Sunday, November 3, 2013

ENDURANCE RUNNING : I QUIT

The runner's high is a drug. I would describe it as seeing stars and being lightheaded, yet liberated and feeling removed from your physical body as your raw desire to push on pulses through and takes over you.

3 years ago, I made a commitment to my health. In doing so, running was something that I embraced. In the beginning, anywhere between 4-7km was a good target for me. Over time however, that benchmark I set for myself more than tripled. 

Consistently blocking out 2-3 hours to run upwards of 20-25km a time, a few days a week was the new norm for me. I've trained, lived this way for a year or so. And I think it's time to call it a day.

(Let me make it clear I am talking specifically about Endurance Running. While running is good, taking it to the very extreme that I was is not.)


Endurance Running : Why I'm Quitting

1. It isn't practical. 
Let's face it. In the real world, no one has hours upon hours to devote to putting one foot in front of the other. I realize now that I was living in a very comfortable and cushy environment. You think college and classes are tough? My young padawan, you have yet to set foot in the working world. When you're still studying, classes are optional and deadlines are negotiable. Just you try going missing without notice from work, or bailing out on a client's deadline. You'll be dead meat. DEAD MEAT.

2. It's a useless skill
Sure, I can run for 3-5hours nonstop. Indeed, I used to do so regularly, multiple times a week. But considering things from a more neutral perspective, I fail to see how the ability to run for 3-5hours gives me a realistic edge over your average Jane.

3. It's dangerous
Continually battering my joints for prolonged periods of time is detrimental to my physique. I've shared before how I suffered through microfractures and joint stress from doing too much. There's solid proof that running too much (you can research steady state cardio / chronic cardio) takes a huge toll on your physical being and messes up your body science. Testifying to this personally ; sometime in July, I was feeling very heavy and sluggish all the time. Initially I thought it was just a phase. When it didn't go away, I upped my cardio and cut my food consumption sharply. What resulted was me feeling even worse. I tolerated this for about 3 months, until I couldn't stand it any more and did an exhaustive research on my symptoms. What I discovered was a condition called 'Metabolic Damage', which is actually a real medical issue usually linked to those who have a regular regime of long distance running. 

*** 
There are a myriad of other reasons which you can ask me about in more detail if you're curious, but I suppose these would be the simplest and most easily understood. I will still run the easy 7-10kms, but for pure enjoyment and overall wellbeing. I will also probably run my half marathons for fun and to give myself goals to work towards.

That being said, I still need something to strive for and push myself both mentally and physically. I have been involved with a new sport for more than a month now, testing the waters and seeing if this was right for me. It's something I've always wanted to do but never had the resources or the guidance to start. I'm thankful that I have found them and we have kept each other well so far. 

                        

No comments:

Post a Comment