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Runner's Web Digest - June 18, 2021 - Posted: June 18, 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. The Contraceptive Conundrum
2. VJ Shoes Ultra Performance Review
3. Overreaching and RED-S: are they the same?
4. Should You Train After a Bad Nightís Sleep?
5. Will joggers keep it outside or run back to the gym?
6. To Fight Inflammation and Help Recovery After Exercise, Just Add This Fruit
7. The Benefits of Light Activity--Such as Walking or Stretching--According to New Research
8.Which energy products are right for you?
9. As Heart-Rate Tracking Technology Continues to Evolve, Your Reliance on It Should, Too
10. Teaching My Black Son to Swim
11. How to Design the Ultimate Interval Workout
12. What happens when you drink too much before a race?
13. Fitness industry lobbies Ottawa to make gym memberships tax deductible
14. Sore Achilles Tendon? Hereís How to Treat It
15. Update on Topical Use and Ingestion of Menthol as Ergogenic Aid
What percentage of track and field athletes do you think are doping?
*	0-10%
*	11-20%
*	21-30%
*	31-40%
*	41-50%
*	51-70%
*	71-90%
*	91-100%! 

Vote here

Which of the following injuries (conditions) have you had:
1 Patellofemoral Syndrome 	197  (10%)
2 Pulled Hamstring 	216  (11%)
3 Iliotibial Band Syndrome 	225  (11%)
4 Shin Splints 	234  (12%)
5 Stress Fractures 	185  (9%)
6 Exercise Induced Compartment Syndrome 	167  (8%)
7 Achilles Tendonitis 	210  (10%)
8 Plantar Fasciitis 	225  (11%)
9 Hip Bursitis 	179  (9%)
10 Mononucleosis 	171  (9%)
Total Votes: 2009

Jordan Melissa Hasay is an American distance runner. She grew up in Arroyo Grande, California, and attended Mission College Preparatory High School in San Luis Obispo. She was unanimously selected 2008 Girls High School Athlete of the Year by the voting panel at Track and Field News.
Visit her updated website at:

BOOK/VIDEO/MOVIE OF THE MONTH FOR JUNE: .GENIOUS OF ATHLETES The Genius of Athletes: What World-Class Competitors Know That Can Change Your Life Hardcover By Noel Brick (Author), Scott Douglas (Author) Whatever your biggest goals are in life, learning to think like an athlete is a game changer. If you ask research psychologist Noel Brick and bestselling fitness author and journalist Scott Douglas, the "dumb jock" stereotype is way out of bounds. Modern advances in sports psychology confirm what fans have known all along: No world-class athlete--whether an Olympic runner, swimmer, or cyclist, or a pro basketball, baseball, or football player--gets to the top without a strong mental game. Champion competitors have unique ways of taking stock of a situation, self-motivating, and even thinking about time. Cutting-edge discoveries (including those by Dr. Brick) reveal exactly how they do it--and how we can, too. You donít need to be facing a literal hurdle to use elite athletesí tool kits of strategies: They can help you stick the landing at a job interview or get your thesis to the finish line. Brick and Douglas pair groundbreaking science with a highlight reel of instructive moments from across the sports realm to show how legendary marathoner Meb Keflezighi runs on self-talk and how making if-then plans at practice buoyed Michael Phelps to a gold medal at the Olympics. Wherever you are in your own ambitions--from the "middle muddle" to the final stretch--The Genius of Athletes will put you right in the zone. Buy the book from Amazon.

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


1. The Contraceptive Conundrum:
Is the pill blunting your training gains?
Chances are, if youíre on the pill, itís to prevent pregnancy (or to help treat other conditions like PCOS), not to enhance your athletic performance. But Iím guessing you donít want your contraception to be hindering your athletic performance either. Well, the latest study on training and oral contraceptives is part of a growing body of research showing that your OC may, in fact, be doing just that.
The study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research this past May found that oral contraceptive use impairs muscle gains in young women (in fact, that was the exact title of the study!).
In the study, researchers examined the effect of oral contraceptive use on the resistance training outcomes of 72 women, ages 18 to 29, about half of whom were on OC and about half of whom were not. The women then performed 10 weeks of whole body resistance training, including 13 exercises that they performed for 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps, three days a week. The researchers tested their body composition, as well as levels of hormones DHEA, DHEAS, and IGF-1 (all of which play a part in muscle growth, among other things) and the stress hormone cortisol, before and after the training period.
More...from Dr. Stacy Sims.

2. VJ Shoes Ultra Performance Review:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 9.3 oz. (265 g) for a US M8.5 / US W10
Fitlock system provides great lockdown over the midfoot
Ridiculous traction over all terrain
This just might be the best grip on the planet
TAYLOR: VJ Shoes is the company that youíve either a) never heard of or b) have seen their ads while thumbing through the end of a trail running magazine. The newest addition to their fleet is the Ultra. It contains the aggressive package that you can expect from the rest of their offerings with a few key features that improve on the blueprint.
KYLE: My initial impression of the VJ Shoes Ultra was definitely positive. This is a snappy, durable, and grippy mid to lightweight trail shoe built for a muddy, mountainous good time. VJ is a younger brand which definitely skews towards the OCR and mud racing scene, and the Ultra is their most cushioned model (more on this later), designed with the trail and ultra runner in mind. Do they stack up to the "Ultra" designation?
More...from Belive in the Run.

3. Overreaching and RED-S: are they the same?
Exercise physiology Ph.D candidate Alexandra Coates explains how the two are different, and where they overlap.
Over the last few years, issues like relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S), overtraining and disordered eating have become major topics of discussion in the running world. Many runners are hearing these terms for the first time, and are using them interchangeably, as is often the case with two terms in particular: RED-S and overreaching. While there is some crossover between the two, they are not the same. We spoke with runner, triathlete, exercise physiology Ph.D. candidate and c0-founder of the OneAthlete Project, Alexandra Coates, who explained why they are different and where they intersect.
Overreaching vs. RED-S
As Coates explains, overreaching is a short-term reduction in performance due to inadequate recovery relative to training stress. It can last days to weeks in the case of functional overreaching, or weeks to months in the case of non-functional overreaching. She says overreaching tends to occur following training camp-type training blocks, where an athlete increases their training load for around three weeks and starts to see a decline in performance by the end of the block. She notes this is different from overtraining syndrome, which is the prolonged maladaptation of several biological, neurochemical, and hormonal regulation mechanisms, and can often take years to resolve.
More...from Canadian Running Magazine.

4. Should You Train After a Bad Nightís Sleep?
We all sleep badly sometimes, but does it ever mean you should skip your workouts?
Research has shown that several nights of poor sleep can impair exercise performance. One of the foremost experts in this field, Shona Halson, discovered that insufficient sleep results in decreased speed and power output, reduced reaction times, a dip in the integrity of your immune system, and is detrimental to cognitive ability (which is important when it comes to factors like pacing).
Poor Sleep Impedes Athletic Performance
Halson has conducted numerous studies in the field of sleep and exercise. One of them involved 42 netballers who were made to use an actigraphy monitor (essentially a watch packed with accelerometers and sensors to monitor movement) and keep sleep diaries during a six-day tournament and for the 12 days prior. The results showed that the top two teams slept, on average, an hour longer each night (for nine hours rather than eight) before and during the competition and, perhaps more importantly, reported better sleep quality.
More...from Training Peaks.

5. Will joggers keep it outside or run back to the gym?
Adam Lam used to go to his neighbourhood gym in Toronto five to six times a week to weight train and run on a treadmill. When COVID-19 hit and the gym closed temporarily, Mr. Lam stopped doing any physical activity and he was feeling the effects.
"My sleep schedule was really off," he recalls. "I had insomnia and I felt like I had less energy." Mr. Lam soon joined an online accountability group called Sea Change, which meets online weekly with the goal of altering habits. He was inspired to take action by group members who were doing regular outdoor walks and running.
By December, 2020, he started running a few times a week, and when spring arrived, he amped up his schedule to six times a week. This new fitness routine resolved his insomnia, and he found himself looking forward to running, unlike his gym workouts. "Before, going to the gym was motivated by guilt," Mr. Lam explains. "Running now feels more like a recreational activity."
More...from the . >6. To Fight Inflammation and Help Recovery After Exercise, Just Add This Fruit:
While intense exercise, like training for a marathon, or hitting it hard at the gym, is great for our overall health, it can take a toll on the muscles, joints, and ligaments, and cause injury. If you're feeling achy or beat up from overdoing it, you may not be eating enough of the specific nutrients to help your cells recover properly. The usual go-to is to follow a tough workout with protein, to replenish amino acids that will help rebuild or repair muscle that breaks down when you go hard, a new study indicates that you could do yourself a favor by adding citrus fruit. A specific compound in citrus was just shown to help athletes improve performance.
The study, published in Antioxidants, found that a flavonoid in citrus called hesperidin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In previous research, hesperidin has been tested on animals, but there was little or no evidence of how it could affect humans until now, which shows that hesperidin works to reduce inflammation and boost athletic performance.
The Bett.

7. The Benefits of Light Activity--Such as Walking or Stretching--According to New Research:
If you sit a lot during the day, itís crucial to incorporate moderate or vigorous activity throughout the day.
f you sit a lot during the day, simply getting the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise wonít be enough to counteract sedentary behavior, new research finds.
Researchers recommend getting three minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity or 12 minutes of light activity to every one hour of sitting.
Light activity--such as tidying up, walking the dog, gardening, even a few minutes of stretching--can be more beneficial to your health than you might think.
At this point, "donít sit too much" has reached the same level of other health advice like wear sunscreen, drink more water, and get enough sleep.
The good news is that you can counteract that sedentary behavior if you incorporate more light physical activity throughout the course your day, no matter what that activity looks like, according to a recent study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. And yes, this advice applies to you even if you go for a 30-minute run but spend the rest of the day sitting; itís important to consider your activity habits all day.
More...from Runner's World.

8. Which energy products are right for you?
When it comes to working out your fueling strategy for endurance events, understanding how much carbohydrate you need to ingest per hour to sustain peak performance should be your Number 1 concern.
Everything else lags someway behind in terms of importance, so if youíre not sure about your carb numbers yet, consider working those out before you go much further.
Once youíve got a handle on how much you need (in terms of grams of carb per hour), the next logical question is "whatís the optimal way to get that amount of fuel on board given your specific circumstances?" After all, there are practical and logistical considerations - not to mention preferences around taste - to take into account.
What follows is an attempt to highlight the main pros and cons of each of the 4 major fueling formats commonly encountered by athletes: drinks, gels, chews and bars...
More...from Precision Hydration.

9.As Heart-Rate Tracking Technology Continues to Evolve, Your Reliance on It Should, Too:
Heart rate data from wrist-worn, optically-based devices is flawed but can still be valuable. Understanding that nuance is the key to leveraging your metrics, not getting lost in them.
When Starla Garcia, 31, a runner based in Houston, TX, was training for the 2019 Grandmaís Marathon, she noticed the data provided by her Garmin Forerunner 235 watch often seemed skewed, giving her very high heart rate readings during easy efforts. While there are many factors that can affect heart rate including heat, research suggests that Garcia, a Mexican-American runner, isnít the only one who has experienced inaccuracies.
In a 2017 study published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine, researchers found that while most wrist-worn devices adequately measured heart rate in laboratory-based activities, device error was higher for males, darker skin tones, and those with higher body mass indexes. Those training at altitude or in extreme climates may also notice inaccurate data because external factors such as temperature, elevation, and humidity can also affect your heart-rate readings, says Neal Henderson, head of sports science at Wahoo Fitness, which uses an optical heart rate sensor in its watches.
More...from Runner's World.

10. Teaching My Black Son to Swim:
A motherís determination to end a legacy of racial trauma started with mother-son swim lessons.
My son, Nasir, and I took our first "mommy and me" swim class just after he turned 1. He had always loved sticking his feet in the water at the beach or floating on my husbandís back, but this would be his first experience learning to immerse himself in a body of water. And although he was a bit distracted by the floaties, squeaky toys and attempting to drink the water, he had a natural inclination for swimming.
As the instructor gently focused on the mechanics of my son kicking his feet and navigating through the water on his belly, I thought of my first experience "learning to swim" in a pool. I was taught to swim by my father dropping me in the deep end of a hotel pool during a family reunion and telling me to meet him on the other side. I was around 4 years old at the time.
More...from the New York Times.

11. How to Design the Ultimate Interval Workout:
New research sifts through the evidence to figure what types of intervals make you fastest.
A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about the fine-grained nuances of interval training. According to Paul Lauren and Martin Buchheitís telephone book of a text, Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training, there are 12 distinct variables you can manipulate in order to tailor your workout to your precise physiological goals. Numerous flowcharts and sprawling decision trees guide you through the choices.
Thatís great for some people and certain situations--but sometimes, instead of poring over a seemingly interminable menu, you just want to order the special. Thatís the payoff promised by a new meta-analysis of interval training studies in the journal Sports Medicine, by a team led by triathlon coach and recent University of Toronto doctoral graduate Michael Rosenblat (whoís now at Simon Fraser University). He and his colleagues crunched the data from 29 different studies to determine the best workouts to enhance endurance time trial performance. And believe it or not, they came up with an answer.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.

12. What happens when you drink too much before a race?
Nervously drinking too much plain water before a race and then standing in the queue for the porta-potty may seem like a harmless, albeit annoying, act. But in this misguided attempt to stay well hydrated, some athletes can put themselves at risk of low blood sodium levels, otherwise known as hyponatremia.
An extreme case of overdrinking
Hyponatremia occurs when sodium and fluid in the body are out of balance. In other words, thereís either too much water or not enough sodium in your blood.
Itís a condition typically associated with clinical populations but athletes are at risk of exercise-associated hyponatremia, especially those taking part in endurance activities.
More...from Precision Hydration.

13. Fitness industry lobbies Ottawa to make gym memberships tax deductible:
Canadaís fitness industry is stepping up efforts ahead of a possible fall election to try to get Ottawa to include gym memberships and services as a medical expense on personal taxes, alongside other eligible costs such as physiotherapy, dietician consultations and medical cannabis.
The Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC), which oversees about 6,000 fitness organizations with about 150,000 employees and roughly six million members across Canada, says it has been actively discussing its proposal with the federal government since January.
The FIC was invited to consult on the federal Liberal governmentís plan to help the fitness industry recover from the financial hit caused by the COVID-19 closings. Instead of asking for money, the FIC put forward what it views as a longer-term solution to help improve the fitness industry and the physical and mental health of Canadians.
More...from the Globe and Mail.

14. Sore Achilles Tendon? Hereís How to Treat It:
The definitive guide to one of the most common running injuries.
The Achilles tendon is the large tendon connecting the two major calf muscles--the gastrocnemius and soleus--to the back of the heel bone. Under too much stress, the tendon tightens and is forced to work too hard. This causes irritation or inflammation, also known as Achilles tendinitis. Over time, a layer of scar tissue, which is less flexible than the tendon, can cover the tendon. If the inflamed Achilles continues to be stressed, it can tear or rupture causing an Achilles heel injury.
If youíre experiencing a sore Achilles tendon and battling Achilles pain from running, weíve got all the info you need on why that could be happening, how to treat it, and how to prevent it from coming back to derail your performance.
More...from Runner's World.

15. Update on Topical Use and Ingestion of Menthol as Ergogenic Aid:
This yearís Summer Olympics was scheduled to be a hot one. Tokyo, already known for hot and humid summertime conditions, would have been (and probably will be) hotter than the previous three Olympic host cities (Kakamu et al. 2020). Athletes, coaches and sport scientists will do almost anything to combat the heat. And while the best heat acclimation strategies involve long term protocols such as saunas, hot water immersion baths and exercising in the anticipated environment, over the years more novel and creative strategies have emerged in an attempt to gain an edge. Some off these such as ice-cold drinks and pre-cooling ice vests have stood the test of time and are used routinely by athletes. Others have been tossed on the cutting room floor, either due to lack of efficacy, burdensome equipment and constraining logistics, or other challenges. I can distinctly remember two of these ill-fated attempts in the mid 2000ís in the form of an isopropyl alcohol rub (think of rubbing an alcohol pad on your skin) and a fancy negative pressure cooling glove pioneered by Stanford. Both had their merits, yet are rarely (if ever) seen actually used in practice.
More...from CTS.

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

Upcoming Races, Marathons, Races, and Triathlons June 18 - 27, 2021: U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Eugene, OR June 19, 2021: Grandma's Marathon - Duluth, Minn June 24-27, 2021: 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Track and Field Trials - Montreal, QC June 25-27, 2021: MŁller British Athletics Championships - Manchester, UK June 26 - July 18, 2021: Tour de France - France July 1, 2021: Diamond League Oslo - Norway July 9, 2021: Diamond League Monaco - Monaco July 13, 2021: Diamond League London/Gateshead - UK 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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