8 Dec

Stepping Back To Go Forward

gym scene

SCOTTISH RUNNING GUIDE's Chris Broadbent is not a fan of the gym, but will be utilising it in the next few months to recover from injury and be better for 2011. Here he tells us why.

This is not the usual running article. In fact, it's just about the very opposite. This is about not running. For that is what I intend to do - not run. For six months to be precise. There, I said it. There's no going back now.After months of sore Achilles tendons and creaky knees, I simply cannot go on with sore sessions and even more painful mornings.

It's not that the injuries have de-motivated me. In fact, it's anything but. My motivation to run is as high as it's ever been. Even at this time of year. I find the extra freshness in the air and the dark skies add an invigorating edge to the evening run. So, it's not as if I have fallen out with running.

My injuries have meant that I am stuck in a cycle of one run followed by a prolonged recovery period, broken by another cheeky run I simply cannot resist. Consequently, this is followed by more hurt and prolonged wound-licking. It's been going like this for a few months and the truth is - I want more from my running.

I want to be out there more and I want to be fitter and faster. This aint going to happen - if I carry on like this. So, it's six months off to let my body properly heal and recuperate and I can come at it again stronger and healthier.

Of course, like a recovering heroin addict, needs their methadone, a recovering runner still needs their exercise. So, it's off to the gym for me. Now, I'm no stranger to the gym. I know the importance of conditioning for any runner. But if I am honest, I have probably swapped one or two too many gym sessions in favour of a run, hence my current predicament.

Quite simply I've always found a session pounding the streets much more rewarding. Not just the act of running itself. But it always feels like I am genuinely getting prepared for a big race. The gym just feels like a vanity project. The people in there just don't seem like my type either. For many it just seems to be about looking good - the mirrors are the most used funishings in any gym.

I don't think they're thinking about how these hip flexors will help their running gait or how cross trainer can be used to replicate a threshold run. What is it with these people? Are they mad? Then again, maybe I'm the weird one. Weird or not, these are my motivations as I rest my niggly bits and work on building a bullet-proof body that will see me racing from Spring to Autumn in 2011.

Happy thoughts like this will keep me going this Winter.


  1. Gary Simpson said...

    I totally empathise with your predicament Chris and I am very pleased to say that I have never had any significant injuries in the 8 years I have been running / training for Marathons.. I don`t know how you`ll survive these ghastly running machines in the gym, for a whole 6 months ! ! . I have tried them but 5 minutes and I am sooooo bored !. I just have to run outdoors. Its the smells, the sights, the countryside, the canals, rivers, towns, urban challenges, the undulating coastal routes, etc that are so compelling. A gym just has nothing but - as you say - mirrors for posers. Zzzz ! Good luck anyway. Gary Simpson