Saturday, April 21, 2012

Odds and Sods

Random thoughts,opinions and writings.
Makers of Vibram Five Fingers "shoes" have recently been sued by someone who said the company made false claims in regards to their product's "health benefits" and that the shoes provided a significant injury risk for the wearer.As I mentioned previously,Vibram owes much to the book Born to Run for touting its footgear. Since that book came out, Vibram  has grown to a 70 million dollar per year company. I laughed when I read that Vibram claims that it cautions runners that it may take a year or more to transition into regularly running in their "shoes".A year? Come on! I've used them on trails and on the beach and wasn't particularly impressed with them. In fact,I had some problems with the lack of protection it gave my feet while running on the trails over rocks,gravel and tree roots.I believe they have their place for use and can work well for a minority of runners,but that's just my opinion.I don't believe Vibram was deceptive but I do believe some of the proponents of barefoot running who claim that barefootin' it is THE way to go are.They'll tell you that wearing shoes is unnatural and that they will inevitably lead to injury. Not surprisingly,these people are the ones who often profit from their connection with barefoot running. When reading glowing endorsements pertaining to running gadgets and other products always follow the money.Example,a few decades back a prominent college running coach was in advertisements promoting heart rate monitors,coincidentally,shortly after he came out with a heart rate monitor training book.

The Secret of Life(Is Enjoying the Passage of Time). Thank you James Taylor for those words.They're especially relevant to us runners who are getting up there in years.I've come across runners who bemoan the fact that they can no longer hit the times they once did. I can't help but notice that this attitude puts a damper on their enjoyment of the whole running experience.With age comes new challenges,accommodations to be made and changed expectations,hardly something that should be dreaded.

How the mighty have fallen.At one of the biggest running forums on the web the big topic of discussion regarding the latest issue of Running Times was about the physical attributes of the female runner featured on the cover.I recall a time when people eagerly awaited each issue of this mag because of the excellent race result coverage from around the country and the profiles on the top runners. But then again,maybe it not RT,maybe its what the readers these days deem as important. I do miss RT's old format though. On a related note,I find Runner's World website vastly superior to their magazine as far as interesting and relevant features are concerned.

Guys who tell you they don't really mind when they are beaten by girls are lying.

Just sort of wondering how many native born American runners will be able to hit the Olympic qualifying times for the 5000 and 10,000 meters. If any of you out there have the number of runners for each race who have qualified so far I'd appreciate if you could post them in the comments section of this article.

Ever go out for a hard paced run with a few other runners and notice this: As you are just heading out all fresh and ready to go, you make it a point to go around the large puddle along the way,as you are returning feeling all the effects of the run and trying to maintain to the end,you go straight through that puddle you avoided earlier.Once again,on a related note, an important time trial  with some other guys can have all the nervousness and tension usually reserved for a race.

Give back to this great sport of running. Go out of your way to talk up the pleasures and benefits of distance running. Even go as far,when able, to take a neophyte out on a run. Teach them to have realistic expectations in the beginning,offer to be there for them if they want advice. The nice thing about distance runners is that there is a lack of bravado and conceit that seems to be a part of so many other sports.

Go long Sunday!



  1. As each day passes I realize giving back to the sport is the proper and healthiest thing I, may I say, we, can do.

  2. It is apparent the younger runners appreciate contact from the older guys who have, in their day, run fast or trained and competed successfully for many years. It is one of the joys of being and older and active runner.