Thursday, December 11, 2008

I got this NOVA special from Netflix:

A baker's dozen of self-professed couch potatoes are put through the wringer to become long-distance runners -- and ultimately compete in the Boston Marathon -- in this thought-provoking "Nova" special that puts a fresh twist on reality television. In addition to tracking the would-be athletes' progress over the course of a nine-month training regimen, the program also educates viewers about what's going on inside their bodies.

It was interesting to note that the participants went through a nine-month training program yet it seemed that these runners did not have the comprehensive tailored program that they should have had. They did their weekly long run as a group and had some benchmark medical testing (I'd love to know my VO2 max), but there was no mention of nutrition education, resistance training, stretching, or injury prevention. There were many injuries - and most of the time the response was complete cessation of running. I wonder how necessary that was? And most of the women started the program technically obese, and most finished obese with no significant weight loss. To their credit, all 12 who started the marathon finished - but at what cost I wonder? Finishing times ranged from around 4:20 to 6+. Did they suffer injury or difficult recoveries? Their longest training run was a single 20-miler. Given a 9-month program, that seems like somewhat minimal preparation. It was an enjoyable little documentary though.