I have one friend who runs every day (and runs pretty fast). His grand total of official races he’s run? One. He just does not do races. Another friend, who also runs every day, once logged around 40 races in one year. And somewhere between those two is another friend who runs perhaps three times a week but plans to run 17 races this year.
What’s the proper amount of races per year in which to participate in comparison to just training? Having races for which to train can help motivate people to keep running even in the dead of winter, the sogginess of spring or the heat of summer. On the other hand, too many races can burn someone out. In fact, having too many races may actually be detrimental to your performance due to lessened training and recovery time.
The bombings at the Boston Marathon may have disrupted one race and caused the loss of life and hundreds of injuries in just one city, but in reality, it affected the rest of the country. Fellow runners, in particular, have felt a kinship to the marathoners because they know about the hard work and dedication it takes to train for races as well as the importance of support from our friends and relatives who watch our races. And what better way for fellow runners across the nation to show solidarity and pay tribute to those in Boston than taking part in a group run.
Thanks to the coordination of Ryan Callahan of Philadelphia Runner, one of the city’s premier running stores, Philly had a citywide group run in support of Boston. We were far from the only city to take part, as many cities showed their support, but our participation was pretty impressive. What started during Tuesday afternoon planning as just a small scale gathering of three or four running groups eventually grew to thirty running clubs, stores and organizations taking part. Groups were to run from specific meet-up spots to City Hall before running to Independence Mall. South Philadelphia’s meet up spot had 75-80 runners alone, and City Hall’s courtyard hosted a gathering of about 3,000 runners.
Just about everywhere I travel for work, I try to get out for a run. There’s no better way to get a good feel for a city than by venturing out, on foot, on its streets.
In January 2011, while visiting for business, I finally had the opportunity to run in Boston. Though it was extremely frigid, with snow and ice covering the Charles River running trail, it was quite a thrill to run in the city home to the world’s most legendary marathon.