Who Knew?

Jul 17, 2011 by

When I first started running, I knew virtually nothing about the running world.  As time passed and I read blogs, books and magazines, my eyes were opened to a whole new vocabulary and culture.  Here is a list of things I didn’t know early on.  Maybe these are new to you, too.

1. PR. This stands for personal record. It means your best time at a certain distance race. You may enter a race and hear others talking about going for a PR, waiting for the race the start.  The beauty of beginning running is that every race you run at a new distance is a PR!

2. High-tech fabric. I think this was once called polyester. Cotton is a no-no in the running world now. Now, clothing manufacturers are mixing polyester with other materials to make fabrics that wick away moisture quickly.  Seems to work.

3. Bodyglide. You know those nooks/crannies and spots that can become really uncomfortable at the wrong time? Like in the middle of a long run?  Bodyglide is anti-chafe lubricant for those spots. It comes in a container like a deodorant stick and you apply to chafe-prone areas.  Definitely works.

4.People run barefoot on purpose. Apparently elite runners have know for years that running barefoot for a short distances improved form and helped to strengthen feet.  A couple of years ago, a book came out called Born to Run   Christopher McDougall that has launched a new interest in barefoot running and “barefoot shoes” (also called minimalist shoes).

5. There is a huge variety of running shoes. I thought shoes were just different just because they were made different companies or had different colors. Turns out people have high arches, medium arches, no arches and their feet react to the ground differently on impact, so companies try to design shoes to accommodate these factors.  Do they do a good job?  The people and book mentioned in #4 above would say no.

6. Plantar Fasciitis. This is one I wish I had never learned.  The Plantar Fascia is the soft connecting tissue on the bottom of your foot.  It can become inflamed, causing a great deal of pain, usually in the heel.  It can sideline you for weeks.  I experienced this in the fall of 2010.

7. Socks could cost so much. Cotton socks are a no-no as well for most people.  They tend to cause blisters.  The moisture wicking socks can cost $8-$15 a pair!  They are worth it, too.  I actually had some blistering issues with high tech socks as well, once I started running distances of 10+ miles.  I finally solved that with a thinner sock and a different method of tying my laces.  My favorite socks right now are Injinis.

8. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. One hard lesson I learned in races is that if you go too fast early on, the last part of a race is not too fun.  One of the keys to racing well is to stick with the pace you’ve trained for, especially early.  Try not to get sucked into the race start surge.

9. Running is fun. OK, maybe not 100% of the time.  But if you stick with it, I think you’ll find this to be the case.  I never imagined I would enjoy running so much.  I hope you will, too.



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1 Comment

  1. Thanks a ton Greg Fowler with regards to this magnificent article. Plantar Fasciitis is a really unpleasant ailment…I ought to know – I’ve been a victim myself personally!
    The most beneficial remedy for me is lots of rest not to mention the correct sort of stretches.


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