You Can’t Help Fallen Athletes: 6 Realities Of Track Athletes

You Can’t Help Fallen Athletes: 6 Realities Of Track Athletes

Between track meets, annual marathons, and the Olympics( the good ones that people watch — well, that some people watch ), professional running is a giant industry. We spoke with David Torrence, Pan-American Games silver medalist and current Olympian, about what it’s like to move your legs back and forth for a living. He told us …

# 6. Professional Sports Leagues Don’t Court You — Brands Do

There’s no Monday Night Running on TV, so instead of talent scouts recruiting for a league, it’s the shoe companies that go after professional runners. In fact, your operating career merely starts when the representative of a shoe company decides you’ve got moxies. No other sporting career begin with the endorsement. This, of course, weeds out specific types of athletes. Thirty years ago, there were tons of barefoot athletes — some won Olympic events. But because it’s pointless for a shoe company to sponsor a barefoot runner, at the least until Nike starts attaining toe rings, it’s impossible for a barefoot athlete to do it professionally.

And now the answer to “What idiot believed this up? ” is suddenly a lot clearer .

Some runners do go independent and drive themselves to the meets, living off of the meager winnings. I did this for a year before being picked up, and it’s not easy or glamorous: Many live in their cars. Remember how Happy Gilmore endlessly traveled from golf course to golf course until Subway finally sponsored him? It’s like that, only marginally less depressing than Adam Sandler’s movie career.

# 5. Professional Running Doesn’t Look Like It Does In The Movies

Check out this clip from Chariots Of Fire 😛 TAGEND

“Brb, abruptly have the exhort to operates a marathon.”

Even back in the early 1900 s, they knew that flailing your limbs like you’re trying to achieve unpowered human flight isn’t good practise. Besides, doing something like that in a race would get a runner disqualified, because flailing like one of those wacky inflatable dancing guys means you’re more likely to smack a nearby athlete. Yet even Tom Hanks did this in Forrest Gump . He’s supposed to be a good long distance runner, but operating like that screws up a person’s airflow, attaining them exert route more energy than they need to. And they especially need that energy: In movies, runners basically sprint for the entirety of a mile-long race. That never happens. After 800 meters, even extremely fit runners start to fade. The goal is to have enough energy left to really sprint when you get closer to the finish line.

That’s because you can’t risk anything at the finishing line. Another scene in Chariots Of Fire shows the athletes celebrating juuust before intersecting the finish line. That’s a famously terrible notion. Check out this video of an Oregon race where the athlete in the lead devoted one wave to his family and was instantly passed by the dude behind him.

“Better keep waving that hand, son, because hitchhiking is the only way you’re getting home.”

Always keep your eyes on the award. Or someone else will take your award. And videotape it. Then upload it to the Internet, where we’ll all make fun of you forever.

# 4. Operating Traumata Can Be Gruesome

I do hours of workout every day. I get massage therapy and chiropractic therapy every week only to hover around 90 percentage. Running is hard on your body, especially when you’re reaching speeds of nearly 20 miles per hour. I’ve got to be diligent, bordering on paranoid with my health, because my body is my literal meal ticket. If I get hurt and don’t heal properly, there’s no way I’ll ever reach my old peak performance again. And that translates immediately into lost money.

It’s like losing your hair: Yes, you may be able to attain a respectable “Sean Connery in The Untouchables ” level of baldness, but you’ll never go back to your glory Goldfinger days. Some athletes — including me — are so terrified of getting hurt between practising that we don’t even stroll during our off hours. I literally put my feet up and stay on my ass to be as fresh as is practicable for the race.

Or else this could happen .

I’ve been injured tons of hours. I’m always riding that line of “doing enough” and “over-doing.” Training too much taxes your immune system, which constructs it easier to get sick. There are muscle tears and bone spur to worry about, too. Every professional athlete has something: Foot problems, knee problems, ankle problems — “theres never” a hour when I am altogether 100 percent. A Runner’s World poll determined that one in nine runners had a knee injury within the prior year.

But the biggest problem isn’t tearing a muscle or having a kneecap pop out of place.( Although both are very real dangers .)

You never want your calf looks a lot like a cartoon ham .

During longer races, athletes draft like race cars — following directly behind someone to minimize gale resistance. Athlete wear shoes with a one-quarter inch of sharpened steel on them for grip. When drafting, any stride can send that cleated foot back right into your leg. Cleat meanders can end a career. Especially if all the dirt residue on the cleat get in there and causes new infections. I nearly objective another runner’s career that way.

I was running a race in Belgium at a really crowded meet. One of my teammates went down in front of me and I had to hurdle over him. Meanwhile, another American runner, Darren Brown, cut in front right when I was landing. My spikes went right into his calf muscle and slid all the way down to his ankle. The entire last lap I thought to myself, “Oh my God, I objective his career” — I could hear him calling halfway across the track.

Brown was out for several months. My cleat missed his major muscles,
but he required 16 sews for an eight-inch gash .

If I’d reached a major muscle, he might have been permanently hobbled. If my reaction sounds cold-blooded — I flying spike-kick the poor bastard then leave him for the wolves — you’ve gotta understand that …

# 3. We Can’t Stop And Help Fellow Runners

Running is one of the few undertakings where it’s outright forbidden to help your fallen co-workers. When I spiked Darren, I couldn’t go back for him , no matter what I wanted to do.

Which is genuinely the point where it becomes less of a race and more of a death march .

If someone goes down, we just run right by like a bunch of cold-hearted bastards. That’s because the medics can’t get off until all the runners have passed. That could entail several minutes of agony before assistance arrives. And if a runner does show human kindness and helps a fellow, he is disqualified. Survival of the fittest at its most literal.

# 2. There’s No Such Thing As A Break

Being a runner means you work 24/7. We call ourselves monks, since they are always ask if their next act would help further God’s will. Runners take every action wonder, “Is this good for my ability to run? ” Even menial decisions, like what posture we sit down in, warrant extensive thought.

“Which shape of ice cube promoting the development of the best recovery? ”

Weekends are meaningless. I can’t go to bars with friends, and I can’t do happy hours. I put in 100 miles of running a week( some people put in up to 150 ). That’s simply the physical educate: The best athletes also get media coaching so they know how to answer questions like a normal human being, rather than a dangerously insane hermit with amazing thighs. Whenever an underdog with no media coaching wins, always stick around for the interview at the end. It’s guaranteed to be entertainingly awkward, like a testimonial from The Office , only sweatier.

# 1. Everything Can Fall Apart In A Moment

To qualify for the Olympics in the U.S ., you must have the Olympic standard( satisfy a certain time for a distance) and you need to be in the top three in your event. The level of competition in the U.S. is ridiculous. Kenya and the U.S. are top two in the world, and the U.S. has by far the most potential athletes. In other countries, there are only a few who fulfils the Olympic standard, so they go automatically( some Americans have actually switched nationalities only to make it to the games ). In the U.S. we have hundreds who fulfill the standard.

“OK, to thin out the crowd, we’re going to release the Minotaur.”

And it all depends on the trials. If the fastest person on Earth has a bad day and be coming back fourth, they’re not going to the Olympics. Recollect that scene in Cool Runnings where the three athletes fall during the course of its Olympic qualifying race and there is no do-over? That altogether happens.

The pressure gets to you. At the 2012 trials, where I vied, I ended up devoting velocity upsurges at the wrong hours and came in fifth place. In a different race from mine, one of the top 10 athletes in the world had two false starts and got disqualified. He threw his shoes into the crowd in annoyance. Hopefully they didn’t spike somebody’s calf and ruin their career …

“I didn’t even have to give him my Coke for these! ”

For more insider perspectives, check out 7 Surprising Realities Of Wrestling You Won’t Ensure On TV and We’re All On Speed: 6 Insane Reasons Pro Gamers Retire At 26 .

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