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.
It’s the first Friday Finds of the new decade! There often isn’t much going on at this point in the year when it comes to articles to share, but I do have some bits and pieces for you today and I’m excited to see what 2020 brings.
Let’s start with something more uplifting than it sounds. If you follow the Hungry Runner Girl blog written by Janae Baron then you might have seen her journey to huge marathon success this year. This culminated in her recently attempting to run a US Olympic Trials Qualifying time (OTQ) and while she did not reach her goal, it doesn’t change the huge leaps she has made this year. This piece about her, written for Podium Runner, is a great reminder of how the ups and downs we encounter in running are, ultimately, good for us – even if they don’t seem that way at the time! To quote:
“This is the beauty of running—to run is to risk failure. To dream and set big goals will not only ensure you risk failure but will also promise that at some point you fail to achieve those audacious goals…At the risk of sounding cliché, to dream big and set goals is to succeed.”
Click through to read the rest of the article.
Next, an interesting pieces from the South China Morning Post looking at the why behind our motivation to run. The piece is based on a Swedish study looking at what motivates runners and this study found an interesting relationship between running being an escape, a freedom from pressure, and the fact that many of the pressures we might be trying to escape, such as performance goals and measuring our progress, are present there too. I include this because I’m interested to know what you think. Personally, I’m at a point with my running that I don’t really feel under these pressures, but equally I can see how they might creep in. I also wonder if we view these pressures differently in running (or other activities) when compared with our attitudes to work/life pressures. Any thoughts?
- Why do we love to run? Not just to relieve stress – it’s about freedom, achievement and competition, too
I also want to share this piece recently published in The Guardian. It focuses on the marathon and the rise in those accused of cheating at the distance, but ends with a question that seems to attempt some understanding of why someone might cheat in a marathon. For me, there’s no debate here: cheating is wrong and I’m glad steps are being taken to clamp down on those who cheat. Yes, the distance has become far more accessible to the general public, but it still represents a huge challenge and I would hate to think that the achievements of the many who take on a marathon every year could be undermined by cheats making it look “easy”. I’ll get down off my soap box now.
Now this next piece I found really interesting. Shoes are always a hot topic among runners, and we are increasingly realising that the traditional ways of categorising foot “types” are not really based on any sound evidence. But what this piece suggests is that running shoes is another of those areas where female-specifc research is lacking and that women are much more likely than men to be dissatisfied with their shoes. Is this another example of women being treated as small men when, in fact, we are very different when it comes to our bodies? What’s your experience?
And finally, it’s happened again. A runner celebrated their win too early and was dipped on the line by a rival, missing out not just on the win, but on a new race record. That has to smart!!
- Olympic runner finishes second, misses out on race record after prematurely celebrating at finish line
The Running Princess