Friday, 26 August 2011
Rage against the machines II
Rage against the machines II - a reply
After the last post I’ve had some interesting discussions with people who read it (no....seriously. The discussions were interesting and people are reading the blog). So, following these discussions, I feel that another post on the matter is required.
To recap the last one – I don’t like treadmills, indoor bikes, cross-trainers or any other gym machine that falls under the umbrella of aerobic gym equipment. Why? They’re boring and nowhere near as enjoyable as the real thing i.e. actually running or cycling and moving forwards. However, people have raised some points that I believe have good points in favour of this machines;
1) When it’s icy outside they offer a safer alternative
Whilst this is true, for me (I do not want to held accountable for any twisted ankles/cracked ribs or other falling related injury), the ice offers just another challenge. This is obviously limited to running as I would never advocate cycling at speed on ice and I don’t think you can row on a lake that’s frozen anyway. Going for a run on the ice is just a mini adventure and I know t that hat may sound absurdly childish. Also, although the ice on roads and paths may become a slip hazard, there are still fields aplenty with grass that’s all crusty after its frozen which offer a lower risk of slipping. I will admit however, when I have been running when its icy I do have to run at a slower pace. So, for the Haile Gebrselassies, Mo Farahs and Paula Radcliffes out there (other elite distance runners are available), I concede that the treadmill would probably be better than running outdoors. That said, the likes of these have access to indoor tracks to be used in the winter. I guess even these don’t want to run on a treadmill.
2) Some people are embarrassed to run/cycle around their local streets
I would have previously had a lot of empathy for people of such a sentiment. Before moving to university, I was nervous to go running around the local streets. I had never noticed anyone else running near where I lived and felt that if I were to venture out in my running trainers and runners-issued short shorts I would be stared at by all I passed and thought of as a mad man. My own deeply rooted paranoia aside; it can seem as if no one else runs. I can also see how it could be difficult for anyone just starting out or that is overweight. The streets may seem to offer only public exposure whilst the gym allows you to hide away. My argument to this......well in regards to my own paranoia issues of being watched, get out there and run. As soon as I did I realised that I was not alone. As if only by running is it possible to notice other runners, now, I’m always seeing people running. And for those embarrassed possibly because of their weight or slow pace.... I’m no psychologist so don’t want to delve into body images and such things. However, one of the ways to get over this is to run or cycle with someone else, a point I’ve already made in a previous post. And then even if you don’t think you have anyone to go with, join a running or cycling club. From my own experience of these clubs they are very welcoming no matter what your ambitions or ability. I will say though that should a person unequivocally decide that the outdoors was not for them, then these machines are definitely better than the alternative of doing nothing.
I want to leave it there for now, my mind slightly (slightly!) changed. Two fantastic points have been raised and not only am I glad that these have been raised because it shows that people are actually reading what I write but also helps me improve the blog or see things from another view. One of the reasons for writing the blog was not only to help inform others but learn a little myself.
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