On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Monday, March 14, 2011

Better late than never

I've been holding on to some miscellaneous stuff for some time, intending to post about it and then being lazy and posting about myself instead. So here you go:

First off, Jon Cane has a blog entry about changes in American distance running over the past few decades. It won't be new information to most people who follow distance running, but his basic point is that he's angry at the tendency for Americans to bemoan the victories of African runners as being somehow "unfair," since (as the complainers say) the Africans are so genetically gifted. With links (and links to charts), he discusses how Kenyan and Ethiopian runners actually are working harder than American runners. In fact, on average American distance runners are getting worse over time.  As he says,
...in 1983 there were 267 sub 2:20 marathon performances by Americans. By 2005 that was down to 22. This despite the improvements in nutrition, training technology, sports medicine, etc.  Contrast that with the relatively steady performance exhibited by Japanese marathoners, and the rise of Kenyan runners.
The links are interesting and it's certainly something to think about. In particular, he links through to a piece entitled "Less is less," arguing that Americans need to run more, and we won't get better until we do. Huh. The article doesn't mention anything about 30-something female 5+ hour marathoners who run in the vicinity of 20mpw these days, but I can put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Next, and NYC-specific, there's a race in Central Park on 26 March. It's the Police vs. Fire 5-Mile run, sponsored by the NYPD Running Club. I did a 5k of theirs last year and it was quite nice. Register now before the fees go up.

While I was looking for the website for that run, I found this event info. According to the link, the NYPD Running Club has a 5k on the second Saturday of every month, at 5am. 5k at 5a, if you will. On one hand, 5am? That's the worst thing I've ever heard. On the other hand, could be fun. The NYPD Running Club also has a fairly comprehensive list of local races, including loads of non-NYRR ones.

Another thing? I am definitely not mentioning this guy. Nope, not giving him any more attention than he's already gotten.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed the "Run Slower, Blame Others" and "Less is Less" links. Thanks!