Sunday Morning Read 04.14.13

Some great reads today, but they’ll take a little while.  Yet with Boston tomorrow I feel like it makes sense to showcase longer articles.  If you can’t read long articles the day before a long race.

First two articles are about Kenyan dominance in distance running, with this article from the Atlantic talking about the importance of genetics.  This response to Max Fisher’s Atlantic article has a great quote:

“If one spent any significant amount of time here, it would be hard to believe that Kenyan athletic “success may be innate “ as stated by Max Fisher in his article in the Atlantic Online titled, Why Kenyans make such great runners: a story of genes and culture.”

My person thought is that both are true, yet not enough attention is paid to the intensity of the training camps.  Every coach I’ve spoke with who has had a chance to see those camps talks about how hard the athletes train (and then how fully they recover…lying around until the next brutal session…no facebook updates talking about how well the workout went, but rather complete rest).

Both of these articles were brought to my attention by The Science of Sport website, which always puts out great content.  Their posts are long, so you’ll need to set aside some time to read through them.

The final article for today is older.  Written by Born to Run author Chris McDougall (and appears in Denver’s 5280 magazine).  It’s about the history of the Leadville 100 “Race Across the Sky.”  It’s hard for me to describe.  The US Olympic Trials are amazing and full of expectation, jubilation and crushing pain for the fourth place finisher in each event.  Leadville is different, but it’s just as emotion to watch these runners run 100 miles in 30 hours or less.  When you’re on the course the energy is palpable.

Happy reading.  On Monday we’ll have a short video of how Shalane Flanagan used sports science to help her prepare for Boston.  Cool video and short enough that you won’t miss much of the race.




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