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Runner's Web Digest - February 5, 2021 - Posted: February 5, 2021

The Runner's Web Digest is a FREE weekly digest of information on running, triathlons and multisport activities.
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Runner's Web Digest INDEX

1.How Do You Measure Exercise Intensity?
2. Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Performance Review
3. Planning on running a marathon? A sports dietitian on what to eat for long-distance running 
4. How should you use caffeine during training and racing?
5. Will You Run an In-Person Race This Year?
6. You Need a Stronger Body, Not a Better Bike Part 3:
7. Testing Whether Fast Kids Make Future Champions
8. Training Stimulus Threshold and Recoverability: The reason why you aren’t running as fast as you can. 
9. Fitness: How much exercise is enough to keep unwanted pounds from returning?
10. The Benefits of Moderate-Intensity Exercise for Your Metabolic Health
11. When to Workout Indoors, and How to Do It Well
12. The Data Behind a Once-a-Week Strength Routine
13. Can Exercise Make You More Creative?
14. The menstrual month: how to exercise effectively at every stage of your cycle
15. Is high-tech sports gear helping - or hindering - our state of play?
What is/are your favourite race distance(s)?
*	Marathon
*	Half-Marathon
*	10K
*	8K
*	5K
*	Steeplechase
*	1500M/Mile
*	800M
*	Sprints
*	Ultras 

Vote here

Which is/are your favourite event group(s) within athletics at the Olympic Games?
1	Sprints/hurdles 	231  (13%)
2	Middle distance 	307  (17%)
3	Long distance 	381  (21%)
4	Steeplechase 	197  (11%)
5	Jumps (high, long, triple jump) 	175  (10%)
6	Throws (shot, discus, javelin) 	164  (9%)
7	Pole vault 	170  (9%)
8	Decathlon/Heptathlon 	216  (12%)
Total Votes: 1841

Paula Findlay, Canadian Olympian and Professional Triathlete.
Paula Findlay is as big a name as it gets when it comes to triathlon in Canada. Her journey in the sport began as a swimmer when she was 10 years old, growing up in Edmonton, Alberta. She found a love for running while in high school, and in 2006, her coach talked her into getting a bike and trying her first triathlon. That year, she qualified for her first Junior World Championship team and the fire was officially lit.
Paula exploded on the international scene as a 21 year old when she won 5 ITU World Championship Series races in a row over the span of two seasons, a feat no woman in history had achieved. She competed in London at the 2012 Olympic Games, and at the 2015 Pan American games for Canada.
In 2017, in search of a fresh challenge, Paula decided to test her fitness on the long-course side of the sport. The longer distance and the non-drafting bike leg were both factors that played to her strengths. In May 2018, in her 3rd 70.3 ever, she won the North American Pro Championships in St George, Utah, solidifying her ranks amongst the best long course triathletes in the world.
In an age of social media algorithms and filtration, Paula stands out with her unique twist on the triathlon lifestyle. She trains out of Portland, Oregon and Canmore, AB with her boyfriend and fellow pro triathlete Eric Lagerstrom. Their love for photography and video allows them to share their journey and stories with fans through their social media platforms. Often traveling from training camps and races in their big Sprinter van, they’ve made a distinctive mark together on the triathlon scene.
While Paula’s primary athletic goal is to win races and improve each year, as an ambassador of the sport and of her partners, she seeks to build lasting relationships in order to share the products she loves in an authentic and real way. Triathlon is an evolving sport where there is value beyond being on the podium, so her honest and organic connection with her audience makes her a crowd favourite in the triathlon world.
Paula’s long-course career is just getting going and at 30 years old with renewed mojo - it will be exciting to see what she can accomplish. Her main goal is to be on the podium at the 70.3 World Championships in 2020.
Visit the website at:

Eliud Kipchoge - History's fastest marathoner: An insight into the Kenyan life that shapes legends
*Kindle Edition*
By Tait Hearps (Author), Matt Inglis Fox (Author)
Forty-two thousand, one hundred and ninety-five metres. In under two hours?
Some would claim that the two-hour marathon is an inevitable progression of the sport of athletics, akin to the once impenetrable barrier of the four-minute mile. However, many would argue that this is a much more formidable obstacle, one that is at odds with human physiology.
This was the case, until in May 2017, Nike staged the Breaking2 project in Monza, Italy. Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya came so close to achieving just that. What many regarded as a moon shot, the combination of Eliud’s extraordinary talent, strength and mental fortitude, with Nike’s technology and their legion of exercise scientists, came so close to culminating in an achievement that so many regarded as futuristic, if not impossible.
Although not ratified by the IAAF as an official world record, Eliud’s magnificent run opened many people’s eyes to the imminent possibility, if not the inevitability, of a sub-two-hour marathon.
Kipchoge’s efforts were subsequently diverted to Berlin, a world record beckoning. In an effort to unearth the formula that enables such incredible performances, we decided to travel to Kenya in August 2017, seeking to observe Kipchoge and his counterparts in preparation for the race.
Detailing the experience of spending several weeks immersed in Kenya’s rich running culture - an incubator of running’s elite - and the most striking components of Eliud’s training, the book explores the ascetic devotion of this group of men and the aspects of Eliud’s life that have supported and propelled him to reach such vertiginous heights.
Buy the book from: Amazon.

For more books on running and Triathlon visit:,,, and


1. How Do You Measure Exercise Intensity?
One of the key metrics in tracking your workouts is intensity. And yet, as runners, we don’t often hear “intensity” talked about. We talk about time and distance, and we talk about pace, intervals, and hills. From reading about training plans, we know that varying the difficulty of our workouts from day to day is an important part of making progress. Even if we know that this all relates to intensity, many of us don’t know how to measure intensity.
Knowing how to measure your workouts by intensity will help you gain far better understanding of your fitness journey.
So in this article we’ll discuss why you should measure exercise intensity and how to do it, both with and without a heart rate monitor.
Whether you’re happy with your fitness routine, or have started running to pick things up, measuring intensity will help you get the most out of your exercising.
More...from The Wired Runner.

2. Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Performance Review:
Weighs 10.7 oz. (303 g) for a US M10.5 / 7.9 oz. (223 g) for a US W7.5
Full ZoomX midsole and full rubber outsole
Flyknit upper provides premium comfort for all foot types
Hopefully you boarded the crypto express early in the game, because this is a $180 daily trainer
ROBBE: The last couple of years for the Nike running family have been like a cryptocurrency rollercoaster. It started with an early plunge as the much-beloved Epic React line mets its demise, then rebounded with the birth of the OG React Infinity. Then a surprise Olympic Trials Alphafly NEXT% drop sent shockwaves through the market, and was quickly followed by a flat plateau of the ho-hum Nike React Miler (it’s actually a decent shoe, btw). Oh and somewhere in there, the Pegasus Turbo 2 just disappeared because darlings are meant to be killed, I guess.
Hopefully you bought in at the bottom, because things are bouncing back (literally) with the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run. Nothing will drive a price higher than being crowned the only daily trainer in the Nike fam with a full ZoomX midsole – that big, bouncy vanilla milkshake bottom that brings all the boys (and girls) to the yard. Couple that with a wildly wide outsole base, a Flyknit upper, and other stuff, and you have a shoe that is … kind of unlike anything else.
More...from Believe in the Run.

3. Planning on running a marathon? A sports dietitian on what to eat for long-distance running :
Did you make a New Year’s resolution to run a marathon? Or perhaps you’ve conquered a marathon and want to take on an even longer event?
Your diet is crucial in long-distance running. If you don’t eat the right foods in the right amounts, you might not get enough energy to train and compete properly.
Over time, not having enough energy during training can lead to “relative energy deficiency in sport” (RED-S) syndrome. This condition can cause problems such as poor recovery between training sessions, reduced training capacity, recurring injuries, and a suppressed immune system.
It can also put you at risk of further health complications. The major long-term one is an increased risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. Depending on the severity, it can also cause heart problems and gastrointestinal issues such as constipation.
To lower your risk of relative energy deficiency, here’s what you should eat if you’re running long distances.
More...from The Conversation.

4. How should you use caffeine during training and racing?
Caffeine is a go-to supplement for athletes across many sporting disciplines, thanks to its proven and legal performance-enhancing effects (the World Anti-Doping Agency approved its use in sport in 2004).
It especially lends itself to enhancing endurance performance but are athletes using it effectively? And if you aren’t using caffeine already, should you be?
What are the benefits and drawbacks of athletes using caffeine?
For many people, a caffeinated drink is the only way to get the day started on the right footing. For example, PH founder Andy Blow once walked through a coffee shop's drive-thru and convinced the poor barista to serve him a double shot Americano as it was the only place open at 4:30am that day!
Knowing Andy’s penchant for an early morning run, he was no doubt looking for a quick boost before heading out to get some pre-work miles in.
Andy’s not alone in needing that coffee 'hit' to get his day going as caffeine is a stimulant drug that can increase alertness and it has also been shown to reduce perception of effort, as well as increase fat oxidation - an effect which might preserve muscle glycogen stores and delay an athlete’s time to fatigue.
More...from Precision Hydration.

5. Will You Run an In-Person Race This Year?
Dear Readers,
Many of you ran virtual races last year - and this year, you’re probably going to run a few more, with a mix of in-person races.
That’s one conclusion from Running U.S.A.’s 2020 Global Runner Survey, which asked more than 4,500 runners about how they felt about running in a pandemic year, and what they see ahead.
The survey found that 73 percent of respondents did at least one virtual event in 2020. On average, those who participated in this type of event ran four.
That wasn’t a big surprise, said Dawna Stone, the new chief executive of Running U.S.A. “A lot of in-person races gave you the option to go virtual. For some, that was the only option you had,” she said.
The survey also found that while 50 percent of runners prefer in-person events, 21 percent of runners are somewhat or very likely to do another virtual event this year.
As for in-person racing in 2021, 87 percent of respondents said that they expect some Covid-related cancellation of events ahead. What will make runners come back to in-person events is not so clear: 44 percent said that they are likely to do an in-person event locally; 20 percent said they wouldn’t run in person again until a vaccine was available; and 24 percent said they won’t until they feel safe — even after a vaccine.
The idea of when enough people will feel safe enough to run big events is part of a tricky equation race directors are facing right now, along with whether local governments will allow them to have gatherings of thousands of people and fans by the summer or fall. The Boston Athletic Association announced it plans to hold the Boston Marathon on Oct. 11 — if “road races are allowed to take place as part of the Massachusetts reopening plan,” according to a statement.
Race directors are looking at everything right now, said Stone, from changing the number of participants in the race to working with local municipalities to keep racecourses open for longer so that runners can space themselves out by staggering their start times. She said to expect any typical post-race parties, like gatherings where runners can get complimentary finish-line beers, to be nixed, too.

"Everything right now is stemming from the comfort level of participants but also the ability to put on a large event safely," she said. "I would love to be able to look into that crystal ball and say how we are all going to feel three months from now, six months from now."
What will make you feel OK about doing an in-person race in 2021? Let me know - I’m on Twitter @byjenamiller.
Run Well!
Jen A. Miller
Author, "Running: A Love Story".

6. You Need a Stronger Body, Not a Better Bike Part 3:
Training at the pump track can elevate your mountain biking skills to the next level. Here’s why—and how to start taking advantage.
In the first installment of this series, I focused on the necessity of strength development for mountain bikers of all kinds. Then in part two I explored how you can improve your power development using various kinds of interval training. For this third article, let’s take aim at how you can use a pump track to increase your MTB skill level and elevate your fitness, simultaneously.
Get Pumped Up
As much fun as it is to ride on tracks, trails, and other wild settings, it’s likely that you can only get out and about a couple of times a week unless you’re a professional athlete, someone with a lot of time on your hands, or have ready access to nature outside your front door. So what should you do the rest of the week?
In parts one and two of this series, I suggested that you spend some of it in the gym working on your strength and power, and gave you a few ideas on how to do so. Depending on the season, the amount of actual mountain biking you’re able to do might diminish significantly due to the weather, and there’s only a certain amount of time anyone (even me as a coach) wants to spend indoors on strength and power training.
More...from Training Peaks.

7. Testing Whether Fast Kids Make Future Champions:
Winning races when you’re young may seem like a good predictor of future success, but it’s not perfect
A few weeks ago, I wrote about an attempt to use DNA testing to retroactively predict athletic success. It failed miserably, and I rehashed a great line from sports scientist Carl Foster, as told to David Epstein in his book The Sports Gene: “If you want to know if your kid is going to be fast, the best genetic test right now is a stopwatch. Take him to the playground and have him face the other kids."
That seems like solid, common-sense advice—but it’s not actually science. In fact, the accuracy of the stopwatch as a predictor of future athletic greatness has been a topic of great debate over the past few decades, wrapped into larger discussions about the nature of talent, the 10,000-hour rule, and the benefits and pitfalls of early specialization. So it seems timely to take a look at a newly published study of Belgian cyclists that tests the proposition that how a kid does when he "faces the other kids" is a good indicator of championship potential.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.

8. Training Stimulus Threshold and Recoverability: The reason why you aren’t running as fast as you can:
Everyone is different. We all recover at different rates for different workouts. In this episode, we explore why some athletes need work work, why others need more recovery, and how to identify and modulate your training to give each athlete what they need.
Listen to the podcast on Science of Running.

9. Fitness: How much exercise is enough to keep unwanted pounds from returning?
Losing weight is tough enough, but keeping it off can be an even greater challenge.
challenge. Forty to 65 per cent of adults who lose five per cent or more of their body weight stand to gain it all back within two years. Exercise has been touted as a key strategy to countering the slow creep of unwanted weight, mostly for its ability to help the body adapt to the physiological changes related to weight loss — some of which actually increase the likelihood of weight regain. In fact, exercise is thought to be more influential in weight maintenance than in weight loss.
But it takes more than a walk around the block to keep the weight off. Most evidence suggests it takes anywhere from 200 to 450 minutes of exercise a week to prevent weight regain. If you think that’s a lot, you’re right — especially since only 16 per cent of Canadians get the 150 minutes of exercise a week recommended to improve health. It’s no wonder, then, that so few people can sustain the exercise commitment needed to maintain their new weight.
More...from the Montreal Gazette.

10. The Benefits of Moderate-Intensity Exercise for Your Metabolic Health:
No need to give up your HIIT sessions completely, but consider having a more well-rounded workout routine.
Recent research in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that exercising at a moderate intensity more times per week may be more beneficial in terms of losing fat and lowering blood pressure than exercising at high intensity fewer times per week.
However, that’s not to say one intensity is necessarily better than the other—there’s room for both HIIT and steady-state workouts in your routine to keep it well-rounded.
What’s better for your metabolic health and performance: the kind of short-intense bursts seen with high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or more moderate exercise like a steady-state run?
A recent study comparing the two suggests that’s a trick question.
Published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the study looks at 23 sedentary, overweight men who contributed health information like blood pressure and body composition before drinking fat-laden shakes to determine metabolic response. Half of the participants did interval training three times per week on stationary bikes, which comprised of four to six rounds of 30 seconds of hard effort with two minutes of recovery in between rounds. The other half did a moderate-intensity exercise program, riding the bikes at a comfortable pace for about 40 minutes total, five times per week.
More...from Runner's World.

11. When to Workout Indoors, and How to Do It Well:
5 training situations when it’s best to hit the treadmill, and a few pro tips on how to make it successful and fun.
Carbon fiber plates aside, few topics are as polarizing among runners as treadmills. Opponents stand by the toughness they gain from gritting it out in the elements, day after day after day. The sacrifice in pace is worth it, they say, when race day comes and they’re ready for anything.
On the other end of the spectrum are runners who view the treadmill as a training tool, one especially helpful in the depths of winter. From slick surfaces to seasonal fatigue, there are a number of reasons why runners choose to run inside this time of year. Below, four elite runners and I share details on when we take our workouts indoors and how we make the most of them.
More...from Podium Runner.

12. The Data Behind a Once-a-Week Strength Routine:
A new study plots the progression of thousands of people following an ultra-minimalist training plan. The results are impressive—at least initially.
There’s good news and bad news in a remarkable new multi-year study of nearly 15,000 people who followed an ultra-minimalist strength training plan involving just one short workout a week. The good news is that the training really works, despite taking less than 20 minutes a week all in street clothes. The bad news is that it eventually stops working, or at least gets less effective—a phenomenon that the researchers argue may be universal rather than specific to the training plan, and that has important implications for how we think about long-term training goals.
There’s good news and bad news in a remarkable new multi-year study of nearly 15,000 people who followed an ultra-minimalist strength training plan involving just one short workout a week. The good news is that the training really works, despite taking less than 20 minutes a week all in street clothes. The bad news is that it eventually stops working, or at least gets less effective—a phenomenon that the researchers argue may be universal rather than specific to the training plan, and that has important implications for how we think about long-term training goals.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.

13.Can Exercise Make You More Creative?
To spur innovation and ideas, try taking a walk.
If you often exercise, there’s a good chance you also tend to be more creative, according to an interesting new study of the links between physical activity and imagination. It finds that active people come up with more and better ideas during tests of their inventiveness than people who are relatively sedentary, and suggests that if we wish to be more innovative, we might also want to be movers and shakers.
Science already offers plenty of evidence that physical activity influences how we think. Many studies in people and animals show that our brains change in response to physical activity, in part because during exercise we marinate our brains with extra blood, oxygen and nutrients. In rodent studies, animals that regularly exercise produce far more new brain cells than their sedentary counterparts and perform better on thinking tests, even if they are elderly. In people, too, exercise tends to sharpen our abilities to reason and remember and buoys our moods.
More...from the NY Times.

14. The menstrual month: how to exercise effectively at every stage of your cycle:
The physiological changes that take place around a woman’s period can affect her training. Experts assess when to take it easy - and when you should go hard
When Evgenia Koroleva started learning about her menstrual cycle and the effect it was having on her, week to week, she says: "It blew my mind. Why did I know so little about my body?" A gym owner, Koroleva has since created a training programme based around an individual’s cycle, which she says will optimise results.
Hers is not the first to take the menstrual cycle into consideration when it comes to exercise. Interest has grown hugely in recent years, with elite athletes tracking physiological changes and coaches educating themselves about the effects. For the rest of us, there are apps and cycle trackers, but the area is still woefully under-researched (blame male-dominated medicine and sport).
There are also a lot of conflicting results, while almost half of the existing studies are low quality, says Kelly Lee McNulty, a PhD student at Northumbria University, who is investigating the effects of the menstrual cycle on performance, adaptation and recovery. “While performance and training based on the menstrual cycle is such an interesting concept, and very popular at the moment, there’s not enough published high-quality evidence,” she says. (There is even less on the impact of hormonal contraception on exercise performance, so where we refer here to the menstrual cycle, it is for women who are not on the pill or using an implant.) However, there are generalities that could be helpful for some women. Here is how your cycle may be affecting your workout.
More...from the Guardian.

`15. Is high-tech sports gear helping - or hindering - our state of play?:
trip to Switzerland. The terrain in the Alps can be challenging, but the RaceTiger isn’t branded as skiers’ “weapon of choice” for nothing. Carving turns on steep pitches and icy terrain felt automated – as though a machine was taking all of the grunt work of holding my edge and exhausting my legs entirely out of the equation. Could I ever rip – faster than I ever have before. But while the speed was a real thrill, it felt more like I was a passenger on the ride – rather than the driver behind the wheel.
Indeed, the skis were taking on the grind I craved. “That’s the extra-hard wood located just behind the sidewall for added stability and grip that gives you easy access to quick turns all over the mountain,” says Michael Kay, marketing and communications manager at MDV Sports, home to three of the world’s foremost ski sports brands, Marker, Dalbello and Volkl.
The company’s research and development team spends an inordinate amount of time testing the performance on hundreds of prototypes – from giant slalom to big powder skis – across varying snow conditions, terrains and skill sets so they can tweak the geometry, construction and flexibility as they go along. That focus on staying nimble means they’re able to push out new prototypes every two weeks.

More...from the Globe and Mail.

*Please verify event dates with the event websites available from our FrontPage.

Upcoming Races, Marathons, Races, and Triathlons February 5, 2021: ISTAF Indoor - Berlin, Germany February 6, 2021: egas Golden Night & Day - Las Vegas, Nevada February 7, 2021: American Track League #3 - Fayetteville, AR February 13, 2021: New Balance Indoor Grand Prix - Boston, MA 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 February 26-28, 2021: Adidas Indoor Track & Field National Championships - Virginia Beach, VA For more complete race listings check out our Upcoming Races, and Calendars. Have a good week of training and/or racing. Ken Email:

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