“You can’t run to get fit, you need to be fit to run.”
This is a quote that I “stole” from Mike Boyle whom I am sure “stole” it from someone else (I think it was Diane Lee actually).
The fact of the matter is, most (read: not all) people shouldn’t be running (especially women). What’s the first thing that women do to get into shape? They hightail it to the local store and buy a new pair of pearly white running shoes and go for a jog outside. What’s the first piece of equipment that women will gravitate towards if they have never set foot in a gym before? The treadmill. And more often than not, both scenarios DO NOT look pretty.
I watch some of these women running (you too men, you’re not off the hook) and it just looks painful. How can they possibly think that this is good for them? I can walk on a floor of broken glass barefoot and that would be less painful than watching some of these women run.
In all actuality, running is a fairly advanced form of exercise. Within any given mile, there are about 1500 foot strikes. Ask any personal trainer or strength coach if they would EVER allow an elite athlete (let alone your average soccer mom) to perform a plyometric protocol that calls for 1500 foot strikes on a daily basis consistently, and I am willing to bet you will get some perplexed looks. Yet, day in and day out, I will see women who are 20-30 lbs overweight trudging over to the treadmill to get their 3 miles in.
Why is running not so great for women? Well, there are a few, but the main one boils down to the Q-angle. Women, by nature have a greater Q-angle compared to men (wide hips, narrow knees) which predisposes them to a number of problems that aren’t normally an issue for men.
Please understand, that I am NOT saying that running is “bad” for all women, nor am I saying that it is “bad” in general. But what I am saying is that there are better ways to get into shape. And that’s the point…you need to be in shape to run. In doing so, you’re body will be able to handle the stress MUCH more efficiently and you will be less prone to all of those nagging injuries that come with being a runner.
I HIGHLY suggest you read this article written by Mike Boyle: “Why (Most) Women Shouldn’t Run” and read it with an objective eye and really make an effort to understand what he is trying to say. After reading the article, read Mike’s follow up article here. Needless to say, people tend to read what they want to read and often times miss the point of certain articles. If you’re already an “elite” runner or have been running for years with no problems, then obviously “we” are not referring to you and these articles and blog post aren’t meant for you. But for MANY MANY people out there, this information is so very important.