Friday Finds – 1st June

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 can’t believe it’s June! It hardly seems like any time at all since we were battling the worst of the winter weather and now the summer holidays are in sight! It’s been a busy week for me, so I’m a bit later with this post tonight but I’ve still got some interesting articles to share.

First up, a piece from coach Mario Fraioli in which he details habits common to the most effective runners (note the distinction between ‘effective’ and ‘fast’). Much of this is in line with the principles behind my own training and I was especially pleased to see reference to the process since that has been a big focus for me this year. Do you recognise any of your own habits in here (or habits you know you should have)?

Following on from the point about different types of run, good old Alex Hutchinson, writing in The Globe and Mail, explains the reasoning behind easy and hard runs (and why they make a difference). His point at the end is most important, that most of us lack the discipline to stick to the different effort levels required and therefore don’t reap the benefits. I know it can seem counter-intuitive to run at a really easy pace, but having greater variety allows us to build endurance and have enough energy to work hard when we need to. That’s what improves our running. I’d love to know your thoughts.

As someone with a milestone birthday this year, I was intrigued to read about Anthony Famiglietti’s quest to become the 4th man in history to run a sub-4 minute mile after age 40. While many of us expect to slow with age, there are plenty of athletes who continue to run strongly and if successful, Famiglietti will offer hope that we can all continue to challenge ourselves as we get older and not accept that we must slow down.

Another intriguing post features a writer for Outside spending a month on a very different kind of training programme – one where he did the training he felt like rather than the training his plan dictated. For stats geeks, the data at the end paints an interesting picture, but what is more important is the story behind that data, the decisions writer Michael Easter makes about his training in future. Personally I’m not sure this approach would work for me – given the opportunity to be lazy I would probably grasp it more often than I should – but perhaps others would feel differently…

And finally, as a devotee of the Church of the Sunday Long Run, this last piece really amused me. Perhaps a ring of truth?

Happy reading,
The Running Princess

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