Ryan reads a lot every month. At the end of the month, he shares 2-3 highlights of what he’s been reading.

Recapping the Olympic marathons

This month, I’ll leave the stories to recapping the Olympics. Specifically, the marathons. What stories, one of an athlete everyone expected to dominate doing just what was expected. The other of an athlete nobody expected to be in the mix doing just what nobody expected. Both incredible stories. Both worth reflecting on and learning from.

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.

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.

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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