I recently increased my daily jog from 3 miles to 4 miles during weekdays, and from 5 miles to 6 miles on Sundays. Just because I wanted to see if I could do it. So far it's not so bad, but it got me to thinking about how people seem to be more obsessed with speed rather than longevity when it comes to running.
I jog 1 mile in 7 minutes. This is my pace. It might sound fast to some, or slow to others. But for me, it's just right. You see, I could run MUCH faster than this. But I'm not trying to break records or prove anything to anyone. I jog to be healthy. And this means jogging for as long as possible. Jog too fast, and you'll run out of juice long before your body reaches the point where it is burning calories (usually starts after the 20-minute mark). Jog too slow, and you don't burn enough calories as you should. I've found that my pace allows me to run the longest and at a high enough intensity to burn calories effectively. Throw in the incline resistance I set my treadmill to, and this counts for a serious workout.
So, using this philosophy, it's not so much how fast you jog, but how long you maintain it. I've found that most beginner joggers don't take this into account. They seem to be obsessed with getting their speeds up. But I would focus more on stamina instead. Lasting longer on the treadmill, or on the track or trail, is not only more impressive, but more beneficial for your body. Unless you're training for the Olympics, speed should not be so important.
For instance, I wasn't so impressed with Usain Bolt's performance at the Olympics. Fastest man? Yeah, but only at the 100m and 200m. He wouldn't hold out for long on the 400m, and let's not even talk about the 1,500m. But you see, the longer distance runs are different disciplines. It takes a whole other strategy to not only run fast, but run FAR. It's no surprise, then, that I respect the longer distance runners more than the fastest.
And it also goes without saying that I'm in awe of marathon runners. I have no idea how they do it, but god bless them! Personally, I have no desire to ever run a marathon. Because I really don't see the health benefit. And that's the only reason I run. Yeah, it makes me feel good when I get my jog in for the day, but that's a side-effect. It's not the reason I do it. Running a marathon, for me at least, would be all about ego. To prove that, yeah, I got what it takes. Look at me world.
Bleh! I have as much use for stupid ego trips as I do for a third foot. It won't make me feel like a better human being, and I could really care less that others know I ran 26 miles in one stretch. It's impressive, don't get me wrong, but ultimately vain.
And I don't do vain well.
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