Happy Friday! As I do each week, Friday Thrive wraps up the week with worthwhile reads, training tips, celebrations of the runners I coach and their accomplishments, and more. So here’s what I found interesting this week!
Representation in media matters. One of the reasons I enjoyed Wonder Woman so much was because actual athletes played the Amazonians and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) gained 17 pounds of muscle for the role. The women not only looked like they could fight, they actually physically could. The depiction of physically strong women on screen was inspiring as it celebrated what it would actually mean to be a warrior.
The same representation of athletic females matters in advertisements for sports and outdoors brands – perhaps even more than in movies. When waify models are used to see activewear, it sends the message that this is what an active woman should look like. Not strong, not muscular, but thin. Many advertisements feature the models in passive, still poses, which promotes the idea that what matters is how your body looks, not what your body can do.
(At least Adidas chose a model, Karlie Kloss, who actually runs long distances.)
Whether you are aware of it or not, the images you see represented have an impact on how you view yourself, your body, and your sport. You see enough women with airbrushed thighs, and you begin to think that you should look like that also – even though your sport develops and relies upon a strong body with muscular quads. That’s not to mention that running is already a sport fraught with eating disorders and rail-thin models only encourage the notion that an endurance athlete must be as thin as possible.
Outside discusses the issue of fashion models representing athletic and outdoors brands in their outstanding opinion piece “Sportswear Brands Should Use Athletes – Not Models – in Their Ads.” Sasha DiGiulian, a professional rock climber, penned the piece from a perspective of a female athlete – and whether you are a male or female athlete, her article is well worth your read:
“When we sell sportswear with models, we’re celebrating one body type and failing to depict what strength actually looks like in that sport. When I see a performance brand advertising an athlete, I want to see what those athletes actually look like—muscle intonations, powerful thighs, ripped biceps, and all.”
Whether you are training for a summer 5K or doing early season speed work for a fall marathon or half marathon, 1200 meter repeats offer an alternative workout for when you just don’t want to do another set of 800s or mile repeats. My latest weekly workout on Runkeeper’s blog guides you through how to do 1200 meter repeats, whether you are on or off the track.
Last year, my parents got Ryan an ENO double hammock for his birthday. We finally got to use the hammock on our backpacking trip last week and it was awesome. We set it up on two trees by the water and just sat there, talking until the sun went down. It made camping even more relaxing than it already was, without the weight that comes with carrying camp chairs.
Coaching and writing are my full-time jobs, which grants me the privilege to be able to work from home. I love working from home, but sometimes my officemates (Ollie and Charlie) do not grasp the idea of personal space. I normally work at my desk or the kitchen table, but whenver I move to the sofa, both dogs immediately sit next to me. Ryan snapped this photo over our vacation, when I was working on coaching feedback and Ollie decided to sit on my lap. Yes, Ollie is an almost fifty-pound lap dog.
The runners I coach have been working hard and succeeding at their training and racing lately!
Sarah ran a 30 minute marathon PR at the Missoula Marathon and beat her goal time by 7 minutes!
April ran a fast 5K on a challenging course the Fourth of July!
Ann Marie persevered through heat and humidity to finish strong in a 15K in Texas!
Devin ran a half marathon PR!
Alexa ran a fast 10K at the BAA 10K!
What do you think of sportswear brands using models instead of athletes?
What are your plans this weekend?
What’s your favorite distance for a track/interval workout?