Set reasonable race day expectations

Racing is supposed to be difficult!

Racing is back! Well, it has been for a while. Some people were even finding races last year. However, this is the first spring or fall racing season in two years where it seems like most races will be back in some version of their normal format. So many of us may find ourselves at least somewhat out of practice.

What should you do about that? Well, if you haven’t raced in a long time, you probably have forgotten how hard race day really is. Even if you have raced more recently, you may go into a goal race thinking that you’re fit, tapered, and this is going to be easy.

Don’t do that.

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Mental health matters

Because she took care of herself, Molly Seidel was able to achieve at the highest level

This year’s Olympics really seemed to put a real focus on mental health issues in sports. From mind-body disconnects that could be incredibly dangerous if not life threatening to mental health issues related to high level competition or placing one’s health above performance, the topic seemed to come up in several discussions.

While this is a discussion I would never pretend to be an expert in, I think it is a very important one so I’ll offer a few thoughts and encourage anyone who is facing challenges to seek help and anyone who knows someone facing challenges to be supportive.

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How is Abdi preparing for his 5th Olympics?

Welcome to the Olympics! By the time this post appears, we’ll be mere hours away from the beginning of track and field events starting in Tokyo (this evening American time is the start). In honor of the Olympics, I have a couple topical articles to share, along with a couple others.

First up, Abdi Abdirahman will be running the marathon at his 5th Olympics at the age of 44. How did he prepare? There might be some good lessons in here for the rest of us.

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How does the heat affect your running?

Heat is tough, VERY tough

Last week, I did a workout in some extreme heat and humidity on Tuesday, then bounced back with an up tempo run on Thursday in relatively cool weather.

I thought a comparison of paces between these runs was an interesting study in what the heat can do to a runner so I figured I’d share the comparison between these runs with you. It’s not meant to be a study of exactly how one can compare splits in the heat but more an illustration that, yes, it can significantly affect your running and the best thing you can do in the heat is accept slower paces.

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Analyzing form

How do we determine what is good form? Knee angles? Foot angle at initial contact with the ground? Various other specific details?

What if we zoomed out? A new paper suggests that may be the way to go. Instead of focusing on all those minute details, this looked at just a few variables and found meaningful differences between elite runners and very good ones. These things basically fall into line with what we would expect but the power is in that we don’t need to get down to minute details that would be hard to analyze. These are things that can be looked at without too much in the line of specialized equipment or technical knowledge.

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Ask me anything

It’s that time again! Your chance to ask me anything you would like. As I always seem to mention, this is always one of my favorite things to do.

Almost nothing is off limits. Feel free to ask me about training, racing, my thoughts on training and racing as race calendars begin to fill up, what’s going on at HillRunner.com. This is my invitation to you to ask whatever you would like.

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How to predict running injuries?

We’ve probably all heard these ideas. Over pronation causes injuries. Strength or flexibility imbalances or simply lack of strength or flexibility cause injuries.

Heck, these are things I’ve said. But are these things true? Maybe not.

Well, there are some interesting caveats offered in that article but the short story is, on the whole, it’s hard to pinpoint any specific things that increases overall injury risk. Interesting to think about.

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