Happy Friday! Each Friday, I share some of my favorite things from the past week; this week features interesting reads and a special giveaway at the bottom of the post!
Science Meets Art
Steve Magness, the author of the Science of Running blog, asks the question that every running coach wonders: Is Coaching an Art or a Science? His discussion is interesting, especially if you are a running coach. Magness’ conclusion echoes what I’ve discovered in my tenure of as a running coach: it’s not a dichotomy, but an intertwining. Coaching is simultaneously an art and a science, especially when you realize that not all runners fit the tidy formulas found in even the best running books.
Better with Age
I’m currently reading Run Strong, Stay Hungry by Jonathan Beverly and thoroughly enjoying his examination of what makes a lifelong runner. Beverly shares an excerpt for the book in this article for Women’s Running, “How to Set a PR in Every Decade.” Beverly discusses how doing a reboot of old habits and old expectations as you age as a runner is key to preventing burnout. And quite honestly, I think that reboot can be valuable no matter what age you are – your goals and needs can change over the years, and burdening yourself with past habits can in some situations derail you from progressing to your current potential.
Eat Like a (Full-time Job Holding) Elite
I always enjoy Runner’s World “Eat Like an Elite” articles and their recent coverage of second place Boston Marathon runner Sarah Sellers is fascinating. Why? Because Sarah Sellers, who works a full-time job while training, eats a surprisingly sane and balanced diet. She talks about discretionary calories – including her daily dessert – and how she takes care of bone density via nutritional choices.
Does Heart Rate Matter?
Ask me about heart rate training and I’ll launch into a long monologue about all the considerations, benefits, and detriments. Some runners swear up and down by low heart rate training while others (such as myself) haven’t even ever strapped on a heart rate monitor. Regardless of your stance on heart rate training, one area where technology and research are currently booming is heart rate variability (HRV) – how your resting heart rate changes day to day based on your body’s response to training.
In the article “How Heart Rate Variability Tells You When to Hammer,” Alex Hutchinson of Sweat Science breaks down all the various research about how HRV can benefit athletes and considers if the technology is really valuable at all, or if it falls into the realm of overthinking.
My favorite sentence from this article comes in the final paragraph, when Boston Marathon winner and former Runner’s World editor Amby Burfoot shares what he believes is the greatest technological advancement in running. Forget heart rate monitors – we’re all grateful for wicking socks that keep our feet blissfully blister-free.
Enter to Win a StrideBox
I’m grateful to the kind folks over at StrideBox for sending me a box of goodies each month! This month’s box featured a Honey Stinger snack bar (which was consumed while writing this post), Skratch Labs Energy Chews, Ultima Electrolytes, arm warmers, a headphone clip, and a small anti-chafe balm that’s perfectly sized for tucking into the pocket of your running shorts.
Use the code LAURA5OFF to receive your first StrideBox for $10 off (code valid through May 31, 2018). I am also partnering with StrideBox to giveaway one StrideBox to one winner (valued at $19.95). You can enter this giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter below!
Do you change your training routine often or stick to the same habits?
Would you consider coaching an art or science?
To enter the StrideBox giveaway: what piece of running gear is your current favorite?