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There’s no reason you shouldn’t add trail running to your training schedule every now and then, but before you hit the trails, there are some things you should consider. We’ve compiled a short list of tips and suggestions that will help you succeed in the realm of off-road running, whether you plan to pursue the sport seriously or simply want to train on the trails once or twice a week.
1.- Eyes on the trail
On the road or track, you can look wherever you want and you’ll probably be OK; for the most part, your runs are smooth and without obstacles. But when trail running, rocks, roots and anything else in nature could trip you up if you’re not looking for them. Keep your eyes on the trail. Otherwise, you might take a tumble.
2.- Bring a map
If you don’t know the area, bring a map. No, you don’t have to carry a fold-up paper map into the forest with you, but it’s a good idea to have a map or GPS on your phone. It’s so easy to get lost in unfamiliar territory, and sometimes you can even get disoriented in forests you thought you knew well. Having your phone or GPS watch to help get you back to civilization is a nice safety net.
3.- Get trail gear
If you’re going to really give trail running a go, you need to invest in the proper gear. This could just be trail-specific running shoes (which have lugs on the outsole for better traction on dirt, sand or mud), but if you plan to run longer distances, you may want to get a hydration vest and poles. Really, it’s up to you to decide how invested in the sport you want to become.
4.- Lower your expectations
You’ve got your shiny PBs from the road and the track, but none of that matters when you hit the trails. Oh, you’re running a 5K trail race? Odds are you’re not coming close to your road PB. You plan to run 40 minutes hard in the woods for your next workout? That’ll be a good effort, but don’t be upset when you check your distance and it’s nowhere near last week’s 40-minute workout on the road. Trail running is hard, so lower your expectations when it comes to pace.
5.- Jump into a race
Racing is fun. Trail running is fun. So, it only makes sense that racing on the trails would be fun, too. Enter a race. Don’t set a certain time expectation, just go out and have fun.
6.- Take food and water
When you’re running on the roads, you’re rarely too far from either home or somewhere that you can get water or some nutrition. If you bonk on the trails, you could have a long slog back to your car. Carry a gel and bring a water bottle. You’ll thank yourself later when the effort and the heat starts to get to you.(04/26/2023) ⚡AMP
Britain's four-times Olympic champion Mo Farah said he will end his athletics career at the Great North Run in September.
Farah finished ninth in his final marathon in London on Sunday, clocking 2:10:28 - nine minutes behind winner Kelvin Kiptum.
The 40-year-old will compete at the 10km Great Manchester Run on May 21 before the Great North Run half-marathon on Sept. 10.
"Part of me was wanting to cry," Farah told BBC on Sunday after the London Marathon. "I will miss that feeling, I am emotional today.
"I want to pass that on. The Great North Run is going to be my last ever run and that will be my goodbye.
"My career has been amazing, my wife and kids have been with me throughout this journey and I want to give time to them now, as well as getting involved in grassroots sport and give back to this sport."
Farah has won the Great North Run six times.(04/26/2023) ⚡AMP
Great North Run founder Brendan Foster believes Britain is ready to welcome the world with open arms after the launch of the event's most ambitious plan to date. The Great World Run campaign seeks to recruit one runner from every country in the United Nations – 193 in total – to take part in the iconic half marathon in...more...
Gene Dykes, the record-setting 75-year-old ultrarunner from Philadelphia, will hit the trail this summer in a bid to become the oldest finisher in the history of the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run.
This year’s event, which takes place June 24-25 in Auburn, Calif., will mark the race’s 49th year.
The current oldest finisher is Nick Bassett of Cheyenne, Wy., who finished the 2018 race in 29:09. (The cutoff for all finishers is 30 hours.) Bassett was 73.
A self-proclaimed “ultra geezer,” Dykes started competing in races when he was in his 60s and has since broken multiple records for his age group. In 2021, he broke the M70 50K world record at the USATF national 50K road championships in East Islip, N.Y., crossing the finish line in 3:56:43 and beating the previous record of 4:15:55, set by Germany’s Wilhelm Hofmann in 1997, by nearly 19 minutes. Dykes broke the M70 100-mile and 24-hour track records at the Dawn 2 Dusk 2 Dawn 24-hour ultramarathon in Sharon Hill, Penn., in 2019.
In 2018, Dykes ran his fastest marathon time—2:54:23—at age 70 at the Jacksonville Marathon in Florida. The result would have seen him take the world M70 marathon title from former record holder Ed Whitlock, but Dykes’s final time was not ratified due to the race not being a USATF-sanctioned event.
In total, Dykes has run 157 marathons and ultras since 2006. His daughter Hilary will pace him at this year’s WSER.
Dykes is being sponsored in his latest effort by Calgary-based Stoked Oats. As part of their support, the company has kicked off its Breakfast with Gene series on Instragram and YouTube. The series will feature guests including Vancouver-based WSER female record holder Ellie Greenwood, three-time WSER racer Michael Wardian and race director Craig Thornley.
In 2016, 72-year-old Wally Hesseltine made a valiant and heartbreaking attempt to break the “oldest finisher” record, but missed the 30-hour cutoff by two minutes.
“We are thrilled to be supporting Gene on his journey to WSER,” says series host and Stoked Oats founder Simon Donato. “Running 100 miles is a tall order for professional runners, let alone someone in their 70s. What Gene is trying to accomplish is truly remarkable and we’re looking forward to supporting him every record-setting step of the way.”
Western States, first run in 1974, is the world’s oldest 100-mile trail race and one of the most prestigious. Each June, 369 runners from across the United States and around the world embark from the start line in Olympic Valley, Calif., to tackle a challenging course to the coveted finish line at Placer High School in Auburn.(04/26/2023) ⚡AMP
The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...more...
Two-time Olympic champion Sifan Hassan made her marathon debut at the 2023 London Marathon, and she won in heroic fashion–making a comeback after stopping twice to stretch an impinged hip. Heading into the race, Hassan said she went through the typical pre-race antics that every runner has: why did I decide to do this? Did I train enough? I don’t know what to expect.
Hassan executed her resiliency, showing that anything can be possible and how normal it is to question everything before your race. Here are five takeaways from the 2023 London Marathon champion.
1.- It is OK to be nervous!
Even after setting world records and winning multiple Olympic medals in her career, Hassan said she was excited, yet very nervous about her marathon debut in London.
Runners are only human, and most put in countless hours of training into a goal race–so being nervous is not a bad thing. Nerves are just runners’ sympathetic nervous system (SNS) kicking in, which is one of two components of the body’s central nervous system. The SNS releases two hormones in response to high-stress situations–epinephrine and norepinephrine (also known as adrenaline and noradrenaline), which result in that feeling of having butterflies in your stomach.
According to research, nerves are a good thing, and they can help your body perform better. Nerves help your reflexes become faster and improve blood circulation before exercise.
2.- Put expectations to rest
Before the London Marathon, the 2019 world 1,500m champion said during a pre-race press conference she did not change much in her training and had no goal time in her mind. “The marathon is a different distance for me; I do not know what to expect, but I want to try it,” said Hassan.
If you are trying a new distance or race, you will not know what to expect until you finish. Try to leave your expectations behind and embrace the experience. There’s a good chance you’ll surprise yourself.
3.- Trust yourself
There are a million training tips online on what to do before your first marathon or how much mileage you should run per week, but not all tips will work for you. Hassan said she did not change up much of her training and kept a similar schedule similar to her 2020 Tokyo Olympics build.
It is okay to take advice, but there’s no 100 per cent blueprint on how to train for the marathon since all runners are different. Find out what works for you, and stick with it.
4.- Don’t be afraid to stop
Hassan might be the first woman to win a marathon major while stopping twice to walk. She clarified after the race that she had hip tightness and found that the pain only increased as she continued to run. Once she stopped, walked, and stretched out the discomfort, she started running again, eventually catching the lead group around 35 km.
Running is a high-impact sport on your joints and muscles. If there is any tightness or tenderness, it can usually be better to stop and quickly address the issue rather than running and doing more damage.
There is a negative connotation around stopping during a race, but a short walking interval can also break up the monotony and help you deal with the mental challenges or discomfort you may be feeling. This tip is helpful for runners doing longer distances (like a half or full marathon) for the first time.
5.- Have fun out there
Although trying something new can bring challenges, have fun and enjoy the experience. Hassan had no thoughts of winning the London Marathon beforehand, she just wanted to try something she wasn’t used to doing, which ended up working in her favor, leading to her first Abbott World Marathon Major win.(04/25/2023) ⚡AMP
The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...more...
The desire to help those battling the same disease that claimed his sister fuelled David Picksley of Croydon, Surrey, to claim the British 90+ men’s marathon record at this year’s TCS London Marathon. Picksley, the oldest of the more than 48,000 runners at this year’s event, finished the race with a time of 7:16:46.
He becomes the first to record a master’s marathon record in the British male 90+ category. Previously, the oldest British male marathoner on record was Alf Gibson, who at age 85 ran the 1993 London Marathon in 5:48:09. In 2002, Jenny Wood-Allen set the standing record in the British 90+ women’s category, running the London Marathon in 11:34:00.
In Canada, the record in the oldest men’s masters group is held by the late Ed Whitlock, who topped the men’s 85+ category with a 3:56:38 marathon finish in Toronto in 2016.
Picksley entered this year’s marathon as a fundraiser for JustGiving, a U.K. charity aimed at eradicating bowel cancer, and has raised more than $12,000 for the organization through this year’s marathon.
“When my sister April was diagnosed in 1973 with bowel cancer, this was generally seen as a death sentence,” Picksley shares in a statement on his fundraising page. “She died just a few months later at 42, with three young children. Now, almost 50 years on, of those in the UK diagnosed at the earliest stage, 97% will survive five years after their diagnosis. Currently, only just under 40% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage. The focus of the policy and the influencing work of Bowel Cancer UK over the next three years is to improve early diagnosis. I am walking the London Marathon in 2023 to recognise the improvements made in the last 50 years, and to support their campaign, to save more lives by spreading knowledge of the symptoms.”
The TCS London Marathon course is familiar territory for Picksley, who has a long history going the 42.2-km distance.
“In my 50s and 60s I ran 13 marathons, including 4 in London, and since those days I have been enjoying a walk with my stick, early every morning,” says Picksley. “Latterly that had become a lockdown habit, and when a Virtual London Marathon was introduced, I took it on. After a finish in under 7.5 hours in 2021, I did it again in 2022, in 7:13:15, just 3.5 minutes over the ‘good-for-age’ over-85 age category.”
In a video tweeted by TCS London Marathon organizers, Picksley says “it feels wonderful, it really does,” to have finished the event at age 90.
Asked if he “might have a small glass of something to celebrate,” Picksley replies: “Yeah, I should think I will. I might even make it a big one.”(04/25/2023) ⚡AMP
The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...more...
29-year-old marathoner Esther Chesang has been banned for four years by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya for use of a prohibited substance.
"The period of ineligibility (non-participation in both local and international events) for the respondent shall be for four years from the date of mandatory provisional suspension that is 11/5/ 2022 pursuant to article 10.2.1.2 of the WADC," read a Sports Disputes Tribunal ruling of April 23.
Chesang, the Sierre-Zinal 2022 women's winner, was suspended for the presence of triamcinolone acetonide.
The panel was chaired by Gichuru Kiplagat while Peter Ochieng and Gabriel Ouko were members.
The Tribunal added: "The disqualification of results in the event during which the ADRV occurred and in competitions after sample collections or commission of the ADRV with all resulting consequences including forfeiture of any medal, points and prizes pursuant to Article 9 and 10 of WADC."
The 2021 World Under-20 800m champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi says he wants to use next month’s Kip Keino Classic to gauge his preparedness ahead of the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August.
Speaking in an exclusive interview on Monday, the speedster said he is tirelessly toiling at an elite camp in Kapsabet to perfect his act for a podium finish at Moi Stadium, Kasarani on May 7.
The prestigious one-day meet is part of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series and enters the third edition with at least 1,000 athletes set to battle for a share of the prize purse and world ranking points.
“I’m currently practicing for the Kip Keino Classic in Kapsabet at the 2-Running Club training camp,” Wanyonyi stated.
“I’m currently concentrating all my energies on training for the Kip Keino Classic. I’ll be using the competition to get ready for the Budapest World Athletics Championships next year,” Wanyonyi said.
He added: “I’ve been training with my eyes set squarely on the World Championships. I’m eager to demonstrate my dominance on this grand platform.”
A podium finish in Hungary is the middle-distance track sensation’s bare minimum.
“I plan to finish on the podium. I also want to better my personal best, but I wouldn’t mind trying for the record as well. I want to be considered one of the world’s best 800m runners. This is doable if I put in enough time in training,” Wanyonyi explained.
He believes lack of senior-level experience cost him a podium finish in Oregon. Nonetheless, he reckons he gleaned some invaluable lessons that could propel him to victory in Budapest.
“It was lack of experience that cost me the victory. It was my first World Championships and I’m glad I came away with a lot of valuable lessons,” Wanyonyi, who finished fourth in 1:44.54, stated.
However, he redeemed himself at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia when he, alongside Mirriam Cherop, Daniel Munguti and Brenda Chebet, scooped the mixed relay title.
He believes their amazing performance at the competition has increased his ambition to achieve global greatness and add another medal to his cabinet.
“Our performance in Bathurst was quite encouraging heading to the World Championships. It was a huge morale booster and my confidence in repeating this performance in Budapest has skyrocketed,” he said.
Wanyonyi rose to global stardom after storming to the gold medal at the 2021 World Under-20 Championships at the Moi Stadium in Kasarani, where he set a championship record of 1:45.01.(04/25/2023) ⚡AMP
From August 19-27, 2023, Budapest will host the world's third largest sporting event, the World Athletics Championships. It is the largest sporting event in the history of Hungary, attended by athletes from more than 200 countries, whose news will reach more than one billion people. Athletics is the foundation of all sports. It represents strength, speed, dexterity and endurance, the...more...
The Paris 2024 Marathon for All will take place on the evening of August 10 on the same course as the men's Olympic marathon earlier in the day.
The race will start at 9PM from the Hotel de Ville and end in Les Invalides, organisers have confirmed.
This event is a first, as no such general public event has ever been organised in the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
There will be two different distances for two different routes - a full marathon for those aged 20 and over, and a 10 kilometres race, starting at 11.30PM, for those aged over 16.
The idea is to include and bring together the maximum number of participants in events that will finish at the Esplanade des Invalides.
Paris 2024 organisers describe it as "a majestic setting to heighten the emotions and the pride of taking part in an exceptional sporting epic."
Organisers say the field will be 40,048 runners, with equal places for men and women, and that they will be "surrounded by athletes and ambassadors of the Games, who will take their place in each starting area to encourage them, fully experience the moment with them and maintain the fervour until the finish line at the Invalides."
There are still 35,000 participant bibs to be won via the Paris 2024 Club, the Marathon pour tous mobile application and the @teamorangerunning Instagram account.
A thousand of them will also be awarded during the next relay race organised by Orange on the evening of June 17, designed as a taste of the marathon.
The marathon route and the 10km route start from the square in front of Paris City Hall and finish in Les Invalides.
Runners pass through Boulogne-Billancourt, Sèvres, Ville d’Avray, Versailles, Viroflay, Chaville and Meudon and then along the Seine at Issy-Les-Moulineaux to Invalides.
An historic route awaits runners past the finest monuments in the Paris region.
The women's Olympic marathon will take place on the following day.(04/24/2023) ⚡AMP
For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...more...
American high schooler Issam Asinga ran an incredible 9.83-second 100m race on Sunday, winning the race and beating 200m world champion and Olympic bronze medalist Noah Lyles in the process. The 18-year-old Asinga’s time is the fastest ever recorded by an American high school athlete under any conditions, although it was wind-aided at 2.6 meters per second (the limit for wind is 2.0 meters per second). Wind-legal or not, Asinga’s run was phenomenal, and he is certainly someone to follow in the coming years.
Sunday’s run was not Asinga’s first time storming into the record books. In March at the New Balance Nationals Indoor meet, he tied the American high school 60m record with a 6.59-second run, and broke the national high school 200m record in 20.48 seconds. His 100m result in Florida is undoubtedly his most impressive feat yet, as he took down Lyles to do it.
The official American high school boys record stands at 10 seconds flat—a time Trentavis Friday ran in 2014. That is as close as any high schooler has come to breaking 10 seconds in legal conditions. Before Asinga’s run on Sunday, Matt Boling had the fastest all-conditions run in American high school history, posting a 9.98-second 100m back in 2019. That race saw winds of 4.2 meters per second.
Despite running in far slower winds than Boling felt during his race, Asinga obliterated that record, flying to the finish line. A wind conversion calculator shows that his result is equal to a 9.85 run in 2.0m/s wind and a 9.93 in still conditions. In either case, Asinga’s time would smash all previous American high school records.
After the race, Lyles took to Twitter to congratulate the young sprinter. “Shout out to Issam Asinga,” he wrote. “I can definitely see us racing on the big stages if you keep improving and you can definitely get that HS record man!” There’s no word on when Asinga’s next race will come, but it will be an exciting one to watch as he chases a wind-legal result.(04/24/2023) ⚡AMP
Kenya’s Samwel Mailu smashed the nine-year-old course record of the Vienna City Marathon, running 2:05:08 at the World Athletics Elite Label road race on Sunday (23).
Despite warm conditions during the second half of the race, the 30-year-old was 33 seconds quicker than the former course record-holder GetuFeleke of Ethiopia, who clocked 2:05:41 in 2014. Mailu’s compatriots BethwelYegon and Titus Kimutai followed with 2:06:57 and 2:07:46 in second and third, respectively.
There was a Kenyan double as Magdalyne Masai won the women’s race in 2:24:12 from Agnes Keino, who ran 2:24:25. Ethiopia’s GadiseMulu was third with 2:24:50.
With temperatures climbing to around 20°C in unexpectedly sunny conditions during the second half of the jubilee race, the men’s leading group ran a consistently fast pace. After a 29:43 10km split, a group of 11 runners including three pacemakers reached halfway in 62:43.
The pace continued to be fast and the group then partly broke up between 26km and 28km in the Prater Park, where EliudKipchoge broke the two-hour barrier in 2019.
There were still six runners in contention when the leaders reached 30km in 1:29:13 and it was an all-Kenyan affair: Yegon, Mailu, Kimutai, Joshua Kogo, Bernard Chepkwony and debutant Elvis Cheboi. The latter two then lost contact, while Mailu started to pull away.
Between 32-33km he had a lead of around 10 meters over Kimutai and another 15 meters over Yegon. While these gaps grew considerably in the final five kilometers, Yegon was able to overtake Kimutai for second place.
But there was no way of catching Mailu, who ran an unexpected marathon debut in Frankfurt last year. He was a pacemaker but then continued to run and finished second with 2:07:19.
“The race in Frankfurt gave me a lot of motivation,” he said. “For me, today was kind of another marathon debut. This was my biggest career win.”
In contrast, the women never really started the planned attack on the course record. With slower split times than expected, there were initially 11 runners in the first group. Once the pace picked up a bit the group was reduced to seven at the 10km mark (33:48). Six women then reached halfway in 72:04: Kenyans ViselineJepkesho, Masai, RebeccaTanui and Keino as well as Ethiopians Mulu and NuritShimels. Tanui and Shimels were then dropped while the other four passed the 30km mark in 1:41:58.
With little over seven kilometers to go, Keino made a move in the Prater Park. The winner of last year’s Munich Marathon was around 15 meters ahead of Masai, but she could not increase her advantage. Instead, Masai responded and overtook her Kenyan rival soon afterwards.
“It was a perfect race for me,” said Masai, who is the younger sister of 2009 world 10,000m champion Linet Masai and 2009 world 10,000m bronze medalist Moses Masai. “I ran well and had some energy left for the last couple of kilometers. I have prepared for the Vienna City Marathon since January. I am very happy to have won, but I would have like to run a bit faster than 2:24.”(04/24/2023) ⚡AMP
More than 41,000 runners from over 110 nations take part in the Vienna City Marathon, cheered on by hundreds of thousands of spectators. From the start at UN City to the magnificent finish on the Heldenplatz, the excitement will never miss a beat. In recent years the Vienna City Marathon has succeeded in creating a unique position as a marathon...more...
Kelvin Kiptum found a way to better his marathon debut world record as he dashed away from a quality field, blitzing a stupefying 59:45 second half to win the London Marathon with a 2:01:25 clocking.
“I am so happy with my performance in my first World Marathon Majors, and to run the second fastest time in history,” Kiptum beamed. “The secret is hard training, and my preparation was very good. Everything was going one way, and I was expecting good results.”
Race day certainly went Kiptum’s way as the 23-year-old not only pared 72 seconds off Eliud Kipchoge’s London course record, he scared Kipchoge’s 2:01:09 global standard, and moved past Kenenisa Bekele to No. 2 on the all-time list.
Left far behind was the competition as Geoffrey Kamworor ran a PR 2:04:23 to finish 2nd as Tamirat Tola filled out the podium with a 2:04:59 effort.
Kiptum picked up right where he left off last December in Valencia when he ran a stunning 2:01:53 marathon debut, closing the second half in 60:20. Having logged that impressive sub-2:02 debut, this run was less stunning than it was spectacular as Kiptum hit speeds seldom seen on a marathon course.
While the runners set off on wet pavement, the expected steady rain did not materialize and the light wind, 50-degree (10C) temperatures and a crisp 38-degree dewpoint combined for some fast running. Well at least for Kiptum.
Defending champ Vincent Kipruto and Kiptum were ready for a fast getaway, clipping at the pacers’ heels through the downhill opening 5K (14:30) before settling into a steady 2:56K pace.
Crossing 20K on the Tower Bridge in 58:31 (2:03:27 pace), Kiptum seemed to egg on the trio of pacers as they upped the tempo to pass halfway in 61:40. The move also yielded a generational change of sorts as the 40-year-old Bekele slipped out of contention while Kiptum sped on in an effort that would supplant the Ethiopian’s 2:01:41 Berlin ’19 win.
The ensuing 5K segment in 14:22 between 20 and 25K pared the pace down to a 2:03:01 clip, and the lead group to 6 contenders. Kenyans Kiptum, Kamworor and Kipruto led the charge, a stride ahead of the Ethiopian trio of Tola, Seifu Tura and Leul Gebrselassie.
Covering the subsequent 5K in 14:30 pushed the tempo down to 2:02:57 at 30K (1:27:23) when Kiptum’s obvious exuberance could no longer be restrained.
Kiptum’s break came after he missed his 30K fluid grab. “My plan was to catch a water,” he said. “But unfortunately, I missed and I said, ‘Let me make a move,’ so I try.”
Kiptum’s try was a sharp acceleration covered at first by Kamworor and Tola, but soon they were left behind.
After facing Kiptum in Valencia, Tola was ready for the move but discovered one of his legs wasn’t: “When he was moving, I start with him but my leg was not OK, so I kept on my pace to finish.”
Kamworor clung to the radical speed a bit longer before coming to his senses: “When Kelvin made a move, that was a crazy pace and I couldn’t go with it because that was insane, so I said, let me go with my pace.” Note that this perspective comes from an athlete who knows something about insane pace as he closed out his 2018 World Half-Marathon Championship in Valencia with a blistering 13:01.
Once cut loose, Kiptum covered ground effortlessly, with a little side-to-side shoulder movement in his arm swing, but from his bib number on down he ran as smoothly as Kipchoge. Looking well within his comfort zone Kiptum’s breakaway was sealed with a 13:49 split to hit 35K in 1:41:12 — 2:02-flat pace.
The sub 2:50 kilo pace continued all the way down the Thames Embankment with a 14:01 split through 40K, and running 6:12 over the final 2195m.
Kiptum admitted, “It was difficult between 30 and 40K, and at 41 and 42 I was so exhausted I had no energy.”
The 58:42 half-marathoner’s transition to the full distance seems complete as for a second race in a row, after some 30km of running, Kiptum was able to shift back into the 2:48 pace of a sub-59:00 HM.
Scant few marathoners split a sub-2:50 kilometer; Kipchoge recorded 8 in the first half of his WR run last October, and 4 in his 2:01:39 record run. Kiptum ran 6 consecutive sub-2:50s between 31 and 37K in Valencia, and went even faster here, averaging 2:47.5 over the final 12,195 meters.
That’s 1:57:48 marathon pace.
Kiptum’s improbable finishing speed and rise to the top tier of marathoners over the short span of 5 months and two competitions is a rare achievement. The Kenyan phenom has impacted the marathon world like an unassuming rookie pitcher hitting the big leagues and pounding the strike zone with 105mph fastballs.
Managed by Marc Corstjens, the soft-spoken Kenyan is based in Chepkorio, 6km east of Kipchoge’s Kaptagat camp. Kiptum is self-coached, often trains alone with a preference for long, hilly runs in the forest — reminiscent of Sammy Wanjiru’s ’08 Olympic year training.
“My focus now is marathon,” Kiptum said. “I have done some half-marathons, I have run 59 or 58 seven times, so I said, ‘Let me try to shape up for the marathon.’”
As for chasing Kipchoge’s WR, Kiptum demurred with the patience evidenced in his opening 30K: “I will go home and see, but not now. Maybe in 2 or 3 years with good preparation.”
Among the field’s highly decorated veterans, Kamworor was happy to run his best race since his ’19 motorbike accident: “The race was good, and I am happy that I have come back after a long time struggling with injuries.”
Mo Farah closed out his marathon career finishing 9th in 2:10:58, while Bekele was less fortunate, perhaps closing out his stellar career with a DNF.
Top 10 Men Finishers
1. Kelvin Kiptum (Kenya) 2:01:25
2. Geoffrey Kamworor (Kenya) 2:04:23
3. Tamirat Tola (Ethiopia) 2:04:59
4. Leul Gebresilase (Ethiopia) 2:05:45
5. Seifu Tura (Ethiopia) 2:06:38
6. Emile Cairess (Great Britain) 2:08:07
7. Brett Robinson (Australia) 2:10:19
8. Phil Sesemann (Great Britain) 2:10:23
9. Mo Farah (Great Britain) 2:10:28
10. Chris Thompson (Great Britain) 2:11:50(04/24/2023) ⚡AMP
The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...more...
Kenya’s Bernard Koech won the men's race at the Haspa Marathon Hamburg in a course record of 2:04:09, while Dorcas Tuitoek completed a Kenyan double by winning the women’s race in 2:20:09 on Sunday (23).
Their compatriots Joshua Belet and Martin Kosgey took second and third in the men’s race with 2:04:33 and 2:06:18, respectively. Long-time leader Tiruye Mesfin of Ethiopia struggled in the final stages and despite falling, she still finished second in the women's race in 2:20:18, while Stella Chesang clocked 2:20:23 on her debut to break the Ugandan record.
In almost perfect conditions a leading group of 13 runners formed in the men’s race right after the start and they stayed together until the 27th kilometer. The half marathon mark was passed in 62:32, slightly off course record pace. But after 27km the pace of the leading group increased and Koech, Kosgey and Belet broke away. Kosgey dropped back right before the 35km mark and the decisive moment came when Koech left Belet behind.
Koech built on his lead and with 2:04:09 he improved the course record by 38 seconds.
With 2:04:33 for second place, Belet was also under the previous record, while Kosgey followed in 2:06:18.
Brazil’s Daniel Do Nascimento, who was among the pre-race favorites, finished fourth in 2:07:06.
“I ran a god race and I knew that I probably had to run a time around my PB to win,” said Koech. “I spoke with Eliud Kipchoge about the course before I came here and he gave me some advice.”
Kipchoge won his marathon debut in Hamburg back in 2013.
Kenya’s Rhonzai Lokitam Kilimo finished fifth in 2:08:08, the same time as Germany’s Richard Ringer – a PB for the latter, which is two seconds inside the Olympic qualifying time.
As expected, it was Mesfin who took the lead in the women’s race early on. But with a half marathon split of 69:46, she was not as fast as she had planned. The 2:17:23 course record was out of reach, but at 35km Mesfin looked a certain winner.
She was around a minute ahead of her rivals, but then disaster struck. The 20 year-old slowed and then stumbled, falling to the ground in the final kilometer. Behind her, Tuitoek saw her opportunity and found another gear to pass Mesfin around 300 meters from the finish line.
“I was really surprised to win. I did not see when Tiruye Mesfin fell, I was just fully focused on myself. I still had enough energy,” said 25-year-old Tuitoek, who had a PB of 2:24:54 before the race. “I knew that I could probably run a 2:20 time. This course is really fast and good for records.”(04/24/2023) ⚡AMP
The HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG is Germany’s biggest spring marathon and since 1986 the first one to paint the blue line on the roads. Hamburcourse record is fast (2:05:30), the metropolitan city (1.8 million residents) lets the euphoric atmosphere spill over and carry you to the finish. Make this experience first hand and follow the Blue Line....more...
Kenya's Kelvin Kiptum smashed compatriot Eliud Kipchoge's course record to win the men's London Marathon in the second-fastest time ever.
The 23-year-old was just 16 seconds outside Kipchoge's world record, finishing in two hours one minute 25 seconds.
Sifan Hassan also produced a remarkable run to win the women's race.
The Dutch Olympic track champion, 30, suffered with a hip injury but battled to win on her debut at the distance.
“It was really amazing,” she says. She never thought she could win, so can’t believe that she did. The crowd are amazing, she says, and every single kilometre she was grateful to be there.
She’s so happy and it’s beautiful to see; she explains she has a pre-existing hip problem, hence the stretching, and because she was fasting she didn’t practise so didn’t know where to stop for drinks.
At 20km she felt she wasn’t tired and was thinking about getting experience for her next marathon and at every moment she was grateful. She didn’t have confidence because she didn’t practise drinking and she found it really tough; she realised she didn’t have to have as much as she should.
Living in the States, she used to set her alarm to watch this race, and now she’s won it she’ll never forget it. She’d been told she’d hurt, but felt much better after 35km than she thought, and when she saw the line she thought it that really it?!
She needs to decide what race she’ll run at the Paris Olympics next summer but she’s so grateful. What an incredible racer and lovely person.
Kiptum produced the fastest marathon debut in Valencia in December, where he finished in 2:01:53 - the third-fastest time in history.
He went faster still on the streets of London, knocking one minute and 12 seconds off Kipchoge's previous course record to beat second-placed compatriot Geoffrey Kamworor by almost three minutes.
Ethiopia's reigning world champion Tamirat Tola was third, while Britain's Mo Farah finished ninth in what he says will be his last marathon.
Emile Cairess, 25, produced a superb run to finish as the first British man home, taking sixth in 2:08:07 on his marathon debut.
It was the third-fastest marathon time by a British man - behind Farah and Steve Jones - and the second fastest by a Briton in the London race.
Four British runners finished in the top 10 in total, with Phil Sesemann eighth and Chris Thompson 10th.
In the women's race, Hassan, who won the 5,000m and 10,000m at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, appeared out of the race after dropping back early on with a hip problem, but gradually fought back.
She then produced a sprint finish to win in two hours 18 minutes 33 seconds.
Ethiopia's Alemu Megertu was second and Kenya's previously unbeaten Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir third.
Kenyan world record holder Brigid Kosgei looked to be limping from the start and dropped out after just three minutes, while Ethiopia's defending champion Yalemzerf Yehualaw was fifth.
Sam Harrison, 27, was the first British woman home, clocking a new personal best of 2:25:59 for the 26.2-mile distance as she claimed 11th.
It was the fifth-fastest time by a British woman in the event.
Switzerland's Marcel Hug knocked 50 seconds off his own course record to win a third consecutive London Marathon men's wheelchair race - and fifth in total.
Hug, 37, finished in one hour 23 minutes 48 seconds, well ahead of the Netherlands' Jetze Plat in second, with Japan's Tomoki Suzuki third and the United States' Daniel Romanchuk in fourth.
Britain's David Weir, 43, finished his 24th London Marathon in fifth place.
Australia's Madison de Rozario held off Manuela Schar, of Switzerland, in a sprint finish to win the women's wheelchair race for a second time.
The four women's favourites made it on the Mall together before De Rozario and Schar pulled away.
De Rozario won in one hour 38 minutes 52 seconds, with defending champion Catherine Debrunner, of Switzerland, in third and the United States' Susannah Scaroni fourth.
Eden Rainbow-Cooper, 21, who was third in 2022, was the first Briton home in seventh.
The event has returned to its traditional date in the calendar, in April, for the first time since 2019 after being moved during the Covid-19 pandemic.
More than 47,000 runners are taking part, with huge crowds lining the streets of London despite damp conditions.(04/22/2023) ⚡AMP
Renaldo Duncan and Jermaine Carelse completed the Cape Town race to support Volunteer Wildfire Services.Running a half marathon while wearing ski boots is one thing, but taking on a race in full firefighter gear is a whole new level.
On Sunday, two fire and rescue service members, Renaldo Duncan and Jermaine Carelse, completed the Two Oceans Half Marathon in Cape Town, South Africa, while wearing full firefighting gear to support a local charity.The men donned heavy jackets and helmets for the duration of the half—though no large boots were involved, as the firefighters opted to wear traditional running shoes to make things a bit more pleasant.
While the weight of firefighter gear was indeed a hindrance during the race, the biggest challenge was how the equipment would affect body temperature in the late miles.
"We started heating up and [had] to take in a lot of fluids," Duncan told News24 in Cape Town. "It’s probably the most fluid I’ve ever taken in a race."
Duncan, a 13-year veteran firefighter, trained for this year’s Two Oceans by running in full firefighter gear during other races, and the duo had completed the race together—also in full gear—back in 2017. With the gear on, the pair completed this year’s run in 2:41.
The firefighters did the stunt in hopes of raising awareness and donations for the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS), which combats runaway fires in the area. The VWS is a collection of about 320 volunteers that fight dangerous brushfires by wading through dense brush and across treacherous terrain to contain fires before they can spread farther.
"A lot of the city’s annual fires, around half, are bushfires, and a lot of that happens in the green belts that surround the city, whether in Helderberg or along Table Mountain National Park,” said JP Smith, a mayoral committee member for safety and security, to News24. “These fires can be utterly devastating [and] we depend heavily on the VWS ... these volunteers do really brilliant work, and they do a lot of fundraising and need a lot of equipment.”
This isn’t the first time firefighters have opted to go full gear for a good cause. In 2015, firefighters in Ontario ran with 70 pounds of gear to raise awareness for PTSD. That same year, a New Jersey firefighter set a record for the fastest mile in full gear with a time of 6:45 to raise awareness for his charity, Team Firefighter.(04/22/2023) ⚡AMP
So far, 2023 has already given us so many memorable, slightly useless Guinness World Records—from the man who ran a half marathon while wearing 120 t-shirts to the J.K. Rowling fan that ran the fastest half marathon time while dressed as a witch and the man who crushed a half-marathon while in ski boots. Luckily, if you’re a fan of watching such feats, one of the premier events in the running world for setting wacky world records—the London Marathon—is here.
Last year’s event saw 18 records broken out of a possible 34 attempts, including the one completed by Kellie Clark, who, with her Snickers bar outfit, became the speediest female dressed as a candy confectionery item with a time of 4:24:06 and who could forget David Jones, who finished in 2:47:15 while wearing his pajamas.The number of attempts is no coincidence, as the race is entering its 16th year of collaboration with Guinness to bring creative and inspirational runners to the race to raise awareness for specific charities and organizations.
Guinness World Records adjudicators will be present at the start and finish lines of the TCS London Marathon to evaluate costumes, verify runner times, and certify any successful participants as official Guinness World Record holders, entitling them to be featured in the next installment of the book released in September 2023.
“It will be all my birthdays, and Christmases come at once! I used to get a copy of the Guinness World Records book every year under the tree and pore over it, gobsmacked by all the weird and wonderful records. So, to be included in there would absolutely be a dream come true,” said Jack Glasscock, who spoke to marathon organizers about the prospect of becoming the fastest man dressed as a Domino’s Pizza garlic and herb dip. Eliud Kipchoge may never be able to claim that.
While Glasscock, who is running to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust, is one of the many costumed record hopefuls raising money for the charity of their choice, others, like Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts, are hoping to break a record without an outfit. Roberts is just 18 months removed from surgery to remove her bowel and hopes to become the fastest marathoner with an ileostomy. She will do so to raise money for Attitude Magazine Foundation, which supports LGBTQ+ communities.
The 2023 edition of the race will be even more exhilarating, with a whopping 73 records set to be challenged this time. We’ll spare you the details of all 73, but we will share 10 of this year’s absolute dumbest records being attempted. Strap on your favorite candy-bar costume and get ready to be inspired:
Fastest marathon dressed as a three-dimensional dinosaur (male)
Fastest marathon dressed as a three-dimensional aircraft (male)
Fastest marathon dressed as a three-dimensional aircraft (female)
Fastest marathon dressed as a knight (male)
Fastest marathon in a full-body inflatable costume (male)
Fastest marathon carrying a household appliance
Fastest marathon dressed as a savory food (female)
Fastest marathon dressed as a gingerbread person
Fastest marathon dressed as a crustacean (female)
Fastest marathon dressed as a piggy bank(04/22/2023) ⚡AMP
The best athletes don’t just train hard—they also recover smart. And a big part of effective recovery is the post-workout meal.
A good after-exercise nutrition plan can help an athlete replace the energy they burned during a workout, repair and rebuild muscles, and provide the fuel they need to crush their next training session, according to Jordan Hill, a Colorado-based registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics with Top Nutrition Coaching. The resulting gains can be significant.
Just ask Lea Davison. When the two-time Olympic mountain biker worked with a nutritionist some 10 years ago to dial in her post-workout fueling plan, she “really noticed the difference,” describing a reduction in rabid hunger and a feeling of being “stronger all around.”
When curating a post-workout snack or meal, folks should look for two main things: carbs and protein, says Hill. Carbs help reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and stimulate the release of insulin, a muscle-building hormone that also helps refill your body’s glycogen stores (your muscles energy source). Protein helps refill your glycogen stores as well, and also halts muscle breakdown and promotes the growth of new muscle, Hill explains. Moreover, when combined, carbs and protein reduce cortisol, a hormone that causes muscle breakdown.
Athletes should consider foods rich in antioxidants like fruits and vegetables, and omega-3s like nuts, seeds, and fish, as they tamp down inflammation and further assist in the recovery process, Hill explains. It’s also important to keep in mind hydration and electrolyte replenishment, especially sodium and potassium.
When it comes to carbs and protein, the amount you consume matters. After an intense workout, look for a three-to-one ratio of carbs to protein, or closer to a two-to-one ratio if your goal is weight loss, says Hill. You can calculate your target amount of protein in grams by dividing your bodyweight in kilograms in half. Then, multiple that figure by two or three to get your carbohydrate value in grams, Hill explains.For example, with the three-to-one ratio, someone who weighs 150 pounds (68 kilograms) would have a target protein goal of 30 to 35 grams and a target carbohydrate goal of 90 to 105 grams. Keep in mind this guidance applies only to intense workouts—the type that leave you sweaty, tired, and potentially sore the next day. Following a gentler workout—say, a yoga session or quick 20-minute strength routine—these specific ratios aren’t as important, says Hill, who recommends folks in those scenarios just follow their general eating patterns for the day.
Last tip: Pay attention to timing. Women should aim to eat their protein amount within 30 minutes of a workout. That’s because certain hormone fluctuations that occur in women post training can accelerate muscle breakdown, explains Hill, and getting in protein quickly can help combat that. Women can eat their carbs alongside the protein, or eat the carbs separately up to two hours after the workout. The guidance is a little less strict for men: so long as they eat both the protein and carbs within two hours of exercising, they’ll reap the benefits.
Need some inspiration for your next post workout meal? We tapped two-time Olympic mountain biker Davison and four other elite athletes to learn what they typically feast on after a tough training session.Pro snowboarder and Olympic silver medalist Julia Marino usually gravitates towards a smoothie with a mixture of frozen fruit, coconut milk, yogurt, and protein powder. “It’s not too heavy,” says Marino of her go-to snack. “When I’m done working out and pretty warm, I’m craving something light and colder that’s easily digestible.”
Meagan Martin, a pro climber and American Ninja Warrior women’s champion, is also a fan of the post workout smoothie. Her concoction often features a mix of frozen fruits and veggies (like banana, pineapple, blueberries and spinach), along with cinnamon, chia seeds, almond milk, almond butter, and sometimes whey protein. “I have this after any workout,” says Martin. “Whether it’s a climbing session or a cardio workout, it’s just the thing my body needs.”
Hill, the nutritionist, endorses these types of smoothies as a great way to get antioxidants, hydration, and protein following a workout. Just be sure to pay attention to portion sizes to ensure you’re hitting a good ratio of carbs to protein, she advises.
During cold months, Davison frequently refuels with a fruit smoothie, similar to the ones described above. But after a long ride on hot days, she favors a DIY slushie: She blends a scoop of unflavored protein powder with lemonade and frozen, locally-picked strawberries.“It’s easy to drink,” she says, adding that the tartness of the lemonade helps counterbalance the sweet chews, bars, and gummies she consumes during her ride. If her workout concludes at home, she’ll quickly whip this up within the 30-minute recovery window, or, if she’s ending a ride at a trailhead, she’ll make it in advance and stash it in a Yeti cooler so it stays chilled.
This concoction, says Hill, offers “great hydration” and electrolytes in addition to protein. The strawberries and lemonade (so long as it’s sugared) provide carbs, she adds. If you’re making this at home, Hill recommends monitoring the portion size to ensure the carb to protein ratio is sufficient.Adidas-sponsored athlete Chris Nikic, who in October became the first person with Down syndrome to finish the Ironman World Championship, is a Chipotle devotee. The 23-year-old athlete’s favorite food is rice, and every day for lunch he orders a heaping burrito bowl with all the fixings: brown and white rice, brown and black beans, chicken, veggies, corn, cheese, and guacamole. The end result is “a four-pound bowl,” says Nikic, who is currently training for the Tokyo Marathon and notes the meal tastes best after a run.
Nikic’s go-to is a “great option,” says Hill. It provides protein, lots of carbs—including both easy-to-digest simple carbs from the white rice and satiating fiber-rich carbs from the brown rice—as well as antioxidants from the veggies.
When it comes to post exercise fueling, Dylan Bowman is a creature of habit. For years now, the professional trail runner has consumed the same recovery meal pretty much every day. He’ll scramble two eggs with greens and onions and then “liberally” butter two pieces of bread. Sometimes, he adds avocado if he’s feeling extra hungry. “I love it because it’s simple and quick,” Bowman explains. “I can get it in quickly and get the recovery process started before I begin the work day.”
This meal hits the big components, says Hill: protein with the eggs, healthy fat with the avocado, and carbohydrates with the toast. If you need more calories depending on the intensity of your workout, Hill recommends either increasing the portion sizes or pairing the meal alongside something else, like oatmeal with berries and honey.When Davison is craving “real” food (i.e. something she can chew, not just sip) she whips up eggs fried over medium with toast, or concocts egg tacos with cheddar cheese, salsa, scrambled eggs, and corn tortillas. “Eggs are my go-to for lunch mostly,” she says.
The breakfast taco option is really similar to Bowman’s staple and provides carbs from the tortillas plus protein from the eggs. The salsa adds antioxidants. Depending on the intensity of the workout, Hill might recommend adding extra carbs to properly refuel—things like orange juice, chocolate milk, or a small cup of fruit.(04/22/2023) ⚡AMP
Kipruto, who used a 4:21 25th mile to win last year’s race, says his preparation has gone well for London, and while he hasn’t done every session with high-powered training mates Evans Chebet and Benson Kipruto (who just went 1-3 in Boston), he has run a number of workouts with them and has finished alongside them. He said his fitness is on par with when he won this race six months ago.
“Last year’s shape and this year is really similar, no change,” Kipruto said.
Kipruto was asked in the main press conference about his thoughts on Kenya’s doping problem — the country saw at least 25 athletes suspended in 2022 — and spoke candidly about the issue, calling it “an embarrassment.”
“It’s really killing me sometimes, my heart, because when you see someone has been caught, it’s really raising a lot of questions in your mind,” Kipruto says. “You’re asking yourself why this person go through this? You find someone injecting yourself, you find someone buying some medicine, swallow some medicine and you know [they’re healthy and don’t need it]. So someone is not even thinking about his health.”
Kipruto echoed the comments fellow Kenyan marathoner Mary Ngugi made to the BBC on Wednesday, saying success is the product of patience and time. He believes too many athletes want to take a shortcut to success by doping.
“When you tell someone be patient, they see you like you are talking nonsense,” Kipruto said. “…What kills athletes mostly is impatience, they need to rush. You find someone getting everything. they want to run faster to get money, which is not correct. But if someone is clever enough, you better be patient and your time will come.”
Kipruto is pleased that the Kenyan government has taken action to fight doping, dedicating $5 million per year over the next year toward tackling the issue. He says he believes the AIU is doing a good job by using more sophisticated methods to catch dopers and asked for them to keep pushing.
“The request I have for the AIU and [the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya] is to tighten up a lot, even to bring more technology how to catch dopers,” Kipruto says. “…If they introduce even more systems how to handle this doping, I’ll be happy.”(04/22/2023) ⚡AMP
On Sunday, 2019 Berlin Marathon champion Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia will take on defending champion Amos Kipruto of Kenya in a potentially explosive 2023 London Marathon race.
Last year, he finished fifth in 2:05:19 behind Kipruto (2:04:39). In an exclusive interview with Nation Sport, the two-time Olympics 5,000 metres and 10,000m champion admits that this year’s race features one of the strongest fields. He talked to our writer Bernard Rotich.
Question: Having completed your training for the London Marathon, how have your preparations been so far?
My training has been good, but not perfect. I had minor injuries earlier on in my training programme, but I feel healthy and fit for Sunday’s race.
Where do you train specifically, and what does your day to day programme look like?
I train around Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. I do runs at altitude, and Entoto Forest Park in Addis Ababa is one good place for that. But I also do low altitude training around Sendafa, a small town located some 38 kilometres to the East of Addis Ababa. Of course, exercise training becomes an important part of my training programme ahead of races.
How does your diet look like when training for races? Do you have special food during that period?
Not any specific food. Most importantly, I like a variety of food. I eat a lot of vegetables, nuts, fruit, some meat, pasta, rice, milk and of course our national food injera which is high in nutrients. For me, just plain food is enough, not too much spices and oil.
Which was your last race and what can you say about your performance in it?
My last race was the 2022 London Marathon. I had hoped for more in the race, but I couldn’t achieve what I set out to do. I was struggling healthwise, having suffered a double Covid-19 infection.
At the 2019 Berlin Marathon, you came close to breaking Eliud Kipchoge’s then world record in the marathon of 2:01:39 by two seconds, but Kipchoge further lowered that time. Is Kipchoge’s new world record of 2:01:09 within reach for you?
Actually, it is what motivates me. Of course I still hope it will happen one day.
When competing against Kenyans, do you come under pressure, or do they help you to push yourself to the limit?
Good competition always helps to motivate me to push myself the extra bit. We need each other to excel in athletics.
You have had a long and successful athletics career. What is your secret to longevity?
My talent is God-given. This is what God chose for me to do. I had dreams, and I still have many goals to achieve. That keeps me going.
How have you invested your earnings from athletics, and what advice can you give upcoming athletes who look up to you?
I built my own synthetic athletics track in Sululta, about 20km north of Addis Ababa. Initially, I built it for my track training. I needed a good soft track surface to avoid injury. Nowadays, almost all Ethiopian athletes train there, which supports athletics in Ethiopia. Next to it, I built a training center and guesthouse where athletes can stay. We need to help each other and build for the community.
What is your message to your fans ahead of Sunday’s race?
I’m very happy with all the support I get from all over the world. The crowds are usually really amazing in London. I really appreciate the support I get from my fans during my preparations. I see it, and it motivates me.
You belong to NN Running Team. How has your experience been so far?
For me, the medical and nutritional support of the team has made the difference. I have access to the best sports doctors, physios, nutritionists and products. I owe them a lot. It has been career extending, and they are the reason I am still chasing my dreams and goals.
What do you think of the 2023 London Marathon line-up? Do you feel pressure to deliver?
Of course in a World Marathon Major, you can only expect a top field of athletes. The competition is really strong this year, but I’m looking forward to getting the most out of myself.
Who are your training partners? What do you think of them?
I train with Leul Gebresilase who will also compete in London Marathon. Training together with other strong athletes motivates me to push the boundaries. I think Leul is strong. He finished second last year, but let’s see what will happen in this race.(04/22/2023) ⚡AMP
First, it was the check engine light in my car.
Then it was the rear derailer on my bike.
With my two primary modes of transportation out of commission, I decided to take to the streets and try run commuting to work.
It seemed like the perfect way to boost my mileage and revamp my training with new routes. So I laced up my shoes, invested in some dry shampoo and hit the road.
Besides its obvious transportation value, run commuting has many benefits for even the most road-averse trail runners.
"I definitely believe that run commuting helps my trail running," says ultra-champ Michael Wardian, of Washington, D.C. "It takes planning, carrying a load, perseverance and dedication."
Much like packing and planning for a big trail run or race, commuting takes a bit of prep. I cross-referenced Google Maps and Strava for routes that balanced efficiency and less traffic. Find out how long your commute should take you, then give yourself extra wiggle room for clean up. Your office mates will thank you.
"Make sure you can shower at work and have a place to store clean and stinky clothes," says Sharman. "As well as a determination to run rain or shine."
I typically found myself trying to travel as fast and light as possible-just carrying the clothes (and deodorant) that I'd need for the day. However, there were several less-than-ideal trips that found me slogging either a gallon of milk, a laptop or one very unfortunate casserole. As good as most running packs are, I have yet to find one that can accommodate a lasagna.
Carrying a laptop takes some getting used to, as well. After an unfortunate incident involving my computer and some salad dressing, I began to wrap everything in ziploc bags. Because of all the jostling involved in run commuting, I discovered that foods like salads and grain bowls were much more portable than sandwiches, which are prone to disassembly en route.
"I think the attitude needed is just one of adventure and determination," says Wardian. "There will be obstacles that try and derail your run commute, but if you are committed it will be one of the best things ever."
Get in more miles
Run commuting is also an effective way to squeeze in extra miles by breaking up training into bite-sized chunks throughout the day. A three-mile run to and from work made logging consistent double-digit miles much easier than trying to bang out a half marathon right before work.
"Volume is important for training, and in cities it can be difficult to squeeze in enough miles, especially with most professional jobs," says Ian Sharman, four-time Leadville Trail 100 winner. Sharman, who used to run commute in London, believes that run commuting can be hugely beneficial to any trail runner's training with a little bit of planning and a sense of adventure.
"Although the terrain was typically not even remotely hilly, I included running around parks by taking a less direct route home," he says. "That factored in some grass and dirt."
Save gas money and add it to your running fund
Besides investing in a comfy pack and military-grade deodorant, run commuting is cheap. I didn't buy gas, and my legs required less upkeep than my bicycle. Run commuting is also one of the greenest ways to get around, and I found that starting my day with a peaceful jaunt to work was much more pleasant than sitting in traffic.
"Run commuting has opened my eyes to the fact that you don't have to drive everywhere," says Wardian. "There are so many errands that can be done on foot and under your own power, and I love that."
While run commuting is generally mood and energy boosting, it's not without its challenges. I endured rain, wind, hail and plenty of less-than-stellar hair days. However, with minimal gear and a good attitude, I found the benefits of run commuting far outweighed both the scorching heat and sogginess.
Despite several slip ups like forgetting shoes and having to rock my sneaks with a little black dress, or arriving to work hours late after taking a wrong turn, I loved run commuting. I got to know the most efficient and scenic routes from my house to just about everywhere in town. I loved the moments of solitude it granted me at the beginning and end of every day.
Mike Wardian's best advice for newbie run commuters?
Plan Your Run Commute
Gear up, size down. Travel-sized soaps, shampoos or wipes help save space and weight, and leave you feeling fresh after your morning commute. Dry shampoo or baby powder can help alleviate sweaty hairlines. I learned how to blow-dry bangs in a hand dryer.
Map it. Google Maps, Map My Run and Strava are great resources for in-town routes. Be sure to check for construction and account for morning traffic.
Dry-run. Practice your route the night before to work out the kinks, and find coffee along the way.
Pack tetris. Pack heavier items like a laptop towards the bottom and back of your pack, leaving room on top for lighter items or things that you'd rather not smush-like lunch.
Bag it. Protect the things that matter-your laptop, your clothes-from liquid assault, be it in the form of rain or stray salad dressing. Wrap your computer in a plastic grocery sack and put your clothes in plastic baggies.
Cool it. Give yourself plenty of time to cool off before stepping into the office. Stretch, drink water, take five minutes to breathe-or else you'll find yourself sweating right through your shower.
Early Bird: A stress-induced PR is no way to start the day. Map your route and imagine running your slowest splits, hitting every red light and getting shin splints. Add two minutes to that for every mile. Arrive on time, or better yet, early.(04/22/2023) ⚡AMP
Your physiology is beautifully unique. I sound like John Mayer if he was a physical therapist. Our bodies are wonderlands, even if our glutes are unmaintained landfills.
The individual uniqueness of athletes creates a problem, though. How can we understand our physiology in the broader context of training theory when every variable is a bell curve across the population? General equations work if you're smack-dab in the middle of the bell curve thiccness, but can be actively wrong and counterproductive as you venture into the standard deviation hinterlands.
Consider the equation that many of you might have heard about heart rate: 180 beats per minute minus age = approximately aerobic threshold, or the intensity level that serves as a top-end barrier for easy/steady running that should encompass around 80% of your training volume. While that equation is generally useful, it can be actively useless for individuals, especially aging athletes who are highly trained and have a much higher aerobic threshold than the equation would predict.
For me, the equation caps my easy runs at 145 heart rate. My actual aerobic threshold is 152 beats per minute in running (and 150 beats per minute in biking). In practice, that's almost a one-minute-per-mile difference in output. Training from a general equation would prevent me from accruing benefits from steadier paces, and I'd probably be slower at everything.
raining zones from your watch can also be atrocious. In the last few months, I have helped a few hundred listeners of our podcast calculate their heart rate zones (our episode on heart rate zones is here). And a lesson I learned is that some of the watch brands use algorithms that are less accurate than U2 in Spanish class. Zone Uno, Zone Dos, Zone Tres, Zone Catorce, Zone Biblioteca, etc. Some of the watch zones are set so low that I have no idea what they could possibly be measuring.
So today, let's look at one simple way to calculate your heart rate zones to help you calibrate your training intensity. Knowing your intensity ranges is helpful because it optimizes your metabolic fitness, allowing the body to burn more fat at higher outputs, while supporting mitochondrial proliferation and efficiency, allowing both higher and lower intensities to take less energy. Disclaimer: exercise physiology terminology is always subject to evolving debate, particularly on Twitter (the world's town square, if the square was also where the town put the raw sewage). Here is my favorite infographic ever on the overlap of these principles, from Fluid Athletics (follow them on Instagram here).
What Are Heart Rate Zones?
We'll be using the traditional Five-Zone model, contrasted with the Three-Zone model used in most training research, but it helps to understand both and how they interact. Heart rate is best thought of as a proxy for lactate concentrations. To simplify it a ton, lactate is produced as our bodies use glucose to fuel ATP production during glycolysis. Lactate is a fuel source for cells, and it's accompanied by a hydrogen ion that changes muscle pH and contributes to fatigue. A 2018 review in Cell Metabolism described the lactate shuttle where the cells use lactate for energy. If this shuttling mechanism is overstressed, lactate levels and fatigue rise and exercise becomes less sustainable. A great overview by Dr. Howard Luks is here.
When lactate concentrations begin to rise, intensity switches from easy to moderate, an inflection point known as LT1, broadly overlapping with aerobic threshold where athletes go from primarily burning fat to primarily burning glycogen. And when lactate levels rise more steeply at higher intensities, intensity transitions from moderate to hard, an inflection point known as LT2, broadly overlapping with traditional lactate threshold (or critical velocity, depending on the method of calculation). That encompasses the 3-Zone model used in research:
Those zones are used in research to determine intensity distribution. While these breakdowns are gross approximations, it can help to put some numbers on paper to get your bearings (all of these numbers have big error bars).
So if we're using heart rate to approximate lactate and the associated physiological impacts of fatigue, why don't we just use lactate? Good question, you article-ruining jerk. In a perfect world, athletes may decide to prick themselves for blood lactate readings with every interval like they're Norwegian vampires. Practically, though, there's a lactate learning curve in the best of times that can lead to inaccurate data, and in the worst of times it can take some of the spontaneous artistry out of daily training. You can probably tell I'm scared of blood, needles, and vampires (whether traditional or sexy).
But have blood-free hope! Using the method in the article, I have approximated zones for professional athletes that have later been validated in lab tests with small enough margins of error to be useful. However, it's key to get a full lab test for truly accurate data. Heart rate without lactate, metabolic, and/or ventilatory lab tests is like determining the time from where the sun is in the sky. With context clues, you can be close, but you wouldn't want to use it to cook a turkey.
Five-Zone Training Model
Now, let's finally get to the Five-Zone heart rate model that is used in most training approaches. The Three-Zone model is overlaid with green, yellow, and red (again, there is debate around the exact breakdown, particularly with the Zone three/Zone four delineation).
There are a few ways to set the zones, but I see the most repeatability and accuracy with the Lactate Threshold Heart Rate method pioneered by legendary coach Joe Friel. As outlined in Training Peaks, he suggests that athletes "do a 30-minute time trial all by yourself (no training partners and not in a race). Again, it should be done as if it was a race for the entire 30 minutes. But at 10 minutes into the test, click the lap button on your heart rate monitor. When done, look to see what your average heart rate was for the last 20 minutes."
I like athletes to do the test on uphills, where they won't be limited by neuromuscular and biomechanical factors if they don't have a ton of speed training. If it wasn't a truly hard effort or your heart rate takes a lot of time to increase across an effort, you can take the average heart rate from a section as short as 10 minutes. Because this isn't an exact measurement like in a lab test, think of it as an art that is useful in understanding your body, rather than attempting to find a correct answer like high school algebra.
For an easy way to scrub complex data files with HR variation, you can use the Strava Sauce browser plug-in, highlight the area you want to examine, and it will give averages without ever lapping the watch. When I calculate zones for athletes, I have found that you can also approximate LTHR from almost any hard workout with intervals 3 minutes or over by looking for spots in the file where heart rate stabilizes for 15-30 seconds before rising to less sustainable levels (and sometimes falling back toward that baseline in longer efforts). Be careful about using data from very hot days or long races over 90 minutes, when heart rate can sometimes be sustained above Friel's LTHR in ways that are not mirrored by the underlying physiology.
A big key here: the data needs to be accurate. Chest-straps are ideal for these purposes, and if you are doing a workout to set heart rate zones, it's worth using the chest strap even if it feels like you're getting the heimlich maneuver from a weak octopus. While wrist-straps are rapidly improving in accuracy, there is extreme variation among athletes/watch brands. For example, my Garmin 745 seems to work really well in most circumstances (see this beautiful graph of a threshold workout). But other athletes don't have that success, and sometimes they send me heart rate files that look like Bitcoin price graphs (we are not sure why it's going up and down, but we can be pretty sure it's nefarious).
How to Set Your Heart Rate Zones
Once you have the LTHR number, it's time to set those elusive zones. We're at another controversial point where the exact percentages are subject to extreme debate. The problem: when you validate heart rate data with lab tests, individual physiology varies substantially. LTHR narrows down that physiological variation to get an idea of zones, but the exact delineation depends on training history, muscle fiber typology, metabolic context, astrological sign, etc. Don't even get me started on Scorpios.
Here are the percentages that Megan and I like to use:
Let's dig into an example from my data. In February, I did a virtual bike race up a mountain. Using the Strava Sauce plug-in and highlighting the final 20 minutes of that hard effort, my LTHR was 172. While there is variance across sports and my heart rate is higher with running, that means my current zones for biking are approximately:
Your LTHR may increase with training and it will drop with age. Athletes are often between 165 and 175, though in professional athletes, I have seen numbers as high as 189 and as low as 152. You can see why dialing in your unique physiology is so important. An athlete with an LTHR of 160 needs to cap most of their easy runs at 140 heart rate (top end of Zone 2). Meanwhile, an athlete with an LTHR of 180 can go all the way up to 157! Often, everything about those athletes can look the same from the outside-same age, same PRs, same training, same potential. But they have very different hearts.
How To Use Your Heart Rate Zones
There are two places where having a general feel for your personal heart rate zones can be most helpful: understanding your Zone 2 (with LT1 as a cap) and determining the sustainability of longer efforts. First, let's break down how to think about each of the zones:
Knowing that Zone two cutoff can help calibrate an athlete's effort so they understand what terms like "easy," "steady," and "moderate" actually mean. Spot-checking heart rate periodically on harder efforts can ensure that athletes aren't going too hard, pushing everything into Zone five and reducing aerobic adaptations. I love athletes to get a feel for how high their heart rate gets on uphills especially, since excessive effort on ups can lead to reduced endurance and race performance. Zone 3 is your friend, in moderation. Zone four is your acquaintance. And spending too much time with Zone five will end with you folded up in a car trunk somewhere outside Las Vegas.
The big takeaway is that heart rate is just a proxy for fatigue processes, especially when calculated outside of a lab. The numbers can vary by the day, and they change across training blocks. Temperature, stress, caffeine, and political news all impact the numbers enough that caring too much about a few beats per minute is unhelpful. The day I first heard the nickname "Meatball Ron," I was in Zone three while sitting on the couch.
Instead, view heart rate as a way to calibrate your physiology in a general way, spot-checking your perceived exertion so that you know what you think your body is doing generally aligns with what your body is actually doing. Once an athlete dials in heart rate, I like them to look at it once every couple weeks during a run, and solely after-the-fact on other runs (if at all), never investing too much in small changes. Heart rate sometimes takes a while to respond, so I find it's rarely useful on shorter intervals.
If you train within the correct general range of intensities, whether guided by heart rate, lactate, and/or perceived exertion, you can improve output at Zone two and Zone three heart rates in particular, and because those efforts are more sustainable metabolically, you'll excel in races. You definitely don't need to have a heart rate monitor to achieve those goals. But you do need to have a good feel for your unique physiology.
All of our bodies can be well-calibrated wonderlands. We sometimes just need a little bit of the sexiest thing of all: data.(04/22/2023) ⚡AMP
Dusting off your running shoes after a break can be intimidating. If an injury, pregnancy or busy work schedule got in the way of your passion for running, you may wonder if you’re now too out of shape. Will your body even remember how to run a certain pace? Or will your legs feel weak and wobbly? And how many times do you have to pound pavement or hop on a treadmill before it feels fun again?
The good news is that your muscles retain a memory of their former strength, which can make it easier to bounce back than if you were starting from scratch. If you were sidelined for only two or three weeks, you may not even notice a significant change in your running performance, especially if you remained physically active during your time off.
If it has been longer, you may not want to rush back to several-mile runs. Mix running with walking, take time building up strength in unused muscles, and use a few tricks to motivate and reward yourself.
It can take about two months for a new behavior to become automatic. Once it does, it also becomes less taxing. But until then, you want to minimize the potential for injury and frustration. Use these expert-backed tips to get past the annoying retraining period so you can hit the open road with passion.
Ease into a routine.
You are more likely to stick with a running habit if you start with small goals. That may mean holding yourself back a bit, both in terms of pace and distance. “Slow and steady wins the race,” said Karena Wu, a physical therapist and owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy in New York City. Slow down until you can pass the talk test, which means carrying on a conversation while running.
Try to do two to three short, easy runs per week. You could also follow a couch to 5K training plan designed for beginner runners and those who are returning after a long break. Alternatively, you may use a strategy that incorporates walking breaks into your runs.
Whichever plan you pick, be sure it has elements of strength training, stretching and resting. The point is to stay consistent and remember that you are using this time to recondition the muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues in your legs, Dr. Wu said.
Build in immediate rewards.
You may think you can muscle through the first few weeks or months of running, but research suggests that motivation alone is not always enough. Pairing small, immediate rewards to a task — like watching Netflix while on the treadmill or treating yourself to an Epsom salt bath after a long trail run — can make it easier and more enjoyable to continue doing these activities.
“People repeat behaviors that they enjoy,” said Wendy Wood, a research psychologist at the University of Southern California and the author of “Good Habits, Bad Habits.” “If you hate running to begin with, there’s probably not much you can do to motivate yourself to repeat it.”
Short-term rewards can carry you through the days when your motivation is lagging. And they may even accelerate the formation of your new running habit.
Research shows that you can also get psychological rewards from running with a group of friends, affirmations from a coach or listening to your favorite music. Some studies have shown that people who listen to music are able to run faster, perform better and feel less exhausted.
Start strength training.
Strength training helps prepare your body for running again and can keep you injury free for the long haul. Many physical therapists and running experts even recommend strength training a few weeks before returning to running to build up muscle strength, increase flexibility and improve overall biomechanics.
“I think a lot of people use running to get in shape, but I would really recommend getting in shape to get back to running,” said Irene Davis, an expert on the biomechanics of running at the University of South Florida.
Runners tend to be weak in their feet and ankles, as well as their hips and glutes, Dr. Davis said. To strengthen these areas, try weight lifting, yoga, calisthenics or plyometrics at least two days per week.
Dr. Davis and Dr. Wu recommended exercises that train multiple muscles at the same time, like single and double leg calf raises, lateral band walks (or monster walks), planks, lunges, squats and step-ups.
A well-designed warm-up can also get your blood flowing and prepare your muscles for running. Dr. Wu and Dr. Davis recommended dynamic stretches, in which you move your joints and muscles through full ranges of motion, mimicking the movement you’re about to perform without holding them in place. For runners, they are often the same exercises used in strength training, like lunges and squats, as well as butt kicks and high knees.
Research has offered mixed and often contradicting results regarding the benefits of cooling down after a workout. But many athletes and physical therapists, including Dr. Wu, recommend static stretches, in which you hold a position for a period of time, after a run. She also recommended bringing your knee to your chest, pulling your ankle toward your glutes, leaning against a wall to stretch your calves or going into a deep lunge and moving your hips in a circle. Experiment with stretching and see if it makes you feel more flexible or helps you regain energy for the next run.
Get enough rest.
Just because your body remembers how to do a five-minute mile doesn’t mean your muscles and joints are ready for the toll running can take. While you are rebuilding stamina and strength during runs, you’re also breaking your body down in many ways, like opening microscopic tears in your muscles. Taking at least one day off a week will help avoid injury and let you come back stronger, allowing your body time to recover.
During each run, your body also depletes its stores of glycogen, a type of carbohydrate saved in the muscles and liver. Resting and refueling helps replenish these reserves so that you can use them as energy when you run again.
Remind yourself that you are making progress throughout the whole process. Running is an invigorating way to exercise with the breeze in your hair and the ground at your feet. So dust off those shoes and head out the door.(04/21/2023) ⚡AMP
Eilish McColgan has pulled out of the London Marathon on Sunday because of a knee problem.
Event organisers announced on Thursday evening that McColgan delayed her travel to London to give her the best chance of competing, and would not be attending a scheduled pre-event media conference on Friday morning.
The 32-year-old Scot, who won her first major title on the track at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, had hoped to see how the injury responded, but confirmed she had not been able to shake off the issue in time to run.
“I was sort of hopeful to be honest,” she said. “I have had a bit of knee bursitis back in February, March time and it was something I could run through.
“But I couldn’t run through this. I’ve tried, trust me, but it has just got to the point where it is not going to be feasible to run a marathon this weekend.”
McColgan had planned to run the 2022 London Marathon last October before being forced to withdraw due to a medical issue.
The problem was identified as rebound hypoglycaemia, a common occurrence among endurance athletes which leads to reduced blood sugar levels and not enough glucose in the blood to meet the body’s needs.
McColgan, whose mother Liz won the London Marathon in 1996, said: “There are a few factors that have come together to lie a bad storm. A whole host of things in the last three weeks have built up and this knee thing has been the final crack in the armour.
“I’m disappointed. I know I’m ready to run a good marathon. I’d have loved to have given it a go and see what happens.
“These things happened for a reason. There will be another marathon, they’ll be another London Marathon in my future which hopefully I’ll get the chance to perform well at.
“I’ve shed a lot of tears in the last two days. It feels tougher because I’ve missed two now, for two entirely different reasons.
“All elite athletes go through this, I hope one day I will be on that start line. I know I can run a good marathon and I know one day it will be in London.”(04/21/2023) ⚡AMP
Two-time New York City Marathon winner Geoffrey Kamworor declares he is in his best shape ever and promises fireworks in England.
Kamworor, fondly referred to as the man of all surfaces, was hit by a motorcycle while training in Kaptagat on June 27, 2020, fracturing a tibia. He underwent surgery to mend the injury.
Things suddenly changed for Kamworor as his career in athletics turned upside down.
He was then gunning for his fourth consecutive World Athletics Half Marathon Championships title, but injured he failed to defend the crown on October 17, the same year in Gdynia, Poland.
Kamworor, who had the previous year recaptured the New York City Marathon title he had won in 2019, would embark on a frustrating long period of recovery. He eventually bounced back after 18 months to claim silver at the Istanbul Half Marathon on April 4, 2021.
Amidst a series of injuries Kamworor, the 2014 world 10,000m silver medalist, was still good enough to run the fastest time on Kenyan soil as he won the Kenyan Olympic Games trials 10,000m in 27 minutes and 01.06 seconds at the Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani.
The man of all surfaces’ dream of returning for the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games went up in smoke with an ankle injury.
The fighter he is, he returned for the Valencia Marathon on December 5, 2021 where he finished fourth in a personal best time of two hours, five minutes and 23 seconds.
He opened the 2022 season with an 18th place finish in the Boston Marathon on April 18 as a recurring ankle injury put paid to his title ambitions.
Kamworor still earned a place in the Kenya marathon team for the World Athletics Championships held on July 17 in Oregon, United States where he battled to a credible fifth place.
“For sure the last two years have been frustrating for me since the accident, injury after another crept in,” said Kamworor, as h3 announced that he was back into his best shape and ready for his debut in the London Marathon on Sunday.
“I am now running and conducting my training without any discomfort. I feel like I am back to the shape I was in 2017 to 2019 before all these misfortunes happened,” said Kamworor, the 2015 and 2017 world cross country champion.
He went through his last speed work on Tuesday in Eldoret ahead of his departure to London yesterday.
Kamworor said that it’s a dream come true for him to finally compete in the London Marathon.
“I want to thank the organizers for giving me this opportunity. I can promise a beautiful race in the British capital,” said Kamworor. He predicted a tough race owing to the quality entries.
“It will depend on how you wake up but I am ready for any weather conditions,” said Kamworor.
He said he is ready for any pace and whatever tactics that will be thrown into the race by his opponents
Among the top cream of athletes Kamwowor will battle on the streets of London are fellow countrymen Amos Kipruto, who is the defending champion, and Kelvin Kiptum, 23, who produced the fastest marathon debut in history when he claimed victory in Valencia in 2:01:53 in December. This is, in fact, made him the third fastest man in history.
The Kenyans are up against home athlete Mo Farah and Ethiopian legendary distance runner Kenenisa Bekele among others.(04/21/2023) ⚡AMP
Very fast times and thrilling races are expected at the Haspa Marathon Hamburg on Sunday. Just a year after Yalemzerf Yehualaw set a sensational course record of 2:17:23, which at that time was an unofficial world debut record as well, a fellow-Ethiopian will be at the start line, hoping to smash the mark: 20 year-old Tiruye Mesfin announced at the press conference in Hamburg that she targets a world-class time of sub 2:17.
Brazil’s Daniel do Nascimento is among the men’s favorites. The South American record holder wants to bounce back after disaster struck in New York in November. After taking the European marathon gold in Munich in sensational style last summer Hamburg will be the first race at the classic distance for Germany’s Richard Ringer. Around 12,000 runners have registered for the marathon event while the total number including shorter races is over 30,000.
A live stream of the race will be available worldwide at www.haspa-marathon-hamburg.deon Sunday. The race starts at 9.30am local time and the coverage will begin at 8.45am. While the commentary will be in German the Twitter account of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg will carry English elite race updates.
Tiruye Mesfin could indeed be in a position to break the course record on Sunday if weather conditions will be suitable. At the moment the forecast looks good, however there might be some wind. The Ethiopian youngster ran a superb 2:18:47 debut at the Valencia Marathon in December and believes she can run considerably faster in her second marathon on Sunday.
“I am in fine form and my preparations went very well. I will try to break the course record, but at least I want to run a personal best,“ said Tiruye Mesfin, who hopes to be in the mix for Olympic qualification. „My plan is to run the first half in 68:00.“ While this would lead towards a world-class time of 2:16 she knows that it will probably not be enough to secure an Olympic spot. “I think I would have to go even faster, but there is some time left and I could do it in a later race.“
Qualifying for the 2024 Paris games will probably be easier for Stella Chesang since the competition for places in Uganda is not as tough as in Ethiopia. Running her debut marathon in Hamburg she is ready for an adventurous pace.
“I want to go with the first and see how it goes for me and what is possible. I hope to achieve Olympic qualification,“ said Stella Chesang, who chose Hamburg for her first marathon “because of the fast course“. Her half marathon PB of 68:11 indicates that she could break the Ugandan record of 2:23:13. And her tenth place at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia, in February shows that she is probably in very good form.
Kenya’s Bernard Koech is the fastest runner in the field with a PB of 2:04:09. He did not make it in time for Thursday’s press conference because of a strike at Hamburg airport. South American record holder Daniel do Nascimento arrived a day earlier and was present when the conference fittingly began in room Sao Paulo at the Radisson Hotel.
A year ago the Brazilian, who recently trained in Uganda for a longer period, stunned with a time of 2:04:51 in Seoul. However the 24 year-old then collapsed with ten kilometers to go at the New York Marathon in November. Daniel do Nascimento ran world record pace in the first part of that race and was ahead by well over two minutes at half way. “I made a mistake in New York, it was not a good strategy. After 30k I felt sick and got stomach problems. For me marathon is a bit like a marriage - there are difficult times and better times,“ he said. “I will run more intelligently on Sunday and will surely finish this time.“
If he should succeed in breaking his personal best he would then most probably break the course record as well. Last year Cybrian Kotut improved the mark to 2:04:47, which is just four seconds quicker than do Nascimento’s South American record. Unfortunately the Kenyan is among a number of withdrawals the organisers have to cope with. Ethiopians Mule Wasihun and Muktar Edris, who wanted to run his debut in Hamburg, had to cancel their starts due to an injury as well.
After his sensational gold medal performance at the European Championships in Munich last summer Richard Ringer returns to the classic distance for the first time. Olympic qualification is his next major goal. “Preparing for Hamburg everything went really well, even better than expected,“ said Richard Ringer, who will choose a more conservative approach on Sunday.
"I don’t want to take too many risk now as I really want to make sure that I achieve the Olympic qualifying time and go under 2:08.“ Richard Ringer’s PB stands at 2:08:49. “At the moment I hope that a time between 2.07:30 and 2:08:00will be enough to qualify for Paris.“ Another German runner who will go for the Olympic standard in Hamburg is local runner Haftom Welday. The former Eritrean surprised with a 2:09:06 in Berlin last year and now hopes to run well under the Olympic qualifying time of 2:08:10. Since he will choose a more aggressive approach than Ringer there could be an interesting German battle in Hamburg as well.
Elite Runners with Personal Bests
Bernard Koech KEN 2:04:09
Tsegaye Kebede ETH 2:04:38
Daniel do Nascimento BRA 2:04:51
Martin Kosgei KEN 2:06:41
Masresha Bere ETH 2:06:44
John Langat KEN 2:07:11
Henok Tesfay ERI 2:07:12
Joshua Kemboi KEN 2:08:09
Daniel Mateo ESP 2:08:22
Richard Ringer GER 2:08:49
Martin Musau UGA 2:09:04
Haftom Welday GER 2:09:06
Derlys Ayala PAR 2:10:11
Jeisson Suarez COL 2:10:51
Ernesto Zamora URU 2:11:26
Andy Buchanan AUS 2:12:23
Arttu Vattulainen FIN 2:13:29
Joshua Belet KEN Debut
Moses Koech KEN Debut
Demeke Tesfaye ETH Debut
Simon Debognies BEL Debut
Tiruye Mesfin ETH 2:18:47
Sintayehu Tilahun ETH 2:22:19
Giovanna Epis ITA 2:23:54
Dorcas Tuitoek KEN 2:24:54
Marion Kibor KEN 2:25:15
Kumeshi Sichala ETH 2:26:01
Tsigie Haileslase ETH 2:27:08
Paolo Bonilla ECU 2:27:38
Obse Abdeta ETH 2:27:47
Rosa Chacha ECU 2:28:17
Zenebu Bihonzg ETH 2:28:59
Katja Goldring USA 2:29:01
Tereza Hrochova CZE 2:29:06
Molly Grabill USA 2:29:17
Loreta Kancyte LTU 2:30:48
Fabienne Königstein GER 2:32:35
Tabea Themann GER 2:33:51
Stella Chesang UGA Debut
Mekdes Woldu FRA Debut
Mary Granja ECU Debut
Ana Ferreira POR Debut(04/21/2023) ⚡AMP
The HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG is Germany’s biggest spring marathon and since 1986 the first one to paint the blue line on the roads. Hamburcourse record is fast (2:05:30), the metropolitan city (1.8 million residents) lets the euphoric atmosphere spill over and carry you to the finish. Make this experience first hand and follow the Blue Line....more...
Three days after her 75th birthday, Jeannie Rice of Mentor, Ohio, added the women’s 75+ age group world marathon record to her impressive resume, winning her age category at the 2023 Boston Marathon by 20 minutes and crossing the line in 3:33:15.
Rice not only beat the previous record of 3:38:56, held by Norway’s Vera Nystad. She also beat Nystad in the race, who finished second to Rice in 3:53:52. Nystad is three years older than Rice, and originally set the record at age 77, when she ran 3:38 at the 2022 Berlin Marathon.
This masters record isn’t Rice’s first over the marathon distance. She also holds the women’s 70+ record of 3:27:50 from the 2018 Chicago Marathon. Her time of 3:38 is remarkable, and it shows that age really is just a number.
Rice averaged a mind-blowing five minutes per kilometre pace for 42.2 kilometres at age 75. That’s eight and a half consecutive 25-minute 5 Ks.
Rice considers herself a snowbird, as she lives and trains in her hometown of Mentor, Ohio for six months of the year before heading to Naples, Fla., for six months every winter.
This is Rice’s second marathon in the last six weeks. In March, she won the women’s 70+ age category at the 2023 Tokyo Marathon in 3:31:22 to receive her six-star finisher medal–completing all six Abbott World Marathon Majors.(04/21/2023) ⚡AMP
Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...more...
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A 10K RUN FOR THE FIRST TIME
10k runs are super popular because the distance is manageable for most people. Many people choose 10k as their first running event distance. Here are some tips to prepare for the first attempt at a 10k run:
1. CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Ideally, pick a 10k run at least eight weeks away. This gives plenty of time to get in enough running to train the body (especially the legs) to tolerate running for an extended period of time.
Beginner runners may be running (and walking) for over an hour. Working up to this duration/distance requires running at least three times per week. Speed and duration of the runs are less important than just getting out and running or walking a couple of times a week since polarized training can improve performance for recreational runners. Don’t add more than 15 percent more total distance per week.
2. BUILD UP LONG RUN DISTANCE
Work up to at least 75 percent of the distance (7.5 km) for the long runs. Try to get in a long run once a week or at least every other week. The long runs will help develop the muscular endurance to tolerate running for 10k. They will also help build confidence that the distance is doable.
An easy way to add distance to the long run is to add 500m – 750m to the longest runs usually done. It may not seem like much, but it will add up!
3. DON’T WORRY ABOUT SPEED
One does not burn considerably more calories by running faster. Speedwork like HIIT and other forms of interval training can add too much intensity for new runners to tolerate. If the goal is just to finish the first 10k run, don’t worry about doing hard runs (unless you want to because they’re “fun”). Instead, just make sure to consistently train and avoid injury.
4. TAKE RECOVERY SERIOUSLY TO AVOID INJURY
Beginner runners might be tempted to run through the soreness and pain that comes from training consistently for their first 10k. Knowing when to ignore the pain and push through comes with athletic experience—beginner runners don’t have this luxury.
Novice runners are at a higher risk for injury than others, as noted in The American Journal of Sports Medicine. Here are some indicators that one should stop or drastically reduce training:
Sharp pains that come on suddenly mean stop running immediately or risk getting injured.
Prolonged soreness and swelling are likely from an overuse injury. Get in some RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) to reduce swelling and speed up recovery. Don’t keep running on the injury, or it could get much worse.
Sickness symptoms below the neck are not worth continuing to train.
5. FOLLOW A 10K TRAINING PLAN
adidas Running Premium Members can create a training plan suited to their ability level, goal finishing time and race distance. The training plan guides training runs so new runners never run too fast and stay motivated to finish their run strong! Download adidas Running to check out other unique features like Live Cheering!
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A 10K RUN (INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED)
Intermediate or advanced runners are looking to improve their 10k time. They may also use 10k runs to build speed for a longer event like a half marathon or marathon. 10k is a great distance to build speed and endurance without adding tons of fatigue. It requires good endurance, a high threshold and maybe even a good sprint at the end. In other words, it’s a great distance to develop into a well-rounded runner. Follow these tips to try for a new 10k PR:
1. MASTER PACE CHANGES
Running a faster 10k requires training to run a faster 10k. Plan to include HIIT sessions and other types of interval workouts in the leadup to the race. Long runs with several kilometers run at or slightly above race pace are key workouts for race-specific intensity. Tempo and threshold workouts should be a staple in a quality, intermediate to advanced running plan.
2. STRENGTH TRAINING
Advanced runners and intermediate runners looking to jump to the next level should likely be doing strength training. As found in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, specific strength training can improve running performance. This doesn’t mean going to the gym to bulk up. Instead, bodyweight and functional training are sufficient. Check out adidas Training for a running-specific strength training program alongside a running training plan.
3. RECOVER HARD TO TRAIN HARDER
Intermediate runners might be tempted to skimp on recovery to get in another hard training session. This is what separates intermediate runners from unlocking advanced running performance. Elite runners know when it’s time to take it easy and put their feet up on the couch for an afternoon nap.
4. GET A GOOD TRAINING PLAN
Following a training plan tailored to specific goals and abilities is vital for intermediate to advanced runners. adidas Running even has customizable plans to help achieve a 40-minute 10k. Become a Premium Member and start a plan to set a new PR in just a few weeks!
5. WARM UP
Make sure to warm up properly on race day. Learn how warm-ups can optimize performance and find the perfect warm-up routine.
Consult a medical professional when in doubt.(04/20/2023) ⚡AMP
Mo Farah expects there to be tears on Sunday when he runs the marathon in the city he calls home for one final time.
The four-time Olympic gold medallist turned 40 last month and has confirmed this weekend’s London Marathon will be his last race over that distance. He then plans to run in just two more events before he retires at the end of this year.
This will be Farah’s fourth marathon in the capital, after finishing eighth in 2014, third in 2018 – when he broke the British record - and fifth in 2019.
And he thinks it will be an emotional farewell in the city he was smuggled to from Somalia aged eight – and where he enjoyed his greatest glory by winning golds in the 5,000m and 10,000m at London 2012.
‘This is it. It will be my last marathon,’ said Farah in London on Thursday. ‘When you know it’s the end of the road, you always get emotional. I think it will get to me. Maybe after the race there will be tears.
London is my home. This is where my journey started as a young boy who took part in the mini marathon, won that, and watched the senior race thinking, “One day I’m going to run the London Marathon”.
‘Also the memory of 2012 and that Super Saturday. That still motivates me to keep going. All the people in the UK have been a big part of my career and I owe them.’
Farah, who has been training in Ethiopia and finished seventh in a 10km race in Gabon earlier this month, has not run a full marathon in three years and pulled out of last year’s race with a hip injury.
‘I don’t know if my body can do it but I have to finish,’ he said. ‘It has definitely been quite emotional these last couple of years. As an athlete, you always want to go out there and do the best you can, but my body hasn’t allowed me to do what I needed to do in training.
‘That’s been the hardest thing. For many years, I tended to take it for granted. As you get older, that totally changes because you can’t do what you did. That is the most frustrating thing. Age does catch up with you and your body.’
Farah’s legacy has, of course, been tarnished by his relationship with his former coach Alberto Salazar, who was banned for four years in 2019 for doping violations. The American has since been banned for life for sexual and emotional misconduct.
Asked if he had any regrets in his career, Farah insisted: ‘Not at all. I wouldn't have done anything different. I just took that journey and kept going and kept grafting. As an athlete you go out there and deliver and win races. That’s what I’ve done.’(04/20/2023) ⚡AMP
Sifan Hassan’s 2023 London Marathon challenge: “I’m going to finish the distance or the distance is going to finish me” the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan said in February when announcing she would race in 23 April’s London Marathon.
While the words were delivered with a customary laugh, there’s a real element of the unknown about Hassan’s jump from the 10,000m on track to a distance of over four times that where many runners' dreams have been scuppered.
Heck, even the marathon race itself is based on the legend of an ancient Greek messenger who drops stone cold dead after running it.
But if there’s one thing Hassan is known for above anything else, it’s her love of a challenge.
“Many people say I’m crazy,” she said of her previous big challenge of racing in three distances at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics that took place in 2021. “Believe me, I think I’m crazy too.”
Sifan Hassan: From refugee to the elite athletics star with energy to burn
In many ways, Hassan’s decision to run the London Marathon is reminiscent of her first big distance race in Eindhoven in 2011.
Just three years after arriving in the Netherlands as a refugee from Ethiopia, she told her coach, Ton van Hoesel, that she wanted to run a half marathon - even though she hadn’t trained for the race.
“I told her OK but do not start too fanatically because you might get injured. Well, she won the race!” recalled Van Hoesel in an interview with thenationalnews.com.
With the London Marathon, Hassan will once again be stepping into the unknown. However, this is an athlete who has faced and overcome fierce challenges both in running and in life.
While Hassan doesn’t talk about the reasons she left Ethiopia as a teenager, her experience after arriving in the Netherlands, which included being housed in a centre for minors for eight months in Zuidlaren where she “cried every day”, was one of the hardest challenges of her life.
Soon after, her introduction to the world of athletics gave her a new focus. After borrowing used spikes and kits from her local club, she began a journey that would take her to even more challenges - one of which is among the most breathtaking in Olympic history.
The London Marathon 2023: Hassan steps into the unknown
Hassan’s attitude to life so often mirrors her success in running - and she’ll need to draw upon her own mantras more than ever when she takes on her first-ever marathon in London.
“I tell people, when life is hard you will see yourself like you never imagined,” she said after her history-making showing in Tokyo. “Never give up.”
There is a playful curiosity about Hassan, who seems to peek over at new challenges and ask herself the question, “why not?” when so many others would get stuck on the “why”.
“I just want to see what I can do in the marathon,” Hassan said when announcing she would race in London, as if ticking off another item on a whimsical bucket list.
While the London Marathon doesn’t mark a permanent transition to the longer distance for the 29-year-old, who has said she plans to return to the track in time for Paris 2024, it does open up yet more possibilities for someone who is once again pushing the boundaries of track & field.
This is an athlete whose satisfaction comes from achieving the extraordinary. Even when some, including herself, think that borders on the preposterous.
As she herself said in Tokyo: “The last two weeks, sometimes I woke up from a nightmare and I asked: ‘Why do I have to make myself so stressed? But something inside me said to keep on going. I think I was kind of crazy, but now I am really happy."(04/20/2023) ⚡AMP
Organizers of the UTMB World Series—billed as the world’s ultimate trail-running circuit—say they have committed to supporting mothers and their partners by introducing a new pregnancy policy that will apply to UTMB World Series events in the 2023 season.
The policy (which includes deferral and priority entry guidelines for athletes who are pregnant, athletes with a partner who is pregnant and athletes who are adopting or birthing via surrogacy) encourages runners to return to the trails in a safe way and within a timeframe that is considerate of individual circumstances following birth.
For events with an entry lottery, including UTMB Mont-Blanc, Lavaredo Ultra Trail by UTMB and Eiger Ultra Trail by UTMB, the policy states women will be given a full refund and priority entry to be used within five years for races in the 50K, 100K and 100M categories, and within two years for 20K races.For all other events, the policy allows for women who become pregnant after registration to defer their entry for up to two years for the same race, or receive a full refund.
Partners of pregnant women as well as parents who are adopting or birthing via surrogacy will have the option to defer their entry for up to two years or receive a full refund.
Organizers say the policy was created following a lengthy consultation process, which included gathering expertise from sports and medical professionals, the Pro Trail Runners Association, and athletes such as Sophie Power, who made headlines in 2018 when a photo of her breastfeeding midway through UTMB went viral.
“I’m delighted that UTMB World Series is launching a world-leading pregnancy deferral policy that supports all women to return to racing when they are ready,” said Power, founder of SheRACES. “At SheRACES we look forward to continuing to work with UTMB World Series going forward, sharing our insights to ensure more women from all backgrounds participate in these iconic events.”
UTMB World Series organizers say the new policy comes as part of an effort to encourage more women into the sport and to build on UTMB Group’s commitment to equal opportunities. In line with the actions put in place in previous years, in 2023, male and female elite athletes will be equally represented on the start line of all three UTMB World Series Finals races at the sports pinnacle event UTMB Mont-Blanc, thanks to the new sports system, which sees elite athletes qualify through a series of events throughout the year.
UTMB World Series adds it also remains committed to equal media coverage and representation on communication platforms including UTMB Live, as well as equal prize money for male and female athletes.
UTMB is one of several prominent races—including Western States, the London Marathon and the Calgary Marathon—to have recently introduced policies aimed at supporting mothers and pregnant athletes.(04/20/2023) ⚡AMP
Mountain race, with numerous passages in high altitude (>2500m), in difficult weather conditions (night, wind, cold, rain or snow), that needs a very good training, adapted equipment and a real capacity of personal autonomy. It is 6:00pm and we are more or less 2300 people sharing the same dream carefully prepared over many months. Despite the incredible difficulty, we feel...more...
World marathon silver medalist Judith Korir believes she has what takes to secure a podium place in the 43rd London Marathon in the United Kingdom on Sunday.
But it will be a tall order for her as she faces a formidable field that has her compatriots, reigning Olympics marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir and Olympics marathon silver medallist Brigid Kosgei, who is also the world marathon record holder.
The runners will be targeting the course’s best time, which is a women’s only world record time set by Kenya’s Mary Keitany in 2017.
Last year, Korir who trains under the Italy-based Rosa Associati management, was initially entered in the London Marathon as a pacesetter but the last minute withdrawal of Brigid Kosgei saw her registered as a competitor.
She went on to finish fourth in a time of 2:18:43. This time she has been training in the full knowledge she is in the list of the elite women competitors.
“The line-up is tough but I believe in my training. I can’t compare it with last year where I prepared for one month,” Kosgei said when Nation Sport caught up with her at the Ndura Sports Complex in Kitale, last week as she put the finishing touches to her training.
“Competing with some of the best athletes in the marathon like Jepchirchir and Kosgei motivates me to work extra hard,” she said.
“London Marathon line-up is tough and my target is just to run well because we have some of the best athletes in the world participating,” added Korir, who is the 2022 Paris Marathon champion.
Nation Media Group’s NTV will broadcast the race live. There will be a watch party in Eldoret, at the Uasin Gishu County big screen along Uganda Road, starting at 8am on race day.(04/20/2023) ⚡AMP
More than a day after he finished sixth in his first Boston Marathon, Eliud Kipchoge sat down to answer a few questions.
Kipchoge, the 38-year-old marathon world record holder, had only lost two of his 17 career marathons prior to Monday. So it was surprising to see him struggle to answer the acceleration of Gabriel Geay during Mile 18 of the race. He then fell to the back of the pack and was subsequently dropped by the race leaders by Mile 21.
Kipchoge acknowledged that he had an issue with his upper left leg that began during Mile 18.
“That’s where the problem is,” Kipchoge told reporters on Wednesday. “I tried to do what was necessary, but it was not working.”
“I’m not a doctor,” he later joked when asked for more specifics.
Having encountered the issue mid-race, he said that he simply “put my mind just to run in a comfortable pace to finish.”
Asked if he considered dropping out once he experienced an issue with his leg, Kipchoge admitted that “a lot of talking was going on in my mind.”
“But I said, ‘Hey, I can’t quit.’ They say it’s important to win, but it’s great to participate and finish.”
Given that he started confidently — leading the pack of elite runners for nearly all of the opening 17 miles — Kipchoge responded to a question about whether he had been tactically too aggressive in the early part of the race.
“This is sport, and you need to push,” he replied.
As for what’s next on his agenda, the Kenyan acknowledged that he will take some time to think things over. His main focus in the short term is to “recover, both mentally and physically.”
Despite the differences between Boston’s course — with its continuous elevation changes — and others that he’s run, which have generally been much more flat, Kipchoge also downplayed its effect on how he ran.
Though his debut in Boston didn’t go to plan, he said he would “absolutely” consider returning to run again. However, this will likely not be in 2024 since Kipchoge will probably aim to run in the Paris Olympics, which will take place too close to Boston’s April schedule for him to be at his fitness peak. He is the two-time defending Olympic gold medalist.
Kipchoge also released a statement following the race on Monday in which he congratulated eventual winner (and fellow Kenyan) Evans Chebet.
“I live for the moments where I get to challenge the limits. It’s never guaranteed, it’s never easy,” Kipchoge said. “Today was a tough day for me. I pushed myself as hard as I could but sometimes, we must accept that today wasn’t the day to push the barrier to a greater height.
“I want to congratulate my competitors and thank everyone in Boston and from home for the incredible support I am so humbled to receive,” he added. “In sports you win and you lose and there is always tomorrow to set a new challenge. Excited for what’s ahead.”(04/19/2023) ⚡AMP
Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...more...
As runners tied up their shoelaces and stretched their calves for Sunday’s Newcastle Marathon in New South Wales, Australia, one local dad checked his wheels and made sure his catcher was secure, pushing a Victa Corvette 400 gas-powered lawnmower for 42.2 kilometres while raising money to help Australia’s Youth Mental Health Foundation.
The idea to do something special came to Daniel Robinson while he was mowing his lawn. He has previously done other challenges to raise money for the same foundation; for example, last year, he spent 12 hours running up and down Newcastle’s Mount Tomaree, doing 40 push-ups at the top, on every lap.
“I wanted to run a marathon while doing something that I haven’t seen before,” said Robinson to local news. “It took me a while to think it up, but I loved the idea of pushing myself and my lawnmower.”
Robinson finished the marathon in a time of 4:04:37, crossing the line in 198th place out of 500 runners. Robinson said the hardest part was making sure he didn’t trip or “mow” anyone down.
Youth mental health is an important cause close to Robinson’s heart. “Each year, one in four young people experience a mental health issue, and 75 per cent of mental health disorders emerge before a person turns 25,” said Robinson. “Sadly, suicide is still the leading cause of death for young people in Australia.”
Robinson’s goal is to raise $20,000 for Australia’s Youth Mental Health Foundation, he’s currently about half of the way there.(04/19/2023) ⚡AMP
Scottish ultrarunning record holder Joasia Zakrzewski has been stripped of a recent third-place finish at a British 50-miler after it was discovered that she rode in a car for about two and a half miles mid-race. Zakrzewski told the BBC that while she did hitch a ride with a friend, her decision to do so “wasn’t malicious.” Zakrzewski is the owner of multiple Scottish and British ultrarunning records, and she ran the 48-hour world record in February (although her distance was bettered by Camille Herron in March).
Zakrzewski lives in Australia, and she reportedly travelled last-minute to the U.K. for the April 7 Manchester to Liverpool ultramarathon, arriving the night before the race. As she told the BBC, she got lost on the course halfway through the race, at which point she began dealing with leg pain that eventually became too much to handle. She saw a friend on the sidelines and decided to pull out of the run, hopping in his car and riding to tell the race marshals she was done for the day.
“When I got to the checkpoint I told them I was pulling out and that I had been in the car,” Zakrzewski said. “They said, ‘You will hate yourself if you stop.'” Zakrzewski agreed and carried on, later telling the BBC that she only planned to finish the race non-competitively.
After crossing the line in third place, however, Zakrzewski was given a medal, a trophy and she was asked to pose for podium pictures. She didn’t stop to let anyone know she had cut the course, but Zakrzewski said that was not intentional.
“I made a massive error accepting the trophy and should have handed it back,” she said. “I was tired and jet-lagged and … I was feeling unwell and spaced out and not thinking clearly.” Zakrzewski’s car ride blip was not noticed immediately, but race director Wayne Drinkwater was eventually tipped off that she had received an “unsporting, competitive advantage during a section of the event.”
Drinkwater and his team checked the race tracking data and took statements from other competitors, before moving forward with Zakrzewski’s disqualification. As The Guardian reported, a GPS file shows that Zakrzewski covered a mid-race mile in one minute and 40 seconds.
With Zakrzewski disqualified, a runner named Mel Sykes is the new third-place finisher at the race. “I’m an idiot and want to apologize to Mel,” Zakrzewski said. “I would never purposefully cheat.”(04/19/2023) ⚡AMP
Peter bettered his 29:42.6 attained in February to clock 29:17.5 on the 10Kilometres Course while Fredrick, who finished first in last month’s 5,000metres on the track, defended the 5Kilometres class after timing 15:34.7.
Zakaria Kirika followed the winner in the 10Km clocking 29:58.4 with 3rd-placed Raphael Gacheru clocking 30:54.2.
Peter Mburu and Evans Kiguru followed in 31:04.5 and 31:08.1.
In the 5Kilometres, visiting athlete Daniel Kishoyan from Narok came second in 15:48.5 while upcoming John Mutiso,19, clocked 16:49.0 during the trial held at the traditional Mang’u-Bob Harries Road, just 5Km from KATA.
In Ladies, Marathoner Kellen Waithera,36, improved her time from 36:38.3 to 34:36.3 while Caren Chepkemoi posted 38:08.2 for second place.
Paul Ng’ang’a clocked 35:21.1 to come first in the 40-44 master’s class while Charles Ndirangu, 60, clocked an excellent 36:26.9 to win his category.
20th KATA TIME-TRIAL
1.Peter Mwaniki 106 24 29:17.5
2.Zakaria Kiriki 124 22 29:58.4
3. Raphael Gacheru 117 24 30:54.2
4. Peter Mburu 123 26 31:04.5
5. Evans Kiguru 115 27 31:08.1
6. Simon Mwangi 107 21 31:08.5
7. Simon Ngumbao 120 28 31:50.3
8. Boniface Mungai 111 24 32:06.8
9. Anthony Mukundi 84 35 32:12.9
10.Eliud Muthike 127 28 34:22.5
11. Kellen Waithera 121 36 34:36.3
12. Paul Ng’ang’a 110 42 35:21.1
13. Charles Ndirangu 118 60 36:26.9
14. Caren Chepkemoi 89 21 38:08.2
15. Chris Kamande 114 38 48:53.6
1.Fredrick Kiprotich 108 23 15:34.6
2. Daniel Kishoyan 93 21 15:48.5
3. John Mutiso 119 19 16:49.0
4. Amos Chirchir 122 23 16:52.7
5. Lawrence Maina 112 24 18:14.3
6. Francis Kariuki 120 16 18:20.8
7. Lewis Mwangi 109 16 18:22.9
8. Paul Kariuki - 24 19:00.0
9. Virginia Wanjiru 126 21 25:12.5
10. Hannah Njeri 90 23 26:08.2(04/19/2023) ⚡AMP
The Kenyan Athletics Training Academy (KATA) in Thika Kenya is doing a monthly time trial series. The event is open to anyone who would like to get an official time on a acurant course. Results will be published at My Best Runs so race directors and other interested people can see what kind of shape our participants are in. We...more...
A star-studded lineup of runners raced the 2023 Vancouver Sun Run on Sunday, producing a pair of exciting 10K races won by John Gay and Leslie Sexton. Gay won the men’s race in a tight battle with 2019 Sun Run champion Justin Kent, crossing the line in 29:40. Sexton successfully defended her title from 2022, winning in 32:22. The race was a massive success, as more than 30,000 runners took to the wet and rainy streets of Vancouver to test their limits.
Two in a row for Sexton
Sexton won the 2022 Vancouver Sun Run in 32:27, and this year she not only repeated as champion, but also improved on her previous winning time by 15 seconds. As she told the Vancouver Sun after the race, “I tend to run well in the rain. I saw the forecast and I knew this was a strength for me, and I’m just going to roll with it.”
Sexton ran near identical splits over the two halves of the race, running the first 5 km in 16:12 and the second in 16:10. This even pacing and negative split helped her catch Olympic marathoner Malindi Elmore, who got out to a hot start, passing through the 5 km checkpoint in 16:04. Over the closing 5 km, Sexton didn’t panic or force things as she attempted to draw Elmore back in, instead sticking to a regular pace and trusting in her fitness.
“Last year, I went out too fast,” Sexton told the Sun. “The course really chewed me up over the second half [in 2022] and, this year, I just let the top three go and they gapped me a bit. I just worked my way past people as it went on.” By 7 km, Sexton had caught Elmore, and she made her passing move on a slight uphill around a kilometre later.
Sexton continued to pull away in the final couple of kilometres, ultimately crossing the line in 32:22, 13 seconds in front of Elmore. Cleo Boyd rounded out the podium with a final time of 32:55.
The Vancouver Sun Run has been Canada's largest 10K road race since its inception in 1985. Founded by former Canadian Olympians Dr. Doug and Diane Clement along with Dr. Jack Taunton, the run's purpose was to promote the benefits of running to improve health and fitness as well as support elite amateur athletics. The first run attracted 3,200 participants. Through...more...
The Canadian women’s marathon record holder, Natasha Wodak, will not be racing at the 2023 London Marathon this Sunday. The 41-year-old announced on her Instagram Tuesday that she has been trying to train through injury and sickness but has not been 100 per cent, which has forced her to withdraw.
“I am absolutely gutted to announce I’ve pulled out of Sunday’s London Marathon,” wrote Wodak. “The last few days have been incredibly tough trying to decide what to do, but I am so grateful to all the people in my life that have reassured me that we have made the right decision.”
Earlier in her marathon training build, Wodak was dealing with two separate injuries, which resulted in her missing training. “We put up a great fight when injuries tried to derail us,” wrote Wodak. Two weeks before the marathon, I started having stomach issues, and I’ve unfortunately been sick since. I have not been able to eat much, and we all know you can’t race a marathon under-fuelled.”
Last year at the 2022 Berlin Marathon, Wodak set a new Canadian marathon record of 2:23:12 with her 12th-place finish.
The two-time Canadian Olympian beat the previous record by a minute and 38 seconds, held by Malindi Elmore from the 2020 Houston Marathon (2:24:50).
Wodak was set to take on one of the greatest women’s marathon fields ever assembled, including Olympic champions Sifan Hassan and Peres Jepchirchir, plus the world record holder Brigid Kosgei and the marathon debut of Eilish McColgan.
Wodak remained optimistic about a return to the marathon, “Right now, I will take the time to rest and reset,” she said. “We have more races to come.”
With Wodak’s withdrawal, there will now be no Canadian elites at the 2023 London Marathon. Rory Linkletter was supposed to start in the men’s elite field but also had to withdraw from an IT band flare-up in late March.(04/19/2023) ⚡AMP
There’s been a changing of the guard when it comes to injury-prevention metrics. The 10 per cent rule was once the predictor coaches used to assign programs and recommend the rate at which runners should increase their miles run.
However, there’s a new acronym in town. Introducing: ACWR (acute-to-chronic workload ratio), the new way to (successfully) up your mileage. As the weather gets nicer, many runners will be looking to up their mileage and get outside. While there are many factors that can have a bearing on likelihood of injury, mileage is certainly one of them–especially when mileage increases too quickly. Here’s how to up your mileage as safely as possible.
The 10 per cent rule
The 10 per cent rule was once known as the gold standard for increasing mileage and limiting the prevalence of injury. The basic principle was that a person’s training load shouldn’t increase by more than 10 per cent each week. So if someone was running 50K one week, the next week should be no more than 55K.
However, a recent paper out of the British Medical Journal, debunks the 10 per cent rule and suggests that novice runners can handle as much as a 20 to 25 per cent increase from one week to the next. Researchers also pointed out that the athlete really needs to be considered individually. For example, a runner who’s accustomed to high mileage can increase much faster than a new runner. Researchers suggested that, especially when it comes to well-trained runners, the 10 per cent rule is, at best, a guideline and not a rule.
Acute-to-chronic workload ratio
ACWR is the new rule, replacing the 10 per cent ‘guideline.’ The ACWR is an equation where the desired outcome is a score of 1.3 or under. Runners can divide their most recent week of mileage (or minutes run) by the average of their most recent four weeks of mileage (or minutes run).
Runners are identified as being higher-risk for injury if their score is 1.5 over or under 0.8 (with the sweet spot falling between those two figures). The 10 per cent rule only looks at the week before, whereas ACWR gives a slightly fuller picture and encourages runners to increase their miles at a reasonable rate.
While ACWR is an improvement on the 10 per cent rule, it’s not without its flaws as Alex Hutchinson points out in Outside Magazine, “In a new review in Sports Medicine, researchers from McGill University led by Ian Shrier sum up the case against it. In a way, the discussion reminds me of debates around the original ten-percent rule, where you have to weigh demonstrable flaws against the sense that this ratio really does tell you something useful in the real world.”
What’s your life looking like?
Neither the 10 per cent format nor ACWR are absolute rules, especially not without context of the runner’s background in the sport and life situation. It’s important to asses your circumstances when considering your training load. Things to think about are: your sleep habits, your previous training history, your work load in your professional life, your family demands and your general stress levels. All of these factors play into causing (or preventing) an injury.
A study out of The Institute for Scholastic Sport Science and Medicine found that in adolescent student-athletes (grades seven to 12), getting under eight hours of sleep led to a 70 per cent increase in the likelihood of injury. And runners who push through fatigue and life stress can easily develop symptoms of overtraining. If you find yourself planning a training block, make sure you factor your life into that plan–chances are you’ll find that training more rewarding if you do.(04/18/2023) ⚡AMP
This blog discusses the reasons why recovery running is an important part of any athlete’s training program and reflects on insights that the author noticed during a training camp in Iten, Kenya.
A small village called Iten in rural Kenya has produced some of the finest distance runners in the history of the sport; Olympic champions, world record holders and professional athletes choose to make this their training ground. It’s not uncommon to bump into someone on the street who can casually talk about their marathon pb of 2.08 or below who are far from boasting, or see a group or 20 athletes training at the track, all of whom have sub 28 minute 10k’s to their name.
Would it then surprise you to see these same athletes jogging along the dirt trails at 9:00/mile pace?
We hear stories of top Kenyan athletes running well in excess of 100 miles per week but while that is indeed true for many individuals, there is still an overwhelming consensus that quality beats quantity. To train at ones best the body must be in good physical condition and the Kenyans are well aware of this fact. One aspect they believe is an important factor in this is recovery runs, and these are taken very seriously.
What is a recovery run?
When you train at a high intensity your muscles accumulate blood lactate, a by-product of anaerobic respiration. While we won’t delve into the science during this article it is important to understand that hard training takes its toll on the body and that without taking the time to recover it is extremely difficult to adapt to the stresses of exercise leading to fatigue, “burnout” and ultimately injury, not to mention that you won’t be getting the benefits of the hard training anyway.
A recovery run is a relatively short run at a very comfortable pace – typically under 60% of your maximum HR. These have a number of benefits but they may not be the ones you thought of. It is commonly taught that recovery runs will aid the removal of waste products from the body after hard training, however, there is in fact very little scientific evidence supporting this. Studies have shown that even after extremely taxing workouts, almost 100% of excess accumulated lactate is metabolised or removed from the body within 1 hour of the workout. Nor has there been any research indicating that recovery runs promote the repair of damaged tissues, restore glycogen reserves in the muscles or elicit any other physiological response that aids the recovery process…
So what’s the point?
At approximately 60% of maximum HR your heart reaches its maximum stroke volume. This means that despite running with a significantly reduced rate of energy expenditure, your heart muscle is contracting with as much force as it possibly can on each beat. Even at this easy pace you are training your heart muscle without fatiguing the rest of your body.
At a cellular level running at this pace stimulates growth of the mitochondria (the organelle responsible for energy production), increase capillary capacity and the ability to deliver oxygen to the muscles.
There are also several neuromuscular benefits. Although you may think of running as a task that you don’t need to “think” about, your brain is still in control of your limbs. Running at a slow pace allows you to develop neuromuscular pathways by focussing on correct running technique.
I think the third point above has particular relevance to Kenyan running culture. It is no coincidence that the Kenyans you see on TV look so fluent and graceful in the way they move. Take David Rudisha’s 800m world record for example; he front ran 2 laps of the track without breaking form, for sure he was working hard but he certainly didn’t look like it. Kenyans use their slow runs to work on their form. They are consciously thinking during the run; how their feet contact the ground, how it feels to breath, where their arms are positioned, how their heads are held etc. It’s very difficult to consider these things when running a hard track session, but when the time comes to run fast they don’t need to think about it, it’s been ingrained into their system.
So in fact, during a ‘recovery run’ you are still training your body; you are still stressing certain systems and certain parts of the body that will actually lead to improvement. But while doing so, since you are operating at an effort well below your max, your body can still continue it’s natural recovery process.
The Experts Viewpoint:
Last December, I joined a run with a group of athletes at St Patricks High School in Iten. I arrived not knowing what the workout would be. However having heard terrifying stories about how quick these guys were I was pretty nervous. What followed was very surprising. We did a warm up of some reaction games that involved jumping over a line painted on the ground and followed it with a 25 minute jog, in single file around a football field at approximately 10-12 minutes per mile pace. Legendary coach Brother Colm O’ Connell was leading the session and I asked what the point was. Otherwise I felt like I’d miss an opportunity to train hard amongst some of the worlds best runners. He replied “It’s so you can think”. I was able to think about where my feet were landing and how I was running compared to guy in front of me, how my breathing sounded compared to the guy behind me.
Of course these guys work incredibly hard when it’s time to do so, but they also take the time to think about their bodies, something that is often overlooked in the western training culture!
So the take home message may well be that these runs themselves may not directly influence ‘recovery’, but they allow you to continue to improve your fitness and work on your form, whilst you go through the natural recovery process. Which leads me to ask, if you can continue to get better whilst not compromising your recovery then why not?(04/18/2023) ⚡AMP
After all other participants had long finished their Boston Marathon journeys, Dave McGillivray crossed the finish line at 7:28 p.m. yesterday evening. McGillivray oversaw the course throughout the race earlier in the day, taking runners across the starting line and helping to ensure their safe arrival on Boylston Street. This is McGillivray’s 51st consecutive completion of the Boston Marathon and the 36th of which he has completed at night after seeing to his race day duties.
“It doesn’t feel so long ago that I was 18 years old, sitting on the curb at mile 21, wondering if I would ever get a chance to finish the Boston Marathon. If I could go back and tell my younger self that he goes on to finish that day and 50 more editions, I can’t imagine his reaction,” said McGillivray. “I’m grateful for the more than a dozen friends and colleagues who joined me on the journey to the finish line today. I had to dream big to get to this moment, and I couldn’t do it without my community and my family that support me every step of the way.”
The weekend featured two other special moments for McGillivray. On Saturday, Team With A Vision inducted McGillivray into their hall of fame during a dinner at the Westin Copley Place. Team With A Vision pairs blind and sighted runners together to complete endurance races across the country. Their efforts support the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, which delivers professional, peer, and volunteer support to over 1,200 individuals each year, giving them the support they need to live with dignity and independence. All funds raised support MABVI’s statewide vision rehabilitation services, including 34 low-vision support groups, Assistive Technology and Training Centers, and 400 volunteers matched 1:1 with blind individuals.
In addition, McGillivray was a featured speaker during the Boston Marathon Expo, where World Marathon Challenge champion Becca Pizzi interviewed him about his long history with the race. He shared photos, videos and stories with the crowd, and signed copies of his books for attendees at the Dave McGillivray Finish Strong Foundation booth following the presentation.
McGillivray is one of just a handful of runners who have marked half a century or more of completing the world’s most famous marathon. Alongside his rich connection to this race, his running resume includes completing the World Marathon Challenge (seven marathons in seven days on seven continents,) nine Ironman Triathlon World Championships, a 1,250-mile run along the U.S. East Coast in 1980 to again benefit the Jimmy Fund, a 24-hour run (120 miles,) a 24-hour bike (385 miles,) and a 24-hour swim (27 miles.) He triathloned around the six New England states by swimming one mile, biking 80 miles and running 20 miles every day for 32 consecutive days. Over the span of his life, he estimates he’s run more than 150,000 miles.
For more information on Dave McGillivray, visit www.davemcgillivray.com and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
ABOUT DAVE MCGILLIVRAY
Running legend Dave McGillivray has increased the self-esteem of millions of people through his work as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, motivational speaker, author, and athlete. Dave is best known for his athletic feats including his 80-day trek across the United States, running the 3,452 miles from Medford, Ore., to Medford, Mass. in the summer of 1978 to benefit the Jimmy Fund. In addition, he’s received great acclaim for directing or consulting on more than 1,400 events throughout the world including the Boston Marathon, the Olympic Marathon trials, and the Olympic Games. For more information on Dave McGillivray, visit www.davemcgillivray.com and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.(04/18/2023) ⚡AMP
Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...more...
Sara Hall just set a new American Record in the Marathon for the Masters division.
Hall now 40 years old finished the Boston Marathon in 17th place in 2:25:48.She of course won her division.Old American record was 2:27:47 by Deena Kastor in 2015.
If you want to improve in anything, you have to have an idea of where you’re going. Hence, the importance of setting goals. This is especially true with running. Without goals, it can be easy to avoid workouts, miles, and progress. Set a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, and you’re much more likely to get there.
In this article, we’ll cover everything that you need to know about goal setting as it relates to running, including why you should set goals, how to do it, and ways to achieve your running goals.
WHY YOU SHOULD SET RUNNING GOALS
What do you want out of running? For some, just getting out and running is enough. And that’s a 100% acceptable approach to running. For others, though, progress is a key motivator. If you are clear with yourself about what you want from running, it will be easier to stay on that path. Undertaking running mindlessly, without intention, is a recipe for finding yourself in a motivation-killing rut. This is why you should make goals.
First, goals give you something to achieve. Goals don’t have to be outlandish or newspaper-worthy. Set small, achievable goals. It could be as simple as you want to get outside and run at least a mile every day. It could be that you want to run three times a week. These are not ambitious, long-term goals like running a sub-3-hour marathon. But they still express why you run.
Second, goals will guide your training. If you want to run a mile every day, that’s a pretty clear training plan. However, you’ll have a completely different training plan if you want to run a sub-3-hour marathon.
Finally, goals can help motivate you to get out of your comfort zone. If you want to do something big, you have to change things up. Goals can help you do that because you now have an end in mind, and you just have to figure out the means to do it.
TYPES OF RUNNING GOALS
The most typical running goal is a race. So many people have decided that they want to get off the couch and run a 5k. Or they decide to hunt bigger game and commit to something that seems impossible at the time, like a marathon.
Sometimes it happens that people set a goal, sign up for a race, and then don’t follow through. But if you have support from friends and family, you’ll end up running the race like you planned.
The problem with this type of goal, though, is what about after the race is done? Now that you’ve run a marathon, are you going to keep running? That is something that you have to figure out for yourself.
I set a goal of running a half marathon. And I was successful! Afterwards, one of my friends encouraged me to not stop running there. He guided me to set new running goals as a new part of my lifestyle. His advice was sound.
If you don’t want to build goals around completing races, focus on something else that makes sense to your fitness journey. Set an ambitious pace goal. Try running for a longer distance, improving your running form, getting stronger running up hills. Goals can be as diverse as runner are. Even just being an overall more healthy person is an admirable goal to set.
Many experts suggest that process goals are better than outcome goals. In other words, running at least a mile every day is better than trying to run a 5:00 mile, for example.
The reason why is that you subconsciously tell yourself that you won’t be happy until you reach your outcome. Process goals are easy to reach as a matter of habit. Pretty much anyone can run a mile every day for a month, so success is very likely. Running a 5:00 mile on the other hand, while admirable, is very difficult to achieve. You might get all your workouts in, run everyday, and create a new habit in the process, while never actually reaching that performance mark.
But try running a mile every day and within several weeks, you’ll likely drop your mile time significantly. Plus, you’ll be putting less pressure on yourself to perform, and it will be more enjoyable. Win-win.
HOW TO MAKE SUCCESSFUL GOALS
If you want to be successful with your goals, you need to set SMART goals—SMART meaning specific, measurable, achievable, realistic/relevant, and time-bound. Many companies use this paradigm, and it works for running too.
Numbers are always a good way to be specific. For example, you could aim for running a 5k in under 30 minutes or running 10 miles in four weeks. If you want to do a process goal, you could say that you’ll run outside three times a week for at least 20 minutes each time.
You don’t have to use numbers, but you do want to make sure that you know when you have achieved your goal. For example, saying that you’ll run up a steep hill without walking is specific because you know when you have achieved it.
Just like being specific, a measurable goal helps you understand your goal, how to get there, and when you’ve achieved it. This means your goal should be linked to something tangible you can measure: a race, a distance, a time, a pace, a certain number of days, etc. Less effective are goals like “Get faster” or “Get healthier.” It’s hard to say when these goals have been achieved.
You should also come up with metrics to evaluate your goal because you need to be able to track your progress. If you want to run three days a week, are you running three days a week?
If you want to reach a certain pace, are you getting faster during your runs? It doesn’t have to be huge differences, but you need to know that you’re making progress. If you want to reach a certain distance, are you able to run farther?
This is probably the hardest aspect of goal-setting for runners. Make sure that you can reach your goal. It can be a stretch goal, but you don’t want to set the bar too high. If it’s too hard, you won’t achieve it. You might get frustrated and quit. If you can only run one mile right now, setting a goal to run 20 miles is likely to be frustrating. If you are running 12:00 miles, setting a goal to run a 5:00 mile is not the best next step. You may very well get to these points down the road. But you need some easier signposts along the way. Start with goals for running three miles, or a 10:00 mile, and then go from there.
This is the idea of breaking a longer-term goal down into smaller, less intimidating steps. If you’re a new runner and eventually want to run a marathon, start with other benchmarks that will set you on your way to the larger goal. For example:
Two-month goal: I want to run a sub-30 minute 5k. Four month goal: I want to run a sub-one hour 10k. Six month goal: I want to be able to run 10 miles. Eight month goal: I want to run a sub-2:30 half marathon. In ten months, I want to be able to run 20 miles. And in one year, I will run a marathon!
Your running goals need to be specific to you. Make sure that they match where you honestly are or could get. Aiming to join the U.S. Olympic team to run the marathon when your fastest pace is a 10:00-minute-mile is likely not realistic for you.
On the other hand, you don’t want to make it something too easy either. If you’ve already run a sub-2 hour half marathon, set a different goal this time like beating your previous record by PRing or feeling stronger at the end of the race.
It’s so easy to see race results, or statistics on social media and Strava that make you believe your goals should be set by other people’s performances. But ignore the noise. Run your own race, set your own goals, achieve your own results.
You need to set a deadline. You could say that you want to run a 5k in less than 30 minutes, which you plan to achieve in two months. This gives you an end date—eight weeks—to know if you’ve met your goal.
Without a time frame, you may get distracted, lose motivation, or set new records for procrastination. Definitely give yourself the time you need to achieve your goals, especially reach ones, but don’t drag it out too long either.
HOW TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
While having clear goals is extremely helpful in knowing the way forward, you do also have to take the next step. You won’t be able to reach your goals without work. Make sure that you’re willing to put in the work for your goal.
If you don’t really want to, then maybe consider setting a different goal that is better-suited to you. Just because other people want to run a marathon doesn’t mean that has to be your goal.
The best thing you can do to meet your goals is to stay consistent. Write your runs into your calendar and keep them like you would a business meeting. They are important! Taking the time to write down what you’re going to do does make people more likely to achieve their goals.
Getting better at running is about doing it on a regular basis. This is why training plans are good. They lay out exactly what to do and when.
If you don’t have a training plan now, take the time to come up with one. Easier yet, find one. Garmin, Stava, MapMyRun, and other services all offer basic training plans for athletes of all levels. There’s a wide range of books on training out there as well. A plan will save you from doing it on the fly and being more likely to skip.
FOCUS ON THE PROCESS, NOT THE GOAL
Although this sounds counter-intuitive, it works like we hinted at above. If you focus on the steps to achieve your goal, meaning how you get to your goal, instead of the goal itself, you are more likely to reach it.
It’s about enjoying the journey and being grateful that you get to run and meet whatever goal you ultimately set for yourself. Whenever you do well at a race, it’s the race itself and the training leading up to it that makes crossing the finish line so exciting!
HOW TO DEAL WITH INJURIES
While it’s important not to slack off in working toward your goals, injuries are a different story. You need to be in tune with your body and pay attention to its needs. Cut back on training if you feel too fatigued or are experiencing unusual body pains—anything that may lead to injury.
It’s always a bummer to take a day or two off to rest, but you’re much better off doing it now as opposed to overexerting yourself and making the injury even worse, requiring you to take a week or more off of your training.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL
Finally, it’s important to get started. Even partially completing a big goal is doing more than just sitting on the couch. While setting a realistic goal is key, it’s also okay to set a goal that will be hard to achieve and come up slightly shy of meeting it.
If you fail, you can always try again. But at least you hit the ground running. Failure is how you can get better, because you can learn from your mistakes. Many new runners start off too quickly in the first mile of their races until they learn not to.
There’s a lot to be said for trying and failing. At least you were brave enough to try. You might want to set two goals. One that is your reach goal and one that is your still-hard-to-achieve-but-possible goal.
That’s what I did for running my first half marathon. I wanted a super-fast time for a beginner, but I gave myself a range of 15 minutes for a finish time. I got closer to the slower time than the faster time, but by pushing myself to the faster time, I was faster than I would have been otherwise.
Running is an amazing sport, and when you combine it with goal-setting, you can truly change your life. By setting realistic, but big goals, you’ll be able to give yourself a sense of accomplishment when you meet these goals and even exceed them!
I’d encourage you to get a pen and paper and write down some running goals as well as a training plan of how to get there, and then start. As they say, there is no better day than today! Good luck!(04/18/2023) ⚡AMP
Vincent Kipchumba may be down but certainly not out.
It has always been his dream to finally win the world's most prestigious marathon, but the 32-year-old distance runner will once again miss this year’s London Marathon scheduled for Sunday.
Kipchumba, who has finished second twice in the British capital, has revealed that he has just recovered from a knee injury, hence not ready for the grueling marathon.
This will be the second time Kipchumba is missing the London Marathon after a recurring leg frame injury knocked him out last year’s race.
It’s the same injury that also saw the Kapsabet-based distance runner withdraw from the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games held in August, 2021.
“I was preparing so well, having completely healed from the frame injury only to go down again with a knee injury this time round,” said Kipchumba.
“I was really determined not to finish second again in London but this is so frustrating.”
Kipchumba had made a return after 17 months to finish 14th at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on February 18 this year before the knee injury crept in.
Kipchumba made his World Marathon Majors (WMM) debut in London in 2020 where he clocked two hours, five minutes and 42 seconds to finish second, losing to Ethiopia’s Shura Kitala by 16 seconds in 2:05:58.
Kipchumba, 2019 Amsterdam and Vienna Marathon champion, would return to the British capital the following year where he improved his personal best to 2:04:28, but still settled second again behind another Ethiopian Sisay Lemma, who clocked 2:04:01.
It would be his last marathon race as he stayed out of action for the better part of last year, only making his first appearance at Ras Al Khaimah in February this year.
"I will not lose hope and I believe my time will come. I will one day win in London and also get to represent Kenya for the first time too. I want to heal properly first before I can plan my next race,"said Kipchumba, who is handled by Claudio Berardelli.
Kipchumba’s exit now leaves three Kenyan men in the race- defending champion Amos Kipruto, Kelvin Kiptum and Geoffrey Kamworor.
The race will for the first time in history have two men, who have run inside two hours and two minutes- Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, who is the second fastest man in marathon history with 2:01:41 and Kiptum (2:01:53).(04/18/2023) ⚡AMP
Eliud Kipchoge came to Boston seeking to add the world’s most storied annual marathon to his unrivaled trophy case. He will leave with a sixth-place result and questions about whether he can achieve two outstanding, unprecedented goals.
“I live for the moments where I get to challenge the limits,” was posted on Kipchoge’s social media four hours after he finished. “It’s never guaranteed, it’s never easy. Today was a tough day for me. I pushed myself as hard as I could but sometimes, we must accept that today wasn’t the day to push the barrier to a greater height.”
Kipchoge was dropped in the 19th mile in his Boston Marathon debut in the middle of the race’s famed hills. He finished 3 minutes, 29 seconds behind fellow Kenyan Evans Chebet, who clocked 2:05:54 and became the first male runner to repeat as Boston champion since 2008.
“I did not observe Kipchoge,” Chebet said of what happened, according to the Boston Athletic Association. “Eliud was not so much of a threat because the bottom line was that we trained well.”
It marked just Kipchoge’s third defeat in 18 career marathons, a decade-long career at 26.2 miles that’s included two world record-breaking runs and two Olympic gold medals.
Kipchoge, 38, hopes next year to become the first person to win three Olympic marathons, but major doubt was thrown on that Monday, along with his goal to win all six annual World Marathon Majors. Kipchoge has won four of the six, just missing Boston and New York City, a November marathon that he has never raced.He skipped his traditional spring marathon plan of racing London to go for the win in Boston, the world’s oldest annual marathon dating to 1897.
Kipchoge has yet to speak to media, but may be asked whether a failed water bottle grab just before he lost contact with a leading pack of five contributed to his first defeat since he placed eighth at the 2020 London Marathon. Boston’s weather on Monday, rainy, was similar to London in 2020.
Kipchoge’s only other 26.2-mile loss was when he was runner-up at his second career marathon in Berlin in 2013.
He is expected to race two more marathons before the Paris Games. Kipchoge will be nearly 40 come Paris, more than one year older than the oldest Olympic champion in any running event, according to Olympedia.org. Kenya has yet to name its three-man Olympic marathon team.
“In sports you win and you lose and there is always tomorrow to set a new challenge,” was posted on Kipchoge’s social media. “Excited for what’s ahead.”
Kenyan Hellen Obiri won Monday’s women’s race in 2:21:38, pulling away from Ethiopian Amane Beriso in the last mile.
Obiri, a two-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist in the 5000m on the track, made her marathon debut in New York City last November with a sixth-place finish. She was a late add to the Boston field three weeks ago after initially eschewing a spring marathon.
“I didn’t want to come here, because my heart was somewhere else,” said Obiri, who is coached in Colorado by three-time U.S. Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein. “But, my coach said I should try and go to Boston.”
Emma Bates was the top American in fifth in the second-fastest Boston time for an American woman ever, consolidating her status as a favorite to make the three-woman Olympic team at next February’s trials in Orlando. Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato, who traded the American marathon record last year, didn’t enter Boston.
“I expected myself to be in the top five,” said the 30-year-old Bates, who feels she can challenge Sisson’s American record of 2:18:29, if and when she next races on a flat course.
The next major marathon is London on Sunday, headlined by women’s world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, Tokyo Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya and Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands in her 26.2-mile debut.(04/17/2023) ⚡AMP
The big sub-plot of the race, however, was the performance of Eliud Kipchoge, who headed to Boston in the hopes of taking one step closer to completing his set of World Marathon Majors victories but trailed home in sixth place in 2:09:23, the slowest time of his glittering career and more than three minutes behind the winner.
But the day belonged to Chebet and Obiri, both of whom dropped their final opponents in the last few minutes of the race, winning in 2:05:54 and 2:21:38 respectively. Chebet’s mark is the third-fastest winning time ever recorded in the men’s race in Boston and Obiri’s performance is the fourth-fastest women’s winning mark.
Kipchoge looked comfortable in the early stages and was part of a lead pack of 11 men that passed through 10km in 28:52 before reaching the half-way point in 1:02:19.
Chebet and Kipchoge were still together in the lead group through 30km, reached in 1:29:23, but the double Olympic champion and world record-holder started to lose contact with the leaders just a minute or two later, having missed picking up his bottle at a water station.
At 35km, with 1:44:19 on the clock, the lead pack was down to five men – Chebet, 2021 Boston winner Benson Kipruto, Tanzanian record-holder Gabriel Geay, Kenya’s John Korir and Ethiopia’s Andualem Belay. Kipchoge, meanwhile, was more than a minute behind the leaders and no longer in contention for a podium spot.
Evans Chebet wins the 2023 Boston Marathon (© Getty Images)
With three miles to go, and Korir and Belay no longer in the running, the race was down to three men: Geay, Chebet and Kipruto. They ran together as a trio for the best part of two miles before Geay’s challenge eventually faded, leaving the Kenyan duo out in front. Chebet then gradually pulled ahead of his compatriot and training partner Kipruto, going on to cross the finish line in 2:05:54.
Geay recovered enough to pass Kipruto in the closing stages, claiming the runner-up spot in 2:06:04, two seconds ahead of Kipruto. 2021 New York winner Albert Korir finished strongly to take fourth place in 2:08:01 and Morocco’s Zouhair Talbi was fifth (2:08:35). Kipchoge followed a further 48 seconds in arrears.
“I train with Benson; he’s my friend and like a brother to me,” said Chebet, who became the sixth man to win back-to-back Boston titles. “With one kilometre to go, I said to him, ‘let’s go’.”Obiri wins in final mile thriller
Five months after making her marathon debut with a sixth-place finish in New York, two-time world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri triumphed in her second race over the classic distance.
In an incredibly close race that wasn’t decided until the final few minutes, Obiri disposed of one of the strongest women’s fields ever assembled for the Boston Marathon.
In contrast to the men’s race, the women’s contest started off at a cautiously steady pace and gradually picked up as the race went on. A large lead pack of more than 20 runners passed through 10km in 34:46, but they had been whittled down to 11 contenders by the half-way mark, reached in 1:11:29.
By this point, the lead pack still included Obiri, world marathon champion Gotytom Gebreslase, Ethiopian record-holder Amane Beriso, Amsterdam course record-holder Angela Tanui, 2020 Tokyo champion Lonah Salpeter, Eritrean record-holder Nazret Weldu and 2021 London champion Joyciline Jepkosgei.
Gebreslase and Weldu had fallen out of the pack with five miles to go, and the lead pack was reduced further to just six women at 23 miles: Obiri, Salpeter, Beriso, Jepkosgei, Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh and USA’s Emma Bates.
Jepkosgei and Bates started to fade in the last few miles, while Yeshaneh tripped and fell, only to rejoin the lead pack soon after. Salpeter was the next to fade, leaving just Obiri, Beriso and Yeshaneh to battle it out for the victory.
Hellen Obiri wins the 2023 Boston Marathon (© Getty Images)
With 2:17 on the clock, Obiri and Beriso had broken free from Yeshaneh. About 90 seconds later, Obiri embarked on a long drive for the finish line. With occasional glances over her shoulder, the Olympic silver medallist maintained a healthy gap ahead of Beriso and went on to finish in 2:21:38.
Beriso took second place in 2:21:50 and Salpeter overtook Yeshaneh in the closing stages to claim third place in 2:21:57, three seconds ahead of the Ethiopian. Bates was fifth in 2:22:10, making her the top US finisher in either of the races.
“I’m so happy,” said Obiri. “I was undecided about which marathon to do this year, but eventually I decided to do Boston. My coach (Dathen Ritzenhein) told me, ‘you have trained well, you’re ready to do Boston’. I’m very, very happy I chose to do it.”
Women1 Hellen Obiri (KEN) 2:21:382 Amane Beriso (ETH) 2:21:503 Lonah Salpeter (ISR) 2:21:574 Ababel Yeshaneh (ETH) 2:22:005 Emma Bates (USA) 2:22:106 Nazret Weldu (ERI) 2:23:257 Angela Tanui (KEN) 2:24:128 Hiwot Gebremaryam (ETH) 2:24:30
Men1 Evans Chebet (KEN) 2:05:542 Gabriel Geay (TAN) 2:06:043 Benson Kipruto (KEN) 2:06:064 Albert Korir (KEN) 2:08:015 Zouhair Talbi (MAR) 2:08:356 Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) 2:09:237 Scott Fauble (USA) 2:09:448 Hassan Chahdi (FRA) 2:09:46(04/17/2023) ⚡AMP
It can be tough to find the perfect pre-exercise food. You want something that’ll fuel your workout, but it also needs to be light enough that it won’t weigh you down. The ideal workout food is something that is low in calories, contains quality carbs, and is high in protein. Also, as you eat closer to your workout, you also want to have a lower fat and fiber intake. It's best to be consistent with the time between when you snack and then when you workout.
1.- Greek yogurt
Fat-free plain Greek yogurt is the ultimate exercise snack: tons of protein (twice as much as regular yogurt), super filling without being heavy, and it's easy to eat on-the-go. There are plenty of brands that make perfectly portioned 100-calorie containers.
If you find the taste of plain Greek yogurt a little too tart, mix in a packet of natural no-calorie sweetener (like Truvia), some raspberries and blueberries, or some low-sugar preserves. For some healthy fats that’ll kick your workout into high gear, add a few almonds!
One perfect pre-workout food comes straight from Mother Nature: the banana.
A medium-sized banana has just about 100 calories, 27g carbs, and almost no fat.1 It is best to consume a banana 30-60 minutes before a workout.
Bananas have enough calories to quiet your hungry stomach for the duration of a workout, and just enough carbs to keep you energized. Plus, it comes in its own container. Can't beat that! (And no, bananas themselves won't cause weight gain).
3.- Delicious Style smoothie
Smoothies definitely have the potential to be a nutritious light snack, but you should be extra careful with them—they can be packed with way too many sugary calories. Your best bet is to DIY your own low-calorie smoothie. Stick with skim cow's milk (or your favorite unsweetened soy milk), unsweetened frozen fruits, and fat-free Greek yogurt.
Aim for 150 calories. This way, the smoothie will energize you for your workout without leading to a sugar crash later in the day. If you are planning a harder workout lasting more than 60-90 minutes, more carbohydrates may be needed, especially if it is a cardio workout.
Oatmeal is chock-full of quality carbs and it’s so satisfying. It’s an especially good choice if you want to eat a full breakfast before a mid-morning workout. A popular way to cook oatmeal is to make a bowl of “growing oatmeal.” That's one serving of old-fashioned oats cooked for twice as long and with double the liquid. The result? A super-sized portion! Just give yourself some time to digest it before you lace up your sneakers.
5.- Snack Bars With Protein
Need something fast, easy, and shelf-stable? Snack bars are for you. But not so fast! Not all snack bars are created equal. For pre-workout purposes, you want a carbohydrate and protein bar with less than 200 calories and a fair amount of protein that will help rebuild muscles as you work out. And watch out for fat. Certain snack bars pack are surprisingly high in fat.
6.- Apple With Light Cheese
An all-time favorite snacks is a Fuji apple with a wheel of Mini Babybel cheese, and it just so happens that it’s also the perfect fuel for exercise.
Apples have just enough calories and carbs to keep your energy up, and Mini Babybel cheese adds a bit of protein and extra flavor.
Together, apples and cheese add up to a satisfying snack with under 200 calories. Sweet!(04/17/2023) ⚡AMP
World and Olympic bronze medalist Bashir Abdi notched up his second Rotterdam Marathon victory, winning the World Athletics Gold Label road race in 2:03:47 on Sunday (16).
The Belgian’s winning time was just 11 seconds shy of the European and course record he set when winning in the Dutch city two years ago. He was pushed all the way by Kenya’s Timothy Kiplagat, who finished second in 2:03:50, a PB by 90 seconds.
Eunice Chumba, meanwhile, won the women’s race by more than a minute in 2:20:31 – the second-fastest time ever recorded in the women’s race in Rotterdam. She also became the first athlete from Bahrain to win this race.
In the men’s race, a large group passed through 10km in a steady 29:29 before reaching the half-way point in 1:02:15. Abdi and Kiplagat were among the leading pack, as was defending champion Abdi Nageeye and Ethiopian duo Dawit Wolde and Chala Regasa.
The pace picked up between 25km and 30km, with that segment covered in 14:38, and the lead pack had been reduced to five men, which still included Kiplagat, Wolde and Abdi. Kiplagat and Abdi continued to push the pace and they broke away from the last of their pursuers with just under 10km remaining.
In the closing stages, Abdi finally opened up a gap on Kiplagat and went on to cross the line in 2:03:47 with Kipagat following three seconds later. Olympic silver medalist Nageeye was third in 2:05:32 and Wolde was fourth (2:05:46).
“I’m very happy that I won again in Rotterdam," said Abdi. "The weather conditions were not ideal and the pace changed quite a bit, but I ran my second fastest time ever.”
In the women’s race, Chumba had just three other women for company – Kenya’s Pascalia Jepkosgei, Ethiopia’s Meseret Gebre and Eritrea’s Dolshi Tesfu – as she passed through 10km in 32:33.
Chumba, Gebre and Tesfu reached the half-way point in 1:08:43, well inside the pace required to break the course record of 2:18:58 set 11 years ago by 2012 Olympic champion Tiki Gelana, who was also in this race.
Tesfu and Chumba continued to run together up until 35km, reached in 1:55:50, but Chumba then started to open up a bit of a gap on her rival in the final few kilometers. The Bahraini record-holder went on to win in 2:20:31, just 29 seconds shy of her PB and her third sub-2:21 clocking within 12 months. Tesfu was second in 2:21:35.
Chumba’s compatriot Rose Chelimo, the 2017 world champion, made her way through the field in the second half of the race to place third in 2:26:21. Gelana, meanwhile, finished sixth in 2:27:19, her fastest time in eight years.
Over on the other side of the Netherlands, Alfred Barkach and Shyline Toroitich scored a Kenyan double at the Enschede Marathon, a World Athletics Label road race.
Barkach, who was making his marathon debut, won the men’s race in 2:08:50 from compatriot Bernard Kipyego (2:09:13). Toroitich, meanwhile, was a comfortable winner of the women’s race in 2:22:43 from Uganda’s Mercyline Chelangat (2:24:09).(04/17/2023) ⚡AMP
The marathon has been the biggest one-day sporting event in the Netherlands for many years in a row with over 35000 athletes professionals inclusive. The world's top athletes will at the start on the bustling coolsingel, alongside thousands of other runners who will also triumph,each in their own way.The marathon weekend is a wonderful blend of top sport and festival. ...more...
For the second year in a row, the men’s Canadian 5K record was shattered at the B.A.A. 5K in Boston. Ben Flanagan of Kitchener, Ont., placed second in the race and broke the previous Canadian record by ten seconds in 13:26.
There was a lot of buzz around the Canadian 5K record heading into Saturday’s race, with Charles Philibert-Thiboutot of Quebec City coming in as the national record holder and defending B.A.A. 5K champion, while Flanagan came into the race as the reigning Canadian 5K champion, holding the second-fastest 5K time in Canadian history.
The men’s elite race got out quickly, going through the first mile in four minutes and 12 seconds (13:00-flat pace). Flanagan and Philibert-Thiboutot found themselves in the chase pack after Ethiopia’s Tsegay Kidanu was off to an early lead. Philibert-Thiboutot drove the chase pack to catch Kidanu at the 3K point.
In the final mile, a large pack of 15 runners was still in contention, lining up for a sprint finish on Charles St. through the Boston Common. Flanagan made a move with his Very Nice Track Club training partner, U.S. miler Morgan Beadlescomb,with 300 metres to go, and held on to finish second behind Beadlescomb in 13:26. Kenya’s Edwin Kurgat finished third in 13:27.
Flanagan took a glance over his shoulder with one mile to go and couldn’t believe how many guys were in the lead group. “When Morgan made his move, I knew I had to keep myself close to him,” says Flanagan. “He and Charles are 1,500m guys, so you know they are explosive.”
“The race was awesome,” says Flanagan. “Even though I ran there four years ago, it well exceeded my expectations.”
This 5K record is the third Canadian road record Flanagan has broken in the last 12 months. Last June, he broke the long-standing Canadian 10K record at the B.A.A. 10K in Boston, finishing fourth in 28:11. Four months later, he ran the Canadian half-marathon record of 61-flat, beating Cam Levins by four seconds at the Valencia Half Marathon. Levins later took the half-marathon record back, running 60:18 at the Vancouver First Half in February.
“My goal is to make a world’s team,” says Flanagan. “It annoys me that I haven’t been able to do it yet.”
Flanagan and Philibert-Thiboutot will head back to the track to chase the 2023 world championships 5,000m standard of 13:07:00 at the Sound Running Invitational in Los Angeles on May 6.
Canada’s Julie-Anne Staehli finished 13th in the women’s 5K, in 15:50. The 2022 world championship steeplechase bronze medallist, Mekides Abebe of Ethiopia, won the women’s race in a sprint finish ahead of Kenya’s Agnes Ngetich, in 15:01. American Annie Rodenfels of Boston finished third in 15:12.(04/17/2023) ⚡AMP
The B.A.A. 5K began in 2009, and became an instant hit among runners from far and wide. Viewed by many as the “calm before the storm,” the Sunday of Marathon weekend traditionally was for shopping, loading up on carbohydrates at the pasta dinner, and most importantly- resting. But now, runners of shorter distances, and even a few marathoners looking for...more...
After three decades immersed in athletics, there are not too many times now when Eilish McColgan is stepping into the unknown.
Next Sunday, however, will be one of those unusual occasions when she stands on the start line not knowing quite what to expect as she will make her marathon debut in London.
For all the thousands upon thousands of miles she has run in training over the years, she is treading new ground.
“I’ve never run 26 miles,” she says. “I don’t actually know many athletes who do the full distance in training.
“We coach amateur runners and we advise not to do more than 22 miles in training and that’s what I’ve been doing myself. There is the mental aspect of can you actually get round 26 miles? But I’ve done 22-mile runs and I had no doubt at the end of them I could have run another four-mile loop. So it’s not so much the distance for me that will be tough, it’s going to be the pace of it.
“There’s a big difference between a long run and a hard, hard effort for that long. So for me, that’s what’s unknown and not something I’ve particularly tested in training.
“I think that’s something that only comes with the experience of racing.”
McColgan is certainly not easing herself in gently. London boasts the strongest women’s marathon field ever assembled with defending champion and world 10k record holder Yalemzerf Yehualaw, marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei and Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir all going to be on the start line.
However, with the 32-year-old from Dundee having had the year of her life over the past 12 months, she could not be in a better frame of mind.
McColgan has been on the international scene since 2012, when she competed in her first Olympic Games, but it was in 2022 that she really grabbed the spotlight.
Commonwealth gold in the 10,000m in Birmingham was the most memorable of her performances, but that win was accompanied by a raft of Scottish, British and European records both on the track and on the road.
McColgan has continued her sparkling form into 2023, with her opening appearance of the year a run over 10,000m of 30 minutes 0.86 seconds, breaking Paula Radcliffe’s long-standing national record and smashing her own personal best by 19 seconds.
That was followed by a win at the Berlin Half Marathon two weeks ago in yet another British record and McColgan admits that despite the trepidation that is certainly present about running her first marathon, she is in a confident mood.
“I’m really pleased with my runs. To have come away with British records and such big PBs, I was really happy,” she says. “It’s given me quite a lot of confidence knowing that the training I’m doing is really suited to me.
“I know for sure I can run a good 5k, a good 10k and a good half marathon so now the question is whether or not I can run a good marathon because it’s something I’ve never done. I’m certainly in a better place to run the marathon now than I ever have been but how I actually cope with it, we won’t know till race day.”
The one, and perhaps only, down side of McColgan’s spectacular year is that expectations from observers are now sky-high regarding what she is likely to achieve in London.
However, McColgan is far too pragmatic and too experienced to expect anything spectacular and instead, she sees next weekend’s race as the start of her marathon journey which will, she hopes, lead to the start line of the Olympic marathon in Paris next summer.
“This first marathon is about getting the experience of it,” she says. “I’m in a much stronger position than I’ve ever been and so I’ve given myself the best opportunity to run a good marathon but there’s a lot of things that come into play on the day with regard to the mental side of it, the physical side of covering that sort of distance at that fast pace and the fuelling side of things to make sure I don’t hit the wall.
“There’s a lot more elements that come into a marathon than do on the track or on the shorter road races.
“I know other people maybe expect me to go to London and be competitive but that’s not realistic.
“I’m going into the best marathon field that’s ever been assembled so I have to be realistic with what I can achieve within that. I’m certainly not going in there to win.”
McColgan may not be targeting a podium place but she is not lacking goals for the race.
With the 2024 Olympic Games already in her mind, qualification for Paris is of primary importance – and ideally sooner rather than later – but she also has her mum, Liz’s, one remaining time that is faster than her in her sights over those 26.1 miles in London.
“I have a few goals for London,” she says. “Firstly, I want to get round in one piece. That’s my No.1 goal – to get round and feel like yes, I want to do the marathon at the Paris Olympics,” she says.
“Secondly, this is the final PB that my mum still has of 2 hours 26 mins. Steph Twell took her Scottish record a couple of years ago when she ran 2:25 so I have that in my head as a time target.
“I do feel I’m capable of running faster than my mum and getting that Scottish record and it’d be a triple-whammy because it’d be a qualifying time for the Paris Olympics too.
“I’d like to be competitive against the British girls and if I can do that, I think I can knock those three goals off in the process.
“If I can achieve all my personal goals, that’d be a good day for me.”(04/16/2023) ⚡AMP
Recently, while sifting through some of the excruciatingly detailed performance data he'd collected over decades as a Colorado-based triathlon coach, Alan Couzens noticed a pleasing symmetry. All else being equal, the amount of aerobic fitness his athletes lost by getting a year older was almost identical to the amount they gained by adding an hour per month of training time. Want to freeze the biological clock from one birthday to the next? Find a spare 15 minutes per week and fill it with running.
The long-haul practicality of this approach is debatable: after a decade, that additional training time would total 2.5 hours a week. But the underlying premise of what we might call the Couzens Immortality Quotient taps into a fertile area of debate. How much of the aging process is an inevitable slide into decrepitude, and how much is a result of not getting enough exercise?
That's the question Johannes Burtscher of the University of Lausanne, along with colleagues in Switzerland and Austria, posed recently in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. By pooling the results of more than a dozen studies, the group reached an encouraging, quantifiable conclusion: only about half of the fitness losses suffered by endurance athletes as they get older are attributable to the passage of time. The other half can be chalked up to reduced training.
The standard gauge of aerobic fitness is VO2 max, which measures how quickly you're able to breathe oxygen into your lungs, pump it through your arteries, and use it to help fuel muscle contraction. It's expressed in milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute, and in young adults it typically hovers somewhere in the forties. After age 25, it declines by about 10 percent each decade, dropping more quickly in your sixties and seventies. Among endurance athletes, the numbers aren't so predictable. Some studies find losses of 5 percent per decade; others as much as 46 percent. What accounts for the difference? The extent to which you continue training as you get older. After all, the fitter you are, the more you stand to lose.
The effects of ceasing training entirely seem to be similar in athletes of all ages. Your VO2 max begins to plummet within a few days of stopping exercise, and you might lose as much as 20 percent after 12 weeks. These losses are explained mostly by changes in how much blood your heart can pump with each beat; the good news is that the trend can be reversed fairly quickly when training is resumed. Other age-related changes, such as stiffening arteries, occur more slowly and are harder to undo.
How much of aging is an inevitable slide into decrepitude, and how much is a result of not getting enough exercise?
When Burtscher and his colleagues ran the numbers, they found that 54 percent of the variation in fitness loss by male endurance athletes was explained by differences in how much they trained. That number in women was 39 percent, but the scarcity of data for female subjects makes it impossible to tell whether there's a real physiological difference between the sexes. Overall, the data fits with the observation that athletes who keep training at a fairly constant level over the years lose about 5 percent per decade-half as much as the typical nonathlete.
There are a couple of key questions raised by these findings. The first one: If you miss a year, or a decade, can you get back to where you were? Or is some of that fitness lost forever? There's no research to suggest a solid answer, according to Gregoire Millet, one of Burtscher's colleagues at the University of Lausanne. It probably depends to some degree on how much you trained prior to stopping, and for how long. The risk upon resuming would be that your bones and connective tissue are no longer prepared to handle a heavy load, making you more susceptible to injury.
Still, there are some encouraging hints in the literature. In 2020, researchers published lab data on Tommy Hughes, an Irish man who'd recently run an eye-popping 2:27 marathon at age 59. Hughes's VO2 max was 65.4, more than twice what you'd expect from a largely sedentary man his age. Not surprisingly, Hughes was a former elite marathoner; he competed at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. But he'd taken a 16-year break from running, starting again at the age of 48. We can't know for sure if that pause hurt him-if it did, it couldn't have been by much, given that he currently holds the world marathon record for the 60-to-64 age group, at 2:30:02.
The other question is how to maintain your training level as the years pass. We all have good intentions, but real life rarely resembles the smooth aging curve that results from graphing the average data from large groups of people. Instead, there are plateaus and gentle declines punctuated by steep drops-you break a leg, your first kid is born, you become addicted to social media, and so on. Avoiding periods of rapid decline goes a long way toward slowing the overall slide.
Another superstar case study, this one published in 2022 by a team led by Bas Van Hooren of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, illustrates the benefits of consistency. A 75-year-old middle-distance runner named Hans Smeets, who holds multiple European and world age-group records, had clocked a VO2 max of 50.5, equal to the highest known measurement for his age. Smeets only began running at 50, further evidence that it's never too late to start (or start again). And once he'd begun, he kept going. Over the next 25 years, he never missed more than a week of training. Initially, he ran more than 85 miles per week, and at 75 he was still logging as many as 50. He attributed his ability to handle all that mileage without injury to doing most of his runs at, in his words, "an easy pace."
That, as it turns out, aligns perfectly with Couzens's view about what's required for long-term athletic success: lots of low-intensity exercise. To be sure, the idea of adding an hour of training per month every year to ward off the effects of aging sounds suspiciously like an endurance version of the legend of Milo of Croton, the ancient Olympian wrestler said to have lifted a calf over his head every day until it was a full-grown bull. In both cases, each step in the process seems simple, but the result is nonetheless improbable, let's call it.
Yet, as an aspiration, or simply as a formulation of what's possible, the Couzens Immortality Quotient tells us the same thing as the examples of Tommy Hughes and Hans Smeets, and as Johannes Burtscher's meta-analysis. You don't train less because you're getting old; you get old, to a surprising extent, because skipping that long Sunday run with your pals becomes a habit instead of a rare exception. Don't do it.(04/16/2023) ⚡AMP
Embrace the present moment & stay present in the storm. Acceptance fosters wellbeing & mindfulness. Here are 6 Yoga tools to help you stay present!
If there’s anything we have learned from the past few years, it’s that life is going to continue to provide us with challenges. Just when we think the storm has passed and we are ready to sail in optimal conditions, the weather seems to turn and keep us on our toes. The relentlessness of the continually changing weather and stormy skies can be overwhelming and exhausting. It’s understandable why we begin to check out, close our eyes and just want to wake up when it’s all over.
This approach can offer us short-term peace by escaping the discomfort of what is. However, in the longer run, there are benefits in staying completely present in the storm as we learn acceptance and embrace the opportunity to grow from every experience.
The power of atha
The first word of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is “atha” or now. It is an auspicious word, with some teachers suggesting that if you really understood what atha means, you would understand everything and reach a state of yoga or liberation. Practising mindfulness, which Jon Kabat Zinn defines as “paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally”, is the key to staying in the “now”, no matter what is going on.
The non-judgement part can be particularly tricky to practise. Seeing our experiences as they are, without putting any kind of lens on them, framing them as good or bad, allows us to foster more acceptance in our lives.
The power of acceptance
“Accept, then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Acceptance of all our experiences, regardless of how stormy or calm they are, has been shown to positively affect our overall wellbeing. In one particular study, individuals who accepted rather than judged their mental experiences appeared to attain better psychological health, and less reactivity to stressors. Other studies suggested acceptance reduced feelings of shame, guilt, anxiety and distress.
Acceptance allows us to get on with the task at hand, and do what we need to do, instead of putting energy into worry and fear. As my teacher David Life used to say, “So what, now what?”
Escaping the storm
Most of us are constantly trying to avoid our current experience. We walk into a room that is too cold, and we turn the heat on; when it gets too warm, we open the windows and take our coat off, forever trying to escape whatever discomfort we feel. Inevitably, though, at some point we will be thrust into a situation where we can no longer control the temperature or the weather, and there is no escape. As the storm rages, without any skills to keep us awake, to simply be in the experience, we struggle to stay afloat.
All manner of addictions arise from this moment, of grasping and craving, clinging to something that helps us evade the reality of the battering of our boats in the tempest.
How to stay present
The yoga practice provides us with many tools to help us stay present and observe whatever is arising.
The asana shows us how to dive into poses and stay steady regardless of discomfort and strong sensation. It allows us to practise breathing calmly and being steady, staying in a posture, when we’d really prefer to run.
Concentration on the breath, in pranayama practices, is very powerful at quietening the mind and bringing us directly into the present. It also teaches us the transient nature of our experience, how it is ever-moving, in motion, traversing the cycles of beginning, middle and end, over and over.
We learn through pranayama, watching, controlling and freeing the breath about the changing nature of things at a very primal, cellular level. And it shows us how every new breath is a chance to start again, that the newness, the freshness of each inhale and exhale is a different experience. Whatever storms we are in will pass at some point, giving way to something new.
Meditation shows us how our thoughts come and go, jumping around and as changeable as the weather. Being reminded of the physical and mental layers that this too shall pass, for better or worse, is a great way to practically work with stepping into the present, accepting what is and trusting it will pass eventually.
Drishti, or a focus point, is another tool we can use to train the mind to concentrate. It is through concentration, or dharana, we place the mind at one thing at a time, which allows us to be present and available to see what’s in front of us.
In the Yoga Sutra 1.2, “Yogash [union] citta [mind] vritti [whirlings] nirodha [to cease/get rid of]” is sometimes translated as “Yoga is when the mind stops.” But in that case, the party is over. When our minds stop, we don’t get to experience anything, let alone yoga. My teacher Manorama D’Alvia speaks to it from the perspective of not attaching to the rotational movements of the mind, or the vrittis. If nirodha is to stop or cease, and we think of citta as the ocean of the mind with the vrittis as the waves or thought patterns, yoga is when we stop attaching the chaos of the surf. We identify less with the individual waves, and see that we are the ocean, vast and deep.
Then no matter what storm is raging, we are always connected to that deeper oceanic part of ourselves, which isn’t so affected by the individual movements and tides; after all, the weather changes, but the ocean is always there, seemingly limitless and rich.
Because the nature of the world is designed to steal our attention, our energy constantly moves outwards through the senses. As we practise withdrawal of the senses, pulling them back inwards towards us in times of crisis and challenge, we preserve our energy which will be required to take skilful action in whatever stormy situation we are in. We cannot steer the boat across immense waves if we are not paying attention, concentrating, making intelligent choices, and have the energy to do so. Using our practice to harness our ability to draw the senses inwards will make it easier in those moments that feel tougher to do so, when the lightning and thunder feel overpowering. As D’Alvia says, you don’t need to practise every day, but there will come a time when you will be grateful you practised every day.
The more we practise when the skies are calm, the more we will be prepared and ready when we need a yogic mind in those turbulent times.
What being present does for us
When we pay attention to what is happening in front of us, with acceptance, a calm mind, free from judgement, we see things as they really are. Instead of operating from a place of fear, or projecting into the past or future, we wipe the lenses clean and can see clearly — not from
a place of denial or overwhelm, rather the stance of a warrior on the battlefield, like Arjuna in the Bhagavadgita. Just as he had to accept his role in fighting a battle he didn’t want, we may find ourselves in blustery conditions we don’t want to be part of. When we have a yogic mind, we can face those moments; we can do what must be done with a clear mind and steady hand.
Turbulent times as a teacher
The greatest gift of all, however, from staying with eyes wide open in the tempest, is that we can use the experience as a teacher. Moments of great joy are bolstering and fortify our spirit. But the obstacles and storms of life are where the greatest learning is. Use those moments as a teacher and no experience shall go to waste; rather they will enhance our life, showing where we are stuck, where we need to grow and how much further we can travel in terms of kindness, compassion and empathy for self and others.
Chaos to calm yoga practice
This practice is designed to foster presence through some of the tools suggested above, as well as some balancing poses which require our steadiness, drishti and concentration.
Choose a comfortable seat and listen to the sounds around you. Start to pull your senses inwards. Close the eyes. Relax the jaw and let the tongue drop away from the palate. Observe any taste on your tongue. Take in the smells around you.
Feel what sensations you can especially on the hands and fingers. Listen to the sounds around you. Keep your awareness on the senses in this way, not letting them move out, gathering stimulation
or escaping this present moment.
Keep sitting. Notice any thoughts that start to arise. Let them bubble up, feel them, experience them, accept them and let them move on. Keep noticing your senses, physical sensations, taste, the dark behind the eyelids, the sounds, the smells. As you do, keep allowing thoughts and feelings to come up, accepting them and letting them go. Stay aware, completely in the present moment.(04/16/2023) ⚡AMP