Category Archives: sports

In praise of the 5K and other (non-marathon) races

The marathon is great race, and if you are aiming to run your first in the new year, it is a great thing to accomplish.

That said, you can also get a great sense of accomplishment out of running races less than 42.2 kilometers. To see what I mean, I highly recommend these two articles that praise the 5K:

  1. The 5K, Not The Marathon, Is The Ideal Race | FiveThirtyEight
  2. 10 Reasons the 5K is Freaking Awesome | Runner’s World

After reading them, I had a much greater appreciation of that race. (I think the same argument could be made for the 10K.)

As for me, I am a fan of the half-marathon. The only thing I don’t like about it is the name: it implies you haven’t done something great, when you have. Perhaps it needs to get rebranded as a 20K: not half a marathon, but twice a 10K!

Regardless of the distance you run, and how often you run it, enjoy your athleticism and take pride in it.

(Chart is a link to the image from the FiveThirtyEight article)

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Tug of War, 56 pound weight throw, and other discontinued sports of the Olympics

Watching athletics events like javelin and discus, you might think that the sports for the Olympics have been constant since the beginning of the modern games. But as this shows, Unusual and Discontinued Olympic Sports, there are many sports and events that have been dropped since the revival of the modern day Olympics. In particular there was a lot of tinkering in the early years. Not that that is stopping: many sports have been added in the last few decades, and some (e.g. softball) have been dropped.

It would be sad to see your sport dropped from the Olympics, though it would be something to be the last Olympic record holder for it.

Enjoy this year’s Olympics in Rio.

The Globe and Mail on the plan to defeat Usain Bolt is sports writing at its best

Usain Bolt and Andre De Grasse running in the Olympics

Here’s the story behind the photo, above.  Andre De Grasse, the up and coming runner from Canada, was going against the legend from Jamaica, Usain Bolt, in the 200 meter race at the Olympics. Rather than just concede to Bolt, De Grasse and team came up with a plan to beat him. It’s was a smart plan, and the story of it is equally good. Read it here: De Grasse’s plan was to beat Bolt by making him run faster. It almost worked. Here’s why – The Globe and Mail

While it didn’t work, it was likely the best way to beat Bolt (assuming he was beatable).  And the confidence to think he could beat the Jamaican legend is one of the reasons we’ll be reading about the success of Andre De Grasse for some time to come.

What is Rule 40  and how did athlete Emma Coburn get around it

This piece, During Rule 40 Blackout, Emma Coburn Showcases New Balance on Olympic Stage, FloTrack, has a good run down of Rule 40 and how Emma Coburn cleverly circumvented it. In short, Rule 40 prevents all but official brands and whom they sponsor from promoting them during an blackout period of time surrounding the time of the Olympics. For example, US athletes using Nike can promote the Nike brand, but US athletes using other brands like New Balance cannot.

How did Coburn circumvent this? According to that article,

After crossing the finish line in third behind Ruth Jebet and Hyvin Jepkemoi, respectively, Coburn immediately removed her New Balance spikes and draped them over her shoulder before carrying the American flag. As a result of the bold move, thousands of photos snapped during her victory lap included her sponsor, New Balance, which otherwise would not have been featured. It’s more than likely that Coburn, who is vocal about sponsorship rights, did this intentionally to spotlight New Balance in the middle of the Rule 40 “blackout period” and circumvent Nike’s exclusive sponsorship rights with USATF.

One thing to note is that there are different rules for different athletic federations, it seems. The US swim team has more latitude than the track and field athletes.

As always, this is about money. Whatever else the Olympics are about — and obviously they are about many good things — money is one of the big aspects of these games.

It’s the weekend. You need to be inspired to exercise. Here you go

I find this ad powerful.  And very inspiring. It’s from the past London Paralympics and if you need a jolt of motivation to help you get going on your workout, check it out:

If you think being vegan will limit you in your attemps to build muscle and compete in sports…

Then you need read this article. If that doesn’t convince you, then head on over to this site to see just how great you can get on a vegan diet.

If anything, being vegan may help you, depending on your current diet and other factors that may be limiting your ability to improve.

Is a Canadian team going to win the Stanley Cup in 2014?

Based on this logic, Why Can’t Canada Win the Stanley Cup? – NYTimes.com (and Nate Silver, 2013), the answer is No. Not only is the argument convincing, it is depressing if you are a Canadian, since as the post also shows, Canadians are avid hockey fans.

Anyone who loves hockey, the NHL or the Stanley Cup playoffs will enjoy this piece of writing.