My 7 Links (The Best of Strength Running)

by Jason Fitzgerald

Last week my buddy Matt Frazier put up a great post on the best articles on No Meat Athlete. As you might guess, it’s titled My 7 Links and highlights one post in seven different categories. At the end, he nominated me to do a post of my own on the same topic.

Challenge accepted, Matt

There are a lot of new readers here, so this type of post should be helpful to those who want to see some of the best articles on Strength Running. Onward…

Most Popular Post of All Time

I knew this post would be a success when I wrote it. But I had no idea it would be this huge – since it was published four months ago, it’s been viewed over 16,600 times.

That post is Seven Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Running, a post all about the mistakes that I’ve made over the last 13 years of my running career. If you’re curious to learn more about my running philosophy this post will highlight my thoughts on minimalism, trail running, workout intensity, running form, and strength work.

It can be hard to think about all the mistakes you’ve made during your running career (or any subject, actually), but learning from those mistakes is crucial to not making them again and improving your training. While it was hard to reflect and write this post, it was very rewarding to see it be such a success.

Most Helpful Post

Instead of naming a particular article, I’m going to call attention to a routine I developed that has helped a lot of runners alleviate their illiotibial band injury: the ITB Rehab Routine. After six months of not running after the 2008 New York Marathon, I created this routine based off a lot of online research and visits to four physical therapists.

It helped me come back to running and train more than ever.

Since initially writing about it, I created a video of the exercises that you can watch here: The ITB Rehab Routine – Video Demonstration. It’s one of the most popular posts on Strength Running and I continually get email from folks who say that it’s helped them reduce their ITB pain and get back to running.

Thank you for all your emails and I hope it can help more of you!

The Post That Was a Surprise Success

In the early days of Strength Running, I wrote an article called Forget the 10% Rule: How to Increase Mileage Safely that has since become the #2 most popular post of all time. Hundreds of runners still read it every week.

The 10% Rule of adding weekly mileage in 10% increments is often touted as the “Golden Rule” of training plans, but it’s far too simplistic for the majority of runners. Whether you’re a new runner or an advanced marathoner, you’ll probably need either more or less than a 10% increase.

Most Beautiful Post

This is a little hard for me. What does that even mean? I’m not usually good at writing “beautiful posts,” but here’s a good contender: a photo post that I think captures the beauty of trail running aptly titled Trail Running in Rock Creek Park. Below is an unpublished picture that I took during my run through the park.

Rock Creek

Most days you can usually find me on a soap box at a busy intersection, yelling at people to get off the roads and do more trail running. Okay I’m not that crazy, but I do recommend more trail running because of its myriad benefits: less impact shock, more terrain variety, and just a more beautiful place to spend your time.

Wouldn’t you rather be exploring the great outdoors than waiting at red lights listening to car horns? Enough said.

Most Controversial Post

This is an easy one. Awhile back I published The Gym Jones Approach to Distance Running, which prompted the owner of the gym – Mark Twight – to comment on the article. We had a few disagreements over its purpose and the points I was making, which you can read in the comments.

One of the lessons that I think is important to draw from controversy like this is that not every piece of training advice will apply to you. Your situation is unique based on your schedule, talent level, and goals. It’s vital to take advice and adapt it to your own personal situation. One size does not fit all.

The Post That Didn’t Get the Attention I Felt it Deserved

While it wasn’t a long post, When Was the Last Time You Ran a Personal Best? was meant to elicit more of an emotional reaction than “how-to” advice. It got a pretty good number of comments, but it’s still one of my least popular posts.

When I wrote the article, I carefully chose the image that went along with the text. It’s Kara Goucher with her hands in the air, winning a track race with a look of absolute victory on her face. It gives me the chills every time I look at it. That image makes me want to train hard, succeed, and win races. How does it make you feel?

The Post I Am Most Proud Of

This is a tough call; I’m proud of so many posts because of the effort I put into writing it, the number of people who have said it was helpful, or the popularity of the article. I’ll have to choose Anatomy of a 6 Month IT Band Injury – Post Injury Analysis and Lessons Learned.

It’s one of the longer posts I’ve written and got a lot of comments. One reason that I am proud of this post is that it’s deeply personal: I write about the darkest days of my running career when I was hurt for months and nearly quit the sport. The post has also helped a lot of runners with their ITB injury and still gets comments months after it was published.

Satisfying? You bet.

Next Up!

As is tradition, I want to nominate a few other writers to look at their top posts. I’d love to see this same article from:

Be sure to check out these websites for some of the best writing on trail running, gear reviews, minimalism, and ultramarathons.

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Lisa

I like that Kara photo too. It’s awesome to see someone who knows they just pulled off something awesome. Like she’s the queen of everything!

I really liked that post. A lot of these would be on the must-read list if I send someone here. If only I could get more people running…

Fitz

I’m sure you’re helping a lot of people via Twitter and your blog!

David H.

Your most popular is definitely one of my favorites. I think I’ve posted it everywhere quite a few times!

Fitz

Awesome, thanks Dave.

Donald

Yikes! OK, I’ll try to get on it soon. Great idea!

Lydia

How did I miss the nice debate with Mark in December? Classic. I love it! bwahhh

I loved looking back at your “best” posts. Thanks for always being so willing to share!

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