Running is popular in many different events from amateur to collegiate and in the Olympics. Important considerations are the proper fit and selection of footwear for different anatomy types and various running event speeds, attention to terrain surfaces, proper strength exercises, and training at careful running levels of progression (e.g., mileage of <10% increase per week). Neglect of these considerations can result in cumulative trauma to lower extremity tissues that are vital to the biomechanics of running. Damage to the low back or lower extremity tissues (e.g., hips, knees, shins, ankles and feet and toes) can cause pain, decreased performance and eventually complete disability of the running event.
COMPETITIVE RUNNING EVENTS
Teams of runners compete to complete a course over open or rough terrain against other teams. Courses vary, but a common flag system is a red flag means turn left from the right of the flag, a blue flag means pass straight either side of the flag, and a yellow flag means turns right from the left side of the flag. High School varsity distances are usually about 3.1 miles or 5000 meters. U.S. Nationals are 5000 meters. University distances are 5,000 or 6,000 meters for females and 8,000 meters or 5 miles for males for most invitationals and up to 10,000 meters at regional and national competition in NCAA Division I.
The Marathon is a long-distance track event of 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 kilometers). Many cities also hold Marathons on city streets. Top time for men is about 2 hours and 5 minutes. Top time for women is about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Marathons are also completed by amateurs and ‘fun’ runners with goals of personal best or simply finishing the distance … some completing the event upwards of 3-5 ormore hours. Runners frequently hit a ‘wall’ (extreme fatigue) at about 20 miles (32 km). This probably coincides with the depletion of glycogen — the body’s stored sugar in liver and muscles.
Standard middle distances are the 800 meter, 1500 meter, mile (in the US), and the 3000 meter. Other distances in this category are 600 meter, 1000 meter, 1200 meter (distance part of the Distance Medley Relay), 2000 meter
Many popular road races are 5 kilometers and 10 kilometers over roads and streets. These races are often competitive combined with fun-loving participants going for personal bests. These events are mostly aerobic endurance events with competitive runners pushing their anaerobic threshholds.
The sprinting events are dominated by individuals with superior fast twitch muscle. Most commonly found in Track events, the 100 (yard or meter) and the 200 meter or 220 yard dash are top speed events that use primarily the ATP/PC energy system of the human body. These events last under 10 and 30 seconds, respectively.
Short Sprints include any sprint 60 meters or below, the 40 yard dash (a common speed test for NFL style football), 100 meter, 150 meter, and 200 meter.
Long Sprints include the 300 meter (usually just a training distance), the 400 meter (once around the track) and the 500 meter. The 400 meter is most common long sprint and dedicated competitors run at a continuous high speed sprint. Lesser runners back off to a slower pace during part of the race.
Triathlons vary in distances for the three events of swimming, cycling and running.
The Ironman Triathlon is a 3.8 km (2.4 mile) swim, 180 km (112 mile) bike ride and a 42 km (26.2 mile) run. This is the longest distance Triathlon.
The Half Ironman Triathlon is a 1.9 km (1.2 mile) swim, a 90 km (56 mile) bike ride, and a 21 km (13.1 mile) run.
The Long Distance Triathlon is a 4 km (2.5 mile) swim, 120 km (75 mile) bike, and a 30 km (18.6 mile) run.
The Olympic Distance Triathlon (also known as the Classic Distance ) is a 1,500 meter swim, 40 km bike ride, and a 10 km run.
The Sprint Distance Triathlon is a 750 meter swim, 20 km bike ride, and a 5 km run.
A running event longer than a Marathon (i.e., > 26 miles and 385 yards). A Double Marathon is 52 miles (84 km). Ultramarathons are often 50 or 100 miles or kilometers.