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.
Often, I like to find some kind of theme in my Friday Finds, something to tie all the articles I share together, like my recent marathon special. It’s nice when that happens; it seems like there’s some joined up thinking going into my posts. But it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes my news feeds are just full of unrelated, yet interesting, articles that I want to share, and my post ends up feeling a little bit random. This week is one of those weeks!
My first find this week, although from 2014, seems very timely as here in the UK the clocks go back this weekend. Some people love running through the winter months, feeling their performance improve in the cooler temperatures, while others find it difficult to find the motivation to head outside. I have to admit, while I’m not fond of how much little daylight there is through the winter months, I know I feel better for getting out and running, feeling the cold air on my face yet being snug in my toasty winter kit. I may have to alter some of my routes, but getting out at night always reminds me of when I first started running more seriously in January of 2009. In this article, Harry McGee points out some of the advantages to night time running, and helps us to find the beauty in those cold, wet nights, as well as providing some useful safety reminders.
Next up, the results of a fascinating study comparing the mental performance of athletes and non-athletes when under pressure. While none of the athletic participants were runners, it’s still intriguing to read of the difference it makes to have the mindset of someone used to making quick decisions when their success or failure can come down to that one split second. I have included articles about that mindset before, so found it interesting to see the direct comparison between those conditioned to making split second decisions under pressure, and those not.
This week’s marathon-related article comes from Fortune. If you love marathons, running shoes and statistics then this is the find for you! Although based on US statistics, it does give an interesting insight into the brands that are getting the most wear right now, and I have to say I was quite surprised that my preferred brand doesn’t get a look-in, despite similar studies of elites in recent years suggesting it to be their pick. I would be really keen to see someone dig into this a bit deeper and find out WHY people are picking the shoes they do, and if there is a discernible difference between the elites and the “average” recreational runner.
I have written before about my desire to run for many years to come, and have found countless examples of runners doing just that, such as the amazing Ed Whitlock, but I’ve always thought of that in terms of continuing with an activity I love, rather than considering what all those years of running might teach me. Even in the relatively short space of time I’ve been running (compared to those who have run throughout their lives) I feel like I’ve amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience that, given sufficient opportunity, I will gladly share with others. And all in just a decade or so of running. So what else might be learned from 50 years of running? Well that’s exactly the subject matter of this piece I found in Outside. It’s a beautifully written account of a running journey, and the lessons learned along the way. I hope you enjoy it.
And finally, what kind of a runner are you? No, not whether you prefer morning or night, heel strike or forefoot strike, but your running character. Looking at this fun piece from Runner’s World, I reckon I know a number of the runners described and can recognise a few of the characteristics I possess. The only problem is that “blogger jogger”, despite its charming rhyme, somewhat conflicts with the “don’t-call-me-a-jogger”! Oh well, I must have many layers of running quirk within me. What about you?
The Running Princess