Exactly one month from today I will be running in the Twin Cities Marathon. It is my hope that I will run fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon. To help meet this goal, I have been running between 40-50 miles per week. I feel sufficiently good about my training and am confident that I'll achieve my goal. Nevertheless, the training has left me exhausted and wondering if there isn't a better way.
Yesterday, while waiting to see my dentist, I started thumbing through a copy of this month's Runner's World. Inside there was an article entitled "The Rules Revisited" and, from an unlearning perspective, it was a gold mine of information.
Unfortunately, Runner's World, doesn't allow me to post a direct link to the article but among the conventional wisdom questioned in the article was the idea that you have to run between 40-60 miles to achieve a good marathon time. Instead, the article suggested it could be done on 32-35 miles. The article also questioned the wisdom of strength training, stretching, massages, filling up on carbohydrates before a long run, and drinking 8 glasses of water a day.
My favorite, though, is the wisdom of buying the latest and greatest shoes. There is a new book out (which I haven't yet read) entitled "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
" and, according to reviews, it suggests that all of the cushioning and motion-control technology which Nike and other shoe manufacturers now incorporate into running shoes is actually leading to more
I'm not ready to unlearn my total reliance on running shoes and run barefoot — although I intend to experiment with the idea
on a treadmill after my marathon — I do intend to experiment with running fewer miles and some of the other suggestions.
Why? Because, often, we know a lot less than we think we know — and I say this as someone who ran competitively for years and has completed 12 marathons.