Of course, the half-marathon is attractive to marathon runners because of its ease of recovery and to classic road runners because of its role as a springboard to the full marathon. But the half marathon (at 13.1 miles) is perhaps even more relevant to the 10K (at 6.2 miles) than the marathon (at 26.2 miles). Whether you’re a weekend warrior racing on the backroads of Boulder or a world record contender in Denmark later this month, training at 10K pace works wonderfully well for the half-marathon.
In order to separate and clarify the elements of breakthrough marathon performance, we need to acknowledge some of the most widespread problems. A marathoner's worst nightmare - hitting the wall - might be easily avoidable for runners who adhere to pace and mileage levels that conserve carbohydrates, the body's main source of quick-burn energy and follow a progressive training plan with a wide sweeping impact on V02 max and lactate threshold, key physiological variables that affect endurance running success.
Coaches and competitors alike are constantly grappling with the question of making concessions to age. There have always been inspirational runners who defy conventional beliefs regarding aging and human performance. Even if I were to advance some novel argument touting the merits of running to attain long term health and longevity, the truth of the matter is that the biopsychology of aging remains largely a mystery.
Understanding the physiological effects of positive emotions such as caring, compassion or appreciation for someone or something can actually go a long way in helping people reduce their risky training behaviors. In effect, these heart-brain interactions cohere and soften the heart which, by processing the good feelings, circulates positive information throughout the entire body. All this adds up to a heightened sensitivity to what works for us, the basic self-awareness so important to optimal health, performance and enjoyment.
The date: Saturday, June 23rd, 2018. The place: the Placer High track in Auburn, California, the finish line of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. It was early evening, and the race course was buzzing with anticipation that the 100-mile record was about to be demolished. When Jim Walmsley rounded the top of the track, a loving crowd roared their appreciation for his marvelous achievement.