To those who have not yet figured this out running is for total idiots. I know since I do it all the time.... ok not all the time but enough. I would love to do it more but keep getting distracted. I find it as addictive as head banging since if you run hard enough after you quit you feel so good it is unreal. That blissful feeling will sometimes last for hours!  

     Though Like most things in life there is a right way and a wrong way to run. Actually there are thousands of right ways and wrong ways to run. What you have to do is pick one running theory and then learn what you can about it so when confronted by the next trained runner you have some ammo to defend your running position/theory against theirs. It really does not matter who's theory you follow since in a few years they will all be debunked by someone anyway. Not much different than and all the theories that now abound around eating.

     In the event you are a sucker for punishment and want to join in on the fun and festivities there are a few things you must do. I guess the first thing would to be check your budget. This will help you narrow down a theory to follow. If you have a lot of money it is nice to go for the "you need high quality expensive Nike shoes to support your ankles" theory. The nice thing about this one is that like driving a exotic car you get to flash your style, status and knowing. It makes you look richer, educated and on the cutting edge. You get to feel star trecky when you run with all that flashy neon and plastic they put in them shoes. You also get the addictive thrill of spending money in a mall thus stimulating many foreign economies along with creating endless jobs for kids worldwide.

     If you do not have much of a budget though there is always the barefoot theory. This one is really catching on and in fact so much so you can now even buy barefoot runners!!! I wonder who thought up that one!! Whoever, I plan to get a pair myself very shortly. The barefoot theory does make some sense though since after all the body does seem to be very well designed. Remember we humans may not have been around all that long but we did get to the top of the food chain pretty quickly. In our earlier years humans often had to run from bigger animals in order to avoid getting eaten. We likely did a lot of running before we finally figured out thinking, which of course eventually led to running shoes and landfills. In those earlier days the slow or weak runners would have gotten eaten. That's the beauty about life it is always evolving. It is not hard to comprehend that our bodies are now pretty well evolved for running.

     Just like diets though there is endless theories between these above two theories. It is interesting to see that now even Nike has gotten into the barefoot theory. What a great idea milking both theories at the same time! Almost like Seagrams getting into the tow truck business. We all know the old rule... where there's a groups of people thinking there's often a group of people spending. Makes good business sense to me.

     The nice thing about the new barefoot shoes is that they appear to have half the materials of normal runners thus easing up on the landfill. Not only that but they have the same great price of normal runners!!! For around a hundred bucks give or take you can be barefoot running. Not bad. Of course I guess you could take up pure barefoot running but that is real risky. All it takes is to nail one good dog mine and there goes your day!!!

     Strangely about 25 years ago I took up bare foot "jogging" as it was called back then in the days of K-tels Patti Stacker. I would not run that hard but did it ever feel great. I ran on the pavement since it was smooth and easier to spot sharp objects. Before long I noticed the souls of my feet started to get real tough. I could dance on crushed gravel and never flinch a beat. Unfortunately though I got "mugged" by some highly educated pro runners. They told me that I was going to "blow out" my knees so opted to follow their wise advice and quit. I could never run after that since the shoes they recommended for running were way over my budget. Actually now that I think of it those guys all worked for Nike... 

     Either way if you do take up running there is likely one real important thing to remember and that is this. Most people have big lungs from all the talking they do. That means the lungs have got a head start on your running career. You knees etc. will take a little longer to catch up. Actually a lot longer than you think. I like the three to six month theory myself. Thus if you go running take it reeeeaaal easy barely working your lungs for the first three months or so. Then slowly start increasing your running speed over the following three months but make sure it is slowly. 

     My theory when I started was if I was working my lungs too hard I was likely wrecking my knees. This theory is way harder for guys to do since their manly like attitudes don't go much for slowly stuff. Men in this catagory are the guys that tell you they took up running but "Blew out there knee" They always say "Blew out..." since that sounds better and more permanent than "I got an owie from pushing it too hard..." It also sounds more manly. They can say that they tried running and loved it but their knees just wouldn't handle it. The truth in their cases was they just realized how miserable running was and yet wanted to have a good manly excuse why they quit. If you do try running and realize how awful it is then use this handy dandy excuse... works great. I might even use it myself at some time if I come to my senses.