Start List/Liste de Départ: Science vs Runners

I’ve found that the Start List posts tend to have links in two categories: the science stuff and the runner stuff. There’s an interesting disconnect there. While the science posts examine all manner of minute detail to figure out how runners can best get faster, etc., the runner posts are more focused on ephemeral issues like feelings. I wonder if that is because runners don’t want to reflect, they just want to do? But of course, they want to do well, so it stands to reason there should be some reflection. In any case, here we go with the runner stuff first, and then later, some sciencey stuff to maybe explain some of those feelings you are having. It comes with an interesting transition post: a runner who thinks about sciencey stuff: that runner is Megan Wright (Metcalfe) who just set a Canadian indoor record. So maybe there is something to the science.

Actually, maybe Wright is not the only runner who thinks scientifically: Steve Weiler explains his very scientific method of accumulating Beer and Pizza points.

Updates from the land of elite runners include Dylan Wykes feeling good about his recent half marathon in Vancouver, Eric Gillis feeling good about getting in some good weeks despite the crappy weather, Reid Coolsaet getting out of Africa (and getting ready for Montreal), Rob Watson getting out of Dodge, and Chris Winter getting out from under a dark cloud.

On a lighter note, Ian Donald brings us FML for runners, and other fun stuff, including an interview with Jeremy Rae.

Here is Megan Wright’s dynamic pre-race warm-up routine. And here is the turn towards science.

What’s being talked about on the web this week is the ol’ minimalist question. Runner’s World comes to the conclusion that simplicity is the best method. Keep your strides short and light. Sounds good. Sounds familiar. Chris MacDougal, author of Born to Run, a fascinating book about runners in Mexico, has done a Ted Talk about it. Lucy posted this on our facebook group, but here it is again for those who missed it:

Another on-going debate is that about muscle tension. The question is: how much should a runner have? Sweat Science builds off a Steve Magness article in Running Times that suggests that being more tense in certain situations can be helpful. Hutch looks at the methods used to measure such tension and how one can manipulate tension to ensure a better performance. He links to a Runner’s World article that goes into specifics, if you are interested.

And a couple links from Sweat Science to finish it off, first, for my mother, how NOT running will ruin your knees, and then, a look at how much compression should compression socks have if a compression sock should compress?

Heavy reading today, I know. But it’s worth it to be in the know. Until the next round of studies come out. Then you’ll be back to your runner’s intuition.