APR 7, 2023
Minute 1: Kichoge says he’s going for the course record in Boston
A week from Monday, most Boston Marathon runners hope to survive Heartbreak Hill and avoid the heartbreak of bonking their way to Boylston Street. It’s not the kind of course that produces PRs. Even Eliud Kipchoge isn’t trying to break his own world record in Boston, but he has some lofty goals nonetheless. He wants to extend his domination by winning every Abbott World Major Marathon. He’s already checked four off the list, and Boston is next. As you might expect, just extending his streak isn’t enough, because “Kipchoge Looks to Break the Course Record At the Boston Marathon.” Just looking at the numbers, Kipchoge’s victory could seem inevitable. He’s won a remarkable 15 of 17 marathons he’s competed in for the past 10 years, holding several course records across the globe. He’s run the fastest times ever in the Tokyo, London, and Berlin marathons, but Outside magazine says: “Boston Is Eliud Kipchoge’s Ultimate Challenge,” given its difficult terrain and unpredictable weather. There’s been everything from 20 MPH tailwinds that have pushed competitors along, to nor’easters that resulted in a wave of DNFs. Not only that, but Boston’s course is filled with lots of quad-burning downhills along with the famous Newton hills that are steep enough to break your heart and your stride. That’s why hilly courses have been a staple of Kipchoge’s preparation these days, and if you want to model your training after his own, read “Eliud Kipchoge's revolutionary training methods: How the Olympic champion's slow runs have made him the fastest.” Like many elite runners, he follows the 80/20 rule most of the time: 80% of activity at a low intensity level, 20% at high intensity. That way, you can build an aerobic base, improve speed, but keep the risk of burnout or injury low.
Minute 2: 30 days is all it takes to transform your running
Running is a bit of a paradox: the more you do it, the easier it gets. But finding the motivation to do it every day? That’s the hard part. If you’ve ever made a fitness goal before, you know one of the most effective methods is setting your sights on a reasonable target. For instance, rather than proclaiming you’re going to run a marathon PR, start small and aim to run 30 days straight. It worked for our friend Brian Metzler, and he shares the details here: “What I Learned Running 30 Days in a Row.” After a month-long streak, he found himself leaner, more agile, and motivated to get active in the coming spring and summer. There were seven tips vital to his success, starting with keeping things simple. Rather than sticking to a certain number of miles at a specific pace, just pick a time to run and go for it. If you run a little longer or shorter, that’s cool. The flexibility you provide yourself will keep things enjoyable so you’re more likely to continue your streak. It can also be helpful to avoid comparisons so you can go at your own pace, according to: “How To Focus On Small Wins & Not Compare Yourself To Others.” If you’re out on an easy run and somebody passes you, it can be tempting to speed up and compete. Remember that nobody knows your body as well as you do, and if you felt like a slow run was what you needed, that’s probably what will yield the best results that day. There are five more tips in the original article, so check them out as you tackle the next 30 days.
Minute 3: Restrictive diets can do more harm than good
When Chris Martin sang about “closing walls and ticking clocks,” was he obsessing over his intermittent fasting window? We didn’t think so, until we learned that “Chris Martin Eats 1 Meal Per Day. Here's Why That’s a Bad Idea.” If that sounds a little extreme to you, most nutrition experts agree with you as they warn against overly restrictive diets. That’s because they can lead your body to produce more ghrelin, a hormone that increases appetite, leading to intense cravings all day. Not only that, but it’s nearly impossible to get adequate caloric nutrition in only one meal, meaning you may experience chronic fatigue and other health problems. If you want to try out intermittent fasting in a healthier fashion, take a look at: “5 Tips for Healthy Fasting.” When done properly, fasting can lead to decreased inflammation, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight. Nutritionists suggest easing into fasting to avoid shocking your system. You can start by cutting out a few snacks and narrowing the timeframe in which you eat. After a while, you can consider removing a meal if it supports your health goals.
Minute 4: Tracksmith Eliot Runner, ($198)
Just in time for the Boston Marathon, our friend and shoe expert Brian Metzler chimes in with a review of a running brand based in Beantown. Known and respected for its running apparel, the Eliot Runner is Tracksmith’s first entry into the shoe category. And they crushed it, according to Brian, who calls it a modern marvel. The highlights are below and you can check out Brian’s full review of the new Tracksmith Eliot Runner on our website.
When Tracksmith announced plans to launch its first running shoe last fall, it seemed odd that an apparel brand was getting into footwear. (Usually, it’s the other way around.) But knowing the penchant Taylor (and his team at Tracksmith) have for design and value, I figured it would be a shoe that harkened back to shoes from the late 1970s to mid-1980s, only built with modern materials. It was a good guess on my part, but I couldn’t have been more spot-on in my prediction and the way the new Eliot Runner turned out. It looks like something out of a magazine ad from the original 1970s running boom back when runners really had only one pair of shoes for all of their training and racing. However, the shoe runs like a modern marvel—a no-nonsense, do-everything daily trainer with a high-rebound foam Pebax foams, a smart-fitting upper, a snug fit and no superfluous additives.
What’s New: It’s an entirely new shoe, so it’s hard to compare it to anything else, except maybe a circa-1985 Saucony Jazz or Nike Pegasus. The materials are all very modern, including the soft, squishy Pebax insole that contributes to the secure fit and comfortable feel and balances the slightly firmer and highly responsive Pebax midsole that provides durable protection and a noticeable energetic pop in every stride. The engineered mesh upper contributes to a locked-down fit with some degree of stretchiness, while a retro-styled suede support band and nylon sash provide extra support without added weight or getting in the way of a foot’s natural flex.
Why It’s Great: It’s great because it’s versatile. This is a shoe that’s light and lively enough to run tempo runs and intervals on the track, but it’s also comfortable enough to run moderately long runs on the roads. I’m not sure I’d run longer than 15 miles in it, but I’ve run 8 to 12 miles several times and really appreciate its cushioning and protection. If you’re a runner who does most of your running with one shoe in your quiver, this is a good one to consider. It’s a reliable and durable jack of all trades, even if it’s a master of none.
For the complete rundown on the new Tracksmith Eliot Runner, check out Brian’s full review here. In addition, Brian’s collection of shoe reviews now features more than 20 shoes on our website with something for every runner. #EliotLoungewear
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Our friend Dara Zall Kelly shares the details of her last long training session before the Boston Marathon: ”This weekend I set off for my final long run before the big taper. An easy 16. Did I just say easy 16? How can that be easy? No matter how many times I train, it never ceases to amaze me that TRAINING WORKS. Slowly but surely, you put in the time on your toes, lean into those hills, and build.” We’re glad you wrote that paragraph, Dara. As much as we geek out about gear, nutrition and workout plans, it’s pretty cool to be reminded of a basic truth – if you work hard, you get better. Along with that deep thought, Dara also shares some humbling anecdotes about being passed by a 4-year-old girl riding a pink bike and calling out Boston legend Joan Benoit Samuelson for saying that the Newton Hills aren’t all that bad. Check out this week’s fun and feisty account here.
If you’re an early bird, you look forward to the alarm ringing with a “5” handle, letting you know that it's time for a morning run. For the rest of us, getting out of bed and onto the road may involve 3-5 snooze button reps and/or promises to ourselves that we’ll make up the miles after work. There are a few steps you can take to avoid procrastination and rationalization, according to these: “7 ways to make morning running easier.”
As far as health metrics go, BMI has had quite the fall from glory. Once seen as a valuable way to discover your ideal body weight, doctors and nutritionists have come to realize it’s far too simplistic to tell the full story on your health. What should we look at instead? Well, there’s no one size fits all solution, but there are a few useful options listed in this new piece from the NYT: “How Fit Are You? 3 Ways to Measure Without Focusing on Weight.”
Is it just us, or is the tapering phase the most fun part of training? It’s when all the hard work is done and you can feel how quick and strong you’ve become. It can’t be all fun and games, though, because a perfectly executed taper can be an important phase of distance training. For some advice, here’s: “How to Taper Running – Tips from a Run Coach.”
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
We hope you all know that regardless of your mile time, you’re welcome to call yourself a member of the Six Minute Mile community. Some of you are insulted that 6 minutes is much slower than your actual time, while others are happy to be 6-minute-kilometer runners. Either way, we don’t want to downplay the importance of knowing what your fastest mile time is, since it can be a great indicator of your strengths and weaknesses as a runner. That’s how @runningwithlucho feels, and he gave an excellent writeup of the benefits of mile time trials in a recent Instagram post entitled “Why the Mile Test Is Important for Runners.” You can give it a watch and read his insightful commentary in the video link below.