These are the top ten stories based on views over the last week.
Wayde van Niekerk, the reigning Olympic, former world champion and world record holder in the 400m, has tested positive for COVID-19. The 28-year-old South African sprinter was intending to race both the 400m and 100m at a meet in Trieste, Italy today, but his positive test means he will not be allowed to compete.
Track fans outside South Africa have not had the pleasure of watching Van Niekerk race in the two years since his 2017 world championships victory, since he sustained a serious knee injury during a charity rugby match in November 2017. But he had indicated he was back to fitness and ready to compete before receiving the bad news this week. Van Niekerk was tested in Italy, where he has been in quarantine since arriving on July 19 after traveling via Amsterdam and Venice with a small group of athletes, according to a report on the Olympic Channel.
The report quotes his manager, Peet van Zyl, as saying he is not ill and has not had a fever or any other symptoms. Van Zyl added that all of the athletes and coaches had been tested four times in the previous 14 days.
Before his season was put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak, van Niekerk won three races in South Africa at two separate meets. He ran a 10.10-second 100m and 20.31 in the 200m on February 22, and a week later he won a 400m race, posting a 47.42. These times were all far off his PBs of 9.94 for the 100m, 19.84 in the 200m and 43.03 for the 400m, but they were his first competitive runs in two years.
In the 2016 Olympics in Rio, van Niekerk set the current 400m world record to win the gold medal. When racing resumes, he wants to be the first runner to dip below 43 seconds in the 400m.
“If I don’t go sub-43 that means I am not growing,” he said. “There’s no other goal than the sub-43 right now. That’s what I am working for and that’s where I want to be at.” Although he still isn’t at that level, his runs earlier this year gave him confidence that he can achieve this goal as he moves forward.(08/03/20) Views: 281
Don’t miss the chance to take part in the largest running event in Russia. The Moscow Marathon offers a unique opportunity to run 42.2 km and 10 km through the very heart of city. Join us to run an incredible road race and discover breathtaking views of Moscow on the run.
September 20, 2020. The largest running event of Russia. 42.2 km and 10 km. Unique routes through the very heart of Moscow.
Run the Moscow Marathon to discover breathtaking views of Russia’s capital. You’ll see world-famous attractions on the course, including the Kremlin, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow City, and four of the Seven Sisters skyscrapers.
Don’t miss the chance to take part in the largest running event in Russia on September 20.
Moscow Marathon is a member of The Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and the qualifying race for the Abbott WMM Wanda Age Group World Championship 2020.
The Moscow Marathon route offers a spectacular tour of Russia’s capital, from the embankment of the Moskva River by Moscow City, to the Garden Ring, across Krymsky Bridge, along the Boulevard Ring and on Tverskaya Street, through Teatralny Passage and under the walls of the Kremlin before finally reaching the finish line at the Luzhniki Olympic Complex.
Over the course of the race, participants will be able to see more than 30 world-famous attractions, including the Kremlin, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow City, and four of the Seven Sisters skyscrapers.
The Moscow Marathon is a member of The Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS). Routes of 42.2km and 10km races are certified by AIMS. This year both distances of Moscow Marathon are measured by IAAF-AIMS Course Measurer Sergei Korneev (cat. B).(08/03/20) Views: 113
The 2020 Medio Marathon Valencia Trinidad Alfonso EDP, scheduled for Sunday October 25 has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
The event was the final race in the inaugural year of the SuperHalfs series – all of which have now been cancelled and/or postponed into 2021.
All registered runners will receive instructions from the organising club SD Correcaminos on the options available regarding their 2020 race entries and how to proceed with their chosen option:
1. To swap the 2020 entry for a place in the 2021 edition (24 October 2021).
2. To request a full refund of the entry (with the exception of the voluntary charitable donation, which will be paid as planned to PayaSOSpital, this year’s charity).
3. To donate the entry fee as a token of your solidarity with the Race Organisation.
“Although all of our plans are delayed we keep our focus on working hard to set up an innovative running series that will bring together five of the world’s most beautiful half marathons with the aim of promoting running, environmental sustainability and tourism,” said a spokesperson.(07/31/20) Views: 73
Race organizers are assuring runners that the Heartland Marathon is taking place this year in person as planned.
The race, in its sixth year, is set for Sept. 27.
Organizers said they’re not considering a virtual event. They think they can host a safe event for runners and volunteers.
“We’re going to do our best to follow what other people have been doing so far and do everything we can to make this safe and comfortable for people,” said Tom Whitaker, president of the Omaha Running Club, the organization that hosts the Heartland Marathon.
Whitaker, who is the race director for the Heartland Marathon, said they have about 150 runners signed up for this year’s event. He said they’d be happy with a field of 350 to 400 runners.
Last year’s event, which also included a half marathon, 10K and marathon relay, drew about 700 participants.
This year’s race has no cap, but organizers will make an effort to keep runners socially distanced.
Start times will be staggered, Whitaker said, and they plan to have multiple starting chutes.
Organizers will consider whether to ask runners to sport masks at the start line, he said.
Courses will change from past years, Whitaker said. The plan is to keep the courses on trails and to avoid major streets. Course maps will be released at a later date.
Organizers have been in touch with officials at the Douglas County Health Department, Whitaker said. Pinning down exact plans may not happen until closer to race day as they continue to evaluate regulations and restrictions, he said.
“We’re in the business to support local runners,” Whitaker said. “Our goal is to do everything we can to help runners. We thought it was important to come up with a way to continue offering a quality event that would be valuable to runners.”
Registration for the race is open. Prices increase Sunday.
Registration fees won’t be refunded, Whitaker said, but there could be an option for runners to defer to the 2021 race.(07/31/20) Views: 72
Here is a round-up of updates relating to international competitions, from cancellations to postponements and confirmations as of July 31. Things are changing regularly and updates are made every day.
Valencia Half Marathon 2020 - cancelled
The 2020 Medio Marathon Valencia Trinidad Alfonso EDP, scheduled for Sunday 25 October has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
In a statement, the organisers said: "SD Correcaminos (running club), the organiser of the Valencia Half-Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP, after fully appraising the health situation and consulting all the authorities involved, hereby announces the cancellation of the 30th edition of the race. The results of the appraisal and consultation showed that it was impossible to go ahead with the race, which was scheduled for the 25th of October 2020."
Announcement (30 July)
Great Ethiopian Run (15 Nov 2020) - postponed
"The 20th edition of TOTAL Great Ethiopian Run International 10km was scheduled to be held on 15 November 2020. However, due to the current situation of Covid-19, we are forced to postpone the race. We will announce the new date on a later date. Please bear with us while we work through the details to deliver the 20th edition of our flagship race."
Announcement (27 July)
Nanjing Continental Tour Gold Meeting 2020 - cancelled
Following the decision taken by China's National Administration of Sports to suspend all international sporting events until next year, organisers of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in Nanjing have announced that the competition will not go ahead this year.
Announcement (25 July)
Shanghai Diamond League (19 Sep 2020) - cancelled
Following the decision taken by the National Administration of Sports to suspend all international sporting events until next year, we are sorry to announce that the 2020 Shanghai Diamond League will not go ahead as planned on 19th September. The meeting will return next year, taking its traditional place as one of the early-season events in the Diamond League calendar.
Announcement (24 July)
Müller Grand Prix, Gateshead (12 Sep 2020) - cancelled
The Wanda Diamond League today announced a further change to its 2020 calendar. The Müller Grand Prix in Gateshead, UK, scheduled for 12 September to have been the fifth competitive meeting of the season, has been cancelled.
Announcement (23 July)
ISTAF (13 Sep 2020) - confirmed
“With 3500 spectators instead of 45,000, the ISTAF will certainly be different this time, but it may be a first small step back to normal," said meeting director Martin Seeber. "We want to set an example for sport and be a beacon for athletics."
Announcement (21 July)
Hamburg Marathon (13 Sep 2020) - cancelled
Major sporting events in Hamburg, which have been postponed until late summer and autumn 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has been raging since spring 2020, will no longer take place this year, but will be postponed until 2021.
Announcement (21 July)
Madrid Half Marathon (4 Oct 2020) - cancelled
"The organisation of the Movistar Madrid Half Marathon and the ProFuturo Race announce the cancellation of the 2020 edition, originally scheduled for 29 March and which, due to the coronavirus health emergency, was postponed to 4 October. The circumstances are still not ideal for the celebration of these two sporting events with a joint participation of close to 20,000 people, and the prospect for the coming months does not offer security guarantees for participants, spectators, volunteers and the organisation team either."
Announcement (21 July)
Rotterdam Marathon (24-25 Oct 2020) - postponed
"With pain in our hearts we have decided to reschedule the event due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The NN Marathon Rotterdam is now scheduled to take place on the 10th and 11th of April 2021. Every individual runner with a place in the 2020 edition will be able to use their place in the rescheduled event."
Announcement (20 July)
Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon (7 Feb 2021) - cancelled
"The 75th anniversary running of the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon scheduled for 7 February 2021 will not take place. After careful consideration we determined that, with no visible end to the coronavirus crisis in sight, for the health and safety of participants, volunteers, staff, medical and rescue personnel, fans along the course and everyone else involved with our event, our 75th running must be postponed for one year."
Announcement (20 July)
Meeting Liege (9 Sep 2020) - cancelled
"There will be no 19th edition of the Meeting International d'Athlétisme de la Province de Liège this year. The applicable corona measures meant it is not possible to organise the event properly later this summer. The 19th edition can take place in July 2021 and we are also looking forward to the 20th anniversary of this international event in 2022."
Announcement (16 July)
Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022 - postponed
Senegal and the International Olympic Committee have mutually agreed to postpone the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022 to 2026. This postponement meets the requirement of responsibility and the concern for efficiency imposed by current circumstances.
Announcement (15 July)
Great Birmingham Run (11 Oct 2020) - cancelled
"There’s no option to stage the event as planned, or at a later date in the year."
Announcement (15 July)
Chicago Marathon (11 Oct 2020) - cancelled
Event organisers and the City of Chicago announced the decision to cancel the 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and all race weekend activities in response to the ongoing public health concerns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Announcement (13 July)
Toronto Marathon (18 Oct 2020) - cancelled
Working closely with the City of Toronto and Mayor John Tory, event organisers Canada Running Series have made the decision to cancel the event due to Covid-19 related health and safety concerns. "We are pleased to announce that we will be transitioning to a virtual event this year, to continue to offer the best possible running and fundraising goals in these challenging times."
Announcement (13 July)
Athens Authentic Marathon (8 Nov 2020) - confirmed
In accordance with the Protocol for Road Races approved by the Health Committee of the General Secretariat of Sports for Sports and the Ministry of Sports, SEGAS (Hellenic Athletics Federation) and its partners have taken up further actions and announce today that, given the current circumstances, the 2020 Athens Marathon will be staged as planned on 7-8 November 2020.
Announcement (13 July)
Seiko Golden Grand Prix Tokyo (23 Aug 2020) - postponed
Originally set to take place on 10 May, the Seiko Golden Grand Prix – a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting – will now be held on Sunday 23 August. “Only domestic athletes will participate,” read a statement on the meeting’s website. “We are also considering allowing high school athletes to play a role. Details will be announced once they are confirmed.”
Announcement (13 July)
Paris Marathon (15 Nov 2020) - postponed
Having already been rescheduled from 5 April to 18 October, organisers of the Paris Marathon have pushed the date back to 15 November. "We will, of course, be monitoring the situation as it develops," they said, "and will be carefully respecting the directives of the health authorities and state services with whom we are cooperating closely."
Announcement (6 July)(08/03/20) Views: 69
The World Athletics Council has approved new dates for the World U20 Championships Nairobi 2020 and the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships Minsk 2020.
The World U20 Championships will now be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 17 to 22 August, 2021, one week after the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Under the competition’s rules, athletes aged 16, 17, 18 or 19 years on 31 December, 2021 will be eligible to compete.
The World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships have been rescheduled for 23-24 April, 2022 in Minsk, Belarus.
The World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Yangzhou 2022 have also had a small date change, moving back one week, from 20 March, 2022, to 27 March 2022.
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said: “The disruption caused by the global pandemic has made it more difficult to schedule international events over the next two years but we want to give as much certainty as we can to our athletes, Member Federations, host cities and partners. We have done our best to choose dates that we believe are achievable and offer the best chance for our athletes and event hosts to shine on the international stage.”
Bathurst World Cross Country organisers request alternative dates
World Athletics has also updated the Council on conversations with organisers of the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021 to explore alternative dates for the event.
This is due to ongoing travel and gathering restrictions resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic and the measures currently implemented within Australia to contain it. This includes the closure of Australia’s international borders.
The Board of the Local Organising Committee, World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021, the Athletics Australia board and the New South Wales Government have reinforced their strong desire to host this World Championship and have asked World Athletics to postpone the event to a future date to be determined.
World Athletics will work closely with all stakeholders in Australia to explore the feasibility of other dates. At this time the event remains in the calendar for 20 March 2021.
National championships windows, 2021-2024
In an effort to assist long-term planning for the athletes and Member Federations and in line with the Global Calendar Hierarchy, the Global Calendar Unit has agreed on the following national championships protected windows from 2021-2024.
Protected national championships window 1 - 5-6 June
Protected national championships window 2 - 26-27 June
Protected national championships window - 25-26 June
Protected national championships window 1 - 8-9 July
Protected national championships window 2 - 29-30 July
Protected national championships window 1 - 8-9 June
Protected national championships window 2 - 29-30 June(08/02/20) Views: 64
The event, which has been proposed for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, would be a mixed team relay for 15 countries.
Each team would be composed of two men and two women. Each member of the team would run two legs of the 2.5km course, alternating between male and female athletes as each athlete completes the 2.5km course and hands over to a teammate.
World Athletics will meet with the Paris 2024 organising committee in the near future to work out further details of the proposal.
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said he was delighted at the prospect of cross country returning to the Olympic Games 100 years after it last appeared at the 1924 Paris Games.
“My love for athletics began with cross country,’’ he said.
“When I joined my first athletics club, Hallamshire Harriers, the club president was Joe Williams, who ran in the last Olympic cross country race in Paris in 1924. It would be hugely symbolic for this wonderful athletic discipline to return to the fold after a century, and for a new generation of runners to fall in love with the glorious challenge of running off-piste.”(08/01/20) Views: 61
Cross-country hasn't been included in the Olympics since the 1924 Games.
World Athletics has announced plans to include a cross-country mixed relay event in the 2024 Paris Olympics. Cross-country hasn’t been featured in the Olympics for almost a century, and it was last included in the 1924 Olympics, which were also in Paris.
If the Paris 2024 organizing committee and World Athletics can work out a plan for the mixed relay, cross-country will make its return to the Games 100 years since its last competition and in the same city.
The event would feature 15 countries, and each team would be made up of four runners (two men and two women). The race would be 20K, and the teams would alternate between male and female runners, with each athlete covering two laps of a 2.5K course.
The president of World Athletics Sebastian Coe has expressed his excitement for a potential Olympic cross-country event. “My love for athletics began with cross-country,’’ he said. “When I joined my first athletics club, Hallamshire Harriers, the club president was Joe Williams, who ran in the last Olympic cross-country race in Paris in 1924. It would be hugely symbolic for this wonderful athletic discipline to return to the fold after a century.”
As of July 26, the Paris Games are just four years away, and an additional running event would be welcome news for Olympic hopefuls around the world. World Athletics officials and Paris 2024 organizers will reportedly meet soon to discuss more details for the prospective relay.(07/31/20) Views: 58
When starting to train for a race of almost any distance beyond the sprints, the weekly long run is key to building endurance. The main principle is to add mileage gradually over time. In the case of the marathon, a four- to six-month build is recommended, and less for a half-marathon or 10K race. Most training plans are conveniently built on a weekly schedule, and your weekend long runs are interspersed with short, easy runs, once- or twice-weekly speedwork sessions and/or strength training and recovery time.
How to incorporate the long run into your weekly routine
The point of the weekly long run is to build your endurance. Starting with a modest goal, such as being able to run for at least an hour without stopping, those who are new to running should run at a pace that lets them carry on a conversation. “You want to be able to actually do the long run, to be able to start it and to finish it – to me that’s where the win is, regardless of your pace,” says Under Armour runner and YAMAJO Run Crew founder David Joseph, who is based in Montreal. Putting in those weekly long runs will give you the confidence to go the distance on race day.
For a first half-marathon, a good rule of thumb is that a runner should have some experience with the 10K before they begin training, and similarly, those tackling their first marathon should have raced a half-marathon first, according to Joseph.
Initially, you’ll be better off running without a watch and getting used to what an easy, conversational pace feels like. More experienced runners might prefer to train by distance rather than time, starting with a long run of 12K to 15K. Adding a kilometre each week, after training for a couple of months you’ll have your long runs up to or beyond 21K and be well on your way to a successful result in the half-marathon – assuming you’re also running shorter distances, and occasionally running fast, in between your weekly long runs.
Under Armour trainer and former Canadian national decathlon champion Rich Hesketh, who is based in Calgary, recommends that beginners build mileage slowly: “Keep your increases quite progressive in a linear fashion,” he says. “Don’t try and have big jumps or go too long at the same pace for more than a couple of weeks. As a principle of progressive loading, we could look at up to one to two kilometres per week for marathon training. And you’ll eventually get to the point where you’re doing your three- and four-hour long runs.”
Keep your long runs easy
It’s important to do the long run at an easy, comfortable, conversational pace in order to train your aerobic system and slow-twitch muscle fibres, which are what the body uses during all but the final sprint of the marathon. You can work on speed over short distances during your mid-week runs. On race day, the two elements of your training (endurance and speed) will come together, and if you’ve also dialled in your nutrition and recovery, you should be able to hold your goal pace and sprint across the finish line. The challenge is to trust that this process works!
Runners should be guided by the 80/20 rule: run 80 per cent of mileage at an easy pace and 20 per cent at a faster pace (steady state, tempo or race pace). Many runners think they will only get faster if they hammer every workout, but this is a very unwise approach that will likely lead to overtraining and injury. Hesketh explains, “People feel like they’re not working hard enough – they feel like they’ve got to go out and blast a hard run. And that’s not necessary – in fact, that steady, even pace, once you find your pace and your cadence for that, will go a long way in your ability to maintain and improve your running.”
Use a heart rate monitor
The best way to determine how fast to run your long runs is to calculate 220 minus your age, and keep your heart rate at or below 60 to 65 per cent of that. For best results, use a wrist-based or chest strap heart rate monitor. For example, a typical 30-year-old’s max heart rate would be around 190 beats per minute, so on long runs their heart rate should not exceed 123 beats per minute. You might feel like you could easily go faster, especially at the beginning of a long run, but you should resist the urge and save the speed for your short midweek runs. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2, Under Armour Edition offers accurate wrist-based heart rate monitoring to keep you honest! And in addition, Under Armour’s MapMyRun app offers heart rate analysis, whose detailed heart rate graphs help runners train at the right intensity.
Your total weekly mileage should increase by not more than 10 per cent per week. Let’s say, for example, that you’re running 6K to 8K four times a week, plus your 10K weekly long run (to start). That’s 34K to 42K total for that week. The following week, if you increase your long run to 13K while keeping your other runs at roughly the same length, you’re now running 37K to 45K per week – an increase of around eight per cent. Keep in mind that as you gain fitness and experience, you’ll want to make your mid-week runs a bit longer, as well. (There’s a certain amount of mental math necessary to make sure you’re increasing your mileage at an appropriate rate – not so slowly that you don’t reach your goal, but not so quickly that you end up overtrained, and possibly injured.) Always schedule at least one or two rest days or easy run days between the long run and your next speed workout.
Shoes for the long run
For your long runs, you want a shoe with plenty of cushioning. The UA HOVR™ Infinite 2 is an excellent high-mileage shoe and perfect for the long run. The midsole is made with UA’s signature HOVR cushioning foam, and the shoe has the embedded chip in the heel to give you all your key running metrics via the UA MapMyRun™ app. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2, Under Armour Edition also comes pre-loaded with UA MapMyRun™, so you can also receive real-time audio cues on your form and cadence.
f you prefer a shoe that will work well for easy runs, speedwork and tempo runs as well as the long run, the most versatile choice would be the UA HOVR™ Sonic 3, which has all the lightweight cushioning and flexibility you need. It, too, comes with the built-in chip that connects to the UA MapMyRun™ app.(08/02/20) Views: 58
Many new runners believe that the more they run, the fitter and faster they will get. While this is true to a certain degree, performance gains actually happen not during activity, but during recovery – those periods of downtime when muscles and tissues repair themselves from the microtears inflicted during a workout – which is why runners need to pay as much attention to recovery as they do to training. Making sure you’re adequately recovered between workouts is also a good way to avoid getting injured.
Michael Watts, Under Armour’s Director of Global Athlete Performance, says recovery is “arguably more important than the training.” He adds that “Recovery can help us maximize our adaptation, or it can help us get ready for another training session, or it can help us get ready for an event.”
Watts says the most important aspect of recovery is planning for it. “I think most of us, when we start to think about training for a marathon or a half-marathon, we spend a lot of time on the training aspect: I’m going to run this pace and this many miles, I’m gonna do this on this day, and we forget to plan recovery.”
One easy way to train yourself to plan for recovery is, when designing or choosing a training plan, always include “easy” running days between hard workout days. For example, if you plan to do some combination of tempo runs, fartleks, track intervals and strength training once or twice a week, as well as your weekly long run, for best results schedule them at least a day or two apart, and either run easy on those days or take the day off. That way, after each hard or long session, you’ll be adequately recovered by the time the next one comes around.
Watts recommends having a recovery system that’s built into your training plan. “The tools, really, are the things that come and go, because technology changes and companies develop different tools,” says Watts. “We say, ‘Don’t chase the shiny objects, just make sure you have a bit of a system.’ For example, if you are going to do cold therapy, or contrast bathing, or infrared sauna, or whatever it might be, just know why you are doing that and how it fits into your system, rather than just doing it.”
It’s also important to have practical, lightweight, packable alternatives when traveling – such as compression socks and a stick roller, when you would normally use compression boots and a bulkier foam roller if you were at home.
Recovery starts with your cooldown
Getting into the habit of doing a proper cooldown after every workout is an excellent way to promote recovery. Always take several minutes to move around, jogging or walking, after your workout. Foam rolling and stretching (carefully, and avoiding any areas that may have been strained during your workout) can also be extremely useful, as are regular consultations with a physiotherapist and massage therapist.
The importance of sleep
Watts says that sleep is the No.1 recovery modality in helping both body and mind recover from hard exertion. “The science and research are growing, and we are starting to really understand the importance of sleep, not only for our health, wellness and longevity but also for our performance,” says Watts. He adds that the research recommends eight to 10 hours of sleep per night for athletes, with 20 to 25 per cent of sleep time being REM (rapid eye movement) and 15 to 20 per cent being deep sleep.
Watts can’t emphasize enough how important sleep is for performance: “Sleep can help repair and regenerate both the body and the mind, so it’s an essential recovery tool for athletes,” he says, pointing out that sleep reduces inflammation, promotes the production of human growth hormone, regulates blood sugar levels and hormonal responses throughout the body and allows the brain and body to detoxify. He adds that it’s while we sleep that the adaptations we’ve been training actually occur in the body (not while we are working out), so your best performance as an athlete depends on planning for adequate sleep, creating an environment that’s conducive to getting enough sleep and cultivating habits that protect your sleep.(08/04/20) Views: 55