I felt it necessary to respond to Bulletin writer Anne Aurand’s article titled “Build strength, run better” as a means to set the record straight. If you aspire to run a half or a full marathon, here are a few things you need to be aware of:

1. Distance running follows the principles of strength, stamina, endurance, balance and stability. Therefore training for some of those aspects while ignoring others will not produce favorable results.

2. If you allow an unqualified running coach to teach you short-fast running while ignoring long-slow distance running, a short-fast runner is what you’ll become.

3. Those African runners who seemingly win most of the marathons typically average 120 miles of weekly running. Their elite coaches would never allow them to do that if they didn’t believe it was absolutely necessary. And I can assure you that they’re running more than three days a week.

I’m not just another local resident with an ax to grind. I belong to a very small group of athletes who have logged over 100,000 miles of running. And I am also one who has earned nearly 250 overall and age-group awards. But I have a more important message for you to remember. If you insist on choosing a very young personal trainer to guide you instead of someone qualified like me, then make sure you review the records of races that person has won and proof of the tens of thousands of miles he or she has logged, and get a written guarantee, or don’t write that check.

Art De Tomaso