Friday Finds – 6th November

Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.

This past Sunday was the New York marathon, so unsurprisingly a lot of the stories I’ve read this week have come from there. In among the expected pieces about the winners (Kenya’s Stanley Biwott and Mary Keitany) and which ‘celebrities’ had taken part, there were some more unusual and interesting things to read. For example, the rather odd tale of the Italian recovering addict who went missing for 40 hours after completing the race. Thanks to an unfortunate series of events, Gianclaudio Marengo failed to rejoin his group, eventually being found two days later…still in his running clothes! Intrigued? Here are some of the details:

For those of a more statistical turn of mind (it never fails to amaze me how much I enjoy a running-based statistic, particularly when my relationship with maths in all other walks of life is at best tenuous!), Competitor has published some fairly comprehensive data. I was pleased to see such a high number of female finishers and noted that the oldest finisher was also female at a sprightly 84 years old (the oldest entrant was 2 days shy of 95. Sadly he did not complete the course, but seems very much to be taking it in his stride)! If data is your thing, then you might want to take a look:

Moving away from marathons, a few other things caught my eye this week. Something I found intriguing was the results of some research aiming to compile a ‘soundtrack to success’. While this was based on tests with swimmer Ben Hooper, the results could certainly have an impact for other sports. Most interesting is that some popular exercise tracks (some of which I’ll admit to having in my playlist!) are seen as “cheesy” and have no impact. Meanwhile tracks by Eminem such as Lose Yourself (one of my ‘power songs’) have been observed to increase power and endurance. The findings tie in with my own rationale behind creating a playlist which is that it’s not just about upbeat songs, but also songs with lyrics that in some way resonate with me. I revisit my playlist regularly to update it, and this is a timely reminder to cast my eye over it again…

A more bizarre story presents itself in the form of two Olympic medals found in rubbish bags outside a house in Melbourne, Australia 5 months ago. So far, police have not been able to trace the rightful owners, which to me seems very strange. You’d think someone would notice if their Olympic medals had disappeared! I will be interested to find out if this case is resolved.

And finally, I do like posts from other runners which gently poke fun at some of our habits. This week I came across a post featuring the typical photos we tend to post on social media. I know I’m guilty of a few of these, especially the ‘flat runner’, race medal selfie and the odd ‘looking down at running shoes’. At least I know it’s not just me! Are you guilty of any of these?

Happy reading,
The Running Princess

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