Saturday, June 9, 2012

Why did the runner cross the road? To get to the other cant!!


  1. Hypocritical and sanctimonious talk, typically of a moral, religious, or political nature.
  2. A slope or tilt.

In this post I refer you to the second definition of cant versus the informal contraction, and the far too frequently utilized can't.

I am not sure why it took me over 14,000 running miles to realize, but for those runners as myself who run for the sake of personal safety on the left side of the road (so as to face oncoming traffic), we are exclusively training our bodies to accommodate a longitudinally leftward cant of the road surface.  The resulting alterations to our gaits are quickest observed when we then run on the right side of the road, as the road's cant there is directly opposite to that for which our bodies have been trained.

I discovered this years ago when running the Madison, Wisconsin Marathon, as for many of the early miles of that race it is run on the far right side of the road, where there is a decidedly sharp rightward cant.  Despite - I thought - being physically well prepared for the Marathon I was shocked just how quickly I weakened, and only realized long afterward that I simply had not adequately trained to run long distances with a rightward cant of the road.

Wherever it is safely possible run on a laterally flat road surface.  As you will eventually be forced to safely contend with vehicular traffic attempt to equally divide your miles between the left and right sides of the road. 

THAT is how you CAN do the CANT!

1 comment:

  1. Good to hear from you Mark. Hope you're not injured from too much cant running (we call it camber down here). Not much of a problem here as most of our training/racing is either off-road or on level bike paths.