Should Boston make it tougher for women to qualify?

The Boston Athletic Association just announced the list of people who were accepted as registrants in the 2016 Boston Marathon by virtue of their qualifying times. This year, as in the previous two, not everyone who made a qualifying time has been accepted into the race. You had to beat your official qualifying time by […]

Is it best to start slow in a marathon?

claimtoken-5106a62cbe7eb One of the toughest things about running a marathon is the fact that if you’re running it correctly, the first half seems almost ludicrously easy. Most runners I’ve talked to — and my own experience bears this out — say that if they feel like they are exerting themselves much at all during the […]

The Basics: Preparing for the weather at a race

sciseekclaimtoken-4ec122dcc1830 It’s a week before the big race, you’ve started tapering and you can’t work out your anxiety with a nice, long run, so instead you begin to obsess over every detail. What if you get sick? What if you miss your flight or get caught in a traffic jam? What if it rains, or […]

Are Boston qualifying standards unfair?

I’ve heard it mentioned several times that “women have it easier than men” when qualifying for the Boston Marathon. The argument usually goes something like this: Boston should be accepting the same proportion of talented male runers as female runners. But women get a 30-minute advantage in every age group, when the men’s world record […]

Women are unlikely to catch men in the marathon

Someone recently pointed to me to this misleadingly-headlined article which revisited the 1980s speculation that women might eventually prove to be faster than men at marathons. The headline (“Catch her if you can”) and photo caption (“Do women have a secret weapon when it comes to jogging speed?”) seem to suggest that the premise has […]

Carbo-loading: An idea whose time has passed?

In 1967, a landmark study led by Bjorn Ahlborg found that military recruits could improve their ability to perform endurance tasks after a carbohydrate depletion and loading regimen over the preceding week. The dietary restrictions were quite extreme, and were coupled with exhausting exercise: A hard workout followed by three days of a low-carb diet, […]