Richard A. Lovett writes & hangs out with runners

Richard A. Lovett is my professional name. Friends know me as Rick. I’ve done a lot of things in my life, but these days, I’m primarily a writer and running coach. The details are elsewhere on this site, but for now, I’ll cut to the chase:

Science writing. Over the years, I’ve written for Science, Nature, New Scientist, Scientific American, National Geographic News, Cosmos, and Popular Science. I’ve also written dozens of science articles for Analog Science Fiction & Fact. I’ve swept together 17 of my favorites into a book, Here Be There Dragons.

Science fiction. My work has largely appeared in Analog, but I’ve also sold to Nature, Cosmos, Apex & Abyss, Wisconsin, Running Times, Marathon & Beyond, and Generation. It’s mostly short fiction, although I’m considering turning a series of novellas into a novel. Some of my stories have been collected in a book, Phantom Sense & Other Stories.

Awards. I’ve won 11 of Analog’s Analytical Laboratory Awards, which is basically a reader’s choice award. They are split about equally between fiction and science. That makes me the most decorated writer in Analog’s history, which is something I still sometimes find hard to believe.

Sports writing. I don’t write about the latest scores; I write about how to improve your own game–generally in distance running, although I’ve also written  about bicycle touring and cross-country skiing. Recently, I write mostly for Peak Performance (in the UK), but in the past I’ve written for Running Times, Marathon & Beyond, and Competitor.

• Coaching. For a dozen years, I’ve coached  Portland, Oregon’s, 250-member Team Red Lizard. Six times, I have also had the privilege of coaching women for the U.S. Olympic Team Marathon Trials—twice each in 2012, 2016, and now, 2020.

The science of running and aging

I wrote this article in 2009 for Running Times, and amazingly it’s still online. It’s also an evergreen topic: “The Science of Aging and Running: Why your body slows and what you can do about it.

Last spring, fresh into a new masters age group, I ran a 5K. Nothing unusual in that; I’d run spring 5Ks the year before … and the year before that … for quite a few years. The surprise was that I was 45 seconds faster than I’d been in any recent year. Age-graded, it was a massive PR.

Short course, I thought, but a couple weeks later, I did it again, then twice more. Friends were wondering about my training. “What are you doing differently?” they asked.

When I went back and looked at my training logs, the answer was surprising: I’d cut back my mileage. I’d done it simply because I was busy, but as the winter progressed, my speed workouts had responded. For masters runners, less is often more.

Aging, like injuries, is one of those things most of us prefer to more.