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.
For those of us who write the date in day/month/year format then this Sunday, 26th February, is a special day for runners…it’s Marathon Day! And what better way to mark the occasion than a Friday Finds Marathon Special…
Arguably one of the biggest stories in marathon running right now is Nike’s Breaking2 project, the sportswear giant’s attempt to have an athlete run a marathon in under 2 hours. There has been a lot of speculation since the company announced their lofty goal back in December, and now some further details of how it will be approached are coming to light, along with some training details and the thoughts of one of the athletes taking part. I also really liked the digital presentation from Runner’s World about what will take to reach this goal
- Nike’s Five-Point Strategy to Break a Long-Standing Barrier of Human Performance
- What Nike’s Breaking2 Team Learned on Africa
- Eliud Kipchoge: My Quest to Break Ultimate Record
- What Will it Take to Run a 2-Hour Marathon?
At the other end of the scale, plenty of everyday people are currently doing all they can to train for a spring marathon. Perhaps they are experienced marathoners with a time goal in mind; perhaps they are first-timers, experiencing all the highs and lows of training for those magical 26.2 miles. The marathon is a fantastic distance, but there’s an awful lot you can really only learn about running a marathon by running a marathon. There are countless articles out there offering all sorts of advice about how to prepare for race day, and one oft-debated topic is how long the long run should be. I always say that the best training plan is one that is written for you, rather than some kind of generic template that just doesn’t work – everyone is different and while the traditional 20-22 miles long run may suit some, 16-18 miles may be better for others. For the last few training cycles my longest planned run has been 18 miles, and regular readers will know that I have completed marathons on less! So it was with some interest that I read a little more about the Hansons Method, renowned for its model of running more often, but with lower mileage. I’m intrigued by different training approaches and love learning more about the various ways people prepare, even if the methods aren’t necessarily ones I intend to try for myself.
Those of us who have already run a marathon know that it takes more than just physical fitness but mental toughness as well. Everyone will have a low point at some stage during the race, so how we cope mentally is really important. But can the lessons we learn from running 26.2 miles be taught to others? That’s what the writer of this next article suggests. Running marathons has certainly taught me a lot about resilience, setting interim goals and accepting that not everything will be smooth-sailing – all valuable lessons for any other walk of life and worthwhile passing on to others.
Sadly, there are those who don’t respect the race or other competitors and cheat: perhaps for a better time or to gain the qualifying standard for a race like Boston. But more and more these cheats are being found out, and much of it comes down to business analyst (and former marathon runner) Derek Murphy, who uses race data, finish line photos and an assortment of other tools to highlight those he thinks didn’t play fair. I’ve come across a bit of information about this before so was interested to find out a bit more about the marathon investigator and some of the people he’s caught out.
And finally, pre-race anxiety is common before a marathon with frequent fears being getting lost or coming last. But what if EVERYONE got lost and only the last finisher completed the correct route? That’s exactly what happened at a children’s race in Japan recently. I know this one isn’t really a marathon story, but I just love the fact that the finisher in last place was ultimately declared the winner! It just goes to show that you should never give up, even if your worst fears come true!
The Running Princess