I had never heard of the term “Athena runner” until Anne Milligan mentioned it a few months ago, and I thought it was a neat concept, given the connection between bodyweight and running speed (i.e., roughly speaking, every extra pound of weight makes you 2 seconds/mile slower). Here’s a race that took the idea one step further. Called the Las Vegas Fat Boy 5K, it described itself this way:
This is an event for “the rest of us.” The more you weigh, the earlier you start the race! The 5K will have weight divisions with the Clydesdales among us getting an early start, and the “slim & trims” starting from scratch. We will be using a wave start. The most marbled amongst us will go in Wave 1 while the leanest and meanest will leave with Wave 4. The official Start time for everyone will be when the gun goes off for Wave 4. Those of us in waves 1-3 will have the advantage of a “head start” depending on how many doughnuts, sausages and beer we’ll be carrying with us on the run.
You know what that means? Head to the back of the line, Brian Bernier! (D’oh, unfortunately, I think I’d be back there with him . . . and I definitely need about a 4-5 minute headstart on Brian in a 5K!!!)
* As you get tired during the later stages of a race, your running form may deteriorate, leading to decreased performance. Here are some suggestions for improving your capacity to hold your running form longer.
* Sure, the NSA may be spying on you, but what about your fitness tracking device? Should it come with a warning, as a columnist suggests, along the lines of “You have the right to keep your health information private, anything you disclose about your health can and will be used against you. … ”?
* Ha ha ha! For a good laugh, check out 2 Cups ‘N Run’s list of 7 reasons it sucks to be a runner. #1 is “We don’t care what others think any more.”
* Runners have lots of ways of measuring our performances. The most important measurement, of course, is against your own past performances, which is “PR” (or “PB” if you’re British) is so ingrained into the running lingo. But age grading calculators, and age group finishes give you a sense of how you measure up to a more relevant population, as opposed to, say, measuring yourself against Mo Farrah or Galen Rupp. What if you’re a runner who also lifts? How do you measure your lifting performance? Well, I’m kind of a half-assed lifter — I do it because it’s a good thing for fortysomethings and it does help running, but I’m not looking to improve my lifting the way I care about my running — so I haven’t bothered to track down any age-grading formulas. I did, however, find this one suggested guideline for evaluating whether you are “decent,” “good,” or “great” at various lifting routines. The major downside is that it’s based on one-rep max, which is not the sort of the lifting that I do.
* With Snowlandia in our past, this is probably a moot question, but this column asks, “Running in the snow: is it worth the risk?,” and goes on to suggest that the answer is no. Well, you have to assess the risk in light of your own situation, but a bunch of us Run Oregon bloggers did run in the snow without incident. Of course, that was on a mild day where the snow was packed (i.e., neither slushy nor icy).