Tag Archives: marathon

So You Want to Run the Boston Marathon for Charity?

Boston MarathonSince signing up to run the Boston Marathon for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute last year, I’ve had some people express interest in doing the same. Now that it’s September, Dana-Farber and many of the other charities that have bibs available for marathon runners will be starting their application processes. So, now is the time to think about whether you want to run the 2016 Boston Marathon and raise funds for a cause close to your heart. (If you missed it, I do not plan to run–loved it, but once was enough.) Continue reading So You Want to Run the Boston Marathon for Charity?

An Argument for Not Running Less in Marathon Training

An Argument for Not Running Less inI keep seeing articles about training for a marathon with a lower volume of running. I even bought a book about it myself, Runners’ World Run Less Run Faster.

Probably the most famous example of a reduced mileage training plan is the Hanson method, which does make conceptual sense to me. The idea is that you run almost every day, without as many of the traditional rest days, to get used to the experience of running on tired legs. No run is over 16 miles in duration, unlike typical plans that include at least one and sometimes more 20 mile runs. You will have fresh legs the day of the marathon, but when fatigue eventually kicks in, you will know how to deal with it and keep moving.

This sounds really appealing, and I don’t doubt it works for a lot of people, but I am really glad I included a 20+ mile run in my marathon training for one reason: My brain needed it. Continue reading An Argument for Not Running Less in Marathon Training

The Power of Goals and Progress Tracking

After the Boston Marathon on Monday, the New York Times has a thought provoking analysis of marathon finish times. Theoretically, marathon finish times should be relatively evenly distributed around a mean. In particular, there’s no real reason why, say, a 3:29 finish should be more common than a 3:31. But it is.

Distribution of marathon finishing times courtesy of the New York Times, 4/22/14, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/what-good-marathons-and-bad-investments-have-in-common.html
Distribution of marathon finishing times courtesy of the New York Times, 4/22/14, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/what-good-marathons-and-bad-investments-have-in-common.html

I don’t think this clustering is really that weird. I think it’s a natural function of our common need for competence, and the way we use benchmarks and progress tracking to achieve goals. Continue reading The Power of Goals and Progress Tracking

Looking forward in Boston

The May 2013 Boston Magazine cover depicting shoes of the marathon runners was sold as a poster to raise funds for the One Fund (http://www.onefundboston.org/).
The May 2013 Boston Magazine cover depicting shoes of the marathon runners was sold as a poster to raise funds for the One Fund (http://www.onefundboston.org/).

With the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings past, and the Marathon itself upcoming, I thought it might be nice to post a link to a recent story that I found hopeful and forward-looking. The Boston Globe recently featured the Richard family, who lost their son and brother Martin. Their story reflects great loss but also great hope, and their resilience is inspiring.

Part 1

Part 2

I’m excited for Monday’s marathon. I’ll be volunteering Sunday at the race expo, and cheering on the runners Monday at my usual spot near the finish line. When the race ends successfully and peacefully, the people of Boston will have achieved an important milestone.

I ran a marathon!

I Ran A Marathon!I think a lot about motivational design in the context of my own health behaviors, and probably never more than when I just trained for and ran my very first marathon. Although it can be dangerous to take a case study too seriously (as I learned from one of my mentors at the University of Michigan, Chris Peterson), since any one person is unique, there’s definitely value in using case studies to think about how principles might work out in real life.

The self-determination theory of motivation says that people are motivated when their underlying needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness are met. I saw all three of these play out in my training, but in a quirky way that fits my personality. Continue reading I ran a marathon!