I am resurrecting my old Friday post, the Friday Thrive, in a new format. The Weekend Warm-Up will cover upcoming races, random musings, recent research, interesting articles, and more things from the world of running.
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The London Marathon
The London Marathon occurs this weekend. The race itself, besides being one of the six World Major Marathons, will be a showcase of work ethic and grit. Eliud Kipchoge, world record holder and three-time London champion, is a master of discipline. “A champion is not made when he wins races,” he shared in an Instagram post, “it’s the seconds, minutes, hours, weeks and months when he prepares that matter.” We often root for the underdog in running, but Kipchoge is one you want to see repeatedly win and push the record closer and closer to 1:59:59.
Beyond Kipchoge, if I were to wake up at 3:30 AM central time, it would be to watch Molly Huddle race. Molly Huddle is a personal favorite of mine, and not just because she has roots in Indiana. Like Kipchoge, she exhibits an intense work ethic and consistency. Huddle holds the American record in the half marathon and boasts a 2:26 as her marathon PR – from her third marathon at the 2018 New York City Marathon. London is a faster course than New York and, as many of us know from experience, marathons improve with experience. On a good day, Huddle will be able to break 2:25 (if not run in the 2:22-2:23 range) – making her a serious contender for the 2020 Olympic team.
Want to watch the London Marathon? If you are in the US, set your alarm early – the race starts at 4:15 AM EST. Here’s how to watch the London Marathon.
Alone and Female, on the Trails
My friend and fellow blogger Angela shared a thought-provoking Instagram post: where are the women on the trails? She noted her how she observed dozens of men but no women on a standard trail run. I know many women who do trail run, but I know more who do not. Granted, trail running is a personal preference, but I can’t help but wonder: is something discouraging female runners from the trails? Is it fear of assault? Injury? Or simply nerves about getting out there – after all, the first trail run is intimidating.
I coach several female athletes who venture onto the trails regularly, both solo and in groups. When I lived in Seattle, I never ran alone on trails because of traffic – yes, traffic. A solo run on trails would have involved driving in traffic for over 30 minutes, and that was enough to dissuade me. However, once we moved to the Midwest, I started running more on trails due to proximity. I often do run on trails with my husband, since we both enjoy trail running. However, I’ve ventured out on my own, especially in winter when frozen dirt is safer than icy roads. And yes, I’m still trail running, even at four months pregnant.
An Improved Case for Beet Juice
The scientific community has studied beet juice for several years now. Previously, research suggested beet juice could benefit recreational runners, but highly trained and elite athletes saw no benefit. A new study in Nitric Oxide performed blinded tests on highly trained cyclists, with seven days of beet juice loading at higher doses. The results are fascinating – the average cyclists improved their 10K time trial time by 1.6% with beet juice. Apparently, highly trained athletes just require a higher dosage – which makes sense, if we consider the theory that beet juice improves oxygen consumption and efficiency. Highly trained athletes are already more efficient and possess higher VO2maxes than recreational runners, so logic deduces they would require more beet juice to see a difference.
Personally, I’m a believer in beet juice supplementation. It will not replace the hours, weeks, and months of hard work and consistent training. But on race day, it will provide a boost to help you maximize your training potential. I took a shot of beet juice before my 10K PR and half marathon PR; while both races followed strong training cycles, I ran both days at the faster end of what my training suggested.
What I’m Currently Reading
I believe that as a coach, I am a continual student of the sport. I read virtually everything that I can get my hands on and expose myself to various, sometimes even conflicting, training philosophies. Currently, I’m reading You (Only Faster) by Greg McMillan. It’s been on the market for years and sitting on my Amazon reading list for just as long. I’m partial to the philosophies of both McMillan and Daniels because of their basis in the science. My goal is to always be able to tell an athlete why they are doing a workout, and McMillan’s book is a concise journey into the why of workouts and individualization of training.
Do you supplement with beet juice?
Are you hesitant to run trails or do you love them?