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Running News Daily is edited by Bob Anderson in Mountain View, California USA and team in Thika Kenya, La Piedad Mexico, Bend Oregon and Chandler Arizona.   Send your news items to bob@mybestruns.com  Advertising opportunities available.   Over one million readers and growing.  Train the Kenyan Way at KATA Running Retreat Kenya.  (Kenyan Athletics Training Academy) in Thika Kenya.  Opening in june 2024 KATA Running retreat Portugal.  Learn more about Bob Anderson, MBR publisher and KATA director/owner, take a look at A Long Run the movie covering Bob's 50 race challenge.  

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Faith Kipyegon revels after receiving 'beautiful' gift from Nike

Faith Kipyegon expressed her excitement after being gifted by her sponsors, Nike.

Double world record holder Faith Kipyegon has expressed her excitement after being gifted a bomber jacket by Nike, her sponsors.

The jacket has a portrait of a mother embracing her child to depict the two-time Olympic champion with her daughter and is quoted with words, ‘MOTHER STRONGER’ at the back.

At the front, one side has the Kenyan flag logo and the other side has the Nike logo. The arms of the jacket are also made of leather to showcase the good quality of the merchandise.

Expressing her gratitude on her X (Twitter) handle, the double World champion shared a snapshot showcasing her radiant smile while donning the sleek Nike bomber jacket. In the caption, she said: “A beautiful present from #NikeRunning.”

Kipyegon's words resonated with the essence of the athlete-sponsor relationship, emphasizing more than just the material aspect of the gift.

The acknowledgment underscored the profound support that sponsors like Nike provide, extending beyond the track to boost an athlete's confidence and style.

The bomber jacket, a symbol of both fashion and functionality, perfectly aligns with Nike's commitment to merging performance and aesthetics. As a global leader in athletic apparel, Nike has consistently demonstrated an understanding of athletes' multifaceted needs.

The brand's dedication to crafting gear that transcends the sporting arena to seamlessly integrate into an athlete's lifestyle is evident in the choice of this trendy yet functional gift for Kipyegon.

Kipyegon's appreciation for the thoughtful gesture serves as a testament to the symbiotic relationship between athletes and their sponsors. Beyond the tracks and competition, it's the unwavering support and thoughtful gestures that foster a sense of camaraderie and gratitude.

As Kipyegon continues to conquer new milestones in her athletic journey, she does so not only as an ambassador for her sport but also as a stylish representative of Nike's commitment to empowering athletes both on and off the field.

(01/23/2024) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Over a year after suffering season ending injury, Dina Asher-Smith makes a comeback into uncharted territory at Millrose Games

Every day, we are getting closer to one of the most anticipated events, The Millrose Games 2024. The track and field world is amped up to witness the thrilling performances of top-notch athletes in all the exciting events. Among this one athlete that has grabbed every track and field enthusiast’s attention is Dina Asher-Smith. This British Sprinter is ready to make a spectacular comeback in the 2024 iteration of the Millrose Games after facing trials and tribulations due to her hamstring injury. 

After sustaining an injury at the World Championships in Oregon, the athlete had to pull out from several events. However, after a year of grappling, Dina Asher-Smith has announced her participation in the Millrose Games 2024. Let’s have a panoramic view of the same. 

Dina Asher-Smith to participate in two events at the Millrose Games.

The British Sprinter Dina Asher-Smith faced a tough time after her hamstring Injury in 2022 as she had to pull out from the Commonwealth Games. She sustained this injury while performing at the 4x100m relay. However, more than a year after this incident, the Olympian has added her name to the Millrose Games giving a great start to her 2024 season. A US track and field Insider took to their X account to announce the same. 

The post carried, “Dina Asher-Smith will be running the 60m at the Millrose Games on February 11th!” Apart from this, the champion has added her name to the 4x400m as well. She is extremely excited to showcase her skills here at one of the most prestigious track and field competitions. 

She expressed, “The Millrose Games is one of the most prestigious and historic indoor competitions in the USA, and I am looking forward to racing there for the first time.” Dina Asher-Smith further added, “I am really enjoying my new training setup in Austin, and I’m looking forward to a big year in 2024”. This competition is going to be a great one as some of the most anticipated races will be held among the top-notch athletes. 

Athletes to compete with the British Olympian at the Millrose Games 2024 

The Millrose Games will be held on the February 11, 2024 at the Armory in NYC. The Armory this year will witness great races yet again with some of the notable athletes participating in the event. The 60m will be one of the anticipated races as along with Dina Asher-Smith, other renowned athletes will also be gracing the event. 

The first name on the list of the 60m event is the first woman in NCAA to break the seven-second barrier over the 60m, Julien Alfred. This Saint Lucian Sprinter is the Joint North American holder for the 60 meters. Then is the Olympian American athlete English Gardner. The Jamaican athlete Briana Williams will also be competing.

Other athletes like Shashalee Forbes, Tamari Davis, Marybeth Sant-Price, and Celera Barnes will be a part of the competition. The track and field enthusiasts cannot wait to witness which athlete will sprint towards victory and take the gold home. 

(01/23/2024) ⚡AMP
by Nancy Singh
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

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

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Daniel Simiu sights firmly trained on the Paris 2024 Olympics

After scooping the gold medal at the 18th edition of the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon on October 15 last year, Kenya’s middle-distance track prodigy Daniel Simiu has his sights firmly trained on the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The World Half Marathon silver medalist has vowed to torch the track on his way to a podium finish in the French capital in August.

In an exclusive interview on Friday, Simiu said he is ready to make the country proud at the premier global quadrennial games later in the year, where he hopes to fly the country’s flag in the 5000m race. “I have invested a lot of time in preparations and I’m looking forward to a splendid performance,” Simiu stated.

“There is every chance a Kenyan athlete will win gold this time around but,” he added.

The Commonwealth Games 10,000m silver medalist said the country boasts gifted athletes who possess the mojo to storm the gold medal at the premier annual global.

“What’s important is that we bring the title to Kenya. I’ll be happy if any of us gets to win the race,” he added.

The 27-year-old policeman  pledged to obliterate the star-studded field in Paris en route to a historic triumph.

He will be seeking sweet revenge over his highly-rated Ugandan nemesis Joshua Cheptegei who edged him to the title at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. “I’m determined to improve on my performance at the Commonwealth Games, where I slightly fell short of beating Cheptegei,” Simiu said.

He said he was proud to have wrapped up second at the Commonwealth Games. “Kiplimo is the best men’s 10,000m runner at the moment and emerging second behind him brought me some measure of pride,” Simiu remarked.

Born on September 18, 1995, Ebenyo lost his father early in life to cattle rustling and was raised by his mother and later, grandmother.

Simiu said it was while at Aiyam Day Secondary School that he carved his path to a career in athletics.

“I would always complete a stretch of 24-km trek to and from school,” he said.

He experienced a major setback in 2919 when he finished in second place at the National World Championships trials but was unable to compete as he failed to meet some of the Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) doping requirements.

Simiu did the in-competition test several times but did not meet the required three out-of-competition tests that are mandatory for all athletes and include both urine and blood, at least one Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) test and one Erythropoietin (Epo) test.

He eventually picked up his pieces and ventured into road racing, where he won the Safaricom Kisii 10-km road race in a time of 29:16.71. The following year, he blazed to victory in the San Silvestre Vallecana 10 km in Spain on January 3.

He won the silver medal over 10,000m at the 2022 Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham and placed second again at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

(01/23/2024) ⚡AMP
by Tony Mballa
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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World Athletics comes under fire after controversial Xiamen and Tata Mumbai Marathons

Athletics enthusiasts have raised eyebrows concerning the credibility of the rules governing Platinum Label road races after recent happenings at the Xiamen and Tata Mumbai Marathons.

World Athletics has for long been known to champion for viewership boosts in China and India, with the belief being that the presence of renowned athletes and remarkable performances can significantly enhance engagement for those races.

However, the race organizers of some of the elite races in India and China together with World Athletics have come under fire after two recent marathons breached one of the rules of the World Athletics Platinum Label road races.

According to World Athletics, an intentional arrangement, act or omission aimed at an improper alteration of a result or the course of an event or competition in order to remove all or part of the unpredictable nature of the event or competition to obtain an undue benefit for oneself or others is a violation.

According to an analysis done by the Canadian Running Magazine, former world half marathon record holder Kibiwott Kandie and defending champion Philimon Kipchumba withdrew from the Xiamen Marathon after covering 20km and this was in order for them to collect their appearance money.

The race organizers were aiming to draw more attention to marathon events in China but their plan seemed not to work out. According to further reports, the organizers are said to have invited 22 elite international athletes, but only seven of them finished.

Kandie and Kipchumba withdrawing from the marathon immediately after crossing the 20K mark, raising eyebrows from locals as they posed for photos, shook hands and smiled for photos.

Before the race, World Athletics did a preview of the race, however, none of the top athletes who were featured in the preview finished the race.

When the Canadian Running Magazine reached to a World Athletics representative, the individual said: “As I am sure you understand, whether due to injury, personal reasons or other, we are never able to predict with certainty who will start or finish a race, come event time. Appearance fees are an important aspect of our sport, and many others–including tennis and golf.”

Although athletics and the pro tennis structure share similarities, they also have one major difference since a tennis player who is paid an appearance fee to play a tournament, or a match, will finish the match, unlike in elite marathoning.

Meanwhile, the 2024 Tata Mumbai Marathon in India on January 21 presented another example of high-performance athletes seeming to collect appearance fees without providing strong performances.

Ethiopian runner Lelisa Desisa headlined the Gold-Label men’s field, and two-time Amsterdam Marathon champion Tadelach Bekele headlined the women’s field. Both athletes started the race, but fell off the lead pack and dropped out.

(01/23/2024) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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How going for a run may benefit your fine motor skills

Before you tune your guitar or fire up your PlayStation, consider heading out for a short run. Neuroscience News reported a groundbreaking study out of the University of Copenhagen revealing the remarkable benefits of incorporating exercise into the learning process of the type of motor skills used in gaming.

This isn’t just about getting fit; it’s about enhancing your ability to remember and perform tasks automatically, from playing a musical instrument to mastering surgical procedures or leveling up your gaming skills.

The study

The study involved 67 participants and delved into the impact of exercise before and after learning motor skills on memory retention.

The researchers examined the subjects’ behavior and performance while reviewing one of four scenarios. First, participants either rested or exercised moderately on a bicycle. They then were subjected to a fine motor task, in the form of a simple computer game, that challenged their motor dexterity using a small device on their fingertips.

Finally, participants either had to exercise intensely on a fitness bike or rest. Researchers had one group that rested both before and after their motor task, one that trained both times, and two groups that trained once, either before or after. Their skill level and memory were tested again after seven days to assess whether they had retained what they had learned.

Exercise before or after learning

Researchers discovered that exercise not only optimizes memory formation, but results in a substantial 10 per cent improvement in remembering motor skills. The greatest memory improvement occurred when participants exercised both before and after learning a new skill, but exercise before or after the motor skill was beneficial.

“Things can’t go wrong if a bit of physical exercise is incorporated,” said study co-author Jesper Lundbye-Jensen.” A person will experience beneficial effects. This is probably because physical activity increases the brain’s ability to change, which is a prerequisite for remembering.”

Applicability across fields

This research isn’t confined to a specific domain—it has far-reaching implications for various fields, including rehabilitation and professional skill training. From recovering mobility after an accident to refining intricate motor skills, exercise proves to be a valuable ally.

The brain undergoes changes (called brain plasticity) essential for our ability to learn and remember new skills. These changes occur both while the new skill is being learned but also in the hours after when the memory is consolidated—meaning being physically active even after we’ve engaging in something new can be meaningful.

“In the study, we use the terms online and offline to describe these two aspects of learning—memory acquisition and retention. Both are important for us to acquire new motor skills and remember what we’ve learned,” Lundbye-Jensen said.

Beneficial for everyone

The positive effects of exercise on motor learning apply to individuals of all ages, from children developing motor skills to older adults undergoing rehabilitation. Even those with elite-level fine motor skills could potentially benefit from incorporating exercise into their training routines.

Researchers hope to be able to conduct longer-term studies where more lasting effects can be measured, as well as investigate whether the effects observed by the study become even greater as time passes.

The research unlocks a simple yet powerful strategy for improving memory retention in motor skill learning. So, the next time you’re learning something new, consider putting on your running shoes and heading out the door—it might just be the key to remembering your new skill with ease.

(01/22/2024) ⚡AMP
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Cooper Teare And Weini Kelati Win 2024 USATF Cross Country Titles

Weini Kelati and Cooper Teare earned convincing victories at the 2024 USATF Cross Country Championships, held on Saturday at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, Va. Running just six days after setting an American record in the half marathon in Houston, Kelati took off just after 4k and destroyed the field, running 32:58.6 for the 10k course to win by 37.3 seconds — the largest margin of victory since Aliphine Tuliamuk‘s 48.2 in 2017.

Teare took a different approach, staying patient as former University of Colorado runner turned Olympic triathlete Morgan Pearson pushed the pace during the second half of the race. Teare was the only one to go with Pearson’s move at 8k and made a strong move of his own at 9k that allowed him to cruise to victory in 29:06.5. 2020 champion Anthony Rotich of the US Army was 2nd in 29:11.6 as Pearson hung on for 4th. Teare’s training partner Cole Hocker was 12th in 29:52.3.

The top six finishers in each raced earned the right to represent Team USA at the World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, on March 30. Kelati’s coach/agent Stephen Haas told LetsRun last week that Kelati plans to run there while Teare’s agent Isaya Okwiya said Teare’s plans are still TBD.

High school junior Zariel Macchia of Shirley, N.Y., won the women’s U20 race in 20:31.0 for the 6k course; Macchia previously won the title as a freshman in 2022. Notre Dame freshman Kevin Sanchez won the men’s U20 title in 24:07.1 for the 8k course.

Cooper Teare shows his range with impressive victory

Teare was the 2021 NCAA 5,000m champion at the University of Oregon and has shown that his range extends both up and down the distance spectrum. Teare is the NCAA mile record holder at 3:50.39 and was the 2022 US champion at 1500 and now he is the US cross country champion. That sort of range has become increasingly common on the international level but in the US, it’s rare for a 1500 guy to run USA XC, let alone win it. Teare is the first man to win US titles at both 1500 meters and cross country since John Mason in 1968, and even that comes with a caveat as the US championships were separate from the Olympic Trials back then. Before Mason, the last guy to win both was Abel Kiviat (cross country in 1913, US mile title in 1914). You all remember him.

On the women’s side, Shelby Houlihan, since banned for a doping violation, won USA XC and the US 1500 title back in 2019.

Teare’s coach Ben Thomas told Carrie Tollefson, who was calling the race for USATF.TV, that the aim of this race was just to see where his fitness was at against a top field. Clearly, it’s very good. In his first race since leaving the Bowerman Track Club after the 2023 season, Teare, wearing a bright pink undershirt beneath his Nike singlet, ran with the lead pack until Morgan Pearson began to string things out just before entering the final 2k loop. As opposed to Pearson, who was giving it all he could to drop the field, Teare looked relaxed and in control, and at 9k he eased past Pearson into the lead before dropping the hammer to win comfortably. It was a smart run and an impressive display of fitness.

Teare may also have slayed some demons from his last cross country race in 2021, when he crawled across the finish line in the final meters. Now he’s gone from 247th at NCAA XC to a national champion.

Teare’s plans for the rest of the winter are up in the air. He will run in a stacked 2-mile at Millrose on February 11 against the likes of Grant Fisher and Josh Kerr before competing at USA Indoors a week later. World Indoors could be an option if he makes the team — as could World XC, if he wants it. No matter what he chooses, Saturday’s run was a great way for Teare to kick off the Olympic year.

Weini Kelati demolishes the competition

On paper, Kelati, who runs for Under Armour’s Dark Sky Distance team in Flagstaff, was the class of this field. The only question was whether she would be recovered from racing hard at last weekend’s Houston Half Marathon, where she set the American record of 66:25. The answer was a definitive “yes” as Kelati, after running with the leaders for the first 4k, dropped a 3:05 5th kilometer to break open the field. From there, her lead would only grow to the finish line as she won by a massive 37.3 seconds over runner-up Emma Hurley.

Kelati was not at her best heading into last year’s World XC in Australia as she had missed some time in the buildup due to injury. She still managed to finish a respectable 21st overall. Her aims will be much higher for this year’s edition in Belgrade.

Kelati also made some history with her win today. She’s the first woman to win Foot Locker, NCAA, and USA cross country titles.

(01/22/2024) ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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USATF Cross Country Championships

USATF Cross Country Championships

About USATF Based in Indianapolis, USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long distance running, and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the number one high school and junior high school participatory sport, and more than 30 million adult runners...

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Ethiopian runners Hayle Lemi, Aberash Minsewo win races at the Mumbai Marathon

Ethiopians Hayle Lemi and Aberash Minsewo won the men’s and women’s elite races, respectively, at the Mumbai Marathon 2024 on Sunday.

Hayle Lemi, who set the new course record with a timing of two hours, seven minutes and 32 seconds (2:07:32) last year, clocked 2:07:50 for the top spot this season. Aberash Minsewo, meanwhile, won the women’s race in 2:26:06.

Interestingly, all podiums in the elite race went to the Ethiopian runners. Lemi, who won the 2016 Boston Marathon, was followed by Haymanot Alew, who took the silver in the men’s event in 2:09:03. Mitku Tafa settled for bronze in 2:09:58. 

In the women’s race, Muluhabt Tsega took the silver in 2:26:51 while Medhin Bejene clocked a personal best to take the bronze in 2:27:34.

Indian runners at Mumbai Marathon 2024

Among Indian elite runners, Mumbai Marathon 2020 champion Srinu Bugatha pipped 2023 champion Gopi T and won the men’s race in 2:17:29 while Nirmaben Thakor Bharatjee won the women’s race in 2:47:11.

Gopi T followed Bugatha in 2:18:37 while Sher Singh Tanwar completed the Indian men’s podium, clocking 2:19:37. 

Nirmaben Thakor Bharatjee, meanwhile, beat second-placed Reshma Kevate by a margin of 16 minutes and 23 seconds. Shyamali Singh came third among the Indian women in 3:04:35.

Sunday’s race was the 19th edition of the Mumbai Marathon, which is a World Athletics Gold Label Road Race event. 

Mumbai Marathon 2024 winners

Overall elite men

Hayle Lemi (Ethiopia) - 2:07:50

Haymanot Alew (Ethiopia) - 2:09:03

Mitku Tafa (Ethiopia) - 2:09:58

Overall elite women

Aberash Minsewo (Ethiopia) - 2:26:06

Muluhabt Tsega (Ethiopia) - 2:26:51

Medhin Bejene (Ethiopia) - 2:27:34

(01/22/2024) ⚡AMP
by Ali Asgar Nalwala
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Tata Mumbai Marathon

Tata Mumbai Marathon

Distance running epitomizes the power of one’s dreams and the awareness of one’s abilities to realize those dreams. Unlike other competitive sports, it is an intensely personal experience. The Tata Mumbai Marathon is One of the World's Leading Marathons. The event boasts of fundraising platform which is managed by United Way Mumbai, the official philanthropy partner of the event. Over...

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Kenyan Anderson Seroi conquers Hong Kong Marathon

Kenya's Anderson Seroi wins Hong Kong Marathon, vows to return for a faster finish amid strong international competition.

Kenya’s Anderson Saitoti Seroi triumphed in the Hong Kong Marathon completing the grueling course in an impressive time of two hours, 12 minutes, and 50 seconds. 

Seroi's victory came amidst challenging conditions, yet his resolve remained unshaken as he immediately set his sights on returning next year for an even swifter conquest.

The race, held on Sunday, saw Seroi narrowly outpace South Africa’s seasoned runner Stephen Mokoka, who secured the second spot with a time of 2:12:58.

 Mekuant Ayenew from Ethiopia rounded out the top three, finishing in 2:13:09.

 This year's marathon was marked by a moderate temperature of around 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) at the start, providing somewhat ideal conditions for the runners.

In the women’s category, Ethiopia’s Medina Armino emerged victorious, clocking in at 2:28:47. 

She was closely followed by Beatrice Cheptoo and Gadise Mulu, who completed the race in 2:29:30 and 2:29:46, respectively. 

Despite the physical toll of the race, Seroi's spirit remained high. 

Post-race, he expressed his gratitude and affection for the city of Hong Kong. 

“First of all, I want to thank God for the win, but also Hong Kong, it’s a beautiful city,” Seroi said. 

“I feel really good, the course is tough but I enjoy running it.” His determination was evident, as he pushed himself to the brink of exhaustion, even experiencing sickness after crossing the finish line.

Seroi, 30, is already planning his return, aiming to shatter his current record.

 "I ran two hours 12 this year, so next year I’ll aim for two hours 10," he stated, showcasing his relentless ambition.

 His 2024 goal is a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence in the sport.

In a historical context, Seroi's time this year marks a significant achievement, but it also serves as a reminder of the fiercely competitive nature of the marathon.

 In 2023, a time of 2:12:00, achieved by Senbeta Geza Tadease, was only good enough for third place, highlighting the continually evolving standards in marathon running.

The event also doubled as the Asian Marathon Championships, where India’s Man Singh claimed gold with a time of 2:14:19. 

He was followed by China’s Huang Yongzheng and Kyrgyzstan’s Ilya Tiapkin, who finished in 2:15:24 and 2:18:17, respectively.

(01/22/2024) ⚡AMP
by Festus Chuma
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HONG KONG MARATHON

HONG KONG MARATHON

The Hong Kong Marathon, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, is an annual marathon race held in January or February in Hong Kong. In addition to the full marathon, a 10 km run and a half marathon are also held. Around 70,000 runners take part each year across all events. High levels of humidity and a difficult course make finishing times...

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'Fartlek' May Be a Weird Name for a Run, But It'll Make You Faster (While Having Fun)

When kids run, they don’t track their heart rates or pay attention to their paces. They just zoom along however fast as they like, and they often laugh while they do it. That kind of joy in running can be rare to capture as an adult. But there’s one workout that brings a bit of that fun back: the Fartlek.

Sure, the term may sound a little silly. For that, you can blame the Swedes—Fartlek translates as “speed play” or “speed game” in Swedish. “I like to remind my athletes that [Fartleks are] just basically playing with speed in a way that feels good to them on the day,” says USATF-, RRCA-, and UESCA-certified running coach Amie Dworecki, CPT. “It does involve some faster running, but running in a way that's fun.”

If this sounds like something your training plan could use more of, here’s what you need to know about Fartlek training, why it could benefit your running, and how to get the most out of this workout.

What is a Fartlek?

The premise of Fartlek training is fairly simple. “It's basically short bursts of speed when you're running mixed in with your regular running pace,” says USATF- and RRCA-certified running coach Marnie Kunz, CPT. Those bursts can be as random as sprinting to the next stop sign every time you see a red car. Or you can have more structured sets of one minute quicker, then three minutes easier, for example. Either way, it’s continuous running, so you return to your relaxed, conversational base pace after each burst of speed.

The idea behind the workout came from Swedish national cross-country coach Gösta Holmér in the 1930s. He wanted to make his struggling team more competitive by combining speed work with endurance training. It worked: His runners began breaking records in multiple events—and the rest of the world began taking notice. Now, Fartleks are a staple part of many running programs.

The difference between intervals and Fartlek training

Both Fartlek and interval workouts are forms of speed training where you push the pace for a while, then let your body recover somewhat before pushing again. But while intervals are precisely measured, and often done on a track, Fartleks are more informal. You can do them anywhere, and the bursts of speed may vary in distance or intensity based on how you’re feeling.

Also, even when you pick up the pace, you aren’t pushing so hard that you need to stop running after a faster burst, says Dworecki. “You don't want to hit that 10 out of 10 to where you feel like you have to walk afterward.” While after an interval, you may take a break to huff and puff on the side of the track with your hands on your knees, the point of a Fartlek is to keep running the whole time to build your endurance while also working on your speed.

These workouts end up being slightly easier on the body because you aren’t pushing quite as hard as you may during intervals. That’s why Dworecki often recommends Fartleks to runners as a precursor to interval training. “It introduces your body into speed work,” she says. That can be helpful both for beginners who are newer to running, or runners who are in the earlier stages of a training cycle.

How Fartleks can improve your running

Fartleks have several benefits if you work them into your training strategically.

1. They can help protect your body against injury

Because Fartleks can be used as a way to ease into speed work, Dworecki says they can help to keep your body healthy. “It helps you prevent injuries that might come up if you just jumped into interval training,” she says. For the same reason, she often gives her athletes Fartleks during the week after they’ve had an especially difficult long run when she’s afraid they may not be recovered enough to do harder intervals or tempo runs.

2. They can make you faster

Fartleks are a great way to improve your VO2 max (the gold standard for measuring cardio fitness) and increase your lactate threshold (the point at which lactate accumulates faster than your body can handle, leading to fatigue), according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association. One small 2020 study found that regular Fartlek training can also significantly improve muscular endurance1.

What makes Fartleks unique is that they keep your heart rate high, rather than letting it come all the way down between intervals. This trains your body (and mind) to push hard even as you get tired. “Your body adapts to running faster even when you're fatigued because you're running throughout the workout—you don't get a full recovery,” says Kunz. This can be especially helpful practice for races, where you may want to speed up for a bit to pass other runners, and then still keep running to the finish line.

3. They can help you improve your running form

Spending some time running faster can make you run more efficiently. “You’re improving your biomechanics,” says Kunz. For example, to speed up, most of us naturally pick up our knees more, lean forward, and increase our cadence. All of these add up to a better running form.

4. They can help you rediscover the fun of running

Intervals typically feel like hard work. But a Fartlek can make running feel more like play. “This is a workout that really should leave you feeling good and invigorated,” says Dworecki. And for runners who normally only do steady-paced runs, a Fartlek can switch things up in an unintimidating way.

How do I start Fartlek training?

For beginners, both coaches recommend starting with Fartleks by adding three or so faster segments into your regular run. Each burst should be about 100 meters or a minute long. Then give yourself three to five minutes to recover in between. Don’t worry if that feels too easy. “If you feel like you can do more, then the next time do a little bit more. But it's always better to feel good at the end of your workout rather than risking injury,” Dworecki says.

Advanced runners can work about eight or so faster segments into a Fartlek run. Dworecki suggests keeping each between one and two minutes and doing them at whatever pace feels good to you, with one minute of recovery in between.

No matter your level, remember the basics: Make sure to start with a solid warmup of pre-run dynamic stretches then at least 10 minutes or one mile of easy running, says Kunz. After the speedy stuff is done, finish off with another 10-minute cooldown of easy running.

How to make the most out of Fartlek training

Even though Fartleks are a more casual approach to speed training, they still take a toll on your body. Use them conservatively, warns Dworecki. “It's not a workout you want to do every day because you can overdo it,” she says. Any kind of speed work—whether that’s Fartleks, intervals, or tempo runs—should only be done about once a week, or twice at most if you’re a more experienced runner.

And remember: Don’t take your Fartleks too seriously. These workouts should add a sprinkle of playfulness to your running routine. “You don't want to go too strict on it,” says Dworecki. Instead, just have some fun seeing how fast you can go.

(01/21/2024) ⚡AMP
by Well and Good
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A Guide to Effective Goal Setting

While some folks might navigate life with less of a plan, athletes, particularly runners with competitive ambition, need structure to their goals. Goal setting is as natural to you as accidentally clicking "Sign Up" on Ultrasignup; before you know it, your goals are on paper!

However, even for goal-oriented individuals like yourself, there's always room to refine your goal-setting approach to maximize your potential. And that starts with a proper perspective. A mentor once phrased it as follows: "It's not solely about achieving the goal,l but rather about the person you must become to attain it."

This perspective emphasizes the growth process, with the goal as a guiding target. It liberates us from negative thinking and self-blame if we miss our target. Many successes remain if we do the work and grow in our attempts. The only true failure occurs when we fail to put in the effort or set the wrong initial goal. Effective goal setting can help you avoid both.

As we immerse into the new year, lottery selections, and the process of finalizing race schedules and objectives for 2024, I aim to share my guide on effective goal setting that I apply myself, teach our coaches at CTS, and work with many of my athletes through. As a coach, imparting the skill of effective goal setting to my athletes is among the most invaluable contributions I can make. It is the foundation for a year or a lifelong pursuit, marked by personal growth and self-discovery.

Setting the Stage: Your Trail Running Vision

A good starting place for any goal is to reflect on your long-term vision as a person and athlete. What are your ultimate aspirations in the sport? This could include completing specific races, achieving certain performance milestones, or simply experiencing personal growth through running. Consider what truly motivates you. Is it the joy of running on scenic trails, the desire to push your physical and psychological limits, the thrill of competition, the sense of belonging in a community, the means of coping with life's pressures, or the person you're becoming in the process? Understanding the answers to these questions will help you set meaningful goals.

After gaining clarity, put your vision into writing and make it a habit to revisit it frequently. Keep this vision statement in front of you by putting it in places you will see on a regular basis, such as your bathroom mirror, phone screen saver, or calendar reminders that alert you throughout the day or week. Remember that your vision may evolve as you continue to grow and develop. Having a well-articulated statement of purpose is a powerful tool that can assist you in refocusing when necessary. We've all faced challenging seasons, and reconnecting with the motivations behind our involvement in the demands of trail and ultrarunning can help us maintain a positive outlook and a strong sense of direction. In fact, it's not uncommon for my athletes to revisit these purpose statements even during the midst of a challenging ultra event.

Types of Goals

Before we get to the how-to's, let's define some terms and build a good framework. There are various types of goals that trail and ultrarunners commonly pursue. One prevalent category of goals is outcome goals, which involve specific race-related achievements such as finishing a race within a designated time or securing a particular placement. Outcome goals provide a clear target and can be highly motivating, often presenting a binary pass-or-fail outcome. For instance, an outcome goal might be, "I want to complete a 100-mile race in under 24 hours."

Another common type of goal relevant to all endurance athletes is performance goals.  These goals revolve around quantifiable metrics that assess speed, skills, or endurance. Performance goals are frequently integrated into training programs aimed at achieving outcome goals. An example of a performance goal is, "I want to maintain a sub-10-minute mile pace during my endurance runs on my local trail."

Process goals, on the other hand, concentrate on the specific actions and steps required for success. A process goal should accompany every outcome or performance goal. For instance, if the outcome goal is to complete a 100-mile race in under 24 hours, a suitable process goal might be to maintain consistent daily training for a six-month period. While this process goal may lack detailed specifics, it is arguably an athlete's most crucial goal. It demands hard work, discipline, and a smart training approach to sustain consistency. Even if the athlete falls short of their target, the process can be a success if it has made them a better athlete and individual throughout the journey. Ultimately, progress and growth matter more than the final result. The result is typically a celebration of the process.

Intertwining Motivations

In addition to outcome, performance, and process goals, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are intertwined. Intrinsic motivations are internal and revolve around the sheer joy and satisfaction derived from running. Many trail and ultrarunners find intrinsic motivation in "exploring new trails in the natural surroundings," reflecting their love for trail running.

External motivations are driven by outward factors like race medals, winning, Ultrasignup rankings, and recognition from others. While these external factors can motivate in the short term, they may lack long-term commitment. Balancing extrinsic and intrinsic motivations for a sustainable and fulfilling running experience is crucial.

Understanding the motivations behind our goals plays a critical role in enhancing and complementing our pursuit of these goals.

SMART Goal Framework

The SMART goal framework is a widely recognized and effective approach to goal setting that provides a structured and systematic way to define and achieve objectives. This framework is particularly valuable for trail and ultrarunners looking to set clear and attainable goals in their training and racing endeavors. Let's break down what SMART stands for and how it can be applied to running goals:

S - Specific: The first step in setting a SMART goal is to make it specific. A specific goal is well-defined and leaves no room for ambiguity. For trail and ultrarunners, specificity might involve clarifying the race distance, terrain type (e.g., mountainous trails), and location. Instead of a vague goal like "I want to run a trail race," a specific goal would be "I will complete the Silver Rush 50 Mile race in the Rocky Mountains."

M - Measurable: Goals should be measurable, allowing you to track your progress and determine when you've achieved them. In trail running, measurability can be related to time, distance, pace, or elevation gain. For example, "I plan to finish a 100K trail race in under 12 hours" is a measurable goal because it provides a clear benchmark for success.

A - Achievable: An achievable goal is realistic and attainable within your capabilities and resources. While aiming high is admirable, setting unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and inconsistent efforts in your pursuit. Assess your fitness level, available training time, support network, and other commitments to ensure your goal is achievable. For instance, "I will complete a 100-mile ultramarathon within one year, given my current training routine and available time" is achievable if it aligns with your abilities.

R - Relevant: Your goal should reflect your broader objectives and aspirations. It should align with your values, interests, and long-term plans. In trail running, a relevant goal might involve selecting races that match your passion for rugged terrain or adventure. For instance, "I want to compete in challenging mountain trail races because I'm passionate about conquering steep ascents and descents" is a relevant goal for a mountain-loving trail runner.

T - Time-Bound: Lastly, every goal should have a timeframe for completion. A time-bound goal creates urgency and helps you focus on your training and racing schedule. For example, "I intend to run a marathon-distance trail race within six months" sets a clear timeframe for your goal.

Trail and ultrarunners can transform vague aspirations into well-defined and achievable objectives by applying the SMART goal framework. This structured approach enhances motivation and improves the likelihood of success in training and racing pursuits. Whether you aim to complete a big race, achieve a personal best, or explore new trails, SMART goals can guide your process.

Define Your Goals

Now that you have a framework and clarity around your vision and motivation, you can outline your long-term goals. These should be ambitious and inspiring, representing your ultimate objectives in trail running, ultimately defining your future self. Long-term goals typically span several years. However, life moves fast, and so do your growth and interests! So, even if you take your long-term goals year by year, that's fine. The important thing is that you zoom out and look somewhat into the future, defining who you want to become.

Ensure your long-term goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For example, "Complete a 100-mile ultramarathon within the next three years" is a SMART long-term goal. While the goal should be achievable, it should also stretch you. The purpose of a goal is to direct and facilitate growth. Therefore, a long-term goal should be achievable in the future but out of reach today. This goal requires something of you. This goal requires work and growth.

Breaking It Down: Short-Term Goals

To work toward your long-term goals, break them down into short-term goals. This is the how-to process for making progress. Short-term goals should be achievable within weeks or months and contribute to your long-term vision.

Focus on areas that need improvement or skills you want to develop. For instance, if your long-term goal is to complete a 100-mile race, short-term goals might be to hire a coach and start building your support network while simultaneously building your running frequency and volume.

Short-term goals keep you focused and on the correct path toward your long-term goals. Remember the SMART goal approach as you set these short-term goals, being specific and measurable. Avoid vague goals here, such as "run more," as I did in the above paragraph. Instead, specify the skill, duration, or frequency required.

Remember that it's about achieving the goals and the person you become along the way. Your pursuit of goals is a testament to your growth and perseverance. The process of growth itself is the real destination.

Always keep your long-term vision in mind. Understand your intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, and find the perfect balance between the two. The SMART goal framework provides you a structured path to success.

Set your goals with ambition and precision, both in the long term and in the short term. Break them into manageable steps, ensuring each goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. These goals will be the stepping stones to achieving your ultimate aspirations. 

Happy trails to a SMART 2024 and beyond!

(01/21/2024) ⚡AMP
by Trail Runner magazine
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Orlando Unveils 2024 US Olympic Marathon Trials Course, Announces Races Will Start at 12:10 and 12:20 pm ET

Just over six months out from race day, organizers revealed the course for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon on Tuesday morning. The race, which will be held on February 3, 2024, in Orlando, Fla., will consist of one 2.2-mile loop through the downtown business district and three 8-mile loops through the city’s Milk District — so-called because it features the headquarters of T.G. Lee Dairy, which has been based in the area for 98 years. It will start and finish at the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park. None of the course will run through Disney World, which is located to the southeast of the city of Orlando.

Unlike the Paris Olympic marathon course, which features considerable climbing and descending during the middle of the race, the Orlando course is relatively flat, with few small inclines but a variation of just 38 feet (11.6 meters) between the course’s lowest and highest points.

Mid-Day Start Time

Getting the actual course layout is nice but not that significant. We knew the course was going to be mostly flat as Orlando is mostly flat.

Organizers also announced something more significant: the start times for the race. The men will begin at 12:10 p.m. ET with the women to follow at 12:20 p.m. ET. Both races will be shown in their entirety on NBC.

With basically a noon start in Florida, it’s possible the race could be run in quite warm conditions. The debate of the once-rumored but now confirmed 12ish start times has been intense on the LRC forums for over a month now.

A couple of Trials veterans have already shared their thoughts, with Sara Halland Des Linden offering contrasting viewpoints. Hall, who is known to not like racing in hot weather, expressed concern about the heat and the safety of the athletes. She even challenged USATF CEO Max Siegel to run a hot weather marathon this summer.

It must be noted that Orlando has not seen a 90-degree day in February since 1962.

Meanwhile, two-time Olympian Linden had no issue with the start time and thought it could boost her chances of making the team by running smart.

For those interested in what the weather is typically like in Orlando on February 3, here’s a look at the temperature, wind, and dew point at specific times from 2012-22.

If the goal of the Olympic Marathon Trials was for every athlete to run their fastest possible race, obviously it would be better to start the race earlier, but there are other concerns. Television is the reason why the race is being held in the afternoon (there’s not a huge amount of West Coasters watching TV at 5 or 6 a.m. on a Saturday). The 2016 Trials began at 1:06 p.m. ET (10:06 a.m. local in Los Angeles) while the 2020 Trials in Atlanta began at 12:08 p.m. ET. Both races were shown on NBC in their entirety.

The fact is, in professional sports, there are often competing interests — what’s best for the athletes isn’t always what’s best for TV, and someone is going to be unhappy. USATF designed its US championships schedule this year with athletes in mind but the result was that USATF could not get the US outdoor championships shown on NBC. With the Trials, USATF is prioritizing the broadcast on NBC with the athletes a secondary consideration. You can be mad about one of those two things, but not both.

Orlando can be warm in February, no doubt about it — from 2012-22, the average temperature at 2 p.m. on February 3 was 73 degrees. But guess which race also is warm? The Olympic marathon. The Olympic marathons will be held on July 10-11, 2024. On July 10-11 this year, it was 73 degreees at 10 a.m. in Paris, which is when the marathons would be nearing their completion (8 a.m. start times).

In general, we are for athletics to be on live TV so we are fine with the races being scheduled for 12:10 and 12:20. We do believe if the temperatures are truly extreme (say 75 or higher at the start, certainly 80), USATF should move the race up and show it on tape-delay. But if you’re looking for conditions that mirror the Olympic marathon, Orlando in February is not a bad facsimile.

The one big issue we still have is with the new Olympic qualifying system. If you haven’t run under 2:11:30 for the men or 2:29:30 for the women during the qualifying window, you aren’t going to the Olympics even if you are in the top three. We think that’s ridiculous but those are the rules. That’s tough to do in warm weather. While it’s very unlikely someone who hasn’t run at least 2:11:30 or 2:29:30 in the window finishes top three, it could happen in the case of someone just moving up the marathon like Molly Seidel did in 2020 or someone coming back from injury or maternity leave like Kellyn Taylor.

We really wish WA would simply accept the top three from the Trials since the US is sending three per gender most likely no matter what happens, but we’d rather take the small risk that someone without the 2:11:30/2:29:30 times is top three and have the race be on live TV than put it early in the morning. Plus athletes could chase the time up until April 30 and we’d love to see WA have to take the PR hit of someone on the way back from maternity leave having to run a time. Maybe it would finally make them let the spots go to countries as long as the countries hold legitimate trials.

(To cover all our bases, it’s worth noting there’s a small chance on the men’s side that the US has only one or two qualified men’s athletes at the start of the Trials. We’re pretty sure we’ll have at least three but it’s not set in stone and we won’t know for sure until after the fall marathon season is over. If that’s the case, then the start time is more problematic as the US men would either have to hit the 2:08:10 auto standard or run fast enough to raise their world ranking into a qualification spot. If that’s the case and the US men don’t have three spots guaranteed, we think the men’s start time should be moved up and shown on tape delay but keep the women’s race as scheduled).

Talk about the trials on our forum:

(01/21/2024) ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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Eugene Will Host 2024 US Olympic Track & Field Trials, Again

The next US Olympic Track and Field Trials will be held in ….. Eugene, yet again.

Yes that’s right. Hayward Field will host the 2024 US Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field from June 21-30, 2024, USATF announced in a statement on Thursday. The Olympic track & field program will begin four weeks later, on August 1 in Paris.

2024 will be the fifth straight Olympic Trials hosted by Eugene (2008, 2012, 2016, 2021, 2024) and Eugene’s fourth straight USATF Outdoor Championship. Since the new Hayward Field opened in 2020, no other stadium has hosted the US championships.

That means that in 2024 — just as in 2015, 2016, 2021, and 2022 — the three biggest meets in American track & field will be held at Hayward Field: the Prefontaine Classic, the NCAA championships, and the USATF championships/Olympic Trials. Here is what the schedule will look like for 2024:

May 25: Prefontaine ClassicJune 5-8: NCAA championshipsJune 21-30: US Olympic Trials

Quick Take: Eugene does a fantastic job hosting big meets, but it’s time to give someone else a chance to host the Olympic Trials

Let’s make a few things clear. The new Hayward Field is the best track & field stadium in the country, and Eugene has a terrific local organizing committee in TrackTown USA that knows how to stage big meets. The 2024 Olympic Trials are going to be terrific — they always are.

When you’ve got a beautiful new stadium like Hayward Field, you don’t want it to go to waste. But from 2021-2024, almost every major track meet in the US will have been staged at Hayward Field. The three most important track meets in the US are the Prefontaine Classic (the US’s only Diamond League), the NCAA championships, and the USATF championships/Olympic Trials. During a four-year period, 11 of those 12 meets will have been hosted in Eugene. And that does not even include the biggest meet Eugene has ever hosted — the 2022 World Championships.

That’s a recipe for major Eugene fatigue.

The Prefontaine Classic obviously isn’t moving out of Eugene, and the NCAAs are locked into Eugene through 2027. But it’s a missed opportunity to hold USAs in Eugene every single year, particularly the Olympic Trials. There are a limited number of diehard track fans in the US, and any diehard who has wanted to visit the new Hayward Field has probably done it at this point. If a husband and wife are huge track fans and they already figured out a way to take their kids to Eugene for Worlds, are they really going to want to go back again to the same location for the Trials?

The Olympic Trials should be in Eugene at most once every eight years. The last two normal* Trials drew more than 20,000 fans per day (21,644 in 2012; 22,1222 in 2016) but it’s foolish to suggest that the Trials can only do those sort of numbers in Eugene.

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was ticketing uncertainty about the 2021 Trials until the very last minute, which meant attendance numbers were a fraction of previous years

In the United States, when you throw the word Olympic in front of anything, people go crazy. And the last few US championships has shown that the built-in track fanbase in Eugene — the diehards who will go to every meet — has dwindled significantly.

We’re confident that if you staged the Olympic Trials in Austin, Des Moines, Omaha, Sacramento, or Mt. SAC, you’d draw big crowds. The Olympic Trials will do well anywhere they are held.

The question then, is why isn’t this happening?

“We all know that getting [to Eugene], it’s trying,” said Will Leer, chair of the USATF Athlete Advisory Committee, when LetsRun asked him about this at USAs in July. “Small airport, it’s expensive, hotels are minimal. But the process by which championships are awarded is through a bid. That much is well-known throughout all of USATF. And time and time again, TrackTown comes to the table with the best bid.”

Eugene certainly has a lot to offer, but we also don’t how much competition there is to host these events. It’s not as simple as USATF just awarding the Trials to a different city. A potential Trials host needs a world-class track facility and a local organizing committee interested in bidding for the Trials, which requires dollars.

Sarah Lorge Butler reports that Eugene paid at least $3 million to host the 2020 Trials, writing, “TrackTown paid a nonrefundable rights fee of $500,000 and the total prize purse of $1.4 million. They also had obligations to provide $1.1 million for athlete support during the meet, to be used at USATF’s sole discre

It’s an expensive undertaking for any local organizing committee. We know Eugene has the dollars. It’s unclear whether anyone else does (If you know of any other city that bid for the Trials, please email us at letsrun@letsrun.com)

If it’s simply a matter of USATF needing to find $3 million to put on the Trials, we know where they could find it. USATF head Max Siegel was paid a ridiculous $3.8 million in compensation in 2021; reduce that to a more reasonable $800k and you could hold the Trials wherever you wanted without any financial impact on USATF.

(01/21/2024) ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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The Pill That Over Half the Distance Medallists Used at the 2023 Worlds

What's the deal with sodium bicarbonate?What if there was a pill, new to the market this year, that was used by more than half of the distance medalists at the 2023 World Athletics Championships? A supplement so in-demand that there was a reported black market for it in Budapest, runners buying from other runners who did not advance past the preliminary round — even though the main ingredient can be found in any kitchen?

How did this pill become so popular? Well, there are rumors that Jakob Ingebrigtsen has been taking it for years — rumors that Ingebrigtsen’s camp and the manufacturers of the pill will neither confirm nor deny.

So about this pill…does it work? Does it actually boost athletic performance? Ask a sports scientist, someone who’s studied it for more than a decade, and they’ll tell you yes.

“There’s probably four or five legal, natural supplements, if you will, that seem to have withstood the test of time in terms of the research literature and [this pill] is one of those,” says Jason Siegler, Director of Human Performance in the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University.

But there’s a drawback to this pill. It could…well, let’s allow Luis Grijalva, who used it before finishing 4th in the World Championship 5,000m final in Budapest, to explain.

“I heard stories if you do it wrong, you chew it, you kind of shit your brains out,” Grijalva says. “And I was a little bit scared.”

The research supports that, too.

“[Gastrointestinal distress] has by far and away been the biggest hurdle for this supplement,” Siegler says.Okay, enough with the faux intrigue. If you’ve read the subtitle of this article, you know the pill we are talking about is sodium bicarbonate. Specifically, the Maurten Bicarb System, which has been available to the public since February and which has been used by some of the top teams in endurance sports: cycling juggernaut Team Jumbo-Visma and, in running, the On Athletics Club and NN Running Team. (Maurten has sponsorship or partnership agreements with all three).Some of the planet’s fastest runners have used the Maurten Bicarb System in 2023, including 10,000m world champion Joshua Cheptegei, 800m silver medalist Keely Hodgkinson, and 800m silver medalist Emmanuel Wanyonyi. Faith Kipyegon used it before winning the gold medal in the 1500m final in Budapest — but did not use it before her win in the 5,000m final or before any of her world records in the 1500m, mile, and 5,000m.

Herman Reuterswärd, Maurten’s head of communications, declined to share a full client list with LetsRun but claims two-thirds of all medalists from the 800 through 10,000 meters (excluding the steeplechase) used the product at the 2023 Worlds.

After years of trial and error, Maurten believes it has solved the GI issue, but those who have used their product have reported other side effects. Neil Gourley used sodium bicarbonate before almost every race in 2023, and while he had a great season — British champion, personal bests in the 1500 and mile — his head ached after races in a way it never had before. When Joe Klecker tried it at The TEN in March, he felt nauseous and light-headed — but still ran a personal best of 27:07.57. In an episode of the Coffee Club podcast, Klecker’s OAC teammate George Beamish, who finished 5th at Worlds in the steeplechase and used the product in a few races this year, said he felt delusional, dehydrated, and spent after using it before a workout this summer.

“It was the worst I’d felt in a workout [all] year, easily,” Beamish said.

Not every athlete who has used the Maurten Bicarb System has felt side effects. But the sport as a whole is still figuring out what to do about sodium bicarbonate.

Many athletes — even those who don’t have sponsorship arrangements with Maurten — have added it to their routines. But Jumbo-Visma’s top cyclist, Jonas Vingegaard — winner of the last two Tours de France — does not use it. Neither does OAC’s top runner, Yared Nuguse, who tried it a few times in practice but did not use it before any of his four American record races in 2023.“I’m very low-maintenance and I think my body’s the same,” Nuguse says. “So when I tried to do that, it was kind of like, Whoa, what is this? My whole body felt weird and I was just like, I either did this wrong or this is not for me.”

How sodium bicarbonate works

The idea that sodium bicarbonate — aka baking soda, the same stuff that goes in muffins and keeps your refrigerator fresh — can boost athletic performance has been around for decades.

“When you’re exercising, when you’re contracting muscle at a really high intensity or a high rate, you end up using your anaerobic energy sources and those non-oxygen pathways,” says Siegler, who has been part of more than 15 studies on sodium bicarbonate use in sport. “And those pathways, some of the byproducts that they produce, one of them is a proton – a little hydrogen ion. And that proton can cause all sorts of problems in the muscle. You can equate that to that sort of burn that you feel going at high rates. That burn, most of that — not directly, but indirectly — is coming from the accumulation of these little hydrogen ions.”

As this is happening, the kidneys produce bicarbonate as a defense mechanism. For a while, bicarbonate acts as a buffer, countering the negative effects of the hydrogen ions. But eventually, the hydrogen ions win.The typical concentration of bicarbonate in most people hovers around 25 millimoles per liter. By taking sodium bicarbonate in the proper dosage before exercise, Siegler says, you can raise that level to around 30-32 millimoles per liter.

“You basically have a more solid first line of defense,” Siegler says. “The theory is you can go a little bit longer and tolerate the hydrogen ions coming out of the cell a little bit longer before they cause any sort of disruption.”

Like creatine and caffeine, Siegler says the scientific literature is clear when it comes to sodium bicarbonate: it boosts performance, specifically during events that involve short bursts of anaerobic activity. But there’s a catch.

***

Bicarb without the cramping

Sodium bicarbonate has never been hard to find. Anyone can swallow a spoonful or two of baking soda with some water, though it’s not the most appetizing pre-workout snack. The problem comes when the stomach tries to absorb a large amount of sodium bicarbonate at once.

“You have a huge charged load in your stomach that the acidity in your stomach has to deal with and you have a big shift in the partial pressure of carbon dioxide across the gut,” Siegler says. “And that’s what gives you the cramping.”

A few years ago, Maurten was trying to solve a similar problem for marathoners trying to ingest large amounts of carbohydrates during races. The result was their carbohydrate drink, which relies on something called a hydrogel to form in the stomach. The hydrogel resists the acidity of the stomach and allows the carbohydrates to be absorbed in the intestine instead, where there is less cramping.

“We thought, okay, we are able to solve that one,” Reuterswärd says. “Could we apply the hydrogel technology to something else that is really risky to consume that could be beneficial?”

For almost four years, Maurten researched the effects of encapsulating sodium bicarbonate in hydrogels in its Swedish lab, conducting tests on middle-distance runners in Gothenburg. Hydrogels seemed to minimize the risk, but the best results came when hydrogels were paired with microtablets of sodium bicarbonate.

The result was the Maurten Bicarb System — “system,” because the process for ingesting it involves a few steps. Each box contains three components: a packet of hydrogel powder, a packet of tiny sodium bicarbonate tablets, and a mixing bowl. Mix the powder with water, let it stand for a few minutes, and sprinkle in the bicarb.The resulting mixture is a bit odd. It’s gooey. It’s gray. It doesn’t really taste like anything. It’s not quite liquid, not quite solid — a yogurt-like substance flooded with tiny tablets that you eat with a spoon but swallow like a drink.

The “swallow” part is important. Chew the tablets and the sodium bicarbonate will be absorbed before the hydrogels can do their job. Which means a trip to the toilet may not be far behind.

When Maurten launched its Bicarb System to the public in February 2023, it did not have high expectations for sales in year one.

“It’s a niche product,” Reuterswärd says. “From what we know right now, it maybe doesn’t make too much sense if you’re an amateur, if you’re just doing 5k parkruns.” 

But in March, Maurten’s product began making headlines in cycling when it emerged that it was being used by Team Jumbo-Visma, including by stars Wout van Aert and Primož Roglič. Sales exploded. Because bicarb dosage varies with bodyweight, Maurten’s system come in four “sizes.” And one size was selling particularly well.

“If you’re an endurance athlete, you’re around 60-70 kg (132-154 lbs),” Reuterswärd says. “We had a shortage with the size that corresponded with that weight…The first couple weeks, it was basically only professional cyclists buying all the time, massive amounts. And now we’re seeing a similar development in track & field.”

If there was a “Jumbo-Visma” effect in cycling, then this summer there was a “Jakob Ingebrigtsen” effect in running.To be clear: there is no official confirmation that Ingebrigtsen uses sodium bicarbonate. His agent, Daniel Wessfeldt, did not respond to multiple emails for this story. When I ask Reuterswärd if Ingebrigtsen has used Maurten’s product, he grows uncomfortable.

“I would love to be very clear here but I will have to get back to you,” Reuterswärd says (ultimately, he was not able to provide further clarification).

But when Maurten pitches coaches and athletes on its product, they have used data from the past two years on a “really good” 1500 guy to tout its effectiveness, displaying the lactate levels the athlete was able to achieve in practice with and without the use of the Maurten Bicarb System. That athlete is widely believed to be Ingebrigtsen. Just as Ingebrigtsen’s success with double threshold has spawned imitators across the globe, so too has his rumored use of sodium bicarbonate.

Grijalva says he started experimenting with sodium bicarbonate “because everybody’s doing it.” And everybody’s doing it because of Ingebrigtsen.

“[Ingebrigtsen] was probably ahead of everybody at the time,” Grijalva said. “Same with his training and same with the bicarb.”

OAC coach Dathan Ritzenhein took sodium bicarbonate once before a workout early in his own professional career, and still has bad memories of swallowing enormous capsules that made him feel sick. Still, he was willing to give it a try with his athletes this year after Maurten explained the steps they had taken to reduce GI distress.

“Certainly listening to the potential for less side effects was the reason we considered trying it,” says Ritzenhein. “I don’t know who is a diehard user and thinks that it’s really helpful, but around the circuit I know a lot of people that have said they’ve [tried] it.”

Coach/agent Stephen Haas says a number of his athletes, including Gourley, 3:56 1500 woman Katie Snowden, and Worlds steeple qualifier Isaac Updike, tried bicarb this year. In the men’s 1500, Haas adds, “most of the top guys are already using it.”

Yet 1500-meter world champion Josh Kerr was not among them. Kerr’s nutritionist mentioned the idea of sodium bicarbonate to him this summer but Kerr chose to table any discussions until after the season. He says he did not like the idea of trying it as a “quick fix” in the middle of the year.

“I review everything at the end of the season and see where I could get better,” Kerr writes in a text to LetsRun. “As long as the supplement is above board, got all the stamps of approvals needed from WADA and the research is there, I have nothing against it but I don’t like changing things midseason.”

***

So does it actually work?

Siegler is convinced sodium bicarbonate can benefit athletic performance if the GI issues can be solved. Originally, those benefits seemed confined to shorter events in the 2-to 5-minute range where an athlete is pushing anaerobic capacity. Buffering protons does no good to short sprinters, who use a different energy system during races.

“A 100-meter runner is going to use a system that’s referred to the phosphagen or creatine phosphate system, this immediate energy source,” Siegler says. “…It’s not the same sort of biochemical reaction that eventuates into this big proton or big acidic load. It’s too quick.”

But, Siegler says, sodium bicarbonate could potentially help athletes in longer events — perhaps a hilly marathon.

“When there’s short bursts of high-intensity activity, like a breakaway or a hill climb, what we do know now is when you take sodium bicarbonate…it will sit in your system for a number of hours,” Siegler says. “So it’s there [if] you need it, that’s kind of the premise behind it basically. If you don’t use it, it’s fine, it’s not detrimental. Eventually your kidneys clear it out.”Even Reuterswärd admits that it’s still unclear how much sodium bicarbonate helps in a marathon — “honestly, no one knows” — but it is starting to be used there as well. Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum used it when he set the world record of 2:00:35at last month’s Chicago Marathon; American Molly Seidel also used it in Chicago, where she ran a personal best of 2:23:07.

 

Siegler says it is encouraging that Maurten has tried to solve the GI problem and that any success they experience could spur other companies to research an even more effective delivery system (currently the main alternative is Amp Human’s PR Lotion, a sodium bicarbonate cream that is rubbed into the skin). But he is waiting for more data before rendering a final verdict on the Maurten Bicarb System.

“I haven’t seen any peer-reviewed papers yet come out so a bit I’m hesitant to be definitive about it,” Siegler said.

Trent Stellingwerff, an exercise physiologist and running coach at the Canadian Sport Institute – Pacific, worked with Siegler on a 2020 paper studying the effect of sodium bicarbonate on elite rowers. A number of athletes have asked him about the the Maurten Bicarb System, and some of his marathoners have used the product. Like Siegler, he wants to see more data before reaching a conclusion.

“I always follow the evidence and science, and to my knowledge, as of yet, I’m unaware of any publications using the Maurten bicarb in a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial,” Stellingwerff writes in a text to LetsRun. “So without any published data on the bicarb version, I can’t really say it does much.”

The closest thing out there right now is a British study conducted by Lewis Goughof Birmingham City University and Andy Sparks of Edge Hill University. In a test of 10 well-trained cyclists, Gough and Sparks found the Maurten Bicarb System limited GI distress and had the potential to improve exercise performance. Reuterswärd says the study, which was funded by Maurten, is currently in the review process while Gough and Sparks suggested further research to investigate their findings.

What about the runners who used sodium bicarbonate in 2023?

Klecker decided to give bicarb a shot after Maurten made a presentation to the OAC team in Boulder earlier this year. He has run well using bicarb (his 10,000 pb at The TEN) and without it (his 5,000 pb in January) and as Klecker heads into an Olympic year, he is still deciding whether the supposed benefits are worth the drawbacks, which for him include nausea and thirst. He also says that when he has taken the bicarb, his muscles feel a bit more numb than usual, which has made it more challenging for him to gauge his effort in races.

“There’s been no, Oh man I felt just so amazing today because of this bicarb,” Klecker says. “If anything, it’s been like, Oh I didn’t take it and I felt a bit more like myself.”

Klecker also notes that his wife and OAC teammate, Sage Hurta-Klecker, ran her 800m season’s best of 1:58.09 at the Silesia Diamond League on July 16 — the first race of the season in which she did not use bicarb beforehand.

A number of athletes in Mike Smith‘s Flagstaff-based training group also used bicarb this year, including Grijalva and US 5,000 champion Abdihamid Nur. Grijalva did not use bicarb in his outdoor season opener in Florence on June 2, when he ran his personal best of 12:52.97 to finish 3rd. He did use it before the Zurich Diamond League on August 31, when he ran 12:55.88 to finish 4th.“I want to say it helps, but at the same time, I don’t want to rely on it,” Grijalva says.

Almost every OAC athlete tried sodium bicarbonate at some point in 2023. Ritzenhein says the results were mixed. Some of his runners have run well while using it, but the team’s top performer, Nuguse, never used it in a race. Ritzenhein wants to continue testing sodium bicarbonate with his athletes to determine how each of them responds individually and whether it’s worth using moving forward.

That group includes Alicia Monson, who experimented with bicarb in 2023 but did not use it before her American records at 5,000 and 10,000 meters or her 5th-place finish in the 10,000 at Worlds.

“It’s not the thing that’s going to make or break an athlete,” Ritzenhein says. “…It’s a legal supplement that has the potential, at least, to help but it doesn’t seem to be universal. So I think there’s a lot more research that needs to be done into it and who benefits from it.”

The kind of research scientists like Stellingwerff want to see — double-blind, controlled clinical trials — could take a while to trickle in. But now that anyone can order Maurten’s product (it’s not cheap — $65 for four servings), athletes will get to decide for themselves whether sodium bicarbonate is worth pursuing.

“The athlete community, obviously if they feel there’s any sort of risk, they’re weighing up the risk-to-benefit ratio,” Siegler said. “The return has got to be good.”

Grijalva expects sodium bicarbonate will become part of his pre-race routine next year, along with a shower and a cup of coffee. Coffee, and the caffeine contained wherein, may offer a glimpse at the future of bicarb. Caffeine has been widely used by athletes for longer than sodium bicarbonate, and the verdict is in on that one: it works. Yet plenty of the greats choose not to use it.

Nuguse is among them. He does not drink coffee — a fact he is constantly reminded of by Ritzenhein.

“I make jokes almost every day about it,” Ritzenhein says. “His family is Ethiopian – coffee tradition and ceremony is really important to them.”

Ritzenhein says he would love it if Nuguse drank a cup of coffee sometime, but he’s not going to force it on him. Some athletes, Ritzenhein says, have a tendency to become neurotic about these sorts of things. That’s how Ritzenhein was as an athlete. It’s certainly how Ritzenhein’s former coach at the Nike Oregon Project, Alberto Salazar, was — an approach that ultimately earned Salazar a four-year ban from USADA.

Ritzenhein says he has no worries when it comes to any of his athletes using sodium bicarbonate — Maurten’s product is batch-tested and unlike L-carnitine, there is no specific protocol that must be adhered to in order for athletes to use it legally under the WADA Code. Still, there is something to be said for keeping things simple.

“Yared knows how his body feels,” Ritzenhein says. “…He literally rolls out of practice and comes to practice like a high schooler with a Eggo waffle in hand. Probably more athletes could use that kind of [approach].”

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(01/21/2024) ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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Hosea Kimeli given three year ban as 2023 Zagreb Marathon title stripped off his name

Hosea Kimeli has been slapped with a three-year ban by the AIU and all his results since October 8, 2023, have been disqualified, including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points, prizes and appearance money

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has slapped Hosea Kimeli Kisorio with a three-year ban for an anti-doping rule violation.

The 33-year-old found himself on the list of shame after his tests came out positive for the presence of EPO, a Prohibited Substance under the WADA 2023 Prohibited List under the category S2 Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics.

As per AIU, the period ineligibility to be imposed is therefore a period of four years, unless the Athlete demonstrates that the Anti-Doping Rule Violations were not intentional.

“The Athlete has failed to demonstrate that the Anti-Doping Rule Violations were not intentional. Therefore, the mandatory period of Ineligibility is a period of Ineligibility of four years.

"However, Rule 10.8.1 ADR provides that an athlete potentially subject to an asserted period of Ineligibility of four (4) years may benefit from a one (1)-year reduction in the period of Ineligibility based on an early admission and acceptance of sanction,” the AIU further stated, adding that Kimeli admitted having committed the crime earlier this year, thus the reduction of the sanction.

This means that his results since he won the 2023 Zagreb Marathon have been disqualified.

Meanwhile, Kimeli was banned alongside his compatriot Ayub Kiptum who also received three years with his results from October 21, 2023 disqualified. Kiptum was banned for the Presence/Use of a Prohibited Substance (Testosterone).

(01/20/2024) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Zagreb Marathon

Zagreb Marathon

Zagreb Marathon is a marathon and half marathon in Zagreb, Croatia. The marathon race is organized annually in October and was started in1992. The number of participants has increased over the years. Zagreb Marathon has an international character with participants from all over the world....

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91-year-old Italian woman Emma Maria Mazzenga speeds to age-group 200m world record

Emma Maria Mazzenga of Italy is etching her name in track and field history at the age of 91. Competing in the W90+ category at a Masters event in Veneto, Italy last weekend, she clocked an incredible 54.47 seconds for 200m indoors, shattering the world record by five seconds.

Mazzenga maintained an impressive speed of 13 km/hr for the 200m distance. Achieving such a feat is astounding, considering most would be content just to reach the age of 91, let alone set a new age group world record with a pace of 4:30/km. What adds to the awe of Mazzenga’s accomplishment is her incredible comeback. According to Vogue Italy, she started training just a month before her Jan 14 race, following a sternum fracture.

The former 200m indoor record for the W90+ category stood for 13 years and belonged to Canadian masters legend Olga Kotelko. Kotelko, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 95, held over 30 world records and won more than 750 gold medals in the masters competitions.

Mazzenga, a retired chemistry professor from northern Italy, only started competing masters races at the age of 53. Now, at 90, she continues to defy norms and set records. A video of her record-breaking run has gone viral on TikTok and Instagram.

Mazzenga told Vogue Italy that her secret to success is elegantly simple: she never stops. Each morning, Mazzenga takes a walk with her friend, interspersed with biking between her walks and runs. “The emotion that a race gives me, the adrenaline I get every training session, it brings energy to my days,” Mazzenga shared with Vogue Italy.

Despite setting a world record, Mazzenga remains humble and confident that she can achieve even faster times at her upcoming races at the Italian Masters Championships in Ancona, Italy, and the European championships in Torun, Poland, scheduled for March.

(01/20/2024) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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How An Old Drinking Fountain Revived New York’s Marathoning and Pasta Club

The group is all about logging slow miles and consuming carbs—in that order.

In New York’s Central Park, at West Drive and 92nd Street, is a nondescript drinking fountain made of black granite. Blink as you run past, and you’d miss it, but this particular fountain, inscribed in 1991 with an ivy garland and the words “72 Street Marathoning and Pasta Club” around its rim, has recently gained interest from a new generation of runners and inspired them to take up the mantle of distance running and carb loading. 

Amanda Smith stumbled upon the fountain in 2020, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was inspired by the inscription. “As a foodie who loves to run, nothing more closely aligns with my lifestyle than that!” she wrote on Reddit. Smith snatched up the Marathoning and Pasta Club handle on Instagram posthaste, knowing she wanted to do something with it in the future—three years later, her dream has come to fruition. 

A few weeks ago, Smith gauged interest for an all-new run club devoted to sharing easy miles followed by “family style” meals afterwards. People loved the idea. The group got together for their first outing on Thursday night: Five runners showed up for a loop of Central Park, chatting and getting to know each other, before tucking into orders of rigatoni carbone on the Upper West Side. 

“It was really nice to just have a conversation, and everyone’s kind of sharing the role that running plays in their lives,” Smith told Runner’s World.

The original Marathoning and Pasta Club traces its history back to the 1970s, when its members, in addition to their love of running and spaghetti, were dedicated stewards of Central Park, often planting trees and cleaning and restoring water fountains. One of the seven original members is Jonathan Mendes, a World War II Marine who in 2016, at 96 years old, was believed to be the oldest unofficial finisher of the New York City Marathon, completing the race in 11 hours and 23 minutes. Carl Landegger, 10 years Mendes’ junior, was another founding member, and was running marathons with his friend as recently as 2010. 

Smith laughs that the initial club was comprised of serious runners who competed around the world, clocking impressive times. Her iteration of the Marathoning and Pasta Club is more of a nod to the originals. The new club is truly pace inclusive and spans all five New York City boroughs. Next week they’ll be meeting in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park before heading to Pasta Louise Cafe in Park Slope. 

You don’t need to be a marathoner to join the club, and unlike many other groups, there’s no minimum pace required. 

“I hope people feel comfortable to come because it isn’t about competitions,” Smith said. “You don't need to be training for anything. We had people last night who just like to run, and they’re not interested in running a marathon and that’s totally fine.” 

Some nights, Smith says they may even skip the run and just bond over pasta. She sees a real need for clubs based around recovery-pace runs and community. 

Fusilli and farfalle sound fun? You can stay up-to-date on the happenings of the Marathoning and Pasta Club on their Instagram page. 

(01/20/2024) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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47-Year-Old Marathoner to Run Fifth Olympic Trials

Dot McMahan qualified with a 2:35:20 at Grandma’s Marathon, averaging 5:56 per mile pace. 

In the closing miles of the 2023 Grandma’s Marathon, last June in Duluth, Minnesota, Dot McMahan struggled to calculate how close she was to the Olympic Marathon Trials standard. 

“I was just trying to run under 2:37, but you know, math, when you’re running a marathon, isn’t always so good,” she said. 

McMahan was more than fine. In her 20th marathon, she ran 2:35:20, smashing the standard and qualifying for her fifth Olympic Marathon Trials. 

Her coach, Kevin Hanson, of Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, was ecstatic. And so was her husband, Tim, and their 14-year-old daughter, El, who is also a runner. El told her mom when they FaceTimed after the race that she had run her fastest time since turning 40. “She knew all my stats,” McMahan said. “She was over the moon.” 

McMahan, 47, and Des Linden, 40, are thought to be the only female athletes in the field running a fifth marathon trials. McMahan is the oldest women’s qualifier. On the men’s side, Fernando Cabada, 41, has qualified for five marathon trials and is entered in the race. Abdi Abdirahman, a five-time Olympian, is also 47, the oldest in the men’s field. 

It was never a given that McMahan would make a fifth trials, especially after USA Track & Field announced in late 2021 the tougher entry standards for the 2024 race. For the 2020 race, held in Atlanta, women had to run 2:45 to make the Trials. This time around, they had to be 8 minutes faster. 

“I was very supportive of the fact that they needed to make it quicker, for the women, at least,” she said. “It kind of loses its luster if we make it too easy. That said, I think it was a little harder than I [predicted], which was maybe 2:40, 2:39. So 2:37 was like, woah, okay, we’ve got a real goal here. I never assumed that was going to be a walk in the park.” 

McMahan, who was eighth at the Trials in 2008 and ninth in 2012, knows she’s unlikely to finish that close to the front again, unless something unexpected happens in Orlando. While her teammates have moved to Orlando for the month to prepare for potential heat and humidity, McMahan is still training in Rochester Hills, Michigan, where she works as an assistant track coach at nearby Oakland University and has a pet sitting business. (She’s also an online coach with McKirdy Trained.)

And she wants to be home with her family. McMahan’s only warm weather preparations at the moment are the occasional treadmill run. “It’s in a space that we can enclose a little more and turn the heat up,” she said. But simulating humidity “gets a little tricky. You don’t want to grow a bunch of mold in your house.”

That’s typical of the practicality McMahan brings to her training. Her longevity, she says, is a function of doing most of the same hard work she’s always done. She’ll reach 105–110 miles per week at her peak training for a marathon, and she’ll double three or four days per week. She used to run 120. 

“I’ve tapered back a little bit, but I’m still doing the majority of it,” she said of the Hansons-Brooks training. “That’s what it takes.” On January 14, McMahan ran the Houston Half Marathon as a tuneup and finished in 1:16:02, averaging 5:48 pace. She was very happy with the result. 

Hanson said he and McMahan frequently joke that she’s old enough to be the mother to some of the athletes on the team who are fresh out of college. But he notes McMahan’s durability. She has avoided serious injuries. “That’s what becomes career-ending in your 40s,” he said. “In your late 40s, any injury that sets you back sometimes ends things, because it’s just to hard to get back into it.” 

McMahan is practical about other matters, too. 

For one, she refuses to dye her hair. “I do have a considerable amount of gray hair,” she said. “I’m not doing anything about it; I’m just going to let it come in.” Plus, she said, her husband has gray hair. They’d look silly together if she dyed her hair and he didn’t. “We’re aging,” she said. “It’s just life.”

She devotes about an hour to getting ready for her morning runs—warming up, doing mobility exercises, and “making sure things are firing.”

When her pace slows on afternoon recovery runs, she doesn’t dwell on it. On December 26, she did a hard 20-miler. The next day, she was tired, and she had 10 miles in the morning, and 4 miles in the afternoon on the schedule. She did those runs, but she ran them slowly—for her. 

“I think in the past, I would have beat myself up mentally looking at my watch and being like, ‘You’re running 8-minute pace; this is so ridiculous,’” she said. 

Now, she thinks: Are you happy? Are you healthy? Does anything hurt? This is what recovery pace is for you. “I listen to my body, and I don’t get upset thinking it should be a certain pace,” she said. “That’s my concession to age.” 

(01/20/2024) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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This historic track froze into a skating rink

The West Coast of the U.S. and Canada got hit with sub-zero temperatures over the weekend as a cold front swept through the Midwest. Northern California and Southern Oregon reported unusual seasonal lows around -5 and -10 C, resulting in extreme cold that even froze over Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, transforming one of the most well-known tracks in the world into a skating rink.

Instead of wearing spikes for their Monday morning workout, the Oregon Ducks track and field team was seen skating on the track, turning their usual practice into more of a speed-skating session.

The video was posted to Oregon freshman Simeon Birnbaum’s Instagram story on Monday, where he was also seen sporting a Team Canada kit T-shirt. Although Birnbaum is from South Dakota, he has Canadian roots, having spent his early years in Alberta, where he learned to skate, according to Runnerspace. He transitioned from hockey to track in his early teenage years and is now a sub-four-minute miler with the University of Oregon track and field team under coach Jerry Schumacher.

The sight of people skating on Hayward Field has sparked a few ideas. First, envision an epic NHL Winter Classic game in that stadium. With a capacity of up to 25,000 fans and oval-shaped grandstands reminiscent of an NHL arena, the venue could provide an ideal setting and atmosphere for a game.

I know the recent Winter Classic between the Seattle Kraken and Las Vegas Golden Knights at MLB stadium T-Mobile Park in Seattle on Jan. 1 accommodated way more fans than Hayward, but let’s get NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on the phone to arrange a future Winter Classic matchup between the Seattle Kraken and L.A. Kings at Hayward.

The second idea involves Hayward Field hosting a long-track speed skating World Cup event in January or February. This cross-up between two of the most popular summer and winter Olympic events would be unreal. While I am no expert on speed skating, I would only think that having track-meet-style races could be highly entertaining, especially if wind or snow becomes a factor. Though the University of Oregon might not permit either event, it doesn’t hurt to start the buzz.

(01/20/2024) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Michael Bublé claims a near-death running experience in Manitoba

Canadian singing icon and proclaimed King of Christmas, Michael Bublé, claims he had a near-death running experience in Churchill, Man.On Jan. 15, Bublé appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show, where former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson asked the singer about a drunken late-night run gone wrong with Canadian actor Barry Pepper while shooting a movie in Canada’s tundra.Bublé said he had just finished filming the 2003 survival drama The Snow Walker and was celebrating with the cast. During the celebration, Pepper and Bublé decided to race down to the beach. But they didn’t realize what was waiting for them there.

“A guy that lived there just started swearing at us and just screaming, I mean, screaming bloody murder,” Bublé said. “We did not realize we were running to our certain death, because there were polar bears all down the beach.”“Sometimes I wonder how close I was to being like a little polar bear lunch,” he joked. “They are the most aggressive—God, but they are so cuddly.” Clarkson went on to reference the cute bears from Coca-Cola commercials.

As this story may not seem “Bublé-vable,” Churchill annually reports more than 300 polar bear incidents or encounters, so much so that they even built a polar bear holding facility (which they call the Polar Bear Jail), which captures and relocates troublesome or dangerous bears. Before it was built in 1983, polar bears that were considered dangerous were shot.Canada is home to two-thirds of the world’s polar bear population, and the Hudson Bay town of Churchill is a common feeding ground. The animals move toward the coast, and sometimes into town, from areas farther inland to hunt seals from the sea ice during the fall when temperatures drop.In 2014, Churchill’s Polar Bear Marathon had to alter the course because the bears got a little too close. Because of the danger from the cold and bears, each runner is assigned a support vehicle that carries food, extra clothing and a bear watcher equipped with a rifle, in case of an emergency.

(01/20/2024) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Run Before or After Workout to Maximize Gains

Strength training is an essential component of a well-rounded running training program, but for busy runners, it can be tricky to fit it into your program without jeopardizing your running workouts. Emma Vaillancourt, a registered physiotherapist and running coach in Thunder Bay, Ont., explains how to effectively incorporate strength training into your running routine to maximize gains and minimize burnout.

Should you strength train before or after running?

Vaillancourt explains that the order of strength training and running depends on your goals and where you’re at in your racing season. During the off-season, when running is less of a priority, you may choose to strength train first. In contrast, during the in-season, when your focus is on building running volume or intensity, running should usually come first.

If you plan to do strength training on days when you have intervals or speedwork, it’s generally better to do strength work after your run. This helps avoid fatigue and a possible negative impact on your workout. Vaillancourt also notes that running immediately before lifting can moderately impair lower-body strength gains. “If your goal is to improve strength, lift before the run,” she says. “If you aim to enhance endurance adaptations like aerobic capacity, the order doesn’t matter as much.”

Is it better to leave space sessions or can you do them back-to-back?

“It is recommended to allow at least three hours after high-intensity running before engaging in strength training,” says Vaillancourt. “During this recovery window, it’s important to refuel with a high-carb and protein meal to replenish your energy stores.”

Vaillancourt recommends at least 24 hours’ recovery after strength training before engaging in high-intensity running, but if you’re pairing strength training with easy runs, you can reduce the time between them.

Of course, most of us can’t plan our day around our strength training and running plans, so if scheduling becomes an issue, doing one activity right after the other is still beneficial. “Something is often better than nothing!” says Vaillancourt.  

Alternatively, she suggests splitting your strength training into smaller blocks, focusing on shorter, more frequent sessions throughout your week. This approach causes less fatigue and can be more manageable for some runners. “The idea here would be to do 10 to 20 minutes of strength work (maybe two or three exercises) but more frequently in your week, compared to the traditional 30 to 60 minutes done two or three times per week,” she says.

How often should runners strength train?

The frequency of strength training depends on several factors, including your experience level, the point in the season, and the time you can commit to training in a week.

In the off-season and early season, Vaillancourt recommends strength training two to three times a week, focusing on higher volumes of training. “If you’re training for a single race, such as a half-marathon or marathon, you will likely want to drop down to one to two times per week as your mileage peaks,” she says. “As you get closer to your race and are entering your taper, you can drop to once a week for maintenance.”

Running before or after workouts has a drastic effect on training effectiveness. Running before a strength workout can compromise strength training gains or cause injury. On the other hand, doing a strength workout before running could cause running form to deteriorate, which can also lead to injury or compromise strength training gains.

Athletes only have so much time. Sometimes that means doing cardio workouts (like running) and strength workouts (like lifting weights or bodyweight workouts) on the same day. Find out if it’s better to run before or after workouts and how to maximize same-day training benefits.

The Interference Effect

Running Before or After Workouts Depends on Workout Goals

Run Before or After Workout as a Strength-Focused Athlete

Running Before or After Workout as a Runner

Running Before or After a Workout if the goal is to Lose Weight

Running Before or After a Workout if the Goal is to Improve Overall Fitness

THE INTERFERENCE EFFECT

The interference effect is a physiological phenomenon that states that cardio or endurance exercise (like running and cycling) interferes with the cellular adaptions elicited via strength training (namely, muscle size and overall strength). However, it also states that strength training does not appear to necessarily adversely affect endurance adaptations.

The keyword here is: necessarily. More on that later on.

RUNNING BEFORE OR AFTER WORKOUTS DEPENDS ON WORKOUT GOALS

Athletes engaging in concurrent strength training and running need to prioritize goals. This should happen on an individual workout basis as well as overall athletic goals. For example, someone looking to build muscle mass and overall strength must concede that cardio training will–to some extent–inhibit strength gains. On the other hand, a runner is unlikely to be a very successful bodybuilder.

Athletes considering strength training and cardio training need to decide which is more important for their athletic development: muscle mass or endurance. This is not to say that strength-based athletes should stop all cardio. Likewise, endurance athletes like runners should do some strength training.

The careful blending of strength and endurance training is what is known as concurrent training. Strength training–such as with weights or bodyweight–is an important component of endurance performance. Sports like running and cycling do not stress all the necessary muscles in the body. For example, simply running or cycling can leave one with hip, lower back pain and upper body issues due to underdeveloped muscles. 

In short, most athletes should do a bit of strength training and a bit of cardio. The ideal blend of each will depend on the athlete’s goals: muscle mass or endurance.

RUN BEFORE OR AFTER WORKOUT AS A STRENGTH-FOCUSED ATHLETE

Athletes whose primary goal is to build muscle and overall strength should try to avoid doing cardio and strength training on the same day. If this cannot be avoided, strength-focused athletes should do their cardio workouts after strength training. This will help minimize the interference effect (i.e., the body will prioritize strength adaptations over endurance adaptations).

How long should cardio workouts take place after strength workouts? The longer the better. At least six to nine hours is ideal. Spacing strength and cardio workouts as far apart as possible will help maximize strength adaptations. Again, if pure strength is the primary goal, strongly consider doing cardio and strength workouts on entirely different days. Don’t do a hard strength workout and a hard (e.g., HIIT) running workout on the same day. 

ALTERNATING LOWER-BODY AND UPPER-BODY SAME DAY WORKOUTS

Cardio exercises like running and cycling are lower-body dominant. Performing upper-body workouts on the same day as running will have no meaningful effect on the strength workout. However, performing lower-body strength workouts shortly after a running workout will likely lead to diminished strength gains.

It follows that doing lower-body strength workouts should then only take place on non-running days.

Alternating workouts with upper-body strength days during running days and lower-body strength workouts on non-running days will help minimize or even eliminate the interference effect. The only caveat to this is if the athlete can handle the higher training load. This means having an optimized nutrition plan (here’s the 9 best foods for runners and the 9 best foods to build muscle), resting and being sensitive to their body’s injury or overtraining signals. 

RUNNING BEFORE OR AFTER WORKOUT AS A RUNNER

Strength training could be a key component to unlocking running performance. It may be the only way advanced runners can even achieve further progress. Beginner runners benefit from strength training by working muscles that help promote running economy and efficiency, which will ward off injury and promote total body fitness. 

If running (or any endurance activity, such as cycling) is a primary goal, do cardio after strength training. However, if the cardio session will be shorter and low intensity (like a simple endurance run of 30-90 minutes), doing high-repetition, low-weight or bodyweight strength training  AFTER running can help build muscular endurance and improve running stamina.

Muscular endurance is different than absolute strength. Whereas pure strength is about how much force one can produce quickly (e.g., during a squat), muscular endurance is about training muscles to resist fatigue over long periods of time. One can easily see how muscular endurance is beneficial to runners: running longer distances like half-marathons, marathons and even ultramarathons. Muscular endurance will allow runners to retain their running form longer, which means not only maintaining running economy for longer but also decreasing the risk of running-related injuries.

Sound worth it? Here’s how to do it:

Do an easy run. Try to avoid running hills. Don’t do intervals. Just do a basic endurance-paced run anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes. It should feel almost boring.

After the run and while the body is still warmed up, do a strength training session that focuses on high repetitions and low (if any) weight. Repetition ranges should be 20 to 30 per set. Cool down with light jogging.

Combining running and strength training back to back is a serious session. Make sure to fuel properly before, during and after (like with a hot cocoa recovery drink). Don’t finish the workout starving. The recovery demands from this type of training are huge–but so are the benefits. Don’t do these big sessions every day–twice a week is plenty and should likely be followed by a full recovery day or an easy run (for advanced athletes).

RUNNING BEFORE OR AFTER A WORKOUT IF THE GOAL IS TO LOSE WEIGHT

It is often recommended to do strength training before running to empty carbohydrate stores. The idea is to force the body to get its energy primarily from fat rather than carbs during the run. However, the problem with this strategy is that it is very difficult to finish a long-distance run on empty carbohydrate stores. While it is true that a much higher percentage of fat is burned for energy, the calorie burn, on the other hand, is relatively low because of the low intensity or low duration of the workout. 

On top of that, perceived exertion of the workout will be much greater when continuing to workout with depleted glycogen stores. This can cause athletes to prematurely quit the workout; therefore, reducing maximal calorie expenditure. Additionally, athletes who choose to work out this way will finish workouts extremely hungry. This can lead athletes to massively overeat after a very tough workout, which will likely result in weight gain and developing unhealthy nutrition habits.

If weight loss is a goal, a negative energy balance is key: If one burns more calories than they consume, they will lose weight. In the end, what matters is how many calories are burned in total through the workout. Spread your workouts out over several days. That way one can train at a high intensity and burn a lot of calories, and at the same time give the body the time it needs to recover properly before the next workout.

RUNNING BEFORE OR AFTER A WORKOUT IF THE GOAL IS TO IMPROVE OVERALL FITNESS

In this case, basically do cardio and strength training in whichever order. Still define a specific training goal for each session. Just be careful about doing too much and getting injured. Start slow, add a little bit of training each week, take a day off if aches and pains start to creep up. Once the gains stop coming, consider reexamining training structure to focus on more specific goals. Try this workout after a run for a great cardio and strength session.

This workout focuses on neglected leg muscles and glute strength (i.e., a firmer butt). It’ll also help improve posture. Learn and do the following movements: Curtsy lunge, kneel & stand, side lunges, single-leg deadlift and wall sits.

In general, avoid doing two workouts back-to-back. Spacing running and strength workouts far apart will allow the body sufficient time to adapt and recover before the next session. If running before or after a workout is the only option, follow the training schedule recommendations above to elicit maximal adaptations. If all of that is too complicated and the goal is to just get fit, do whatever is most convenient.

(01/19/2024) ⚡AMP
by Morgan Cole
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Albert Korir bubbling with excitement ahead of the 2024 Boston Marathon

Albert Korir has already began the build-up to the 2024 Boston Marathon as he seeks to improve on his fourth-place finish.

In the world of marathon running, the countdown has began for the 2024 Boston Marathon, and the excitement is palpable.

Albert Korir has been confirmed for the event and he is eagerly anticipating the challenge that lies ahead. Korir, a seasoned marathon runner, has set his sights on conquering the historic course once again, and his journey has already began.

For Korir, the Boston Marathon is not just a race; it's a passion, a relentless pursuit of excellence. As he laces up his running shoes and hits the roads for training, the anticipation is building.

In a post on his Instagram page, Korir said: "The countdown has begun, the work has started. Preparing for another Boston Marathon, and I just can't wait.”

His words reflect the eagerness that echoes through the hearts of all dedicated marathoners. The journey to the starting line is as crucial as the race itself, and for Korir, every step in training is a step closer to realizing his marathon dreams.

Korir, having almost tasted success on this hallowed ground before, understands the significance of the challenge that awaits him.

He finished fourth at last year’s edition of the race and will be keen to go one place better this year. The 2021 New York City Marathon champion immerses himself in a meticulous preparation routine.

Long runs through scenic landscapes, interval training to build speed, and strength workouts to endure the course's demands – each element is a crucial piece of the puzzle. His dedication to the sport and the Boston Marathon, in particular, is evident in every stride he takes.

As the world eagerly awaits the 2024 Boston Marathon, Korir stands at the intersection of anticipation and preparation. The countdown continues, and with each passing day, his commitment to the journey becomes more apparent.

(01/19/2024) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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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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Four Olympic Medalists Set to Toe the Line in the Women's 60m at the 116th Millrose Games

With just over three weeks to go until the running of the 116th Millrose Games, the excitement for this spectacular event has never been greater. One of the deepest races of the afternoon will be the Women’s 60 Meter Dash, which features no fewer than four Olympic medalists, in addition to an NCAA champion, last year’s runner-up, and more.

The 116th Millrose Games will take place at the Nike Track & Field Center at The Armory on Sunday, February 11th. 

The stellar field is as follows: 

-Dina Asher-Smith is the 2019 World Champion in the 200m. She is a two-time Olympic bronze medalist, and her 2019 gold is one of five World Championship medals that she owns. Asher-Smith holds the British records in the 60m, 100m, and 200m. 

“The Millrose Games is one of the most prestigious and historic indoor competitions in the USA, and I am looking forward to racing there for the first time,” said Asher-Smith. “I am really enjoying my new training set up in Austin, and I’m looking forward to a big year in 2024.” 

-Julien Alfred was a seven-time NCAA champion at the University of Texas. Her 60m best is not only the NCAA record, it also equals the North American record. In her first season as a professional, Alfred finished fifth in the 100m at the 2023 World Championships, representing St. Lucia. 

-English Gardner is an Olympic gold medalist on the 4x100m relay in 2016. A local favorite from New Jersey, she is the tenth-fastest woman in history in the 100m, and she won this race at the Millrose Games in 2019. 

-Briana Williams won Olympic gold on the 4x100m relay for Jamaica in 2021, and she is a two-time World Junior Champion. 

-Shashalee Forbes is an Olympic silver medalist on the 4x100m relay, and she won the 200m Jamaican championship in 2017. 

-Tamari Davis placed second in this race at last year’s Millrose Games, before winning a gold medal on the 4x100m relay at the World Championships. 

-Marybeth Sant-Price is the 60m bronze medalist at the 2022 World Indoor Championships. 

-Celera Barnes is an NACAC champion on the 4x100m relay. 

Stay tuned over the coming weeks before the 116th Millrose Games, as the world-class start lists are finalized. Top athletes already confirmed to compete include Laura Muir, Elle Purrier-St. Pierre, Yared Nuguse, Alicia Monson, Grant Fisher, Danielle Williams, Josh Kerr, Yaroslava Mahuchikh, Christian Coleman, Keni Harrison, Andre De Grasse, Nia Ali, Chris Nilsen, and KC Lightfoot, with even more Olympians and World Championship medalists still to come. 

As always, the Millrose Games will feature the absolute best athletes in the sport, including dozens of Olympians and world champions. The Millrose Games is a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meet. With highest-level competition at the youth, high school, collegiate, club, and professional levels, there is truly something for everyone at the Millrose Games. 

(01/19/2024) ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

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

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It is possible to run faster, 41-year-old Kenenisa Bekele insists

41-year-old marathoner Kenenisa Bekele believes he still has the mileage in his legs to run faster as he eyes victory at the Olympic Games.

Marathon legend Kenenisa Bekele has insisted that he is the greatest form of his life heading into the Olympic Games in Paris, France where he will lock horns with other great marathoners.

In an interview with Athletics Weekly, the Ethiopian insisted that his progression is going well and he is ready to run faster times. He has gathered a lot of experience so far and will definitely be looking forward to impress.

“When I look at my progression, I feel like I have good energy and power…I feel very strong unlike when I struggled around three or four years ago.

“It is possible to run faster with this age you know…it is quite a good age for a marathon so I think I will do something better in the future,” the 41-year-old said.

He added that marathon running requires an athlete to have the talent first and the capacity to run the distance and also experience.

“Experience by itself can’t change anything if you don’t have the capacity to cover the distance. If you compare that with age also the young generation is struggling to run faster times and follow the pace of the older and experienced runners.

"This could be influenced by their capacity and talents. That’s why in my mind, I know myself and during training, I compete against my teammates to gauge myself,” Bekele said.

The two-time Berlin Marathon also commented on his training, explaining that it has not been a walk in the pack for him.

“Marathon training is really challenging…I was out of the track due to an injury and every time I get an injury, my training changes.

“Training wise, at some point and I could not follow every training session. This is the greatest challenge I face in training for my training,” he said.

(01/19/2024) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
Kenenisa Bekele
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Malindi Elmore set to race 2024 Boston Marathon

Two-time Olympian Malindi Elmore of Kelowna, B.C., is on the women’s elite list for the 128th Boston Marathon on April 15. Elmore is featured in a strong field with reigning champion Hellen Obiri and 2022 New York Marathon champion Sharon Lokedi; she will also be one of three Canadian women running in Boston.

This will be Elmore’s second time running the Boston Marathon. In 2022, she ran to an impressive 11th-place finish, posting a time of 2:27:58, which is the fastest-ever time in Boston by a Canadian woman. She left Boston wanting to return, saying, “It’s a blast to run the crowd-lined streets, where there is always someone cheering you on and shouting your name.”

Elmore, who ran the second-fastest Canadian women’s marathon time at the 2023 Berlin Marathon, achieved the Olympic qualifying mark of 2:26:50. She is currently the only woman who has solidified her spot on Team Canada for the marathon in Paris. The 43-year-old told Canadian Running that she plans to use Boston as a prep race for the Olympic marathon in August. 

“Racing Boston is part of the Paris 2024 plan,” says Elmore on her decision to race Boston. “The course in Paris is reported to be twice the elevation gain of Boston, so I want the opportunity to train and race on hills through the winter and hopefully be a hill beast by August!”

The Boston and New York marathons are two of the tougher Abbott World Marathon Major courses. The Boston is a net downhill, but features a lot of hills in the second half of the race, including the famous Heartbreak Hill at 32 kilometres. The Paris Olympic marathon is touted to be the hilliest Olympic marathon to date, featuring more than 400 metres in elevation gain on an out-and-back loop to the Palace of Versailles. 

Elmore will be one of three Canadian marathoners on the women’s elite list. Joining Elmore in Boston are two up-and-coming marathoners from Thunder Bay, Ont., Michelle and Kim Krezonoski. The Krezonoski sisters ran their personal bests of 2:36:39 (Michelle) and 2:37:20 (Kim) at the 2022 California International Marathon.

Michelle said it’s been an exciting and emotional journey to get to this point after partially tearing her Achilles tendon in her build-up to the 2023 Toronto Waterfront Marathon (which she did not race). “I am grateful to have this opportunity to run alongside the world’s best with my twin sister,” Michelle told Canadian Running. “Boston is historic, and it’s a course that challenges your strength.”

Obiri returns for glory

The most dominant women’s marathoner in the world right now, Hellen Obiri, returns to Boston to defend her title. Last year, Obiri unleashed a perfectly-timed sprint in the final mile to earn her first Boston Marathon title, in only her second career marathon. Boston marked one of her two marathon wins in 2023. She became only the second women’s marathoner in history to win both Boston and New York in the same year. 

“I am excited to return to the 2024 Boston Marathon to try to defend my title,” shared Obiri, who won last year’s race in 2:21:38. “Boston is a historic race, and I would like to add my name further to its history on April 15. Winning such a historic marathon with my family waiting at the finish line was an experience I’ll never forget.”

The 2024 Boston Marathon will also see a trio of Ethiopian runners with personal bests under 2:18:00. Worknesh Degefa, the 2019 Boston Marathon champion, is set to return. Tadu Teshome, with a marathon best of 2:17:36 from the 2022 Valencia Marathon, will make her Boston debut, and Senbere Teferi, a world championship silver medallist over 5,000m, will also compete after winning the B.A.A. 5K in a course record time of 14:49 in 2022.

(01/18/2024) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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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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How Faith Kipyegon's track rival is planning to dethrone the golden girl

Faith Kipyegon's track rival has revealed her plans to dethrone the queen of the 1500m this season.

Laura Muir, one of Faith Kipyegon’s track rivals has opened up on plans to beat the double world record holder this season.

The Scottish woman noted that she has beaten Kipyegon before and even though it was not during a major championship, she believes anything is possible.

She added that all she will do will be to focus on herself and focus on what she can do best. The former World 1500m silver medalist also admitted that Kipyegon is the best 1500m runner at the moment and she comes off as a phenomenal athlete too.

“I think it helps that I’ve beaten her two or three times a few years ago. So I’ve done it, but not for a long time and never in a championship setting. But it's possible.

"There are lots of ways that I can improve this year, so it’s nice to know I can get faster and that we haven’t maxed out everything.

"But it seems to be that when I get faster, she then also gets faster. I was narrowing the gap a little bit when I ran 3:54 in Tokyo, but then she widened it again.

"All I can do is focus on myself and just be the best athlete I can be. And if that gets closer to her, and potentially a tiny chance of beating her, then that's all I can do.

"She's the best we've ever had. She’s a phenomenal athlete and deserves all the recognition she's had. It’s exciting to be a part of, but it's difficult to try and keep up,” she said as per Citius Mag.

The Olympic Games silver medalist also took a trip down memory lane to remember the Diamond League Meeting in Monaco where dozens of athletes set national records following Kipyegon’s world record over the mile.

She added that they were aware she would run a fast race and they knew she meant business. Muir also disclosed that it was great to be part of the team and it was an amazing occurrence to see how she delivered the world record.

“I remember going to Monaco and thinking, “I have to run my own race, I can't go with that.” As much as I like to believe in myself, that was beyond my capability.

"I knew I had to run my own race. I wanted to get the British record and by running my own race, I got that record. So, I was pleased with that,” she said.

Muir will also be going for the top prize at the Olympic Games, however, whatever the outcome, she noted that she would be satisfied.

“I've defended titles, I've broken records and championship records. The only thing that's missing is the global title, which is very hard to get…

"But I'm going to keep trying and that's all I can do. All I can do is focus on myself and work as hard as I can and get myself in the best shape I can. If that's enough to get on the podium, great. If that's enough to win, even better.

"I just love running, I love my training, and I feel very privileged to be in this position to be successful in the sport. I have gotten so much from it. I hope that I can continue for a few more years and get a few more medals as well,” she concluded.

(01/18/2024) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Three ways to keep your legs snappy, without feeling beat up

Building speed and strength as a runner while keeping your legs feeling fresh sounds like a challenge—but it can be as simple as incorporating a few drills or quick training sessions into your regular routine. Fast turnover and snappy, quick legs are something you can work on year-round, even when you’re focused on building a base or adding endurance.

To keep those legs moving briskly throughout the year without succumbing to overtraining, consider incorporating these three types of workouts into your routine.

1.- Tweener repeats

Renowned coach Greg McMillan explains that “tweeners” are repeats performed slower than your V02 max effort, but faster than your lactate threshold. The objective is to achieve the benefits of longer speedwork sessions without succumbing to fatigue.

McMillan suggests running these based on effort or heart rate rather than pace, starting at 85 to 87 per cent of your maximum heart rate and gradually progressing to 92 per cent. It’s OK to add recovery time if you start to breathe hard. If that sounds too complicated to calculate, try running these intervals at a pace that’s tough but not full-out, and adjust the repetitions and distance as needed so that you aren’t feeling intensely fatigued between or after intervals.

The workout

Warm up with 10 minutes of easy running.

Run 4-6 x 800m at a cruise interval pace with 200m recovery after between repeats.

Cool down with 10 minutes of easy running.

2.- Short hill sprints

Take your workout to new heights by incorporating super-quick hill sprints on a steep incline (8-12 per cent) or by adjusting your treadmill incline. These intense sprints provide a quick burst without leaving you breathless or struggling to maintain speed. Adjust the sprint duration if needed, ensuring you can run continuously without feeling overly winded.

The workout

Warm up with 20 minutes of easy running.

Run 10 x 10 seconds of uphill sprinting, followed by 2-3 minutes of easy running recovery.

Cool down with 10 minutes of easy running.

3.- Strides

Strides are perfect for everyone, from new runners to experienced athletes, and can easily be tacked on to your already-planned easy runs several times a week. They are a great way to run fast, but avoid building lactic acid or creating a lot of residual fatigue. If you feel out of breath during your strides, reduce repeats until you’ve gained strength.

The workout

5-10 x 15 seconds at a fast but controlled effort, with full recovery (45 to 90 seconds of very easy running).

Remember to follow a high-intensity day with easy running or recovery, and ensure proper hydration. By incorporating these diverse workouts into your routine, you can elevate your running game, maintaining agility, speed and stamina throughout the seasons.

(01/18/2024) ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne
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Suguru Osako to skip Tokyo Marathon in order to compete in Boston Marathon

Paris Olympic hopeful Suguru Osako revealed Thursday he will skip the March 3 Tokyo Marathon in favor of competing in the Boston Marathon the following month.

Osako, who was sixth at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, is currently on track to claim the third and final Japanese men's marathon slot for Paris by virtue of his third-place finish in October's Marathon Grand Championship.

Another Japanese runner must clock 2 hours, 5 minutes, 50 seconds or faster, the time set by the Japan Association of Athletics Federations, at either February's Osaka Marathon or the Tokyo Marathon to move ahead of Osako in the Olympic qualification standings.

In a video message posted to Instagram, Osako indicated he wanted to avoid the intense focus in Japan on qualifying for the games and said his heart was set on running in Boston.

"The bigger the fuss being made around me, the less enthusiasm I tend to feel," the 32-year-old Tokyo native said. "The race that I really felt like I wanted to run was the Boston Marathon."

"Of course, the Olympics are important, but I don't think it's necessary to obsess about them as much as some people do."

Two Japanese runners, Naoki Koyama and Akira Akasaki, have already earned their Olympic berths by finishing first and second, respectively, in the MGC.

(01/18/2024) ⚡AMP
by The Japan Times
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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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Agnes Jenet Ngetich recently smashed the world 10k record for women but maybe we need to take another look?

Agnes Jebet Ngetich Kenya ran 28min 46sec for 10km road race at Valencia in Spain, Taking half a minute off the previous record.  

Sean Williams posted these thoughts on FB, thoughts shared by many we are sure:  "I don’t usually like to be negative about world records. But I have to admit, for a long distance runner, this girl looks remarkably masculine. So either she was born with an incredibly strong female runner’s body, or she’s on some special kind of juice or she was a bloke a few years ago. 

just check that photo on your post. I’m thinking testosterone, growth hormones or some special new juice that most of us have not heard of yet.  sad to say that the women who have completely smashed world records, apart from in the marathon, and half marathon, tend to look very Masculine.

Take away the painted fingernails, make up and often fancy hair, and you could almost say you’ve got a bunch of guys holding all the female world records from the 100 m through to the 10,000 m. * apart from Faith in the 1500. I have a theory that all the Chinese who were smashing world records in the early 90s (Ma’s army) were all the top Chinese male runners and they got the cut and tuck. 8.06 for a chick in 3000m - come on!"  

What are your thoughts? 

(01/18/2024) ⚡AMP
by Sean Williams
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Age is not a problem for me, insists 44-year-old marathoner Edna Kiplagat

44-year-old Edna Kiplagat has insisted that age is not an issue as she plans to continue conquering the world of marathon running.

Two-time Boston Marathon champion Edna Kiplagat does not see her age as an obstacle to her achieving her goals in life.

Kiplagat’s age has caught many by surprise, owing to the fact that she is still able to run well and finish races, especially the marathons. Speaking during a press conference before the Houston Half Marathon last weekend, the 44-year-old insisted that she does not view her age as a problem.

She added that the reason why she keeps going is to be a source of encouragement to young runners and her children too. The 2014 London Marathon champion explained that she wants youngsters to understand that anything is possible as long as they put their minds to it.

“I believe that what I have done or accomplished before is going to motivate most of the young athletes. I want them to know that if they work hard and focus on anything they are passionate about, then they will achieve their goals.

"I don’t feel that age is a huge factor for me but I know that as long as I feel healthy and I love what I do, I’ll keep on doing my best,” Kiplagat said.

Meanwhile, Kiplagat has been in the game for more than 25 years since she made her professional debut at the 1996 World Junior Championships where she bagged silver in the 3000m. The American-based athlete then proceeded to bag a bronze medal at the 1998 World Junior Championships.

Since then, Kiplagat just kept and she became the first woman to successfully retain her marathon world title.

She won the marathon title at both the 2011 and 2013 World Championships held in Daegu, South Korea and Moscow, Russia respectively. In 2010, Kiplagat bagged the New York City Marathon and Los Angeles Marathon titles.

(01/17/2024) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Chebet, Lemma and Geay to clash at Boston Marathon

Evans Chebet and Gabriel Geay, the top two finishers at last year’s BAA Boston Marathon, will return to the World Athletics Platinum Label road race on April 15, to take on recent Valencia Marathon winner Sisay Lemma.

Chebet successfully defended his Boston title last year in 2:05:54. In fact, the Kenyan has won six of his past seven marathons.

Lemma won in Valencia last month in 2:01:48, making him the fourth-fastest man in history. The Ethiopian, who also won the 2021 London Marathon, is the fastest man in this year’s Boston Marathon field, which features 20 men with sub-2:10 PBs.

Tanzania’s Geay, runner-up in Boston last year, has an identical PB to Chebet – 2:03:00 – and, like Chebet, it was also set in Valencia.

Other men in the field with sub-2:05 PBs are Kenya’s Joshua Belet (2:04:18), Ronald Korir (2:04:22), and Cyprian Kotut (2:04:34), as well as Ethiopians Haftu Teklu (2:04:43) and London and New York City runner-up Shura Kitata (2:04:49).

New York Marathon champion Albert Korir, former Japanese record-holder Suguru Osako, and Norwegian record-holder Sondre Moen are also in the field, as are Morocco’s Zouhair Talbi, winner of last week’s Houston Marathon in a course record 2:06:39, and multiple NCAA champion Edward Cheserek.

Elite field

Sisay Lemma (ETH) 2:01:48

Evans Chebet (KEN) 2:03:00

Gabriel Geay (TAN) 2:03:00

Joshua Belet (KEN) 2:04:18

Ronald Korir (KEN) 2:04:22

Cyprian Kotut (KEN) 2:04:34

Haftu Teklu (ETH) 2:04:43

Shura Kitata (ETH) 2:04:49

John Korir (KEN) 2:05:01

Mohamed Esa (ETH) 2:05:05

Suguru Osako (JPN) 2:05:29

Sondre Moen (NOR) 2:05:48

Filmon Ande (ERI) 2:06:38

Zouhair Talbi (MAR) 2:06:39

Isaac Mpofu (ZIM) 2:06:48

Albert Korir (KEN) 2:06:57

Kento Otsu (JPN) 2:08:15

Ryoma Takeuchi (JPN) 2:08:40

Segundo Jami (ECU) 2:09:05

Tsegay Tuemay (ERI) 2:09:07

Matt McDonald (USA) 2:09:49

David Nilsson (SWE) 2:10:09

Tristan Woodfine (CAN) 2:10:39

CJ Albertson (USA) 2:10:52

Chris Thompson (GBR) 2:10:52

Edward Cheserek (KEN) 2:11:07

Yemane Haileselassie (ERI) debut

(01/17/2024) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Peres Jepchirchir headlines women field at Ras Al Khaimah Half-Marathon

Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir will headline the 16th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half-Marathon scheduled for February 24, 2024 in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.

The three time World Half Marathon champion is also the only woman to simultaneously hold the Olympic, New York and Boston marathon titles, which she achieved in the seven months between August 2021 and April 2022.

Jepchirchir who also holds two world marathon majors, knows this course so well as she set her first world half marathon record here in 2017 when she broke Florence Kiplagat’s record of 1:05.09 that she had set in Barcelona in 2015 with a new world record of 1:05.06.

The mother of one will be looking to challenge the race course record of 1:04.14 set last year by the 2018 World U20 5000m bronze medallist, Girmawit Gebrzihair of Ethiopia.

Race Director and Pace Events CEO Peter Connerton said today, ‘We were honoured and enormously gratified to be invited by the Ras Al Khaimah tourist authorities to organise an event like the RAK half-marathon. We feel it’s a reflection of the success we’ve had with the Dubai Marathon since 2000.

We’ve added a 10k to the RAK programme since we’ve seen how successful the shorter event has been in Dubai; either as a challenge in its own right, or as a stepping stone for runners on the way to a half or full marathon. Jepchirchir is the first of many leading names we shall be announcing for the RAK ‘half’ in the coming weeks”.

(01/17/2024) ⚡AMP
by John Vaselyne
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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

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Commonwealth Games sprint medalist Micha Powell to release inspiring memoir

The 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medalist, Micha Powell, is set to release a memoir and workbook for young women, entitled, “Sprinting Through Setbacks: An Olympian’s Guide to Overcoming Self-Doubt and Imposter Syndrome.”

The memoir will chronicle her decade of professional racing experience, sharing vulnerable stories about growing up in the shadow of two Olympian parents, navigating injuries and finding the courage to adopt an Olympic mindset.

From the day Powell was born, she has had athletics ingrained in her DNA. She is the child of three-time Canadian Olympian Rosey Edeh and current long jump world record holder, American Mike Powell.

“I’m thrilled to share my story about how I accomplished my goals while overcoming setbacks and self-doubt as an Olympic athlete,” said Powell. “I want people to take away from this book that it’s not a linear path to success, and embrace the imperfect journey to triumph and use that resilience to accomplish their big goals in life.”

The book will feature 10 pivotal races from Powell’s career, each accompanied by a lesson she learned. Additionally, workbook-style sections will be included to allow young readers to apply Powell’s experiences to their own lives. The topics covered in the book range from finding balance and style to overcoming imposter syndrome and finding your spotlight.

The 29-year-old has set her sights on qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics in the women’s 400m and 4x400m relay for Team Canada. The memoir is geared toward young women early in their schooling or athletic careers, aiming to inspire the reader no matter their goals or future endeavors.

The book, co-authored by Canadian Running writer Molly Hurford, founder of Strong Girl Publishing, is scheduled for release in summer 2024. Fans and readers can follow @MichaJadaPowell and @StrongGirlPublishing on Instagram and TikTok for updates on the writing process, early feedback and sneak peeks from the upcoming book.

(01/17/2024) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Elle St Pierre will toe the line again at the Millrose Games

World indoor silver medalist Elle St Pierre set a meeting and North American record of 4:16.85 to win the Wanamaker Mile in 2020. The 2024 indoor season marks St Pierre’s return to the track following the birth of her first child.

Two-time world indoor silver medalist Axumawit Embaye is also in the line-up, alongside 2022 US 1500m champion Sinclaire Johnson, British 1500m champion Katie Snowden, 2023 Wanamaker Mile runner-up Josette Andrews, Australian record-holder Jessica Hull, Olympic finalist Marta Perez, and two-time NCAA champion Sage Hurta-Klecker.

Olympic 1500m silver medalist Laura Muir made her Wanamaker Mile debut last year, winning in 4:20.15. The 2022 world bronze medalist holds the British record for the distance outdoors with the 4:15.24 she clocked last year.

Other top athletes already confirmed to compete include Yaroslava Mahuchikh, Danielle Williams, Nia Ali, Andre De Grasse, Josh Kerr, Keni Harrison, Chris Nilsen, KC Lightfoot, Yared Nuguse, Alicia Monson, Grant Fisher and Christian Coleman.

(01/17/2024) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

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

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Irish runner sets two masters world records in one week

Just a few days after breaking the world M55+ 3,000m record in a stunning time of eight minutes and 47 seconds, Dublin’s Shane Healy broke yet another world record on the weekend at the Irish Masters Indoor Championships on Saturday.

Healy ran 2:02.46 for 800m indoors to break the M55+ world record, making it his second world masters record in seven days. His time shattered the previous world indoor mark by three seconds and is half a second faster than the outdoor mark for his age category, set by Germany’s Peter Oberliessen at age 56 in 2016.

Interestingly enough, the 3,000m world record he broke last week was also held by a German masters runner.

Instead of competing in his age group at the Irish champs, Healy challenged himself and ran against the M35+ category, where he placed second overall. The race was won in 2:01.45, and Healy powered his way to an even split after passing through 400m in 61 seconds. His second-place time in the 800m was also faster than the M40, M45, and M50 winners.

The actual M55 Irish title was won in a respectable 2:16.34, but almost 14 seconds slower than Healy’s time. He also dedicated his new record to his former Irish Olympic teammate David Matthews, who lost his father over the Christmas holidays.

The 55-year-old middle-distance runner has been tearing up the track for several decades. In 1996, Healy represented Ireland at the Atlanta Olympics in the men’s 1,500m, where he made the semi-final. He retired from running in 1999, but after almost a five-year hiatus, he returned to the sport and began breaking Irish and world masters records.

Healy has added three world records to his name in the last year: M55+ 3,000m, 800m, and the M50+ indoor 1,500m record of 4:01.76. It is only a matter of time until he grabs the M55+ 1,500m indoor record of 4:11.79.

(01/16/2024) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Mary Moraa has returned to training for a grueling 2024 season and is using one of NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal's famous quotes to motivate her

Reigning world 800m champion Mary Moraa is surely on a mission to make history this year as she eyes the Olympic Games in Paris, France scheduled for July 26 to August 11.

As she burns the midnight oil to ensure she makes her dreams come true, Moraa is not leaving her fans out of the mix as she keeps updating them on what she is up to.

In her recent Facebook post, she shared a video of her training at the Nyayo National Stadium and captioned the video with one of NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal’s famous quotes.

The Commonwealth Games champion said: “Excellence is not a singular act but a habit. You are what you do repeatedly.”

She also added other two photos after returning to training and captioned them saying: “I really enjoyed my first track training session this season with my training regime.”

O’Neal was one of the greatest basketball players and centers of all time and Moraa recognizing him means she is on the right track.

Meanwhile, Kisii Express has made it clear that she wants to clock 1:53, the women’s 800m world record, and she is surely putting in the work.

The world record has surely stood the test of time and the world is banking on Moraa to shatter it. It was set by Jarmila Kratochvílová back in 1983.

On July 26, the Czech athlete took to the Olympiapark Meeting in Munich’s Olympic Stadium and shattered the 800m world record, clocking 1:53.28 to win the race.

(01/16/2024) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Laura Muir returns to defend wanamaker mile title at 2024 Millrose Games

Great Britain’s Laura Muir, the Olympic 1500m silver medalist and three-time 1500m world championship medalist, will return to the 116th Millrose Games at The Armory on Feb. 11 to defend her NYRR Wanamaker Mile title.

Here’s what you need to know:

– Last year, Muir closed the race with a 30.99s final lap to win in 4:20.15 over Josette Andrews, who will also be returning after back-to-back runner-up finishes. Muir made her Millrose Games debut last year after a stunning 4:14.8 victory at the 2022 Fifth Avenue Mile. Muir is keeping a tight indoor schedule as she gets ready for the 3000m at the 2024 World Indoor Championships in Glasgow. She just ran 8:34.39 for 3000m at the Cardiff Metropolitan University Christmas Classic on Dec. 19.

– The Wanamaker Mile event record is the 4:16.85 American record set by Elinor Purrier St. Pierre in the 2020 edition of the meet. She will return to The Armory after missing last year’s indoor season while being pregnant with her son, Ivan. She gave birth in March and then returned to racing at the 5th Avenue Mile in September with a 4:23 for seventh place. Purrier -St. Pierre also won the 2019 2022 edition of the Wanamaker Mile with a 4:19.30 victory.

– The field will also include 2023 World Championship 1500m finalists: Jessica Hull (7th in Budapest) and Katie Snowden (8th in Budapest).

– Ethiopia’s Axumawit Embaye, a two-time World Indoor silver medalist in the 1500m, will make her Millrose Games debut. Last year, she ran season’s bests of 4:00.98 for 1500m and 4:24.01 for the mile. She notched a personal best of 15:04.41 for 5000m at the Stockholm Diamond League.

(01/16/2024) ⚡AMP
by Chris Chavez
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

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

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Canadian Olympian Andrea Seccafien to debut at Tokyo Marathon

After reaching the Tokyo Olympic 5,000m final in 2021, the next two years were a whirlwind for Canadian 10,000m record holder Andrea Seccafien. The 33-year-old suffered a root meniscus tear in early 2022, then a stress fracture in 2023, and at times, contemplated calling it a career to go back to school. She felt like she was missing something and had one final box to check as a runner: the marathon.

“The plan has always been to move up to the marathon,” says Seccafien. “I will be running the Tokyo Marathon on March 3.”

Seccafien told Canadian Running that she wants to be on the Canadian Olympic team for the marathon in Paris: “The Olympic standard [2:26:50] is the goal in Tokyo. I would not be running the marathon if my coach and I did not think it was possible.”

There were a lot of changes for Seccafien last year, who moved from Melbourne, Australia, to Portland, Ore., and back to Melbourne. She left Nike Bowerman Track Club in November 2023 after two years of training under coach Jerry Schumacher. She joined the group with fellow Canadian Lucia Stafford in November 2021 (who also subsequently left the club). 

Seccafien says she left Bowerman on good terms. “It wasn’t anything with Jerry; I just did not have a community in Portland or Eugene,” she says. “My life was in Australia, and not in the U.S.” Seccafien is the ninth woman to leave Bowerman Track Club in the past two years, leaving the team with only two women on their roster, according to their website.

When asked about the downfall of the Bowerman team and the timeline around Shelby Houlihan’s doping suspension, Seccafien said that Gabriela DeBues-Stafford was the only athlete who left for that reason specifically: “No one else thought that way about Shelby,” she says. “Everyone in the club has been open with each other’s decision, and I think everyone left for many different reasons.”

“When I joined, I thought running the marathon there would work with Bowerman. Jerry doesn’t have time to coach a marathoner; you’d essentially be training on your own,” says Seccafien. Schumacher took a role with the Oregon Ducks group in Eugene, Ore. (two hours from Portland) while still coaching the Bowerman group. “It’s now a totally different environment than when I joined.”

Since returning to Melbourne, Seccafien has begun working remotely with Canadian physiologist and coach Trent Stellingwerff, who also coaches Olympians Natasha Wodak and DeBues-Stafford. “I wanted to find someone willing to coach me remotely and to give me some stability in my life again,” she says. “Trent calls the shots on mileage, and I just follow his plan. Our training is based more on intensity rather than miles.”

Seccafien says she now does most of her training on her own, with her partner, Jamie, occasionally joining her on the bike. “Like everyone, I’ve started doing double threshold workouts, and Jamie, who’s an exercise physiologist, will test my blood lactate.”

Seccafien told Canadian Running that training has not been easy. “There were a lot of lows. I felt like I had retired at times,” says Seccafien. “I could not put any load on my knee for four months to recover from my meniscus surgery… I could only swim, but could not kick my legs.”

She says it was great when she was finally able to run again, but shortly after, she got a stress fracture –another huge low. “Now, I’m just trying to stay consistent and take things as they come,” she says. Seccafien is seven weeks out from the 2024 Tokyo Marathon, where she will be in the elite field alongside Chicago and London marathon champ Sifan Hassan, whom Seccafien last ran against in the 5,000m final at the Tokyo Olympics (where Hassan won gold).

(01/16/2024) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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

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Sheila Chepkirui headlines elite field for Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Sheila Chepkirui is among the elite athletes invited to the Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon next month.

Commonwealth Games 10,000m bronze medallist Sheila Chepkirui has been confirmed for the Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon scheduled for February 4 in Japan.

Chepkirui enjoyed a beautiful 2023 season and as she opens her season at the city in Japan, she will have her fingers crossed for an amazing season.

Last season, Chepkirui’s breakthroughs were during the Berlin Marathon and London Marathon. The Kenyan made her full marathon debut at the Valencia Marathon in 2022 where she finished second before stunning the masses last season.

She finished fourth at the London Marathon, her first World Marathon Major before finishing second at the Berlin Marathon.

In the women’s race, she will be joined by compatriots Pauline Kamulu and Dolphine Omare. The greatest opposition will come from Great Britain’s Charlotte Purdue who is one of the greatest long-distance runners.

Meanwhile, the men’s field is headlined by another talented Kenyan, Alexander Mutiso, the reigning Prague Marathon champion.

Mutiso also enjoyed an amazing 2023 season where he impressed in most of his international assignments and is surely among the athletes to watch this season.

The Kenyan started the marathon season by winning the Prague Marathon and finishing second at the Valencia Marathon. He returns to Japan as the defending champion after obliterating a strong field to clinch top honours in the race last year.

Mutiso clocked an impressive time of 59:17 to cross the finish line and proceeded to finish fourth at the Tokyo Legacy Half Marathon. He will be joined by compatriots Charles Langat and Cleophas Kandie.

(01/15/2024) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

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

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Benard Kibet Koech ready to defend Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon title

The 17th Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will see the welcome return of defending men’s champion Benard Kibet Koech and reigning world half marathon and Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir.

The Kenyans are the first two of what is expected to be a constellation of stars at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, hosted by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), on February 24.

Jepchirchir’s standing as one of the world’s all-time greats is underlined not only by her Olympic marathon win in Tokyo, but also by three individual world half marathon titles, and the considerable feat of being the only woman to simultaneously hold the Olympic, New York and Boston marathon titles, which she achieved in the seven months between August 2021 and April 2022.

When she won the 2017 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon it was in a then world record of 65m:06s, which remains her best time.

Compatriot Koech is one of many Kenyans recruited to run on one of Japan’s corporate teams. He is similarly unusual in being one of the diminishing number of athletes who combine track with road running and is a 13-minute 5,000 metre runner who also has several 10,000 metre finishes of just over 27 minutes to his name.

His victory last year in Ras Al Khaimah in a time of 58m:45s was one of the 10 fastest of 2023.

Since its inauguration in 2007, the Ras Al Khaimah race has proved to be one of the fastest half marathons on the international circuit with the race staged around the spectacular sea-side route on the iconic Al Marjan Island.

As well as the likes of Koech and Jepchirchir, the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will see thousands of runners coming together in the associated 10km, 5km and 2km runs.

(01/15/2024) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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

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I will inspire many girls after Paris Olympics – Kipyegon

Two-time Olympic 1500m gold medalist Faith Kipyegon is motivated and ready to write more history and break records in the Paris Olympic Games this year.

The 29-year-old who already has four world titles in 1500m and 5000m to her name, is also keen to enjoy the quadrennial championship and motivate the young girls from the continent and the world at large.

“I’m looking forward to Paris 2024, to step on that track and see what will happen,” Kipyegon said.

“That’s what we are looking for – to get to the Olympics, get to the track and just enjoy it and see what will come out.”

In 2023, as well as winning 1500m and 5000m gold medals at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Kipyegon broke three world records, in the 1500m, mile and 5000m.

It’s performances like these that she knows will further inspire the next generation, which is another of her aims in 2024.

“Outside of track, and after the Olympics, I think I will motivate and inspire many, especially young girls in my country and Africa and all over the world,” she says. “That is my motivation.

“I want to see them express their talent, follow my footsteps, and I want them to see good role models.”

Kipyegon has never been short of motivation.

Her international career began back at the World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz in 2010.

Running barefoot in the freezing conditions, the then 16-year-old finished fourth in the U20 race.

The following year she got gold in Punta Umbria, before winning that year’s world U18 1500m title in Lille – her first global gold medal in the discipline.

World U20 gold followed in Barcelona in 2012, before senior world titles in London in 2017 and Oregon in 2022, plus Olympic gold medals in Rio and Tokyo.

(01/15/2024) ⚡AMP
by Evans Ousuru
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Beatrice Chepkoech to open her indoor track season against two Ethiopian youngsters

Beatrice Chepkoech will be pitted against two Ethiopian youngsters in the women's 1500m at the ORLEN Copernicus Cup, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting.

Ethiopian youngsters Diribe Welteji, and Freweyni Hailu will be up against Beatrice Chepkoech in the women’s 1500m field at the ORLEN Copernicus Cup, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting, in Torun, Poland, on February 6.

21-year-old Welteji set a world record when winning the mile at the World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga in October, as she clocked 4:20.98 as her compatriot Hailu finished second with Faith Kipyegon completing the podium.

Welteji and Hailu will team up again in Torun where they will be up against the world 3000m steeplechase record-holder Chepkoech. Other strong opponents in the field include Ethiopia’s world indoor 1500m bronze medallist Hirut Meshesha and Uganda’s 2019 world 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi.

Welteji has proven to be a master in the 1500m and she also doubles up as the World 1500m silver medallist, having finished runner-up to Kipyegon in Budapest in August. She will surely be the one to watch when the race begins.

Meshesha has the quickest short track PB of the quintet, having clocked 4:02.01 in Lievin last year, finishing second and one place ahead of Hailu who set a PB of 4:02.47. Chepkoech ran her national record of 4:02.09 in 2020.

Meanwhile, multiple US record-holder Grant Fisher will take on the already announced world champion Josh Kerr in the two-mile race at the Millrose Games, also a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold event.

The race on February 11 is set to be paced with the world indoor two-mile best of 8:03.40 as the target. Joining them on the start line will be USA’s Joe Klecker, Cooper Teare, and Dylan Jacobs. New Zealand’s George Beamish, Australia’s Morgan McDonald, and Ky Robinson will also be in the mix and will be joined by Britain’s Matthew Stonier, Japan’s Keita Satoh, Ethiopia’s Samuel Firewu and Addisu Yihune, and Sam Parsons of Germany.

(01/15/2024) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
Beatrice Chepkoech
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Ethiopians Jemal Yimer (60:42) and Sutume Kebede (64:37) won the overall titles in Houston Half

In what is becoming an annual tradition, Weini Kelati ran 66:25 on Sunday to break the American record at the 2024 Aramco Houston Half Marathon. It was the third straight year the record was broken in Houston as the 27-year-old Kelati, making her half marathon debut, followed in the footsteps of Sara Hall (67:15 in 2022) and Emily Sisson (66:52 in 2023) to become a record-breaker in Houston. Sunday marked the third time the record had been broken in the past year as Keira D’Amatolowered Sisson’s record to 66:39 at the Asics Half Marathon in Australia in July.

Kelati finished 4th overall as Ethiopia’s Sutume Kebede, a late addition to the women’s field, upset Hellen Obiri to win in 64:37, a US all-comers record that moves her into a tie for 9th on the all-time list. The time was a pb of more than three minutes for Kebede, who was previously best known for finishing 3rd at the 2020 Tokyo Marathon and running 2:18:12 at the 2022 Seoul Marathon. Obiri, who was with Kebede through 10k (30:28) faded over the second half and wound up a distant 2nd in 66:07.

The men’s race came down to a five-man sprint finish with Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer, who won in Houston in 2020 and was 4th at the World Half Marathon Championships in October, prevailing in 60:42. Wesley Kiptoo of NAZ Elite and Kenya was 2nd for the second straight year in 60:43 with 2022 champ Milkesa Mengeshaof Ethiopia 3rd in 60:45.

Biya Simbassa was the top American man in 60:45 in 4th, just ahead of a resurgent Diego Estrada, who led for the first 20 minutes and finished 5th in a pb of 60:49. Galen Rupp, tuning up for the Olympic Marathon Trials three weeks from now, hung back from the leaders and finished 14th in 62:37.

In the Chevron Houston Marathon, contested simultaneously, former NAIA star Zouhair Talbi of Morocco won the men’s race in 2:06:39 to boost his chances of Olympic selection. 2016 NCAA XC champion Patrick Tiernan, now training as part of Alistair and Amy Cragg’s Puma Elite Running team in North Carolina, was 4th in 2:07:45, hitting the Olympic standard and moving to #2 on the all-time Australian marathon list.

Ethiopia’s Rahma Tusa, the runner-up behind American Betsy Saina in September’s Sydney Marathon, won the women’s marathon in Houston in 2:19:33.

The races featured temperatures in the low 40s with 10 mph winds and gusts up to 17 mph, which made for a challenging end to the half marathon as miles 9, 10, and 11 were run directly into the teeth of the wind.

Below, six takeaways from the day’s racing in Houston.

2024 Houston Half Marathon men’s top 51. 60:42 Jemal Yimer, Ethiopia2. 60:43 Wesley Kiptoo, Kenya3. 60:45 Milkesa Mengesha, Ethiopia4. 60:45 Biya Simbassa, USA5. 60:49 Diego Estrada, USA14. 62:37 Galen Rupp, USA

2024 Houston Half Marathon women’s top 51. 64:37 Sutume Kebede, Ethiopia2. 66:07 Hellen Obiri, Kenya3. 66:24 Buze Diriba, Ethiopia4. 66:25 AR Weini Kelati, USA5. 67:36 Mestawut Fikir, Ethiopia

(01/14/2024) ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault (Let’s Run)
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

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

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Ngetich smashes world 10km record with 28:46 in Valencia

Kenya's Agnes Ngetich obliterated the women's world 10km record by running 28:46* at the 10K Valencia Ibercaja, a World Athletics Label road race, on Sunday (14).

The 22-year-old becomes the first woman to break 29 minutes for the distance, improving by 28 seconds the previous road mixed race world record set by Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw in Castellon two years ago.

World cross country bronze medallist Ngetich was paced in the Spanish coastal city by her compatriot Japheth Kipkemboi Kosgei and the first world record fell at half way as Ngetich went through the 5km checkpoint in 14:13. That is six seconds faster than the women’s world record achieved in a mixed race, set by Ethiopia’s Ejgayehu Taye in Barcelona in 2021, and matches the time Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet set in a woman-only race in Barcelona a fortnight ago.

Ngetich’s 10km time is also faster than the women's world record for the distance on the track, with Letesenbet Gidey’s world 10,000m record standing at 29:01.03.

Emmaculate Anyango also dipped under 29 minutes in Valencia, clocking 28:57 to finish runner-up to her compatriot Ngetich.

"I am so happy. I didn't expect this world record," said Ngetich. "I was coming to improve my time, at least somewhere around 29:14, but I am happy that I ran a world record of 28 minutes. I didn't expect this."

She will now focus on the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Belgrade 24 in March and then the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, where athletics will be the No.1 sport in August.

The men’s race was won by Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo in 26:48.

(01/14/2024) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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10k Valencia Trinidad Alfonso

10k Valencia Trinidad Alfonso

Around the corner we have one more edition of the 10K Valencia Ibercaja, organized one more year by the C. 10K VALENCIA Athletics premiering the running season in Valencia. It is a massive urban race with more than 3,000 registered annually of 10 kilometers, where the maximum duration of the test will be 1 hour 40 minutes (100 minutes). The...

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The Wild, Uncertain Science of Post-Exercise Ketones

A new review study points toward post-exercise ketone supplementation as a way to improve adaptation and performance. What does the uncertain science mean for endurance athletes?

I heard about athletes supplementing with ketones sometime in the mid-2010s. A company reached out, promising the next big breakthrough in endurance performance from this liquid supplement composed of a molecule naturally produced in the body from the breakdown of free fatty acids. They told me that the top cyclists in the world were already using ketones and that it was destined to take over running, too. They sent a few boxes…and they collected dust in the pantry. It felt like a biohack, and I wasn’t comfortable with it.

Over the years, more studies on ketone ingestion emerged, and I started to get more and more intrigued. Rumors came out that about 70 percent of the cycling peloton used the stuff. But they cost a ton, and it was hard to discern what was actual practice and what was just marketing.

It wasn’t until 2023, though, that I embraced that ketones were here to stay, whether I liked it or not. A 2023 study in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrine and Metabolism had nine men complete two cycling trials, both with one hour consisting of two minutes at 90 percent of aerobic capacity (moderately hard), followed by two minutes at 50 percent of aerobic capacity (very easy). In both trials, the cyclists consumed a carb-protein drink immediately after exercise and at one, two, and three hours later. Here’s the study intervention: in just one trial, participants ingested 0.29 g/kg ketone monoester immediately after exercise and at one and two hours later.

The ketone trial led to 20 percent higher levels of natural erythropoietin (EPO) in the bloodstream.

For comparison, a 2005 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that the initial exposure to altitude training increased EPO by an average of around 50 percent in swimmers, with large individual variability (returning to baseline after a couple of weeks of altitude training), with lots of variation across studies. Given that our bodies produce EPO to increase red blood cell production, and red blood cells transport oxygen that power endurance performance, the ketone study indicated that we could be seeing a supplement that supercharges adaptation and performance.

Context for Ketones

To be 100 percent honest, I was sad when I saw this study. I love performance physiology, but I don’t want to think about a new biohack. Maybe it’s a sign that I’m getting old when a study on cutting-edge science just makes me tired. Get these research protocols off my lawn!

But I also couldn’t bury my head in the sand (though that would probably increase EPO concentrations via hypoxia). Instead of giving into my old-coach fatigue, maybe I can help publicize the emerging science so fewer athletes have an information disadvantage. My final push was last week when a fantastic review article was published in the American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology by Ruben Robberechts and Chiel Poffé. If ketone supplementation has the potential that some think it may, the article could be a key step in the future of exercise physiology.

Before getting to the science, I think it’s important to lay out the stakes. Based on the articles (mixed with a heaping dose of gossip), I can see three different scenarios unfolding over the next 10 years.

One, post-exercise ketones don’t live up to their promise, and this is all a nothingburger. That outcome would please me the most, and we all know that what’s most important in science is my pleasure. If researchers did this type of theoretical analysis on other interventions (i.e. heat training, Vitamin D, lifting, ashwagandha, strides, beta-alanine, doubles, creatine), they could come back with similar findings. We are only talking about a few intervention studies and lots of theory, and future research could have different results. Plus, some critics would already be confident making their judgments as the Supreme Court of Nothingburgerland.

Two, ketones could become a more commonly used supplement with benefits for performance and health (like iron). They are expensive, which isn’t great, but maybe they will help athletes be healthier and faster, with limited side effects. On the flip side, maybe more research indicates tradeoffs that lead to benefit:risk calculations with performance or health. Over email, Dr. Poffé–an author of the review study and a key researcher in this field–says that “studies have shown divergent effects on performance depending on the exercise context and whether you take them before, during or after exercise.” Even if they are beneficial in some contexts, it’s not a simple equation of take ketones = get faster.

The third possibility is that they are banned as an illegal performance enhancer. I have no inside info on whether that’s a possibility, and at first blush, it doesn’t seem likely without some health risks. Dr. Poffé says “I honestly don’t see much of a reason to ban ketones while allowing other ergogenic supplements.”

So, yeah, we’re talking about a wide range of possibilities, which makes sense given the uncertain mechanisms and effects at play. Let’s dig in. (We got even deeper into the nuance on our podcast this week, which you can listen to here.)

Introduction to Ketones

As stated by the review study, ketone bodies “are molecules that are continuously produced from the breakdown of free fatty acids,” primarily in the liver. Ketone body production is upregulated during periods of low carbohydrate availability—that’s why you have heard “ketosis” thrown around for ultrarunners who practice low carbohydrate, high-fat nutrition, aiming to improve fat oxidation and avoid bonking. Ketosis via nutritional interventions comes with way too many downsides for endurance athletes, though, including everything from reduced bone density to diminished high-intensity performance. That makes sense intuitively because low carbohydrate availability is extremely stressful on most body functions, especially the endocrine system.

Ketone esters, enter stage left. Researchers figured out how to create an ester bond between a ketone body precursor and a ketone body (first in 1978 in rats, but not undergoing human testing until 2012). These ketone esters cause a “rapid and transient increase in ketone bodies,” possibly inducing ketosis. It was as if this evolutionary mechanism honed over millions of years now had a dimmer switch. For the chemistry nerds out there, you can probably guess what oral ingestion of an ester is like—not fun. Companies like HVMN honed the taste over time, and now I’d say that ketone esters taste like a robot’s ass. We can only imagine what they tasted like before.

Ketones have mostly been marketed as a before-and-during-exercise supplement, at least in the podcast ads I have heard. Take ketones, burn more fat at higher intensities, win the Tour de France, etc. However, a bunch of studies have shown limited to no acute benefit. For example, a 2017 study in Frontiers of Physiology found that pre-exercise ketone supplementation caused around a two percent performance decrease in 10 male professional cyclists doing a 50-minute time trial.

Perhaps there’s some protocol being used in the cycling peloton that improves acute performance, as the marketing claims indicate. Heck, Tom Evans reportedly took ketone esters on his way to winning Western States, so there must be some benefit for some athletes (or at least neutral impacts), possibly related to perceived effort. Anecdotally, when I tried ketones on a fatigued long run, the lights went out. Thankfully, I had my phone to call the Wuber (when my wife Megan drives to pick me up).

So perhaps it’s something else. Maybe all this ketone hype is because taking them improves recovery and hematological variables, confounding variables that are actually the driving force behind their use (maybe that even explains some of the success stories behind low carb, high fat nutrition approaches. I’d love to see the blood work!).

According to the review, after exercise, circulating ketone bodies are increased. However, any benefits athletes may see from a sustained increase are blunted in advanced athletes practicing good recovery nutrition. Ketone esters “may induce a unique physiological milieu to enhance post-exercise recovery and exercise adaptation as it allows to benefit from the potential beneficial effect of post-exercise ketosis in combination with other nutritional exercise recovery strategies (e.g., carbohydrate-protein recovery drink).” They had me at physiological milieu. Dr. Poffé says that his lab started ketone work in 2016 when “there was already some preliminary data showing that it could help riders during the Tour de France as a recovery aid.”

Mechanisms of Post-Exercise Ketones

I can’t emphasize enough how great this review article is, summarizing extremely uncertain science and studies. Before getting to the EPO mechanisms, let’s briefly touch on a bunch of other considerations. First, ketone bodies may cause epigenetic changes. For example, histone lysine β-hydroxybutylation could increase with ketone body increases, which may “increase transcription of genes involved in the adaptive response to exercise.” Across several different epigenetic mechanisms, it’s possible that ketone bodies could be a signal to the body to adapt to stimuli (which makes sense given their evolutionary role in exercise in energy-limited environments).

Second, ketones could “enhance the restoration of cellular energy status after exercise” while also blunting AMPK phosphorylation, which could enhance recovery due to its role in cellular stress or decrease adaptation due to its role in mitochondrial biogenesis. I love this one because that maybe-good, maybe-bad uncertainty regarding downregulation of AMPK points out just how little is known about the long-term consequences of post-exercise ketones, particularly in conjunction with other impacts.

Third, ketones alter g-receptor signaling, which “mediate cellular responses to a wide variety of external agents.” Fourth, ketones show anti-inflammation and anti-oxidation properties, which seems good at first glance but could theoretically cause long-term reductions in training adaptations since the inflammation response can spur adaptation. Fifth, ketones may influence neurotransmitter concentrations in the brain, which could profoundly impact perceived exertion (and possibly even mental health, though that’s a topic for another day).

The next cohort of potential adaptations are at the cutting edge of science but still theoretical. Ketones could increase muscle glycogen resynthesis, reduce protein degradation and enhance protein synthesis, spur angiogenesis that leads to more capillaries to supply blood to working muscles, induce favorable changes in muscle mitochondria, and improve sleep quality in athletes who are training hard. You can put those variables together with a 2019 study in the Journal of Physiology, where male athletes completed a three-week overload training block with six days a week of two-a-day training sessions, with one group having post-exercise ketones. That study found higher tolerated training load in the ketone group and improved performance. (The study was the subject of a Letter to the Editor disputing some of the conclusions.)

A 2023 study looked at a similar three-week overload block, validating the findings. They had 18 male athletes complete 10 training sessions per week, with one group taking post-exercise and pre-sleep ketones and the other taking a placebo. The ketone group “increased the number of capillary contacts and the capillary-to-fibre perimeter exchange index by 44 percent and 42 percent,” plus “substantially increased vascular endothelial growth factor and endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression both at the protein and at the mRNA level.” And the money finding: EPO concentrations in the ketone group increased by 26 percent. That study was eye-opening for the possible recovery and adaptation benefits of ketones, and it brings us back to the elephant in the room: potential hematological changes from increased EPO production.

Hematological Changes

In 2018, a study in the Diabetes Care journal found increasing levels of EPO after a ketone body infusion. The authors of the 2023 study that started this article cited this study as part of the impetus for their investigation (read their amazing summary here). We’re seeing similar findings in athletes in the 2023 studies, which found 20 percent and 26 percent increases in EPO production in the ketone groups relative to controls. But the science is not there to make a definitive conclusion.

In the title of this article, I promised uncertain science, and now we are deep in it. First, we don’t know how much this EPO change may impact performance. “Currently,” the review says, “it has not been identified if the observed changes in EPO post-exercise are indeed sufficient to induce an improvement in hemoglobin mass and oxygen transport capacity in humans, and whether these effects are additive to stimuli that are frequently used by athletes to increases EPO such as hypoxia.” It’s possible that these changes don’t correspond to performance benefits.

And get a load of this: “The precise physiological mechanism underlying ketone body-induced upregulation of EPO is currently unknown.” However, based on mouse models, the researchers theorize that it relates to H39K acetylation in kidney cells.

Are Ketones the Future?

There are tons of unanswered questions. How do these types of adaptations change over time? The longest study right now is a few weeks.

Do the processes change in female athletes? That’s one of my big concerns in making any recommendations since metabolic processes can vary based on gender. While more research is needed, Dr. Poffé indicates that past studies likely show that the results can be extrapolated to female athletes. “In a recent, unpublished study,” he says, “we observed that some effects are even more pronounced in females.”

How about aging athletes? Athletes of different levels, with different goals and backgrounds? What’s the right dosage and timing? Would the same responses happen at altitude? Should consumption be periodized? With similar studies, would other interventions lead to similar findings? Should ketones be banned altogether?

I don’t know the answers to those questions, and a lot more studies are needed before I make coaching recommendations other than “be careful” and “keep it simple.”

“Similar to most nutritional supplements,” Dr. Poffé says, “the long term effects (e.g. what occurs if you supplement for multiple years) are not known.” When athletes take ketones, he says instead of taking them chronically, to supplement “during periods of limited recovery opportunities,” like training camps. From a performance perspective, he advises to consider ketones when everything else is sorted out around training, nutrition, and recovery. They are “the final step,” not the first one.

In September, after reading the research, I dusted off that old package of ketones and opened up a serving for myself. Then I threw it in the trash because it seemed like a health hazard after all those years. I ordered a new package and started experimenting with them a couple days a week post-exercise. In October, at the Blue Sky Marathon, I closed the final four miles two minutes faster than last year to set a course record.

That probably had nothing to do with ketones, right? I’m no Olympian, but I train hard. And when looking back on the race and why I could finish so fast while feeling so good, I would be burying my head in the sand not to consider one of the only variables that changed.

I’m not sure what the future holds with post-exercise ketone supplementation. Maybe it’s all snake oil and placebo, with some studies that find physiological anomalies without a demonstration that it fundamentally alters performance trajectories, destined to be covering dust in the pantry of exercise physiology history.

Or maybe we’re seeing the dawn of a revolution in endurance training and performance.

 

(01/14/2024) ⚡AMP
by David Roche (Trail Runner Magazine)
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How to Make Your Easy Runs Faster, While Still Keeping Them Easy

Steal these tips for getting faster on your zone 2 runs—while still keeping them easy.  

Good news: We’re giving you permission to take it easy. Whether you’re gearing up for a race or running regularly to stay in shape, you should be doing the vast majority of your weekly mileage at a totally comfortable effort. 

“An easy run should be at a casual pace that feels easily sustainable and not taxing—when you’re done, it should feel like you could keep going and going,” says Meg Takacs, NASM-CPT, a run coach and founder of the Movement & Miles app.

Although the whole focus of this type of run is to go easy and not stress about your pace, when you’re able to run faster (while still feeling relaxed), you’ll tick off more miles in less time—and be able to get on with the rest of your day sooner. 

Keep reading for more about how to dial into the right effort for easy runs and what workouts to add to your routine to make those outings a little speedier.

The Benefits of Easy Run Pace

The name is pretty self-explanatory: An easy run is any workout that’s not a long training run or speed work, and it should be done at a relaxed effort. The purpose, explains Takacs, is to build up your aerobic system, which uses oxygen as its primary source of energy. “When your aerobic system is strong, you can optimize your performance on anaerobic runs—a.k.a., speed days—as well,” she says. 

There are a lot of adaptations happening in your body during these slower efforts. “Easy runs are extremely beneficial from a physiological standpoint: They increase capillaries, which supply blood to the muscles; increase mitochondria, which converts fat and carbs into fuel; and improve aerobic capacity, the amount of oxygen your body can use while running,” says Takacs. 

They also help your body bounce back from harder efforts—like long runs or sprint repeats, for example—and help combat injuries. “Easy runs, especially for people who run endurance races, are a form of active recovery,” says Gabe Gonzales, head coach and master trainer with STRIDE Fitness in Lubbock, Texas. “Moving your body at a slower pace and keeping your heart rate down flushes lactic acid buildup, avoids putting excess strain on your muscles and joints, and helps your body get stronger and ready to go again.”

How to Find the Right Easy Run Pace

To find your groove on an easy run, use the talk test, says Gonzales: “You should be able to easily hold a conversation with someone throughout the entire run,” he says. “If your heart rate starts to go up and you start having a harder time breathing or talking, you need to dial it back.” 

You can also gauge if your pace is relaxed enough by aiming for a rate of perceived exertion (RPE) of no more than 5 or 6. Or if you’re into tracking your heart rate, go for zone 2, or 60 to 70 percent of your max, advises Takacs. 

Whatever you do, resist the urge to kick it up a notch—even if you’re listening to music that makes you feel good and makes a moderate effort feel easier than usual. If you do so, “your recovery is harder, it’s more taxing on the body, and you’re more susceptible to overuse injuries,” says Takacs. Plus, she adds, you’ll miss out on those physiological benefits, “which are key to building a solid foundation for being able to run faster and farther.” 

How to Make Your Easy Runs Faster

Okay, yes, wanting to do an easy run faster is a bit counterintuitive. You’re not supposed to care how fast you’re going, after all. But while you shouldn’t actively try to push your pace during easy outings, the volume and intensity of your weekly runs can help you gradually get faster without pushing the effort level up (which would, in turn, nix some of the easy-run benefits).

Gradually Build Mileage

In terms of total weekly mileage, there’s not a magic number that will help your easy run pace improve, says Takacs, as it depends on your fitness level and heart rate. She recommends gradually building up your mileage, always keeping around 80 percent of your runs throughout the week at an easy effort. 

Mix Intervals Into Other Days

Once a week, mix in some faster intervals with a fartlek run (a type of unstructured speed work where you play around with your speed throughout), suggests Gonzales. “Adding very short bursts of intensity into a run at an overall slow, easy pace helps your body adapt to those quicker paces at the same time you’re building endurance,” he says. 

Adding some workouts incorporating hill repeats can also help, he says, because they strengthen the lower body and will help increase your power output overall—making an easy effort eventually feel even easier.

Build Strength

Along with speed work, make sure you’re getting in some resistance sessions, too. “Strength training is a very important factor in building endurance and durability of your muscles, and it improves your power output,” says Gonzales. 

It may also help make you faster by making you a more efficient runner; exercises such as leg presses and plyometric jumps lead to significant improvements in running economy, according to a 2022 review published in the journal Sports. Plus, says Takacs, resistance training improves joint strength, which can increase your speed by improving your mechanics. 

For the biggest benefit, Gonzales recommends lower body moves that work your glutes and hamstrings—like squats and deadlifts; core moves like Russian twists or mountain climbers; and moves that strengthen your shoulders, like overhead presses, lateral raises, and dumbbell flys—to add power to your arm swing. For each of these moves, he suggests doing two to three sets of eight to 10 reps at least twice a week.

Give Yourself Time

Becoming a faster runner during easy session is a long game. Even if clocking a faster easy run pace is one of your goals, prioritizing the time on your feet and a relaxed effort—rather than pushing into a moderate effort on easy runs—will be the most beneficial in the long term, notes Takacs. “The longer you can sustain an easy effort, the easier it is to gradually increase your pace while maintaining that easy, zone 2 heart rate,” she says

(01/14/2024) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Bored, Injured, or Experiencing a Plateau? Here’s How to Shake Up Your Running

Plus, coach-approved ways to shake up your training. We’re all for having a set run schedule, considering the ease it can bring to your life. You don’t have to formulate workouts on the fly or do any guesswork over how to reach your goals—simply lace up and follow the plan.

But sometimes, too much structure can backfire, causing you to fall into a rut. And that can zap the joy out of running, transforming the activity you once loved into nothing but negativity.

Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to bust out of a rut and get back into a happy running groove. First though, you have to identify that you’re in one. 

With that in mind, we tapped two coaches to learn the signs of when you might want to switch up your run routine, and what those signs might indicate. Plus, exactly how to inject excitement back into your runs. Let this be the permission you need to try something new. 

1. You Dread Working Out

It’s normal to feel less-than-chipper about an occasional workout, but if you find yourself outright dreading your runs more often than not, “it’s time to reassess,” Kaila DeRienzo, a South Carolina-based certified personal trainer and certified run coach tells Runner’s World. 

The potential cause: A few things could lead to dreading workouts. One possible culprit: Your workouts are too challenging because you’ve set a goal that’s unrealistic for your current fitness level, Kai Ng, USATF- and RRCA-certified run coach in New Jersey and New York, tells Runner’s World. Runs and workouts that are too hard cause you to overtrain and ultimately loathe your workouts because all you’re really doing is just beating up your body. 

Another potential cause: Other stressful factors in your life, such as a tough work schedule, or demanding caregiver responsibilities, or parenting duties, all of which can make it tough to devote as much time to running as your current training plan dictates, Ng says. 

The fix: First, have an honest conversation with yourself to understand why you’re feeling amiss, DeRienzo suggests. By identifying the root cause of your malaise, you can take targeted steps to address it, she explains. 

For example, if your dread is tied to a too-lofty goal, such as trying to run four days a week instead of aiming for a more manageable two days or aiming for a PR in a marathon instead of a half or 10K, then let yourself off the hook by lowering the bar. Though it’s great to dream big, it’s also important to be realistic. “Smaller wins are so, so important,” Ng says, as they help build confidence. 

If you pinpoint other factors in your life that are making it tough to stick with your current plan, be honest about what you’re actually able to commit to right now and adjust your routine accordingly, Ng suggests. Maybe this isn’t the season to log 50 miles a week, or finally run a marathon. That’s okay. Not every training cycle needs to end with a PR. 

Lastly, if you realize the sense of dread extends beyond running and into other areas of your life, you may be struggling with a mental health issue, such as depression. In this case, talk to a trained professional, DeRienzo says. 

2. You’re Really Bored

People get into running for various reasons, but one common thread that inspires folks to stick with it is that it engages and challenges them. If you find that your sense of joy about running has evaporated—for example, workouts or races that once felt exciting are now ho-hum—that’s worth looking into. 

The potential cause: You may not be challenged enough, Ng says. While all runners should regularly pencil in easy runs, only doing workouts that feel like a walk in the park can lead to boredom. 

Alternatively, you may not be injecting enough variety into your routine. Perhaps you run the same route every. single. day. Or you carbon copy your workouts week after week. That level of monotony can also lead to boredom. 

The fix: First, evaluate your fitness to get a solid sense of your current abilities in order to help figure out how to best challenge yourself. 

“Whether it is a fitness test, a time trial, a race, get out there and see where you’re at and how you stack up,” Ng says. From there, level up your plan as needed. You might want to talk to a coach for some helpful guidance. 

On the other hand, if you suspect your boredom is due to monotony, shake things up by exploring new running routes (Strava can be a great tool for this), joining a local run club (Ng suggests trying out a different one each week), or experimenting with different types of workouts. This could look like venturing out on trails if you’re typically a road runner or challenging yourself to run hills if you normally go flat. 

Dabbling in forms of exercise outside of running, such as swimming, cycling, dance, and Pilates—really whatever tickles your fancy—can also help add variety and excitement to your schedule. 

Finally, you can also reignite your spark with running by treating yourself to something novel, like a fresh pair of shoes, a snazzy new training outfit, or a fancy fitness tracker. “Getting something new always shakes things up,” says Ng. 

3. You’re Dealing with Injuries

According to 2021 study published in the Journal of Health and Sport Science, 50 percent of runners experience some type of injury every year that prevents them from running for a period of time, and 25 percent of runners are injured at any given time. These injuries can range from shin splints to ankle and knee problems. 

In other words: Almost every runner deals with injury at some point, but if ailments continuously crop up, that’s a surefire red flag your plan needs adjusting. 

The potential cause: Chances are, you’re overtraining by either running too many miles, logging too many high-intensity runs, or not allowing your body enough recovery time in between sessions, Ng says. 

The fix: It’s common sense, but it bears repeating: Don’t train through injury. Instead, scale back your running to allow your body time to heal. Seek help as needed from a physical therapist or coach to fully mend the issue and get their guidance on how to avoid future injuries. 

Keep in mind that factors like poor sleep and inadequate nutrition can increase your odds of injury, so take an honest look at your overall lifestyle and make adjustments as needed. 

4. Your Progress Has Stalled

If, despite consistent efforts, your performance in workouts and races has stagnated, then it’s high time to re-evaluate your current plan. 

The potential cause: You may be overtraining or struggling with a nutrition issue, says Ng, both of which can sabotage performance because your body isn’t getting the recovery it needs. Or, quite possibly, you don’t have enough variety in your routine, DeRienzo says. 

Over time, your body adapts to the work you demand, and if you don’t routinely challenge your body in novel ways, eventually you’ll stop seeing progress. 

As the American Council on Exercise explains: “Doing the same exercise repeatedly could lead to a plateau where no more physiological changes occur.” 

The fix: If you suspect you’re plateauing due to overtraining or nutrition problems, dial back your mileage and/or workout intensity and focus on eating frequent, well-balanced meals.

Also, inject other types of exercise into your schedule. “Move in different ways,” says Ng, explaining that most any type of cross-training movement—from strength training to skiing to swimming to yoga—is beneficial for runners. Because running is such a linear sport (you move in just one direction: forward), taking the time to build your strength and athleticism in other ways can ultimately make you a stronger, more resilient runner. 

Now, if you realize your stagnation is due to an unchanging run routine, spice things up however you can: Add speed work, hit the hills, challenge yourself to run longer, or try new interval workouts. “Having something new and exciting to look forward to each day of the week is going to keep it mentally stimulating and also keep your body stimulated, too,” DeRienzo explains. 

5. You Don’t Feel Confident in Your Workouts

If you don’t have a training plan, have low confidence in your program, or are unsure if the schedule you’re following is inching your toward your goals, it’s time to rethink your approach. 

The potential cause: Choosing the right training plan for you and your goals can help you feel accomplished by checking off workouts one by one. Plus, it will give more structure to your training so you get the right mix of intensities within your workouts and the right amount of rest—rather than simply winging it. If you have a plan, but it’s too generalized and not personalized to you, says DeRienzo, it may also leave you feeling less than confident in your training. “What somebody else does is not going to be the most beneficial” for your situation, she explains. 

The fix: Find the right training plan for you by determining your fitness level and your goals. (You can also use our quiz to point you in the right direction.)

If you're serious about becoming a better runner, you might also consider hiring a coach—even for just a few months—to get personalized guidance and a curated-for-you plan.

“There’s a myth that run coaching is super expensive,” says Derienzo. Truth is, “it’s a lot more affordable than personal training,” she says, noting that in her experiences, it’s realistic to find support for less than $100 per month. Search platforms like CoachUp, Training Peaks, and RunDoyen to connect with a pro. 

6. You’re Missing Workouts

While skipping a run here and there is NBD, if you’re consistently bailing on workouts, then your run plan clearly isn’t working for you. 

The potential cause: Life is probably too busy right now to sustain the level of running your plan requires, says Ng. Or, you may just need more rest. Either way, your current approach just isn’t appropriate for your schedule or fitness level. 

The fix: Take a close look at your schedule and map out which days make the most sense to do which workouts, says Ng. For example, instead of attempting long runs on Sundays like everyone, you might realize Wednesdays are more ideal since you don’t have any work meetings then. Or, perhaps Friday becomes your new strength training day instead of Tuesday, since the gym is less crowded then, making it easier to get in and out. 

Taking the time to rejigger your plan so that it actually makes sense with your schedule will increase your likelihood of sticking to it—and ultimately, seeing results. 

Of course, if you’re missing workouts because you really feel like you need it (or you’re injured), then it’s best to scrap your plan entirely and allow yourself the downtime you need to heal. 

Finally, if it’s your mental motivation that’s making you miss most of your planned runs, it’s probably time to take a break. “Get a breather and gather yourself,” says Ng. By putting distance between yourself and the sport, you can get a clearer picture of what you ultimately want to get out of running. 

(01/14/2024) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Boost your protein intake with these tasty treats, perfect for pre- or post-run

Whether you’re prepping for a race or casually hitting the road for an easy run, these three mouthwatering recipes are your secret weapon for effective fueling. Bid farewell to dull protein shakes and welcome tasty treats that’ll delight your taste buds and muscles alike. Quick to make, these recipes are a delicious solution to amplify your protein intake and power your runs.

Protein basics

How much protein should you be consuming? Well, that varies for individual needs—renowned nutrition scientist Dr. Stacy Sims writes on her website that women should aim for 1.7 to 2.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

While it’s fantastic if you can hit your protein requirements from food sources, it’s not the end of the world if you have to add protein in powder form. Pamela Nisevich Bede, sports dietitian and author of Fuel the Fire, suggests avoiding any brands that include “proprietary blends” and supplements added. “Choose one with 20-30 grams of protein per serving, and limit added sugars and fat.”

No-Bake Protein Energy Balls

(adapted from Ambitious Kitchen)

Ingredients

1/2 cup natural drippy peanut butter (can substitute almond butter)1/4 cup honey (or date syrup or coconut syrup)1 tsp vanilla extract1/3 cup protein powder of choice1/3 cup flaxseed meal1/2 cup rolled oats (can be gluten-free)1/2 tsp cinnamon1 Tbsp chia seeds1 Tbsp mini chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)

Instructions

If you have a food processor, toss in peanut butter, honey, vanilla, protein powder, flaxseed meal, oats, cinnamon and chia seeds, and pulse together until well combined.

Add in chocolate chips (and coconut if using) and pulse a few more times.

Use a medium cookie scoop (or your hands) to grab dough, roll into 10 balls, and place in an airtight container.

To make without a food processor, simply add wet ingredients to a medium bowl and mix to combine. Add in dry ingredients, and mix until combined—you may have to use your hands to work the dough until you can form balls.

Depending on the consistency of your nut butter, you may need to add more (or add more protein powder) to make the balls firm.

Store in the fridge for up to one week, or the freezer for up to two months. Grab one or two whenever you need a quick, protein-packed energy boost before or after your run.

Pumpkin Protein Bars

(adapted from Eating Bird Food)

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats1 cup vanilla protein powder (vegan is OK)1 tsp baking powder1 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp salt1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice1/4 cup maple syrup1 cup canned or homemade pumpkin puree1/2 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)1-2 Tbsp chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8″×8″ baking dish with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.

Stir together the dry ingredients including oats, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.

In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients including the maple syrup, pumpkin and almond milk.

Gently add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.

Spread batter evenly into the prepared dish, sprinkle on a few dark chocolate chips and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool, cut into 16 bars, and enjoy.

Greek Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients

1 cup Greek yogurt1/2 cup fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries or raspberries)1/4 cup granola (choose a low-sugar option)1 Tbsp chia seeds drizzle of honey (optional)

Instructions

In a glass or bowl, layer Greek yogurt at the bottom. Add a layer of fresh berries on top of the yogurt.

Sprinkle granola and chia seeds over the berries, and repeat the layers. Finish with a drizzle of honey if desired.

Dive in with a spoon and enjoy a protein-rich, low-sugar parfait, nutritious enough to have for breakfast (and delicious enough for dessert!).

(01/13/2024) ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne
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Outdoor running vs. the treadmill in winter: which is better?

There is a long-standing debate in the running world between running outside and running on a treadmill–especially in winter, when conditions may send you into the gym more often than usual. Some runners refuse to step foot on the ‘mill, while others appreciate a good indoor session now and again. Each option has its merits, but is there a clear winner in the battle between outdoor and treadmill running, in terms of the benefit to your training?

Pros and cons of running outside

There’s something invigorating about hitting the pavement or trails and feeling the wind on your face. Outdoor running provides a direct connection to your environment. The constantly changing scenery and exposure to natural elements can boost our mood and overall sensory experience. Running outside also introduces irregular terrain and natural inclines and declines, which can provide an extra challenge and potentially improve your fitness.

Rain, snow, ice or extreme heat or cold can sometimes make heading outside unpleasant at best and dangerous at worst. 

Pros and cons of running on the treadmill

Running on a treadmill offers a controlled environment that eliminates the unpredictable factors of outdoor running. Treadmills allow you to easily customize your workout, adjusting the speed, incline and duration to specific training goals. This controlled setting is particularly useful for those recovering from injuries or seeking a consistent surface to lessen the impact on your joints.

Perhaps the biggest argument against treadmills is that they can be boring. The absence of natural scenery and lack of fresh air may feel monotonous, making it harder to stay motivated to complete your running sessions.

Are there physical differences between outdoor and treadmill running?

Sports science journalist and author Alex Hutchinson of Toronto says that, for the most part, there are no differences in training effects between outdoor running and the treadmill. “There have been a whole bunch of studies analyzing how running on a treadmill is different from running outdoors,” he says. “They do pick up some subtle differences in things like the angle of your knee, but overall these biomechanical differences are pretty negligible.”

The biggest difference between is the lack of air resistance on a treadmill, since you’re not moving forward in space. To counteract this, Hutchinson says runners can set the treadmill incline to 0.5 or 1 per cent, to mimic the effort you’d be putting in outdoors.

“Despite the lack of air resistance, a lot of studies find that treadmill running feels harder when you’re running fast,” he says. “This is probably less to do with physiology than psychology: it’s kind of nerve-wracking to be pushing close to your limits on a fast-moving treadmill, where one false step could send you shooting off the back. That might raise your heart rate a little, but should be less of an issue if you do a lot of treadmill running and get comfortable with the feeling.”

So what’s the verdict?

In the end, declaring one option as definitively better than the other would overlook the unique advantages each brings. Outdoor running stimulates the senses, while treadmill running offers control, convenience and consistency. If you’re training for an outdoor race, you should probably do at least some of your training outside, but both types of running are valuable. Variations in training goals, weather conditions, time constraints and personal preferences should dictate the choice between outdoor or treadmill running. 

(01/13/2024) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Why Mary Ngugi-Cooper is always eager to return to sentimental Boston Marathon

Mary Ngugi-Cooper has opened up on why the streets of Boston hold a special place in her heart.

Mary Ngugi-Cooper will once again line up for the Boston Marathon scheduled for Monday, April 15.

Ngugi expressed her elation upon returning to the streets of Boston which she considers one of her favorite courses, citing various reasons.

Ngugi has made several appearances at the Boston Marathon and has managed to finish among the top ten athletes five times. She was also in action last year, where she managed to finish ninth before ending her season with a fifth-place finish at the New York City Marathon.

“Back to Boston… I’m really excited to announce that in April I will be running the Boston Marathon. Boston holds a special place in my heart, not only for having two podium finishes in the last few years, but getting married there too!

"The streets are always amazing, crowds loud and I can’t wait to hit Heartbreak Hill once again with a ridiculously strong field of talented women. See you there," she said in a post on her Facebook page. 

The Kenyan will be up against some of the greatest female marathon runners including defending champion Hellen Obiri who has already exuded confidence ahead of the assignment.

The Kenyan charge also includes former World Marathon silver medallist Judith Korir, two-time Boston Marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, and the 2022 New York City Marathon champion Sharon Lokedi.

The Kenyans will face an acid test from Ethiopians who have confirmed participation in large numbers. Worknesh Degefa, the 2019 Boston Marathon champion, will make a return and she will enjoy the company of Tadu Teshome who will make her Boston debut.

Hiwot Gebremaryam will be aiming to improve upon her eighth-place finish last year while Senbere Teferi will also be in the mix.

Experienced marathoner Ababel Yeshaneh –second in 2022 and fourth in 2023— will try to become the seventh woman from Ethiopia to win the olive wreath in Boston.

(01/13/2024) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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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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Country Star "Jelly Roll" Is Training for His First 5K

The country-pop-rap sensation has already dropped close to 200 pounds in the past few years.

Over the past few years, country-pop sensation Jelly Roll has embarked on a weight loss journey to improve his overall health. Now, the singer has announced he is gearing up for the next step by training to run a 5K in the spring.

“Yeah baby, this message is for Bert Kreischer and Tom Segura,” the 39-year-old said in a video posted to Instagram. “I was on the Full Send Podcast this week, and Kyle from the Nelk boys convinced me that I could make it to the 5K by May if I dedicated myself to it,” he said, referring to a challenge put forth by comedians Bert Kreischer and Tom Segura who host the popular 2 Bears, 1 Cave Podcast.

The rapper, whose real name is Jason Bradley DeFord, says in the video that he has been taking daily walks while slowly building up to running the 5K. “Bert, I love you bubba, Tom, I don’t know you but I love you too and can’t wait to meet you. I’ll be there baby, I’m in the woods walking every morning.” the rapper said. 

The comedians will be hosting a 5K in May, intending to run it in under 26 minutes. For every minute Tom & Bert go above the 26-minute 5K run time challenge, they will each donate $1,000 to a charity they choose. The race will also feature several other comedians participating, in addition to Jelly Roll.

He closes the video by saying he is committed to the run by May. “5K by May baby, 5K by May. I mean it Bert! I mean it Bert!”

Running a 5K is the next step in his weight loss journey. The CMA winner, who weighed over 500 pounds in 2015, has already dropped over 200 pounds in the past few years, and in a December 2022 interview with Music Mayhem, the singer said he was planning to prioritize his family and his health in 2023.

In November, he told Fox News he had lost around 50 pounds while on tour last year. “I’m drinking less than I’ve ever drank, and I feel incredible. I’m drinking water like a fish. I’m getting it right out here. I want to touch people as long as I can,” he told the news outlet.

In February of last year, he posted an update on his health goals to X. “Just know that I’m doing my part—I’m working out daily … praying and meditating ... Eating better—losing weight,” he said. “Making sure I bring the best version of me on my new album and this tour ... this is what growth and gratitude look like in real-time.”

We look forward to seeing him on the course, and who knows what’s next—maybe he’ll be one of the celebrity runners in next year’s New York City Marathon?

(01/13/2024) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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