Friday Thrive

Happy Friday! Each Friday, I share my favorite running/food/outdoor/life related things from this week – and here’s this week’s round up!

Stop Demonizing Sugar… Especially for Performance

Sugar certainly is not the healthiest food; its prevalence in everything from pre-packaged pasta sauce to flavored yogurt has contributed to the rise of obesity in America. But even sugar has its uses (besides tasting really good in moderation), as this article for Trail Runner by sports nutritionist and ultra runner Stephanie Violett Howe discusses. “The Sugar Lowdown” covers how to use sugar to optimize performance without compromising health – well worth the read! 

Friday Thrive

Write Your Own Race

Erin Strout’s article “How Pro Runner Katie Mackey Got Out of Her Own Head” for Outside delves into the mental training of an elite middle-distance runner. Katie Mackey recently experienced a breakthrough in the recent USATF Indoor Championships, beating Emma Coburn and winning second place in the women’s 3000m. Amongst other things, Mackey shares how she started highlighting the good of each run in her training journal, in order to create a personal narrative of success leading up to her race. That’s brilliant, especially since so many of runners self-sabotage races with anxiety about what could go wrong, rather than focusing on what can go well. 

Friday Thrive

Grunt Your Way to Better Performance

We’ve talked about how smiling can decrease perceived effort, and now the latest research is indicating that you should grunt – or make some sort of loud yelling sound – to enhance your power output. (Think of tennis players grunting as they hit the ball.)  “To Boost Sports Performance (And Annoy Your Opponents) – Grunt” by Gretchen Reynolds for New York Times examines when and how grunts or other exclamations can aid sports performance – with the caveat that they can’t be self-conscious or forced. 

March Stridebox 

This month’s StrideBox features an array of samples, from Vitamin C supplements (who else has been taking those to avoid illness this winter?) to Skratch Labs Hydration mix. I tried the protein cookies and they were simply okay – not great, but certainly not an awful post-workout treat. The Cramps Away product intrigues me – I’m tempted to bring it on long runs just in case cramps ever strike. 

Friday Thrive

Making the Cut

Back in college, I had a lob and loved its simplicity. In grad school, I grew my hair long (who knows why I thought that was the time for high maintenance hair). I grew my hair even longer for our wedding, chopped it off to donate it a couple years ago, and since then, let it grow without much of a care. Recently, I decided I needed to cut it into a lob again. Long hair is such a hassle, while I love having shoulder-length hair. 

Friday Thrive

This weekend, I’m pacing Ryan as he runs his second half marathon! I am so proud of how his training has gone, especially since he has dealt with several long and stressful weeks at work. I ran my past two half marathon PRs on this course and we’re hoping for the same for him!

What are your plans this weekend?
Do you try to write a positive narrative for race day?

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24 Responses

  1. Completely agree about sugar (it’s just the latest thing to demonize!) and the cookies in the Stride Box! Why can’t they ever taste really good?
    GOOD LUCK to you and Ryan this weekend!!! I’ll be looking for pics on Insta 🙂 And I absolutely love the hair!

    1. Thank you! I’m convinced protein cookies will never taste good… I’d rather just take a protein drink and then eat a cookie than eat some sort of weird tasting cookies.

  2. Love the new hair! Cutting my hair off before Emmie seriously has made my life. It is a little too short for running, but for being a mom? I loooove.
    And yes to sugar. You body needs it!

  3. I hope Ryan’s half goes well for him. Sounds like a good course!

    As far as writing positive things for race day, I use to when I trained and raced. Not so much now. Now I’m like em, just get through it without injuring myself and have fun.

    I don’t really like ANY protein cookies. To me they just don’t have enough protein in them, and they taste way worse than a regular cookie. But… I don’t like a lot of the token “runner foods” anyway and why bother if real sugar is okay, right? ;).

  4. Love the haircut! Did you donate it again this time, too? I chopped mine off back in August to donate and am in the process of growing it back out again to donate. Ready for ponytail weather 🙂

  5. Love the haircut. I’m a fan of lobs to. As long as it can still go up in a pony.
    I dropped another subscription service as I want to try stridebox. Do you have a referral code for me to use? Hate for you not to get credit (and for me to not get a potential discount on my first box).

    1. Thank you! I love how a lob can still go up in a ponytail… even if just a super short one! Unfortunately, I do not have a referral code or discount code at the moment, but thank you for asking!

  6. StrideBox is so awesome because it gives me the ability to try different brands and see what I like! I got it as a gift last Christmas and really enjoyed it.
    I love your hair! I’m thinking of chopping mine off too because it’s starting to warm up in the south and my ponytail is usually a sweaty mess after runs!

  7. Love the lob! Low-maintenance hair is the way to go. Thanks for sharing the Mackey article. It is just what I need to read right now with a marathon coming up.

  8. I don’t think I’ve ever had a really good protein cookie – I’d rather just keep the protein and the cookies separate. Love the haircut – short hair is the best!

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