Are you one of those runners who has to have the latest gear? The most efficient shoes? The coolest clothes? Do you download your running stats as soon as you walk in the door? Did you ice bath when it was cool? Foam roll until you can't feel your legs? Run in all the color runs and not lose your vision? Sign up for the races with the coolest medals? Do you dress in compression from head to toe?
Ok, that last one be might be a bit extreme, and even painful. The things we runners do to become faster, stronger, and really attractive...to stay on point with the latest trends in running.
Ok, there are probably a lot more than 5 signs that you might be a trendy runner, but for the sake of the Friday Five, I've chosen 5 categories that seem to change the most. Did you know you can actually track trends on Google? There's a search engine for that. It's called Google Trends. Yep. It's a thing.
Inquiring minds (well, at least my mind) wanted to know: am I a trendy runner?
When it comes to shoes, it looks like Altras are the shoe of the moment. According to Google Trends, Altra is the most popular searched shoes for running. Those zero drop funky looking running shoes with the big toe box are on a roll. A few years ago, Hokas were the shoes that all the cool kids were running in. And of course, we all remember the Vibram 5 fingers trend. To which so many of us said: just say no.
When it comes to trendy running shoes, I'm a big fail. I still run in my Asics Gel Nimbus. In black. Why mess with success?
Ultramarathons and trail races are what all the running hipsters aka dirtbag runners (it's a term) are doing right now. According to Ultramarathoning Magazine, the number of finishers in distances greater than the marathon has tripled in just 10 years. I joked a few weeks ago that 100 miles are the new 26.2, but so many runners I know are pushing the limits and running distances that are well....just crazy! It wasn't that long ago that a marathon considered "just crazy".
Actually, finishing a marathon is still a big deal. According to Running USA, only 3% of all runners finished a marathon in 2015. The most popular distance? The 5k. Overall, all distances saw a decline in the number of finishers, with half marathons still the most popular distance. Obstacle course races, which were all the rage a few years ago, are on the outs. Finisher totals for OCRs dropped 30% last year.
Another big trendy runner fail in this category--I'm going to stick with the marathon and the half marathon distances.
Runners continue to chase the bling. Rock N Roll offers a plethora of opportunities to collect heavy medals. The Little Rock Marathon, which just took place last weekend offered a medal that was as big as most of the runners' heads. When I searched on google trends, the top 5 results were for Disney Medals.
I've commented on this before and I'll say it again--I don't run for the bling. I run for the experience. I do love a medal placed around my neck at the finish of a half or a full marathon. The Schaumburg Half Marathon is always fun, fast race but the bling pictured below is blah. No matter. I came 2 seconds off my half marathon PR at this race. It's all about the memories, right?
There are a lot of ways to train for a marathon, and I don't think that any one method is better than another. What I do think is that you need to find a marathon training plan that fits your life and your running. I've seen a lot of runners using high mileage plans like Hansons, and not getting good results. It's not that it's a bad plan, it's probably that it's not a good fit. Remember that training plans are not one size fits all. While preparing this post, I found this awesome article that compares all the training plans. There's a chart which helps the runner decide which one might be the best plan for them. Very cool.
When I looked at Google Trends, the first thing to pop up on the list was Cross Fit. Well, how about that? As you know, I do train with a Cross Fit coach, and while she does throw in a lot of Cross Fit-esque activities, she also has me do a lot of other types of workouts. I've had good results from my training with Becky. Oh, and having a coach is "trendy" right now too!
This could be a whole blog post in and of itself! I don't profess to be a fashionista on or off the road. I cringe when I think back to the wind pants and jackets of the 80s--not to mention those thong leotards we wore to step aerobics. I like the streamlined looks that runners wear now. The big trend seems to be high visibility and neon, which is a good thing. High waisted tights are coming back. White shoes? Are they a thing again?
I do buy a lot of running clothes, so most of what I wear is pretty current. But I'm going to draw the line at the high waisted tights and the white shoes. Just say no.
Trend fail? Or Win? Does it matter as long as you cross the finish line?
Are you a trend follower? Or a trend fail? What's your favorite distance? Would you do an ultra? High waisted tights--yay or nay? White running shoes? Anyone still wearing 5 fingers?
This was kind of fun post! I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy, who came up with the prompt.