Sunday, September 30, 2012

Stupid Human Tricks

        We all have our quirks. I'm not is position to accuses much. Still, through all my years of training I don't think I've ever felt compelled to run on the paved road when an off road option was available and that is what I'm going to complain about. At this point I'm pretty much morally against it and will often go out of my way if necessary to avoid running on the road. As a biathlete there is a seemly bottomless amount of reasons for having a grudge against paved running, but even for the average weekend warrior; what are you thinking?
Even the leaves don't like being there. 
         Aside from maybe breathing and the like, most of life's activities should probable be done with variety. Running is one of them. Let's say you're not a part of my pet peeve list. In other words you're running on some nice single track trail. Like the trail system at the NHC for example. You made the logical choice to not give into the road. In this case, you are planting your whole body weight   on a surface that could be anything from gravel, to dirt, rocks, grass, roots, while going uphill, downhill, over a flat or around a corner. You're joints and muscles are never getting nearly as over stressed as they would if you did the main street death march. Any kind of terrain (especially running downhill) can be problem inducing for what's technically a high impact sport. No matter where I'm based out of, trail running has always provided the most variety of terrain. I'll admit most of the hikes that I've done usually put me in a state of c3onstantly being on the verge of snapping an ankle or two off. As of now, that has not happened. You want stronger ankles? Try to gradually increase the speed of decent the next time you go hiking. Yeah, this is where the "what doesn't kill can only make you stronger" policy might apply, but it's worth the risk. Long story short, running on softer ground will extend your running expectancy compared to the alternative.
Wynn knows where the party is at.
          Then there's the benefits of taking your jog (or walk) to the road. You can expect increased car exhaustion intake, better success rate of injuries, repetitive scenery, that awkward stare down with oncoming traffic, and even some evidence suggest that marathon runners are more susceptible to Alzheimer's because even your brain has to take up some of the impact when you plant your foot on that hot top.
          As a biathlete, I find myself confined to the road against my will. We're not out there to contribute to the stupid human trick phenomenon and yet sometimes we'll still get dragged into it. For example: Lets say we're doing a time trial on a roller loop and on the last you come around the corner. This is the last loop mind you and you're really going for it. Sure enough there's a dog with a leash that no one has grabbed a hold of and three people frozen like deer in headlights! Was the rest of the ski trail made of lava that day!? No! It wasn't even wet! Besides, I bet shoes can dry faster than an ski pole tip wound can heal! All that and more because you're too good for a nature walk.
Look! Even captain idiot here knows where running belongs!

              Did I mention that trail running is ten fold more interesting. I haven't taken nearly as many pictures running on the road as I have trail running. Question: Do some people wake up in the morning and ask themselves "How can I make exercise as boring and miserable as possible today?" The next time you pass a someone doing the thrash going down the road. Take a gander at there facial expression. I doubt there smiling. Sometimes, when I've done every trail in the surrounding area I'll just pick a cardinal direction and go. I usually get a little scratched up but I'm richer for the experience.  Oh, and trust me for the sake of probability, cars will get a lot closer to you than bears will.
See how much fun you can have off road!
        Maybe I went a little overboard. This is only me ranting. If you are motivated enough to exercise in any way then go for it. The more the merrier these days. I didn't go into any detail regarding bare foot running. I think it awesome when you can do it, but apparently there's some controversy over it. Might be true or might be the shoe industries. All I want to know is, if you're one of the athletes who likes to run on the road, why would you take
the most universal, all terrain, and oldest sport in the world... and put it on a limited band of monotonous pavement? Have fun...

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