Friday Finds – 20th 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.

After last week’s post in which I focused on the recent WADA report into widespread doping among Russian athletes, I promised a more varied selection of articles for this week. I certainly have more to share this time, but first a quick update as events have continued to move apace in the last seven days and the spotlight widened to include other countries such as Kenya, where there have been allegations of corruption and cover-ups. As for Russia, late last Friday the IAAF voted to temporarily suspend the country’s athletes. So what next? Sean Ingle writing in The Guardian set out some thoughts:

But by Saturday morning our attention had turned to the terrible events in Paris last Friday evening. Among the many stories that have emerged from that dreadful night, the world of sport has also been under scrutiny as some events were cancelled amid security fears, the friendly between the English and French football teams demonstrated an encouraging show of unity, and inevitable questions were asked about the future of large-scale sporting events in France. Monday’s response from the IOC made for some very sensible reading and I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment that this is a global rather than a French issue and I, for one, would love to see Paris making a successful bid for the Olympics:

Of course my greatest connection with Paris is through my experiences of the marathon and the emotions associated with achieving the goal of running 26.2 miles. It’s an emotional connection that’s difficult to explain to someone who has not experienced that journey and many people find it hard to understand why others return repeatedly to the distance. With this in mind, I enjoyed this piece from Gary Keown in The Herald in which he gives his take on our desire to run marathons. Perhaps, like me, you can identify with some of what he writes:

A different kind of running challenge that has grown in popularity in recent years is the run streak. No, not running au naturel, but running for a set time or distance every day. Personally, I’m not a fan as I know that for me this would be a fast-track to injury, yet there are many, most notably Ron Hill, who do take on running streaks of various lengths and benefit from the process. But what of the science behind the run streak and why has it become so popular? This article from the Evening Standard pursued answers to those very questions:

And finally, whatever your goals right now it’s important to stay healthy, avoid seasonal bugs and train sensibly. So here are some sensible reminders from Dr Juliet McGrattan about how we runners can maintain a healthy immune system and avoid having to miss out on runs or races due to feeling unwell:

Happy reading,
The Running Princess

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