🏃‍♂️ The First One

Good afternoon!

This week we are launching the Happy Runner Weekly Archives. A place where you can review every past newsletter. Every tip, lesson, and world record in one place. Check it out here.

This week: The first woman to break 63 minutes, winter running and mobility

Happy running, 😁


Mobility vs Flexibility

Mobility vs. Flexibility

Sometimes the running world can be very confusing. For example, some studies suggest that stretching and being flexible do not affect running, and others say it does. And if you ask ten coaches or runners about the subject, you will get mixed and contradictory answers.

But we believe that talking about stretching and flexibility is the wrong topic. We should be talking about mobility.

But what’s the difference between mobility and flexibility?

Mobility is the ability of a joint to move freely through a full range of motion without pain or discomfort. Flexibility, on the other hand, is the ability of a muscle to lengthen fully.

Why is mobility important to run better?

Runners with good mobility can move powerfully through the mechanics of running, including:

  • strong upward knee drive
  • adequate hip extension (requiring flexibility in the hip flexors)
  • proper activation of the glute muscles

Mobility affects how you run; poor mobility means poor mechanics, negatively impacting everything you do as a runner.

You can try this effective 10-minute mobility routine to start improving as a runner.


New Half Marathon World Record

New Half Marathon World Record

Last Sunday, at the Valencia Half Marathon, Ethiopian runner Letesenbet Gidey smashed the women’s half-marathon world record in 1:02:52.

She not only just became the first woman to run the half marathon in under 63 minutes; she also became the first one to break 64 minutes—the previous half marathon mark of 1:04:02 set by Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich.

One more impressive fact: it was her first half marathon race ever.

Whaaaattt? 🤯

“I’m so happy to break the world record in my first half marathon and my first race for the NN Running Team. Gracias Valencia,”, said Gidey.

The 23-year-old Gidey, who is also the world 5,000 meters (14:06.62) and 10,000 meters (29:01.03) record-holder. We wrote about her in June when she broke the 10,000 world record.

A little context.

  • That’s 4:48 per mile for 13.1 miles
  • That’s 2:59 per kilometer for 21K

The men’s world record is 57:32 (also achieved in Valencia in 2020); that’s just 5 minutes faster than Gidey’s time. In the marathon, the difference is almost 13 minutes—2:14:04 for women and 2:01:39 for men.

We need to use this emoji one more time 🤯🤯


Fast Winter Running Tips

Fast Winter Running Tips

As you know, over the next few weeks, we will be sharing tips and information to make the most out of your winter runs.

Last week we talked about hypothermia. Today we want to share some quick, helpful tips before going into more detail over the following weeks.

Dress like it’s warmer.

Look at the weather and dress like it’s 5°C warmer. You should be slightly cool when you start. If you don’t, you will overheat mid-run.


Your clothes layering needs to achieve the following things:

  • Block outside air and water if it’s raining.
  • Retain heat.
  • Transfer moisture to keep you dry and warm.

Based on a 2012 research by H.S. Yoo and E.A. Kim, the most efficient layer system looks like this:

  • Base layer = merino wool
  • Mid layer = fleece
  • Outer layer = breathable wind and waterproof jacket.

Protect your respiratory system

For temperatures below 10°F (-12°C) wear a cold-weather face mask or neck-gaiter to help warm and moist air before it reaches your lungs.

Running Shoes

We will go deeper into this subject in the next week (we love talking about shoes), but for now, focus on these two characteristics:

  1. Good grip.
  2. Waterproof.

And ignore people who say you don’t need them and that you can run on your summer/regular shoes (like I was just reading on Reddit here.) Winter is not the time to feel brave or smarter than others. The proper clothes and shoes will make a huge difference in your running.

Other quick considerations

  • Warm-up
  • Run into the wind first
  • Avoid holding your breath
  • Change clothes quickly after your run.
  • DRINK WATER. You lose a lot of water through breathing.

And remember to have fun!


New Beer Mile World Record (beer, 1/4 mile, beer, 1/4 mile, beer, 1/4 mile, beer, 1/4 mile).

Don’t overcomplicate or micromanage things. Just KISS (Keep It Stupid Simple). This Twitter thread is a great read.

Book of the WeekPeak – It distills three decades of myth-shattering research into a powerful learning strategy that is fundamentally different from the way people traditionally think about acquiring new abilities.

Happy running, and see you next week.

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