When someone asks how long I have been running, I always say that I have been running since I was 30, but that’s not quite true.
I was 30 when running “stuck” for me.
There were a few brief, unsuccessful attempts at running before I was finally, at age 30, able to persist.
This is how old I am: when I first began running there were no sports bras. We women just wore our “street bras” to run in.
That really wasn’t a problem for me. No one would ever call me well-endowed (except maybe for those few glorious times when I was nursing and actually had some cleavage).
Anyhoo…I mention this as an example of how far we have come since the early days of the sport when women were not allowed to run the Boston Marathon and we all wore cotton T-shirts.
And who can forget seeing those shockingly short running shorts paired with knee-high running socks worn by male runners back in the day?
The advice given to runners has changed a lot in the intervening years.
- “Run all the miles.” / “Quality versus quantity.“
- “Eat all the carbs.” / “Add some protein and healthy fats to your diet.“
- “Don’t drink too much during a run. Your belly will slosh” / “Consume 3 ounces of fluid every 10 minutes.“
In that spirit, I would like to share with you three pieces of the worst and best running advice I have ever seen.
First, the worst.
- Running will ruin your knees. Actually, repetitive weight-bearing motions like running are good for your joints. They help build and strengthen the bones, promote weight loss, which reduces the chances of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, and release synovial fluid, which reduces inflammation and lubricates the joint.
- Run through the pain. Running through pain severe enough to cause you to alter your gait or pain that gets worse as the run progresses is a bad idea. Listen to your body. Running may cause little aches and it is not always easy but it should not be painful.
- You’re too old to run. Ummm…no. Just no. Running helps lower blood pressure, build muscle, decrease stress levels, lower cholesterol and blood sugar, and, maybe most importantly, increases blood flow to the brain, which improves brain function as we get older.
Now the best.
- If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing. Unless you are getting paid for running (and if you are a professional runner, why are you reading this post?), it’s supposed to be fun. That doesn’t mean that running isn’t sometimes challenging, that you can’t push yourself or try to get better. But if what you are doing is really not enjoyable, make a change. It’s supposed to be fun.
- You only regret the runs you don’t do. If you are a runner, there will be times that you don’t want to put on your running shoes and get out the door. It will be dark or raining or you will not have had a good night’s sleep or you will be stressed or depressed or anxious. Do it. Begin putting one foot in front of the other over and over and over again until you find your rhythm and the corners of your mouth begin to turn up and you remember why you fell in love with running in the first place. You will feel better after a run. Every. Single. Time.
- If you can’t decide whether or not to go to the bathroom one more time before heading out for your run, do it! Enough said.
And, one more piece of inspiration before we say goodbye, the one that always causes a lump in my throat:
“There will come a day when I can no longer run. Today is not that day.”
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Please click on the following link to read more funny or inspirational one-liners. One-Liner Wednesday.