Thursday, July 12, 2012

Born to Run

My husband finally got a treadmill at his location in Afghanistan. FINALLY. We're over half way through the deployment now. He's a runner and he's gone over half a year without being able to run, with the exception of a few times during R&R.
Running a race pre-deployment.
I know that my husband is having to do without a lot of things by being over there. Although I'm not sure he actually expected to be able to run while he's over there, it's been really wearing on him that it's been this long.

That's why I was so so excited for him when he told me that they finally got a treadmill! Goodness, he deserves these little pick-me-ups. My mom told her friend about this and she had a hard time understanding why my husband is so excited about a treadmill. It kind of made me laugh. Apparently she is not a fan of running herself.

I recently finished "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall.  It's now one of my favorite books ever. He talks about how man is a perfect endurance running machine. Yes, that's right. Endurance running. I was always under the impression that we ran in modern running shoes because God didn't create us to run 26.2 miles. Not so. Thousands of years ago, we actually used to hunt animals by "persistence hunting" them down. We're able to cool off by sweating and they aren't. So back when we were better at tracking, we were able to slow-run them down until they collapsed from heat exhaustion. And that sometimes would cover as much distance as a marathon.

The problem is that people have learned how to run incorrectly (heel-to-toe). I read this book and thought to myself.. Am I doing people a disfavor by selling them modern running shoes with tons of stability and arch support that's apparently just gonna weaken their feet? In the end, I decided that I'm not. We're so used to modern running shoes that unless you are super-careful and slow about switching to barefoot/minimalist style, you're gonna hurt yourself.  Most people aren't going to be willing to put in that much work to change. So modern shoes still make sense for their lifestyle/ running style. If someone wants to try changing because their starting to get injuries or because they want to put in that work, then they may be a candidate for barefoot shoes.

So yes, man was "Born to Run." Even if some people don't like it and even if the majority of American's have learned how to run the wrong way. God made me to run and it makes me really proud to be a runner and really proud that I'm married to one.

Running gives us a chance to escape, relax, and let everything go.  Isn't that exactly what our service men and women need over there? Thank God for treadmills in Afghanistan.

3 comments:

  1. "The problem is that people have learned how to run incorrectly (heel-to-toe)."

    You should read "Tread Lightly" by Pete Larson. He basically talks all about the history of running shoes and what we do and do not know about running injuries and what causes them. Unfortunately, "Heel-striking" unless its combined with over-striding is not a bad thing. Many runners that have never worn shoes in Africa were still shown to heel strike. The main issue is over striding. Big, stability shoes give you the option to over stride.

    "We're so used to modern running shoes that unless you are super-careful and slow about switching to barefoot/minimalist style, you're gonna hurt yourself."

    This is not so true either. I and many others made the switch very quickly from thick cushioned shoes to almost no shoes like the NB Minimus line or VIVOBARFOOT shoes. Honestly, its about how quickly you can tell your body to change from. This is why many barefoot runners encourage people to just barefoot a little at a time so you have no protection to over stride.

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    1. Hmm yeah I should definitely read up more on the issue. McDougall seemed to think that we only need our heels for standing but I know it's a very controversial topic.

      That's really cool that you were able to transition with no problem. The "super-careful and slow about switching" is the shoe saleperson in me talking. We don't want to get sued because of injuries! :)

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  2. I'm happy to hear that your man has a treadmill he can use! It's such a good outlet, and the soldiers down there really benefit from good ol' physical exercise. I know that my husband was going crazy when he couldn't work out. (He eventually ran 13.1 on a treadmill in Sharana just because. Like I said, I think he needed the outlet.)

    I also read Born to Run not too long ago. The thing I loved the most about it was just absorbing other people's passion for running. It helped fuel even more of a running passion in me.*

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