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Canadian Reid Coolsaet signs with Salomon

Since making the jump from the roads to the trails, Canada’s Reid Coolsaet has already begun making a name for himself and brands have taken notice. The two-time Olympian announced Thursday he had signed a sponsorship agreement with Salomon heading into the 2022 ultra-trail racing season.

Coolsaet is one of Canada’s most successful distance runners. He represented Canada twice in the Olympic marathon (London 2012 and Rio 2016) and has competed on the track at multiple World Championships and international competitions. In 2011, he ran the second-fastest marathon by a Canadian athlete at the time, finishing third in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon with a time of 2 hours, 10 minutes, 55 seconds. Today, he still holds the fifth-fastest Canadian marathon time in history.

Even after his Olympic days had come to a close, Coolsaet continued his career, turning his attention to master’s records. In June 2020, he ran 14:39 over 5K for the Canada Running Series virtual Spring Run-Off, breaking the Canadian M40 5K record of 14:42 held by Steve Boyd. His time was not ratifiable, but demonstrated he was still competitive in the sport.

Recently, he’s pivoted yet again, this time to the ultra-trail running scene. In August 2021, he won his debut ultra-trail race, placing first at the Quebec Mega Trail 110K in 14:24:16 despite taking a wrong turn and running 10K more than the rest of the field. Thanks to his partnership with Canadian company Stoked Oats, he was granted entry to this year’s Western States Endurance Run, and will be lining up in Olympic Valley, California on June 25.

“We are thrilled to announce that Reid Coolsaet is joining our Salomon Canada elite running team,” says Sr. Marketing Manager at Salomon Canada Virginie Murdison. “Reid is a prominent figure in the Canadian running scene, a well-regarded coach, and exemplifies Salomon’s values of inclusivity, clean sport, encouraging every individual to get outside and play. We are excited to partner with Reid as he takes on new adventures on and off the trails.”

Running fans across the country have been excited to see Coolsaet back on start lines (and podiums), and with this new sponsorship, Canadians everywhere will be excitedly waiting to see what he does next.

(01/21/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Abel Kipchumba, Brigid Kosgei among marquee names for the 2022 RAK Half Marathon

A stellar line-up of world-class runners will be a part of the 2022 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on February 19 (Saturday) as organisers Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) Tuesday revealed the race route and technical sponsors.

Vying for top spot in the world’s fastest half marathon is Kenya’s Abel Kipchumba and Brigid Kosgei, who will both compete against recently announced international elite athletes Jacob Kiplimo, and reigning champion of the 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, Ababel Yeshaneh.

With a goal of bettering her personal best time of 1:04:49, current Marathon world record holder Kosgei is an experienced and highly sought after runner and makes an excellent addition to the impressive elite line up confirmed so far. Kosgei’s achievements include second place in Olympic Games, first place in both the 2020 and 2019 London Marathon and second place in the 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.

Joining Kosgei is male elite athlete, Abel Kipchumba, who famously secured the second fastest time in the 2021 Half Marathon distance category, with an incredible personal best of 58:07.

Looking to beat his personal best time, Kipchumba is expected to deliver an exciting competition and add to a series of world-class records which includes first place at the 2021 Valencia Half Marathon and 2021 Adizero Road to Records, and second place in the 2020 Napoli City Half Marathon.

The race will once again return to the stunning Marjan Island, set against the picturesque backdrop of the Arabian Gulf, treating all athletes to pristine views of the nature-based Emirate’s white sandy beaches and shimmering coastline.

(01/21/2022) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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Try this simple fartlek workout to improve your 5K

Winter is the perfect time to build a training base before any spring races. Focusing on improving your top-end speed with fartlek training can translate well to the 5 km distance and even trickle down to faster times for the half-marathon and marathon. The idea behind fartlek training is to help your body to adapt to various speeds and threshold zones.

Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning speed play. A fartlek session involves a continuous run while increasing and decreasing the speed and intensity for a period of time. Fartlek and interval training has many of the same benefits but the difference is the continuous running between reps. 

The workout

10 to 15 reps of 90 seconds hard and one minute easy

Although 10 to 15 reps may seem like a lot on paper, the point of this workout isn’t the number of reps – it’s the time on your feet. To get the most out of it, spend the 90 seconds at your goal 5K pace, then the one-minute rest at a slow easy jog pace (for most runners this would be two to three minutes slower than your pace for the 90 seconds). 10 to 15 reps can simulate a 5K race. Your average pace on each rep will give an estimate of your current 5K time.

Runners have the option to make this workout easy or hard depending on their rest pace. The faster you jog your rest minute, the harder the workout will become, as your heart rate will remain high. My recommendation would be to start with a slow jog rest and increase your rest pace as you advance through the workout, depending on how your body feels.

If you are finding that the workout is too hard, even with the slow jog, break the workout in half: two sets of seven reps of 90 seconds and a minute jog (with three minutes jog rest between sets). The purpose of the workout is to maintain your goal 5K pace for its entirety If you are dropping off the pace after six or seven reps, don’t be afraid to add the additional rest to control your heart rate. 

This workout is also helpful for beginners learning to run. Run the 90 seconds and transition to the one-minute jog into a one-minute walk, then repeat.

(01/21/2022) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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2022 Dubai Marathon edition will not take place in January but hopefully in December due to COVID-19

The 2022 Dubai Marathon has been postponed, organizers told LetsRun.com last week. Typically staged in late January, the 2021 edition was cancelled due to COVID-19 and the 2022 edition will not take place in January either as local health and safety guidelines — including a temporary ban on flights from Kenya and Ethiopia — make it difficult to stage the race.

First held in 2000, Dubai began offering a $250,000 first-place prize in 2008 and a $1 million bonus for a world record. Though the world record bonus no longer exists and the prize money has been cut, the $100,000 reward for first place remains one of the biggest paydays in the sport.

As of now, Pace Events, the organizers and promoters of the Dubai Marathon, have set a tentative date of December 10 for the postponed 2022 edition. That would put the race in competition with the Abu Dhabi Marathon, a rival race begun in 2018 which staged its 2021 edition on November 26.

Pace Events provided the following statement to LetsRun.com on the 2022 Dubai Marathon:

On behalf of Pace Events FZ LLC, we trust you had a good new year and are looking forward to a brighter future for running events. As the organisers of the Dubai Marathon for 21 consecutive years since its first edition in 2000, Pace Events anticipates a time when we can all come together and have another World Athletics-sanctioned Marathon and mass participation event in the city of Dubai.

Unfortunately, because of the current situation and adhering to the strict local health and safety guidelines, it still remains impossible for Pace Events to reunite the running community in Dubai with its iconic Marathon in the early part of 2022. Races organised by our team normally attract well in excess of 25,000 runners from all over the world and until we can safely bring together athletes, stakeholders, sponsors, partners and officials we have to wait for circumstances to change.

Naturally, we are disappointed to have to wait longer but we hope to be able to put on a bigger and better event later this year. The date we have set for the return is December 10, 2022.

For now, we can only sit tight and look forward to seeing everyone on the start line…

(01/21/2022) ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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Dubai Marathon

Dubai Marathon

In its relatively brief history (the race was first held in 2000), the Dubai Marathon has become one of the fastest, most respected and the most lucrative marathon in the world in terms of prize money. Each year thousands of runners take to the roads in this beautiful city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for this extraordinary race starting...

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Here is what you need to do, if you get injured while running

You’re running along, and all of a sudden, you feel something pop. This could be a sign that you’ve injured yourself while running. The pain is unbearable, and the adrenaline kicks in to try and get you back home as quickly as possible. But what do you do next? This blog post will cover what to do if you are injured while running, how long it takes for injuries to heal, and why it’s important not to play through injury when it comes to sports activities like running. Read the tips below.

Take a Break From Running and Let Your Body Heal

If you experience an injury while running, it’s important to take a break from the activity and let your body heal. If you don’t take care of your injuries properly, they can cause long-term damage such as chronic pain or even permanent disability. The worst thing is that if left untreated, these types of injuries will get worse over time.

This is why you need to act quickly and see a doctor as soon as possible, even when the injury doesn’t seem that bad at first glance. An x-ray or MRI may be necessary so that your physician can give you an accurate diagnosis of what’s wrong with your body. Once they have identified the problem, it will be easier to prescribe the appropriate treatment for your injury, including physical therapy.

Apply An Ice Pack to the Injury for 15 Minutes Every Hour

When you injure your muscles, it’s common to experience swelling and bruising. The tissue has been damaged or injured from an impact such as a fall or sudden twist. To reduce pain and inflammation caused by this injury while running, apply an ice pack for 15 minutes every hour until all signs of redness have disappeared.

It’s also important to remember that while icing your injury, you should not apply heat simultaneously because this will have an opposite effect and cause swelling to increase.

Find a Physical Therapist

When you’re dealing with an injury while running, it can be tempting to want to do as much as possible on your own. However, there are a few things that a physical therapist will be able to help you with. If you need help soothing your aches and pains, your physical therapist can tailor a treatment plan for you. The physical therapy process involves applying pressure and stretching the injured area. This will help get your muscles working again so that you can start running healthy and strong without any pain or discomfort in a short period of time.

It takes an average of three weeks for a typical running injury to heal, but some injuries can take up to six months. The amount of time it takes for your body to fully recover from an injury while running is largely impacted by how severe the damage was and what type of treatment you received after sustaining the injury. With the help of physical therapy, you should be back on the road in no time.

Rest Until You are Pain-Free Before Returning to Normal Activities

It’s important to give your body the proper amount of time to heal before returning to an activity such as running. This is because it will be easy for you to re-injure yourself during this process and cause more damage, leading to chronic pain or disability that can last a lifetime. To ensure no further injury occurs, you should stay off your feet until the pain goes away.

Pain-free doesn’t mean that it’s healed, but if there is no discomfort or aches when standing up or walking around, then this means that it will be safe to resume normal activities without risking any more damage to your injury while running. If you are still experiencing some

Use a Brace or Wrap if Needed to Support the Injured Area

Your body needs to have the proper support when you’re wearing a brace or wrap. This will help prevent further injury during running activities, which can easily aggravate an existing injury. After getting fitted with a supportive device, make sure that it is comfortable and fits correctly so that there are no gaps between the brace and the injured area.

If there is a gap, it will be easy for you to irritate the injury even more and make things worse than they already are. It’s also important that you learn how to wrap or strap your ankle so that it doesn’t slip out of place while running again because this can lead to further damage down the road.

The best thing you can do for an injury is to follow these simple steps and have patience. If your pain doesn’t subside, consult a medical professional immediately, as this could indicate something more serious. We hope that you will feel better soon by following our advice! Do not try to push through the pain or return to running too quickly; your body must have time to heal properly, so please take care of yourself and stay well hydrated during recovery.

(01/20/2022) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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Running through extreme grief

Nearly 13 years ago, Oakville, Ont. runner Lynn Keane’s life changed forever. On a late April day, she, her husband, her two daughters and many others who knew and loved their son, Daniel, became survivors of suicide loss. Since that day, Keane has had to follow a journey of radical transformation, which no one who hasn’t been through it could ever imagine taking. Recently, we spoke with Keane about her journey and how running and movement helped her find healing and peace. This is her story.

Keane’s life as a runner began in high school, when she competed as a sprinter. “As a teenager, I found joy in running high school track,” she says. “Sprinting around the track I was able to shed the labels and preconceived ideas that had been ascribed to me as a mixed-race kid growing up in Toronto.”

After several years away from the sport, she began running again as an adult, starting with 5K and eventually working her way up to a marathon. She says this process helped her build resilience and mental toughness that she would rely on to get her through the dark days ahead.

A few days after losing Daniel, when she and her family were struggling just to make it through the day, she put on her shoes and went for a run. “I needed to do something normal, and putting one foot in front of the other was so familiar,” she says. “It was also so healing because I could be alone, I could be outdoors and just scream at the sun, the moon — whatever. I could just be me and cry.”

After that first run, she knew it was something she needed to do. If she couldn’t do anything else, she would run. She also began researching and speaking with medical professionals so she could begin to understand her son’s experience. “Over the years I’ve worked to accept the loss and figure out ways to make the world a better place for young people now that I have this knowledge,” she says, “but running was the catalyst. Once I could get back out and physically move my body, the brain started to follow.”

Keane describes movement as a healing act, and it has remained that way all these years later. “I think because you make a commitment to yourself, which requires discipline, and that’s when grit happens,” she says. “Whether you’re depending on yourself, or your run crew is depending on you to show up, there are all these little habits that come from being a regular runner that builds dependence on oneself.”

Keane has now finished 14 marathons and more than 20 half-marathons. She’s a five-time Boston Marathon finisher, has done six half-Ironmans and one full Ironman and was the co-founder and co-race director of the Muskoka Rocks Races for 16 years. “In 2015 I finished my first half (Ironman), and coming across the finish line was life-changing, because that was another moment when I said ‘you can do big things’,” she says.

For anyone going through a difficult time or grappling with extreme loss, Keane says that in time, grief will not disappear, but will become part of you. “When you have these moments that are overwhelming, acknowledge them,” she says, “because in time, everything that you’ve gone through will serve to strengthen who you are.” She adds that it is an incredibly difficult process, but getting support from a professional, friend or someone you trust can go a long way toward helping you to heal. “Honour the pain, live in the pain, because if you don’t, you’re only putting it away for another day,” she says.

Advocacy and awareness

Aside from running and triathlons, Keane dealt with her loss by sharing Daniel’s story so others could see themselves and seek out the support they needed. “I wanted to offer real-time understanding around youth depression and anxiety, so that we, as family, friends and community could provide compassionate support from a place of knowledge and understanding,” she says.

Keane has done a TedX Youth Talk about suicide prevention and written a book, Give Sorrow Words. She’s dedicated herself to educating others about youth suicide prevention and has worked with a wide range of suicide prevention and mental health advocacy groups and organizations. including The JED Foundation, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, The International Summit on Suicide Research, the Canadian Mental Health Association (Halton) and Bell Let’s Talk Day, among others.

“In sharing our son’s story, we are honouring his life and his time on Earth,” says Keane. “I know that Daniel’s story has helped to normalize conversations around youth mental illness and suicide prevention.”

Radical transformation

“You have these horrific life experiences and you can choose to stay in that place… and of course, I did for a long time. And then one day, maybe you can see that little sliver,” says Keane. “That very little bit of light at the end of a very long tunnel and know that you can get to it, and on the other side is life again.”

Keane considers herself to be living proof of the resiliency of the human spirit. Running gave her strength she didn’t know she had until she needed it, and helped her get through the darkest moments of her life.

“When we push our body, we challenge our mind—gathering strength and fortifying ourselves for life,” she says. “Running and triathlon have served to strengthen my spirit, allowed me to survive trauma and find a greater purpose in life. That is my why.”

(01/20/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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The celebrities who love to run

As well as championing a vegan diet and showing off the latest fashion trends at red carpet events, celebrities regularly maintain their health and fitness with a solid dose of daily exercise. In fact, for many famous faces, running is the most effective and enjoyable way to keep them in shape and ready for a range of public appearances which come with such status. 

On the whole, a lot of the world’s well-known celebrities adore sport which is why seeing a range of Hollywood stars and established music-makers donning their running gear as they attempt to shed some pounds in the New Year is hardly surprising. The likes of Mark Wahlberg, Will Smith and Snoop Dogg adore the big sporting events, perhaps dabbling in the odd sports bet from time to time and even offering their views on various developments as they unfold during a football or basketball season.

It should come as no surprise, then, when the same stars supplement their love of watching sport with a fitness session or two, essentially just like the rest of us do. For many, running is the ideal way to keep in shape as it’s not only a great way of staying fit and healthy, but it alleviates the stresses and strains which can occur when you’re constantly in the spotlight. With that in mind, below is a look at some famous celebrities who fit a daily or weekly run into their busy schedules. 

Mark Zuckerberg

The man behind Facebook has regularly shared updates on social media regarding his love of running. So much so, in fact, that Zuckerberg even did a ‘year of running challenge’ which gathered real momentum on the social media site he founded, with the aim being to run 365 miles in a year. Zuckerberg managed to finish the challenge five months early and captivated audiences as a result, educating people on the benefits of running in terms of both physical and mental health.

Victoria Beckham

Being a part of one of most famous couples in the world certainly comes with its drawbacks, with one them being the constant scrutiny surrounding the way a pair looks. With fitness evidently being of high importance to Victoria Beckham and her retired soccer star husband David Beckham, it should come as no surprise to learn that she manages to fit a daily 5K run into her routine. Speaking to Vogue Australia, the former Spice Girl said: “I go for a three-mile run every morning and I work out for an hour with a PT.” 

Jennifer Lawrence

A keen runner, Jennifer Lawrence used running to her benefit as she aimed to get ready for Hunger Games in 2012. A movie which required a great deal of fitness and a number of running scenes for Lawrence to get stuck into, the popular actress admitted that she’s a tad self-conscious when it comes to her running style.

Speaking after the release of the movie in 2012, Lawrence said: “I’m most nervous about everybody making fun of the way I run. I do, like, karate hands. Instead of running with my hands closed together like a normal person. It’s like I’m trying to be aerodynamic or something, so my hands are straight like razors.” 

Gordon Ramsay

Alongside berating deluded restaurant owners and showcasing his French cooking skills, Gordon Ramsey is a keen runner. Regularly taking part in the London Marathon over the years, the world-famous chef has an impressive marathon PB of 3:30:37 and is commonly spotted running both in the UK and in his neighbourhood in America.

Jennifer Aniston

Former Friends star, Jennifer Aniston, is known to focus a great deal on her health and fitness, favouring a range of methods of exercise such as boxing for cardio and spin classes. Aniston has also been seen running on numerous occasions as she aims to stay in shape ahead of her next movie role. 

Eva Longoria

Following an interview with Health magazine, Eva Longoriabe came even more of a hit with women aiming to master their health and fitness around the world. The Desperate Housewives star also enjoys yoga and pilates, but it’s running which is her main bag, recently saying: “I’m a runner, first of all. I run a lot.” 

Other celebrity runners include Reese Witherspoon, Eminem, Richard Branson, Louis Theroux, Karlie Kloss, Kate Middleton, Reggie Miller, and Meghan Markle.

(01/20/2022) ⚡AMP
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World record holder Eliud Kipchoge to run Tokyo Marathon if it happens and if he can get into country

On Jan. 19 it was learned that men's marathon world record holder and two-time Olympic marathon gold medalist Eliud Kipchoge, 37, may run the Mar. 6 Tokyo Marathon. Multiple sources involved in the situation said that the Tokyo Marathon organizers have extended an offer to Kipchoge for his participation. If he does run, there is a strong possibility that he will break both the course and all-comers' records of 2:03:58 set in 2017 by Wilson Kipsang by a wide margin.

At the same time, the Omicron coronavirus variant is likely to have a significant impact on the event's chances. The government has banned all non-resident foreigners from entering the country since Nov. 30 last year. Tokyo and other areas of the country are set to enter a partial state of emergency on Jan. 21.

And the Tokyo Marathon organizers have established the policy that they will cancel the race if after Feb. 6 the government asks large-scale events to refrain from going forward and it meets the criteria. The Tokyo Marathon was originally scheduled for March last year. It was initially postponed to October due to rising coronavirus numbers, then postponed again to March, 2022.

As the Omicron variant continues to spread, road races across Japan have begun to cancel one after another. With a dark cloud hanging over the Tokyo Marathon's future it is not even clear whether Kipchoge would be able to enter the country.

Organizers are waiting for the right opportunity to announce the elite field, and are still hopeful of making the best decision about the event. If the best runner in history is able to clear the hurdles set before him, a new chapter will be engraved in the history of Tokyo.

(01/20/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...

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Is the sound of your footstrike important?

A common piece of advice given to runners is to land softly or quietly with each step to avoid injuries and improve stride efficiency. While this sounds like a reasonable suggestion, new research has determined that the softness of our footstrike may not be as important as we once thought.

The hypothesis

The idea behind trying to land softer when you run is that by doing so, you decrease the landing forces acting on your joints and muscles, thereby reducing your risk for impact-related running injuries, like stress fractures. At the same time, focusing on landing softly is thought to promote a smoother, more efficient stride, which could reduce your risk for overuse injuries like runner’s knee and other common problems that affect runners.

This seemed to be confirmed by a 2016 Harvard study, which found female runners who had a softer landing when they ran (regardless of size or weight) appeared to experience lower rates of injuries. This led many coaches and physiotherapists to encourage runners to listen to the sound of their footstrike while out for a run. A loud footstrike meant you were landing hard, thereby putting you at a greater risk for injuries, while a quiet footstrike meant the opposite.

The study

The goal of this study, published in the Journal of Athletic Training, was to examine the relationship between impact sound and loading rates. The researchers had 30 participants (15 women and 15 men) complete running trials with three different footstrike techniques (rearfoot strike, midfoot strike and forefoot strike) in a gait analysis laboratory. They measured the impact sound using a shotgun microphone, and analyzed the peak sound amplitude, median frequency and sound duration.

They found that a midfoot strike produced the loudest sound, followed by a forefoot strike. Interestingly, the rearfoot striking technique appeared to produce the softest sound. More importantly, the researchers found no significant relationship between footstrike volume and loading rates.

“The results suggest that impact-sound characteristics may be used to differentiate foot-strike patterns in runners,” the researchers concluded. “However, these did not relate to lower limb kinetics. Therefore, clinicians should not solely rely on impact sound to infer impact loading.”

What does this mean for runners?

Focusing on how loud your foot is when it hits the ground may not be as beneficial at preventing injuries as you want it to be. Injuries are complicated, and it’s often a multitude of factors that lead to an injury, not just one specific issue. Most experts agree that running injuries are more often a result of doing too much too soon, not allowing your body to recover properly between sessions or having some strength imbalances that cause the overuse of specific muscles. More often than not, it’s a combination of two or more of those issues.

That’s not to say that there’s no benefit to improving your gait or stride. If you’re more efficient with every step, you’ll be able to run faster with fewer injuries, which, of course, is the goal of most runners. If you want to improve your stride, you’re better off speaking with a running-specific physiotherapist or other sports therapist who can identify the areas you need to improve and give you drills, stretches and exercises to get you there. More often than not, actively trying to change your stride mid-run is frustrating and ineffective, and can even lead to injuries.

So whether you glide across the roads like a mosquito on water or your feet hit the pavement like you’re a part of “Stomp, the Musical”, it may not matter. Regardless of what level of sound your feet make, if you’re experiencing a high rate of injuries, it’s time to speak with a sports therapist to get to the root of the problem so you can run happy and healthy without interruption.

(01/20/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Donovan Brazier and Kenya’s Michael Saruni will headline 400m and 800m fields at Millrose Games

Organizers of the Millrose Games have announced strong fields for the men’s 800m and 400m for the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting.

The 800m is headlined by Kenya’s Michael Saruni, the 2019 Millrose Games 800m champion. His African indoor record of 1:43.98 in that race is the fastest indoor 800m clocking ever achieved in the US and made Saruni the second-fastest indoor performer at that time.

“It will be really great to come back to The Armory and the Millrose Games where I had such a great winning race,” said Saruni, who formerly held the world best for the indoor 600m.

Bryce Hoppel returns to the Millrose Games after placing second in the 800m in 2020. Hoppel finished fourth at the 2019 World Championships and ranks seventh on the world indoor all-time list for 800m with a best of 1:44.37. NCAA champion Isaiah Jewett, who joined Hoppel on the US Olympic team last year, is also set to compete.

Four other Olympians will take part in this race, including Charlie Hunter of Australia, Mexican record-holder Jesus Lopez of Mexico, Spanish record-holder Saul Ordonez and Irish record-holder Mark English. Isaiah Harris, who represented the USA at the 2017 World Championships, is also in the field.

Donavan Brazier, the world champion over 800m, has opted against contesting his specialist distance at the Millrose Games and will instead test his speed in the 400m. The 24-year-old, who holds the North American 800m records indoors (1:44.21) and outdoors (1:42.34), has an indoor 400m PB of 46.91.

“I’m really excited about running the 400m at Millrose,” said Brazier, whose 2021 season was hampered by injury. “I look forward to the challenge, and it is also part of our plan for continued improvement in the 800m.”

Brazier will face a stiff challenge in the form of Jamaica’s Olympic finalist Christopher Taylor, 2015 world 4x400m champion Vernon Norwood and triple Paralympic medalist Hunter Woodhall.

Other top athletes so far announced for the Millrose Games include Olympic shot put champion Ryan Crouser, world shot put champion Joe Kovacs, Olympic 800m champion Athing Mu, Olympic pole vault champion Katie Nageotte, world indoor pole vault champion Sandi Morris, world 100m hurdles record-holder Kendra Harrison, 2016 world indoor 60m champion Trayvon Bromell, Olympic 200m bronze medalist Gabby Thomas, and Olympic 1500m bronze medalist Josh Kerr.

(01/19/2022) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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Olympic 1500m silver medalist Laura Muir is set to attack world 1000m record in Birmingham

Next month’s Müller Indoor Grand Prix will see the Olympic 1500m silver medalist target the long-standing global mark of 2:30.94 held by Maria Mutola

Laura Muir will attempt to break the 1000m world indoor record at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham on Saturday February 19

Muir holds the European indoor 1000m record after having clocked 2:31.93 in Birmingham in 2017, whereas the world record is held by Maria Mutola, the Olympic 800m champion in Sydney 2000, who ran 2:30.94 in Stockholm in 1999.

With a packed athletics calendar over the next 12 months featuring two global championships – in addition to the European Championships and Commonwealth Games – Scotland’s Muir, a multiple European indoor champion, is determined to get her year off to a strong start at the Birmingham meeting, which takes place in exactly one month’s time and which forms part of the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold series.

“I’m currently out in South Africa continuing my preparations for the 2022 season, so it will be exciting to get a chance to race indoors and I’m looking forward to testing myself over 1000m at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham,” said the 28-year-old, who also holds the European indoor record over 3000m.

“I had an incredible year in 2021 and it was fun to finish it off by racing in Scotland over cross country, but it’s time to get back to running fast times on the track. Birmingham holds many fond memories for me winning two medals at the World Indoor Championships and breaking a number of national records.

“I ran the British and European record of 2:31.93 on this track in 2017 which made me the second fastest of all time over the distance, so I would love to try and go one better and break the world indoor record.

“It won’t be an easy record to break – it has stood since 1999 – but the track is fast and the crowd in Birmingham are great, so hopefully I can run it close.”

The Müller Indoor Grand Prix is the fifth meeting of the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Tour (Gold). There are seven ‘Gold’ level meetings across the series, starting with Karlsruhe on January 28 and culminating in Madrid on March 2.

Throughout the series, each athlete’s best three results will count towards their overall points score. The athlete with the most points in each scoring discipline at the end of the tour will be declared the winner and will be awarded a USD$10,000 bonus along with a wild card entry for the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade in March.

In addition to Muir, athletes set to compete in Birmingham include pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis, 800m star Keely Hodgkinson and sprint hurdlers Andy Pozzi and Grant Holloway.

(01/19/2022) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Muller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham

Muller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham

The Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham is one of the leading indoor meetings in the world with world-class athletics as part of the World Indoor Tour Gold series. The event will be staged at its traditional home at Utilita Arena Birmingham setting the tone for what is set to be an incredible year of track & field. ...

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Add some watermelon to your beets for a boost in performance, a new research shows the combination of beetroot extract and citrulline can improve your endurance and strength

Over the last decade, beets have become popular among distance runners, not for their earthy aroma or bright purple hue, but for their 100 per cent legal performance-enhancing properties. If you’re among the beet-eaters, you can get even more bang for your buck. New research shows that by combining beets with a source of citrulline, such as watermelon, you can improve your running performance even further.

Beets and performance

Beets rose in popularity several years ago because they contain inorganic nitrate, which is converted to nitrite and then into nitric oxide. This increases blood flow to the muscles and improves aerobic energy utilization, which allows you to run harder for longer.

Citrulline and performance

Studies have shown that citrulline, which is found in watermelon, squash, nuts, chickpeas and gourds, can decrease fatigue during exercise and decrease muscle soreness, which allows you to perform more work before getting tired.

Beets and citrulline: the study

In previous studies, consuming citrulline appears to improve the rate of nitric oxide production in your body, but the research has been minimal. The goal of this most recent study, which was published in the journal Nutrients, was to determine how citrulline plus beetroot extract supplementation affected the performance of endurance athletes.

To do this, the researchers split a group of male triathletes into four different groups: a placebo group, a citrulline plus beetroot group, a citrulline-only group and a beetroot-only group. The supplementation protocol lasted nine weeks, before and after which the athletes performed several physical condition tests to determine their strength, power and endurance.

The researchers found that the combination of citrulline and beetroot extract improved participants’ VO2 max and endurance strength, and compared with citrulline or beetroot supplementation alone, “this combination improved performance in tests related to aerobic power.”

This research is still new and more study needs to be done, but for now, if you’re looking for a boost in performance, the citrulline and beetroot combo seems to be effective. It’s also legal and doesn’t appear to have any significant side effects, but remember to speak with a dietitian or sports doctor before adding any supplement into your daily routine to ensure that you’re taking it correctly.

(01/19/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Peter Mwaniki sets new record at the KATA 10k Time Trial monthly series in Thika Kenya

The 5th Kenya Athletics Training Academy (KATA) 10k Time-Trial took place on Wednesday morning (Jan 19) with Peter Mwaniki (first photo) and Solomon Gachoka (third photo) ruling the event.

The monthly event, held on the same course as December, witnessed Peter set a new course record clocking 29:40 bettering Solomon’s 29:44 time set at the 4th event December 19.  

This was also an improvement for Peter from his December’s 32:00 that he did after competing in Europe for three months.

It was also a good day for Zakariah Kirika and Eston Mugo who finished 4th and 8th after the duo attained their Personal Best times over the distance.  

Zakariah clocked 30:41.94 compared with his December’s 31:27.60 while Eston managed 31:28.14 from his previous 32:32.26. Also Alfred Kamande improved on his PB of 35:44.47 to record 35:16.47. Elvis Kuria also ran well clocking his best time of 36:19.19 where he had 41:06.06 previously.

"I am glad to see our KATA athletes (both those living at our Academy and those living nearby) improving," says director Bob Anderson.  "Our training program is working with two runners under 30 already and sub 29 not far off.  Congrats to Peter for setting our KATA Time Trial record and to all the others who set PB today."

In the less competitive ladies category, in the absence of December winner Lucy Mawia, Catherine Njihia retained the title in 36:54.04 after her opponents Susan Wambua, Risper Kawira and Margaret Wanjiru arrived late for trial.

The 6th edition of the KATA 10k Time Trial, will take place on Wednesday 16th February 2022.  Athletes not currently training at KATA are welcome.  There is no entry fee, no prize money but this program gives athletes an official time, run on an accurate course and the results published by My Best Runs, the sponsor. 

 

     5th KATA Time-Trial January 19th 2022

       Full Rests

  Position     Names           Age      Time

1. Peter Mwangi-------23------29:40.7

2. Solomon Gachoka—31-----29:52.3

3. Elisha Tarbey ----------27---- 30:34.3

4. Zakariah Kirika--------20-----30:42.0

5. Joel Maina-------------36-----31:07.3

6. Peter Mburu----------26-----31:23.7

7. Eston Mugo-----------29-----31:28.2

8. Erick Mutuku---------19-----31:49.1

9. Isaac Nderitu---------30-----32:11.9

10. Erick Cheruiyot------ 26 ----32:27.8

11. Fredrick Kiprotich---23----32:37.9

12. Robinson Mwaura---29----34:20.0

13. Geoffrey Mwangi----40----34:20.7

14. Paul Ng’ang’a---------42----34:32.0

15. Alfred Kamande----- 24----35:16.5

16. Collins Kemboi-------23-----35:19.4

17. Elvis Kuria-------------20-----36:19.2

18. Simpson Njoroge--- 38       36:53.5

19. Catherine Njihia-----22-----36:54.1

20. Raphael Gacheru ---22    --37:56.7

(01/19/2022) ⚡AMP
by Coach Joseph Ngure
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KATA Time Trial Series

KATA Time Trial Series

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. For...

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TCS becomes new title sponsor of Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Canada Running Series (CRS) has announced on Tuesday morning that Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will take over from Scotiabank to become the new title sponsor and technology partner of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon until 2026.

The TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon will join other world-class marathons like New York City and London to carry the TCS sponsorship.

“The first year of our sponsorship will be all about discovery,” says Haley Price, Head of Sports Sponsorships at TCS. “We love that this race is engraved into Toronto and that the race starts just steps from our Toronto office.”

TCS aims to grow marathon running in Canada through a new official Toronto Waterfront Marathon race app, which will offer a carbon footprint calculator for attendees to track and offset their impact on the environment when attending the race. “Innovation has been at the forefront of everything,” says Charlotte Brookes, National Event Director at CRS. “We’ve always been striving to take our race to that higher level.”

The goal for CRS and TCS is ‘Evergreen’ certification from the Council for Responsible Sport, which recognizes sustainable sporting events globally. CRS and TCS plan to work with two Canadian charities – Trans-Canada Trail and Trees for Life, to improve green space in the city of Toronto. Runners will have the opportunity to donate money toward both charities during registration or via the race app.

Registration for the in-person 2022 TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon opens on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

(01/19/2022) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Ethiopia's Selemon Barega returns to Lievin with world record target

Organizers have announced that Ethiopia's Selemon Barega is to return to the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais – a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting – in Lievin on 17 February, to tackle the world indoor 3000m record.

The world indoor silver medalist moved to third on the world indoor all-time list with his performance in Lievin last year, the 21-year-old clocking 7:26.10 to finish second behind his compatriot Getnet Wale who ran 7:24.98 to just miss Daniel Komen’s long-standing world record of 7:24.90.

Barega went on to win over 1500m at World Indoor Tour meetings in Torun, where he set an indoor PB of 3:32.97, and Madrid, before becoming the Olympic 10,000m champion in Tokyo.

Barega has also been announced for the Copernicus Cup in Torun on 22 February, where he is set to be joined by Wale and Lamecha Girma, who finished third behind his compatriots in Lievin last year, clocking 7:27.98. Before that race, just six men had bettered 7:30 for 3000m indoors. Now the figure stands at 10, with the fourth-place finisher in Lievin last year, Berihu Aregawi, also dipping under the mark with 7:29.24.

Also among those returning to Lievin is Gudaf Tsegay, who broke the world indoor 1500m record last year and this time races the mile.

Other athletes announced for the meeting include world indoor 60m hurdles record-holder Grant Holloway, Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs and Olympic 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen.

(01/18/2022) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Kenyan star Hellen Obiri to race at Northern Ireland International Cross Country

Kenya's world champion Hellen Obiri will compete in Saturday's Northern Ireland International Cross Country event in Dundonald.

The 32-year-old's entry is a big boost for the meeting which will take place at the Billy Neill Country Park.

Obiri won the World Cross Country title when that event was last held in 2019.

She also won 5,000m gold at the past two World Championships and took silver over the distance at the Tokyo Olympics behind Dutch star Sifan Hassan.

Obiri's performance in Tokyo matched her silver medal at the Rio Games in 2016 and her last run in the UK saw her winning the Great North Run in September.

"While the International Cross Country here has always attracted classy athletes from abroad it is particularly gratifying that we have got the services of such a star athlete as Hellen Obiri especially given the ongoing difficulties created by Covid concerning international travel," said meeting organizer John Allen.

"With her win in the last World Cross, Hellen has shown that she has the versatility to beat the best in the world over either track or cross country."

Star performers who have competed at the Northern Ireland event since it began in 1977 include Steve Ovett, John Treacy, Million Wolde, Ismael Kirui, Paula Radcliffe and Catherina McKiernan.

(01/18/2022) ⚡AMP
by BBC sports
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Should you train at current pace or goal pace?

If you want to run a sub-20 minute 5K, but your current PB is 22:00, should you train at sub-20 pace, or at the pace you know you’re currently capable of running? A lot of runners might think it makes more sense to run at your goal pace in training in a pseudo-fake-it-til-you-make-it strategy, but this is often not the right choice. Yes, you should try to hit your goal pace sometimes, but more often than not, training at your current pace and progressing from there is a better way to get you to your goals.

Why should you train at your current pace?

If you’re trying to run at speeds that are much faster than what you’re currently capable of, you’re likely going to miss the physiological purpose behind each workout. For example, a tempo run, which should be run at around your anaerobic threshold to elicit the desired effect, loses its purpose if you’re running at your would-be tempo pace for your future goal pace. You are better off training the specific physiological factors that will help you get faster (like your VO2 max or lactate threshold) than targeting a hypothetical goal pace.

By doing all your workouts at your future goal pace, you also run the risk of over-training. Trying to run paces that are far beyond your current capabilities during workouts will only serve to run you into the ground and cause your performance to stagnate or even decrease, rather than improve.

Finally, attempting to run every workout at your future goal pace might destroy your confidence if you’re not able to hit that pace for your entire workout. This could make you feel like you’re failing, which will also take a lot of the enjoyment out of running and training.

Is there ever a good time to train at goal pace?

This doesn’t mean you should never train at your goal pace, but as coach and exercise physiologist Dr. Jason Karp says, you should do so sparingly, and only when your goal is realistic. In training, that may look like only one or two workouts at that pace throughout your training cycle, or adding a few goal pace strides at the end of a run or workout.

It’s important for all runners to remember you can’t force your way to faster times, nor can you rush yourself into fitness. By focusing on proper training, putting in consistent work and staying patient, you will see your times start to come down.

(01/18/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Canadian Ben Flanagan signs with On, this is the second professional contract of his career

Just one day before toeing the line at the Chevron Houston Half-Marathon, Ben Flanagan announced he had signed with On Running in the second pro contract of his career. The Canadian 10K champion has been with Reebok since 2018 after finishing his collegiate career at the University of Michigan.

In his time with Reebok, the 27-year-old from Kitchener, Ont. has seen a fair amount of success. In 2021 he dominated the roads, winning his second Falmouth Road Race, covering the 11.2-kilometer course in 32:16 in August.

He followed that performance up with a win at the Canadian 10K championships in Toronto in October, running 28:42 for his first-ever appearance at a road 10K. One month later, he won Connecticut’s Manchester Road Race, completing the unique 7.6-kilometer distance in 21:22.

He kicked off 2022 with his first race as an On athlete at the Chevron Houston Half-Marathon, where he was just 10 seconds off Jeff Schiebler’s former 23-year-old Canadian half-marathon record of 61:28. His compatriot, Rory Linkletter, beat the record, running 61:08 for eighth place.

In an interview with Canadian Running ahead of Sunday’s half-marathon, Flanagan said he was planning on running a few 5,000m and 10,000m races this spring to secure a spot on Team Canada at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Ore., but may be turning his attention to the marathon next year. “Stepping up to the marathon this year might be a stretch, but I want to give myself a chance to qualify for Paris,” he said.

Flanagan has given Canadian fans a lot to watch in the last year, and with his new contract signed, we hope to see him continue to dominate the roads into 2022.

(01/18/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Best Simple Ways to Make Running Feel Easier

Let’s be honest, running isn’t known for being easy. Even professional athletes who run for a living admit that yeah, sometimes it can be really hard. Of course, the more you do it and the more conditioned your body becomes, the easier running feels. But no two runs are ever the same, and some days, it can be really tough to get through a few miles.

The good news? There are things you can do—other than just calling it a day and texting a friend to meet for happy hour (though we definitely recommend doing that after your run, because, balance)—to make it easier on yourself.

Next time you're about to lace up, try these expert-approved tricks for before and during your run to make it feel a little bit easier.

1. Use your core.

Making a few small tweaks to your running form can make things feel easier, Corrine Fitzgerald, coach at Mile High Run Club in New York City, tells SELF. "Focusing on running tall, being light on your feet, relaxing, and finding your rhythm will help," she says. Also, engage your core. "If your chest is going side to side, your energy is going that way. Pulling the core in and minimizing any side-to-side movement will keep all the energy moving forward," she explains.

2. Set mini distance goals.

If a set mileage or time goal feels daunting, set mini goals throughout your run. “There are so many different variations you can do. You can go by time, distance, or as you’re running you can say, ‘I’ll run to that building and then walk,’” Katie Bottini, a NASM-certified physical trainer and running and triathlon coach, tells SELF. You’ll feel a renewed sense of accomplishment each time you hit one.

3. Try a new route.

Sometimes running feels hard because you've fallen into a routine and it's become boring. "Find a different way or go on new roads that are more visually stimulating," Bottini suggests. "It may go by a little faster if you’re running and seeing new spots."

4. Warm up.

This sounds so simple, but it's surprising how many runners skip the warm-up because they think they don't need it. "To make a run feel easier, every runner should start with a 5- to 15-minute dynamic warm-up,” says Fitzgerald. “Getting your blood pumping, loosening up your muscles and heating up your core will make the first few miles easier on your body and also reduce the risk for injury.” A dynamic warm-up includes movements such as high-knee marches that stretch your muscles as you move. And don’t forget to cool down after, too!

5. Be flexible.

Sometimes, you go out planning to run 6 miles and end up really only feeling like you can do 4. That’s OK. “You need to be flexible in races and in your workouts,” Skechers Performance athlete Meb Keflezighi tells SELF. If you force yourself to get the mileage in, then it just becomes a chore. “I try to have fun as much as I can with it and try to be flexible once I get out the door and start running. Whether it’s a short or long run, focus on the exhilaration and excitement that you did it,” he adds.

6. Drink coffee.

“Caffeine can give you an energy boost and make your perceived effort go down,” ASICS elite athlete Sara Hall tells SELF. Research has shown that coffee can improve sprint performance and can also improve endurance because it delays the onset of muscle fatigue and central nervous system fatigue. Sip on a cup an hour to 30 minutes before your run so that the effects are in full force by the time you hit the pavement.

7. Breathe.

Of course you’re breathing. But Hall says that when a run starts to feel really tough, she likes to take “deep, cleansing breaths, to become more controlled.” Sometimes simply controlling your breath can make running easier.

8. Think about how cool it is that you can do this.

“Think about the people less fortunate than you who aren’t able to physically do what you can do,” Keflezighi says. A trainer I know ends every class by saying, “Take a moment to be thankful and grateful for the ability to move your body as you did today, because it is a gift.” I think about that when I’m running, and it always puts some extra pep in my step.

9. Slow down.

If you come out of the gates at full speed, it's going to be really hard to maintain. "Slowing down and adjusting your pace as you go is part of the art of running—you have to learn to listen to your body," Hall says. There's nothing wrong with slowing down when you need to and running at a pace that's comfortable. Over time, your comfortable pace will get faster.

10. Keep chafe in check.

“There's nothing worse than running with uncomfortable clothes,” Fitzgerald says. “The dreaded chafing can occur from having clothes loose in a certain area. When we're uncomfortable, we make adjustments to prevent that painful feeling. This is compensation, and can result in you running differently, with bad form.” Ditch clothes that rub or squeeze too tightly. You can also carry an anti-chafe stick (like Body Glide) or a small tube of Aquaphor.

11. Switch to strength.

If you're really not feeling a run, mix it up by adding some strength intervals throughout. "Run five minutes and then stop and do squats and push-ups," Bottini suggests. "Or even, if you're running at a track, run the stadium stairs. Not that it will make running easier, but it makes the run more fun." Running up and down stairs might not be your idea of fun, but it'll break up the monotony if that's what you need.

12. Think about literally anything else.

"Running is great because you can think about whatever serves you in the moment," Deena Kastor, ASICS elite athlete and American record holder in the marathon and half marathon, tells SELF. "Sometimes it’s my to-do list, other times I’m focused on my upcoming race goal or what craft I’ll do with my daughter when she comes home from school." Focus on whatever occupies your mind, but just make sure it's positive so you don't ruin your momentum.

If you’re having a tough time keeping your head in the game, think about why you’re running. What are your goals? Is it race related? Is it health related? Are you trying to PR, or just finish the race? “Whatever that goal is, keep it in mind throughout the run to stay present," Fitzgerald says. "For example, if you are training for a race, visualize yourself succeeding in that race. If you run for fun, then just get lost in your run and have fun with it. Enjoy the process and the journey of becoming and staying a healthy, strong runner."

(01/17/2022) ⚡AMP
by Amy Marturana Winderl, C.P.T.
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How to train for your first 5K, there's no time like the present to get started

If you’re just getting into running, completing your first 5K might seem a bit scary or intimidating, especially if you haven’t run since your teacher made you do laps during high school gym. The good news is, if you stay consistent with your running schedule, you can be ready to tackle your first 5K in a matter of weeks. Not sure how to get started? Allow us to help out.

How long does it take to train for a 5K?

The answer to this depends on your fitness level going into it. If you’re relatively fit from playing other sports already, you can be ready to line up at your first 5K in as little as four to six weeks. If, on the other hand, you’ve been relatively sedentary up until now, you may want to give yourself more time to work up to it. Some beginners prefer to give themselves eight to 10 weeks to get ready.

Rushing yourself into fitness is never a good idea because it puts you at high risk for injuries or burnout, but keep in mind that giving yourself a timeline that’s too long makes it easier to lose motivation and stop training. Try to find a balance that works for you.

How often do you need to run?

Most learn-to-run 5K plans will suggest running three days per week. This is a good goal to shoot for since it allows plenty of time to recover between runs while still getting you out there often enough to see results. If three times per week seems overwhelming, aim for at least twice each week. At this frequency, it may take you longer to be ready for your 5K, but if it feels more sustainable to you at the beginning, it’ll be worth it in the long run.

What you don’t want to do is try to run every single day. For most people, this is too much on your body right away and you’ll put yourself at risk for injuries, and while you may feel super motivated to run every day when you first start out, a schedule like that may not be sustainable in the long-run.

What’s the best way to get started?

The good news is, you don’t have to step out your door and try to get through five kilometres right away. By starting with a walk/run program, you can ease yourself into running without overdoing it. In the beginning, try running for 30 seconds to one minute, with double the amount of rest (so if you run for one minute, walk two minutes and repeat). If double rest isn’t enough, try walking until you’ve caught your breath, and go again. Follow this walk/run pattern for 30 minutes, and every week try to increase the amount you’re running, while slowly decreasing the amount you’re walking. Before you know it, you’ll be running for the full 30 minutes, and you’ll be ready for your first 5K!

If you’re starting a running program when you’ve previously been sedentary, even a walk/run program might be too much, and that’s OK. Start by going out for walks, and once you’re able to comfortably walk for 20 minutes, then begin adding a bit of running into the mix. As we said, there’s no benefit to rushing yourself into fitness, and if you start from where you’re at and work with what you’ve got, you’ll end up being more successful in the long run.

Choose a carrot

A good way to help yourself to stay motivated is to pinpoint exactly when and where you’re going to run your first 5K. Signing up for a local road race is a fun way to encourage you to get out the door every week, but if that sounds too intimidating to you, there are other ways to go about it. Instead, pick a date on your calendar when you’re going to do your own 5K. Make sure you tell a couple of friends or family members so they can help you stay accountable, choose a route and plan to do something fun afterward to make it feel like the real deal, without the nerves or pressure of a crowd.

Do you need anything to get started?

The great thing about running is that it requires very little equipment. While you could run in whatever sneakers you’ve been using for the last few years, you’re better off getting yourself a pair of comfortable, well-fitting shoes that are designed specifically for running. Check out your local running store where staff can help you pick the right shoe, and before you go, check out this guide. They will also be able to give you guidance on clothing, in case your old gym shorts aren’t cutting it.

(01/17/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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2022 Marugame Half Marathon Cancelled

The city of Marugame in Kagawa has announced that February's Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon has been postponed for one year. Mayor Kyoji Matsunaga explained the decision, saying, "Due to the rapid rise in coronavirus infections since the beginning of the year, we made the decision to postpone the race a year."

The Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon had been scheduled for Feb. 6. Every year it has welcomed 10,000 runners from over 20 countries, but due to the coronavirus pandemic the 2021 was postponed a year to 2022.

Around 8,000 people from across the country had entered the 2022 race, but in light of the explosion in new coronavirus cases they now find themselves in the situation of having the race postponed another year. The 2023 edition is scheduled for Feb. 5.

(01/17/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

The Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon is an annual road running competition which takes place in early February in Marugame, Japan. It currently holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and the professional races attract over 1000 entries each year, and hosted by the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Okayama Broadcasting, BS Fuji. The race in Marugame was first held in 1947...

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Rory Linkletter breaks the Canadian half-marathon record at Houston, Linkletter ran 1:01:08 for eighth place

The Houston Half-Marathon took place Sunday morning as part of the Houston Marathon weekend, and Rory Linkletter lowered Jeff Schiebler’s 23-year-old Canadian half-marathon record of 61:28, crossing the finish line in 61:08 for eighth place. His compatriot, Ben Flanagan, was only half a minute behind him, finishing 12th in 61:38.

Going into the race, both athletes had their eyes on Schiebler’s record, which hasn’t been touched in more than two decades. Linkletter recently left the NAZ Elite track club to train with American Marathon record-holder, Ryan Hall, citing stagnation in training as his reason for making the change. His decision seems to have paid off, and he ran a huge PB Sunday morning to become the new Canadian record-holder. The 25-year-old’s previous record of 61:44 was also run on the Houston course just last year.

Linkletter has enjoyed plenty of success lately, and his most recent result was a second-place finish at the California International Marathon in a new personal best time of 2:12:52.

Flanagan was also on the hunt for the Canadian record this Sunday, and came agonizingly close, running just 10 seconds behind Schiebler’s time. The 27-year-old has also had a lot of success recently, winning the Canadian 10K championships in Toronto in October and taking the title in the Manchester Road Race in November. “I am looking forward to competing,” he told Canadian Running ahead of the race. “The plan is to run conservatively to tackle the Canadian record. It’s engraved in my head.”

While he didn’t achieve his goal, Flanagan ran a very strong race and we will have plenty more opportunities to watch Flanagan on the roads. He will be running a few 5,000m and 10,000m races this spring to secure a spot on Team Canada at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Ore., but tells us that he will be stepping up to the marathon in hopes of qualifying for the Paris 2022 Olympics.

Ethiopia’s Milkesa Tolosa won the race in 1:00:24, followed by Kenya’s John Korir in second in 1:00:27 and Wilfred Kimitei of the U.K. in third in 1:00:44.

(01/17/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. After 30 years of marathon-only competition, Houston added the half-marathon in 2002, with El Paso Energy as the sponsor. Today the...

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New women American Marathon and Half Marathon records set in Houston

Keira D'Amato just broke the American marathon record after running 2:19:12 at the Houston Marathon today.

Keira D’Amato, a 37-year-old who quit running competitively soon after college, then returned eight years later as a mother of two, broke the American record in the women’s marathon on Sunday.

D’Amato won the Houston Marathon in 2:19:12, taking 24 seconds off Deena Kastor‘s record from the 2006 London Marathon.

D’Amato competed collegiately for American University, then gave up middle-distance running in 2009.

She worked in real estate, got married and had two kids. She started running again to lose baby weight, setting a goal to sign up for a marathon.

D’Amato made it to the 2017 Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, hoping to break three hours, and clocked 3:14:54 in sleet, wind and hail. She kept running and lowered her best time over the next three years.

She was 15th at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials, then on Dec. 20, 2020, ran 2:22:56 at the Marathon Project in Arizona to become the eighth-fastest American woman in history.

Now she’s tied as the 22nd-fastest woman in history counting all courses, according to World Athletics.

Also in Houston on Sunday, Sara Hall, a 38-year-old mom, broke the American record in the half marathon, clocking 1:07:15, taking 10 seconds off Molly Huddle‘s record from four years ago.

Additionally, Outstanding marathon debut by @LukeACaldwell today with his 2:11:33 run for 7th place at #houstonmarathon - the fastest marathon debut by a Scot, bettering @callhawk 2:12:17 at Frankfurt in 2015. 

(01/16/2022) ⚡AMP
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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How You Can Focus on Small Targets to Hit Big Goals This Year

To reach your ultimate goal, commit to the little things along the way that will help you achieve it.

For years, I yo-yoed between 3:36 and 3:56 in the marathon but couldn’t seem to reach the next level. Now, with education, experience, and an understanding of how to improve my running, I know why I hit a personal plateau. 

Over time I’ve learned that the first step to becoming a better runner is to take a moment to identify what’s stopping the progress. Where does the bottleneck lie? After identifying it, set small, measurable goals to address that roadblock in performance and move around it. For me, I’ve found I need to improve mechanics, create better fueling strategies, and develop my mindset so that I fully believe in myself and my speed. The things holding you back might look slightly different, but I can tell you that the sooner you set and achieve smaller goals like these, the sooner you will reach the bigger ones. 

While a solid training plan will lead you to your ultimate goal, small targets outside of checking the boxes on a plan will also bring big successes on and off the road. Here are a few to tackle.

Focus on weekly mileage

Executing a training plan from start to finish takes discipline, hard work, and sacrifice, but what about during the offseason, when you don’t have to prep for a race?

Getting into a consistent rhythm all year round will not only improve your performance, but also lead to better overall habits, more mental focus, and a stronger running economy. Your volume will increase during training cycles—you don’t always need to be in peak racing condition, but it’ll feel great to start a new training block already in shape.

To accomplish this goal, set a target number of miles for the week that makes sense for your current fitness. (Remember, you still need rest days—or at least periods of low intensity if you’re doing a run streak.) Then write that number down, put it on the fridge, set a target goal on Strava, and ask your running buddy to help hold you accountable. 

Chase a strength gain

There is nothing more satisfying than newbie gains in the gym, whether you’re mastering a chin-up or a nailing a kettlebell snatch. 

I often get pushback from runners about strength training. I’m not saying you need to do a 500-pound deadlift if your goal is to run a sub-five-minute mile (although both have been done!). You can start with bodyweight exercises and progress to using a barbell. But if learning new skills in the gym isn’t your thing, getting stronger and staying injury-free should still be your top fitness priorities. Also, if one of your bottlenecks to reaching the next level is battling injuries constantly, it’s time to start strength training.

I went from having zero strength-training skills to back-squatting one and a half times my body weight, doing 10 unassisted pull-ups, and properly deadlifting. From my experience, there’s no better time than the off-season to become more capable in the gym so you can translate that power, strength, and resilience into your running. 

Run faster, but shorter

The best way to get faster is to practice running fast. But how do you do that? To enhance your speed, work on your mechanics and regularly implement drills, strides, and mobility in your training. Do drills like skips, leg swings, and butt kicks two or three times a week after easy runs. Then do a set of four to six strides (short bursts of fast efforts) to home in on the running mechanics that make fast happen.

Now, here’s the mini goal I want you to conquer to get faster overall: Run a much shorter distance. Are you a marathon runner? Set a goal to PR a 5K. Do you love the 5K or 10K? Chase a PR in the mile. This shorter distance will challenge you mentally and physically and also get you strong and fast to assist with the bigger goal. Plus, it’s just fun. 

The thing about a big goal is that there is always a bigger, scarier goal behind it. My dream of breaking 3:30 has morphed into breaking 3:00. But the small goals I must hit in order to execute that are what need my full attention right now—and that’s what will get me to that new PR later. 

(01/16/2022) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Road to Oregon’ qualification tracking tool goes live

World Athletics has launched 'Road to Oregon', an online tool to help athletes, fans and media track the qualification process for the World Athletics Championships Oregon22.

Searchable by event, country and qualification status, the tool provides a real-time view of each event over the course of the qualification period, which ends on 26 June 2022 (29 May 2022 for the marathon and 35km race walk). The World Championships will be held from 15-24 July 2022.

Athletes are able to qualify through one of four ways: by achieving an entry standard, by virtue of their placing at area championships or Platinum Label marathons (considered as having achieved the entry standard), by wild card entry or by world rankings position.

At the end of the qualification period, based on target numbers for each event, World Athletics will determine the number of athletes with an entry standard, eligible wild cards, and universality places. Any remaining places within an event’s target number will then be allocated to athletes based on their world rankings position to complete the field in that specific event.

Should the target number of athletes in any event be reached, or surpassed, through entry standards, wild cards and universality places, no other athletes would qualify by virtue of their world rankings position.

The Road to Oregon tool is only intended to give an overview of which athletes are in a qualifying position; it doesn’t, and will not, indicate which athletes have been selected by their member federation. Final entries will be published nearer to the time of the championships.

The tool also covers the qualification status for the five relay disciplines, though these are not dependent on entry standards or world rankings.

(01/16/2022) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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What it takes to become a Kenyan distance champion

For several generations now, Kenya has produced many of the world’s greatest distance runners.

Many athletes from elsewhere in the world, meanwhile, have tried to tap into the secrets of Kenya’s success as they try to play catch-up – quite literally – with the east African nation that continues to churn out global medallists and world record-breakers.

The truth is, there is no one single reason why Kenya is so dominant in distance events. It’s more down to a combination of factors, many of which were explained during a recent trip to the NN Running training camp in Kaptagat, about 24km east of Eldoret, where the likes of Eliud Kipchoge trains for 11 months of the year.

A way of life

There are few countries where people live and breathe athletics, and where the No.1 Olympic sport can claim to be more popular than football, filling entire stadiums even for age-group championships.

And while Kenya isn’t the only country in the world where kids run long distances to get to school, running has a whole different meaning to many people in the country.

Running is something that comes naturally to us as it’s something that has been part of our lifestyle since we were born,” says three-time world half marathon champion and two-time New York City Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor. “As a kid, I used to run from home to my school three kilometres away back and forth each day, so you end up running sometimes 12 kilometres a day as a teen without even realising it.”

Beyond being a means to an end, there is also a genuine love for running among the Kenyan population.

“As a kid, I would always go and watch athletics competitions when not at school and I enjoyed watching people competing,” added Kamworor. “It awoke my passion for running, especially seeing people cross the finish line and winning a trophy. In high school, it was always a fun and proud moment to represent your class and win a cup. I found it very encouraging.”

Having running embedded into day-to-day life sets Kenya apart from many other nations. But it’s just one of the many reasons why it is known as being the ‘home of the champions’.

Genetics

Simply running to school each day doesn’t automatically turn everyone into a world-class athlete. Genetics, as it does for every elite athlete, likely play a significant part.

Many people in the Rift Valley, where most of Kenya’s top distance runners originate, belong to the Kalenjin tribe. When compared to other Kenyan tribes, Kalenjin people are often described as having good natural running attributes: namely lean bodies and long legs.

Kipchoge, for example, isn’t particularly tall (1.67m / 5ft 6in), but the muscles on his legs are incredibly lean, his body fat percentage is low, and the strength in his feet make it appear as though he bounces along the grass.

But attributing all of Kenya’s success to just their genetics would be a gross over-simplification.

Conditions

Another element that helps Kenyan athletes in their training and preparation is the unique climate and surroundings in this part of the country. It also probably explains why there are so many training camps between Kaptagat and Iten, and why some people refer to it as the ‘Hollywood of elite runners’.

This region is located at 2500 metres above sea level, which, given the lack of oxygen, helps athletes produce a higher concentration of red blood cells and haemoglobin when training. This, in turn, gives runners an advantage when they return to lower altitudes to race.

The Eldoret region is also full of endless forests and dirt roads for athletes to use when running, while the area also enjoys a temperate climate with daytime temperatures ranging between 22-26C (68-78F) throughout the year, dropping to 10-12C (50-53F) at night time. That, combined with the good air quality, makes the area something of a distance-running paradise.

But as Kenya’s economy continues to develop, so do the local villages and the wider region, meaning many of the local dirt paths are now being made into proper roads – which is great for facilitating transport and access from other points of the country, but less so for athletes seeking a run-friendly surface.

Athletes are adapting well to this evolving environment, though, while remaining in close contact with nature. The Kalenjin community, Kipchogeand Kamworor  included, are running many tree-planting initiatives. “We evolve in a very natural environment which is a great advantage when it comes to training,” says Kamworor.

Patrick Sang, the 1992 Olympic silver steeplechase medallist and head coach at the Kaptagat training camp, explains how the new generation of running shoes can help counter the effects of running on harder roads.

“New running shoes help a lot because athletes can now do a lot more training on a hard surface and still recover on time to do their next hard session,” says Sang. “Overall, you can get more work done to help improve performance.”

Sleep, eat, train, repeat

Most world-class athletes are fully committed to their sport, but the elite runners at the Kaptagat training camp in particular take dedication to a whole new level.

Many of these athletes – including young mothers such as two-time Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon – have children who are at home during the week so that they can entirely focus on their training at the camp.

“Of course, it’s very hard but that’s the only way to be fully dedicated to being the best athlete you can and avoid any distraction,” said Kipyegon.

When not running, athletes at the Kaptagat training camp are focused entirely on other elements of their training, namely recovery and nutrition.

“When you are at the camp, your sole focus is on running and you are not distracted by anything else,” says Kamworor, father to five children, including young triplets. “You are away from your family, your wife and your kids during the whole week, and that makes you take your training very seriously as you are making sacrifices to achieve your goals. That’s the only way to be focused 100% on running and to give your very best.”

As in any walk of life, hard work and having the right mind-set are key to success. Kipchoge might be the most successful athlete at the camp, but Sang says that’s not just down to his talent. “Eliud isn’t the most gifted athlete within his training group but certainly the most dedicated,” Sang says of Kipchoge, who is always the first one ready for training and the last one to leave.

In an average week, athletes at the Kaptagat camp do one long run of 30km (once a month it will be 40km), which usually takes place early on a Thursday morning. Typical track sessions, meanwhile, would be something like 8x1600m (each rep completed in 4:40) and 8x400m (at an average of 65 seconds) on their local 380m cinder track.

“Have you seen him?” Sang says when watching Kipchoge train. “This guy is a machine.”

Athletes are religious in their approach to punctuality and producing their best effort in training. And other local athletes from outside the NN Running team are welcome to join in the sessions, provided they arrive on time. After all, no one wants to be playing catch-up with the likes of Kipchoge and Kamworor.

Community

The Kaptagat training camp is run entirely by the 25 athletes who live there for 11 months a year from Monday to Saturday morning before going back to spend quality time with their family, often in the big city of Eldoret. In and around the 12 training runs they do in a typical week, the resident athletes to everything at the camp.

“If you look at life at the camp, the one making bread is an athlete, the cleaning is done by the athletes, the one doing shopping for the camp is an athlete,” says Sang. “You don’t want athletes to live on another island.

“The whole idea is to make sure these athletes become well-rounded people. You wouldn’t want to help someone become a great athlete who lacks social skills or is out of touch with society.”

Kipchoge, whose wife and three children live just 45 minutes away from the training camp, could easily go and spend time with his family during his time off, but instead he chooses to stay at the camp with the rest of the group, monastically isolated from the rest of the world.

Kipchoge is rarely bored, too. When he’s not training or resting, he will be reading or working at the camp or reading.

The sense of community extends to caring about the environment. Every athlete at the camp gets a tree planted at the entrance as a welcome gesture and to symbolise their connection to nature. Some special guests to the camp – including Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie – have also had a tree planted for them in Kaptagat.

Occasionally, athletes at the camp will give each other lessons, or they will engage in real debates around serious issues, helping them develop holistically as people.

Simplicity

Far away from the latest technological innovations you often hear about in other parts of the world, daily life at the camp is basic.

Upon entering the gates at the Kaptagat training camp, the 380m cinder track is located on the left. It has a slight incline on the first bend and a couple of cows as spectators, but it meets all their needs.

“A synthetic track isn’t needed for what we do and the way we train,” says Marc Roig, a former international runner from Spain, who now works as a jack of all trades for NN Running, acting as a fitness coach, physio, runner, mentor and pacemaker. “If our athletes need a synthetic track, they can go to the one in Eldoret an hour away.” In fact, there are just four synthetic tracks in the whole of Kenya, but it’s clearly not a barrier to producing top athletes.

The runners at the camp rarely lift weights or spend time stretching, but twice a week they will do core strength sessions. Instead of water, they drink mursik – a nutritious fermented milk – in the morning and Kenyan tea in the afternoon. And not a single drop of water during their 30km long run. “That’s okay,” says Sang. “They don’t need it.”

Within the camp itself, there is a TV room with a small library corner with a few books there for the athletes, a living room for their meals, the dormitory (one for women and another for men), a basic gym comprising a bike, a treadmill, some elastic bands and a light weightlifting bar (with maximum 40kg available) and a big blue plastic drum outside used for ice baths.

It’s all quite rudimentary, but they don’t need more, and it seems to work.

The only visible ‘luxury’ – aside from the eco-friendly solar panels to get hot water – is that Kipchoge has his own bedroom. But even the king of the marathon does his fair share of the chores. He prepares tea for other athletes, and there’s a strict cleaning schedule that all athletes must stick to.

“I think that when you stop leading a simple life, your mind-set loses contact with the outside world and you lose your focus on your actual goals,” says Kipchoge. “At this point, you run the risk of forgetting about the really important things in life.”

Life at the camp is minimalistic, but nobody complains. Indeed, this simplicity is what defines them and enables the athletes to keep their focus and remain humble about who they are, where they come from and what they are here for.

Hollywood of running

To be the best, you need to surround yourself with the best – which is another reason why the Rift Valley continues to produce champion athletes.

The likes of Kipchoge, Kamworor and Kipyegon are true A-listers, but Kaptagat is filled with talented athletes who have achieved podium finishes at major championships and big city marathons.

Roig, who has a 2:18:05 marathon PB, moved to Kenya several years ago. “When I take my kids to school, I feel ashamed saying I am a runner as many of the dads there have 2:05 marathon PBs,” jokes Roig, who is now the race director for the Valencia Marathon. “There is even a mother at the school who has a PB similar to mine!”

But the Kaptagat camp isn’t the only leading training venue in the area. Iten, a small town at 2400 metres above sea level about an hour north of Kaptagat, is often referred to as the ‘home of champions’ or the ‘Hollywood of distance running’.

One of the drivers used for NN Running Team’s trip to Kenya, for example, was a former 1:06 half marathon runner. His wife, meanwhile, was a 2:21 marathon runner who finished second at the Rotterdam Marathon a couple of years ago. His neighbour is Emmanuel Korir, the Olympic 800m champion, and he is good friends with Joyciline Jepkosgei, the multiple world record-breaker and 2021 London Marathon champion.

Abdi Nageeye, the Olympic marathon silver medallist, also happened to be in Iten at the time of the trip. While ferrying around members of the media, the driver passed by a gas station named ‘Oslo’, which is one of many local businesses owned by Vivian Cheruiyot. The 2016 Olympic 5000m champion opened the station after winning at the Oslo Diamond League meeting.

One of the biggest training venues in Iten is the High Altitude Training Centre founded by multiple world half marathon champion Lornah Kiplagat, who herself is part of a highly successful family of runners, including Sylvia Kibet, Hilda Kibet and Susan Sirma. Many international athletes, including the likes of Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe, have previously stayed there, while former steeplechaser Bob Tahri of France opened his own training centre in Iten a few years ago.

The Rift Valley – Iten and Kaptagat in particular – is like nowhere else on earth. Everybody knows a champion who is friends with another champion, who is the neighbour of another champion.

It’s yet another way – and one of the many – of becoming a great runner.

(01/16/2022) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Meet Sabina Chebichi the barefoot petticoat runner

Sabina Chebichi was born on 13/5/1959, she won her first marathon in 1973 while barefoot and wearing nothing but a petticoat. Sabina went on to become the first Kenyan female athlete to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games in 1974.

Chebichi started running in 1972, her first race was at Kechiko which she won.

When news about a schoolgirl competing without any kit broke out in the media, Feisal Sherman who was Secretary of Kenya's Amateur Athletic Association (now Athletics Kenya) sent her running kit and proper shoes.

At 14 years of age, Chebichi became the first Kenyan female athlete to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games in 1974, she won bronze in the 800m Women's race at 2:02.61 mins, she went on to compete in the 4 × 400 m Relay and 1500m race.

(01/15/2022) ⚡AMP
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NCAA Cross-Country Distances Still Aren’t the Same for Men and Women. Run Equal Wants to Change That

(A proposal has been submitted to the NCAA to equalize the men’s and women’s cross-country race distances by 2023.)

“I came by the 6K mark and thought, ‘F—, it’s going to be a long day,’” Cooper Teare says of this year’s 10,000-meter NCAA men’s cross-country championships. At the 6K mark, he was still with the leaders, but in the late stages of the race he collapsed from exhaustion, got back up, fell down again, and crawled across the finish line. The fastest collegiate miler of all time finished fourth to last. “The 10K is a different beast,” he says.

For the women, though, the race ends at 6K, where Teare wished it would’ve ended while his competitors surged forward. The fastest miler in the women’s race, Whittni Orton, was ultimately crowned the champion. Two different race distances, frankly, make men’s and women’s cross-country two different sports.

On January 5, Run Equal submitted their first proposal to the NCAA, in which their main demand was that men and women race the same distance in cross-country, across all three divisions, by 2023. In accordance with their petition, which had been circulating online for months, they proposed that everybody race 8,000 meters all season. Equalize the distances, they say. Run equal.

“Requiring women to race shorter distances is gender bias and sends an unmistakable message, intended or not, that women are not as capable as men,” the proposal says.

Molly Peters, the head cross-country coach for men and women at St. Michael’s College, started Run Equal by herself but always knew she wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything substantial alone. “The NCAA isn’t going to take ‘little me’ at my little college seriously,” Peters says.

To gain credibility, Peters assembled a team of pioneers in women’s running who share her view that the distances should be equal. Joan Benoit won the first ever women’s Olympic marathon. Lynn Jennings was a three-time cross-country world champion. Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to ever run the Boston Marathon.

The hope is that when prominent athletes sign and share the petition, it’s like a snowball. “When you get these big names on board, the NCAA will eventually have to answer to them,” Peters says.

Another one of the big names is Molly Huddle, a 10-time NCAA All-American and former American record holder in the 5,000 meters. “I always thought it was kind of weird we didn’t run the same distance, and here we are 20 years later still doing the same thing,” Huddle says. “I think it’s been stuck this way for so long just because we haven’t all really talked about it out in the open all at once.”

From 1928 to 1960, women were prohibited from competing in any event longer than 200 meters at the Olympics because it was thought that the strenuous aerobic activity would harm her ability to bear children. Now it’s commonly understood that the old rationale was wrong; to relegate women to a shorter distance event seems like a blind faith preservation of a tradition based on a misconception, a simple deferment to the status quo that favors an antiquated model.

Kara Goucher, the three-time NCAA champion and double Olympian, concurs. “You don’t see women running 3,000 meters on the track while the men run 5,000,” she says. “Women run the marathon too. They run hundred-milers. They can handle a few extra kilometers in cross-country.”

Goucher says her college coach at the University of Colorado, Mark Wetmore, used to joke, “The men get to enjoy their time for 30 minutes, and you girls only get to enjoy 16 or 17 minutes. They get to be in the spotlight for much longer. That’s not fair.” There’s a truth at the joke’s center: The men’s race is presented as a more serious affair, the main event of the day.

When Goucher won her NCAA cross-country title in 2000, it was the first year the women had ever raced 6K. It had previously been standard for women to race 5K. When the increase in distance first took effect, Goucher says, everybody thought participation among women would drop dramatically, that they wouldn’t be able to field full teams. That didn’t happen. The number of women participating in Division I cross-country steadily increased for the next five years.

While there may be popular support for increasing the women’s race distance, there’s no consensus around what the race distance should be. The proposal submitted to the NCAA calls for 8K for all because Peters and many of her allies see that distance as “a great compromise.” But others disagree.

“I like the 10K at the national championships. It makes it harder,” Goucher says. “But what’s most important is that they’re equal.” Goucher believes there should be a meaningful differentiation between track and cross-country. She says, “They’re different sports, and they should require different types of athletes.”

Huddle offers a different perspective. “Back when I was running I wanted to run 8K, what the guys do all season,” she says.“I’m not so sure about 10K. That’s a daunting distance to jump up to as a freshman—for the men too.”

Peters understands the challenges of organizing an initiative like this and isn’t necessarily worried about the contention. She also spearheaded the movement to equalize the NCAA’s race distances in nordic skiing, which has some similarities with cross-country: both sports are endurance races, and they both traditionally have required women to race a shorter distance than men. Her initiative, which was fittingly called Ski Equal, was mostly successful.

After pressure from Peters and some of the sport’s top athletes, the NCAA Ski Committee opted for an incremental transition to hosting equal distance races between genders. This year, seven of the eight races on the formal circuit were equal in distance. Last year only two were. A few years before that none of them were.

As a sport, cross-country hasn’t yet seen the changes that nordic skiing has, even though the conversation about equalizing race distances isn’t new. There still isn’t a single opportunity for women to race longer than 6K during the NCAA season. But maybe now the time is finally right.

While the USATF cross-country championships have been 10K for both men and women since 2015, other governing bodies are now beginning to make changes to reckon with the implicit messaging behind the history of unequal race distances. European Athletics recently announced that for the first time in 2023 they will lengthen the women’s race distance to match the men’s. Soon the unequal race distances will be unique to the NCAA.

“There’s pressure right now for the NCAA to push for gender equality,” says Peters, referencing the recent Kaplan Reports, which aim to provide a thorough review of gender equality issues in various NCAA championships. The reports followed a TikTok videothat went viral in March showing the dramatic differences between the men’s and women’s practice facilities at last year’s NCAA March Madness basketball tournaments. People are seriously talking about gender equality in sports right now; the window is wide open.

Regardless of the changes that happen in other sports, during the upcoming cross-country season Peters plans to host some women’s 8Ks at her college, where she’s the meet director. Rather than wait for governing bodies to comply with her vision, she’ll model the system she wants to see. “It pains me to host races that aren’t equal,” she says. “I guess it’ll soon be time to put my money where my mouth is.”

(01/15/2022) ⚡AMP
by Matt Wisner (Women’s Running)
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Scottish men's indoor mile record holder Chris O'Hare, happy to be a retired athlete, after calling time on career

O'Hare, 31, won European 1500m bronze for Great Britain in 2014 and emulated that at the following year's European Indoor Championships.

And the 2016 Olympian went one better in his native Scotland, securing silver in the 3,000m at the 2019 European Indoors in Glasgow.

"Retiring is never an easy decision for an athlete," he said on Twitter.

"I am relieved to say that although I will miss everything about training and racing, I am happy to be a retired athlete. Huge thank you to all those who have supported me throughout my career."

O'Hare is Scotland's male indoor mile record holder after finishing in three minutes, 52.91 seconds at the Millrose Games in New York in 2016.

Writing on Instagram, the runner said, 'Retiring is never an easy decision for an athlete to make but I am relieved to say that although I will miss everything about training and racing, I am happy to be a retired athlete.' He added: 'Running has blessed me with so many opportunities and so many wonderful lifelong friendships.

(01/15/2022) ⚡AMP
by BBC sports
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Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon is set to return this year on Feb 6

Other races have started canceling as Japan's COVID-19 numbers climb again, but the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon is set to return this year on Feb 6, announcing its elite field on Jan 14. The front end is heavily dominated by people who part of the Miracle in Lake Biwa last year, Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) and Tsubasa Ichiyama (Komori Corp.) leading the way at 2:07:12 and 2:07:41 from that race.

Four others on the list have run 2:08 recently, three at Lake Biwa, with two 2:09 veterans rounding out a sub-2:10 club that's as good as in any past year at Beppu-Oita, even without an international field. Well, there is one Ethiopian in the race, 2019 Fukuoka 3rd-placer Derese Workneh (Hiramatsu Byoin), but he's locally-based in Kyushu.

But where this year's field really stands out is in its list of first-timers. Sub-61 half marathoners Kiyoshi Koga (Yasukawa Denki) and Yusuke Nishiyama (Toyota) are there fresh off good runs on the New Year Ekiden's longest stage. Track specialist Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Asahi Kasei) is running for real after a couple of less-serious marathon stabs, and likewise doing it off a good New Year run. 

Last time around Aoyama Gakuin University's Yuya Yoshida made a big impact at Beppu-Oita in his debut, and this time the 2022 Hakone Ekiden champ team has five members on the list including Hakone members Kotaro Kondo and Takayuki Iida, who ran the equivalent of 1:01:20 and 1:02:21 half marathons on their stages, and sub-63 half marathoners Taiki Miyasaka, Ryo Nishikubo and Shungo Yokota. 

It should be a great race that cranks out even more quality Japanese marathoners. TBS will be broadcasting it live, and JRN will cover it on @JRNLive. Check back closer to race date for more info.

70th Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon

Elite Field

Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) - 2:07:12 (Lake Biwa 2021)

Tsubasa Ichiyama (Komori Corp.) - 2:07:41 (Lake Biwa 2021)

Daisuke Hosomori (YKK) - 2:08:28 (Lake Biwa 2021)

Hiroto Fujimagari (Toyota Kyushu) - 2:08:30 (Lake Biwa 2021)

Takuya Fujikawa (Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:08:45 (Tokyo 2020)

Yuta Koyama (Toenec) - 2:08:46 (Lake Biwa 2021)

Ryo Hashimoto (GMO) - 2:09:29 (Beppu-Oita 2019)

Hisanori Kitajima (Yasukawa Denki) - 2:09:54 (Lake Biwa 2021)

Shogo Kanezane (Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:10:17 (Lake Biwa 2021)

Tadashi Suzuki (Suzuki) - 2:10:46 (Hofu 2020)

Derese Workneh (Ethiopia/Hiramatsu Byoin) - 2:10:52 (Fukuoka Int'l 2019)

Taiki Yoshimura (Asahi Kasei) - 2:11:13 (Hofu 2019)

Yuichi Okutani (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:11:16 (Beppu-Oita 2020)

Tomohiro Tanigawa (Konica Minolta) - 2:11:54 (Hofu 2020)

Debut/Do-Over

Kiyoshi Koga (Yasukawa Denki) - 1:00:49 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2020)

Yusuke Nishiyama (Toyota) - 1:00:55 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2020)

Akira Akasaki (Kyudenko) - 1:01:46 (Ageo City Half 2019)

Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Asahi Kasei) - 1:01:57 (Marugame 2020)

Riki Nakanishi (Toenec) - 1:02:02 (Osaka 2020)

Taiki Miyasaka (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:02:26 (Takanezawa 2020)

Ryo Nishikubo (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:02:30 (Takanezawa 2020)

Shungo Yokota (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:02:36 (Hi-Tech 2022)

Yuya Kawata (Subaru) - 1:02:38 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2021)

Noriaki Oyama (Konica Minolta) - 1:02:41 (Marugame 2020)

Shogo Ise (Konica Minolta) - 1:02:53 (Marugame 2019)

Takayuki Iida (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:10 (Takanezawa 2019)

Kotaro Kondo (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:42 (Nat'l Univ. Half 2021)

(01/15/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon

Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon

The Beppu-Oita Marathon is an annual men's marathon race that takes place every February between the cities of Beppu and Oita on the island of Kyushu in Japan. First held in 1952 as a 35km race, the looped marathon course begins at the bottom of Takasaki Mountain and reaches Beppu's Kankoko International Port before turning back towards the finishing point...

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A game-changing update launches on Strava

Strava expanded its Maps tool this week with a cool new feature called ‘Points of Interest’. This new feature aims to help runners plan where to go on their run and how to find nearby essentials (i.e., cafes, restaurants and running stores) while on the move.

When you plan a route, the maps feature now shows points of interest on your run – including peaks, landmarks, photo spots, stores, plus popular running routes. Runners in need of a pit stop, bathroom break or water refill can reroute themselves to a certain location via the maps tab.

Strava launched this feature in collaboration with Open Street Maps, a free editable geographic database of the world. They applied the maps database to their global heatmap of 95 million athletes, identifying the most popular spots and locations in each community.

The Points of Interest feature is now available for all athletes who use the app, with no premium subscription required. It is accessible on the web via the Routes page, and on mobile through the Maps tab.

(01/15/2022) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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So You Haven’t Ran a PR in a While. These 5 Tips Can Help You Break Out of That Rut

These five expert-backed tips can help you break out of your rut and run your fastest race yet. 

We bet you can picture the last race that you ran a personal record. Maybe you are visualizing the moment you saw the big, red numbers as you crossed the finish, which indicated that you could have, just maybe, ran your best. Then, there were the anxious moments waiting for the official results where you verified the time and could confirm that yes, indeed, a PR was attained. It is a triumphant moment—one that stays with you forever. 

That incredible feeling is easy to want to chase. But what happens when months or years have gone by and despite your best efforts, a PR evades you? We know how demotivating a string of races without desired results can be. 

Many runners face the dreaded PR rut and fail miserably in their attempts to get out of it. They overtrain (and get injured) or race every weekend (and probably also get injured) or continue training in exactly the same way they always have before and expect different results. So what can be done? How do you break out of a stretch of disappointing races?

Don’t worry! It is possible with patience, dedication, and a lot of self-reflection. Here are a few tips. 

1. Commit to Your New PR

Andrew Moran, D.P.T., running coach and physical therapist at Odom Health and Wellness, encourages runners to reach their PR goals through whole-body and mind training

“It is really cool when an athlete has that fire,” he tells Runner’s World. “They’re willing to put themselves on the line and be honest about challenging themselves. But they also must be honest with themselves about the practicality of running a PR. I get them to reflect right off the bat, and I ask them, ‘Is this a good year to run a PR?’” 

Moran also asks his athletes to assess what their personal and professional life will allow in terms of training. Basically, will you have enough time to put in the work to race the way you want to race? If you can carve out 10 or more hours per week to hone your running, then you can make this a PR year. 

2. Reflect on Your Old PR

Moran will also ask an athlete to tell him all about that wonderful PR race. It is, of course, nice to draw on that success, but his curiosity lies more in what made it possible for that record time to happen in the first place. 

“If someone has a years-old PR and says the race was net downhill, the weather was perfect, and they felt like a million bucks, then that’s great,” he says. “You have to acknowledge that in order to get a new PR, we have to look really specifically at your preferences and strengths and choose a racecourse and time of year to target. That is very low-hanging fruit to pick.” 

3. Analyze Your Recent Training

Moran says that when you are able to pinpoint the problems on your own and discover new things about yourself and your running, the solutions will click more than if you merely follow the advice of a coach, book, or article. 

“I want my athletes to look at the pillars of training and find the pieces of the program that maybe haven’t been addressed before,” says Moran. “I ask them what they think their weaknesses might be. It starts with being introspective and reflecting on your training history.” 

To analyze what is working and what is not working, jot down the answers to a few questions: 

What was your last training cycle like?

What went well? 

What did not go well?

Did you give yourself enough time to train (including a base training period)?

Was your training consistent?

What pace are you supposed to run your low-intensity miles? Are you hitting this pace or going too fast or too slow?

Do you incorporate speed work into training?

Do you have a strength training routine that supports your mileage? 

How is your nutrition? Hydration?

Do you recover from hard effort runs? 

Have you recovered from your last race?

Do you feel there are mental blocks keeping you from your goal? 

If you realize that perhaps your training was too fast on easy run days, skipped a lot of runs, or that fuel took the form of pumpkin pie and Cheetos, it might be tempting to overhaul your entire running life. But start with one small change. Focus on consistency first, for example. Once you are marking off training runs on your calendar with ease, choose another area to improve. By taking things step-by-step, you will be more likely to make the changes habit. 

4. Get Stronger in the Gym

If you are in a PR rut and you aren’t hitting the gym, this could be an easy fix: Start strength training.

“I’m very biased, but after an athlete completes a dual strength training and running program, I’ll see, in a marathoner for example, three- or even five-minute time improvements,” he says. “Strength is essential for running economy and injury prevention. With simple, running-specific moves, you actually improve your running form and prevent any training breaks that might be caused by injury. Moves that work the calf muscle complex, quadriceps, and glute medius are essential.”

Moran says If you are new to lifting, start with a hinge, squat, carry, and a calf raise. Incorporate the strength program while you are in a maintenance or base training phase. This will allow you to lift heavier and build muscle without sacrificing the quality of high-intensity workouts in the actual training cycle. 

5. Be Realistic

We all get older and most of us get slower. It’s just what happens. So if you are nearing 40 and trying to beat the 5K PR you set as a senior in high school, it might be time to readjust your goals. 

“That’s when I get people excited about distance running,” Moran says. “Physiologically, we rely more on the slow twitch muscle fibers as we age. But the cool thing is, you don’t see a huge drop off in distance performance until 50 or 60.” 

If a half or marathon PR is your desire, but you’ve taken time off, understand that a successful training cycle might be a year or two. Alternately, if you haven’t taken any time off running for a decade, a brief recovery period could bring new life to your legs. Be patient and open to change.

It’s important too to identify your “why.” What does it mean to you to break that time? How will it add value to your life as a runner? If you can answer that question easily, then identify what is holding you back and crush your goals. 

(01/15/2022) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Runners Can Reduce High Blood Pressure by Adding Meditation to Their Daily Routine

Meditation can enhance your running and your overall wellbeing. Here’s how to make it part of your routine.

Meditation has long been used to promote calm and relaxation, cope with stress and illness, and manage anxiety and depression. As its list of positive effects grows, so too has the percent of adults in the United States who reported meditating—from 4% in 2012 to 14% in 2017, according to the most recent National Health Interview Survey.

Runners often call their time logging miles their moving meditation. However, if the disappointment of a slower-than-expected mile split or panic over unexplained tightness in your calf can derail your race or ruin your workout, adding a formal meditation practice to your training routine can better prepare you to handle these feelings and emotions—both on the run and in life. Just as lifting weights can strengthen your hips or hamstrings, meditation can strengthen your mind, enhancing your running and overall wellbeing.

Here, we will explain what meditation is, the benefits to your health and performance, and how you can make it a part of your training plan.

What is meditation, and why should you meditate?

Meditation is a set of techniques used to bring awareness back to a specific focus when your mind wanders. These techniques can help your mind process emotions, contributing to your overall wellness and stress management.

A meditation practice typically involves focusing your attention while in a comfortable posture, such as sitting, lying down, or walking. And ideally, it’s practiced in a place with limited distractions.

Once you’ve checked those boxes, the meditation exercises themselves are simple. Focus on your breath by counting or repeating a mantra. Or you can scan your senses and observe what your body sees, hears, tastes, smells, or feels to center your attention.

When distracting thoughts arise—This is boring; My nose itches; We’re out of milk—come back to that focus. There is no time requirement to make the meditation “count,” so meditate for as long as you feel comfortable. Though the more you make an effort to meditate, the more you will get out of it. 

Don’t be fooled though; while the practice itself is simple, meditating is not always easy. What meditation is not is peace and stillness from the moment you begin, so don’t get discouraged if your first few attempts feel awkward. 

Rebecca Pacheco—the author of the book Still Life – The Myths and Magic of Mindful Living, and a meditation and yoga instructor—acknowledges that it will, at times, feel difficult for even the most experienced meditators. “You may find you are bored, anxious, or fidgety, and that’s okay,” Pacheco, a two-time Boston Marathon finisher, tells Runner’s World. You’re not doing it wrong.” 

Meditation also is not self-improvement, but by practicing awareness and self-compassion, some people may argue that meditation can help you improve yourself. Your thoughts are not bad or wrong; the key is to approach them without judgement. 

“Meditation is self-acceptance,” says Pacheco. “The purpose is to give you a place where you don’t have to get it right. And the irony is that things often will improve.”

What’s the difference between meditation and mindfulness?

Mindfulness and meditation are sometimes used interchangeably, though the two boil down into more specific descriptions: meditation is the practice, while mindfulness is a state of being. Practicing meditation trains your mind to pay attention mindfully.

Mindfulness training uses meditation exercises in combination with informal practices, such as running, to incorporate mindfulness into daily life. Together, these practices train your mind to focus less on negative thoughts, emotions, and memories, and instead makes space for it to concentrate on the present, without getting ahead of itself.

Dr. Keith Kaufman, a clinical sports psychologist and co-developer of the Mindful Sports Performance Enhancement (MSPE)® program, describes mindfulness as a nonreactive approach. The challenge is that humans naturally react to feeling uncomfortable and try to minimize it. He related it to the discomfort felt in a race.

“It’s called an ironic mental process,” Kaufman tells Runner’s World. “If you are saying, ‘I’m in so much pain right now. I shouldn’t feel this pain, I don’t want to feel this pain,’ what it does is actually bring more of your focus to the pain and can actually make it worse. Mindfulness training gives us a way of accepting [the pain and helping us think], ‘Right now, my body is in pain. Right now, this is how my body is feeling, but I can still feel this, and I can still proceed.’”

What are the benefits of meditation for Runners?

The benefits of meditation have been widely studied and researchers are continually finding positive effects on a variety of health conditions. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), some of those benefits include reducing high blood pressure, helping symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis flareups, and easing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Meditation has also shown promise when it comes to managing pain and improving insomnia, and it may help people quit smoking.

For some, these benefits may be enough to convince you to start meditating. But for those runners who need the extra nudge, research has shown sports-specific benefits associated with mindfulness-based interventions. 

Meditation can help you get “in the zone”—when you are so absorbed in your run that it feels effortless, an experience that has been associated with peak performance. A 2009 study in the Journal of Clinical Sports Psychology, following long distance runners who used the MSPE program co-developed by Dr. Kaufman, showed improvements in mindfulness and awareness, and decreases in sport-related worries and perfectionism—factors that may aid runners in reaching that flow state. 

“If you’re thinking about your time and if you’re thinking about the end result of the race, it’s really hard to get into that rhythm, it’s really hard to get into that flow. By letting go of the outcome and instead focusing on what’s happening right now, which is one of the big targets of attention that we talk about, then that can help us get more into the state of flow,” Kaufman says.

Meditation can also improve your perception of pain and fatigue, which may prevent you from giving up or slowing down on the run. A 2020 study in Neural Plasticity showed athletes who completed mindfulness training improved endurance performances by having a higher threshold for exhaustion. And a 2021 study in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that following the completion of a mindfulness-based training program, female college students reported decreases in their perception of exercise intensity and other negative feelings, such as fatigue, following an 800-meter run.

The takeaway here: If your brain thinks you have more gas in the tank, your body can push harder, or at least enjoy the run a bit more.

Additionally, meditation can get you back on your feet sooner following a workout or injury. A 2021 study in the Journal of Athletic Training found mindfulness training, in conjunction with traditional physical therapies, reduced pain while running, improved coping strategies, and decreased pain catastrophizing in patients with knee pain. 

And a 2000 study in the Journal of British Sport Medicine showed that runners who practiced meditation exercises as part of a relaxation training significantly decreased their blood lactate concentration—which is an indirect marker for fatigue in exercising muscles—after exercise. This is just another reason to take a rest day, and using some of that time off from running to meditate may get you back on your feet sooner. 

But will meditating make you run faster? A 2011 study in the Journal of Clinical Sports Psychology showed improvements in runners’ mile times one year after the mindfulness training program was completed by participants. 

However, Kaufman cautions, “It would be way overstating the science of meditation to say if you meditate, you’re going to be faster. But by meditating, it can change the way you pay attention in competitive moments. It really can change the entire trajectory of your performance if you’re not getting stuck in a reaction to something. You can stay present, and you can keep making choices that are best for your performance, and in that sense it could help you run faster.”

How can runners practice meditation?

Both Kaufman and Pacheco agree that using running as an informal way to practice mindfulness is important because the goal, ultimately, is to integrate these skills into daily life. However, much like your training plan may include easy, tempo and long runs, Kaufman believes a formal meditation practice can help you develop the range of skills necessary for remaining mindful on your run, or life, as a variety of situations are thrown your way. 

Here are a few tips to start your meditation practice:

→ Start small. If you were starting to run for the first time, you would not go out for a ten-mile tempo run. The same goes for meditation. “Start with three minutes,” says Pacheco, “Then try to string together days, then weeks. A little can go a long way.”

→ Just begin. The hardest part of a run is often getting out the door. Set yourself up for success by designating a time to meditate when you might actually do it, like immediately after a run. And then actually do it! Just as it might take a mile or two to settle into a run, so too may it take a moment to get settled into a mediation practice. 

“Often if you keep going, something clears and the run turns around. And even if it doesn’t, you often feel better than when you started. Meditation works the same way,” Pacheco says.

→ Use available resources. Apps like Headspace, Calm, or Insight Timer have libraries of guided meditations if you feel you don’t know where to start. Dr. Kaufman’s podcast, Mindful Sports Performance, begins each episode with a mindfulness exercise. Find what works for you.

→ Fit meditation into your day in a way that works best for you. If you can’t sit down on a meditation cushion with incense burning to meditate, that’s okay! Meditation doesn’t have to look a certain way. “All it takes to be a good meditator, is to meditate,” Pacheco says.

Pacheco suggests using existing moments in the day to meditate, such as while waiting in the exam room for your doctor or while sitting in your (preferably parked) car if you arrive early for a meeting or date. Or the next time you are about to mindlessly scroll on your phone, try two minutes of breathwork instead. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. 

 

 

(01/15/2022) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Ethiopia’s Askale Merachi and Kelkile Gezahegn will defend their titles at the 50th Chevron Houston Marathon, while Kenya’s Vicoty Chepngeno and Shadrack Korir lead the entries for the Aramco Half

Merachi won in Houston in 2020 in 2:23:29, finishing more than a minute ahead of the rest of the field. She went on to win the Taipei Marathon later that year in 2:28:31, but hasn’t raced since then, so her form going into this weekend’s race is relatively untested.

She will face stiff competition from compatriot Biruktayit Eshetu Degefa, a three-time winner in Houston who is aiming to become the race’s first four-time winner. She finished runner-up to Merachi in 2020, clocking 2:24:47. Her PB stands at 2:22:40, set in Toronto in 2019, while her fastest time in Houston is the 2:23:28 she ran to win three years ago.

Two-time Chicago Marathon winner Atsede Baysa has the fastest PB of the field with 2:22:03. A sub-2:25 time may be required to make the podium on Sunday, but the last time the 34-year-old Ethiopian bettered that barrier was back in 2012.

Ethiopian women have won the past 14 editions of the Houston Marathon, but that streak could be under threat on Sunday as Keira D’Amato aims to become the first US woman to win the Houston Marathon since 2005.

The 37-year-old, who took a complete break from running between 2009 and 2016, has been racking up impressive performances on the roads in recent years. She set a marathon best of 2:22:56 and a North American 10-mile record of 51:23 in 2020, finished fourth at last year’s Chicago Marathon, and clocked a half marathon PB of 1:07:55 last month. If conditions are good, the course record of 2:23:14 – set by Alemitu Abera in 2012 – could be under threat.

Ethiopian marathon debutante Tsige Haileslase and USA’s Robert Groner, who finished sixth at the 2019 World Championships, are among the other contenders.

Gezahegn, the defending men’s champion, won with 2:08:36 two years ago and finished two minutes clear of his nearest rivals. His only race since then was the 2021 Boston Marathon, where he finished 15th in 2:12:37. A 2:05:56 runner at his best, the 25-year-old will be keen to use this weekend’s race as an opportunity for redemption.

If John Langat can reproduce his form from 2019, when he won in Eindhoven in a PB of 2:07:11, he could contend for the victory on Sunday. Japan’s Kenta Uchida will also be a formidable opponent. He has a lifetime best of 2:08:12 and will be keen to earn his first marathon victory.

Bahrain’s Abdi Abdo, Ethiopia’s 2008 world indoor 3000m champion Tariku Bekele and US marathon debutant Frank Lara are others to watch out for.

Vicoty Chepngeno will start as the favourite for the Houston Half Marathon, held concurrently with the marathon. The 28-year-old Kenyan has an impressive record in US road races; she has won nine of her past 10 half marathons on US roads, and her lifetime best of 1:07:22 was set in her most recent outing over the distance, in Philadelphia two months ago. Despite her extensive racing experience, though, this will be Chepngeno’s first Houston Half Marathon.

Compatriot Monicah Ngige, meanwhile, will be making her third Houston Half Marathon appearance. The 28-year-old set her PB of 1:07:29 there in 2019. More recently, she finished fourth at the Boston Marathon in October on her debut over the distance, clocking 2:25:32.

Sara Hall leads the US entrants. The 38-year-old has focused more on the marathon in recent years, achieving podium places at the 2020 London Marathon and the 2021 Chicago Marathon, also clocking a PB of 2:20:32 in between those outings. But she has also won her two most recent half marathons, setting a PB of 1:08:18 in 2020.

Shadrack Kimining Korir returns to Houston after finishing third in 2020 in a personal best of 59:27, just two seconds shy of the winner. His most recent outing was at the Lisbon Half Marathon in October, where he finished fifth in 1:02:42.

Wilfred Kimitei also competed in Lisbon towards the end of last year, albeit in a different event to the one where Korir raced, and finished 11th in 1:00:03 – just 23 seconds shy of the PB he set in Ras Al Khaimah in 2018.

Ethiopia’s Milkesa Mengesha also heads to Houston in good form. The 2019 world U20 cross-country champion, still only 21, finished ahead of Kimitei in Lisbon in November, clocking a PB of 59:48 in what was just his second half marathon to date. Earlier in 2021 he set a 5000m PB of 12:58.28 and finished 10th in the Olympic final at that distance.

Kenya’s Raymond Magut, who clocked a PB of 1:00:00 in Herzogenaurach in September, should also be a strong contender, along with Ethiopia’s Bayelign Teshager and Eritrea’s Tsegay Tuemay.

Elite fields

WOMEN Half marathon

Vicoty Chepngeno (KEN) 1:07:22

Monicah Ngige (KEN) 1:07:29

Sara Hall (USA) 1:08:58

Caren Maiyo (KEN) 1:09:20

Sarah Pagano (USA) 1:09:41

Emily Durgin (USA) 1:09:47

Maegan Krifchin (USA) 1:09:51

Andrea Ramirez Limon (MEX) 1:10:20

Dominique Scott (ZAF) 1:10:42

Elaina Tabb (USA) 1:10:44

Nell Rojas (USA) 1:10:45

Julia Griffey (USA) 1:11:04

Emily Setlack (CAN) 1:11:41

Dakotah Lindwurm (USA) 1:11:43

Maor Tiyouri (ISR) 1:11:50

Paige Stoner (USA) 1:11:53

Jessica Judd (GBR) debut

Fiona O’Keeffe (USA) debut

Maddie Alm (USA) debut

Marathon

Atsede Baysa (ETH) 2:22:03

Biruktayit Eshetu Degefa (ETH) 2:22:40

Keira D’Amato (USA) 2:22:56

Askale Merachi (ETH) 2:23:29

Roberta Groner (USA) 2:29:09

Kathya Mirell Garcia Barrios (MEX) 2:34:46

Militsa Mircheva (BGR) 2:35:03

Tsige Haileslase (ETH) debut

Maggie Montoya (USA) debut

Emily Kearney (GBR) debut

Alice Wright (GBR) debut

MEN Half marathon

Shadrack Kimining Korir (KEN) 59:27

Wilfred Kimitei (KEN) 59:40

Milkesa Mengesha (ETH) 59:48

Raymond Magut (KEN) 1:00:00

Bayelign Teshager (ETH) 1:00:31

Tsegay Tuemay (ERI) 1:00:50

Patrick Tiernan (AUS) 1:01:22

Reed Fischer (USA) 1:01:37

Rory Linkletter (CAN) 1:01:44

Reid Buchanan (USA) 1:01:45

Colin Mickow (USA) 1:01:47

Matt Llano (USA) 1:01:47

Harvey Nelson (USA) 1:01:48

John Raneri (USA) 1:01:51

Brogan Austin (USA) 1:01:52

Zouhair Talbi (MAR) 1:02:00

Kirubel Erassa (USA) debut

Marathon

Kelkile Gezahegn (ETH) 2:05:56

John Langat (KEN) 2:07:11

Kenta Uchida (JPN) 2:08:12

Abdi Abdo (BRN) 2:08:32

Elisha Barno (KEN) 2:09:32

Tariku Bekele (KEN) 2:09:33

Augustus Maiyo (USA) 2:10:47

Jesus Arturo Esparza (MEX) 2:11:04

Birhanu Kemal Dare (ETH) 2:12:21

Tyler Jermann (USA) 2:12:40

Frank Lara (USA) debut

James Ngandu (KEN) debut

Luke Caldwell (GBR) debut

(01/14/2022) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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Get faster with this inverted pyramid workout, inject some speed into your training with this fun, challenging interval session

You may think it odd to include a mile-focused track workout in your training plan when your main focus is road racing, but sometimes, an injection of speed is exactly what you need to keep your training fresh and exciting. This inverted pyramid workout will get your legs moving and help build your top-end speed so that when you hit the roads, you’ve got an extra gear to tap into when you need it.

The workout

This workout starts off with longer, slower intervals and works its way down so the shortest, fastest segments are done in the middle of the set. The middle of a race is often when runners lose focus, so the design of this workout helps teach you how to stay honest and on pace during that time.

The workout finishes by climbing back up the pyramid and ends with the same longer intervals that you started with. Doing the longer portions at the end of the workout when you’re already tired will work on the mental and physical toughness you will need to run strong right through to the finish line.

To make this workout more challenging, you can double up the 800’s or the 200’s (or both, for those who really want a challenge). Just remember, the pacing is the most important part of this workout, so if you can’t increase the number of intervals while still hitting the correct paces, you should leave it as-is.

Warmup: 15-20 minute easy jog, followed by form drills and strides

Workout: 1 x 800m @5K pace / 2 min rest / 2 x 400m @1,500m pace / 2 min rest / 2 x 200m @800m pace / 2 min rest / 2 x 400m @ 1,500m pace / 1 x 800m @5K pace

Cooldown: 10-15 minute easy jog, followed by light stretching

(01/14/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Does exercise provide protection from infection?

Since the onset of the pandemic, improving the health and strength of our immune systems has been on everyone’s minds. When scientists and health experts pointed out that regular exercise helps improve immune function, runners collectively breathed a sigh of relief, but exactly how much of an effect does exercise really have? 

Recent research reveals that while it does provide some infection protection, exercise is far from a cure-all for disease, and over-doing it can actually have the reverse effect.

The study

The researchers noted that there is a general consensus that regular bouts of short-lasting (up to 45 minutes) moderate intensity exercise is beneficial for immune defense, particularly in older adults and people with chronic diseases. By contrast, they added that high-performance athletes have a much higher instance of illness, and it is second only to injury for the number of training days lost during a season.

The goal of this review, published by the Association for the Advancement of Sports Medicine, was to determine the reason why high-performance athletes tend to get sick more than the general population, and to determine how much exercise really improves immune function by analysing all of the available literature on the topic.

Exercise and immune function

Upon reviewing the research, it is undeniable that regular bouts of moderate to vigorous physical activity are beneficial for the normal functioning of the immune system, which likely helps lower (although not completely eliminate) your risk for contracting respiratory illnesses and some cancers. This is because with each session of physical activity, you increase the frequency with which immune cells are exchanged between the blood and other tissues. This, experts believe, likely contributes to enhanced immune surveillance, improved health and a lower risk of illness.

Whether or not athletes are more susceptible to illness and infection is still cause for debate among scientists, but those on both sides of the argument agree on one thing: “factors such as stress, sleep, nutrition, circadian misalignment and infection/vaccination history could directly impact or contribute to impaired immunity and infection risk, particularly in situations when pathogen exposure is more likely.”

In other words, it may not be that large amounts of intense exercise directly reduces the functioning of your immune system, but rather the added stress on your body, combined with other lifestyle factors, could be putting you at greater risk for illness.

How can runners protect their immune systems?

Runners, even if they’re not elite or high performance athletes, are more likely to fall into that at-risk group because of the amount of running they do. Running multiple days each week can take a toll on your body, even if you’re not at the elite level.

Does this mean you should stop running? No. Running can still be beneficial to your immune system, as long as you’re taking care of your body and recovering properly.

Exercise isn’t a bullet-proof vest, it can do wonders for your immune system. If, however, you’re training for a goal race and doing a lot of volume or high-intensity work, you need to take extra care and make sure that you’re managing your stress load and recovering properly. This will reduce the number of training days you’re forced to miss because of illness, and allow you to continue running well.

(01/14/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Keira D’Amato is set to run fast at the Houston Marathon

On Sunday, Keira D’Amato will head to the start line of the Houston Marathon with the expectation that she will run under two hours and twenty-two minutes. Her current personal best sits at 2:22:56, achieved at the Marathon Project in Arizona, but D’Amato knows, based on her workouts and performances like her 67:55 to win the US Half Marathon Championships in December, that she is fitter than when she ran that 2:22:56 in December 2020. In fact, things are going so well that on December 28, she told Women’s Running that, if she had a strong final month of training, she might even go for Deena Kastor‘s 2:19:36 American record.

That the 37-year-old D’Amato is in a position to even discuss the American record is one of the unlikelier stories in US distance running history. This was a woman who started out as an 800/1500 runner, took seven years away from the sport as she got married, became a mom of two and a full-time realtor, and as recently as 2019 had never run faster than 2:40 in the marathon.

“It seriously blows my mind,” D’Amato told LetsRun on Wednesday. “On my warmup before my workout today, I was thinking that in my second marathon back on my comeback tour [in Richmond in 2017], I went into the marathon thinking that I didn’t think I could break 3:00 that day.”

D’Amato wound up running 2:47 and hasn’t stopped improving.

“It’s so hard to wrap my head around it because there’s 50% of my brain that is like, ‘What in the world is going on, how did I get there?’ And there’s 50% that is like really confident, that’s like, ‘Keira, you’ve worked your tail off, you’ve been putting in the miles for years and years and years, and you have, in my opinion, the best coach in the nation, Scott Raczko.'”

A number of fast Americans will descend on Houston this weekend for the half and full marathons on Sunday. Sara Hall, Nell Rojas, and Annie Frisbie are all set to feature in the half, while 61:00 half marathoner Frank Lara will make his marathon debut. But the most fascinating storyline is D’Amato, who will look to start 2022 with a bang after an up-and-down 2021 season.

Following a 2020 campaign featuring personal best after personal best, D’Amato spent the first half of 2021 battling a hamstring injury. She tried to fight through it but ultimately had to take time off to treat the underlying muscle imbalance, realigning her hips and strengthening her glutes. That recovery knocked her out of the biggest meet of the year, the US Olympic Trials, where D’Amato had planned on running the 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

“It sucked, man,” D’Amato said.

D’Amato started working out again in August and ran the Chicago Marathon in October, finishing 4th in 2:28:22. But she knew she wasn’t at 100%. Under Raczko, D’Amato trains in four-week cycles, building up for those four weeks before taking a down week to reset. Usually, she likes to have four of those cycles under her belt for a marathon; her late start meant she only had two of them before Chicago.

D’Amato will face three-time Houston champion Biruktayit Eshetu Degefa (2:22:40 pb) and 2016 Boston Marathon champion Atsede Baysa (2:22:03) in the women’s race, and while she’d like to earn her first career marathon victory, her focus is squarely on running fast.

Leading into the race, D’Amato has done everything she can to maximize her chance of success. She has still been working her job as a realtor in Virginia, but in recent weeks she has scaled back her hours and not taken on any new clients. She even took her kids out of school this week to limit her exposure to COVID — cases have been on the rise in her area and the last thing she wanted was to withdraw at the eleventh hour because of a positive test (they will return to school after the race). It’s not a decision D’Amato feels completely comfortable with — “I’m definitely not up for any mom of the year awards,” she said — but she hopes she can make it worth it with a special performance on Sunday.

(01/14/2022) ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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Boston Marathon announces their fastest ever men’s field

Organisers of the Boston Marathon have revealed their fastest ever men’s field for the 126th edition of the World Athletics Platinum Elite Label road race on 18 April.

It features 12 men with lifetime bests faster than 2:06, led by three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, the second fastest marathon runner in history with a best of 2:01:41.

“I recognise the tradition of the Boston Marathon and look forward to racing in April,” said Bekele. “For many years Ethiopia has had a strong tradition in Boston, and I am excited to join that legacy. I have long looked forward to racing the Boston Marathon.”

Seven of the past eight winners will also return to Boston, including 2021 champion Benson Kipruto of Kenya. Lawrence Cherono (2019), Yuki Kawauchi (2018), Geoffrey Kirui (2017), Lemi Berhanu (2016), and Lelisa Desisa (2015 and 2013) are the other six former winners.

“Being back in Boston as a champion is very exciting, but at the same time I feel the pressure and the responsibility to defend my title,” said Kipruto. “I really admire those athletes that managed to be multiple champions in big races. I really want to do my best to be one of them and I really hope to make my name among those Boston champions that people will remember for a long time.”

Other strong contenders include Titus Ekiru, the fastest marathon runner in the world last year having run 2:02:57 in Milan, 2020 world leader Evans Chebet, New York City Marathon winner Albert Korir, and three-time world half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor.

Men’s elite field

Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 2:01:41Titus Ekiru (KEN) 2:02:57Evans Chebet (KEN) 2:03:00Lawrence Cherono (KEN) 2:03:04Bernard Koech (KEN) 2:04:09Lemi Berhanu (ETH) 2:04:33Lelisa Desisa (ETH) 2:04:45Gabriel Geay (TAN) 2:04:55Benson Kipruto (KEN) 2:05:13Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN) 2:05:23Eric Kiptanui (KEN) 2:05:47Bethwell Yegon (KEN) 2:06:14Geoffrey Kirui (KEN) 2:06:27Eyob Faniel (ITA) 2:07:19Yuki Kawauchi (JPN) 2:07:27Albert Korir (KEN) 2:08:03Amanuel Mesel (ERI) 2:08:17Bayelign Teshager (ETH) 2:08:28Tsegay Tuemay Weldibanos (ERI) 2:09:07Scott Fauble (USA) 2:09:09Colin Bennie (USA) 2:09:38Trevor Hofbauer (CAN) 2:09:51Jared Ward (USA) 2:09:25Ian Butler (USA) 2:09:45Mick Iacofano (USA) 2:09:55Jake Riley (USA) 2:10:02Jerrell Mock (USA) 2:10:37Jemal Yimer (ETH) 2:10:38Juan Luis Barrios (MEX) 2:10:55Matt McDonald (USA) 2:11:10Matt Llano (USA) 2:11:14Elkanah Kibet (USA) 2:11:15CJ Albertson (USA) 2:11:18Diego Estrada (USA) 2:11:54

(01/13/2022) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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...

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2022 Louisiana Marathon returns for 11th year

Get your running shoes on, the 11th annual Louisiana Marathon takes place this upcoming weekend.

The weekend-long event is filled with local food, live music and fun for everyone in the family. The marathon’s route includes running from downtown Baton Rouge through the University Lakes, the LSU campus and through historic river town neighbors, according to marathon organizing officials.

Runners can choose to compete in the Full Marathon (26.2 miles) or Half Marathon (13.1 miles) on Sunday, Jan. 16 or the Louisiana Quarter Marathon (6.55 miles), Louisiana Marathon 5K (3.1 miles) and a Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kids Marathon (1 mile) on Saturday, Jan. 15.

“Runners who compete on both days receive a Déjà vu Award if they competed in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon in Dec. 2021, the Louisiana Marathon’s sister race, they are awarded the Beach~2~Bayou medal,” according to Louisiana Marathon officials.

(01/13/2022) ⚡AMP
by Allison Bruhl
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Louisiana Marathon

Louisiana Marathon

Welcome to the Louisiana Marathon Running Festival. Rendezvous with runners from 50 states and over 30 countries who share a passion for Louisiana as they race our fast, flat and festive courses. Stick around for the best Finish Fest on the bayou and enjoy tastes of gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée, duck confit and couch du lait (to name a few dishes...

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2022 Brighton Marathon set to be the largest to date after a record 20,000 entries registered

Entries to the 2022 Brighton Marathon have closed after a 'fantastic surge' in numbers saw the event hit a total of 20,000 registrants.

The record number for the 26.2 mile course on Sunday, April 10, is welcome news and means the 2022 event is set to be the largest Brighton Marathon to date.

Organizers are delighted and said it marked 'a hugely positive outlook for running mass participation events and an encouraging shift in public appetite' following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A marathon spokesman said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for the mass participation events industry, which has suffered postponements, cancellations and refunds without the support of insurance policies or government funding.

"For the surviving events, the challenge of coming back has not been easy, not least because of the general public’s understandable nervousness towards committing to an event during such uncertain times.

"It is therefore an incredible result for all mass participation running events, that Brighton Marathon 2022 has closed general entries on such a high and positive note."

The spokesman added that in 2019 there were 10,680 runners and in 2021, despite there being 7,694 participants, almost £4million was raised for charities, as well as giving so many the chance to take part and achieve their incredible goals.

While general entries are now closed for the 2022 marathon, places already secured by various local and national charities are still available. People can find the charities with marathon places on the website.

Tom Naylor, event director at Brighton Marathon Weekend, said: “Each year we can forecast our entry numbers with some degree of certainty based on previous years, allowing us to plan our finances. Throughout the pandemic, it has been exceptionally difficult for us and our industry colleagues, with an ever-changing outlook from Government.

"It is amazing to have closed our entries for 2022 with such a positive uptake and I am incredibly excited for our industry, our charities, our city and our participants that the year ahead looks so much brighter and healthier for us all.”

The Brighton Marathon will take place on Sunday, April 10 as part of Brighton Marathon Weekend, which runs from Friday, April 8 – Sunday, April 10. The event is renowned for its remarkable spectator support, stunning scenery and vibrant city atmosphere.

(01/13/2022) ⚡AMP
by Nicola Caines
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Brighton Marathon

Brighton Marathon

The Brighton Marathon is one of the UK’s favorite marathons. With stunning coastal scenery in one of the country’s most energetic cities, this is the perfect race for runners with all different levels of experience. The fast and beautiful course of the Brighton Marathon makes this a ‘must do’on any runners list. Come and experience it for yourself over 26.2...

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Canadian Ben Flanagan is after one thing at the Houston Half Marathon, I have my eye on the Canadian half-marathon record of 61:28, he says

The 2022 Houston Half Marathon is set to take place this Sunday, drawing many of the world’s top elite to the event. In the field is Kitchener, Ont’s., Ben Flanagan, who ended his 2021 season on a winning note, looking to continue his string of solid performances into the new year. He is heading to this weekend’s half marathon with one thing on his mind: Jeff Schiebler’s 23-year-old Canadian half-marathon record of 61:28.

“I am looking forward to competing,” Flanagan says. “The plan is to run conservatively to tackle the Canadian record. It’s engraved in my head.” The 21.1 km distance isn’t foreign for the former NCAA 10,000m champion. In 2020, he ran 1:03:19 to win his half-marathon debut in South Carolina. His debut time was the 10th fastest ever by a Canadian male, and on Sunday he has the chance to better his result on one of the fastest courses in North America.

“My results at the Scotiabank Waterfront 10K and Manchester Road Race gave me a lot of confidence in the fall,” Flanagan says. He won both races skillfully, breaking away from his competition in the mid-stages of the race and not looking back.

Flanagan made his decision to run Houston in late November. “The timing of this race fit in perfectly in my training,” Flanagan says. “I had a lot of strength built up after Manchester, so we focused on building endurance over the past month and a half.”

Although Flanagan has shown a lot of success on the roads, he isn’t quite done with the track yet. He will be running a few 5,000m and 10,000m races this spring to secure a spot on Team Canada at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Ore.

When asked about when he was going to step up to the marathon, Flanagan mentioned he would love the opportunity to represent Canada in the marathon at the Paris Olympics. “Stepping up to the marathon this year might be a stretch, but I want to give myself a chance to qualify for Paris.”

Flanagan won’t be the only Canadian elite in the race Sunday. Alberta native Rory Linkletter, who was second at the California International Marathon a month ago, is in search of another personal best in Houston. In 2020, Linkletter ran 61:44, only 16 seconds off the Canadian record.

In the women’s elite field, Calgary’s Emily Setlack returns to Houston following the 1:11:40 PB she ran in 2020.

(01/13/2022) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. After 30 years of marathon-only competition, Houston added the half-marathon in 2002, with El Paso Energy as the sponsor. Today the...

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What should I eat before I run?

It’s an age-old question faced by many runners both new to the sport and those who have been training seriously and are looking to fine tune their training diet.

While you won’t find one specific super food that works for every runner, by providing some simple guidelines on nutritional requirements and timing, this article will help you find the perfect food for your pre-run snacks or meals.

Step 1: Timing Your Pre-Run Meals

Here’s the deal:

Like most aspects of training, finding the optimal time to eat before a run is an individual preference.

I can run within 15-20 minutes of eating almost anything short of a full meal and have no stomach issues whatsoever.

Conversely, my wife can’t muster a step out the door if she’s eaten anything within 2 hours or the run. You need to find work works for you.

Here’s how:

Conduct an experiment

To find your optimal timing window, try eating a medium sized snack 90 minutes before your next run (see the last section of this article for what constitutes a medium sized snack).

If your stomach handles it well, try moving the same snack forward 15-20 minutes.

Likewise, if you experience stomach issues, push back the timing of your snack 15-20 minutes.

Keep moving forward or backward 15-20 minutes per run until you find the closest time you can eat before you start experiencing stomach or cramping issues.

Now you have a concrete number for how close to your run you can eat, which is the first step in determining your optimal pre-run meal or snack.

Step 2: Determine The Nutritional Demands Of Your Run

I think most runners severely over estimate the number of calories they burn and the amount of carbohydrates they need to complete runs under 90 minutes.The body has enough glycogen stored in the muscles from your normal diet to run at marathon pace for right around 2 hours.

This means that you don’t need to load up on carbohydrates or calories before most of your normal training sessions, but might want a little extra fuel for harder workouts or long runs

Demands of a Normal Easy Training Run

A 155 pound runner will burn between 500 and 600 calories on a 60 minute run depending on their pace and effort level.

To see how many calories you burn while running, you can try our running calorie calculator. Since you already have enough fuel in your muscles to run for 2 hours, and you might only burn between 500-600 calories, you don’t need a huge snack or meal before you head out the door.

Long Runs and Harder Workouts

If you have a long run or workout that is going to take more than 90 minutes to complete, you should try and get a little something in your stomach to give you some extra fuel.

A medium sized snack or small meal 30-120 minutes before your run is optimal. The amount of time you need to eat before your run is dependent upon your timing experiment from step one.

Morning Runners

For early morning runners, you might have a little less glycogen stored in your muscles since you’re coming off 6-8 hours of not eating, but unless you have a long run or a really hard workout, you don’t need to worry too much about eating something before running.

If you do have a longer run scheduled, try a small snack about 30 minutes before you head out the door. Otherwise, you don’t have to worry too much.

3. Find A Food That Sits Well In Your Stomach

The most important aspect of a pre-run meal is finding something that agrees with your digestive system.

While bananas may be perfect for your running friend, they give me heart burn, so I avoid them. Likewise, you need to experiment on your easy training runs to see what works best for you. This way, on important workout days and race day, you’ll know exactly what foods sit well with you.

Need Some Pre-Run Snack Ideas?

Small Snacks

Energy bars – These tend to be light on the stomach and easy to digest. Avoid diet products, as these often cut the carbs, which is exactly what you’re looking for.

Natural energy bars – A Granola bar is a great way to eat more natural, but still stick with a light snack filled with carbs.

Banana – High in carbs and potassium

Small bowl of oatmeal – while oatmeal tends to have a good amount of fiber, it can be a good solution for runners who can’t eat close to running, but need something small to sustain them.

Medium Snacks

Toast with peanut butter and jelly – There is a reason your mom always gave you toast when you had an upset stomach. It’s easy to digest and light on the stomach.

Wheat bagel with Peanut butter or cream cheese – A little more substantial than the toast with a small dab of protein to stave off hunger.

Yogurt and granola – A power pack of simple and complex carbs.

Final Suggestions

These are just some sample ideas of what you can eat before a run to stay energized and prevent stomach cramps. While eating before a run is highly individualized, with a few simple experiments, you can find the optimal pre run meal or snack for you.

By fueling properly and not eating too little or too much before you head out for your long training runs, you can maximize your training and start seeing results sooner.

(01/13/2022) ⚡AMP
by Coach Jeff
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The Royal Bank of Canada becomes title sponsor of Brooklyn Half Marathon

A major Canadian company is making a mark in The Big Apple. The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has become the new title sponsor of the NYRR Brooklyn Half, the largest half marathon in the U.S., which has hosted 27,000 from around the world every May on the streets of Brooklyn. The race has been run virtually in the past two years because of the pandemic.

This deal was announced earlier this week by NYRR and RBC. The sponsorship also includes the launch of a new race, RBC Race for the Kids, designed to support kids and youth-focused causes in the city. The event will be added to the NYRR race calendar each spring as a four-mile run and 1.4-mile walk for families. 

This year’s RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon takes runners on a journey through the diverse neighbourhoods of Brooklyn, with the race starting at the Brooklyn Museum, passing the Grand Army Plaza, running through Prospect Park and along Ocean Parkway to the finish line on Coney Island’s boardwalk.

RBC has been strongly committed to giving back to communities through sport since 2002. RBC is also the title sponsor of Training Ground in Canada, a talent identification and athlete funding program designed to find young athletes with Olympic potential. Then giving them the tools and resources to excel in the sport. They also sponsor many Canadian athletes like Aaron Brown, Ben Preisner and Madeleine Kelly through the RBC Olympians program that provides elite athletes with an opportunity to gain valuable career experience alongside a flexible work schedule, to allow the time necessary to train and compete on the world stage.

The NYRR plans to host the Brooklyn Half at its traditional time on May 14, at a full capacity of 27,000 runners.

(01/12/2022) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon

RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon

The RBC Brooklyn Half takes you on a 13.1-mile tour through the Borough of Kings, from Prospect Park to the Coney Island Boardwalk.NYRR is thrilled to welcome Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) as the title sponsor of the new RBC Brooklyn Half. The race starts at Prospect Park and ends with a finish like no other on the Coney Island...

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Study says muscle memory will help you get back in shape faster

Good news for anyone getting back into an exercise routine this year: new research shows your muscle memory will help you get back into shape faster. The report, published by the American Physiology Association, found that prior muscle training can accelerate muscle growth and response to exercise, even after an extended layoff.

Exercise layoffs

Over the last two years, a lot of Canadians have struggled to find the motivation to exercise. With the closing and re-opening of gyms and canceled or postponed races, training with any kind of consistency has been a challenge. For this reason, many Canadians, whether they’re a runner or not, have gotten off track with their training or fitness goals.

The good news is, even if you haven’t exercised in many months, your muscles still remember how to do it, and will bounce back much quicker thanks to “muscle memory.” But that’s not all — even if you’re starting a new exercise routine for the first time as an adult, you can still form muscle memory that will last for months and years to come.

Researchers at the University of Arkansas progressively trained mice on weighted wheels for eight weeks, then took them off the wheels for 12 weeks to “detrain” them. They followed this with an additional four weeks of training, alongside another group of previously untrained mice. Throughout the entire experiment, the scientists collected muscle biopsies of the mice’s muscles to look at them under a microscope.

In the final, four-week training phase, the previously-trained mice saw much faster gains in muscle growth after retraining compared to the control group of untrained mice. Why? When the researchers analyzed the mice’s muscles, they found specific epigenetic changes to DNA methylation that persisted, even after a long period of detraining. In other words, exercise changed their muscles at the epigenetic level, which means it changes the way a cell responds to stimuli, without altering the genetic code.

Eight weeks of training and 12 weeks off may not sound like much to you, but that’s actually about 10 per cent of a mouse’s lifespan. When you equate that to a human lifespan, those weeks turn into years. Of course, people are different than mice, and more studies need to be done to understand how exercise affects your muscles at the epigenetic level.

“Understanding the cues that enhance muscle adaptability, specifically those at the epigenetic level, has consequences for healthy gymgoers and athletes, as well as populations susceptible to muscle dysfunction, such as those forced into inactivity as well as aged individuals,” says Kevin Murach, an assistant professor in the Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation in an interview.

It’s also worth noting that the mice in the study were all adults, but they still managed to add muscle mass and improve their fitness, even though they were starting the exercise routine “later in life.” The takeaway? You can improve your fitness at any age, and even if you’re not a young person anymore, your muscles can still build up a memory that will stay with them for years to come.

The bottom line

There is still a lot to be learned about how exercise affects muscles at the cellular level, but this research is encouraging for anyone who’s experienced a long layoff during the pandemic. As Murach says, “it’s better to have worked out and lost muscle, than to have not worked out at all.”

(01/12/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Josh Kerr and Ollie Hoare to clash in men's Millrose mile

Olympic 1500m bronze medalist Josh Kerr and Olympic finalist Ollie Hoare will lead the charge for the WHOOP Men’s Wanamaker Mile at the 114th Millrose Games.

Kerr became Great Britain's second fastest ever 1500m runner with his 3:29.05 medal-winning run in Tokyo. While competing at the University of New Mexico, Kerr was the 2018 NCAA champion in the mile.

“The Wanamaker Mile has always been a staple in my indoor season, there is no race like it,” said Kerr. “I’m rested and ready to get ‘stuck in’ after a successful Olympics.”

Australia's Hoare, meanwhile, placed second in the 2020 Wanamaker Mile and reached the Olympic final in Tokyo this past summer. He was the 2018 NCAA 1500m champion while at the University of Wisconsin, taking down Kerr in the process.

“The Wanamaker Mile is one of the most prestigious indoor mile races in the world,” said Hoare. “To be able to go and compete again for the third time in this event is a privilege.

"Coach (Dathan Ritzenhein) and I are happy with where I am right now and I'm confident that I can take on whatever comes at me. Don't be surprised if you see some very fast mile times come out of New York.”

Five-time Olympian Nick Willis of New Zealand will also join the mix. The 38-year-old, who has finished as runner-up at the Wanamaker Mile three times, will be trying for a record 20th consecutive year of running a sub-four-minute mile. 

There are talented US runners in the field, led by 2016 Olympic 800m bronze medallist Clayton Murphy, and he will be joined by 18-year-old Hobbs Kessler and world finalist Craig Engels, as well as Ireland's Andrew Coscoran and Canada's Charles Philibert-Thiboutot.

Rounding out the field will be Mario Garcia Romo, Henry Wynne and Colby Alexander.

Other top athletes so far announced for the Millrose Games include 2016 world indoor 60m champion Trayvon Bromell, world 100m hurdles record-holder Kendra Harrison, Olympic shot put champion Ryan Crouser, world shot put champion Joe Kovacs, Olympic 800m champion Athing Mu, Olympic pole vault champion Katie Nageotte and world indoor pole vault champion Sandi Morris.

(01/12/2022) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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After two year-break Mainova Frankfurt Marathon returns on October 30

Following a two-year break because of the Corona Pandemic organisers of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon are confident that their race will return on 30th October. First held in the spring of 1981 with over 3,000 participants the event is Germany’s oldest city marathon. Over 14,000 marathon runners competed in 2019 when the race was last held. The former Gold Label Road Race, which is now an Elite Label Road Race of World Athletics, will have a new sports sponsor this year: Hoka One One. Online entry for the 39th edition of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon is possible from now on at: www.frankfurt-marathon.com

Hoka One One, a division of Deckers Brands, has been named as an official sportswear partner of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon for five years. Commencing in 2022, Hoka’s official partner status aims to enhance participants’ experience and help to further broaden interest in the event, engaging with its strong following in the running community.

The imposing Frankfurt skyline sets the stage for Frankfurt's largest street festival with many bands and stages, presenters, and music groups entertaining the runners along the route. As they approach the finish line, participants run the red carpet into the historic Frankfurt Festhalle - a spectacular indoor finish.

The Mainova Frankfurt Marathon has been recognized as a Gold Label Road Race by World Athletics and is also one of the most environmentally friendly marathons worldwide, winning the ‘AIMS Green Marathon Award’ in 2014 in recognition of this.

“In Hoka, we have found a strong partner for the further development of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon. As experts in innovation and quality in the field of running, we are very much looking forward to working together over the coming years. We are particularly impressed that Hoka are dedicated to strongly supporting our efforts in environmental initiatives for a sustainable marathon. We are therefore very much looking forward to the partnership, from which our participants will certainly benefit. After two tough years in which the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon unfortunately could not take place due to the Corona Pandemic, we are now looking forward with confidence. The partnership with Hoka will give us new momentum for the coming years,“ said Race Director Jo Schindler.

Mike McManus, Director of Global Sports Marketing, added: “As the longest established race in Germany, Hoka is thrilled to be announcing our support of the historic Mainova Frankfurt Marathon. We are committed to bringing an outstanding running experience to the participants, and to enhancing this already world-class event with our commitment to bold innovation and our love of the sport.”

Through its support of this event, Hoka aims to ignite its ambitions in Europe and beyond, in line with its mission of empowering all athletes to feel like they can fly. As well as the creation of a world-class customer experience, the focus will be using this incredible platform to raise awareness amongst new and existing Hoka fans about the brand and its products.

More Information and online entry are available at: Frankfurt-Marathon.com.

(01/12/2022) ⚡AMP
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Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Frankfurt is an unexpectedly traditional and charming city, with half-timbered buildings huddled in its quaint medieval Altstadt (old city), cosy apple wine taverns serving hearty regional food, village-like neighbourhoods filled with outdoor cafes, boutiques and street art, and beautiful parks, gardens and riverside paths. The city's cache of museums is second in Germany only to Berlin’s, and its nightlife...

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Something you might not know about this past world mile record holder

Aside from perhaps Roger Bannister (a 4:52 high school miler who PRed at 3:59.4) or John Landy (a 4:43.8 kid who eventually went 3:58), you'd be hard pressed to find another 'more improved' miler than Dick Buerkle.

As a Rochester, NY schoolboy, Dick's PB was but 4:28 (and just 10:01 for 2 miles)...yet, he somehow managed to later produce a quite remarkable 3:54.93, to become the unlikliest of all one mile world record holders.

(01/11/2022) ⚡AMP
by Mike Fanelli
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2022 Little Rock Marathon calls for volunteers to help celebrate its 20th anniversary

The Little Rock Marathon is calling on the community for volunteers to help celebrate its 20th anniversary.

According to the Marathon executive director Geneva Lamm, it takes more than 2,000 volunteers and 60 sponsors to make the event happen each year.

“The Little Rock Marathon is one of the biggest events in Arkansas, and we couldn’t make it happen without the help of our tremendous volunteers,” Lamm said. “Volunteering is one of the best ways to experience all the excitement of race weekend.”

Organizers are asking volunteers to fill positions like registration workers, marathon aid stations workers, health and fitness expo volunteers, entertainers on the racecourse and workers for runner services and gear checks.

The weekend includes multiple races, including a free two-day health and fitness expo, the Little Rock Marathon, the Little Rock Half Marathon, the Little Rock 10k and the Little Rock 5k, organizers said.

(01/11/2022) ⚡AMP
by Alexis Nalley
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Little Rock Marathon

Little Rock Marathon

The mission of the Little Rock Marathon is provide a premier event open to athletes of all abilities, while promoting a healthy lifestyle through running and walking and raising money for Little Rock Parks & Recreation. Since inception in 2003, more than $1,093,000 has been donated to Little Rock Parks & Recreation. Little Rock Marathon Race Weekend is held the...

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Olympic Medalists Will Headline 2022 Boston Marathon Women’s Field

Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, the 2021 Olympic gold medalist in the marathon, and her countrywoman Joyciline Jepkosgei, who ran the fastest marathon of 2021, 2:17:43, when she won the London Marathon, headline the Boston Marathon elite women’s field for 2022.

American Molly Seidel, who won Olympic bronze last summer, will also line up in Hopkinton on April 18.

The race marks the 50th anniversary of the first official women’s field at the Boston Marathon. This year’s elite women entrants include Olympic and Paralympic medalists, World Major Marathon champions, and sub-2:20 marathoners.

The race will include four Ethiopians with sub-2:20 credentials: Degitu Azimeraw, Roza Dereje, Zeineba Yimer, and Tigist Girma.

Former Boston Marathon champions Des Linden (2018) and Edna Kiplagat (2017) will race, as will Mary Ngugi of Kenya, who was third in Boston last October.

In addition to Linden, Sara Hall, who is the second-fastest woman in American marathoning history, is part of a strong crop of American talent. Nell Rojas, who was the top American finisher at Boston last year, and top-10 2020 Olympic Trials finishers Kellyn Taylor and Stephanie Bruce are also scheduled to run.

Other notable competitors include Canadian Olympian and national record-holder Malindi Elmore, two-time Canadian Olympian Natasha Wodak, and Charlotte Purdue, who is the third-fastest woman in British marathon history.

The Boston Marathon benefits from being the only World Marathon Major race on the calendar in the spring.

“As we look to celebrate the trailblazing women of 1972, we are delighted to welcome the fastest and most accomplished women’s field in the history of the Boston Marathon,” BAA President and CEO Tom Grilk said in a press release. “Though there have been many milestones in the five decades since the women’s division was established in Boston, this field of Olympic and Paralympic medalists, Boston champions, and global stars will make this a race to remember on Patriots’ Day.”

Elite field

Peres Jepchirchir (KEN) 2:17:16Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN) 2:17:43Degitu Azimeraw (ETH) 2:17:58Roza Dereje (ETH) 2:18:30Zeineba Yimer (ETH) 2:19:28 Edna Kiplagat (KEN) 2:19:50Tigist Girma (ETH) 2:19:52Maurine Chepkemoi (KEN) 2:20:18Sara Hall (USA) 2:20:32Desiree Linden (USA) 2:22:38Viola Cheptoo (KEN) 2:22:44 Purity Changwony (KEN) 2:22:46Charlotte Purdue (GBR) 2:23:26Kellyn Taylor (USA) 2:24:28Molly Seidel (USA) 2:24:42Malindi Elmore (CAN) 2:24:50Mary Ngugi (KEN) 2:25:20 Monicah Ngige (KEN) 2:25:32Natasha Wodak (CAN) 2:26:19Nell Rojas (USA) 2:27:12 Stephanie Bruce (USA) 2:27:47Dakotah Lindwurm (USA) 2:29:04Roberta Groner (USA) 2:29:09Angie Orjuela (COL) 2:29:12Bria Wetsch (USA) 2:29:50Maegan Krifchin (USA) 2:30:17Elaina Tabb (USA) 2:30:33Lexie Thompson (USA) 2:30:37Kate Landau (USA) 2:31:56

 

(01/11/2022) ⚡AMP
by Chris Hatler
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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...

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Five rules every new runner should follow

Starting a new running routine isn’t easy. Do a quick Google search and you’ll get an unending number of (often conflicting) sources telling you what you should and shouldn’t do, leaving your head spinning and making you question if this sport is right for you. Before you get overwhelmed and give up, let us help you out. These five rules will help you stay consistent in your new routine so that you can progress and feel confident in yourself.

1.- You’re allowed to take walk breaks

Many runners (new and old) mistakingly believe that taking walk breaks during their runs somehow makes them non-runners. We promise — if you take a couple of walk breaks during a run, it still counts as a run. In fact, for many beginners, walk-running is the best way to ease yourself into a new running routine, both physically and mentally. If running 5K nonstop sounds terrifying to you, try instead running for five minutes and walking for five minutes for a total of 30 minutes. As you get fitter, you can gradually walk less and run more until before you know it, you’re crushing your first 5K.

2.- You’re not always going to feel like running, and that’s OK

Another common misconception new runners have is that veterans of the sport always feel like going for a run and never struggle with motivation. This could not be further from the truth. Runners of all levels, right up to Olympians, have days when they’d rather stay in bed than push themselves out the door for a run.

If you have a day (or two, or three) when you aren’t in the mood, there’s nothing wrong with you. It also doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. When your motivation wanes, try convincing yourself to go out and run (or walk/run) for just 10 minutes. Chances are, once you get out there you’ll feel better and want to keep going. If you don’t, a 10-minute run can still have a positive impact on your health and your mood.

3.- Don’t give up just because you missed one run

On that note, if you have a day when you succumb to your lack of motivation, don’t beat yourself up about it and definitely don’t give up. Give yourself a little pep talk and get out there the next day. Missing one, or even two or three runs doesn’t mean your entire goal of starting a new running routine is ruined.

4.- You don’t have to run fast all the time

In fact, you shouldn’t. Many new runners think they have to get out there and run as hard as they can, or else they didn’t get a good workout. This approach will almost always lead to injuries and burnout. Start slow, start small, and build yourself up. Learn to enjoy running first, then add the speed in later.

5.- Don’t compare yourself with others

Apps like Strava, RunKeeper and other fitness trackers can be a great way to stay motivated, but they do have downsides. It’s easy to look at what others are doing and get discouraged because you see them running farther and faster than you, which can be de-motivating and cause you to give up. On the flip-side, you risk getting stuck in the comparison trap and end up pushing yourself harder than you should.

Don’t compare yourself to what other runners are doing, especially when you’re first starting out. You have no idea what their running history is or what their goals are. Do what you can with what you have starting from where you are, and progress at a pace that feels healthy and sustainable for you.

(01/11/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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