Happy Friday! Each Friday, I share my favorite running/food/outdoor/life related things from this week – and here’s this week’s round up!
Stop Demonizing Sugar… Especially for Performance
Sugar certainly is not the healthiest food; its prevalence in everything from pre-packaged pasta sauce to flavored yogurt has contributed to the rise of obesity in America. But even sugar has its uses (besides tasting really good in moderation), as this article for Trail Runner by sports nutritionist and ultra runner Stephanie Violett Howe discusses. “The Sugar Lowdown” covers how to use sugar to optimize performance without compromising health – well worth the read!
Write Your Own Race
Erin Strout’s article “How Pro Runner Katie Mackey Got Out of Her Own Head” for Outside delves into the mental training of an elite middle-distance runner. Katie Mackey recently experienced a breakthrough in the recent USATF Indoor Championships, beating Emma Coburn and winning second place in the women’s 3000m. Amongst other things, Mackey shares how she started highlighting the good of each run in her training journal, in order to create a personal narrative of success leading up to her race. That’s brilliant, especially since so many of runners self-sabotage races with anxiety about what could go wrong, rather than focusing on what can go well.
Grunt Your Way to Better Performance
We’ve talked about how smiling can decrease perceived effort, and now the latest research is indicating that you should grunt – or make some sort of loud yelling sound – to enhance your power output. (Think of tennis players grunting as they hit the ball.) “To Boost Sports Performance (And Annoy Your Opponents) – Grunt” by Gretchen Reynolds for New York Times examines when and how grunts or other exclamations can aid sports performance – with the caveat that they can’t be self-conscious or forced.
This month’s StrideBox features an array of samples, from Vitamin C supplements (who else has been taking those to avoid illness this winter?) to Skratch Labs Hydration mix. I tried the protein cookies and they were simply okay – not great, but certainly not an awful post-workout treat. The Cramps Away product intrigues me – I’m tempted to bring it on long runs just in case cramps ever strike.
Making the Cut
Back in college, I had a lob and loved its simplicity. In grad school, I grew my hair long (who knows why I thought that was the time for high maintenance hair). I grew my hair even longer for our wedding, chopped it off to donate it a couple years ago, and since then, let it grow without much of a care. Recently, I decided I needed to cut it into a lob again. Long hair is such a hassle, while I love having shoulder-length hair.
This weekend, I’m pacing Ryan as he runs his second half marathon! I am so proud of how his training has gone, especially since he has dealt with several long and stressful weeks at work. I ran my past two half marathon PRs on this course and we’re hoping for the same for him!
What are your plans this weekend?
Do you try to write a positive narrative for race day?