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Positive self-talk: does it really work?, The science behind positive self-talk is mixed, but many runners swear by it to get them to the finish line

The mental side of running takes just as much time to master as the physical side, and for most of us, it’s a continuous work in progress. Many runners like to use positive self-talk to get them through rough patches or to help them deal with pre-race nerves, but does this psychological strategy actually work? The research is mixed, but many runners will still argue yes.

Positive self-talk: mixed reviews

A 2013 study in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that recreational athletes who took part in a positive self-talk program improved their time-to-exhaustion test results by 114 seconds, while those who didn’t participate in the program actually got worse.

Of course, this suggests that positive self-talk is a highly effective psychological tool, but since this study, many have pointed out its flaws. Time-to-exhaustion tests are much different than time trials, for example, which could skew the results.

Another 2018 study published in the journal The Sport Psychologist performed a similar test, this time with ultramarathoners completing a 60-mile race. In this case, the researchers found no significant difference between the two groups. So does positive self-talk actually work?

The power of your mind

The actual science of positive self-talk might be undecided, but many runners swear by it. There are so many factors that affect an athlete’s performance, making it nearly impossible to isolate how positive self-talk affects the outcome of a time trial or race. No amount of positive self-talk, for example, is going to prevent you from hitting the wall during a marathon if you’ve made fuelling errors during the race.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use positive self-talk during runs, workouts and races. In fact, using it during training may help you enjoy your training more. It may also help motivate you to get out the door when you don’t feel like it, or to do that last interval when you’re getting tired near the end of a workout, and the cumulative effect of pushing yourself over time likely will improve your performance on race day.

How to use positive self-talk

It can be challenging to silence the negative voices in your head when you’re struggling through a challenging run, so it’s important that you prepare for it before you even start. Just like you set intentions for your workout (today I’m doing intervals to work on my speed, or today’s long run is to improve my endurance for my goal race), you should plan to think positively before you start your run.

What do you want to tell yourself during your run? What are you going to do when negative thoughts creep in? Consider creating a mantra that you can use when the going gets tough, or coming up with some words of affirmation to bolster you when you feel like giving up.

These words and phrases don’t have to be long or complicated, as long as they work for you. Check out our advice for how to make a running mantra for inspiration, and start using positive self-talk to improve your runs and workouts, or at least, make them more bearable.

(03/28/2022) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Use these pre-run drills to improve your running form, Dr. Brittany Moran of The Runner's Academy shares the five-minute pre-run routine you need to improve your running technique

We don’t often think of running as a skill-based sport, but if you want to move well with power and efficiency, you have to practice the movements involved in running. We spoke with Dr. Brittany Moran from The Runner’s Academy in Toronto, who gave us a five-minute routine you can do before every run to perfect your running form.

Why are form drills important?

“Running is a skill, and therefore you need to learn how to run and practice it,” says Moran. “Think about tennis–you would never expect to just know how to play; you would learn. Running is the same.” She explains that running is a progression of marching, which is why form drills should mimic the marching movement.

The following pre-run routine takes no more than five minutes, but when done consistently before most of your runs, you’ll begin to see significant improvements in your running form. Not only will this make you more efficient (and therefore faster), it will also help prevent some injuries.

Moran points out that it’s important to be deliberate when performing pre-run drills, and that you pay close attention to your form so that you’re doing the drills properly. She adds that using the appropriate cues is important, and encourages runners to focus on external cues (like march and piston) rather than internal (telling yourself to keep your knees up).

Finally, Moran says runners need to also practice proper running form during their runs, and encourages runners to dedicate one run per week in which they spend time focusing on their technique. She suggests spending one minute every kilometer being deliberate and slightly exaggerated with your form.

(03/28/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Tips for Running Your First Marathon

Marathons are incredibly challenging, especially to those who haven’t been in the fitness industry for long. While marathons are generally safe, there are people who have died in these events. This should already be enough cause to take marathons seriously, and to prepare for them properly.

The Notorious 1904 Olympic Marathon

There are plenty of things that can go wrong during a marathon, and no other marathon has had such a bad course as the Olympic Marathon in 1904. This particular marathon was held in St. Louis, United States on August 30, 1904. Three people almost died while running the 24.85 mile race.

One runner was nearly chased down by wild dogs, while another had been given rat poison (strychnine) and brandy to complete the marathon, after which he had lost eight pounds and could barely walk. The third runner was found unconscious by the side of the road with severe internal injuries that could have killed him had he been found an hour later.

The roads weren’t closed, which meant that runners had to dodge busy streets and all of the dangers that came with them. What’s arguably worse is the fact that the winner of the marathon finished the race by riding a car and then running to the finish line. He would later admit to the act, for which he was disqualified for.

The event was deemed the worst olympic marathon in history. It was even almost enough to cause the Olympic board to completely remove marathons from its list of sporting events. While modern marathons are far less dangerous that the 1904 marathon, this shouldn’t be a reason to be complacent. Running a marathon is a serious undertaking, which is why it’s important to know how to prepare for a race.


Wear the Right Clothing

Make sure that your clothing is appropriate for the weather conditions that you’re going to be facing. Cotton should generally be avoided because it’s going to absorb your sweat, which will weigh you down. Performance clothing are made of moisture-wicking material that helps keep runners dry. If you’re running on a hot course, opt for breathable fabrics. If you’re running in cold weather, stick to heat-retaining fabrics. Don’t forget to prioritize comfort as well.

Choosing Your Running Shoes

It’s important to know the terrain that you’re going to run on before buying your running shoes. Some shoes are tailored for road running, which maximize the bounce from your heel strikes, while other shoes are better suited for trail runs, which come with more durable outsoles that are designed to cushion your feet against rocks and other sharp objects.

It’s also important to train with the shoes you intend to race with. This gives your feet the time to adjust to the fit of the shoes. Changing shoes on race day can yield disastrous results, as they may turn out to be uncomfortable and unusable.

Come Up With a Nutrition Plan

A nutrition plan is what’s going to keep you fueled during training and after your marathon. For similar reasons, it’s important to avoid eating any new food on race day as you aren’t sure how your body is going to react to the food. Everything you plan to eat during race day needs to be tested during the days leading up to your race. This will help keep you from requiring unscheduled bathroom breaks, which will significantly hurt your target time.

Learn to Identify Good and Bad Pain

While pain is a natural byproduct of any rigorous physical activity, there are some types of pain that could represent a much more serious problem in the body. All types of pain are indicative of damage in the body. However, some pain should be treated as an emergency.

Dull pain that occurs a few hours after a training session can be attributed to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This is harmless and is a natural part of strengthening your body.

However, if the pain you feel is sharp and immediate, you need to stop everything you’re doing and to have your affected muscle checked by a doctor because sharp and immediate pain will almost always be indicative of an injury. Ignoring this type of pain can cause further damage to your body, which can further complicate the injury and may even cause irreparable damage.

On the other hand, there are pains that every marathon runner must endure. This pain can be mitigated through disciplined training where the body
builds tolerance to the pain it experiences.

Plan for Post-Marathon Recovery

Pain occurring before, during, and after a marathon is normal, but it’s also important to help alleviate soreness and fatigue. The goal here is to recover from the marathon so that you’re able to return to your original functions. Changing into warm clothes first thing after a marathon will help keep you from getting sick.

It’s also important to restore your lost fluids. Generally, you’re going to need about 500ml per hour after your race. Stretching and rolling out your muscles will help relieve muscle soreness and will facilitate blood flow, which is essential to allow the body to distribute much-needed nutrients to your muscles.

Finally, it’s important to increase your food intake to aid in rebuilding your muscles. This will not only help you prepare for your next training session. It will also help support the strengthening of your body as your muscles become denser and stronger as they are rebuilt repeatedly with fresh muscle fibers. On average, you burn about 2,600 calories over 26.2 miles. This is also one reason why running is an effective exercise to help you burn fat. The farther the distance, the higher the burn rate. Use this information to determine how much more food you need to eat.

 

Running a marathon is never easy. Due preparations must be made not only so you can finish your race, but also so you can avoid unnecessary injuries.

(03/28/2022) ⚡AMP
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Ethiopians Fikre Bekele and Adugna Dalasa made a big win in the 2022 Rome marathon on Sunday

The eternal Italian city of Rome hosted over 11 thousand runners, including 5 thousand foreign runners from 102 countries for the 27th International Rome Marathon on Sunday, March 27, 2022.

Ethiopian runners Bekele Fikre Tefera and Dalasa Sechale Adugna won the 27th International Rome Marathon, an annual run at the Italian capital Rome.

An Italian media reported that athlete Tefera broke the record of the Marathon with 2 hours 6 minutes and 48 seconds.

The record belonged to the Kenyan athlete Benjamin Kiptoo Kolum with 2 hours 7 minutes and 18 seconds in 2009.

Foreign runners, as well as locals, joined the Acea Run Rome the Marathon, the Charity Relay Acea Run4 Rome and the popular Fun Race. The latter returns on site for the first time in the post-pandemic era, but runners took part in virtual mode from all over Italy. The race started from Fori Imperiali at 8.30. Runners run around Rome for 42 km alongside the Tiber, source of life and symbol of this edition, which is featured on the medal and on the official t-shirt.

There were 2417 women entered in the marathon, more than 22% of all participants.

Although the pandemic is not over yet and there are still many restrictions to travel, 5 thousand foreign runners from 102 countries representing all continents took part in the Acea Run Rome Marathon.

Italy was the most represented country with 5827 participants, followed by France (909 runners), the United Kingdom (693) and Spain (455). The United States was ranked just behind and is first among non-European countries with 330 participants. 49 Ukrainian runners registered. Only a few of them were able to be at the start line.

(03/28/2022) ⚡AMP
by Özgür Töre
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Run Rome The Marathon

Run Rome The Marathon

When you run our race you will have the feeling of going back to the past for two thousand years. Back in the history of Rome Caput Mundi, its empire and greatness. Run Rome The Marathon is a journey in the eternal city that will make you fall in love with running and the marathon, forever. The rhythm of your...

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Improve hip stability with these five simple exercises, Your hips play an important role in your running stride. Keep them strong and healthy with these simple exercises

Runners talk a lot about the importance of core strength to prevent injuries and improve performance, but if you ignore your hips, you’re missing a key component in injury prevention. Your pelvis, which is made up of your glutes, adductors and hip flexors, play an important role in your running stride, and by keeping them strong and stable, you’ll improve your running economy and stay healthy. Include these five exercises in your strength training routine to keep your hips happy.

1.- Hip hikes

Stand on a low step, with one foot off the bench and your hips level

Keeping the leg you’re standing on straight, drop your opposite hip, lowering your foot by a few centimeters

Squeezing the glute you’re standing on, hike your hip into the air

Repeat 10-15 times

2.- Hip bridge monster walks

Squeeze your lower abs and glutes and push your hips up to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. This is your starting position.

Keeping your hips stable (not dropping on one side or the other), extend one leg out straight.

Return that leg to the ground and extend the opposite leg.

Continue “marching” until you’ve done 10-15 repetitions on each side

Note: if you begin to feel your hamstrings straining during this exercise, drop back down to the ground, re-engage your glutes and continue.

3.- Side lunge

Start standing with a wide stance.

Hinge at your hips, send your butt backward as you drop to one side (your heels should remain on the floor.

Drop as low as you can without your torso pitching forward, then squeeze your glutes to return to the starting position.

Do 10-15 repetitions on one side, then 10-15 on the other.

4.- Banded clamshells

Lie down on one side with your legs stacked one on top of the other, with an exercise band wrapped around your legs, just above your knees. Bend your knees slightly.

Tighten your core and squeeze your glutes to raise your top leg into the air, keeping your feet together. Only raise your leg high enough so that you’re using your glutes.

Lower your leg back to the starting position and repeat 10-15 times per side.

5.- Airplanes

Stand on one leg in a marching position, keeping your core tight to prevent your pelvis from tucking forward.

Hinge at your hips and extend your leg out behind you as straight as you can make it, with your arms extended out to the sides.

Slowly rotate your torso to one side, then to the other.

Return to the centre, stand upright, the repeat five times on each leg.

(03/28/2022) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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The 3 Keys To Race Day Fueling

To begin nailing your race fueling, it is important to understand the mechanisms behind it so that you can cover your bases.   Many runners go directly to calories as being the cause for all of their issues, but unfortunately it is more complicated than that.  Fueling properly requires a delicate balance of three keys: fluids, electrolytes, and calories.  If one of these gets knocked out of balance by too little or too much intake (or the wrong source), disaster can ensue.  

1. Get in those calories

Calories=energy.  Your body has about 1,800-2,000 calories of carbohydrates stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver (think of this as your gas tank). Once this tank is emptied, if you aren't taking in calories from outside sources, your body is solely relying on fat and muscle for energy production.  These systems can and will be utilized for energy production, but the process will be slower, leaving you to bonk, and can lead to serious health risks, such as heartbeat irregularities and rhabdomyolysis (kidney damage).

When setting up a target calorie intake for yourself, 200-300 calories per hour is often a good, general starting point for most runners.  Smaller-framed runners may be able to start on the lower end of this recommended intake, while larger-framed runners could start on the upper end.  

When considering calorie sources, carbohydrates are still king for energy production for endurance runners.  Even if your pace is slower, carbohydrates are going to provide an efficient energy source that will keep you alert and able to push hills and maintain pace.  

Aim for mostly carbohydrate rich calorie sources with a bit of protein and some fat mixed in is a good starting point.  Calorie sources for running events can come from a combination of hydration mix, whole foods, gels, and chews.  Figuring out what works best for you is where science meets art. 

Some runners like the convenience of getting calories from hydration mix, while others prefer just water and electrolytes, getting their calories from whole food sources.  Gels provide a quick source of energy that may be preferred for shorter events, while some runners have stomachs that can't handle them.  Take it from an expert: there is no one best way to fuel, and chances are the first thing you try might not be the best option. It takes time and testing to figure out what works for you.

2. Take in electrolytes

Electrolytes are key in  nutrient utilization, fluid balance and muscle contraction.  While all electrolytes including sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, and magnesium play a role for these processes to occur in the body, focus on sodium intake, since it is lost fastest through sweat.  Sodium also helps fluid balance and sugar transport across the small intestine, which prevents cramping, bloating, and bonking.

Diving a little bit deeper, sodium itself allows for glucose (sugar) utilization because it acts like a key, allowing for a sugar transporter in the small intestine (GLUT4) to open.  Without proper replenishment of sodium from outside fueling sources, there is a risk of not having glucose transporters open quickly enough and a concentration gradient difference to form between the inside of the small intestine and the blood plasma.  When this occurs, water flows into the small intestine and can result in gas, bloating, diarrhea, and stomach cramping.  

A good starting place for most runners is 250-500mg of intake per hour.  Athletes with a low sweat rate (more on that later) can stick to the low end, and sweatier folks or runners racing at altitude or in the heat should aim for the higher end. Salt tabs, hydration mixes or food can provide a solid dose of sodium. 

3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

While race location, climate, and sweat rate will ultimately determine fluid needs, the main thing that needs to be considered is that for some runners, it is quite difficult to actually replace all fluids lost through sweat in a race during a race.  Ideally, we want to minimize fluid losses to no more than 2-3% loss of body weight in fluids, the point where we start to see performance impacts such as fatigue, cramping, and gastrointestinal distress due to dehydration.  A good starting point for most runners with no information on their sweat rate is 16-20 ounces of fluid intake per hour.  If this fluid intake causes a sloshing stomach, it may be too much, in which case, target amounts per hour should be reduced.  

If GI Issues Persist

It can sometimes be complicated figuring out what might be causing your fueling issues (nausea, swelling, fatigue, cramping, gastrointestinal distress), and if you find yourself lost without an answer, it might be time to work with a sports dietitian or doctor that can help you more closely dial in the details. 

For runners wanting to dial in their sweat rate and sodium losses a bit more precisely, at home or in person sweat tests can be useful.

While nothing is guaranteed on race day, putting together and practicing an individualized fueling plan ahead of time can increase the odds that you will successfully complete your event sans nutrition related issues.  

(03/27/2022) ⚡AMP
by Trail Runner Magazine
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Is Multiple 100-Mile Races In A Single Season Too Much?

Jim Walmsley absolutely destroyed the competition and the course record at the 2018 Western States 100. Rather than kicking back and enjoying the win, however, Walmsley needed to quickly return to training for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) just two months later. While he started out strong in UTMB, he eventually took a DNF, his legs drained of all energy.

Now that he's had time to reflect, Walmsley admits that top results at two 100-milers within a couple of months might be a stretch.

"My training went well and I was able to get in more tapering for UTMB than last year," he says. "But the combination might be asking too much."

The experience has left Walmsley reconsidering how he might approach his 2019 season.

Walmsley's two-big-100s-in-a-season approach is something several elites have attempted, with mixed results-Darcy Piceu, Jeff Browning and Karl Meltzer, among them. Fellow elite Tim Tollefson focuses only on UTMB each year. Magda Lewy Boulet passed over Western States in favor of a good go at UTMB as well (both Tollefson and Boulet took hard falls and had to pull out last year).

Which begs some questions: Is more than one 100-miler feasible in a given season? And how does the question differ for elites vs amateurs?

Figuring the Formula

The formula for successful marathoning (if your definition of success is placing well) is somewhat tried and true at no more than two per year, says Mario Fraioli, author of the "Morning Shakeout" and coach to Tollefson.

"For most athletes, even elites, racing two high-level marathons a year, between the buildup, the race itself and recovery afterward, is a big ask of the body and mind," he says. "Two a year is all most people can handle if they're committed to training properly, performing optimally and recovering adequately."

In contrast, runners and coaches are still tinkering with the right mixture of 100-milers. It pays to consider the toll that mileage takes on your body, a toll that varies depending on distance and how hard your effort was.

Recovery First

"The intensity of a 50K or 50-miler is a lot higher than it is during 100," Fraioli says. "On the flipside, 100 miles is a lot longer time to be out on your feet and more things can go wrong. Your body goes through a lot when it's out for that long (as does your mind), the nutritional demands are different, sleep gets affected, and it just beats you up in a different way under the hood."

Ian Sharman, coach and founder of Sharman Ultra Endurance Coaching, says that pulling off multiple 100s in a season is doable, but  should be a game of patience.

"Unlike marathons, where being in top shape on race day is necessary for hitting goal pace, ultras are more forgiving," he says. "Someone like Walmsley can go into a 100 out of peak shape and that won't be the biggest factor for how the day goes."

Temperature, nutrition, trail conditions and the way a race unfolds within the field all play a role, as can plain old luck. Consider the falls that took out several top contenders at UTMB last year, as well as the blistering pace laid down by the early leaders-a pace that eventually chewed them up and spit them out.

Still, Sharman says, elites and amateurs alike should take a long time to build up to the challenge of two or more 100s in a year. "Don't get greedy," he cautions. "Make that first race a big deal, and then wait to see how recovery goes."

That means not fixing a set time to recover or having a second 100 lined up. "Listen to what your body and mind are telling you and don't force the issue," Sharman says.

Look for positive recovery signs like a return to normal resting heart rate, the ability to get a good night's sleep, lack of muscle soreness and mental enthusiasm for a return to training. All indicate you may be ready to return to more normalized training and, eventually, racing.

Fraioli says that because Tollefson is still relatively new to the 100-mile distance, as a team they have approached it conservatively. "A big reason is that at his level, there's a physical and psychological toll to the volume and intensity," he says. "The prep is arduous and we need to build in adequate recovery."

The rules for amateurs, however, will take on a different appearance.

What About the Rest of Us?

For amateurs, the edge needn't be as sharp. "Many age groupers are running 100s as an experiential event-it's not their job," Fraioli explains. "But the same principles of recovery should apply."

That means not jumping back into training quickly after the first event. "You have an incredible base built up from that first race and that's probably your best training for your second," says Fraioli. "Detach from a schedule and keep your running loose and unstructured."

Until you've reached a fully recovered state, run when you feel like it, leave the speedwork at home and keep distances and paces on the shorter/easier side.

That was the approach Jason Bahamundi of Dallas, Texas, took in 2016, when his desire to qualify for the Western States lottery forced him into running two 100s, by accident, just two weeks apart. With seven 100s and several other ultras under his belt, the consistently high-placing age-grouper Bahamundi treaded cautiously in order to pull the double off.

"I ran the Coldwater Rumble in January, mistakenly assuming it was a WS qualifier," he says. "It wasn't so I began looking for a second option. Rocky Raccoon was two weeks later, so I went for it."

Knowing that his only focus between the two races was recovery, Bahamundi completed only a handful of runs, all five miles or shorter.

"I focused on eating healthy and getting plenty of sleep," he says. "I needed the swelling to go down so I'd be prepared to race again."

He also approached the second 100 with a conservative mindset. "I was only concerned with finishing and I know I can walk a 15- to 18-minute mile and still finish under 30 hours," says Bahamundi. "I was able to finish out in 20 hours, three hours faster than at Coldwater. Rocky Raccoon is an easier course so you can wear yourself out pretty quickly if you're not careful."

Your Mileage May Vary

Fraioli says that the quest to run multiple 100s in a season will look different for each runner and that there's no real blueprint to follow. That said: "As a general rule, prioritize rest, recovery and cross training between 100-mile efforts," says Fraioli. "For most people, you won't have to rebuild the wheel in between, but you do have to recover and reset so that you're ready to go to the well again."

"There are more ultras and more interest in running 100-milers than ever," he says. "There's just not much data available yet to understand the toll they will take on a body, so everyone has to figure out their own balance

(03/27/2022) ⚡AMP
by Trail Runner Magazine
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Rock N Roll DC Recap

More than 12,000 registered participants took to the streets of the Nation’s Capital on Saturday celebrating the 10th running of the United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Washington D.C.

The musically-themed event provided runners and walkers alike with an unforgettable running tour of the District showcasing some of its most iconic scenery, including the National Mall, the White House, the Capitol Building, the Lincoln Memorial, and much more before passing down an electric finish at RFK Stadium all during peak cherry blossom season.

The second event in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Elite™ half marathon series took part at Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington, D.C., it was Justin Kent (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada) and Hirut Guangul (New York, N.Y.) claiming victories.

The winners

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Elite half marathon series offered a shared $10,000 elite prize purse and Elite Beat Rankings (EBR) points to the top three male and female finishers including in his second straight victory, Justin Kent of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada took top honors in the men’s race, earning 50 EBR points with a finishing time of 1:03:56 and cementing his #1 ranking, with 100 total points in the new series. Collecting 44 EBR points was Benjamin Preisner of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with a finishing time of 1:05:01, and John Borjesson of Boulder, Colo. followed in third place finishing at 1:05:49 and scoring 39 points. Hirut Guangul of New York, N.Y. took the top spot in the women’s race earning 50 points with a finishing time of 1:14:01. Emiline Delanis of Cary, N.C. followed Guangul in second for the women’s division with a finishing time of 1:14:24, earning 44 points, while Jane Bareikis of Crestwood, Ill. rounded out the podium with a time of 1:14:31, earning 39 points. The new Rock ‘n’ Roll Elite half marathon competition offers world-class runners the opportunity to showcase their talents in eight cities in North America, culminating with a grand finale at the 2023 edition of Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Las Vegas.

Several local bands, including Enviro Drum, Ocho de Bastos, Prettier in Person, BATALIA, and School of Rock performed live on band stages along the route interspersed with crowd support. The party wasn’t only on the course – runners were treated to the sounds of local favorite White Ford Bronco whose lead singer, Gretchen Gustafson ran the half marathon just before taking the stage at the Finish Line Festival at the Armory Mall just outside RFK Stadium.

 

(03/27/2022) ⚡AMP
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Rock 'n' Roll Washington D.C.

Rock 'n' Roll Washington D.C.

Experience a VIP running tour of the Nation’s Capital when you run the United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Washington DC. Our impressive, award winning courses boast postcard worthy views of the most iconic monuments in the district such as the White House, the Capitol Building, the Lincoln Memorial and MORE. Earn your (stars and) stripes when you cross...

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Obiri and Kwemoi claim half marathon crowns in Istanbul

Hellen Obiri ran the 10th fastest ever women's half marathon and Rodgers Kwemoi broke the course record to win the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon, a World Athletics Elite Label road race, on Sunday (27).

Both races got off to a blistering start and while the early world record pace could not be maintained on a sunny and breezy morning, Kenya's Obiri and Kwemoi held on to triumph by a big margin, beating two stong fields.

Two-time world 5000m champion Obiri ran 1:04:48 to win the women's race by more than a minute ahead of Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu and Bekelech Gudeta, while Kwemoi improved the men's course record to 59:15 to beat his training partner Daniel Mateiko (1:00:05) and Emmanuel Bor, who had started the race as a pacemaker.

The N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon was one of the few international races that went ahead last year during the pandemic and it ended with a world record by Ruth Chepngetich, the world marathon champion running 1:04:02. Since then, that women's world record has been improved to 1:02:52 by Letesenbet Gidey in Valencia and it was that mark the leaders were on target for in the early stages.

Running with a male pacemaker, Obiri was joined by Gemechu as they passed 5km in 14:45, putting them on a projected pace of just outside 62 minutes, with Ethiopia’s Bekelech Gudeta and Kenya’s Vicoty Chepngeno running together 10 seconds behind them. Turkey’s Yasemin Can was another 10 seconds back.

Speeding up further still, it was no surprise to see Obiri open a gap on Gemechu, but that pace could not be sustained in the windy conditions and the world cross-country champion had slowed by the 10km point, although that was still passed in 30:01. By that stage she was half a minute ahead of Gemechu, who had been caught by Chepngeno and Gudeta.

Obiri continued to forge ahead, passing 15km in 45:27 and 20km in 1:01:16 to eventually win in 1:04:48, improving both her time and position from the event 12 months earlier, when she was third behind Chepngetich in 1:04:51 – the fastest debut half marathon in history. Obiri currently sits fifth on the world all-time list with the 1:04:22 she ran to finish second at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon last month.

Gemechu, who won last year’s Copenhagen Half Marathon in a PB of 1:05:08, battled the challenge posed by Chepngeno and Gudeta and solo ran her way to second place in 1:05:52. Gudeta was third in 1:06:35, Chepngeno fourth in 1:06:58 and Can fifth in 1:07:57. The top 11 finished inside 70 minutes, while Moira Stewartova was just outside that and broke the Czech Republic record with 1:10:14 to finish 12th.

The men’s race leaders were also on pace to break Jacob Kiplimo’s world record of 57:31 set in Lisbon last year in the opening kilometres and Kwemoi, Mateiko and their compatriot Bor were just off that tempo through 5km in 13:40.That trio remained together as 10km was passed in 27:35 but then Kwemoi began to move away. The tempo was easing but he was still well in control, with a 20-second lead at 15km, which he passed in 41:34. That advantage had grown to 44 seconds by 20km (56:07) and he ran unchallenged to the finish line in 59:15 to improve the course record of 59:35 set by the then world record-holder Kibiwott Kandie last year.

Bor was 15 seconds behind runner-up Mateiko, running 1:00:20 for third place, while Kenya’s Edmond Kipngetich and Brian Kwemoi finished fourth and fifth with respective times of 1:00:30 and 1:00:50.

The top 10 were all under 62 minutes, with Ramazan Ozdemir being Turkey’s top finisher in 14th (1:04:02).

The event featured a record number of around 10,500 participants.

(03/27/2022) ⚡AMP
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N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

The Istanbul Half Marathon is an annual road running event over the half marathon distance (21.1 km) that takes place usually in the spring on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. It is a IAAF Gold Label event. The Istanbul Half Marathon was first organized in 1987. After several breaks it was finally brought back to life in 2015 when the...

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The 80/20 rule: how to actually apply it to your training, the polarized method of training has grown in popularity. Here's how (and when) to use it for the best results

The 80/20 rule involves running 80 per cent of your mileage at a low intensity, 20 per cent at a high intensity, and very little (if any) at a moderate intensity. It has become a popular method of training over the last several years, with many athletes ditching the pyramidal approach for this polarized training model, some with great success. The question is, is it right for you? And how can you apply it to your own training in a way that makes sense?

Pyramidal vs. polarized

Before polarized training entered the discussion, the majority of athletes following a structured training plan (which, admittedly, isn’t a large percentage of the recreational running population) were likely using the pyramidal method of training. In many ways, this approach to training isn’t that different from polarized training, since it still dictates that athletes run more than half their weekly volume at a low intensity.

Traditionally, pyramidal training is broken down like this: 75 per cent low-intensity, 20 per cent moderate intensity and five per cent high-intensity. Similar to polarized training, this method is based on the idea that the majority of an endurance athlete’s training should be low-intensity aerobic work, since this is the most important factor in driving aerobic adaptations while giving your body enough time to recover between sessions.

The difference, of course, is the inclusion of moderate-intensity tempo or threshold work, which followers of the 80/20 argue is less effective and isn’t the best use of your training hours.

Which model should you follow?

The truth is, both models have been proven to be highly effective at improving running performance, so the choice between which one you should follow often comes down to what works better for you, your experience level and your lifestyle. In many cases, runners will likely use both training models in the lead-up to their goal races. Confused? Here are a few factors that will influence which mileage breakdown you apply to your training:

Experience level

If you are new to structured training or new to running in general, you should avoid doing large volumes of high-intensity work. Running faster is harder on the body and is much more likely to lead to injuries, and doing 20 per cent of your volume at a high intensity may be too much for your body to properly recover between sessions.

This is why beginners will likely benefit more from a pyramidal training approach. Five per cent volume at a high intensity will be easier for your body to handle, and the rest of your low and moderate-intensity work will strengthen and prepare your body for those harder sessions. As you become more experienced, the polarized approach may be more feasible.

Training cycle

The type of training you follow will also change depending on where you’re at in your training cycle, and how close you are to race day. During your base training phase, the pyramidal approach works well to introduce your body to volume and intensity to prepare for harder sessions later in your training cycle. This is a safer way to begin a training cycle, especially if it’s following a period of rest after your last goal race.

As you get closer to race day, your training will likely begin to shift toward a more polarized approach. By this point, you will have built up the necessary strength and stamina to handle a greater volume of high-intensity running without getting injured or burnt out. The closer you get to your goal race, the more race-specific your training will become, and the polarized method of training is a great way to fine-tune your fitness in the final weeks of preparation.

Race distance

Of course, the distance you’re training for will also impact the types of runs and workouts you do. Training for a 5K looks a lot different than training for a marathon, and an experienced athlete training for a shorter distance will require more high-intensity volume if they want to see their times come down. These athletes will likely spend much more time throughout the year following a polarized training model.

A marathon runner, on the other hand, will likely benefit more from having tempo runs and other moderate-intensity work in their programs, which are more directly applicable to running longer distances.

It’s important to remember that regardless of which distance you’re training for, relative beginners, even those preparing for a shorter distance, should still be careful with how much high-intensity volume they’re doing.

The bottom line

Both the polarized and pyramidal training approaches have been proven to be effective, and they are nearly identical in one very important way: the majority of the volume is run at a low intensity. Many runners make the mistake of doing all of their runs at a moderate intensity, which hampers their bodies’ ability to recover between sessions and doesn’t allow for any high-intensity work.

Which approach you choose will depend on several factors, and it may take some trial and error to figure out what works best for you. In any case, there is one more important takeaway from this discussion: following a structured training plan will produce better results, regardless of which method you follow.

Of course, creating your own training plan may seem like a daunting task, especially for the already-busy runner with a full-time job and other commitments. You can find a variety of training plans out there for every race distance and ability level, and while these are athlete-specific, they’re much better than not following a training plan at all.

On the other hand, if you’re really serious about improving your performance or you’re struggling with injuries, enlisting the help of a coach is your best option. A good coach will work with you to create a plan that not only matches your ability level and goals, but works with your schedule and lifestyle.

(03/26/2022) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Russian racewalker Yelena Lashmanova loses Olympic and world titles after anti-doping violation

Russian racewalker Yelena Lashmanova, who won Olympic gold in world-record fashion at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, will be stripped of her gold medal after breaching World Athletics anti-doping rules. Her Olympic title won’t be the only gold she will lose, as the 20 km racewalk title from the 2013 World Championships in Moscow will also be removed.

Lashmanova won women’s 20 km racewalk at the London Olympics in a world record time of 1:25:02, which is four minutes and 15 seconds per kilometre. She has now been banned for two years, which started last year, for the use of prohibited substances.

According to World Athletics, Lashmanova has accepted the sanction proposed by the Athletics Integrity Unit, which includes the disqualification of her results between Feb. 18, 2012 and Jan. 3, 2014.

China’s Qieyang Shenjie and Liu Hong, who originally came second and third in London, have been upgraded to gold and silver. Lashmanova’s removal completes the Chinese sweep of the podium, as Lu Xiuzhi moved up into the bronze-medal position.

The new gold medallist, Shenjie, initially finished in the bronze-medal position but was upgraded to silver when Lashmanova’s teammate, Olga Kaniskina, was disqualified in 2016, also for a doping violation.

All three Russian racewalkers who competed in the women’s 20 km event are now disqualified. Anisya Kirdyapkina, who finished fifth, was disqualified in 2019.

Russia won eight gold medals in athletics at the London Olympics; now their gold medal count stands at two.

400m hurdler Natalya Antyukh and high-jumper Anna Chicherova remain as the only two Russian gold medallists from the London Olympics who have not been disqualified.

In 2020, Antyukh was charged with doping violations dating back to 2013, while Chicherova tested positive for the banned substance turinabol (an anabolic steroid), which resulted in the removal of her 2008 Olympic bronze high-jump medal.

Despite previous doping violations, both Antyukh’s and Chicherova’s Olympic gold medals still stand.

(03/26/2022) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Fight fatigue by working on your hamstrings and posture, If you want to decrease the effects of late-race fatigue, don't neglect your hamstrings and core strength

Better fatigue resistance often separates the elites from the rest of us. It can also be the difference between a new PB and going home disappointed. So how do you improve fatigue resistance? New research says having stronger hamstrings and better postural stability will help fight off the effects of late-race fatigue so you can run strong to the finish.

The two types of fatigue

The authors of the study, published in the journal Sensors, identify two types of fatigue: peripheral and central. At its simplest, peripheral fatigue is the exhaustion you feel in your muscles from prolonged physical activity, and central fatigue refers to fatigue in your central nervous system. Both can affect muscle strength and activity, as well as running form.

Fatigue, whether peripheral or central, will not only slow you down, but will also put you at a higher risk for injuries. As fatigue begins to set in, research shows runners experience an increase in ground reaction forces, which puts more stress on the body.

How to improve fatigue resistance

The researchers recruited 18 male runners to complete a running test that induced peripheral and central fatigue and assessed which biomechanics deteriorated during the test. They found that runners with greater hamstring strength and postural stability experienced fewer fatigue-related changes to their biomechanics (a.k.a. their running form) than those with less.

These results led the team to this conclusion: “strength and stability training could prevent or delay the kinematic modifications associated with fatigued running and prevent the early increase in metabolic cost.” In other words, having stronger hamstrings and better postural stability can help you fight the effects of fatigue so you can maintain your pace until you cross the finish line.

Exercises to improve hamstring strength and postural stability

This highlights the importance (yet again) of strength training as a part of a running program. There are many exercises runners can do to improve their hamstring strength, like glute bridges, single-leg Romanian deadlifts and hamstring walkouts. Check out these hamstring exercises or this hamstring and glute strength routine to get you started.

To improve your postural stability, runners should aim to improve their core action, and work on core exercises that focus on counter-rotation, like the ones suggested in this strength training blueprint for runners.

(03/26/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Mo Farah’s racing comeback gathers pace

After his disappointing season last year he talked about having one last hurrah – a big farewell race somewhere to mark the end of a career that has brought him, among other things, 10 global track titles.

But there is now speculation he could be involved in this summer’s major championships on the track. Who knows, a return to the London Marathon in October could even be on the cards too.

Firstly, let’s stick to what we know. As Farah is racing 10km on the roads of London on May 2 and Manchester on May 22, this means we can pretty much rule him out of racing in the Müller Birmingham Diamond League on May 21.

Farah does not seem afraid of putting his reputation on the line either, incidentally, as the Great Manchester Run is also set to feature Stewart McSweyn, the Australian who holds the Oceania record for 1500m, mile and 3000m in addition to having clocked 27:23.80 for 10,000m on the track.

In addition, Andy Butchart is set to race and has been in good shape recently after having run 27:36.77 for 10,000m in California this month to break Ian Stewart’s 45-year-old Scottish record.

So if Farah’s road races in May go well, what are his options? Surprisingly he has never won a Commonwealth title and with the event on home soil in Birmingham it must be tempting.

The consensus is that he would struggle on the track against the likes of Joshua Cheptegei and Selemon Barega in the World Championships in Oregon in July. But Christian Malcolm, the head coach of the British team, has suggested it is “50/50”.

Speaking as last weekend’s World Indoor Championships in Belgrade drew to a close, Malcolm said: “Sir Mo is working hard and training. We will see how he goes in the summer. But he’s at that age now where you have to take it week-by-week, month-by-month, see where you are at in training.”

On the chances of him competing in Oregon, Malcolm added: “It’s possible. We don’t know at the moment. It’s 50-50 if I am being honest with you. Hopefully we will know a little bit more over the next six weeks.

As for the Great Manchester Run, Farah last took part in the event in 2018 when he outkicked Moses Kipsiro to clock 28:27.

Farah said: “I’m pleased to say the injury problems I had last year are now behind me, training has been going well and I am happy with the shape I am showing.

“Any time I race in the UK it is exciting for me because I love running in front of my home fans and I want to give my best for them.  I had an amazing reception in Manchester when I won the event in 2018 so I’m looking forward to racing on the streets of the city again later this year.”

It will be fascinating to see if Farah’s form during May is close to his best or whether there is little improvement on last year when he struggled at the British 10,000m Championships in Birmingham to clock 27:50.64 before barely improving three weeks later to run  27:47.04 in an invitation 10,000m at the Olympic trials in Manchester.

How will he fare, too, if he comes up against the rising force of Marc Scott, who beat Farah in Birmingham last year despite not being 100% fit himself and has since won the Great North Run, clocked 12:57.08 for 5000m indoors and on Saturday won bronze in the 3000m at the World Indoor Championships?

Distance running legend returns to the roads of London and Manchester in May but what else does the summer of 2022 hold in store?

After signing up to race the Vitality London 10,000 on the roads of the British capital on May 2, Mo Farah has now announced he will be running the Great Manchester Run on May 22.

Despite turning 39 years old March 23 and enduring an injury-hit summer in 2021 which saw him fail to make the British Olympic team for Tokyo, there are signs he could be entering a surprisingly busy racing period.

(03/26/2022) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Radcliffe announced as event ambassador for the 2022 European 10,000m Cup

Former world marathon record-holder Paula Radcliffe from Great Britain has been announced as an event ambassador for the 2022 European 10,000m Cup which takes place in Pacé, France on 28 May.

After the 2018 and 2019 editions were held in conjunction with the Night of the 10,000m PBs before the 2021 edition had to be staged behind closed doors in Birmingham due to pandemic restrictions, the next three editions of the European 10,000m Cup will all take place in the Stade Chasseboeuf in Pacé, just outside Rennes.

Radcliffe is still the second fastest marathon runner in history with her 2:15:25 clocking from the 2003 London Marathon and while Sifan Hassan has taken her European 10,000m record into new territory, Radcliffe is still the second fastest European in history with 30:01.09.

She ran that time without pacemakers - and in the pouring rain - at the 2002 European Athletics Championships in Munich and this time remains the championship record some twenty years later. It could very well remain on the books after this year’s European Athletics Championships which return to Munich. 

Reflecting on her achievements, Radcliffe said: “That performance [in Munich] has a very high place in my career because for me, it was truly a target for a long time to win a championship on the track. I thought that perhaps I wouldn’t run quite so fast on the track after moving up to the marathon but in fact it was the opposite.

“The fact the marathon went so well gave me a lot of confidence in myself. It also brought me more strength physically and mentally. Therefore it helped me on the track and that was surely the case in Munich.

“I hadn’t run a 10,000m that season so it was the only occasion I had to try and break my record and perhaps the mythical European record of Ingrid Kristiansen who had held the record for almost as long as I did. I looked up to her in the 1980s, and the way she ran, when I started running.”

Like Kristiansen, Radcliffe was a fierce and committed front runner and just like the Norwegian did at the 1986 European Championships, Radcliffe led almost every step of the race. Her time of 30:01.09 was the second fastest in history up until that point but she rued how close she was to breaking the fabled 30 minute-barrier.

“That's why, when I crossed the line, there were two emotions. There was the emotion of happiness because I was pleased to take the record at last and set a lifetime best but also the emotion of having missed the 30 minute-barrier by 1.09. Perhaps with different conditions I would have done it, perhaps with other competitors in the race I would have done it - but I was pleased nonetheless!” she said.

Radcliffe made her debut at this distance four years prior when the event was known under its original alias of the European 10,000 Metres Challenge. Radcliffe finished second on that day to Portugal’s Fernanda Ribeiro but the Brit was to notch up individual victories at both the 1999 and 2001 editions of the event, each time with winning times inside 31 minutes - 30:40.70 and 30:55.80 respectively.

Having retired from competitive athletics in 2015, Radcliffe is looking forward to being a spectator in Pacé and the organisers are planning to employ many of the innovations which made the 2018 and 2019 editions of the European 10,000m Cup such a success, including a full programme of events - including kids’ and veterans’ races - and allowing spectators to watch and cheer from the track. 

“It’s what I love and I am sure the French can do the same thing as well and produce a beautiful night of athletics. We will cross our fingers that the night will produce some good performances - not too hot, not too windy and especially with a good atmosphere around the track. 

“Having all the spectators around the track will also protect the runners a bit more and it will also give them a bit more motivation,” said Radcliffe.

The hosts will be looking to retain the men’s team title after triumphing last year thanks in no small part to Morhad Amdouni who took the individual victory in a sprint finish ahead of Bashir Abdi from Belgium and Spain’s Carlos Mayo.

How does Radcliffe see this year’s race unfolding?

“[Last year] was a great race. The French team ran super well. At the moment the men’s team in France is really strong with plenty of talent. In the UK, it’s more in the 1500m and 5000m for the most part but we wait to see what the guys will show in the 10,000m. On the women’s side the level is higher with Eilish McColgan,” she said.

(03/26/2022) ⚡AMP
by European Athletics
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Running for security: the diary of a Ukrainian runner

Two months ago, Ruslan Paul was a significant figure in the Mariupol, Ukraine, running community–hosting free weekly timed 5K runs called ‘runday’ at Mariupol’s Prymorskyi Seaside Park.

In every run club photo Paul shared on his Strava page, his smile lit up the camera. One often forgets how quickly your life can change in the span of a few days, but for Paul, he was living in reality. 

On Feb. 24, 2022, Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine on its eastern border. Mariupol is located 60 kilometres from the Russian border and is a three-hour drive from the Russian city of Rostov-on-don.

Mariupol was home to 400,000 people before the war broke out on Feb. 24, and now, up to 90 per cent of the city has either been destroyed or damaged. 

According to his Strava, Paul went for his last run in Mariupol on Feb. 26. “There are such beautiful places in this city, one of which you involuntarily appeal to the creator of this world for the peace and protection of Ukraine,” he wrote. 

On his activity, he posted a picture of himself next to a cross looking out on the Sea of Azov, which separates Ukraine and Russia. 

“We don’t have a city anymore,” Paul expressed. “They have destroyed everything.” 

A week after the invasion, Paul and his family fled for western Ukraine. A man, and his family, who were born and raised in Mariupol, now watch in fear as the city crumbles from bombing by Russian forces. 

Instead of using Strava to post his running activities, Paul began using it as a tool to keep his followers updated on his well-being, replying to comments and sharing his whereabouts. 

“We are safe but hungry, homeless and unemployed,” Paul wrote. He and his family are constantly on the run in western Ukraine, trying to find a home to ensure each other’s safety.

Despite the despair, Paul continues to update his friends from around Ukraine on his Facebook and Strava page about his safety and his life on the run. “We’re alive and well, that’s the most important thing,” Paul writes. 

(03/26/2022) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Running 250 km through the desert: it’s time for the Marathon des Sables

It all started in 1984 when Patrick Bauer (who was 28 at the time) took on a completely self-sufficient 12-day journey across the Sahara Desert, covering 350 km on foot. Two years later the first Marathon des Sables (MDS) was born, with 23 “pioneers” taking on a similar challenge.

Since then, Bauer’s event (he remains the race director) has continued to grow, with a record 1,300 competitors taking part in the 30th-anniversary race in 2015.This year’s race, the 36th edition, will feature 1,100 competitors from 50 countries who will, like the 25,000 athletes who have participated in the event since 1986, take on the 250 km course carrying their food and equipment. Each day race organizers provide the athletes with water and put up a tent for them to sleep under – otherwise they are on their own.

There are five stages in the race, along with a “solidarity” or charity stage that does not count for the overall ranking of the race. The stages range from 30 to 90 km. The athletes don’t know the official course until the day before the race when it is officially announced, but they are guaranteed (according to the event media guide):flat terrain, often hard and stony and suitable for “real runners” as opposed to “trail runners” 

sand (sometimes hard or crusted, but most often soft) that they will have to master (for example by opting for shaded areas so they sink less because when the sun heats the sand, it becomes softer) 

small, normal and giant sand dunes that will make all competitors draw on their reserves 

ascents and descents, not very long but often steep, sometimes sandy, sometimes stony 

technical sections over rocky escarpments and along crests (the authentic “trail running moments” of the MDS) 

gorges that will provide a beneficial and life-saving shade, when competitors pass through them, and dried wadis (supposedly dried river beds… but some years, a trickle of water is flowing!) where competitors can find some vegetation. The daily temperatures are typically in the 30s, but can rise to as much as 45 degrees Celsius.

At night the temperature can drop to 5 C or less. Athletes must carry a week’s worth of food, a sleeping bag, a compass, knife, lighter, whistle, headlamp, venom extractor, signalling mirror and sunscreen. They are also provided with a GPS beacon so organizers can keep track of the athletes at all times. The race takes place in the middle of the desert so that it can be held in total isolation and guarantees that athletes cannot receive any assistance.COVID-19 and the MDS

Last year’s 35th edition took place last fall after being postponed three times. It was a tough year for the event, with an athlete suffering a cardiac arrest during the first stage, then a gastrointestinal bug ripping through the field, leading almost 50 per cent of the participants to pull out, far higher than the normal 5 to 10 per cent attrition rate the event typically sees. 

2022 Coverage

Triathlon Magazine Canada editor Kevin Mackinnon will be on hand to cover this year’s race, one of the 65 accredited journalists covering this year’s MDS. He’ll be providing updates and photo galleries through the first few days of racing in Morocco. There will be 15 Canadians competing at the 2022 MDS. Stay tuned for more from Morocco in the coming days. 

(03/26/2022) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Marathon Des Sables

Marathon Des Sables

The Marathon des Sables is ranked by the Discovery Channel as the toughest footrace on earth. Seven days 250k Known simply as the MdS, the race is a gruelling multi-stage adventure through a formidable landscape in one of the world’s most inhospitable climates - the Sahara desert. The rules require you to be self-sufficient, to carry with you on your...

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2022 World 10K Bengaluru to be held on May 15

The World Athletics elite label road race event hasn’t been held since 2019 due to COVID-related restrictions.

The World 10K Bengaluru 2022 will be held on May 15, the organizers of the event announced on Thursday.

A World Athletics elite label road race event, the World 10K Bengaluru 2022 will be returning after a three-year hiatus and is slated to be held in full capacity. The run was postponed multiple times in the last two years due to COVID-19.

The event will be conducted in two formats: on-ground and a virtual app-based run. 

The four on-ground events will be flagged off at the iconic Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.

While the open 10K category will have some of the world’s elite athletes, Majja Run (5km), Senior Citizen Run (4.2km) and Champions with Disability (4.2km) will see the participation of amateur runners from across the country. 

The virtual app-based run, meanwhile, will be held via the specialized event app for two race categories – Open 10K and 5K. Registrations for the World 10K Bengaluru 2022 begin on March 25 and close on May 11.

The last edition, which was held in 2019, saw Agnes Tirop of Kenya become the first women’s athlete to defend her title at World 10K Bengaluru. Ethiopia’s Andamlak Belihu took his first win in the men’s race.

Among the Indian elites, Asian championships bronze medalist Parul Chaudhary topped the women’s race.

Lakshmanan Govindan won the men’s Indian elite run ahead of Olympian Avinash Sable.

(03/25/2022) ⚡AMP
by Ali Asgar Nalwala
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TCS WORLD 10K BENGALURU

TCS WORLD 10K BENGALURU

The TCS World 10k Bengaluru has always excelled in ways beyond running. It has opened new doors for people to reach out to the less privileged of the society and encourages them to do their bit. The TCS World 10K event is the world’s richest 10 Km run and has seen participation from top elite athletes in the world. ...

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Five running tips for seniors

No matter what your age is, running can be beneficial to your physical and mental health. Running is a great exercise to improve your cardiovascular system, and staying in good shape and moving your body is especially important as you grow older. 

 Running has a significant impact on your muscles and joints, that is why running slow is good for you, especially if you tailor it by your body’s abilities. 

Here are five tips on how to begin running as a senior!

1.- Know Your Body’s Limits

Check with your doctor first before starting your exercise program. This is important because if you haven’t done any exercises in a while, it is crucial to check whether your body can adapt to any form of increased ability. 

After checking your health, the smartest thing to do is to find a good running program for beginners. Yes, you could just start running and do it until you reach your body’s limit, but this approach could put you on a higher risk of serious injury. 

There are plenty of beginner running plans, and if one does not suit you, you can change it to the one you can handle. After running for some time, you will be able to make your own running plan because you will be in tune with your health and your stamina levels.

2.- Learn How to Stretch

The pre-running stretch is annoying to many runners, but because it is an essential step of your run, it should never be overlooked, especially if you are older. A good stretch can drastically lower your chances of injury, and it will give you time to prepare for the run mentally. 

Take your time to stretch all the muscle fibers that you will need for your runs, such as leg, hamstring, and back muscles. 

Once you’re finished your run, take some time to cool down. Post-running stretches are also important to reduce muscle soreness.

3.- Build Endurance Gradually

Do not be overly ambitious with your uns when you are starting. If you can only run for 10 minutes, that is good enough. After some time, you will be able to run for longer. Running longer than your body’s abilities can increase your chances of injury, but also it can affect your motivation to exercise. If you cannot start running right away, you can start by walking or incorporate walking intervals in your runs. 

Just like your running time, your running pace will also improve over time.

4.- Resting is the Most Important 

As you age, resting becomes the most vital activity in your life. This is also true for running. Typically it is not wise to run every day, especially if you are starting out. Running 2 or 3 times per week can also bring a lot of health benefits. Sometimes your body will need a lot of time to rest and repair the muscles, but if you want, a light yoga session in between your running days is always welcome. Walking and cycling are also great exercises for the no-run days because they do not put too much stress on your sore muscles. 

Apart from rest days, the best way to rest is to sleep. There is nothing better than a good night’s sleep to improve your mood and energy levels. Make sure to get enough sleep. Adults require 6 – 8 hours per night to remain healthy and energized, so never cut off sleep. Also, good sleep quality is essential. Here are some relaxation tips geared toward seniors.

5.- Improve Your Diet 

You probably know that diet has a lot of influence on your athletic performance, as well as your overall health. Eating a lot of fiber and carbs is an excellent choice for a runner because carbs are the primary source of fuel for your body while running. 

Opt for healthier carbs like oats, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and cut down on the intakes of simple carbs such as white potatoes, white rice, and bread. Eat a lot of fruits and veggies; especially green vegetables are filled with nutrients that you will need to stay healthy. Consider reducing the amount of dairy, and red meat from your diet, because they may cause inflammation in the body and can be detrimental to your health. Do not be scared to include lots of healthy fats in your diet, because it is vital to older people. Avocados, nuts, and nut butter will provide you not only with energy and omega 3s but will give you healthy and shiny skin.

(03/25/2022) ⚡AMP
by Nurse Next Door
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Hellen Obiri goes for another PB and possibly the Istanbul course record

Hellen Obiri is back in Istanbul where strong elite fields were assembled for the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon on Sunday.

Both course records could be threatened at the Bosporus. Six women are on the start list with personal bests of sub 67:00 and Kenya’s reigning World Cross Country Champion and 5,000 m World Champion is the fastest of them: Hellen Obiri has improved to 64:22 earlier this year.

Fellow-Kenyans Daniel Mateiko and Rodgers Kwemoi head the men’s start list with personal bests of 58:26 and 58:30 respectively. The N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon produced a world record a year ago when Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich won the race in 64:02. 

A year ago the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon was one of very few international races that went ahead during the pandemic. 4,000 runners participated under strict hygiene regulations. Now the organizers of the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon are proud to announce that the race bounced back: Including races at shorter distances a record number of over 10,000 runners were registered for the 17th edition. Around 8,000 of them will run the half marathon.Turkey’s biggest spring road race is a World Athletics Elite Label Road Race. 

“We have worked for a long time to improve our 16 year-old course and to make it one of the most historic and enjoyable courses in the world, as well as one of the fastest. We succeeded in developing the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon further and even had a world record here a year ago,“ said Renay Onur, the Race Director of the event which is staged by Spor Istanbul.

With regard to Sunday’s race he said: “Our elite field is of high quality. With two men having recently achieved sub-59 times, we have a chance that our course record will fall. On the women’s side, I am happy that Hellen Obiri is back. I believe she can go even faster since weather conditions seem to be fine on Sunday. We invite all sport lovers to enjoy this race.“

Hellen Obiri is ready for another very fast race. "If weather conditions and pacemaking are good then I will try to break my personal best. Whenever I come to such a race it is my goal to run well and improve my time,“ said the 32 year-old who improved to 64:22 when she was second in the Ras Al Khaimah half marathon in the United Arab Emirates in February. Since then she has been training in the Ngong hills near Nairobi.

“I am in much better form now than I was before Ras Al Khaimah,“ said Hellen Obiri. Asked about the course record, which is also the Kenyan record, she answered: “The course record will be a tough challenge. But we have a very strong field, so we will definitely give it a try.“ 

Hellen Obiri will indeed face very strong competition in Istanbul. Fellow-Kenyan Vicoty Chepngeno has an outstanding half marathon record. She ran 14 half marathons since 2018 and won eleven of them.

The 28 year-old is undefeated in her past six races at the distance and improved to a world-class time of 65:03 when she took the Houston half marathon in January.

Ethiopian trio Tsehay Gemechu (PB: 65:08), Nigsti Haftu (66:17), Bekelech Gudeta (66:54) and Turkey’s multiple European long distance champion Yasemin Can (66:20) are the other women who have already run below 67:00. Tsehay Gemechu has a very strong half marathon record as well.

She has won four of her five races and is the reigning champion of the Copenhagen half marathon where she clocked her PB last year.

In the men’s race there will be an attack on the course record, which was established last year by Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie with 59:35.

“We will both be going for the course record and a personal best,“ said Daniel Mateiko and Rodgers Kwemoi, who are training partners and belong to the group of Eliud Kipchoge based at Kaptagat. Mateiko improved by almost a full minute to 58:26 when he was third in Valencia in 2021 while Kwemoi was runner-up in Ras Al Khaimah in February with a strong PB of 58:30.

“I am now in better form than I was in Ras Al Khaimah,“ said Rodgers Kwemoi.

Two other runners in the field have already broken the one hour barrier: Kenyans Josphat Tanui and Edmond Kipngetich have personal bests of 59:22 and 59:41 respectively.

Elite runners with personal bests

Men

Daniel Mateiko KEN 58:26

Rodgers Kwemoi KEN 58:30

Josphat Tanui KEN 59:22

Edmond Kipngetich KEN 59:41

Hillary Kipchumba KEN 60:01

Vestus Chemjor KEN 60:47

Moses Too KEN 60:56

Philimon Kiptoo KEN 61:47

Daniel Kiprotich KEN 62:09

Gerald Vincent KEN 62:27

Ramazan Özdemir TUR 63:10

Women

Hellen Obiri KEN 64:22

Vicoty Chepngeno KEN 65:03

Tsehay Gemechu ETH 65:08

Nigsti Haftu ETH 66:17

Yasemin Can TUR 66:20

Bekelech Gudeta ETH 66:54

Pauline Esikon KEN 67:15

Stella Rutto ROU 67:45

Ayinadis Teshome ETH 68:18

Daisy Kimeli KEN 68:34

Medhin Gebreslassie ETH 68:38

Ludwina Chepngetich KEN 70:34

Moira Stewartova CZE 71:08

Fatma Karasu TUR 71:30

Kristina Hendel CRO 71:34

(03/25/2022) ⚡AMP
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N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

The Istanbul Half Marathon is an annual road running event over the half marathon distance (21.1 km) that takes place usually in the spring on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. It is a IAAF Gold Label event. The Istanbul Half Marathon was first organized in 1987. After several breaks it was finally brought back to life in 2015 when the...

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Ukraine war refugee wins Jerusalem marathon

Ukrainian athlete Valentyna Veretska, who fled Russia's invasion of her country and took refuge in Israel, on Friday won the Jerusalem marathon, race organisers said.Veretska claimed the women's title with a time of 2hr 45min 54sec, before celebrating by draping the Ukrainian and Israeli flags over her shoulders.

The 31-year-old was one of around 40 Ukrainians who took part in the race in Jerusalem's Old City, braving unseasonably cold and wet weather.It was her second win since October when she came first in the Tirana, Albania, marathon.

Veretska fled Russia's invasion of Ukraine with her daughter, crossing into neighbouring Poland before travelling to Israel.Her husband, however, stayed in their homeland where he is serving in the army, the organisers said.Israeli Sports and Culture Minister Chili Tropper on Thursday said the Jewish state would welcome 100 Ukrainian athletes fleeing the conflict.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, more than 16,800 Ukrainians have arrived in Israel, according to the interior ministry.More than one million of Israel's 9.4 million residents have roots in the former Soviet Union.Israel has provided humanitarian support to Ukraine but has so far rebuffed Kyiv's requests for military assistance.

It has also refrained from joining Western sanctions against Russia, with which it maintains strong ties including security cooperation.In an address to Israeli lawmakers on Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to the Jewish state to abandon its neutrality and "make its choice".Zelensky, who is Jewish, compared Russia's war on Ukraine to the Holocaust.

(03/25/2022) ⚡AMP
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Jerusalem Marathon

Jerusalem Marathon

First held in 2011, the Jerusalem International Winner Marathon has become a major event with 30,000 participants, of which hundreds are elite competitors and runners from abroad. The course was especially selected to recount Jerusalem's 3,000-year historical narrative since the beginning of its existence. The race challenges runners while exposing them to magnificent views, exquisite landscapes and fascinating historical sites...

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Stay fit to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, new research shows that cardiorespiratory fitness reduces your risk of developing Alzheimer's and other related diseases

 According to a new study, having good cardiorespiratory fitness can significantly lower your risk for Alzheimer’s and other related diseases.

Cardiorespiratory fitness and Alzheimer’s disease

The researchers of the study, published by the American Academy of Neurology, identified 649,605 veterans who had completed an exercise treadmill test to assess their cardiorespiratory fitness. They found that the participants with the highest levels of fitness developed 33 per cent less Alzheimer’s over the course of 8.8 years compared to the lowest-fit group.

While scientists still don’t know a lot about why or how fitness is related to Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions, this data supports physical activity, and more specifically, cardiorespiratory activities like running, swimming and cycling, as an effective way to reduce your risk for degenerative brain diseases.

The good news is, other research shows that even just a 10-minute run can elicit positive effects on your brain, so you don’t have to run marathons to get the brain-boosting benefits of running (although marathon running is great for your brain, too). So whether you’re a beginner runner or a veteran of the sport, you can add Alzheimer’s prevention to the ever-growing list of reasons to be a runner.

(03/25/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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What should your heart rate be during a 5K race?

Whether you are running your first 5K or your 50th, it can be tough to gauge the pace on the first couple of kilometers. If you are coming from a more experienced running background, you are generally aware of where your pace should be for the first couple of kilometers, but it is still possible to go out too fast and expend too much energy early in the race.

It’s easy to get out too fast as your body feels at its best in the early stages of the race. Instead of focusing on pace for the first kilometer, try to pay attention to your heart rate. 

During the first two kilometers of a 5K, you should be between 80 and 90 per cent of your maximum heart rate. To calculate your maximum heart rate zones (which can vary on age and health condition), subtract your age from 220. For example, a 30-year-old will generally have a max heart rate of around 190–therefore your heart rate should be between 152 and 171 bpm for the first couple of kilometers to ensure you don’t burn out. 

Runners will often use a 10 to 15-minute pre-race warm-up to get their heart rate up for a short race. The idea behind this is to make the transition easier to reach higher heart rate zones early on. 

Many things can affect your heart rate, such as the temperature outside or the clothing you wear–if you are overdressed for the temperature, for example, your heart rate will be higher than if you are comfortably cool. 

There’s no need to look at your heart rate on your watch for every second of the race, but try to take a glance at it as you hit the first and second kilometer markers.

If you can be within your heart rate zones for the first two-to-three kilometers, there is a higher chance of having a negative split or stronger finish over the fourth and fifth kilometer. 

(03/24/2022) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Want to be healthier? Volunteer at a race, New research says even just volunteering at a local 5K can provide a lot of health benefits

From registration to course marshals to the post-race snack table, volunteers are the backbone of any road or trail race. Here at Canadian Running, we tend to focus on running in races, but a recent study from the U.K. found that the simple act of volunteering at a local 5K can benefit your health. Here’s how.

The health benefits of volunteering

The study, published by Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, asked more than 60,000 parkrun participants who were either volunteers, run/walkers who also volunteered or run/walkers who did not volunteer, to answer questions about their motivations to participate, and the perceived impacts on their mental and physical health.

The participants who volunteered exclusively said their main motivations were to give back to the community, to feel part of the community, to help people or because they couldn’t run. Very few volunteers said they were motivated by potential benefits to their mental or physical health.

The researchers found, however, that people who volunteered but did not run still experienced health benefits. According to the results of the study, the exclusive volunteers reported the following:

Improved connections to others/feeling like they were a part of a community (83 per cent)

Meeting new people (85 per cent)

Time spent with friends (45 per cent)

Improvements in mental health (54 per cent)

Improvements in physical health (29 per cent)

The improvements highlighted in the study were all subjective (they were reported by the participants), and the researchers don’t go into detail about exactly how their physical and mental health was improved, but this data shows that even the simple act of volunteering can make you a healthier, happier person.

Other reasons runners should volunteer

Aside from the health benefits, there are many more reasons runners should consider volunteering at a local race. For example, volunteering is a great way for injured runners to still be a part of their local running community and support their friends, even when they can’t be on the startline themselves.

Runners who volunteer will also get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to organize their favorite races, which will give them a greater appreciation for everyone and everything involved the next time they’re on the start line. It’ll also give them more tolerance when things don’t go as smoothly on race day.

Finally, volunteering can be a tonne of fun. While volunteers do have a job to do, they also get the opportunity to cheer on runners, and often get some great race swag, too. So if you’re injured, returning from a running layoff or simply want to give back to the running community, consider volunteering at your next local road race. It’ll be a fun way to improve your health.

(03/24/2022) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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How to progress to mile repeats, If you're not ready for mile repeats, use these sessions to work your way up to the classic distance workout

Mile repeats are a classic workout for distance runners to improve running economy and get faster. Intervals of this length and speed can be very challenging, however, and runners who are new to speedwork may not be quite ready for them. If you find yourself in this group, try these workouts to help you progress to mile repeats so you can get the most out of this beneficial workout.

The workouts

You’ll notice the first two sessions are written in minutes, rather than specific distances. Time-based intervals are a great way to introduce yourself to speedwork because they take some of the pressure away from having to hit exact paces. Instead, you can run these workouts by feel, which will help you learn how to manage your effort as intervals get longer.

This progression is made up of three workouts, with the third being your mile repeats. How quickly you progress through each workout will vary from person to person, but we recommend spending at least a couple of weeks at each stage before progressing to the next.

Workout #1

Warmup: 10-15 minute easy jog, followed by form drills and strides

Workout: 6 x (1 min at 5K-10K pace / 3 min easy jog rest)

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

Workout #2

Warmup: 10-15 minute easy jog, followed by form drills and strides

Workout: 4 x (3 min at 5K-10K pace / 3 min standing rest)

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

Workout #3

Warmup: 10-15 minute easy jog, followed by form drills and strides

Workout: 3 x (1 mile at 5K-10K pace / 3 min standing rest)

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

(03/24/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Caster Semenya runs a new personal best in a 3000m win in Cape Town

The two-time Olympic gold medalist, who is eyeing a place in the South African team for the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon, was using the shorter race to build up speed for preferred 5000m.

Caster Semenya was the star attraction of the second edition of the Athletics South Africa Grand Prix in Cape Town on Wednesday (March 23) and the two-time Olympic champion didn't disappoint, racing to her fastest ever women's 3000m.

Running in only her second major event this season, the double women's 800m gold medalist took charge of the race with two laps to go and held on to cross the finish line in a personal best of 8:54.97.

Semenya, who was using the race to build up speed for her now preferred event the 5000m, trailed early leader Kyla Jacobs before making the decisive move and dip below nine minutes for the first time over the shorter distance.

“The run was a little bit tricky,” Semenya said in an interview with World Track.

“Fortunately before the start, the wind died down a bit and worked in our favor. It was a great race, happy with the result. The target obviously was to break nine minutes and we achieved the goal [so] now we’ll have to go back to the drawing board and work more on mileage.”

The leaner looking Semenya finished comfortably ahead of her closest challenger Aynslee Van Graan who timed 9:09.63 while her compatriot and training partner Glenrose Xaba finished in third place in 9:12.51.

The triple 800m world champion’s previous personal best over the 3000m was 9:04:20 from Potchefstroom in May 2021 when she was chasing qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021.

She missed out on her target of 15:10.00 which meant she didn't qualify for the Olympics after finishing in fourth place in a 5000m meet in Belgium in 15:50.12 in June 2021.

The South African 5000m national champion, who raced to her personal best of 15:32.15 in May 2021 opened her season with a 5000m of 15:36.55 on March 12 at the Gauteng North Championships in Pretoria.

She is eyeing qualification for the World Athletics Championships in Oregon. The qualification mark for the worlds set for July 15 to 24 for the women’s 5000m is 15:10.00.

(03/24/2022) ⚡AMP
by Evelyn Watta
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World Athletics Championships Budapest23

World Athletics Championships Budapest23

Budapest is a true capital of sports, which is one of the reasons why the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 is in the right place here. Here are some of the most important world athletics events and venues where we have witnessed moments of sporting history. Throughout the 125-year history of Hungarian athletics, the country and Budapest have hosted numerous...

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2022 Comrades entry process opens

Entries for the 95th Comrades Marathon to be held in August open today Wednesday, March 23, 2022.

This will be the first entry window period and runs until March 31, 2022. During this window period, only those entrants who had successfully entered the 2020 Comrades Marathon will be able to enter, be they South Africa, Rest of Africa or International.

The entry fee for South African athletes will be discounted from R1200 to R1000 in the first entry window period, as per the CMA’s commitment when the 2020 race was cancelled. Rest of Africa and International entrants in the 2020 Comrades Marathon had their entries deferred to either the 2022 or 2023 race; and will therefore not pay an entry fee.

During the second entry window period, from April 20 to  May 16, 2022, all other athletes will be allowed to enter. Entry is free to all runners who have completed the Comrades Marathon 25 times or more.

This second entry window period will not apply should the entry cap of 15,000 entries have been reached during the first entry window period.

CMA Race Director, Rowyn James says, “We have exciting plans in place for this year’s Down Run which will finish at the internationally acclaimed Moses Mabhida Stadium for the second time. Qualifying for the 2022 Comrades Marathon is applicable as of September 1, 2021 till July 12, 2022. The qualifying criteria for this year’s Comrades Marathon remains unchanged requiring completion of a standard 42.2km marathon in under 4 hours and 50 minutes, or a 56km ultra-marathon in under 6 hours and 45 minutes.”

The 95th Comrades Marathon will be the 47th Down Run on Sunday, August 28, 2022, starting at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 05h30 and ending 12 hours later at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, covering a 90.2km distance.

(03/23/2022) ⚡AMP
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Should you jog or stand between intervals?, Runners have debated the merits of active vs. passive recovery for years, researchers have finally put the two recovery methods to the test

It’s a question runners have been arguing about for years: should you jog during your recovery between intervals, or should you take that time to rest completely? Recently, researchers tried to provide runners with an answer and came out with this age-old conclusion: it depends.

The study

The study, which was published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, aimed to find out how well-trained runners responded to an interval workout with active (jogging) rest compared to passive (standing) rest. To do so, they had 11 well-trained male distance runners (with an average 10K PB of 35 minutes) perform two workouts of 4×2 minutes at their max speed. In one workout, the athletes recovered with two minutes of jogging rest, and in the other, they recovered with two minutes of standing rest.

During each session, the researchers monitored various performance metrics, including oxygen consumption, heart rate, blood lactate levels and the athletes’ rates of perceived exertion. There was very little difference between the two workouts for all of the measurements, except for perceived exertion. In other words, the athletes found the session in which they jogged during their recovery to be harder.

So should you jog or rest?

At first glance, this may make it seem like standing recovery is better, but it’s not quite that simple. Since this is the first study of its kind, the researchers admit it is unclear whether the results would be the same in a longer workout with more intervals.

The researchers also noted that jogging recovery may be better for beginner or intermediate runners when they’re looking to make their workout tougher, but high-performance athletes who are better at maxing out their pace during an interval session may be better off with standing rest.

Finally, the researchers don’t dive into the variability between workouts, and how the type of rest you take will likely differ depending on the type of workout you’re doing. For example, you may get more out of a broken tempo run (that’s done at a slightly lower intensity) if you jog during your rest, but during a VO2 max workout, you’re likely better off with standing rest to ensure you can do each interval at your best effort.

The bottom line

The type of rest you take will depend on your level as an athlete and what you’re trying to accomplish in a specific workout. As a runner, it’s important that you understand these two factors and how they apply to you in order to get the most out of any workout.

If you’re not sure how to determine this for yourself, consider speaking with a coach who can guide you in each workout and help you figure out what’s best for you.

(03/23/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Five creative ways to make running more fun

Does this scenario sound familiar?

You’ve firmly decided to improve your fitness by running. But every time you try, you get bored after the first couple of minutes. And with no motivation, you end up going right back home, disappointed and angry with yourself.

Luckily, meeting your running goals isn’t as difficult as you think. The key to accomplishing them is to make running fun!

But how exactly do you make difficult physical activity enjoyable? Don’t worry, because this article has you covered.

Our 5 top tips will help you supercharge your running routine with excitement and motivation today!

1. Listen to Music or a Podcast

One of the easiest ways to make running fun is to listen to music or a podcast. This will keep your mind occupied and help the time fly by.

Often, a motivating soundtrack can instantly transform your workout from lethargic to energetic.

And if you want to run daily, you can get excited for your run by associating it with a new episode of your favorite podcast.

2. Turn on the Treadmill TV

Most treadmills at the gym have TVs built into them. If not, you can use your gym’s Wi-Fi and head to your favorite streaming site on your phone.

Remember to set a goal on the treadmill and periodically check the distance you’ve run. This will ensure you’re still moving at a good pace and getting all those vital running benefits.

3. Try a Change of Scenery

When you have new scenery to look at, your boring run becomes exciting again. Plus, places with hills and slopes can also make your workout more beneficial to your muscles.

For example, if you always run around the block in your neighborhood, try running at a park, by the water, or on a track. You can mix these up throughout the week so you don’t get tired of the same routine every day.

4. Join a Running Club

Joining a running club is a great way to make running fun while meeting new people. Running buddies can help you reach your goals faster by keeping you motivated.

If you don’t have time to join an in-person club, try a virtual one like this running club.

5. Reward Yourself

Rewarding yourself after running gives you something to look forward to after your workout.

Some ideas for everyday rewards include:

Meeting up with friends

Reading a book

Taking a nap

Watching your favorite TV show

Eating a small treat

Remember to keep track of your fitness goals. Every time you accomplish a bigger goal, give yourself a bigger reward like a restaurant dinner or a staycation.

Once your brain associates running with a reward, you’ll have a much easier time staying consistent with your exercise routine.

Improve Your Fitness With These Fun Running Tips

No matter what your fitness goals are, making your runs fun means you’re more likely to stick with a consistent routine.

Remember that it might take a while to find the tips that help you stay the most motivated. So if the first one doesn’t do the trick, don’t give up! Keep trying new strategies until you find one or two that work best.

And for even more helpful blog posts, be sure to check out the rest of our site today!

(03/23/2022) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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2022 Rīga marathon to support Ukraine

The Riga marathon will return in mid-May and show support for Ukraine, organizer of the marathon Aigars Nords told Latvian Television on March 23.

Nords said that the marathon would be dedicated to Ukraine, and the six-kilometer distance would be decorated in Ukrainian flag colors.

"The Riga marathon has always been a business card for Riga, and as one of the great international events of Riga, it is a clear signal that we support Ukraine,” Nords said.

All Ukrainian war refugees and citizens are invited to take part in the six-kilometer distance free of charge. All revenues generated by the participation in the 6-km run will be donated to Ukraine.

This year, runners from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to participate in the Riga marathon. Nords hopes that marathons elsewhere in the world will do the same.

The marathon will take place on May 14 and 15, also becoming an important step in preparing for the world championship in Rīga in autumn 2023. The organizers plan that running events will be similar to those prior to the pandemic without splitting into any groups.

(03/23/2022) ⚡AMP
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Lattelecom Riga Marathon

Lattelecom Riga Marathon

If you have never been to Riga then, running a marathon or half-marathon could be a good reason to visit one of the most beautiful cities on the Baltic Sea coast. Marathon running has a long history in Riga City and after 27 years it has grown to welcome 33,000 runners from 70 countries offering five race courses and...

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Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen tests positive for COVID-19

The reigning 1,500m Olympic champion, Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen, was upset by Samuel Tefera of Ethiopia, who won the men’s 1,500m on Sunday at the World Indoor Championships. Although Ingebrigtsen won his first world championship medal, he said post-race that he was feeling off, later testing positive for Covid-19 when he arrived back home in Norway on Monday.

Ingebrigtsen shared the news on his Instagram page after stating that he felt strange Sunday night, immediately after his final. “Before the race, everything seemed normal, with a negative PCR test and several rapid tests,” explained Ingebrigtsen on Instagram. His coach and older brother Henrik Ingebrigtsen seems to believe Jakob caught it on his flight down to Serbia on Thursday, according to Eurosport. 

“You can minimize risk, but you can’t rule out infection,” Henrik said. “This virus affected his recovery after his qualifying race on Saturday.”

There is much speculation online that Ingebrigtsen raced the 1,500m final with the virus. He took control of the race with several laps to go but was unable to hold off Tefera, whose kick overcame the Norweigan over the final 50 meters to win back-to-back golds in 3:32.77. Tefera also won the 1,500m at the last World Indoor Championships in 2018.

Jakob mentioned on his Instagram story that he plans to rest and recover, then hopefully get back into training in preparation for winning gold at the World Championships in July. 

(03/22/2022) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Should I try to improve my running distance or speed?

New runners are often confused about how to set goals for speed and distance. If you are a beginning runner, you may wonder if you should improve your distance first or if you should train to get faster. The short answer: Train for distance first.

It's better for you to start by building an endurance base. That means that you increase your aerobic capacity first. You increase your mileage so that longer runs are more comfortable. As you build up your endurance, your speed will also improve.

Once you have established some strength and stamina for going the distance, you can train for distance and speed at the same time. Varying your routine by mixing distance runs with shorter, faster workouts can actually help ensure that you are getting the most out of your training and minimize your chances of injury.

Distance vs. Speed for New Runners

As a new runner, you may be tempted to get faster first. Certainly, better race times are satisfying. But if you participate in speed training before you build a strong endurance base, you put yourself at risk for injury.1

Gradually building your distance as you begin your training is a good way to ensure that you are building the strength and aerobic capacity you will need to start training harder and faster. And if you want to prepare for a race such as your first 5K, it makes sense to go for distance before you start to build speed. After all, it doesn't matter much if you are fast but lack the stamina to finish the race.

When you are ready to add speed, begin with some basic speed training via high-intensity intervals. You might do 200-meter, 400-meter or longer repeats that require you trun at paces faster than your current pace.

Distance Training for New Runners

To build your endurance base, follow these guidelines to make the most of your training time.

Use a Run/Walk Strategy

Don't put pressure on yourself to run the entire length of your desired distance. By doing a run/walk combination, you'll be able to cover more distance and you'll still get a great workout. And you'll build the fitness—and confidence—you need to run longer without walking.

Run at a Conversational Pace

One of the most common reasons why beginner runners stop running before they reach their goal distance: They're running too fast. When you first start running, you should be running at a conversational pace. That means that you can very easily talk in complete sentences while running. If you're gasping for air, you're definitely going too fast.

Some beginning runners are actually physically fit enough to run a certain distance, but they don't have the confidence or mental strength to push themselves farther. In many cases, it's simply "mind over matter." Try to distract yourself by playing mind games, choosing new running routes, or running with other people.

Speed Training for New Runners

Once you have established a solid endurance base, you can start incorporating more speedwork into your training routine. But as with adding distance, it is important to ease your body into speed training gradually.

Running is a high-impact sport. Adding distance or speed to your routine puts a lot of strain on your muscles, joints, and bones, as well as your heart and lungs. If you start tackling too much too soon, you run the risk of getting hurt, fatigued, or burned out.

After you've been running regularly for four to six weeks and have a nice base, you can start by adding strides into one of your weekly runs. You can also try picking up the pace towards the end of one of your runs. After three to four weeks of this, you can start to add tempo runs, fartlek runs, or interval workouts.

Fartleks

One of the best ways to start increasing your speed, fartleks involve running slightly faster for about two minutes before easing back to your normal pace to recover for about four minutes. Repeat these intervals several times throughout your run.

Tempo Runs

This type of run involves starting at an easy pace to warm up, then moving into a speed that is about 10 seconds slower than your race pace for the next 20 to 25 minutes of your run. The goal of this pace is to increase your anaerobic threshold, a critical component for boosting your speed.

Interval Runs

In this type of speedwork, you add short bursts of faster running with recovery intervals at an easier pace.

Mile Repeats

These are a standard for improving your run time and are easy to do. Start by running a mile at a fast pace, then slow down for a recovery period. After about a half-mile at a recovery pace, pick back up for another faster-paced mile. Always be sure to include a warm-up and cool-down before and after your run.

Adding speed work to your runs is a great way to improve your fitness, strength, and aerobic capacity. If you are new to running, it is essential to start by building a solid endurance base before you start working on your speed. Eventually, you can incorporate both speed and distance training, which can be a great way to make your runs more fun and rewarding.

(03/22/2022) ⚡AMP
by VeryWell Fit
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The future of women's sport is very fragile, says Sebastian Coe

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said the state of women's sports is "very fragile" and sports federations need to get it right when writing rules for transgender female athletes.

Coe's comments come after University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas became the first transgender NCAA champion in Division I history by winning the women's 500-yard freestyle in Atlanta last week.

"The integrity of women's sport – if we don't get this right – and, actually, the future of women's sport, is very fragile," Coe was quoted as saying in British paper The Times on Monday.

"These are sensitive issues, they are societal issues – they go way, way beyond sport. I don't have the luxury to get into endless discussions or the school of moral philosophy."

Thomas competed on the men's team for three years before transitioning and moving to the women's team and setting multiple program records.

Last month, USA Swimming unveiled a new policy to allow transgender athletes to swim in elite events by setting out criteria that aim to mitigate any unfair advantages.

The rules include testing to ensure testosterone is below a certain level – five nanomoles per litre continuously for at least 36 months - in transgender athletes who wish to compete against cisgender female swimmers.

World Athletics requires transgender athletes to have low testosterone levels for at least 12 months before competition.

"We are asking for a greater length of (time) before competition because the residual impact of transitioning like that is more profound," Coe said.

"There is no question that testosterone is the key determinant in performance."

Transgender rights have long been a controversial and politically divisive issue in the United States from sports to serving in the military, and even what bathrooms people are allowed to use.

Coe said he understands the sensitive nature of the issue and said he wants to focus on the science.

Sebastian Coe "It's really difficult to keep the emotion out of this and subjectivity, so we do have to really stick as closely as we can to the science –and that's what we've always tried to do when it's been uncomfortable," he said.

"You can't be oblivious to public sentiment ... but science is important. If I wasn't satisfied with the science that we have and the experts that we have used and the in-house teams that have been working on this for a long time ... if I wasn't comfortable about that, this would be a very different landscape."

(03/22/2022) ⚡AMP
by Rory Carroll
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Feeling mentally exhausted? Go for a run, Research shows that physical activity is an effective strategy to promote cognitive regeneration after a mentally-exhausting day

Just like a particularly long or hard run will result in physical exhaustion, prolonged periods of cognitive activity (like studying for a test or even just a long day at work) can lead to mental exhaustion. Many people try to counteract this by doing activities wherein they can “shut their brains off,” like watching T.V., but research has shown this typically doesn’t work. What does appear to help? Physical activity.

Get moving to regenerate your mind

The study, published in the journal Psychology and Behaviour, investigated how a single bout of moderate aerobic exercise could help participants recover from experimentally-induced mental exhaustion.

To do so, the researchers put participants through one hour of mentally-demanding tasks in order to induce cognitive exhaustion. Participants were then separated into three groups: one that did 30 minutes of physical activity on a cycle ergometer, one that did 30 minutes of a lower-body stretching routine and one that watched a popular sitcom. Before and after the 30-minute treatment, researchers assessed the participants’ cognitive flexibility performance, mood, tiredness, restlessness, self-perceived cognitive capacity and motivation.

The results showed that the group who did 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise recovered better in almost every category than the other methods (stretching and watching T.V.), with the exemption of tiredness and restlessness.

“In conclusion, this study suggests that a single bout of acute aerobic exercise supports regeneration of cognitive flexibility performance and of subjective well-being,” the researchers said. “This holds true not just compared to artificial active control treatment but also compared to widespread leisure time activity, namely watching TV.”

Considerations for runners

So if you know you have a big test coming up or an important task at work that’s going to leave you feeling mentally wiped at the end of the day, it’s not a bad idea to plan a run afterward (even if you’re normally a morning run kind of person). It’s important to note, however, that researchers focused on moderate aerobic activity, and if you’re feeling mentally drained from a long day at work, a hard interval workout may not have the same effect.

More and more we’re learning how physical activity positively impacts the brain, and this is yet another reason to add to the list of reasons why running is good for your mind.

(03/22/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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I can’t go to fight at my age, there is an army for that, but it’s important for people to show that we are alive and strong

On Monday March 7, as the world watched the war in Ukraine intensify, Nikolai Plyuyko did something extraordinary. He went for an 11-kilometer run through the streets of Kyiv.

Plyuyko has participated in 48 marathons in his lifetime. Before retiring, he worked as an engineer and served in the Soviet army. Today, Plyuyko is 75 years old and lives alone in what he describes as “a sleepy part of Kyiv”. Since war broke out, Plyuyko has maintained his schedule of daily outdoor runs, running around 150km in the past two weeks.

He laughs when I ask him if he’s scared of running outside. “During my run, I often hear more than 10 explosions which are within a 20km distance,” he says stoically. “What’s the point of worrying? I’ve lived most of my life anyway.”

The only two days that he didn’t go for a run were when Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, asked everyone to stay at home. “I want to show that we are a brave nation and that we aren’t afraid,” he says. “We want to be strong, not just with our minds, but with our bodies too.” Plyuyko has been greeting every person he sees on his run, trying to lift people’s spirits. “I wish them good health, hope and trust in the fight with the enemy. I tell them that we will win, that we just need to get through it.”

As Russian forces continue to destroy Ukrainian cities, break ceasefire rules and kill civilians, Ukrainians are terrified. In Kyiv, most people stay at home or in shelters overnight and keep outdoor trips to a minimum. At the time of writing, the centre of Kyiv has experienced a slightly more stable period than the first few days of the war, when Russian airstrikes colored the city’s skyline. Still, sounds of heavy fighting reverberate around the city’s historic buildings. During the daytime, the atmosphere is suppressed but hopeful, with people going outside to the pharmacy, to get food in shops and markets or for a quick walk to move their bodies. Yet, against all odds, and potentially their own safety, a small group of older runners are still heading out every day in Kyiv, sometimes running as Russian bombs fall around them.

Plyuyko runs in Natalka, a manicured public park that runs alongside the River Dnieper. In the last few days, he has even started going for a cold-water dip in the freezing temperatures of the river’s lagoon during his run. “I want to train myself to control my thermoregulation and find energy in my body.”

The daily exercise has been helping him process the absurdity of an unexpected war on his doorstep. “I think about many things during the run,” he explains. “I think about everything I’ve lived through.”

In the past week or so, Plyuyko has not only been running laps, but he has been running errands and getting groceries for people less mobile than him in his apartment complex. “I’ve been getting in line at the shop for them and running it to their homes. This is a sign of friendship during these hard times.” Locals have been happy to see him too; they call him “Uncle Kolya” and wave at him or sing him praise each time he passes them.

According to Plyuyko, most of the people who have stayed behind are either the “lonely elderly” or those who are choosing to protect their towns and other people’s lives. He is one of Kyiv’s residents who has decided to stay in Ukraine to see the war through to the end.

Just across town is Volodimir Shymko, a 67-year-old who has also been running to fill the city’s empty streets. “So many people have left Kyiv. I can tell which of our neighbours have stayed behind judging by whether their lights are on, and there are very few people who have stayed,” he tells me solemnly over the phone.

Shymko, too, hopes that his running raises people’s morale. “I can’t go to fight at my age, there is an army for that, but we will see how the situation continues – maybe everyone will be forced to fight.”

Konstantin Bondarev, 61, is based in the south of the city with his wife and two other friends who have come to shelter in his house. He has been running long-distance since 1983. “Now that there has been war, I’ve been running non-stop; it makes things feel a lot easier during such turbulent times,” he tells me. Since 24 February, he has clocked 73km in running distance. “Right now, thoughts of war keep going round and round in my head; from the moment you wake up, you start ringing all your friends, asking if everyone is alive and well over the messaging app Viber. When there are always attacks, you wonder if anyone has been bombed.”

This, of course, has affected his nervous system, so the run has been helping him deal with the stress of the war. “When I run, I can put all that aside – at least for a moment.”

In Ukraine, men between the ages of 18-60 have been banned from leaving the country in case they have to fight in the war, even if they have no military experience. “It’s important for people to show that we are alive and strong. This is our expression of the fight.”

Shymko’s daughter and his grandson have fled to a part of the country that has now turned into a hotspot for Russian attacks. “They want to get out, but they can’t right now. I’m really worried about them; it’s a very grave situation.”

Still, Shymko continues to run, in the past week, he has mustered 32km. The trained engineer, who is now a pensioner, has been a keen athlete since the 1970s. “I’ve run 40 marathons, and I’ve been in Berlin, Prague, Bratislava, Poland, Belgium, all around Ukraine.” And what would stop him? “Only if someone was to shoot at me multiple times,” he says macabrely.

The Guardian discovered Plyuyko and Shymko’s routes on Strava – a fitness-oriented social network that uses GPS data to track movement and allows users to share it publicly. The collected data is also used to create heatmaps, which shows trails left behind by the app’s users, so much so, Strava accidentally uncovered numerous unmapped military bases in 2018.

Calling the interviewees on Viber, the lines often went crackly, and Plyuyko, in particular, had trouble getting the app to work. “Can you hear me?” he would shout into the phone before hanging up multiple times. Eventually, we managed to set things up.

I spoke to everyone in Russian, as it was the only language we had in common, and I later translated the interviews to English. Listening back through the recordings, I could hear how much the men I spoke to really wanted to tell the stories of their lives and their runs. With a real possibility of Russian occupation, they were worried that their histories would be overwritten. When I asked for photos, they sent me dozens of images, some taken now and some taken when they are looking much younger. A horrible thought occurred; did they think this might be one of the last chances to be heard and to be seen by the rest of the world?

 I have a friend in Kharkiv who hasn’t posted about running online for a little while – it’s worrying

“It’s only natural to be scared when you’re running, and bombs are going off in the distance, going ‘boom’,” says Bondarev. “That does take the joy out of it.” On the day I spoke to him, he went on a run that started well but ended quite ominously. “When I ran out, nothing was going on initially, but then a military plane flew by and then by the end of my run, I saw smoke billowing out of something in the distance. I ran home and took a photo.”

(03/21/2022) ⚡AMP
by Diyora Shadijanova (The Guardian)
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Josh Kerr hopes to make history at Hayward Field

Josh Kerr knows the history, that long line of British middle-distance greats who all but monopolised the men’s 1500m back in the 1980s. Those names – Seb Coe, Cram, Ovett, Elliott – conjure up memories of grainy footage, the kind Kerr has watched countless times on YouTube. 

Now that he’s run faster than them all – his PB of 3:29.05 is behind only Mo Farah on the British all-time list – Kerr feels part of that lineage, especially after winning an Olympic bronze medal last year. 

But as much as he appreciates the achievements of past generations, the 24-year-old Scot is keen to kickstart a new golden era.

“Myself and (Jake) Wightman, we’ve run faster than all those guys but they’re not known for how fast they ran, they’re known for what medals they won and what colours they are,” says Kerr. “We hadn’t won an Olympic medal in 33 years and hopefully we’re moving back into an era people will remember as the Kerr-Wightman era. I want to leave a stamp on the 1500 and grab that British record as an extra.

“But,” he adds, “it’s mostly about medals.”

The game is changing these days. In the decade preceding the 2019 World Championships, the quickest winning time in a global 1500m final was 3:33.61, and in just two out of seven championships did the winner come home in under 3:35. 

Then there was Doha, where Timothy Cheruiyot blitzed a solo 3:29.26 to take gold. Two years later in Tokyo, Jakob Ingebrigtsen outkicked and outlasted Cheruiyot to set an Olympic record of 3:28.32.

Cheruiyot is 26, Ingebrigtsen is 21. Neither is going anywhere any time soon, and both are at their best when the pace is hard from the gun, which means that when it comes to global finals, the future is almost certainly fast. 

Kerr knows this, and he prepares accordingly. 

“The 1500 has evolved over the last two or three years,” he says. “We have to be strong and we train like a 5km athlete. That helps, knowing I’m going to get better round by round. It’s exciting for people to watch and it’s really hard for us racing, but that’s what we’re there for: to find the best. 

“I do believe the world and Olympic champions over the next three or four years will be true champions – who are the best at the distance. Jakob last year was the best and he showed that in the final and Cheruiyot was second and I was third: those are honest, clear-cut, black-and-white results, and you can’t ask for anything more.”

Kerr prepared for Tokyo in his typical manner, racking up 65-70 miles (104-112km) a week in training, along with two gym sessions. It’s been his approach since 2018, when he joined the Brooks Beasts in Seattle and began training with coach Danny Mackey. 

Being a three-time NCAA champion for the University of New Mexico, the Scottish athlete had a wealth of options in the professional ranks. Why did he choose the Brooks Beasts? It came down to his trust in Mackey. 

“I’ve had the most amazing, honest conversations with him,” says Kerr. “He knows me very well, I know him very well. He said, ‘this is the coach I am, we’re not the flashiest group but you come here, you’ll get better.’ He stayed true to that promise. I’ve got six seconds quicker since I’ve gone there.

“The training isn’t massively intense but what I do really well: my injury rate is really low and I’m able to stack a bunch of days together and it ends up being a phenomenal fitness level.”

That was exactly what Kerr carried to Tokyo, and while his 1500m PB of 3:31.55 had many underrating him at the time, his workouts convinced him he was ready to run 3:28. 

“I thought, ‘you know what, the best way to run that is evenly,’” says Kerr. “I wasn’t planning on being so far at the back after the first lap but it was just so fast.”

Kerr narrowly avoided disaster in the heats, scraping through as a non-automatic qualifier, but he was far more convincing in the semifinal, finishing a close third.

After the first lap of the final, with Ingebrigtsen pouring it on from the outset, Kerr was 10th, splitting 57.3 seconds. By 800m he’d moved up to seventh. By 1200m, he was fourth, and ready to take aim at the big two out front – Ingebrigtsen and Cheruiyot – along with Abel Kipsang of Kenya. Kerr waited until the home straight before going for broke, overtaking Kipsang and finishing just 0.04 behind Cheruiyot. 

“I was hoping for a better medal than the one I got,” he says now.  

After the Games, he went to Albuquerque, USA, to spend time with his fiancee and a few weeks later he returned to Scotland. The last six months have been a “whirlwind”, but after a few weeks off Kerr was back into base training to prepare for better things again in 2022. 

“It’s about building the motivation back up, climbing back up the hill with fitness and trying to show some better performances,” he says. “And hopefully better colour of medals.”

He had just one race set in stone for the indoor season: the Wanamaker Mile at last month's Millrose Games, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold event. After biding his time for seven laps, Kerr powered to the lead at the bell, but couldn’t hold off the vicious surge of longtime rival Ollie Hoare, who won in 3:50.83 with Kerr second in 3:52.27, just shy of Peter Elliott’s British record of 3:52.02. 

“First one of the season is always going to be a bit rocky but I told myself I’d be aggressive, I’d push,” says Kerr. “I may have pushed a little bit too early, but I gave it my all. I like to press a little bit and see who falls apart, and it might be me. I’m not scared of anyone or any distance or any race.”

That may be Kerr’s only race of the indoor season. With an outdoor season overflowing with medal opportunities, he’s giving that his prime focus. 

His main targets are the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 in July and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Only after that will he make a decision on the European Championships in Munich. 

“Because that’s enough for my brain to explode,” he says. “We’ll take it step by step.”

When he speaks of such championships, Kerr does so with a calm but resolute confidence that he can beat whoever he faces. It’s not surprising, given he has a habit of toppling favourites. 

When he lined up in the mile at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships, he was a 19-year-old with a 1500m personal best of 3:41.08 – an athlete no one expected to challenge the all-conquering Ed Cheserek. 

When Kerr surged past Cheserek with two laps to run, the ESPN commentator all but dismissed his chances: “That’s Josh Kerr, the New Mexico freshman, and that may just be a freshman move.” 

But it wasn’t. Kerr ran Cheserek into the ground during the final lap, coming home a distant winner. He added the NCAA title outdoors that year – winning the 1500m at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon – and repeated his indoor win in 2018. Those successes taught him he could contend at global level. 

“You have that mindset of wanting to be the champ, to go after the fastest guys,” he says. “You don’t care who anyone is, and if you have that fearless mentality you’re going to be fine in the pros. But if you always look at stats and look up to these guys, you’re going to find it hard to toe the line against them.”

Does he believe he can match Ingebrigtsen and Cheruiyot this summer?

“Yeah, definitely,” he says. “It’s quite funny, but people were saying, ‘any other Olympics you’d have won with the times,’ but they’re different races. The 1500m is exploding because of the way we’re running these races. Those guys are doing great things for the sport.”

Kerr knows those two will likely be the men to beat again in Eugene this summer. He’s not yet raced in the new-and-improved Hayward Field, but is relishing the chance to do so.

“It’s over the top,” he laughs. “It’s a phenomenal facility and I’m excited to go there and run fast. It’s built for fast times and for history to be made, and that’s what’s going to happen this year.” 

He knows his sport’s history, but he also knows his own, and Kerr can extrapolate plenty from it about what might lie ahead.

“I was 37th (at the World Championships) in 2017, sixth in 2019, and third (at the Olympics) in 2021,” he says. “So in 2022 the trajectory is looking like second or first. That’s always what I’m going for. I’m always looking for progress.”

(03/21/2022) ⚡AMP
by Cathal Dennehy (World Athletics)
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World Athletics Championships Budapest23

World Athletics Championships Budapest23

Budapest is a true capital of sports, which is one of the reasons why the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 is in the right place here. Here are some of the most important world athletics events and venues where we have witnessed moments of sporting history. Throughout the 125-year history of Hungarian athletics, the country and Budapest have hosted numerous...

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Sara Hall on Tokyo Marathon, Her Busy Schedule, & What’s Written on Her Bathroom Mirror Right Now

Few professional runners will have a busier first seven months of 2022 than Sara Hall. The 38-year-old American kicked off the year by running 67:15 to break the American half marathon record in Houston on January 16 and on March 6 ventured to Tokyo in an attempt to break the American record in the marathon. While Hall was on record pace through halfway (69:29), she faded over the second half but still ran 2:22:56 to finish 8th overall in the Japanese capital.

Hall is not resting on her laurels, however, as she will race the NYC Half on Sunday before tackling the Boston Marathon on April 18 and the World Championships marathon in Eugene on July 18. LetsRun.com caught up with Hall after she returned home from Tokyo last week to discuss her racing schedule, how she keeps improving deep into her 30s, how much faster she thinks Americans can run with the supershoes, and what goals she has written on her bathroom mirror.

You ran the Tokyo Marathon over the weekend. I assume you’re back stateside at this point. How are you feeling, and how is your body feeling after the race?

It feels pretty good. I would say pretty similar to other flat marathons I’ve done, maybe a little bit more sore on my right side, just with my knee, I think it’s been pulling a little more weight. But thankfully the knee came out of it really well and that was the main concern going in. And so I’m really excited to regroup toward the NYC Half and Boston, assuming I can stay healthy and have good training.

I emailed Ryan (Hall’s husband and coach) before the race and he mentioned that you fell and injured that knee in training a few weeks ago. How much did it affect your preparations for Tokyo, and how much, if at all, did it affect you during the race?

It didn’t affect me at all in the race. I didn’t feel it at all, thankfully. But it was one of those weird things where it just kind of dragged on. I didn’t expect it to be as much of an issue as it was but it was a pretty big setback at a pretty important time. It was hard to quantify how much it affected [my buildup] but I didn’t get in as much in the fourth and third weeks before the race. 

With 10 days out from the race, I was feeling really good and it was finally responding really well to training. So I felt really good going into the race and was optimistic that all the training I had done prior to the knee was still in me and I’d be okay and I still wanted to stick to my original goal and stuff. But unfortunately, I wasn’t quite able to hold the pace I thought I would be capable of out there.

You just ran Tokyo and you’ve got a pretty busy schedule in 2022. You’ve got the NYC Half next weekend and then Boston and then the Worlds in July. You didn’t have to run Boston, but you are running it, so what made you want to run that race?

Well because it’s Boston. I’ve only gotten to run Boston once, it was absolutely incredible as an American out there and [a race where] I really saw Ryan come alive running in his career, probably his favorite spot. The one time I ran it, it was off really limited training off a stress fracture, so I didn’t really get the full experience because I crashed and burned pretty hard. But yeah, I think also having the chance to compete in a marathon, I definitely want some more opportunities for that. I really loved London [in 2020, when Hall finished 2nd] where I just got to compete out there and time was out the window. I think [ahead of] Worlds, [Boston] gives me another opportunity to do that. But really it’s just for the fun of it. I just love racing marathons and am really excited to experience it out there.

Your best marathons so far have come on flat courses. You mentioned you didn’t run as well as you liked in Boston (in 2019, when Hall was 15th), that was also coming off of injury. Do you think you’re a better flat runner than hill runner? And do you expect you might be able to do better on the hills this time around? Have you changed anything that you think might be able to help you succeed on the hills in Boston?

I feel good about the uphills. I do need some more downhill training between now and then, especially because I was starting to do that right when the knee happened, and then that was the absolute worst thing for the knee at the time so I definitely feel a little behind on that, and I think that’s a big factor in Boston to handle the pounding early on of the downhills. It’s a net downhill course. So looking to continue that, and I’m going to really need to stay on top of my recovery, my protein intake with the MuscleTech Pure Series because that eccentric load just really beats you up, so it’s just a fine balance with that. But I’m hoping also the supershoes factor will help, just because it’s my first hilly marathon in a super-cushioned shoe and that, I know from training, helps with the pounding component.

You turn 39 a few days before the Boston Marathon, but you’re not really slowing down very much – you just ran an American record in the half marathon in January. How much longer do you think you can keep going at this level?

It’s a good question. It is kind of surreal to think I’m going to be a masters [athlete] in a year. [laughs] I would have never thought I’d still be competing as a masters. It’s something I try not to think about – I learned this from Terrence Mahon, one of my coaches early on. Deena [Kastor] was joking about being old and he was like, “Deena, once you start saying you’re old, you start the clock.”

I was only, like, 23 at the time, but for some reason that stuck with me, that what you speak about yourself and expect makes a big difference. So I’ve just tried to be really intentional about not joking about that or expecting to slow down. My body’s still handling training really well, I’m finding ways to train smarter because I can’t really train harder or necessarily do more than I’m doing. Obviously my therapist John Ball in Phoenix has helped me so much with staying injury-free. That’s really the biggest limiter. Later in life, you can keep building aerobic capacity for a lot of years, but it’s really just can you stay healthy? So that’s a big focus. Recovering from training, obviously protein intake with MuscleTech, the recovery part is just an art that I’ve continued to try to perfect over the years. So I’m optimistic that my best marathons are still ahead. 

You mentioned training smarter because there’s a limit to how hard you can train. Can you give me an example of something that you feel has helped you in that area to train smarter?

There’s some outside-the-box-stuff I do that I don’t really talk about because they’re my secret weapons. But I feel like those things are really what has allowed me to have the realistic jump I had in Berlin (in 2019 when Hall lowered her pb from 2:26 to 2:22) and I’ve really continued to do more and more of that type of training. They’re kind of secret, but I think what’s helped me is getting outside the groupthink of marathon training in the US. And that goes back to running Boston and Worlds and all these races. There’s a culture of we do things a certain way, but for me, I’ve been able to train in Kenya and Ethiopia and I’m just a curious person. I like to come up with outside-the-box stuff and Ryan’s similar. So I think some of that has really benefited me, having different perspectives and trying different things. 

Since the supershoes came along a few years ago, we’ve seen the half marathon and marathon world records have drop quite precipitously. Recently, we’ve also seen the American records in those events have been lowered in those events, but not quite as much. How much lower do you think those records can go? Now that pretty much every American has access to some form of supershoe, what kind of times do you think Americans can run in those events?

That’s a good question. I think how I felt in Houston after that (where Hall ran 67:15 to break the AR in the half and Keira D’Amato ran 2:19:12 to break the AR in the marathon), and this sounds ambitious, but Josh [Cox, her agent] and Ryan and I are like, maybe breaking 2:18, that might be possible at some point. I’m not there yet, but thinking if you can just keep chipping away little bits. Definitely, the later stages of the marathon, [the shoes] just save your legs. And I think if I can do that, definitely some of these other people – Keira, the people that are running well – can do that too.

As far as the half, I think I can break 67:00. I’m sure other people can too. So we’ll see. Probably under 66:00 eventually, which sounds nuts.

Maybe not as nuts now that the world record is 62:52, right?

Correct, yeah.

You’ve run all of the World Marathon Majors. You’re running the World Championships this year. I know you’d like to run the Olympics one day. Are there any other races on your bucket list that you haven’t gotten to do yet?

Really it’s the Olympics at this point for me. I’d like to podium at a major in the US, but I’ve gotten to experience them all. NYC Half is one that surprisingly I’ve never run and I’ve won all the marquee New York races like the Fifth Avenue Mile and Millrose Games and Mini 10K and Dash to the Finish 5K. And obviously, the marathon is the hardest one to win, so that one and the Half, that would be amazing to go for those at some point. But just to experience the Half will be fun next weekend.

I have one more question. You’re famous for writing your goals on your bathroom mirror. So I’ve got to ask you: what’s written there right now?

Well my Tokyo goals got erased. So now I just have Boston and a picture of a medal and Worlds and a picture of a medal there right now. Those are really gonna be really insanely hard goals. And I think my personality is one where going into Tokyo, it wasn’t an ideal buildup but I’m still gonna just go out there and go for it.

And that has its hard parts with that personality, because you struggle with disappointment a lot. Medalling in those races, that’s a really big ask. But at the same time, you do have those moments where it does come together like those Houston days or the London Marathon days, so I’m going to keep taking big swings and having fun with the process.

 

(03/21/2022) ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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Kenya’s Korir and Meringor were the winners of the 37th Los Angeles Marathon

Delvine Meringor of Kenya emerged Sunday as women's champion of the 37th annual Los Angeles Marathon while John Korir of Kenya was the men's winner.  

Meringor held off Korir’s challenge by about 8 seconds at the finish line, winning the women’s race in 2 hours, 25 minutes and 3 seconds. For the second consecutive year Korir won the men’s race in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 7 seconds. Under marathon rules, elite female runners started the race 16 minutes and five seconds ahead of the men.

The elite athletes led the pack of an estimated 15,000 runners from around the country — and the world — covering a 26.2-mile course that spans some of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods. It was the second L.A. Marathon in four months. Last year’s race was moved from March to November because of the pandemic.

First American was Tyler McCandless in 4th place clocking 2:25:18.  "4th place overall and 1st American today at the Los Angeles Marathon…and I qualified for my 4th Olympic Marathon Trials! Stoked," Tyler said.  

(03/20/2022) ⚡AMP
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Los Angeles Marathon

Los Angeles Marathon

The LA Marathon is an annual running event held each spring in Los Angeles, Calif. The 26.219 mile (42.195 km) footrace, inspired by the success of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, has been contested every year since 1986. While there are no qualifying standards to participate in the Skechers Performnce LA Marathon, runners wishing to receive an official time must...

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Amazing Wins and an Event Record at the 2022 United Airlines NYC Half

The United Airlines NYC Half made a spectacular return to the streets of New York City today as the first major NYRR race back at full scale since the onset of the pandemic.

This year’s event featured the strongest professional athlete field in event history, including 23 Olympians, eight Paralympians, six half-marathon national record holders, and the defending wheelchair division champions. In ideal racing conditions, the pro races played out thrillingly over 13.1 miles of New York City streets.

In the men’s wheelchair division, Daniel Romanchuk of the United States defended his title in a time of 49:22, more than two minutes faster than his winning time from 2019 and four minutes up on the rest of the field today. “I’m really happy to be back in New York racing and see the city so alive,” said Romanchuk a two-time Paralympic medalist and two-time TCS New York City Marathon winner.

 For the women open race,  Senbere Teferi of Ethiopia and Irene Cheptai of Kenya pulled ahead early and ran shoulder to shoulder in Brooklyn, across the Manhattan Bridge, and through Manhattan.

Teferi prevailed in the end, setting an event record of 1:07:35 and breaking Molly Huddle’s record by six seconds. Cheptai was also under the old record in a time of 1:07:37. “I was being very careful throughout the race and watching my pace,” said Teferi through a translator. “I’m very happy to have won.” Her victory is all the more remarkable given that she briefly took a wrong turn in the race’s final 100 meters. Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal of Norway was third in 1:08:07. 

The men’s open division saw 22-year-old Rhonex Kipruto outlast a lead pack of four runners and break the tape in 1:00:30, just over a minute off the event record of 59:24, held by Haile Gebrselassie. Edward Cheserek of Kenya was second in 1:00:37 and Teshome Mekonen of Ethiopia finished third in 1:00:40.

“I feel good because I’ve come back again to win, and my first win was in New York,” said Kipruto, referring to his 2018 victory in the Healthy Kidney 10K in Central Park. “It was not an easy win today because the course was very hilly. It was about the win, not about the time.”

Today’s events also included the return of the Times Square Kids Run at the United Airlines NYC Half for hundreds of youth ages 8–18. 

(03/20/2022) ⚡AMP
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United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

The United Airlines NYC Half takes runners from around the city and the globe on a 13.1-mile tour of NYC. Led by a talent-packed roster of American and international elites, runners will stop traffic in the Big Apple this March! Runners will begin their journey on Prospect Park’s Center Drive before taking the race onto Brooklyn’s streets. For the third...

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Barega upgrades to 3000m gold in Belgrade in one-two for Ethiopia

The Ethiopian domination of the men’s 3000m continued with an eighth gold and a second successive 1-2 in the event, Selemon Barega emerging victorious from a last-lap sprint with compatriot Lamecha Girma in the final morning session at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22.

Four years ago in Birmingham in 2018, Barega had to settle for silver behind Yomif Kejelcha but that was when he was an 18-year-old junior still learning his craft.

Four years on, with an Olympic 10,000m gold and world 5000m silver back home, the 22-year-old had too much strength and speed when Girma attempted to launch an attack on the back straight of the final lap, crossing the line 0.25 clear in 7:41.38.

As in the Olympic steeplechase final in Tokyo last year, and over the barriers in the 2019 world final in Doha, Girma finished in the silver position again, clocking 7:41.63, with Marc Scott timing his effort to perfection to claim Britain’s first medal in Belgrade – and their first in the event since Rob Denmark’s bronze in Seville in 1991.

It was a slow burner of a contest, Barega moving to the front after the opening lap and leading the field to 800m in 2:04.20. At that point, however, he was content to drift back as Kenyans Daniel Ebenyo and Jacob Krop assumed the lead but without ever threatening to make a decisive break.

At the bell Barega was back in front with six others still in the hunt but none of them could match him – even Girma, who had got the better of him earlier in the season in Lievin and Torun.

“We came to Belgrade aiming to make history for Ethiopia,” said Barega. “I have had a good season, so I was ready both physically and mentally to fight for gold. With Girma we discussed the possibility of helping each other make the podium. Our tactic has paid off.

“It was a tough race in which we were focused mostly on the Kenyan guys,” he added. “I decided to lead the race from the beginning because many runners in this final are 1500m specialists. I just wanted to make the pace fast and comfortable. Then I slowed down to save some energy for the finishing kick. It was a good plan and another great experience for me.”

And so the Ethiopian with the awesome range found himself emulating his celebrated compatriots Haile Gebreslassie and Kenenisa Bekele as an Olympic champion at 10,000m and a world indoor winner at 3000m

Gebrselassie, of course, also struck world indoor gold as a 1500m runner in Maebashi in 1999 – as well as taking the 3000m crown in 1997, 1999 and 2003.

The other Ethiopian 3000m golds came from Bekele in 2006, Tariku Bekele in 2008, and Kejelcha in 2016 and 2018.

Scott took the bronze in 7:42.02, 0.95 ahead of Ebenyo in fourth, with Krop in fifth, Zouhair Talbi of Morocco in sixth and Spain’s Adel Mechaal seventh.

(03/20/2022) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Sebatian Coe says sports must fight to keep Russia banned

Sports federations have set precedents by banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from competition following the invasion of Ukraine and they must remain firm to keep them in place, Sebastian Coe said Monday.

Coe is a two-time Olympic champion runner from Britain who is now the president of World Athletics, the governing body of track and field. He spoke four days before the start of the world indoor championships. Both Russians and Belarusians have been excluded from that event, which will be held in Serbia.

“There’s not a single sports federation out there that naturally wants to exclude teams or individuals. That’s not something that we came into the sport for,” Coe said during a video conference call. “But I think we have to recognize that this is such a game changer. And, yes, it will set precedents.”

Athletes and teams from Russia and Belarus have been kicked out of dozens of sports since Russian forces invaded Ukraine last month, with some soldiers entering via Belarus. The biggest events to be immediately impacted by the decision to ban Russians and Belarusians include the upcoming track championships, the figure skating world championships and soccer.

The bans from soccer, which include the Russian national team from World Cup qualifying and Russian club Spartak Moscow from the Europa League competition, have been challenged by the Football Union of Russia. The first appeal rulings are expected this week from the Court of Arbitration for Sport — the highest sports court in the world.

“We absolutely accept that this will set precedents and those precedents will have to be faced individually and sequentially and they will be with us for years,” Coe said. “We haven’t made this easy on ourselves but it is still the right decision.

“You cannot have aggressor nations, where you have so altered the landscape for the integrity of competition being untouched, while the actions of their governments have so influenced the integrity of sport elsewhere.”

Russia’s opponent in the World Cup qualifying playoffs, Poland, has said it won’t play against the country on March 24. The two next possible opponents, the Czech Republic and Sweden, have said the same.

Track and field had previously been the hardest on Russians following the country’s state-sponsored doping scandal dating back to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Russians now have to be individually vetted in order to compete in international track events. The Russian track federation has been banned since 2015.

“I don’t have a problem with (banning Russians) because that’s what we’ve done in our sport. I don’t see why that should be different in any other sport if you’re making that judgement on the integrity of the sport,” Coe said. “Goodness me, in football, you’ve already seen teams that decided they’re not going to play in playoff rounds.

“The impact is across the board. So they are going to need to remain really firm on this and do exactly what we’ve done.”

(03/19/2022) ⚡AMP
by Chris Lehourites
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Rhonex Kipruto will lead Kenyan cast for New York Half Marathon

Rhonex Kipruto will be hoping for a bright start to the season when he lines up for the New York Half Marathon in United States of America on Sunday.

He is among elite athletes who will be battling it out for top honours in the prestigious race which has attracted a good number of entries.

The race will begin in Brooklyn at Prospect Park before taking runners across the East River via the Manhattan Bridge then head to Lower East Side, up to Midtown, through Times Square and conclude at Central Park.

Kipruto, who has been training in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County will be competing against his compatriots who include Edward Cheserek who has been training in Kaptagat and Stephen Sambu who is also in the US.

The trio will face stiff competition from Ethiopians Tariku Bekele, Birhanu Dare and Ashenafi Birhana, Galen Rupp and Shadrack Kipchirchir from USA among other top athletes.

In an interview with Nation Sport, Kipruto said he has trained well and since this is his first race this season, he wants to gauge his performance as he sets his eyes on the World Championships slated for July 16-24 in Eugene, USA.

“The race will be competitive but I will be out to gauge my performance as we start another season where I’m looking forward to a better one compared to last year. I have trained well but I can’t say that my training is 100 percent,” said Kipruto.

He revealed that last year he participated in various races but this year he wants to concentrate on preparing for the World Championships thus he will reduce the number of races he will feature in.

“Last year I participated in many races and I came to realise they were not of help and that’s why I want to run few races as I prepare to make the team that will be participating in World Championships in July,” he added.

Kipruto was a late inclusion in the Tokyo Olympics team for the 10,000m race after withdrawal of Geoffrey Kamworor which led to his dismal performance where he finished ninth in 27:52.78.

In the women's category, Irene Cheptai will be joined by two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, Sharon Lokedi and Grace Kahura.

Cheptai, who is also starting her season revealed that she has been training well in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet and she just wants to run a good race as she also sets her sights on World Championships.

“I’m going into the race to just see how I will perform and with such a good field of athletes, I will be eyeing a good race. This is part of my preparations for global events like World Championships and Commonwealth Games,” said Cheptai who finished sixth at Tokyo Olympic Games in the 10,000m after timing 30:44.00.

The Kenyan athletes will be competing against Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi, USA’s Sara Hall, Charlotte Purdue among others. 

(03/19/2022) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

The United Airlines NYC Half takes runners from around the city and the globe on a 13.1-mile tour of NYC. Led by a talent-packed roster of American and international elites, runners will stop traffic in the Big Apple this March! Runners will begin their journey on Prospect Park’s Center Drive before taking the race onto Brooklyn’s streets. For the third...

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Pro Runner Ben Blankenship Believes High Mileage Is Overrated

Ben Blankenship of Oregon Track Club Elite believes there are other important ways to measure running success.

Hear me out: High mileage is overrated.

A couple months ago, I posted that on Instagram. Mostly because it’s true—I don’t think running high mileage is always the best way to reach your potential—and partially because I’m a guy who loves to stir the pot.

It definitely drummed up conversation. I received dozens of comments and messages, some defending mileage, some agreeing with me, but all coming to a similar conclusion: It depends on runners to learn what’s best for themselves.

What worked for me? I came from a low-mileage, high-intensity high school program. The Minnesota track season was only a few months long, due to weather and the popularity of winter sports. We didn’t have an indoor track season either. Outdoors we would race twice a week, go to state, and that would be it.

When I started my college career at the University of Minnesota, coach Steve Plasencia focused on longevity. He wanted us to have a long and prosperous career, even post-collegiately, so he never had us immediately reach for high mileage. Also, back in the early 2010s, not everyone had GPS watches. So when I return to my college running loops, I’m like, man, that used to feel longer than it actually is, because we never actually measured them.

When I began my professional career with the Oregon Track Club Elite in Eugene, coach Mark Rowland eased me into higher volume. Instead of getting stuck in the mentality of needing a certain amount of miles, I put the emphasis on how good my workout sessions were. It was all about being able to handle high intensity at high volume with low rest. 

For example, I remember one workout when I switched between four 1,000-meter repeats on a trail, eight 400-meter repeats on the track, then back to the trail for another four 1,000-meter repeats. I only had half each rep’s time to recover. Whenever I was able to complete those types of workouts feeling strong, I knew I was in good shape.

The philosophy worked. I saw plenty of success in the 1500 meters, qualifying for the 2016 Olympics and earning a spot in the final. 

After that Olympic cycle, I wanted to become a versatile athlete, able to run fast at any race distance. I already had so much quality work behind me that I thought, “What’s left to do?”

My answer at the time was more mileage. So from 2017 to 2019, I upped my weekly average from 75 to 100. I decided to test my new philosophy by chasing the 10,000-meter Olympic standard of 27:28.00, because I have a romantic view of the 10K. It’s poetry in laps.

The guys I trained with were all 100-mile-plus-week types, so I added six-mile afternoon doubles and longer cooldowns with them to prepare. I kept thinking how awesome it was to be a high-mileage runner. At the end of 2019, I got a little banged up with injuries. So to come back stronger, I doubled down on the mileage.

It worked for a while. I debuted over 10,000 meters with a 28:08.20 in August 2020. But I felt stiff, tired, and not very productive in my workout sessions—exactly the opposite of what my philosophy used to be.

Toward the end of 2020, the real injuries started. I hurt my Achilles and my plantar, and suffered a small tear in my hamstring. I eventually ended up with a stress fracture in my tibia in late spring 2021. 

As a result, my buildup to the Olympic Trials wasn’t great. I had almost zero on-the-ground training; I was either in the pool or on the bike. 

While I wasn’t as competitive as I had been in years past, I was amazed at my racing ability, making the semis despite not running much in my buildup. That was eye-opening. What was I doing to get my cardiovascular fitness up? What was I able to do neurologically without the pounding of running?

Now, I know that much of it has to do with how long I’ve been doing this. I have 18 years of running in me, week in and week out. That has allowed me to sit back and say, “Okay, what weaknesses do I need to focus on?” instead of worrying about an entire rounded-out training program. So I realized I don’t have to run high mileage—there are other ways to get better at running.

As a 33-year-old, my focus is to be athletic. After the Olympic Trials, I started to play basketball. I felt strong and powerful, and my range of motion was fluid and comfortable. I returned to training refreshed and ran a couple of good races. 

Not everyone is built for other sports or willing to risk running to play them. I remember my parents putting hockey skates on me and my ankles just not moving that way. But one easy way to stay athletic is to prioritize fast running. A lot of runners will throw strides in after a run when their body is already tired. But I propose making them the main focus sometimes. 

Get to the track, warm up for 15 to 20 minutes, put some spikes on, and prioritize moving quickly. Run efficiently and fast for 80 meters, the first 60 percent easier and the last 40 percent harder. Walk and jog the next 320 meters and do another. In total, do eight to 10. Think about using good form and pulling yourself forward off the ground. On a nice day, you can even find a turf field and kick your shoes off for some barefoot strides. Follow the same idea as before, but instead of measuring out meters, just run the diagonal across a soccer field and jog a lap for rest. 

Keep in mind, this is what I’ve learned throughout the course of my career. If you’re a beginner, you might get overwhelmed by the different perspectives out there. So my main advice is to be a student of the sport. Ask yourself: Why am I running these miles? What am I getting out of the work I’m putting in? Why am I doing this type of workout, this type of run, this type of cross-training?

If it makes sense for you to run higher mileage because you’re new to running and need to build a base, then do it. What high mileage means completely depends on the person; for some 40 is a lot, for others 100 is. But if you’re suffering for the sole purpose of suffering, then you’re doing it wrong. The goal is to improve yourself. Success is more likely to come if you focus on the purpose of your miles instead of the number of miles you run.

(03/19/2022) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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The 8 most common running injuries and why they happen

If you run consistently for long enough, there’s a good chance you’ll experience a running-related injury, and there’s also a good chance it’ll be one of these eight common problems. Whether it’s in your knees, legs, hips or feet, running injuries can be frustrating to deal with. Understanding why they happen and knowing what to look out for is the first step in preventing small niggles from becoming big problems.

Ankle sprains

While less common for road runners, those of you who like to put in their miles on the trails are at a higher risk for ankle injuries. An ankle sprain happens when you land on the outer part of your foot and roll your ankle over. Ankle sprains range in severity and usually result in symptoms like discolouration, pain, swelling, bruising and a limited range of motion.

The trouble is, once you’ve rolled your ankle once, you become more prone to rolling it again. Once you’ve given your ankle plenty of time to heal, it will be very important to strengthen the ligaments around your ankle to prevent spraining it again. A physiotherapist will be able to provide you with an appropriate strength training plan to prevent future injuries.

Hamstring injuries

Your hamstrings play an important role in your running stride, but if they are weak, tight or tired, they’ll be more prone to injuries. Many distance runners end up with hamstring strains that appear slowly over time, caused by small, repetitive tears in the muscle tissue.

Symptoms of a hamstring strain could include a dull pan in the upper part of the back of your leg, tenderness in the back of your leg or weakness or stiffness in your hamstring. Most hamstring injuries can be fixed with rest and a strength training program.

IT band syndrome

Your iliotibial (IT) band runs from your hip to your knee. Often mistaken for a muscle, your IT band is actually made up of connective tissue that stabilizes your knee when you’re walking or running. Unlike a muscle, the IT band can’t be stretched or strengthened, but you can stretch and strengthen the muscles around it.

IT band syndrome happens when your IT band rubs against your leg bone, creating friction. In many cases, this “tightness” of the IT band is caused by weak glute muscles, abdominals or hips. Symptoms usually include a sharp pain on the outside of your leg, often just above the knee, that typically gets worse when you bend your knee.

In most cases, treatment and prevention of IT band syndrome include strengthening your glutes, abdominals and hips to take the train off of your IT band.

Stress fractures

A stress fracture is a small, hairline crack that forms in your bone from repetitive stress or impact. Common places runners may experience a stress fracture are on the top of the foot, the heel or in the lower leg. The pain from this injury is often barely noticeable at first, but progresses over time to the point that you can even feel it at rest. You also may notice swelling, bruising or tenderness in the affected area.

If you think you have a stress fracture, you’ll need to see a doctor right away, who can use an x-ray to diagnose the injury. You will have to avoid putting any pressure on the injured area for a while, since it generally takes six to eight weeks for a stress fracture to heal.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick layer of tissue on the bottom of your foot, called the plantar fascia. This tissue is heavily involved when you push off from the ground as you run, and can easily be over-stressed when you increase your mileage too quickly. Weak or tight calves can also put more stress on your plantar fascia.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis typically include pain under your midfoot or heal (that often comes on gradually), a burning sensation on the bottom of your foot, pain that’s worse in the morning or pain after prolonged activity.

Plantar fasciitis can be difficult to get rid of, and often requires a combination of rest, massage, strength training for your lower legs and a gradual return to running is the best way to fix the problem and prevent it in the future.

Achilles tendonitis

Your Achilles is the tendon that connects your calf muscle to your heal, and can often become inflamed from repetitive activities like running. In most cases, Achilles tendonitis will flare up after you’ve increased your running volume or intensity.

It’s important to treat your Achilles right away when you begin to feel pain, because it increases your risk for rupturing your Achilles tendon, which requires surgery and months of recovery to fix. Common symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include a dull pain above your heel, swelling along the tendon, a warm feeling where your Achilles tendon is located or a limited range of motion when you try to flex your foot toward your shin.

Achilles tendonitis can be difficult to get rid of, so make sure you book an appointment with a physiotherapist to help you solve the problem.

Shin splints

Shin splints are one of the most common injuries for beginner runners, or for people who are returning to running after a layoff. Common symptoms include a dull pain on the front or inner part of your shin bone, mild swelling or tenderness in your shins and pain that gets worse as you run.

In most cases, shin splints will go away with adequate rest. To prevent them from happening, make sure you strengthen your lower legs and feet, and be careful to increase your mileage gradually to give your body time to adapt to the increased stress.

Runner’s knee

We’ve left this one to last because it is arguably the most common issue faced by runners. In fact, some studies suggest up to 50 per cent of all running injuries happen in the knees. Runner’s knee, or patellofemoral pain syndrome, generally refers to pain felt in the front of your knee or around your kneecap.

Symptoms of runner’s knee often include a dull pain in one or both knees that ranges from mild to very painful, pain that gets worse with prolonged activity or prolonged sitting and pain that worsens when doing other activities like walking up stairs, squatting or jumping.

Weakness in your hips and the muscles around your knees can put you at a greater risk for runner’s knee, so strengthening those areas can help get rid of the injury and prevent it in the future. Since knee pain can be caused by a variety of factors, you should see a physiotherapist or sports doctor to have it diagnosed, and to rule out other possible conditions.

(03/19/2022) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Lenny Maughan expresses solidarity with Ukraine in his latest Strava art

Lenny Maughan is using Strava to show support for Ukraine. For his latest creation, the Picasso of Stava art ran nearly 90 miles (145 km) to “draw” a sunflower, which has long been a symbol of peace for the Eastern European country.

Maughan has become widely recognized in the running world for his impressive Strava creations, including his rendition of the artist Frida Kahlo and most recently, his tiger created in honour of the Lunar New Year. These works of art often require hours of preparation and many miles of running to complete.

His sunflower run took 89.5 miles (144 km) and more than 20 hours to complete, on top of five hours of planning before setting off on his run. To make the feat even more impressive, Maughan lives in San Francisco, which is known for its hilly streets, and in total, he gained nearly 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in elevation throughout the entire run.

Runners in Canada and around the world have been using running to express their support for the people of Ukraine with the Ukraine virtual running challenge. 

(03/19/2022) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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New Balance to launch new mental health initiative

New Balance will be launching a collaboration with the Los Angeles-based apparel company, District Vision, which features a collection of specialized apparel and footwear. District Vision also offers a series of online courses aimed toward providing customers with strategies designed to increase mental health awareness through running.

“The goal is to redefine what a collaboration between a performance and a fashion brand can accomplish,” says District Vision co-founder Max Vallot. Both brands will aim to offer long-term benefits beyond the physical results of running.There will also be five online courses offered that focus on education and aim to help runners explore their minds. The first of these courses is “Runners Heart”, which will feature Team New Balance athletes and U.S. Olympians Emily Sisson and Brenda Martinez on what they do as professional runners to get over mental limitations. 

Another course is “MindDiscovery,” offered by New Balance ambassador, rapper and mental health awareness advocate, GaTa. The rapper chats about his recent introduction to the sport of running and how it has shifted the way he now approaches mental health. All courses are now available online on the District Vision website, with each course available for CDN $12.

All apparel is organically hand-drawn by renowned Polish artist Filip Pagowski, featuring mindful aesthetics to make up a functional and artistic uniform for everyday performance. The NB x DV collection is made up of two colourways of the carbon-plated FuelCell RC Elite v2 and an array of custom apparel pieces. 

The collection will be available exclusively at districtvision.com on Thurs, March 17, and the collection will launch globally on newbalance.com on Thurs, March 24.ve always said that I only run uphill to get to the downhill.

It is undoubtedly my favourite part of trail running: zooming downward, letting gravity take the wheel, yelping Mario Kart noises with every near-stumble. As with all things in life, you don’t get to enjoy the reward without putting in the work to get there, and the faster you can get up, the faster you get to the fun part.

(03/19/2022) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Does Yoga Improve Running Performance? Here's The Science.

Stand up with your feet under your hips. Bring your hands together in front of your chest. Breathe in, and as you exhale release all of the tension you brought into this article. Open yourself to the possibilities of the paragraphs ahead.

Now buy a friend a gift from all of our sponsors.

What? No? Oh I think I got mindfulness confused with hypnosis.

I think many athletes feel like yoga practices can be a whole lot of psychological hooey, an unproven gumbo of faux-spirituality and stretching that is more placebo than prescription. "Give me the evidence," they'll say. When presented with people saying how much better it makes them feel, that becomes more anecdata to incinerate in a bonfire. Double-blind controls or GTFO.

I used to lump yoga and hypnosis and healing crystals into the same hooey pile. But when I was in college, before I became a coach, I decided to take an intro yoga class for a Physical Education credit. In case you were wondering, that's what six figures of student-loan debt went to. Shockingly, that very expensive yoga class may have been the most important experience I had in college.

I sucked at it. But with time I got a bit more proficient. I learned to control my anxiety, first related to the class itself, then outside of class. And that coincides with the window when my running started improving too.

Now, I have no idea what that was measuring. I am so susceptible to the placebo effect that if you gave me a sugar pill with confidence, I'd get high as a kite and maybe be able to read minds. At the very least, the yoga class opened my mind to the potential benefits of a focused practice.

While I fell away from yoga practice over time, I have seen plenty of athletes use yoga to complement their running schedule and have great success. So what are we seeing? Correlation? Causation? A shared sugar-pill delusion? Let's break it down into its component parts before considering the few studies on yoga specifically.

Stretching

Yoga can mean a lot of different activities, but most of the movements involve some sort of stretching. A 2012 article in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy laid out the basics: stretching generally focuses on lengthening the musculotendinous unit, increasing the length between the muscle origin and insertion. Muscle length has an inverse relationship with muscle tension/stiffness, a way to describe biomechanical and neuromuscular factors that affect how muscles contract (this book excerpt from Plyometric Anatomy has more).

Now imagine the tension like a trampoline. Too little tension, and you could picture flopping down lazily and having little energy return. Too much tension, and you'd fall on what amounts to a brick wall. Each athlete will likely have an optimal level for injury risk and performance that varies a ton by the person and over time.

To summarize the numerous studies, the basic conclusion is that stretching before activity reduces running economy, like kids playing on a used trampoline, wishing their parents didn't spend six figures on college yoga classes. A 2015 review study in the Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism journal pegged pre-activity static stretching as a 3.7-percent reduction in subsequent running economy. Meanwhile, dynamic stretching improved performance slightly. That study found no change in injury rates. A 2017 review study in Research in Sports Medicine found no settled science on whether post-activity stretching affects performance. The jury is also out on injury risk.

At the very least, the yoga class opened my mind to the potential benefits of a focused practice.

Notably, most of those studies measure basic stretches in a lab for force-generating muscles. Maybe flow or core-oriented stretches would have different outcomes, more like the dynamic stretches. Plus there is variance across studies and for individual participants within studies. That raises the big question of studies generally: what are we actually measuring?

A good example might be this 2009 study in the Journal of Strength And Conditioning Research, which found that collegiate distance runners who were less flexible tended to be more economical. Read that together with research that has posited that flexibility has a large genetic component, and that genetically inflexible athletes may have better economy. Possibly a genetically inflexible athlete could stretch and still be rather inflexible, yet with good running economy (or maybe not). So maybe we're measuring individual genetic predisposition and responses rather than uniform physiological rules. It probably benefits older athletes more as well, since range of motion can decrease over time.Strength

Yoga often includes bodyweight-strength elements that could play a role in performance. You can think of the mechanisms without me listing them out. Every PT says you need to activate your glutes, and yoga is all about those buns, babyyy. Pros do core work, and I wouldn't be surprised if yogis plank in their sleep. Yoga could theoretically strengthen everything that matters and many of the things that don't.

Maybe a good way to isolate that unique brand of strength is by looking at pilates, which seems a lot like yoga but without as much stretching. A 2018 study in the PLoS One journal found that pilates improved 5K performance by over a minute more than a control condition during a 12-week training program. Note: there were no results reported on the status of those buns.

That study could be measuring something else too. The participants only did two sessions of running a week, so maybe pilates just filled in some major aerobic and fitness gaps that could have been filled in with running or cross training. Or maybe I should stop being such a buzzkill.

Numerous studies support different types of strength work for running economy improvements and injury prevention. Whether yoga overlaps with that would probably require more studies on specific approaches, and who has time for that when you can watch season 2 of Fleabag for the eighth time? Hot Priest is the gift that keeps on giving. And that ending? Trust me, it's worth it.

Psychology

There are also components of mindfulness, brain chemistry and social support that could play a major role in possible yoga benefits. For example, this 2014 study from the Psychology of Consciousness journal found that a yoga and mindfulness intervention in a division 1 NCAA sports team resulted in greater mindfulness, greater goal-directed energy and less perceived stress.

Let's just take it as a given that there will be a slight mental benefit for people that enjoy yoga, maybe a slight detriment for people that don't enjoy it and definitely a major catastrophe for people that are allergic to Lulu pants.

That's backed up by this 2015 systematic review in the Journal of Clinical Sports Psychology that found mindfulness had significant benefits across the literature. Let's just take it as a given that there will be a slight mental benefit for people that enjoy yoga, maybe a slight detriment for people that don't enjoy it and definitely a major catastrophe for people that are allergic to Lulu pants.

Give Me the Yoga Science

Somewhat surprisingly, I can't find definitive studies on yoga practice and running performance. Maybe I'm missing something, but even if there were performance studies, it would probably depend heavily on the type of yoga practice and it would be difficult to make broadly applicable conclusions.

A 2006 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that participants assigned to do brief yoga exercises improved performance over a control group. There were 11 entry-level yoga asana positions: mountain pose, asana 2, forward bend, lunge, plank, staff, upward facing dog, downward facing dog, lunge return, mountain pose return and breath of fire.

But and please read this sentence slowly the yoga group improved less than the group that stood around in a circle for nine minutes and screamed motivational phrases at each other. The example given in the article is: "You're the definition of speed!" I just took a DNA test and it turns out I am 100-percent in love with that study.

Hot yoga could have additional benefits, but again not too much on runners specifically. A 2018 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research had 10 international-caliber field-hockey players do six days of hot yoga and they had a five-percent increase in blood-plasma volume and a slight speed increase at ventilatory threshold.

A 2012 study found that yoga practice increased adherence to other forms of exercise in previously sedentary adults. Maybe that's relevant. I'm really grasping at straws here.

Hey, while we're looking for scientific studies, this one from 2010 says it could improve male sexual function and this one says it could improve female sexual function. This is what happens when you search for "yoga and performance."Putting It All Together

My hypothesis is that the strength and mindfulness (and heat if applicable) components of yoga are likely helpful for many athletes. The stretching element likely depends heavily on genetics and practice type. I used the word "hypothesis" because it sounds better than "throwing darts at a guess board."

Tons of athletes swear by yoga, and I think they are almost certainly right for them. Yoga can provide strength, it can make you aware of imbalances, it can improve body awareness and body image. That's great, and if you are looking for a change, consider adding a yoga practice a couple of times a week, especially if you have dealt with injuries or burnout. Some of the athletes I coach swear by Fightmaster Yoga, which has free videos on Youtube. Or even better, join a class for the social support and guidance. Monitor how you feel over a couple months and make changes as needed.

But way more important than that performance stuff, yoga can make some people happier. If yoga makes you happy, I promise that it will be good for your running life no matter what any study says.

If we're thinking about raw performance variables, adding 10 easy miles per week while staying happy and healthy is probably going to give you a bigger boost. But way more important than that performance stuff, yoga can make some people happier. If yoga makes you happy, I promise that it will be good for your running life no matter what any study says.

(03/19/2022) ⚡AMP
by Trail Runner Magazine
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Does running prevent heart attacks?

Many runners believe their daily miles give them a free pass to eat whatever they want, but research shows if you’re concerned about your heart health, you have to be mindful of what you eat. While runners can (and should) include less-healthy foods as a part of their diet, they should still focus on eating well to avoid putting themselves at risk for heart attacks.

Running doesn’t prevent heart attacks

Yes, regular exercise will lower your risk for heart attacks, but research shows your diet has a much greater role to play. Consider this study, published last year in the European Heart Journal, which showed lifelong male endurance athletes older than 40 had increased markers doctors use to predict heart attacks, including an increased amount of plaque in their heart arteries and scarring around their heart muscles, compared to their relatively sedentary counterparts.

Another study, published in the BMJ Journals in 2018, showed that out of 798 asymptomatic and seemingly healthy master athletes, 10 per cent had more than 70 per cent blockage of the arteries leading to their hearts. Finally, a 2017 study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise found that men over 60 who had completed between 27 and 171 marathons had enough plaque in their arteries to increase their risk for heart attacks.

All of this evidence shows that while endurance training can improve other risk factors for heart attacks, it does not appear to reduce the buildup of plaque in your arteries. That is a job for your diet.

Runners: eat with your heart in mind

Heart attacks occur when plaques that build up in your arteries break off. This causes bleeding, which eventually leads to a blood clot that prevents blood flow to the heart. Exercise helps reduce your risk for heart attacks by making the plaque more stable (therefore less likely to break off), but your diet is what prevents plaques from forming in the first place.

As a runner, you burn a lot of calories during your training, so naturally, you’re going to eat more to fuel your activity level. If you replace the calories you lose with lots of sugar, too much meat, or other less-healthy choices, you are far more likely to have plaque build-up in your arteries.

To prevent or reduce the risk for plaque build-up, all runners should follow a heart-healthy diet that’s high in anti-inflammatory foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts and other heart-healthy fats and oils. Here are a few examples of some heart-healthy foods runners can add to their grocery carts:

Black beans

Salmon and tuna

Olive oil

Walnuts and almonds

Edamame

Sweet potatoes

Oranges

Dark, leafy greens

Barley

Oats

Flaxseed

Yogurt

Cherries and blueberries

This doesn’t mean that runners can’t enjoy other foods like meat, sugar and refined carbohydrates, but remember to eat those foods in moderation to keep your heart healthy.

(03/18/2022) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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What does your running shoe wear pattern tell you?

Wasn’t it Forrest Gump who said that there’s an awful lot you can tell about a person by their shoes? Your running shoes can tell a pretty good story of your running gait and how and where your body makes an impact with the ground. And your gait can tell you the areas of your body you need to work on to strengthen your stride. When buying a new pair of running shoes, your best bet is to read the outsole on your current pair to get an idea of what to look for in your next shoe.

The first step is to look at the wear pattern on a pair of your old running shoes; the more recently they’ve been used, the better (but they should be well used). Don’t use a pair that you walk in, as walking is a different motion to running and will create a different wear pattern, making it hard to get a good read on what’s going on with your gait.

The heel-striker

If your shoes are completely worn down at the back of the heel, it’s a sign that you are overstriding (landing in front of your body). You may want to try a pair of shoes with a lower drop, without an elevated heel as a technique to help you stop over-striding,  which can develop a more natural stride. Another way you can combat heel-striking is by not letting your elbows swing forward past your hips when running. 

If there’s more wear on the inside (medial side) of your heel, you may want to consider a stability shoe that helps prevent overpronation. The opposite is supination, in which you’d see more wear on the outside heel. Most of the major running brands don’t make a specific shoe for supination but a majority of supinators wear a high cushioned shoe to absorb the impact of the ground.

The midfoot-striker

This is the most popular technique for runners. If there’s wear and tear right down the middle of the shoe, it’s usually a sign that you are wearing the right pair. A midfoot strike allows your body to absorb the impact better, equally distributing your body weight and allowing you to run more efficiently.

When buying a new pair, midfoot strikers have the luxury to stick with what they are wearing or to try a mid-to-lightweight shoe to optimize their speed on training runs.

The forefoot striker

A forefoot strike may seem efficient and fast, but it is the least common running foot strike as it’s unnatural for runners. If there’s tons of wear around the toe area, it’s a sign that you are a forefoot striker. This strike can be commonly described as running on your toes and is prone to cause tight calves or Achilles issues. Those who have a forefoot strike are recommended to wear shoes with a higher drop, which is the difference in millimeters between the heel and toe, to alleviate calf or Achilles pain.

Next time you are at your local running store, try on several pairs. Bring your old pair of shoes with you to give the salesperson an understanding of your stride, and a frame of reference for what you need in your next pair. Then buy the one that feels the most comfortable. 

(03/18/2022) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Canadian Olympians Malindi Elmore and Natasha Wodak prepare for their first Boston Marathon

Two of Canada’s best marathoners are currently training together to tackle their first Boston Marathon. Malindi Elmore and Natasha Wodak hold the two fastest times ever run by Canadian women over the marathon.

They also are the top-ever placing Canadian women in that event in a non-boycotted Olympics, finishing 9th and 13th at last summer’s Games.

St. John's native Kate Bazeley, who made her World Marathon Majors debut three months ago in Chicago, is the other Canadian participant.

Placing 13th in two minutes 32.41 seconds went beyond Wodak's expectations for her Olympic marathon debut. The 40-year-old Vancouver resident spent "hours and hours" discussing a race plan with Elmore, 41, of Kelowna, B.C., who was confident the pair could finish inside the top eight. Elmore placed ninth in 2:30:59.

"To say I am excited to race the BOSTON MARATHON is an understatement! This field is absolutely LIT," Wodak said in a tweet. "Honoured to be on the start list with these incredible ladies. And so happy I get to do this with my pal Malindi Elmore."

Bazeley, 37, placed 16th in the elite women's field in Chicago on Oct. 10 in 2:36.46, 11 seconds short of her personal-best time.

"Really excited to be included in this bonkers field! let's see how marathon training in the winter unfolds in Newfoundland," she tweeted Tuesday.

But even these pros need some advice to conquer their Boston debuts. 

(03/18/2022) ⚡AMP
by Kate Van Buskirk
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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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What is the purpose of recovery runs?

Recovery runs are perhaps the most misunderstood part of a runner’s training program. These relatively short, very easy-paced runs often get tossed aside as “junk miles,” but they are anything but. They may not be as exciting as an interval workout or as tiring as a long run, but these sessions play a key role in your training program and will make you a fitter, faster runner.

Recovery runs: not really for recovery

The term “recovery run” is a bit of a misnomer. Many runners and coaches talk about how these easy sessions increase blood flow to help clear lactic acid and other waste products from your legs that built up during your last workout, but this isn’t really true.

We know now that even after the hardest of workouts, it generally takes no more than an hour for your body’s lactic acid levels to return to normal. We also know that lactic acid isn’t really to blame for muscle fatigue, and that doing light activity won’t really help repair your muscles. In other words, recovery runs don’t actually do much to promote recovery.

5 reasons recovery runs are still important

So if recovery runs don’t really improve recovery, what’s the point? There are a number of reasons these shorter, easy sessions should have a place in your training plan, both from a performance and health perspective.

They improve your fitness

It may sound counter-intuitive, but recovery runs improve your fitness almost as much as your interval workouts, tempos and long runs do. How? By forcing you to run when your muscles are already tired.

Your biggest training adaptations happen when you’ve surpassed the point of initial fatigue — when you’re challenging your body to go beyond what it’s comfortable with. Ideally, you should do your recovery runs within 24 hours of your last hard workout or long run when you haven’t yet fully recovered so that you start your run in an already-fatigued state. This will allow you to force a greater amount of adaptation, without over-working your body, since you’re running at a very easy pace.

Recovery runs are also an opportunity to teach your body how to run in a fatigued state, which is crucial when you’re entering the final few kilometres of your goal race. The more you practice doing this, the more efficient your body will become at using energy in the future.

They improve your form

OK, so recovery runs themselves don’t improve your form, but their short and easy nature makes them the perfect time to practice good running form, since you don’t have to focus on other things like trying to hit specific paces. You don’t have to think about your form the entire time you’re running, but spending one minute every kilometre focussing on different aspects of your form, like your stride, your breathing or your arm carriage, can help you run more efficiently in your workouts later on.

If you truly want to take advantage of this aspect of a recovery run, make an appointment with a running-specific physiotherapist or other sports medicine practitioner to have a gait analysis done, so you know which parts of your form you should focus on the most, and how to do so safely and effectively.

They increase your weekly mileage

It’s important for runners to remember that it’s your overall training plan, not just specific workouts, that ultimately lead to improved performance. When you’re training for a longer event like a half-marathon or marathon, running enough weekly mileage is one of the most important factors for success. A recovery run is an opportunity to add to your weekly mileage without putting too much extra stress on your body since the volume and intensity are fairly low.

They improve your body’s ability to use fat

You have a nearly endless supply of energy available from fat, but in order to break down fat for fuel, you need oxygen. When you’re doing a recovery run at a pace that allows you to breathe easily (and get enough oxygen), your body is able to use fat as an energy source. Over time, your body will gradually become more efficient at using fat for fuel, which will be hugely beneficial during long races like half-marathons and marathons.

They improve your mental health

It’s no secret that running can help improve your mental health, but not all runs are created equal. Easy runs that don’t leave you exhausted at the end of them are arguably the most enjoyable and tend to have the greatest positive impacts in terms of stress relief and providing that sought-after “runner’s high.”

Recovery run mistakes

There’s no doubt recovery runs provide a lot of benefits, but many runners miss out on them because they don’t do these runs properly. Avoid making these mistakes if you want to maximize the positive effects of recovery runs:

Running too fast. You should be running slow enough that you can maintain a conversation, and shouldn’t be tired at the end of the run.

Running too far. The length of your recovery runs will be relative depending on the rest of your training, but again, they shouldn’t be so long that they induce fatigue.

Watch for hills. A very hilly route can turn an easy run into a challenging run if you’re not careful. If there are hills on your route, make sure you manage your effort on the ascent to avoid turning your run into a hill workout in disguise.

Take a break. If you’re feeling particularly beat up after a hard workout, consider swapping your easy run for a cross-training session. This way, you can still get the aerobic benefits while reducing the stress on your body, which will lower your risk for injuries.

(03/18/2022) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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