Running blog: how was your weekend running?

I‘ve always enjoyed watching athletics, and middle/long distance running particularly. But nothing has given me an appreciation for the sheer speed at which the elite perform as getting “seriously” into running myself. You train away, trying to get your pace down, feel a great sense of achievement about breaking under seven-minute miles for long races – and then Wilson Kipsang breaks the world marathon record in Berlin in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 23 seconds. That’s an average pace of 4 min 42 second miles. I was really pleased recently to run ONE mile in 5 min 47.

An astonishing performance (his, I hasten to add, not mine) – and for more great analysis of his pacing and so on, I highly recommend Ross Tucker’s brilliant The Science of Sport blog. And while I am on recommendations, another must-read for anyone interested in the whole “are athletes born or made” debate – or just anyone who likes a really good book – should read David Epstein’s The Sports Gene. I’ve finished it now but while reading it was merrily tweeting away the most astonishing facts in it, such as that 17 American men in history have run faster than 2 hrs and 10 minutes for the marathon, whereas 32 Kalenjin (Kenyan) men did in Oct 2011 ALONE. There’s a lot more detail in the book about why that might be the case.

Anyway back to the weekend – I had a fairly short (nine-mile) run yesterday as part of my tapering for the Royal Parks half marathon next week. What did you get up to?

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