7. The Power of Running Goals:
Setting goals is one of the most useful behavior change mechanisms for enhancing performance and quality of life. It's been linked to higher self-confidence, autonomy, and motivation. Now, more than ever, we need creative, effective goals to sustain us through this time without our usual race targets. Here's how to set running goals that are motivating, sustainable and fulfilling — and will help you become a better runner.
More...from Podium Runner.
8. When to Stop Strength Training Before a Big Race:
Correctly timing all the elements of your taper can give you an extra edge on race day.
The trickiest part of strength training, for most endurance athletes, is getting started. There are plenty of good reasons to do it, both for health and for performance. But there’s an important wrinkle that doesn’t get much attention: when should you stop?
The practice of tapering - a short-term reduction of training before an important competition - is common practice. A big review of tapering studies back in 2007 concluded that the best approach is a two-week period during which you gradually reduce training volume by 40 to 60 percent without altering the frequency or intensity of your workouts. More recently, researchers have suggested that a “mental taper,” avoiding stressful or mentally fatiguing activities before a big race, could be useful. But how and when do you taper your strength training routine?
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
9. An 11-Minute Body-Weight Workout With Proven Fitness Benefits:
Five minutes of burpees, jump squats and other calisthenics, alternating with rest, improved aerobic endurance in out-of-shape men and women.
Five minutes of burpees, jump squats and other calisthenics significantly improve aerobic endurance, according to one of the first randomized, controlled trials to test the effects of brief body-weight workouts. The study’s findings are predictable but reassuring, at a time when many of us are relying on short exercise sessions in our homes to gain or retain our fitness. They provide scientific assurance that these simple workouts will work, physiologically, and our burpees will not be in vain.
More...from the NY Times.
10.Balancing Confusion vs. Habituation in Training:
Understanding how the body adapts to stress helps us to know when and how to change our training.
Legend has it that the ancient Greek wrestler Milo of Croton trained by carrying a newborn calf on his shoulders every day until it grew into an adult bull. This training enabled Milo to become one of the strongest men around, and to win six Olympic titles. While Milo probably didn’t articulate to the curious onlookers that carrying a growing bull on his shoulders around town was an example of progressive overload, this training theory became the basis for developing muscle strength.
Because a calf grows slowly into a bull, it wasn’t every day that Milo lifted a heavier animal than the day before. The training stress didn’t drastically change from day to day or even week to week. Milo’s muscles had time to adapt to the animal’s current weight, slowly progressing to heavier and heavier weights as the animal aged.
More...from Podium Runner.
11. Decoding the DNA of 5 Olympic Athletes:
A new study tries—and fails—to predict athletic greatness with a DNA test. Thank goodness.
Back in 2008, The New York Times ran an article about the launch of a genetic testing service that promised to tell you if your kid was destined for athletic stardom. “[I]f you wait until high school or college to find out if you have a good athlete on your hands, by then it will be too late,” the president of Atlas Sports Genetics said. “We need to identify these kids from one and up, so we can give the parents some guidelines on where to go from there.”
Since then, the scientific community has been pretty much unanimous in dismissing this perspective as a bunch of crap. In 2015, for example, two dozen of the world’s leading sports genetics researchers published a consensus statement in the British Journal of Sports Medicine affirming that “genetic tests have no role of play in talent identification.” As far as I can tell, Atlas has gone out of business.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
12. 'No limit' - the more exercise the better, heart health study finds:
When it comes to matters of heart health, no amount of exercise is too much, scientists said on Tuesday in research that debunks the myth that high levels of vigorous physical activity might not always be beneficial.
The research found "every move counts" towards improving cardiovascular health, the scientists said, with the lowest risk for heart disease seen in people who exercised the most.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading world’s number one cause of death - killing almost 18 million people a year globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
This research, which involved more than 90,000 people studied over a five-year period, found that those in the top 25% of people who engaged in vigorous-intensity activity had an average reduction in risk heart disease of between 54% and 63%.
13. The science behind the runner’s high"
Recent research suggests endorphins may not be behind the mood-boosting effects of running.
As runners, we all know there’s no better feeling than the runner’s high - that mood-lifting, exhilarating sensation that occurs only after a hard run that seems like your brain’s way of rewarding you for a good effort. While there’s no doubt that this feeling is real, the reason behind it is less certain. For years, scientists have pointed toward endorphins as the main cause of the runner’s high, but more recent research has suggested this may not be the case. Instead, some researchers believe it could be linked to our ancient biology, and a class of chemicals called endocannabinoids may be the real reason running makes us so happy.
More...from Canadian Running Magazine.
14. A little bit of everything:
2011 European Indoor Champion Helen Clitheroe tells Matt Long & Lewis Moses about how she worked on foundational and fundamental development before specialising in track and field.
In first of our three part series, the 2002 Commonwealth Games 1500m bronze medallist, Helen Clitheroe, recalled her career as a world class performance athlete, who appeared in two Olympic Games.
In our second piece, Helen regressed down the long-term athlete development pyramid to revisit her transition from middle distance athlete, to knowing that her event specialism would become the metric mile. This third and final piece regresses her still to look at her childhood focus on foundational and fundamental athletic development.
With gusto Helen tells us that, “I did loads of different sports as a kid. I think I went to just about very after-club going!”.
More...from (Fast Running.
15. The Ultimate Guide to Aging Well: Diet, Exercise and Health Tips:
The Ultimate Guide to Aging Well: Diet, Exercise and Health Tips.
Aging is the great inevitably that comes to all of us. But it doesn’t have to be something to dread. In fact, growing older should be seen as a gift and something that allows us to spend even more time experiencing everything this wonderful planet has to offer.
It is important to take care of ourselves as we age though, especially if we want to make the most of the time that’s been afforded to us.
Exercise, diet, and a healthy state of mind are the trifecta that need special attention as we make our way through our older years. Neglecting these can lead to an early decline, and that’s just not something we’re willing to let happen!
More...from Health and Wellness.
*Please verify event dates with the event websites available from our FrontPage.
Upcoming Races, Marathons, Races, and Triathlons
February 14, 2021:
Austin Marathon - Austin, TEX
February 19, 2021:
RAK Half-Marathon - Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirate
Tel Aviv Samsung Marathon - Israel
February 20-21, 2021:
Gasparilla Distance Classic - Tampa Bay, FLA
February 26-27, 2021:
Texas Qualifier - Austin Texas
For more complete race listings check out our Upcoming Races, and Calendars.
Have a good week of training and/or racing.