Former 2:24 marathoner hoping to parlay a life overhaul at age 45 into competitive ├ęclat • Magazine writer, book editor and commentator on the sport of distance running since 1999 • Adviser and confidant of other perambulators • Paradoxical hater of exercise fanatics • Chihuahua whisperer Sentence-fragment impresario

Friday, June 3, 2016

Tread lightly around running info in the New York Times


I should probably establish a tag just for posts complaining about the sludge that the New York Times, the U.S.A.'s largest daily newspaper, foists on the running public with dismaying regularity.

The substandard stuff these writers expel can be divided loosely into a few categories. They're generally -- but not always -- sanguine enough to avoid peddling flat-out misinformation, so they instead settle for repurposing familiar ideas as cutting-edge discoveries ("OLDER THAN YODA? YOU MAY HAVE TO SLOW DOWN!"), creating faux-dramatic pieces based on hyperextended or poorly applied research findings ("RUNNING TOO MUCH MIGHT JUST KILL YOU!") and writing articles that are simply worthless in that they either state the obvious or acknowledge that what's needed to address a given problem is literally impossible.

This piece is an example of the last type. The headline alone, "Why We Get Running Injuries (and How to Prevent Them)" is a double dose of buncombe in that the article not only offers nothing new or helpful about the nature of running injuries, but also fails to give any feasible ways to keep them from occurring. If this were a column about football, an equivalent headline might be "Why It's Useful For Linemen To Strong (And How To Get That Way Without Exercising)."