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.
Hello! I hope you have that Friday feeling! My week is ending a little differently to normal due to a work commitment, but I’m still here to share a few bits and pieces I’ve read this week to get your weekend off to a start.
I’m writing this on an early morning train journey and am most definitely fuelled by coffee to get me on the move! Over the years a pre-run/race coffee has become part of my routine and I know a lot of other runners are the same. It seemed fitting, therefore, to begin this week with an explanation from Canadian Running Magazine of the history of caffeine use in sport and just why it can provide such a benefit to athletes.
Also fitting today as my train passes through Stirling (whilst remembering my recent foray around the University campus as part of the Stirling marathon) is this piece from The Guardian looking more closely at the phenomenon of The Daily Mile. I love the idea of children taking 15 minutes outside each day to boost their fitness and wellbeing. While it only goes part of the way to helping them reach their optimum activity levels, it’s still far better than not going out and the statistics bear this out. As for those who express doubts about the time away from the classroom, I would wholeheartedly agree with the argument that the endorphins and fresh air is more likely to IMPROVE outcomes in the classroom and wish that more schools, including secondary schools, could find a way to incorporate these ideas into the curriculum.
Something I’ve been fascinated by of late is sleep. It’s already one of my goals this year to try and get a bit more sleep and since reading Matthew Walker’s book “Why We Sleep” I’ve been even more fixated on making sure I get enough shut-eye. I was pleased, therefore, to see one of my favourite columnists (Alex Hutchinson of Sweat Science) publishing some information on how athletes can use the latest sleep research to help them.
I also came across something a bit different this week. I’ve touched on the idea of training plans before and always maintain that it should fit into your life rather than you being an absolute slave to it. I’m lucky that Steve writes my plans and fits them around the weekly pattern I want to maintain and the other commitments in my life. To an extent, I’m handing over that responsibility then simply following the plan (with the option to make adjustments as I go). But what if training involved TOTALLY delegating responsibility for your training to others? Well that’s exactly what one runner did when he allowed his twitter followers to dictate his half marathon training. Foolish? Inspired? I’ll let you decide…
And finally, it’s the stuff of pre-race anxiety dreams to get lost or get the timings all wrong, and runner Mike Koehler found out the hard way what happens when you don’t read all your race instructions carefully enough. I have to say, training for a half marathon and “accidentally” running the full is impressive, but I wouldn’t recommend it!
The Running Princess