Sunday, April 12, 2009

Have you run without being chased?

The craziest questions get asked on Yahoo! Answers. I've no idea where this one was leading. But here's where i took it.

Oh sure.

In Jr. High, cross country races were a mile and a half, so practices were 5 miles, every day. And they introduced the idea of "wind sprints". You'd run all out from one telephone pole to the next. Then you'd jog to the pole after that before running all out again. This jogging was described as "rest by jogging".

In High School, the races were 2.5 to 3.0 miles. My own school's course was 2.7 miles, went through the woods, and over the only hill around. Practices were 10 miles every day. It takes over 500 miles of running a summer to be at all competitive. More is better.

In college, the races were 5.0 miles. I was very slow. Clearly, no one was chasing me. I took nearly 25 minutes to run 5 miles. Barely under five minutes a mile. Practices were fifteen (15) miles, twice a day. That's right. 30 miles of running a day, every day. Except race days. On race days, you got to sprint for just five miles. My estimate is that i ran 2100 miles in ten weeks. That's about the distance from New York City to Salt Lake, Utah.