Whether it's a Redneck in a pick up truck, a snotty, wiseguy teenager, or an elderly person who simply can't fathom why you're taking up their valuable road space, we've all heard some variation of the phrase, "Get off the road." In fact, I explore this phenomenon in the chapter entitled, "Why Do They Hate Us So Much?" in my first book, Running Shorts. www.muldowneyrunning.net
It's the Holiday season, so let's channel the negative energy emitted from the haters and polish it with a positive spin.
We SHOULD get off the road...at least sometimes.
Scientific studies have proven that, no, running does not "ruin your knees." That said, the pounding and compression produced from a steady diet of running on blacktop or concrete surfaces can lead to an increased number of aches and pains, which could lead to further complications.
So, heed Bubba's advice, and "Get off the road" when you can.
I have always been an advocate of a weekly track workout, so by going there, you are able to turn in a speed workout, and get off the hard road surface.
Trails are simply magnificent. Here in rural Pennsylvania, I am blessed with an abundance of trails. I can cross the street from my driveway and enter Sharp Mountain, a labyrinth of mountain paths.
Many areas of the country have transformed old railroad beds into fitness trails, and most big cities have paths coursing along the river, or through urban parks.
Of course, if you're fortunate to have a beach nearby, the hard-packed sand, near the water's edge is ideal for running.
You're probably not going to set many personal records when you run on trails, but that's ok. Your legs and lower back will appreciate the rest, and your senses will enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of a secluded running venue. And few experiences are more gratifying that observing the change of seasons on your favorite trail.
So what is the recipe?
My advice is to get off the road at least twice a week. Hit the track and trail and you'll be fine. And if you can get there more frequently, that's a bonus.
The next time a tattooed, cigarette-smoking, pot-bellied slob revs his engine and yells, "Get off the road," give him a little wave (with all five fingers) and tell him that's the workout you have scheduled for tomorrow.