Long-distance runners lap up miles for the love of it

Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:04am EST
 
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Although many people begin running as a practical path to weight loss or fitness, for many it becomes a love affair as the miles increase.

Tom Holland, running coach and author of "The Marathon Method," tells his clients that running for 3 miles was horrible for him too, but farther down the road things changed.

"It happens for different people at different times and different distances: that runner's high," he said in an interview.

Holland calls it a cardiovascular turning point where the run becomes exponentially easier.

"There's a point where the run becomes enjoyable," he said. "Whether this happens at 8 or 10 or 12 miles down the road, it will happen," he said.

A veteran of 60 marathons, Holland was set to run his ninth New York City Marathon earlier this month, until the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) race was canceled in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

"Over 100,000 people apply to the New York City Marathon each year," he said. "There must be something there that people want."

Gregory Chertok, a sports psychologist with the American College of Sports Medicine, said many people are drawn to running because it's an uncomplicated activity.   Continued...

 
A runner ascends the steps leading up to the west side of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque