Friday Finds – 25th October

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.

Happy Friday! I do hope you’ve had a good week. It was the start of a new school term for me but thankfully not such a shock to the system as going back after the summer holidays! I’m really wanting to keep my regular posts coming out, well, regularly again so here are some of the stories and articles I’ve been looking at this week.

Let’s start with this insightful piece from Dan Roan for the BBC. In it, he examines the state of athletics – especially the setting of records – and why we find ourselves in such an interesting time. On the one hand, a variety of breakthroughs have led to some phenomenal new records, but on the other hand scandal surrounding the practices of some companies and athletes mean records are often viewed with suspicion (or at the very least a raised eyebrow). What are your thoughts?

Also from the BBC, a piece I read and found quite fascinating. Rather than running, this one is about walking and describes the results of a study suggesting that slower walking in our 40s can be an indicator of an overall slowing down. I definitely notice when I’m walking with slower people as I tend to walk much faster and find it hard to slow my pace down comfortably. Hopefully that means my brain and body are in reasonable shape as my age creeps up!

Speaking of the brain, here’s an interesting piece considering our mental training. We all know that it’s one thing to train physically for an event, but if our minds aren’t also trained then no amount of physical training will help when the doubts and desire to stop creep in. What do you tell yourself when it gets hard?

Moving to the physical, those who run longer distances are likely to use products such as energy gels to top up their glycogen levels and power them through their workout. But what if there was an alternative? As part of a new study funded by the Alliance for Potato Research & Education, athletes were given mashed potato to boost their carb levels during a workout. Sounds yummy and the potato did turn out to be quite effective, but not quite so easy to digest! Have you tried any alternatives to gels, etc during a run?

And finally, it’s always amusing to look at how running and our attitudes towards it have changed over the years. These examples written by Susan Lacke really show us some of the differences and, as Lacke rightly points out, it will be interesting to see what beliefs we hold now are turned on their heads in the future as research develops. Any suggestions?

Happy running,
The Running Princess

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