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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Monday, August 7, 2017

Slow Running

Are American runners falling to the back of the pack on the marathon circuit these days? New research says, yes.
A recent study compiled by RunRepeat analyzed data from nearly 25 million race times (international events with more than 2,000 runners registered) between the years 1996 and 2016. What they found is that the average American runner, whether participating in a 5K or full marathon, is getting slower.
In fact, the past two years --2015 and 2016—showed Americans were at their all-time slowest pace during the course of the twenty-year study. 
So, what’s the reason Americans are lagging behind?
The study suggests the following:
  • There has been an increase in more U.S. women entered in running events than men in recent years, and they tend to generate slower times.
  • Americans as a whole are less fit than those from other countries. The study cited data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that indicated a national uptick in obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. People may register for a race under the false notion that they are capable of running in a competitive manner, but in reality, they may not even be fit enough to finish.
  • Many runners enter a race just to do so, with no real intention of securing a decent time. There was reference to the American culture of everyone getting a ‘participation trophy,’ so there is no actual incentive to be fast. It’s satisfaction enough to just show up for an event, perhaps only to socialize, and then walk the entire way.
The study was encouraged however by the great number of Americans entering marathons and other shorter distance races meaning that it is a sport/pastime that has really gained popularity over the past several years.  
At Texas Orthopedics, we treat runners of all abilities every day. Whether you are a dedicated marathoner, or a casual weekend trail runner, it’s a great sport to enjoy with numerous health benefits. We encourage you to just go at your own pace, and contact us for an appointment if you’ve ‘run’ into trouble and suspect a common running injury like tendonitis, stress fractures, or plantar fasciitis.
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