Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Now I've heard everything

Okay, I can be silent no more. I am sitting here watching The Biggest Loser (on DVR while I eat dinner, of course), and I hear that Jared the Subway guy (along with Shay, a past TBL contestant) is going to do a marathon at the end of the year.

You know, I've watched the Biggest Loser finalists run their marathon a couple or three times, and I've found it...interesting. But somehow this is over the line for me.

I have nothing against people walking during a marathon, or even walking a whole marathon if they choose. (Though nothing sounds more horrible to me, unless it is happening on the footpaths of England, and includes staying in charming B & B's, in which case, sign me up.)

What I've always had trouble accepting (though I know it's sort of common) is people deciding to train for and run a marathon with very little running experience. To me a marathon is something you build to after you've been running for a while and gradually increase your distances and challenges. Actually I don't know how someone with little or no running experience could even face biting off something as overwhelming as marathon training.

Maybe I'm being silly and petty. Probably what I'm feeling is that this "everyone run a marathon" approach is devaluing the time and commitment required to train well for a marathon. Also I suspect that jumping into a marathon too hastily may end the participant's running career after the marathon is done. How many people have you heard of whose recovery period never ends?

Also, finally (and this is my last gripe), I do think it's misguided to think that marathon training is a good weight loss tool. I believe that running is a great weight loss tool, but long distance running and serious dieting don't always co-exist comfortably. I mean, come on, you're hungry all the time when you're training for a marathon.

Okay, rant over. I wish all the best to Jared and Shay and anyone else who wants to run a marathon. Just do it because you want to, not because it's some mandatory rite of weight loss passage.
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