Human beings have always run. Anthropologists believe that ancient man ran hundreds of miles tracking and hunting food. The best runners got the best dinners.
The bodies we have today appear to have evolved and developed into machines designed for running, from our shorts toes (which help us to push off), our large bottoms, (necessary for balance while moving), to our many sweat glands and large stabilising knee joints. Homo sapiens are made to run.
And good runners have certainly proved useful. The story goes that in 490 BC, Pheidippides ran from the ancient Greek city of Marathon to Sparta (no less than 149miles) carrying news of a Persian invasion. The modern day “marathon” was named in honour of his great achievement.
Competitive running has been around for quite some time and in most ancient nations, was linked to religious festivals and celebrations. The first recorded Olympic games were around 776BC, and out of the five events, three of these were foot races. The winners gained both fame and great wealth. Ever since the Olympic marathon victories of Abebe Bikila, in 1960 and 1964, Ethiopia and other East African nations have dominated the field of competitive distance running.
The majority of us, however, do not run for Olympic glory and these days we no longer need to run to secure our daily food. Yet across the world more and more of us are running, quite simply, for fun. For the past 40 plus years, recreational running has boomed. No longer is running purely for the elite….all are welcome on the start line.
In 1897, the Boston Marathon had a starting line-up of 18 entrants. Today it boasts over 20,000.
Seventeen years ago, Great Ethiopian Run staged its first International 10k race. It attracted 10,000. On the 26th November 2017, 44,000 people will gather in Meskal Square to take part in Africa’s largest mass participation road race.
So, why are more and more of us running?
Perhaps we are just rediscovering what is built in to our DNA? Maybe we run because history has shown us that we have always done so.
Running transcends age, gender, race, class and income. These things don’t matter. Anyone and everyone can run.
And perhaps this, above all else, is why we do.
Find your 6 weeks 10km training tip here
HAILE – Respected advice
It’s now the second week of your training, or at least the second week of my advice!
Last week I said: start your training gently.
This week my advice is: build up gradually.
If you can run & walk for 30 minutes this week – then next week you should try 40 minutes – and the following 50 minutes.
In other words, step by step. I always say: don’t rush training!
It takes time to build fitness.
Remember what I said last week: routine and discipline are everything!