1. The Elusive Art of Predicting Running Injuries:
Researchers are searching for telltale clues in your strength, flexibility, or body position that signal an impending injury. Itís harder than you think.
A recent journal article on running injuries starts with this gem as its first sentence: "Runners are subject to a high incidence of lower extremity injury of between approximately 20% to 80%." This pseudo-stat, which originated in a 2007 systematic review by Dutch researchers, is a kind of running joke among researchers in the field-an opening line that admits that we basically donít know anything about who gets injured and why.
Itís particularly appropriate in this case, because the new study ends up highlighting the depths of our ignorance. Researchers at Dublin City University, led by physiotherapist Sarah Dillon, explored whether itís possible to predict which runners are most likely to get injured based on tests of simple characteristics like strength, flexibility, foot position, and asymmetry. The results, which appear in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, donít say much for our ability to predict the future, but have some important implications for how we think about injury risk.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
2. Fitbit CEO James Park Tracks His Workouts, Naturally:
At 44, tech heavyweight James Park took his body and his workout to the next level-10 minutes at a time.
Not exactly what James Park wants to hear-but itís close.
On a balmy January morning, Park is in a grassy stretch of San Franciscoís Rincon Park, powering through his typical pushup routine. Heís doing as many reps as he can in two minutes (usually upward of 100-yes, really). And when he takes a brief breather (hey, thatís a lot of pushups), he finds he has a fan. A passerby asks him a question: "You ready for Cirque du Soleil?"
Park considers for a moment and then responds: "Iím thinking more American Ninja Warrior."
Of course, Park is neither ninja nor acrobat. Heís a cofounder and the CEO of Fitbit, the wearable-technology company that helped make daily steps a universal way to calculate your fitness. And last summer, after years of keeping his workouts mostly on brand (think: lots . . . of . . . walking, plus occasional running and strength work), he changed things up, introducing weight training, all those pushups, and a hearty dose of TikTok into his regimen.
More...from Men's Health.
3. The Key to Workout Success:
Set your body and your mind on the path to success with these encouraging workout tips.
Kelly and Shelly are identical twins with identical athletic histories who are now following identical training plans in preparation for an Olympic-distance triathlon - but thereís one major difference between them. While Kellyís coach is giving her performance targets for workouts that are based on an accurate assessment of her present fitness level, Shellyís coach is assigning targets that are slightly too aggressive.
As a consequence, Shelly is falling short in most of her workouts, whereas Kelly is consistently hitting her numbers. Yet the two sisters are actually performing equally in their swims, rides, and runs; itís just their workout targets that differ. The question is, how will they fare in relation to each other on race day?
More...from TRaining Peaks.
4. Different types of sports drink and when to use them:
There are a wealth of sports drinks on the market nowadays and we've outlined the key differences between hypotonic, isotonic and hypertonic drinks, as well as why Precision Hydration's drinks are all hypotonic.
Hypotonic, isotonic or hypertonic drinks - The key differences
The term 'isotonic' describes a solution that is of a similar Ďthicknessí or concentration (tonicity) as another solution. In this case it refers to a drink being of similar concentration to human blood (~285 to 295mOsm/kg)
This matters in the world of sports drinks because whether a drink is hypotonic (lower concentration that blood), isotonic (about the same concentration) or hypertonic (higher concentration) affects how much energy (carbohydrate) it can deliver and how quickly you can absorb it into your blood stream to replace the fluid you're losing in your sweat.
More...from Precision Hydration.
5. New Balance 880v11 Performance Review:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 9.7 oz. (275 g) for a US M9.0 / 8.3 oz. (235 g) for a US W7.5
Fresh Foam X midsole makes this the most fun 880 in a while
Stable, secure fit provides confident miles
A classic workhorse trainer with a little personality
JARRETT: If you read my New Balance 880v10 review, youíd know I was ready to verbally assault my fellow Red Robin patrons with my love for that shoe. Is the 880v11 worthy of a new public disturbance? Short answer, yes.
DAVE: As you read this, think for a minute. Think about your shoe rack. I bet there are a few lonely soldiers in there. You know the ones. They just donít get called into duty as much because they donít have the flash or juice that some of your other shoes do.
Iíd call the 880 one of those lonely soldiers. Itís on the rack because of its reliability, but it tends to take a backseat to the Rebel V2, Beacon or some of New Balanceís carbon options.
More...from Believe in the Run.
6. Do you really need to mask up outdoors?
It's all about managing risk, experts say - and most risks outside are very low
Despite emerging science that has changed what we know about how the coronavirus is transmitted, thereís been one constant over the past year: that outdoors is safer than indoors. But lately that message is getting murky, with Quebec recommending the wearing of masks outdoors, then rescinding the recommendation - kind of, and Ontario locking up tennis courts, banning golf and temporarily closing playgrounds - before opening them again.
So whatís changed? Is there new information suggesting that weíve been underestimating the strength of virus transmission outdoors? Or is it simply an example of messaging that doesnít reflect the science?
"Part of the problem is the data (about outside transmission) is hard to find," said Steven Rogak, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of British Columbia who is an expert in aerosols (how viruses and other small particles move through the air).
More...from the Montreal Gazette.
7. How to Build Speed with Proper Recovery:
Going hard delivers rewards, but only if you balance it with recovery.
To get faster, you need to run faster-thatís a given. But the line between pushing hard enough to see gains and over-doing it is razor-thin. To help you toe that line successfully, we asked Under Armour coach Tom Brumlik for his best advice on recovery as a strategy for getting faster.
Avoid the Speed Trap
Speed work is hard, by design. When you see that work start to pay off-faster miles, stronger miles, longer miles, all at less effort than before-it can be tempting to do speed work all the time. Sooner or later, though, too much of a good thing can catch up to you in the form of injury or burnout. "The big, common mistake is trying to work hard every day, pushing even on recovery days," says Brumlik. "You should live by the principle of keeping challenging days challenging and easy days easy."
Your body needs recovery days and rest days (more on that distinction below) in order to adapt to the increasing demands youíre making on it. Figuring out how to divide up the overall training volume can be hard. One clue: more of your training should be in an aerobic zone than an anaerobic zone. Brumlik says that even the fastest runners keep speed workouts to a minimum. "You only need to do two hard workouts in a given week," he says. "Sometimes only one, especially if youíre getting in a long run."
More...from (Outside Online.
8. These Nutrient Deficiencies Affect Women the Most, New Research Shows:
If youíre noticing slower times or more injuries lately, it may not be your training regimen thatís to blame.
Women who are athletes may be more susceptible to certain nutrient deficiencies (such as iron, calcium, and vitamin D) than men, according to new research.
This may be because female athletes are more likely to be restrictive with their eating, which can lead to greater risk for deficiencies.
If youíre not sure youíre on the right track, it can help to talk with a dietitian who specializes in sports performance. Or, when it comes to your diet, focus on getting more nutrients rather than fewer calories.
If youíre a woman and youíve been struggling with more injuries or slower times lately, it may not be your training regimen thatís the problem. According to recent research in the journal Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutriciůn (Latin American Archives of Nutrition), you may want to give your meals and snacks a closer look.
Researchers reviewed 42 studies that assessed the effect of deficits on calories, protein, minerals, and vitamins on performance. They found that female athletes were much more susceptible to iron, calcium, and vitamin D deficiencies than their male counterparts. These athletes also need to be aware of a greater need for magnesium, folic acid, and vitamin B12, the researchers added.
More...from Runner's World.
9. What is the FITT Principle?:
Frequency, Intensity, Time, TypeÖ and how they relate to cardio, strength, stretching and injury prevention.
The FITT Principle (or formula) is a great way of monitoring your exercise program. The acronym FITT outlines the key components, or training guidelines, for an effective exercise program, and the initials F, I, T, T, stand for: Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type.
Frequency: refers to the frequency of exercise undertaken or how often you exercise.
Intensity: refers to the intensity of exercise undertaken or how hard you exercise.
Time: refers to the time you spend exercising or how long you exercise for.
Type: refers to the type of exercise undertaken or what kind of exercise you do.
More...from the Stretch Coach.
10. The over-reaching or overtraining?:
Dr. Phil Maffetone discusses the overtraining syndrome and how it differs from over-reaching in this episode of The Uphill Athlete with Scott Johnston. He also offers tips on how to tell if you are overtrained and what to do about it. The podcast additionally includes information on fat-burning for endurance sports, illusion injuries, and more!
Listen to the podcast at: Dr. Phil Maffetone.
11. Surprising New Research on Post-Traumatic Growth:
Recent studies looking into a phenomenon known as post-traumatic growth show that it's possible to thrive after challenging life events. Here's how.
There was plenty of trauma to go around in 2020. But new studies point to a number of ways we might recover and even thrive. Post-traumatic growth refers to positive changes that can happen after a life-shattering event occurs, according to Richard Tedeschi, a clinical psychologist with the Boulder Crest Foundation, an organization that offers recovery programs for combat veterans, first responders, and their families.
"Most people still think that if you suffered trauma, youíre going to be damaged," Tedeschi says. "Weíre talking about something beyond that, where people actually transform into something different from who they were before."
More...from Outside Online.
12. His Legs Suddenly Felt Paralyzed. Could Intense Workouts Be the Cause?
When he tried to get up, he realized he couldnít move. His weakness had a surprising cause - and an even more surprising cause behind the cause.
"I canít move my legs," the 26-year-old man told his younger brother, who towered above him as he lay sprawled on the floor. Heíd been on his computer for hours, he explained, and when he tried to stand up, he couldnít. His legs looked normal, felt normal, yet they wouldnít move.
At first, he figured his legs must have fallen asleep. He pulled himself up, leaning on his desk, and slowly straightened until he was standing. He could feel the weight on his feet and knees. He let go of the desk and commanded his legs to move. Instead, they buckled, and he landed on the floor with a thud.
More...from the New York Times.
13. Running Boom: 28.76% of runners started during the pandemic :
We surveyed 3,961 current runners to investigate how many began during the pandemic. We wanted to learn about their motivations for running, whether theyíll participate in races, and how they differ from those that began before COVID.
28.76% of current runners started running during the pandemic
These new-pandemic runners are 19.82% less likely to participate in in-person races over the next 12 months
New runners are 115.37% more in favor of virtual races than pre-pandemic runners
Motives for running are changing - physical health is the primary motivation for 72% of new-pandemic runners, up 18.03% from runners who began running before the pandemic
14. The Roger Bannister Effect: The Myth of the Psychological Breakthrough:
The story goes that Bannister crushed the 4 minute mile mark, and allowed runners to dream of the impossible. No longer held back by this psychological barrier, swarms of runners went under the barrier. Itís touted as a story of humans holding themselves back, and what can occur if we release the shackles on our mind. How many crushed through the barrier after Bannister? Well, if you go to the wrong well-meaning inspirational site, they might tell you twenty-four within a year.
The reality is less dramatic.
Only Landy broke four the rest of the 1954 season, and in 1955, three more joined Bannister and Landy, all coming from the same race. Within 2.5 years, there were 10 runners sub-4, so an improvement, but not a flood of individuals.
But it was still a breakthrough, right? He still showed
Sub 4 minute milers in 1954-1956
people what was possible. I mean he broke a world record that was on the books for 9 years! And after he broke it, the mile was taken to another level. Herb Elliott dropped the record down to 3:54.5 within 4 years! Surely, a psychological breakthrough was the key!
It makes for a compelling narrative, one that is thrown around at success seminars left and right, meant to inspire you to let go of your psychological barriers. But is it true, did Bannister usher in a new era?
More...from the Science of Running.
15. Exertional Heat Stroke at the Boston Marathon: Demographics and the Environment:
Younger and faster runners are at higher risk for EHS at the Boston Marathon. Greater increases in heat stress from start to peak during a marathon may exacerbate risk. EHS encounters comprise a small percentage of race-day medical encounters but require extensive resources and warrant risk mitigation efforts.
More...from the National Library of Medicine.