"In my life, I’ve figuratively and literally spent years at one aid station or another. We get hurt and we get injured and we have to do what it takes to recover."
Legend has it that Phidippedes ran 26 miles to Athens from Marathon to announce the success of the Athenian army's surprise suicide attack against the far larger Persian army, starting a grand tradition: Dying during marathons. [more inside]
Once you go barefoot, you won't go back For many serious runners, the best running shoe is no shoe at all. Barefoot runners find themselves less prone to injuries such as plantar fascitis and ankle sprains, possibly because their feet
get such a good workout. For those who would like to experience the benefits of barefoot running without the worry of road hazards like broken glass and cooties, Vibram Fivefingers are the next best thing.
Legendary running coach Arthur Lydiard died this weekend at age 87. Q and A with Lydiard here. Obit via Boomberg here. NYTimes obit here. Lydiard had been travelling through the US on a final lecture tour. Among distance runners Lydiard is a hero. Two of his athletes won gold medals for New Zealand at the 1960 Olympics, and Peter Snell went on to dominate the middle distance running at the 1964 Games, taking home two gold medals, the only man since 1920 to win both the 800m and the 1500m. Lydiard coached Mexican, Japanese and Finnish runners to Gold medal performances, and his philosophy of training has influenced countless other runners. Finland thought that he was important enough to the success of their runner's to award him the White Cross (eq. of a knighthood), making him the only non-Finn to be given the award. Lydiard's approach was high-mileage, aerobic conditioning. Even his middle distance runners trained 100 miles/week. He felt that too many athletes were training for speed first and endurance second. One of his lectures, explaining some of the science behind his theories, is here.
I've run a marathon and it was hard. Then I learned about ultra marathoners doing 50 and 100 mile runs in one day. Then there are the marathons and ultra marathons in rough places, like Death Valley. Then there's the grand daddy of difficulty: The Marathon Des Sables. It's 6 days and 6 marathons long, run in a desert with temps topping 110F, you have to carry your week's gear and food, and you are limited to 9 liters of water a day. Here are some photos and blogger Ben Hammersley's current results are here. The event finishes tomorrow. [via jay allen]
British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Dr. Michael Stroud just completed an extraordinary feat: they're running seven marathons. On seven continents. In seven days. It's all to benefit the British Heart Foundation, and it wound up today with the New York Marathon.
Yesterday, Paula Radcliffe won the London Marathon. She ran 2:15:25, setting a new world best, and in doing so beat all of the British men racing (she would have placed 15th in the men's elite race). Are the women catching up with the men?
1000 Miles in 1000 Hours - London Marathon organizers plan to reproduce the feat achieved almost 200 years ago by a legendary sportsman and gambler called Captain Robert Barclay. Five contestants will run 1000 miles in 1000 hours and then compete in the London Marathon to decide the winner.
The New York City Marathon is this Sunday. Last year I ran the distance in this race, organized by the New York Road Runner's Club. The Association of International Marathons and Road Races' website has plenty of information about marathons around the world. Maybe you can find one in your neck of the woods.