1. The Types of Vascular Diseases Every Runner Should Know About:
You often hear that regular exercise is one of the foundations for a long and healthy life. This fact is supported by science; when comparing active individuals to those living sedentary lives, the latter are usually more prone to developing various chronic health conditions, like obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases. That’s because exercise helps the body achieve its optimum state; weight training strengthens the muscles, cardiovascular training improves the health of the heart and lungs, and regular activity enhances mental health. Ultimately, all forms of fitness training improve the overall quality of life.
In short, regular exercise should improve the physical and mental health of the individual on every level – but is there such a thing as too much exercise?
Paradoxically enough, there has been a mysterious link between marathon running and sudden deaths. After scrutinizing the evidence accumulating over the years, it seems that there are, indeed, negative health effects of over-exercising. Here, we’ll discuss some of the most common vascular diseases that runners should be aware of.
More...from Runner's Tribe.
2. Nike Zoom 400 Performance Review:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 4.5 oz. (127.5 g) for a US M9 / W10.5
Aggressive spike plate digs into the track
Friendly to those who wear socks and those who don’t
Overall simple design, almost like the Pegasus of the track
MERCER: The Nike Zoom 400 is a spike that’s stripped down to the basics. With an aggressive PEBAX outsole and a light, airy upper, this spike works for anyone any day of the week. No plates, no airbags, just the bare essentials.
JORDYNN: All around simplicity is what you get with the Nike Zoom 400. This spike is a good, long-lasting performer that lets the runner stride around the track with ease.
More...from Believe in the Run.
3. How to Choose the Right Dose of Exercise for Your Brain:
A new study tests how much cycling it takes to maximize cognitive function in endurance athletes.
You know that feeling of clarity you get after a good run or ride? The feeling that your synapses are firing, your mind is a laser, and if someone flashed a series of random cues on a computer screen you’d be able to hit the right button in a fraction of a second? No? Well, trust me. There’s a bunch of evidence that short bouts of moderate exercise improve performance in cognitive tasks immediately afterwards. It’s not necessarily the kind of thing you can feel, but it’s a highly repeatable finding.
But there are also a lot of unanswered questions about this phenomenon, as a recent study in the Journal of Sports Sciences makes clear. How much exercise is enough to trigger this effect? How much is too much? Does it matter how fit you are? Or what type of cognitive task you’re doing? A group of researchers at the University of Sydney and Griffith University in Australia, led by Danielle McCartney, tries to fill in some of these gaps.
The study involved 21 trained cyclists and triathletes (11 men, 10 women), who repeated the following test protocol on two separate days: 15 minutes of moderate cycling; a pair of cognitive tests lasting about four minutes; another 30 minutes of moderate cycling; the same cognitive tests repeated; an incremental ride to exhaustion taking about 11 to 12 minutes on average; a final round of cognitive tests. The moderate cycling was at 50 to 55 percent of peak power from a previous test, which ended up getting them to average about 75 percent of max heart rate after 15 minutes and 80 percent after 45 minutes.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
4. What is the Best Workout for Increasing VO2 Max?
Chasing an ever higher VO2 max is one thing, but finding the right workout to achieve it is another. Coach Matt Fitzgerald offers three top contenders.
Training at or near VO2max -- the exercise intensity at which an athlete reaches his or her maximal rate of oxygen consumption -- has long been known as an effective way to increase aerobic capacity (which is what VO2max measures). That’s important because aerobic capacity, or the ability to use oxygen to power muscle contractions, is a major contributor to endurance performance.
In recent years, scientists have become interested in designing interval workouts that maximize the amount of time an athlete spends at or near VO2max, without simply making the workouts harder and harder. The idea is that such workouts will yield a bigger boost in aerobic capacity. As an athlete, you might be interested in knowing which of these workouts is most effective for increasing VO2max. Let’s take a look at a few candidates.
1. Variable-Intensity Intervals
Traditional interval workouts focus on a single, uniform intensity. But in 2019, scientists at the University of Kent and Inland Norway University created and tested a workout that featured work intervals of variable intensity, believing it might enable athletes to spend more time at or very near VO2max. The workout consisted of six, 5-minute intervals ridden at 85% of maximum aerobic power (or MAP, which is the highest power output an individual cyclist achieves in a ride to failure at increasing power levels) separated by 2.5-minute active recoveries. The added wrinkle was the insertion of three, 30-second surges at 100% of MAP within each interval, with the baseline effort lowered slightly to 77% of MAP to make the intervals feasible as a whole.
More...from Training peaks.
5. On-the-Job Exercise May Help Protect Against Heart Disease and Cancer:
Men who had physically demanding jobs lived, on average, about a year longer than those who were deskbound
Is it good for our health and longevity to heave, dig, hoist, stroll or otherwise exert ourselves during working hours? Or are strenuous occupations hard on our bodies and health?
Common sense might tell us that being in motion at work should be beneficial for our hearts and health, just as going for a jog or bike ride or working out at the gym is good for us. But some recent research has suggested that manual labor often increases workers’ risks for cardiovascular disease and premature death, meaning the effects of work-related physical activity might be different and less salubrious than those of the workouts we choose to do on our own time.
More...from the New York Times.
6. The Age of Champions: When Do Sports Stars Reach Their Peak?:
In 2020, multiple sporting events were unfortunately cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has in turn, left us with a packed sporting calendar in Spring/Summer 2021. The Olympics are on the horizon, alongside the European Football Championship, the long-awaited return of Wimbledon and more!
With all of these trophies and medals up for grabs in the coming months, it got us thinking: when in an athlete's career are they most likely to win? Peak performance is a much-discussed topic in the sporting world, so we decided to find out if there is a ‘golden age’ of champions?
Lucky Number 27
To do so, we looked at more than 1,000 trophy winning teams and singles stars across 19 different competitions dating back to the year 2000. Averaging out the ages (at the time of winning) of all of these squads, the age athletes can expect to win the most trophies is 27-years-old!
7. Exercise Affects Us All Differently. A New Study Could Finally Explain Why :
Exercise is good for everyone, but it doesn't affect us all in the same ways: some people might see boosts in levels of endurance, while others benefit from better blood sugar levels. Now scientists think they may have discovered one of the reasons why.
In a new study, 654 adults with a mostly sedentary lifestyle were put through a 20-week endurance exercise program, while the levels of around 5,000 different proteins in their blood were analyzed from samples.
The researchers identified hundreds of proteins corresponding to someone's 'trainability', or how well they're going to respond to exercise – findings that could lead to more personalized and effective training regimes, as well as help experts to tackle disease.
"While groups as a whole benefit from exercise, the variability in responses between any two individuals undergoing the very same exercise regimen is actually quite striking," says Robert Gerszten, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).
More...from Science Alert.
8. Stretches and Exercises to Treat and Prevent Runner’s Knee:
Plus, runner’s knee anatomy, causes, symptoms and risk factors.
Runner’s knee (medically known as Chondromalacia Patellae), is a condition where the articular cartilage, located underneath the kneecap (patella), starts to soften and break down.
The cartilage underneath the kneecap is usually smooth and allows the knee joint to move freely as the knee bends.
However, as chondromalacia patellae worsens, the cartilage begins to break down, causing irregularities and roughness on the undersurface of the patella, which leads to irritation and kneecap pain.
More...from Stretch Coach.
9. How elite athletes prepare hydration and cooling tactics for hot weather:
In 2019, a group of researchers assessed the effectiveness of hydration and cooling techniques amongst marathon runners and race-walkers at the IAAF World Champs in Doha, where athletes were exposed to temperatures of up to 31°C (88°F) and 75% humidity.
The study's findings were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and the results aligned with what we, at Precision Hydration, have found to be true when working with athletes who compete in the heat.
Hydration strategies: The key findings
The study assessed 83 marathon runners and race-walkers (competing in the 20km and 50km races) from 28 different countries by using pre-race questionnaires, pre- and post-race weighing, ingestible thermometer pills and thermal cameras. The athletes who were assessed ranged in ability from those who finished on the top step of the podium, right down to last place.
Drinking to thirst vs drinking to a plan
The debate between drinking to thirst or drinking to a plan is ongoing and considered a controversial topic by some. Despite this, we’ve always taken the stance that ‘it depends’ on this one.
There are lots of scenarios where just drinking water to thirst is sensible, such as for basic day-to-day hydration if you're a healthy individual, or for shorter duration and/or lower intensity exercise in cool-to-moderate conditions.
More...from Precision Hydration.
10. The Surprising Performance Benefits of Sipping a Pink Drink Prerun:
Research suggests a way to hack your brain for more motivation.
Drinking a beverage with a pink color before a run may boost your endurance and power as opposed to reaching for regular, clear water, new research shows.
Psychologically, it’s common to associate the color pink with sweetness, and we tend to reach for sweet tastes before exercise in anticipation of using the glucose to fuel muscle activation.
Just before you head out on your next run, you decide to reach for a pink-hued drink for hydration instead of just regular water. How much of a difference can it really make? According to a small study in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, the answer might be surprising.
More...from (Runner's World.
11. How to Mentally Pull Through a Tough Moment:
Whether training or racing, you’re going to hit some challenges. Here’s how to motor on.
You may not be back to racing quite yet, but you’re likely starting to train for a fall goal. Whether it’s your first time prepping for a race or your first time back at hard practice after a break, it’s time to train your mind as well as your body. As Under Armour coach Tom Brumlik will tell you, “The mind leads the body.” That means putting in the work to get your brain tuned up along with your body. Here’s how.
Tap into the Power of Affirmations
In order to set a baseline of positivity across all aspects of life, not just training, Brumlik recommends practicing positive self-talk. “I’m big on affirmations,” he says, short complete sentences you can state anytime. “I tell my athletes to practice ‘I am’ statements throughout the day, even when they’re not training or racing.” For instance, if you’re in the first stages of a giant project at work and feeling overwhelmed by how much of it lies ahead, tell yourself, “I am on my way.” When your alarm goes off at 0-dark-30 for a run, say, “I am a morning person.” Whatever the case may be, it’s the practice of “I am” statements that leads to the gains. “You can’t pull them out on race day alone,” says Brumlik. “The practice has to be ingrained.”
More...from Sweat Science.
12. Here’s Why Your Watch Says You Ran More Than a Marathon:
There’s basically no such thing as running a perfect 26.2 (or 13.1, or 6.2) miles on a certified race course.
I was running along the Thames during the London Marathon, looking from my watch to the spires of Westminster, when I saw it: 26.2 miles. Boom. I did it! But wait...where was the finish line? I looked up. I didn’t see it. I found out about 10 minutes later, it was still another mile away.
It took me just under four hours to cross the finish line of the official 26.2 mile course, but my watch said I actually ran 27.2 miles in that same amount of time. WTF?
A race course is an officially measured distance. When a course is being measured, “official certifiers carefully ride all the tangents of the course [a tangent is the line that touches the inside of a curve] from the start to the finish without runners or cars on the road to measure courses,” explains Dave McGillivray, president of DMSE, Inc., the Race Director at the Boston Marathon since 2001. They do that with a tool called a Jones Oerth counter attached to the front wheel of a bicycle; that counter is then calibrated over a surveyed 1000-foot calibration course to ensure accuracy.
More...from Runner's World.
13. High Blood Pressure in Women Can Lead to Heart Issues Down the Road:
But getting regular exercise--like running!--and eating a balanced diet can help bring these numbers down.
Women with slightly elevated blood pressure had a doubled risk of heart issues during midlife, according to new research.
Getting your blood pressure checked on a regular basis can prevent this from happening.
If you are diagnosed with slightly elevated (or elevated) blood pressure, getting regular exercise--like running!--and eating a balanced diet can help bring these numbers down.
Even if you’re feeling healthy and strong as you hit your 40s, a new study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology suggests you should prioritize getting your blood pressure checked--even a mildly elevated reading puts you at much higher risk of heart issues as you age. That’s particularly true for women, researchers found.
Using 16 years of health data for just over 6,000 women and about 6,000 men participating in a Norwegian study, researchers noted that women with slightly elevated blood pressure had a doubled risk of acute coronary syndrome (conditions associated with a sudden, reduced blood flow to the heart) during midlife. That means blood pressure that’s 130 to 139 systolic (the top number) and 80 to 89 diastolic (the bottom number) mmHg (millimeters of mercury).
More...from Runner's World.
14. Ways To Get Rid Of Lactic Acid In The Muscles:
Working out is one of my favorite things to do. When I train, my muscles start to burn after a few sets. This is normal. It’s caused by lactic acid buildup.
As my body uses energy, lactic acid develops in my muscles. If it can’t be removed, the burn can be intense. This causes me to end my set.
Yet, I want to get a few more reps. I needed to find ways to get rid of lactic acid in the muscles. By doing that, I can get more out of my workout.
What is lactixc acid?
15. Recovery Pitfalls with Christie Aschwanden:
In Episode 12 of the Endurance Podcast, host Ian Sharman sits down with author and athlete Christie Aschwanden to discuss recovery techniques ranging from sleep to ice baths, massage to Tom Brady's pajamas.
Listen to the podcast on Podium Runner.