Saturday, January 06, 2007

For Celeste and other Woman runners!

I just began training with my new husband for his first mini marathon. I love to run and over the past two years have ran three mini marathons and two full. I found this article and I found it really interesting. I trained for my first marathon with my bestfriend one summer- she had sweated, blistered, gotten up at 5 am to beat the heat, just like I did BUT for some reason after a 16 mile run her knees swelled up- after resting and going to the doctor she was told running that kind of distance just may not be for her- her body may not be made for it! It was a complete let down for her and myself but she is fabulous and traveled from Alabama to Chicago to cheer me on! When I found this article it made more sense, she has wider hips and larger breast then myself (things that I have always been jealous of). While I look like a middle schooler she looks woman and beautiful. Read this article and all of this will make sense! I don't believe that Celeste can't run a mini or even a full but I do believe what this article says makes perfect sense! She has now gotten into biking which I think is fabulous and will be much easier on her knees! Who knows we may train one day for a long bike race!!

The answer is a word that starts with P and ends with S and is not "plastics."
By Michael Boyle
I really like Diane Lee's quote, "You can't run to get fit, you need to be fit to run." In fact, I've used it in numerous presentations and articles. It really resonates with me. Simple, to the point.

I'm going to take the idea one step further. I'm not sure most women should run. When I say this in seminars, it really pisses off the female runners. Sorry, I'm not worried about you; I'm worried about all the other women. If you are a runner and healthy, read on, but realize that you are the exception, not the rule.

I'm going to go from bad to worse. Here's a riddle for you.

Q- What do most female runners look like?

A- Male runners.

Ever ask yourself why? I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Women who run successfully for long periods of time were made to run. They look just like men runners. Good female runners generally do not look like plus-size models. It's not a question of cause and effect; it's a question of natural selection. You can't run to get that cute little runner's body. It's actually reversed. You have to have that cute little runner's body to survive running.

Why do I say this? Two simple reasons. Anatomy and physics. My favorite two sciences. No matter how hard you try or how well you eat, you can't change your skeleton. The problem with most women and running comes down to something they call Q angle in sportsmedicine. I won't bore you with the details, but it boils down to this. Wider hips make for narrow knees. This angle of hip to knee creates problems. Problems are magnified based on the number of steps. The average person gets about 1500 foot strikes per mile. Do the math on your 5-mile run. Running produces forces in the area of two to five times bodyweight per foot contact. Do we need more math?

Let's go back to our elite female runner. Look at her body. You will generally see two things. She has narrow hips and she has small breasts. I know, there may be exceptions, but at the elite level, I doubt it. One thought process would say, Great, my hips and breasts will decrease in size if I run. The other thought process is more logical. Women with larger breasts and wider hips don't make good runners. It is the same logic as why there are no large gymnasts or figure skaters. Physics. Big people rotate slower. Natural selection rules it out.

So what happens when a "normal" woman begins to run? She becomes a statistic. She becomes a physical-therapy client as she tries to shovel you-know-what against the tide. Her wider knees cause her to develop foot problems or most likely knee problems. Her greater body weight causes greater ground reaction forces. Greater ground reaction forces stress muscle tissue and breast tissue. Get my drift yet? The end result is likely to be hurt and saggy instead of the cute and little.

The bottom line: Running is not good for most females. If you want higher-intensity exercise, ride a stationary bike. Take a spin class, use a stairclimber, and don't run.

PS- The best stuff is the hard stuff. Use the AirDyne Bike or the StepMill. Don't take the easy way out.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like I would make a good runner! lol...

wayear2 said...

AMEN sister!

Emily said...

Yeah girls! you can run with me anytime!!!

missy said...

this is pretty interesting em!! thats so funny because i always think to myself... i want that little body... and think that by running i could get it...but now after reading this it sounds like im running myself into the ground... who would of thought that this could be a bad thing?? not me! guess ill just stick to the elliptical machines :(