Are Slow Runners a Waste of Track Space?

Jeanne Sager

runningSlow running isn't just being lazy. It's a bona fide trend.

Hey, I read it in the Times, so it must be so, right?

Or was that the Sun?

Anyhoo, the movement made up of people moving slow is becoming mainstream. But that's not the same thing as acceptable.

Take John Schwartz's essay in the Times:

"Friends have urged me to try for a marathon. But no, I’m not going to try to prove anything when I run. I’m just running, and I want to keep doing it. Besides, at my pace, a marathon would take me nearly seven hours. So if I have to prove something to myself, I’ll do it at work by writing better articles."

Like Schwartz, I'm a writer not a runner. I will spend 20 minutes running in place in front of my TV to make up for all the time spent sitting in my day job. I like to run laps around my kitchen and living room on commercial breaks -- an attempt to work off the weight gained from said day job.

I wouldn't call myself a runner.

I tried "real" running for a period in high school that coincided with one of my worst slumps into disordered eating. Coupled with my asthma, the way I pushed myself was a recipe for disaster.

I would come home and pass out on the couch. At times I blacked out.

Real running wasn't for me. That's why the concept of slow running appeals to my nature.

But trend or no, I'm not heading out to the track any time soon. I'm not wanted there among the hardcore marathoners -- the type who will tell you a slow marathon is just an embarrassment to the sport -- and the sprinters who blow by me on the way to a world record.

I've never measured my time. Or worn a heart rate monitor.

I don't own one of those fancy things for my iPod.

And I don't particularly LIKE running.

But I don't want to feel like a slug. I don't like the extra 10 pounds around my middle.

And I don't need the title to feel better as I slink back out of my fat jeans and toward my normal size.

Does this trend make you feel like you have a place on the track?


Image via lululemon athletica/Flickr

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