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 […]

Should you start out slow in a 10K?

Conventional wisdom is that you can get your best time in a race by starting off a little slower than your goal pace: “Negative splits” are the ideal — times for each mile run should decrease over the course of the race. So, for example, if you were running a 10k and had a goal […]

Are runners likely to be targets of violent crime?

As the days get shorter, I hear more and more concerns about safety from crime during runs, both in online forums and from my running friends. Soon, for many of us, it will be impossible to go for a run outside of normal working hours without running in the dark. Runners, especially women, are concerned […]

Is stigma stopping exercise in obese people?

I’ve struggled to maintain a healthy weight my entire adult life. For me the most humiliating moment came about 13 years ago when I was visiting an allergist about a skin condition and noticed that he had written “moderately obese” on my chart. At that point, I weighed 245 pounds with a BMI 32.3, well […]

Why doesn’t the up/down pacing strategy work?

This past weekend I ran a 15K race and was hoping to achieve a PR — finishing the race in under 60 minutes. It’s a good goal because it’s not only a nice, round number, but it’s also right at the threshold of my abilities. I’ve finished 5Ks in under 20 minutes and 10Ks in […]

Does Garmin give you credit for the vertical distance you run?

If you’ve ever looked closely at a topographical map, you might notice something odd. It’s not actually odd, because there is no other way to make the map, but it does cause some interesting problems. Take a look at this close-up of the USGS map of Half Dome, in Yosemite National Park. Half Dome’s peak […]

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 […]

Getting tested for VO2 max

VO2 max, as we have discussed before, is a key measurement of endurance running ability. There are several different procedures for measuring it, and yesterday I got to experience one of the most common methods first hand. As I mentioned last year, VO2 max is simply the maximum volume of oxygen your body can take […]

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 […]

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