Thursday, February 18, 2010

Treadmill or Dreadmill?

After covering over 400 begrudged miles so far this year on snow covered roads, I uttered the words this morning that I didn't think I would ever speak, "I kind of wish I had a treadmill".

I am a running purist. People have asked this winter why I don't cross country ski or snowshoe. . . it's because I am a runner. Plain and simple. I don't run for fitness, to live longer, or to have nice looking legs. I run because that's who I am and simply what I do. So skiing or snowshoeing just won't do it for me. I'm sure I could get in a good work out, but I don't even need to give them an honest try. I like to log miles RUNNING.

So this brings me to the treadmill debate. I've been seriously considering purchasing one over the past few days. I don't know if it's the doldrums of this historically precipitation ridden winter causing these thoughts or actual logic that makes me think a treadmill could play a beneficial role in my training. I'm just so tired of not being able to run any faster than 8 minute miles at top speed and risking my well-being in the process. It has been absolutely terrible running conditions daily thus far this entire year. But would I even use a treadmill enough to justify it? It is true that I have not been on a treadmill in more than 6 years and I have always hated them with a passion. I don't know how feasible a treadmill would be for me, but here's my reasoning for possible reconsideration of my stance:
  • On the days that it is simply too bad to run outside or even those when it's hard to convince myself to do so, I would have another option and therefore no excuse.
  • It could add a new element to training. The consistent speed setting of the treadmill could be of some benefit to training and pacing.
  • It may possibly be easier to convince myself to do some of the two-a-day workouts with one being the treadmill on occasion.
  • I think my wife would use it more often than I would. She "wimps out" during the winter months all together running and doesn't feel as comfortable as I do playing chicken with some of the idiot drivers I come across on the backroads.

So what are everyones' opinions or thoughts on treadmills? Are they useful training tools or just expensive drying racks for running clothes? The jury is still out for me; I'm looking for guidance.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Are You Born To Run?

I avoided the hot topic running book for far too long I suppose. Every running friend seemed to ask, "Have you read Born To Run?" I would counter their question with a quick no, feeling as if I didn't even need to read it since those which posed the question undoubtedly gave me their in depth synopsis and opinion. Well a copy showed up at my door this week as a gift. The prolific snowfall as of late gave me ample opportunity to now tell folks that I have in fact read Born To Run.

First of all, I love running books. All of them. If it's a book about someone running then I'm all ears. This book was no different in that aspect. I devoured the pages and enjoyed the stories and theories that the author dispenses. I'm not necessarily drinking the koolaid on the barefoot running movement. I agree with the premise, but not 100% of the practice. Let's just say I'm sipping the koolaid. (I'll not get into that discussion since it's a can of worms I don't want to open.) The book is full of some interesting conspiracy theories against shoe companies and has some curious anthropologic ideas of early man and running. It kind of put me to mind of Why We Run by Bernd Heinrich, which is also a very good read by a very accomplished ultrarunner (contrary to Christopher McDougall). I now see why there is much buzz about this book. I enjoyed it, but it was more of a means of entertainment to me than one of changing my philosophy on running as it has appeared to have done for many. I guess time will tell with all the theories; it usually does.

So I'll add it to the shelf with all the other running books and dust it off to read again someday. So what are YOUR favorite running books? I'm interested if someone has read one that I haven't. My favorites are easy: Flanagan's Run by Tom McNab and David Horton's book A Quest for Adventure.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Welcome to The Trilogy: Coming October 8-10, 2010

Little Seneca Creek: Oil Painting by Kadra Casseday
I am VERY excited to present a new race that Dan Lehmann and I will be co-directing this fall: the WV Trilogy. This will be a run of days (three to be exact) across the Eastern Continental Divide and West Virginia's highest hill, Spruce Knob. The race will consist of a 50K on Day 1, 50M on Day 2, and Half Marathon on Day 3. The Mountain Institute will be the race headquarters for this adventure and will provide a purely unique and inspiring setting. As I have mentioned before, this race is going to be special. All races are distinctive in their own right, but this one is going to be truly special. You will not want to miss being a part of this race and the grandeur of the WV autumn on the epic trails of Spruce Knob. There is a race distance for everyone and the grand challenge of tackling The Trilogy. For complete details, visit the WV Trilogy site.