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 […]

The Basics: Running Tangents

You have probably heard runners speak of “running the tangents” in a race — but what does that mean, exactly, and what’s the best way to do it? Running tangents is just a geeky way of saying “running the shortest legal distance in a race.” Geometrically speaking, a “tangent” is a straight line that touches a […]

OMG we’re all gonna die!!!!!eleventy!!

Just a quick post to note this article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal today. Look familiar? It ought to. The same author wrote this article last year. Both articles basically say the same thing, and quote the same authorities, citing the same research. The suggestion is that running too much is bad for […]

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 […]

The Basics: Tweaking the GPS display for races

Last week at the 7 Bridges Marathon in Chattanooga, the unthinkable happened to my friend Todd: The battery died on his GPS trainer, 15 miles into the race. He had been running at near PR-pace, but without the feedback he was accustomed to, it was difficult for him to adjust, and he ended up missing […]

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 […]

Nutrition during a run: Yep, consuming carbs improves performance

This summer I’m reading Tim Noakes’ massive volume Lore of Running, bit by bit, then reporting the critical bits back to you. Last week I covered fatigue and exhaustion, discussing why we get tired when we do. This week I’m finishing up Noakes’ chapter on energy systems and running performance. I started running in the […]

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, […]

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