This, the first podcast on The Phraser, is an interview with Arthur Knaggs, author of Chasing Laces. The book, written in 2019, is in the words of the runners he interviewed last year, before COVID-19 reached the UK.
By Arthur Knaggs
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. (Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
“You don’t get anywhere by magic, but only by putting in the required number of steps, one at a time and in the correct sequence. You can’t run the last lap of a mile until you’ve run the first three. There is a truth, a beauty and a symmetry in this that is inviolate. Every step counts.” (Bernd Heinrich, Why We Run)
London. An athletics track. Evening. Clouds hang fat and heavy in the sky above Parliament Hill. There is a low-key festival atmosphere that grows as the light fades.
Dr Parker is a Lecturer in Physical Activity and Health. She is also a runner. A slim woman, in a blue t-shirt, Dr Parker spoke with great enthusiasm and knowledge about a sport that she loves. Injuries have prevented her from running competitively but, as she came to tell me, for her running means much more than running fast.
Running is a huge area of research, but the science behind it is a little bit wobbly, so I might not have very definite answers to some of your questions.