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.
A couple of weeks ago I shared an article from Fortune magazine which detailed the running shoe preferences of non-elite marathon runners. At the time I was surprised that my preferred brand, Adidas, didn’t make the list and was curious to know how this compared to the choices made by elite runners. I also thought it would be interesting to dig into the statistics a bit more to find out more about why people choose a particular shoe. This week, I have a follow-up. While it doesn’t tell me any more about why people choose particular brands over others (e.g. marketing, availability, technical specs, etc) it does confirm my suspicion that elite athletes tend to make different choices. Interestingly, it also broke that down into male and female elites, where there was a slight brand difference. I suppose these facts in themselves raise more questions for me about why these choices are made, and I would love to read more research on this.
Next up, an interesting piece from The Guardian about running and weight loss. I enjoyed the discussion at the beginning about the various reasons people choose to run, and while it’s not my reason, I wasn’t surprised that around 40% of people say that they run to lose weight. I know that when I get stuck into marathon training I need to be careful to maintain/increase my calorific intake or I will lose too much weight, but for others weight loss from running can be frustratingly slow, for a variety of reasons mentioned in this article. So if you are feeling a little put out that running is not having the desired effect on your weight, perhaps this will help you to pinpoint why.
I also read with interest this next piece from Women’s Running. In it, the writer discusses why racing isn’t a big priority for her, and how the lack of a big goal makes her feel when surrounded by others striving for a time or distance goal. I have to say, this really resonated with me. I do love to race, but sometimes find that constant striving for PBs a bit much. That’s why I chose not to discuss my autumn race goal this year. I also want to prioritise being able to run for years to come over completing a goal race, which is why I ultimately didn’t run the race I was training for. For me, defining myself as a runner means that I run regularly, not that I race regularly. Racing is fun, but I agree with the writer that you don’t have to race in order to call yourself a runner. I’d love to know what you think about this.
Of course for many racing is a big part of running, but what if training for a race put you at risk? Would you still do it? What if you were a western woman living and working in Afghanistan who wanted to train for a marathon? That was the difficulty faced by lawyer Jessica Wright when she gained a coveted spot in the New York marathon. When I train for my next marathon and get fed up with long runs in terrible weather, I’ll remember the difficulties Wright faced to achieve her goal and remind myself how lucky I am to have the freedom to run, train and take part in sport without threat.
And finally, if you’re in need of a little humour this week, why not check out this Buzzfeed piece which probably describes your life. I can definitely relate to number 14! Which one best describes you?
The Running Princess