Anyone know his name? It seems to me that I, along with just about everyone else involved with fitness should. Chances are if you've searched online for fitness, especially a phrase pertaining to 'cardio' you might have stumbled upon his image.
His name should be as popular as Lance Armstrong, or as...umm... well as popular as any athlete famous for their physical endurance. Instead this nameless representative of Finland has become the poster child for the fitness marketers and trainers that bash some forms of cardio while hyping their preferred method or their fitness program.
Usually, almost always, his photo is beside a sprinter. And there's always a caption that refers to the differences in their physical appearances.
Some trainers love him. At least they love his image and how it suits their message.
I can get what they are getting at but it's not a fair comparison. It's like comparing a tractor trailer to a dragster. They are designed for different purposes and each has its advantage over the other.
To say marathon runners in general are unhealthy looking and frail is unfair. He doesn't represent them all, just like the sprinter in the second image isn't a rep for all short distance racers.
Marathoners can sprint. They might not win against a sprinter but they will finish. The same might not apply to a sprinter in a full marathon.
Also ones' body type influences how well they'll perform in certain events. How well someone does at something can have a major impact on the activities they participate in. Which is why we need to consider individual preferences and how it relates to exercise participation. Don't bash the guy because he's skinny and a photographer happened to take his picture at a point during the race when he's tired.
Frankly I feel for the guy. I'm sure he probably spent some time training for the race, possibly even qualifying for it by placing well in previous events, and now his claim to fame is being the sickly, weak marathoner that does LSD. And by LSD I'm referring to the acronym for Long Slow Distance which refers to a style of cardio respiratory training, not d-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide.
Personally I'm not a fan of marathons. I have no interest in running or walking in one and never had. The last time I went 26.2 miles at a time I was driving. But I do believe long slow distance (LSD) cardiovascular exercise is optimum for some people.
I am definitely not a fan of bashing one form of exercise to make another look superior. All exercise has its merits. If someone enjoys running marathons good for them. If someone exercising for fat loss takes up walking which progresses into jogging and decides to do a marathon great for them, as long as they've developed the appropriate level of fitness.
Let's remember that marathons are competitions, with individuals competing against each other or themselves. Running a marathon is not a well suited exercise for someone requiring a great deal of fat loss. For a beginner it makes sense to do LSD and then progress to a more intense form if they desire to do so.
Don't believe the nonsense that if you start doing a form of cardio your muscles will waste away to skin and bone. And do not let it prevent you from starting a cardiovascular exercise program. Start with fitness which should be approached with common sense. Work on improving all the components, not just one. Include exercises that develop muscular strength, and ones that improve muscular endurance. Eat healthfully and exercise consistently to maintain a healthy body composition. Work on improving or maintaining flexibility and agility. Perform sensible cardiovascular exercise that suits your goals and that you enjoy. And if that means running 26.2 miles, well good for you. Just don't ask me to go with you! And if you do enter a race, be careful. Someone might take your picture and make you famous for all the wrong reasons.
What's your take on marathons, or LSD? Do you know who the Finnish racer is? Comments are always welcome.
Aaron Harris provides in home personal training in San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, Carlsbad, and Escondido California and other cities in north San Diego county. Aaron completed his most recent marathon in February of 2014, which was multiple episodes of House of Cards on Netflix.