1. How to Hold on to Your Sprint Speed as You Age:
Maintaining the ability to hit top gear after your 20s is useful even for endurance athletes, and takes specific training.
Even for those of us who love endurance above all else, thereís something about sprinting. Your top speed can win or lose races, and can also serve as an indirect marker of muscle and tendon properties that affect how efficiently you run even at lower speeds. It determines whether you catch that bus, return that passing shot, and, eventually, get out of that armchair. Many of the challenges of daily living, once you hit your 70s and 80s and beyond, are essentially tests of all-out power rather than sustained endurance (though both are important).
The problem is that sprint speed starts declining after your 20s, and most endurance athletes have no clue how to preserve it. A recent paper in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, from former British Olympic sprinter Craig Pickering and John Kiely, both of the University of Central Lancashire, and Dylan Hicks of Flinders University in Australia, asks two linked questions: Why, exactly, do sprinters get slower as they age? And how can we use this knowledge to slow the decline?
More...from Seweay Science on Outside Online.
2. Nike Air Zoom Victory Performance Review:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 4.6 oz. (130 g) for a US M8.5 / US W10
ZoomX and forefoot Zoom Air air unit make this the bounciest spike on the market
Basically, this is the Alphafly of the track
Good luck finding a pair
JORDY: The Nike Air Zoom Victory is a beautiful sight. Itís a spike that not only excels on the track but as a fashion piece with two beautiful colorways (my favorite is the mango). Not only did Nike kill it on the aesthetics, but they packed so much tech into this track stunner that makes it THE SPIKE for breaking records.
MERCER: Nike, Nike, Nike. You took the Victory 3, a light spike with an aggressive plate that ruled over the mid-distance landscape, and went back into the lab to create this Frankenstein. I wouldnít put it past you to have used lightning to bring the Air Zoom Victory to life.
Everything in this shoe has been redone, so much so that itís not simply the new Victory. With a new AtomKnit upper, some ZoomX in the heel and the same sharkskin grip as the dragonfly in the heel and arch areas, this spike is a freak. Oh, and donít forget about the Zoom Air unit that makes this the Alphafly of the track.
More...from Belive in the Run.
3. 5 Signs You Need to Adjust Your Training Load:
Are you one to push through workouts no matter whatís going on in your life? Here are 5 signs that you might be overdoing it.
How do you know if you are training too hard or not recovering adequately? This is one of the hardest things to get right as an athlete, but doing so will help improve your performance and decrease your risk of overuse injuries. Sometimes an adjustment to training is needed, but other times improved sleep and nutrition, for example, could be the ticket to achieving balance. Here are five signs you need to adjust your training load/recovery balance.
1. Impaired Feeling & Increased Perceived Exertion
TrainingPeaks allows you to rank each workout by feel and perceived exertion. Feeling is measured with a range of smiley to frowny faces, and the perceived exertion is rated on a scale of one to ten. Comparing sessions is easy when looking at the calendar view on TrainingPeaks. For example, letís say every Tuesday and Thursday you complete a 6- or 7-mile run in Zone 2 at the same pace and on the same route. For three weeks you rank these sessions with a feeling of a smiley face and a perceived exertion of a three. But during the fourth week, you rank these sessions with a frowny face and a perceived exertion of four. This is a red flag and would require further investigation about why you did not feel good on those workouts.
More...from Training Peaks.
4. When exercise was taking over my life, this is how I forged a new perspective:
During panic attacks, high school student says she exercised 'until my muscles were sore, my body burned'
A couple of months into the pandemic, I started experiencing frequent panic attacks. They could happen anywhere, anytime, but the feelings were always the same: I had a sudden urge to exercise and to do it right there and then. My mind's perception of my body suddenly changed drastically. I am huge. I am ugly. I need to exercise.
My diet did not change. But just a few minutes after I finished eating, the guilt of having just one serving too many would slowly creep up on me. You should not have eaten that. Why did you eat that? Look at yourself.
Suddenly, my jeans felt too tight, my sweater too constricting and my stomach bloated. I would quickly excuse myself from the dinner table to rush upstairs to examine myself in my bathroom mirror. You have no self-control.
More...from the CBC.
5. The best foods to help support your immune system:
With an MSc in Sports Nutrition Emily Hosker-Thornhill has used her latest Fast10 blog to pass on some useful advice.
With the absolute panic of corona virus going round at the moment, you may be worrying about what you can do to stop getting ill.
Whilst youíre probably sick of singing happy birthday whilst you wash your hands, stocking up on loo roll or searching for anti-bacterial gel, I thought Iíd talk about some nutritional advice that runners can use to help support their immune systems.
As athletes weíre constantly pushing our bodies during training. Being sick is not only boring and frustrating, but it can make you miss time off of training, which can lead to time out of competition. Competing or training whilst sick can also have a direct impact on performance levels and recovery.
More...from Fast Running.
6. The Power of Subjective Feedback in Athletic Training:
In a perfect world (or at least my version of it) all endurance athletes would have a coach. Sure, this sounds self-serving considering that I make my living in the profession, but the fact of the matter is professional coaches (and other professionals that work with athletes) can do a better job guiding athletes than athletes can when left to their own accord. Coaches can provide expertise, and also outside perspective that athletes can lean on to inform their training and development. One such area where this comes to light is harnessing the power of subjective feedback, and subsequently adjusting training. Regardless of whether you have a coach or not, are using a static training program, or are designing your own training, with a few simple skills and insight you can customize your training based on your subjective responses to training and day to day activities. Below are some key aspects derived from subjective feedback, how I interpret the feedback, and how I then adjust training accordingly.
7. If feet could speak:
Feet are much more than a physical foundation - they significantly govern fitness, movement and quality of life. Unfit feet can cause stress throughout the body, waste energy and even contribute to emotional stress.
Feet-speak: Itís a body language most of us know. From discomfort and pain, to toe deformities and joint dysfunction; from flat feet, corns, and calluses, to problems with skin and nails, these and other visual and sensory information symptomatic of stress cause our feet to cry out to our brains for help.
Foot pain is very common. Studies show that up to 36 percent of people complain of pain and other discomfort in the feet. Many more realize that removing their shoes at the end of the day makes them, and their feet, happier - meaning the feet were compressed and stressed much of the day. Moreover, clinical evaluations, from those who are inactive to athletes, uncover some type of foot dysfunction in 80 percent of individuals.
More...from Dr. Phil Maffetone.
8. Is This App the Future of AI Workouts?
The newly revamped TrainerRoad cycling app uses an advanced algorithm to create training programs custom-tailored to the user. Our writer gave it a go.
To the untrained observer, it doesnít look like much: I am a skinny 31-year-old male in my apartment bedroom, sweating profusely in spandex bib shorts atop half a bicycle. Iíve swapped the bikeís rear wheel for a smart trainer that tracks my cadence, power output, and speed. Itís classic COVID-era indoor exercise in the same vein as a Peloton bike or Zwift. But instead of a live feed of a cycling class or a video game racecourse, Iím staring at a series of blue lumps graphed on my desktop computer screen. The blue lumps represent the target power measured in watts. As a lump grows, I have to work harder. When the lump shrinks, I get a rest. A thin yellow line shows my actual power output as I attempt to complete each interval. An on-screen timer shows me how long until the intensity changes again. Occasionally, white text pops up with some sage advice from a disembodied coach:"Quick legs, high power.""Find your sit bones." Itís majorly nerdy, hardcore cycling training being foisted on one of Earthís most mediocre athletes who has absolutely no race aspirations.
More...from Outside Online.
9. Regular Exercise May Help Protect Against Severe Covid:
People who tended to be sedentary were far more likely to be hospitalized, and to die, from Covid than those who exercised regularly.
More exercise means less risk of developing severe Covid, according to a compelling new study of physical activity and coronavirus hospitalizations. The study, which involved almost 50,000 Californians who developed Covid, found that those who had been the most active before falling ill were the least likely to be hospitalized or die as a result of their illness.
The data were gathered before Covid vaccines became available and do not suggest that exercise can substitute in any way for immunization. But they do intimate that regular exercise - whether itís going for a swim, walk, run or bike ride - can substantially lower our chances of becoming seriously ill if we do become infected.
More...from the New York Times.
10. Exercise Blocks Pain, But Only For Believers:
A new study explores the links between exercise and pain perception, and how easily they can be manipulated
Exercise is a powerful analgesic, dulling the sensation of whatever pain you may be experiencing. I believe that, and therefore itís true for me. But would it remain true even if I didnít believe it?
Thatís the question at the heart of a recent study from researchers at the University of Southern Denmark, published last month in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. The study explores a phenomenon called exercise-induced analgesia, which is simply the reduction in pain sensation commonly observed following exercise. There are various theories for why this happens, including the release of pain-blocking brain chemicals such as endorphins. Or it may simply be that the discomfort of exercise desensitizes us to subsequent discomfort.
The researchers recruited 83 volunteers, roughly half male and half female, and divided them into three groups. One group was told that exercise can reduce the experience of pain; another was told that exercise can increase the experience of pain; and the third group wasnít told anything. Then all subjects did a three-minute unsupported wall-squat with legs bent to nearly 90 degrees. Before and after the squat, they did a series of tests to measure pain perception.
Sweat Science on Outside Online.
11. All of Your Questions Answered on the Caster Semenya Controversy :
Last week, a woman who is the poster athlete for perseverance and grit had her career and livelihood ripped away from her. She did nothing wrong. She did not use performance enhancing drugs like many of her competitors. Instead, she has had her private life blown open, with details about her inner organs discussed around the world. She has stood tall throughout it all. A role model for young men and women to emulate. Caster Semenya was met with a decision from the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) that she can no longer compete in the womenís category at the Olympic level. Semenya is an athlete with XY chromosomes with a Difference of Sexual Development (DSD).
The decision stings. It leaves everyone who reads it with a visceral feeling of unease. Itís unfair. But that doesnít mean that it was the wrong decision.
If you read about the Semenya case, youíre going to be met with extreme positions on both sides of the aisle. Youíll hear cries of unfairness, of why testosterone doesnít matter that much, or why donít we regulate height or weight or some other biological advantage? Some of these claims might be true, many are hyperbole at best.
The easy choice in this debate is to gravitate towards emotional rhetoric. To splash our anger across the Internet. The hard choice is to take the time to understand the complexity of the topic. To challenge ourselves to wade into the unclear world of sex and performance; a world that makes it clear that this might be the most difficult issue of modern sport.
More...from the Science of Running.
12. Running and air pollution: what you need to know:
Is running in poor air quality bad for you?
When it comes to cardiovascular fitness, running is king. It strengthens your heart and lungs, increases the number of capillaries and red blood cells in your body and improves your musclesí ability to use oxygen. But what happens when you throw air pollution into the mix? Is running still good for you? All runners should be aware of how air quality affects their health and do what they can to lessen the impact of pollution as much as possible.
How does air pollution affect runners?
A recent study published in the European Heart Journal found there is a sliding scale when it comes to pollution, exercise and risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The researchers determined that individuals living in areas with low to moderate levels of air pollution who reduced their physical activity levels increased their risk for CVD. This demonstrates that in these areas, the benefits of exercising outweigh the potential dangers of breathing in low-to-moderate amounts of air pollution. On the other hand, individuals living in areas with high levels of air pollution who increase their levels of physical activity may adversely affect their cardiovascular health.
More...from Canadian Running Magazine.
13. The Complicated Link Between Sleep and Injury:
Itís easy-maybe a bit too easy-to believe that poor sleep leaves you more vulnerable to injury. But researchers arenít so sure after all.
Itís the greatest performance hack of them all, and all it costs is a third of your time on this planet, give or take an hour or two. Iím talking about sleep, which over the past few years has become even more of an obsession among athletes and other strivers. Forget Thomas Edison and his four hours a night: the mark of a great athlete these days is"high sleepability," which is the skill of falling asleep quickly and easily whenever the opportunity arises, even if youíre not sleep deprived.
With that noble goal in mind, I bring you a new review paper, published in this monthís issue of Sports Medicine, on the links between sleep and sports injuries, a topic Iíve written about a couple of times previously. The overall conclusion, on the basis of 12 prospective studies, is that-oh waitÖ apparently thereís"insufficient evidence" to draw a link between poor sleep and injuries in most of the populations studied. This non-finding is a bit surprising, and is worth digging into a little more deeply because of what it tells us about the dangers of getting too enthusiastic about seemingly obvious performance aids.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
14. Can Eating Too Much Processed Meat Negatively Impact Your Heart Health?
A new study sheds light on some of your favorite packaged snacks.
Consuming a little over five ounces of processed meat per week may put you at greater risk for heart disease and early death, according to new research.
While packaged foods like jerky are popular snacks, raisins, dates, and fruit are healthier options that will still give you the energy to keep going.
Youíve just come back from a long run, and you want to eat a quick snack to start refueling before you make lunch. Beef jerky, half a ham and cheese sandwich, or bananas and peanut butter are all options-but should any of these fuel choices be up for reconsideration?
According to a new study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, you may want to cut back on the jerky and deli meat.
More...from Runner's World.
15. All You Need to Know About LT and VO2 Max:
The terms"LT" and"VO2 max" are used liberally in the endurance sports realm - but what are they, really, and why do they matter to you?
Out of the many metrics that influence athletic performance, itís arguable that lactate threshold (LT) and VO2 max are among the most important. Defining your LT and VO2 max numbers will help you train more efficiently, and developing these metrics is a surefire way to get across the finish line faster and stronger. Hereís what you need to know.
Understanding Your Lactate Threshold
During exercise, lactate naturally spills into your bloodstream as your body attempts to increase the breakdown of glucose for energy production. As intensity increases and energy demands can no longer be met entirely with aerobic energy systems, blood lactate levels begin to rise, and other biochemical and neurological processes prevent that intensity from being sustained for very long. If you train your body to better withstand more intense exercise, youíll therefore be able to perform longer and harder.
More...from Training Peaks.