Running teaches us to be consistent, to overcome laziness. However, we want to achieve good results in record time and, to do so, we subject the body to all kinds of efforts.
The death of a runner inevitably opens the debate on the preparation of those who participate in this type of popular events. And given the more than evident boom in this sport, it is worth asking, are we losing respect for running, and can anyone take part in a race of any distance?
1. Running does not always mean health
It seems obvious that exercising is good for our health. It helps us to lose a few extra kilos, to be agile, to eliminate fat from our body, to prevent diseases… However, running and health do not always go hand in hand.
When we look for performance, when we seek to achieve a certain mark in a race, we subject the body to a stress that is hardly compatible with health. Doing a 30-kilometer run to prepare for a marathon or pushing our heart rate to 190 or 200 beats is hardly compatible with a healthy activity.
2. Achieve fast results in a short time
Running teaches us to be constant, to be disciplined, to overcome laziness. However, we want to achieve good results in record time, and to do so, we subject our body to all kinds of training: series, fartleks, slopes, strength … If a year ago I ran my first 10 kilometers in 60 minutes, and now I’m already under 50, how can I not be able to lower another 10 minutes if I ‘machaco’ six days a week and I hit some monumental beatings, training even twice a day?
3. The main objective of a popular runner is the marathon
Running the distance of Pheidippides – the poor guy ended up so exhausted that he also died – seems to have become the sole objective of any self-respecting popular runner. THE GOAL. For many popular runners-many of whom have barely been running for five years-if you haven’t run a marathon, you’re nobody. Anyone can run 10 kilometers, but a marathon? Thus, we find runners who, in just one year, go from being completely sedentary to running not one, but two, three, four or even five marathons a year, a real madness. Is running like this really good for your health? To give us an idea, professional athletes run, at most, two marathons a year.
4. The fault, of the coaches and of the environment
It is easy to put all the blame for these crazy things on the popular runners. They’re oblivious, they don’t have a clue? However, many follow training plans that a ‘professional’ has developed specifically for them. Professionals who, in many cases, do not care that the runner has only been running for a few months or that it is not the most appropriate for him, either because of his physical condition, or because he has an injury… We put aside professional ethics and give way to the checkbook. Obviously, the one who makes the final decision when it comes to running a marathon is the popular runner. No one holds a gun to his head to make him do it, or do they? Raise your hand if you have ever tried to dissuade a runner friend from doing something crazy with his running shoes. That’s just it.
5. Is a stress test necessary?
But not just for running a marathon. The shorter the distance covered, the greater the intensity of the exercise. Obviously, we do not run at the same pace a ‘ten miler’ as a marathon, and, therefore, although at a physical and joint level we punish our body much more in the 42 kilometers, we subject our heart to greater stress in much shorter races.