessel Ross and J.L. Marsit, J.L. (1994). Injury potential and safety aspects of weightlifting movements. Strength and Conditioning, 16, 15 24.
van Mechelen, W. (1992). Running injuries. A review of the epidemiological literature. Sports Medicine, 14(5), 320-335.