Friday Finds – 26th February

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.

It’s a bit of a mixed bag this week and I’m going to start with something scientific. I’ve shared posts before about the positive impact running can have on the brain, however a new study has taken that research even further by comparing the effects of different types of exercise. It seems that distance running is far and away the best for brain health compared to other forms of exercise. That said, any exercise at all produced better results than a sedentary lifestyle, so whatever you do, you’re making a difference to your brain.

Another study I found particularly interesting surrounded research into why runners get injured so often. Over the years there have been many attempts to explain this, but this study took a slightly different approach – examining data on injury-free runners. From reading the report, it appears that a lighter footfall, regardless of strike pattern, seems to be the key and is perhaps something for me to bear in mind as I rebuild my mileage post-injury.

Of course one factor oft-considered when it comes to injury rates is footwear. Minimalist? Maximalist? Barefoot? All have had their moment. I still firmly believe that comfort is the most important thing in choosing running shoes, coupled with a gradual and sensible increase in mileage, so with that in mind I was amused by this rather tongue-in-cheek response to the publication of another study, this time into what people thing of barefoot running/minimalist shoes. We runners can be quite evangelistic about whatever we have tried that works for us!

Sticking to a lighter theme, I enjoyed this article by Tobias Mews, author of 50 Races to Run Before You Die. Here, he takes a light-hearted look at some of the things he’s learned from his running (2700 miles worth to be exact!). I definitely know a few people who have been caught out by point 10!

And finally, I never thought I’d be able to fit my love of king penguins into a running post, but I guess anything is possible! “What do penguins have to do with running?” I hear you ask. Well a new study investigating the relationship between the weight of a penguin and its biomechanics involved watching the penguins as they walked on a treadmill. The article contains some speeded up footage of this, and who doesn’t want to see a penguin on a treadmill?

Happy reading,
The Running Princess

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