Friday Finds – 17th 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.

I’m enjoying a couple of days off work for our half term break and have been able to sleep a little longer and take some time to sort out all the pesky little details of life that can get overlooked during a busy term. So in the spirit of tidying things up, here’s a bit of a random selection of articles I’ve had stored up ready to share but not yet found the opportunity to…

First up, something for those who like to use races as a reason to travel – and who wouldn’t want to run a race steeped in such history as one taking place in Athens? Looking out at a slightly grey evening, some sunshine certainly sounds tempting right now, but instead I shall have to live vicariously through Adharanand Finn’s account of the Athens 10k which appeared in The Guardian this week.

Next up, a slightly tongue-in-cheek account of one man’s relationship with running. I love running, but there are definitely times when love is not what I’m feeling – usually when its’s freezing cold, pouring with rain, my fingers are freezing in my sodden gloves and I still have several miles to go! If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably find some comments in there which resonate with your own feelings about running. But be warned, there are a couple of F-words in there!

After several cycles of marathon training (not all as successful as I would have liked!) I feel like I’ve learned a lot about the process and have made a number of changes to how I train to see if I can get it “right”. I’m certainly not an expert on training, but I am the world’s foremost expert on me and one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that what works for others won’t necessarily yield the same results for me. That’s why I now run less (and make sure each run has a clear purpose when I do) and incorporate a range of activities into my training in the hopes of avoiding disaster injury. And it seems it’s not just me. Reflecting on my own experiences meant that this next article really spoke to me as the writer sets out the lessons she has learned and how that now impacts on her training choices.

Something else that spoke to me was the opening paragraphs of this next article from The Guardian. The writer’s description of what he found out as he progressed along his running journey is certainly true, but it’s what he writes about music that really jumped out. It was the power of music that led me to start my Tunes on Tuesday series and there have now been a number of times that hearing a certain song has jolted me quite powerfully into a running-related memory. The article includes comment from three different people from differing walks of life, but it was the first one that seemed most on my wavelength. Perhaps one will resonate with you…

And finally, as the miles creep up in my marathon training I find I’m more and more likely to be met with incredulity from non-runners when my response to their perfectly innocent question about whether or not I “still run much” is something involving a number bigger than 10. I do get it; I understand that running isn’t for everyone and people can think of plenty of things they would rather do than run 26.2 miles (never forget the .2!!) for fun. But it was with some incredulity of my own that I learned some of the things that came up in a lighthearted US survey about what people would prefer to do rather than run a marathon. It makes for some rather interesting reading!

Happy reading,
The Running Princess

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