Friday Finds – 15th January

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.

So once more it’s been a Big Week in athletics, with the publication of the second part of the WADA report into alleged doping. You have no doubt seen some of the extensive coverage of the report over the last few days, but if not then the following article provides a neat roundup of how various newspapers responded. Most noticeable, is the treatment of current IAAF president Lord Coe:

Prior to the publication of the report on Thursday, UK Athletics put forward a number of proposals to help clean up the sport. The proposal which attracted the most controversy was the one suggesting a “clean sheet” for world records, which would effectively mean all existing records would be cancelled. There are, no doubt, records which have been set by athletes who were doping and it’s only fair that they no longer receive credit for those performances, however there are also plenty of records which have been set by clean athletes and it seems unfair that they should have those feats “cancelled” due to others not playing by the rules. It seems that the intention in publishing these proposals was to provoke debate, and debate is certainly taking place, with marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe putting up strong opposition. This will certainly be an interesting debate to follow in the coming weeks, as any decision will likely have a huge impact on the future of athletics.

But I don’t want this post to be taken over by all the negative news of the week, so let’s take a look at some other things that caught my eye.

An interesting story published today surrounds food labelling. Opinions are constantly changing as to the best advice to give with regard to what we eat, however I was interested in the idea presented today by the Royal Society of Public Health. This latest proposal by the health body is to introduce new labelling on foods which would show how much activity would be required to burn off the calories in the product. Now while I know that health and fitness is not as simple as “calories in and calories out” and that telling people how many minutes of running would be needed to burn off a bar of chocolate does not necessarily equate to that activity actually taking place, I still wonder if presenting the calorie content in this manner might go some way to making a difference in people’s choices. It would make for an intriguing study.

More heartening news came from the This Girl Can campaign which was launched a year ago. Figures published by Sport England suggest that the campaign is having an impact, with more women now exercising regularly and crediting the campaign with motivating them to do so. Even more encouraging is the news that the campaign has been talked about on social media every single day since it’s launch in January of last year. That’s a lot of #thisgirlcan hashtags and having been a fan of the campaign from the start, I think this is fantastic news.

And finally, if all the doom and gloom of January is beginning to catch up with you, here’s some interesting news for runners (and would-be runners) who enjoy the odd “adult beverage”. A new 10k event in Glasgow this September will offer participants samples of wine rather than water at the aid stations. I wouldn’t normally advocate drinking wine whilst running (although I have to say the Marathon du Médoc holds a certain appeal…) but I may be tempted to give this one a go. Anyone else?

Happy reading,
The Running Princess

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