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.
And just like that, it’s 2017! Happy New Year! I hope the first week of 2017 has been a good one for you and you’ve made some positive steps towards achieving your goals for the year. To help, this week’s finds are all about motivation and inspiration to help you get there.
First, Ed Whitlock. I know I’ve mentioned him before as he recently added another record to his impressive collection. At 85, Whitlock continues to perform phenomenal athletic feats (and can run a faster marathon than I’ve ever done!) which really challenge our belief that age is a barrier to what we want to do. What I find so interesting in this article from The New York Times is the results of various scientific tests Whitlock underwent a few years ago. His VO2 max, muscle physiology and attitude to life all far surpass those of his contemporaries, and scientists are now reassessing what this means for ageing and performance. For me, Whitlock is a fine example of not letting age stand in the way of achievement and reminds us all that it’s never too late to take on a new challenge.
On a similar theme, did you see the story of Robert Marchand earlier this week? Marchand set a new record for the furthest distance cycled around a velodrome in an hour, and while his distance of 14 miles may not sound all that impressive, that changes dramatically with the added information that Marchand is 105!!! He already held the record for those over 100, and now adds the over 105 to his collection. Like Whitlock, Marchand has a fantastic attitude, saying, “I am not here to be a champion. I am here to prove that at 105 years old you can still ride a bike.” Hear, hear!
Now, if you ever wondered about the New Year’s resolutions of elite athletes, wonder no more as Athletics Weekly has you covered. This piece confirms for me that other than athletic prowess, the elites are no different from the rest of us as the common themes in their resolutions are about making opportunities count, making more time for themselves and working hard to get what they want. Probably very similar to your own goals and resolutions for 2017.
If one of your goals was to get more serious about your running, then Runner’s World has provided some great advice about what you might have to change or prioritise in order to improve your running. Lots of sensible ideas here, with the benefits and potential risks set out clearly. I, for one, know that rest and recovery is something I need to pay more attention to and I will be trying to prioritise rest in the months ahead.
And finally, something heartwarming for you this week. A German film student made a 100 second ad as part of his course and this is the result: an ageing marathoner struggling to come to terms with life in a retirement home fights back against the deterioration in his body (and confines of his home) to run again. It may not be an official advert, but I’m still sure it will bring a smile to your face and perhaps even a tear to your eye. So in the spirit of Ed Whitlock and Robert Marchand, enjoy!
The Running Princess