The new year began with a fresh round of speculation on whether the Tokyo Olympics should open on July 23. Two polls, conducted by the Japanese news agency Kyodo and TBS — the Tokyo Broadcasting System, showed that more than 80% of the respondents are of the opinion that the Summer Olympics should be cancelled or postponed. Tokyo has reported a surge in Covid-19 cases prompting the government to call a state of emergency. Amid this, the International Olympic Committee has dismissed the poll results as “fake news”. Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said, “I want to say that we are not thinking that way at all, and that these reports are wrong.” Here are the other updates of the week:
Getting Ready For Olympics
For Indian athletes, the first disappointment came when the Tokyo Olympics got postponed last year and the next one was when training had to be stopped because of the pandemic. For some, it was a difficult road to recovery after they tested positive for Covid-19. In October last year, Assamese boxer Lovlina Borgohain was hours away from boarding her flight to Italy – her first international competitive event after seven months, when she tested positive for Covid-19. Soon, she had to be admitted to a hospital in New Delhi. “I was having depressing thoughts about loss in training and performance,” the star boxer told Hindustan Times. Like Borgohain, there are several other Indian Olympic-bound athletes who spent the last year shuttling between hospitals and quarantine centres instead of focusing on training.
Running a 5K might be just the challenge you need to start your year. There’s a surge in 5K challenges with more than one million athletes joining Strava’s 2020 May and June 5K virtual running challenges each month, according to Runner’s World. The reason for this surge was explained by Jes Woods, certified coach for Nike Running, Brooklyn Track Club, and Chaski Endurance. He says, “It’s an accessible challenge… 5K training entails working on speed, power, and endurance: all the things that you would get out of even a marathon training plan…” How do you create your own 5k Challenge?
Conquering Your Debut Marathon
You want 2021 to be the year to finish a full marathon? Ben Preisner, an elite runner who made his debut at the Marathon Project, has a few tips. Simulate racing in training is one of his tips. He says, “Experience speaks a lot in the marathon. Doing some sort of race simulation in your training will benefit you on race day.”
Case Against Stretching
You have probably heard and read a lot about the benefits of stretching. Here’s a case against stretching. Christie Aschwanden, author of New York Times bestseller GOOD TO GO: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn From the Strange Science of Recovery, writes, “My indoctrination into stretching is pretty typical. I stretched, because it was what runners did… Despite such popularity, researchers have failed to confirm the purported benefits of stretching.” She goes on to dispel the popular notion that stretching prevents injury.
Year Of Exercise Snack
During pandemic lockdowns, most of us learnt to do short workouts in between meetings, childcare and household chores, almost like grabbing a quick power snack. According to the New York Times, “An exercise “snack” is a short burst of movement you can enjoy at home or in the office or outdoors. It can last for mere seconds or for several minutes… A number of scientific studies show that exercise snacking several times a day leads to meaningful gains in fitness and overall health. A recent study concluded that even just 4-second bursts of exercise have been shown to improve fitness.”
Running Goals For 2021
Looking to set some running goals, but don’t know where to start? Marathoner and author of Crossing the Finish Line Sanjai Banerji shares some tips on how to set your running calendar and what to prioritise in the new year.
2021 Yoga Wishlist
If you are still unsure about signing up for yoga classes, Finisher Magazine’s yoga expert Deepa Hegde has created a yoga wishlist and shared tips on goal setting.
Geoffrey Kamworor’s Treadmill Tips
Geoffrey Kamworor is one of the finest long distance runners of his generation. He’s a three-time World Half Marathon champion, two-time World Cross Country champion and has won the New York Marathon twice. He spent his lockdown months using a treadmill at home while recovering from an injury. Here are his tips to treadmill runners.