January 7, 2015

Blue Pill or Red Pill?

This came across my Facebook feed a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was interesting to think about, and the reaction comments were even more interesting!

 

Take the "blue" pill and you will able to run injury free with your current abilities for the rest of your life Take the "red" pill and take 1.5 hours off your fastest marathon time, with an additional 5 mins each year afterwards, but you will stop running completely in 6 years.
From this Facebook post

The text reads:

Take the “blue” pill and you will able to run injury free with your current abilities for the rest of your life
Take the “red” pill and take 1.5 hours off your fastest marathon time, with an additional 5 mins each year afterwards, but you will stop running completely in 6 years.

For those if you that don’t recognize it, the Red Pill/Blue Pill choice is a reference to the movie The Matrix.

I felt like most runners are obsessed with running faster and qualifying for the Boston Marathon. And know so many people that have given up running. And, it seemed the typical “instant gratification” that seems to pervade current North American culture would inspire everyone to want to take the red pill.

Reading the comments of this post, I was pleasantly surprised that most would chose the blue pill! That restored a bit of my faith in the running community.

I like running, and I plan to run for the rest of my life. At my current pace, I’ll qualify for Boston in my 60’s, and I’m okay with that! Running injury-free would be a blessing! But, running injury-free has more to do with running smart.

So, in a sense, many runners make this choice consciously or unconsciously. If you push really hard for speed and improvement, and take a “red pill” path, you may achieve all of this without magic. But, it makes sense that such runner’s will burn out and give up running eventually.

If you chose to run conservatively, for fun and joy, and simply run “smart” you naturally take the “blue pill” route, and may coincidentally run relatively injury-free.

 

Would you pick the Blue Pill or Red Pill? Why?


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2 Comments »

  1. Mark Young says:

    I’d take the blue bill since I like the social aspects of running with people and also travelling to new places to run. Also 1.5 hours plus 5 minutes per year isn’t enough for me to win major races, so the time improvement doesn’t mean that much. I guess if my current marathon time was below four hours, the red pill might be more worth considering. Might still be a toss-up, though.

  2. Robin says:

    I like to think there’s a happy medium 🙂 I like to think I’ve found that balance myself but it’s definitely triggered towards staying injury free!!