1.Is it Time to Reset Your FTP?
Keeping your FTP up-to-date ensures that you’re training in the right power zones. Here’s how to know when it’s time for a reset.
For many cyclists, it’s hard to know when to reset your Functional Threshold Power (FTP), which is used to determine your power training zones. However, having an accurate FTP is vital to hitting your workouts at the right intensity. If your FTP is inaccurate, you’ll find yourself either training too hard or not hard enough. Here are the answers to your most pressing FTP and zone-setting questions.
When should I reset my FTP?
One common mistake many athletes make is not updating their power training zones regularly. FTP should be retested at least every thirty days, or after any significant event that limits training time — like an injury or time away from the sport.
More...from Training peaks.
2. Race Faster With Low-Intensity Training:
Slowing down really does make you faster. But how slow is too slow when it comes to your low-intensity workouts?
While high-intensity interval training (HIIT) hogs the attention of the popular media, science has repeatedly shown that both elite and amateur athletes improve most when they spend about 80% of their weekly training time at low intensity.
There’s a difference between knowing and doing, however. Research has demonstrated that, whereas virtually all elite endurance athletes adhere to an approximate 80/20 intensity balance, only a fraction of recreational athletes do so. That’s likely because they’re skeptical of the idea that slowing down in training will make them faster in races. This article will prove that low-intensity training really does work.
More...from Training Peaks.
3. How to train your gut (and consume more carb):
Working out how much carbohydrate you need per hour is critical if you want to perform at your best during endurance events lasting more than about 60-90 minutes.
You can use our Quick Carb Calculator to give you a ballpark idea of how much you’re likely to need for your next event if you’re not yet sure.
Many athletes, especially those who are aiming to compete at a high level, are surprised by just how much carbohydrate the science and anecdotal reports from elite athletes suggest is both possible and optimal.
More...from Precision Hydration.
4. Vigorous daily exercise reduces calories burned during 'body maintenance', study suggests:
Staying active is critical to a healthy lifestyle, but long-term exercise may reduce the amount of calories we burn during "body maintenance".
The NHS recommends adults be moderately active for at least 150 minutes a week, which could include brisk walking, gentle cycling or even pushing a lawn mower. If time-pressed, be vigorously active for 75 minutes via jogging, cycling briskly or skipping rope.
Aside from helping you stay slim, exercise has been linked to a reduced risk of depression, certain cancers and even a premature death.
Nevertheless, scientists from the University of Roehampton have reported that when a person's daily exercise level is "consistently high", they burn 28% fewer calories while carrying out essential daily functions, like sleeping.
More...from Yahoo Life.
5. Why Endurance Athletes Should Consider Single-Leg Training:
A long-running gym debate about whether to train each limb separately comes to the cycling world.
Back in 1961, a pair of researchers at the University of California published the first scientific description of what became known as the “bilateral strength deficit.” The gist is that your right and left limbs, working separately, are stronger than when you use both limbs at the same time. The 1961 paper tested grip strength, but subsequent studies have observed the effect for all sorts of arm and leg movements. As a result, the load you can press with both legs is almost always less than double what you can press with either leg individually.
The bilateral strength deficit is often invoked in the longstanding debate about whether you should train one limb at a time or both together. Proponents of the former argue that, by training one limb at a time, you generate more force overall and presumably get better adaptations as a result. Those who favor the latter counter that bigger loads during a single lift challenge the body more—and, presumably, produce better adaptations.
More...from Sweat Science at Outside Online.
6.Running May Reduce The Risk Of Death, But It Won’t Work Forever:
A review study just came out in the British Journal of Sports Medicine about running and mortality risk. You may have seen a headline somewhere touting running’s seemingly magical power to reduce risk of death. That’s awesome! Any study that confirms my biases is a good study by me.
But as always with these big studies talked about on CNN, it’s important to remember the old quote attributed to Mark Twain. There are three types of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. Does that apply here?
Digging down into the study, the authors acknowledge some potential limitations that may give you pause. First, an overview. If listening to someone talk about a scientific study makes you want to die, this may reverse any of running’s benefits.
More...from Trail Runner.
7. Fitness: Why do so many runners get injured?
Researchers who surveyed runners say no one training practice, shoe design or running technique stood out; rather, it’s a combination of factors.
Despite countless how-to articles, research papers, improved shoe designs and runners’ clinics, the injury rate among runners hasn’t changed in decades. Eighty per cent experience at least one injury during their running career, and anywhere from 65-70 per cent of runners are injured during any given 12-month period.
With so many runners on the limp, there’s no shortage of advice when it comes to treatment strategies. The same goes for advice on how to run injury free. Runners aren’t shy to share their opinion on how new shoes, new techniques and/or new training programs can make the difference. Still, injury rates remain unchanged.
More...from the Montreal Gazette.
8. Survey Finds Safety is Among the Greatest Barriers Faced by Minority Endurance Athletes:
Gatorade Endurance is trying to uncover why more athletes from marginalized groups aren't participating in endurance sports.
When you grab your water bottle and head out for a run, how much do you worry about your safety? Enough to make you reconsider going out at all? The answer likely depends on how you identify when it comes to race, gender, sexual orientation, and physical ability.
In the last year, members of the running community have been engaged in more conversations around fostering an inclusive environment in media, at races, in run clubs, and elsewhere across the running industry. As part of this discussion, Gatorade Endurance, one of several brands increasingly focused on diversity efforts in athletics, recognized that in order to build a more inclusive culture, it was important to step back and ask: Why aren’t more athletes from marginalized groups participating in endurance sports? To help find the answers to this question, they conducted a survey designed to understand the barriers minority athletes (specifically Black, people of color, LGBTQ+, and disabled athletes) face when considering participation in endurance sports
More...from Women's Running.
9. Do Triathletes Need to Worry About Heart Attacks?
Widowmaker heart attacks—also known as LAD blockages—are rare, but life-threatening. Here's what you need to know.
With the high-profile news of Tim O’Donnell suffering a heart attack—the big one, the widowmaker—while in the middle of a race, it’s enough to make the average tri-er a little, you know, nervous. If heart attacks can happen to healthy, fit, highly competitive pro athletes, how worried do regular triathletes need to be?
Thomas Allison, exercise physiologist and co-director of the sports cardiology clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, wants you to keep this fact firmly in your fevered mind: The risk of sitting on your butt all day watching TV is far greater than the risk involved in training for a triathlon. To put it in perspective, he calls up a study of the medical records of 10.9 million marathoners and half-marathoners over a 10-year period that revealed just 59 cardiac arrests. Which is an outrageously low rate! So, it absolutely does happen, but your chances of being hit by a car while crossing the street are much greater. And you can reduce your heart attack risk even further with simple, easy precautions, said Allison.
10. Scientists Figured Out How Much Exercise You Need to 'Offset' a Day of Sitting :
We know that spending hour after hour sitting down isn't good for us, but just how much exercise is needed to counteract the negative health impact of a day at a desk? A 2020 study suggests about 30-40 minutes per day of building up a sweat should do it.
Up to 40 minutes of "moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity" every day is about the right amount to balance out 10 hours of sitting still, the research says – although any amount of exercise or even just standing up helps to some extent.
That's based on a meta-analysis across nine previous studies, involving a total of 44,370 people in four different countries who were wearing some form of fitness tracker.
The analysis found the risk of death among those with a more sedentary lifestyle went up as time spent engaging in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity went down.
More...from Science Alert.
11. A Real-Time Fuel Gauge for Endurance Athletes:
Supersapiens’s new continuous glucose monitor promises to help athletes manage their energy levels. But can it really stave off a bonk?
Before last year’s World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, a young British distance runner named Jake Smith had a call with scientists from a small company his agent had connected him with. They’d crunched the data from his performance two weeks earlier at the London Marathon, where he’d struggled in his assigned role as a pacer, and had a simple message for him: “They literally said, ‘You need to eat more,’” he recalls.
On the back of his upper right arm, the 22-year-old was wearing a circular adhesive patch about an inch across, with a tiny filament embedded into his flesh. It was a continuous glucose monitor, or CGM—a device designed to track real-time blood sugar (also known as glucose) levels in diabetics, repurposed for athletes by an Atlanta-based start-up called Supersapiens in collaboration with the medical device giant Abbott Laboratories. The data Smith uploaded after London showed that his glucose levels had started at a middling level and then declined steadily during the race. “By about ten or 11 miles, I was like, ‘This shouldn’t feel like this,’” he says. So in Poland on the day before the race, he chowed down on pasta, rice, chicken, vegetables, and fruit, and he kept a wary eye on the Supersapiens app on his phone. Whenever his levels started to dip, he ate more.
More...from Sweat Science @ Outside Online.
12. Address muscular imbalances with yoga:
This is an excerpt from Yoga for Runners-2nd Edition by Christine Felstead.
Yoga quickly reveals and has the capacity to address muscular imbalances and strengthen weak zones that may lead to injury. A yoga practice that increases range of motion in the joints, stretches out the tight spots, and strengthens the weak ones will help the body’s overall alignment and reduce risk of injury. An early observation of many runners who start practicing yoga is discovering the differences in strength, mobility, and flexibility between their right and left sides. Likewise, many people make the unexpected discovery that they have a weak upper body, core, hips, and glutes, and they learn how this can contribute to injury. Often most astonishing is the discovery that their legs may be strong for running, but when challenged in static isometric holds, they quickly become jelly-like.
Take a simple lunge, for example. It is not uncommon for runners new to yoga to be very unstable and shaky in this pose, doing all they can to stay upright and not fall over. The ability to be grounded through the feet, stable in the legs and trunk, and able to straighten the arms overhead while maintaining even and calm breathing is extremely challenging. The position of the legs in a basic high lunge (figure 4.1) appears similar to a running stride, but a running stride involves momentum and movement. The lunge, though, is static, requiring stability and isometric contraction of some muscles in the legs and torso, along with grounding and stability in the feet and ankles, while allowing some parts of the body to relax. It’s impossible to escape the work involved in static holds and challenging to find the balance of effort and ease to hold the pose for a period of time.
More...from Human Kinetics.
13. Review: Hoka Clifton 8:
This Hoka One One Clifton 8 review is part of our 2021 SELF Certified Sneaker Awards, where the shoe won Best Max Cushion Sneaker. You can see the rest of our award winners here.
I avoided Hoka One One for a long time. The large, bulky exterior of the shoe, coupled with color choices that I personally find garish, made me politely decline based on aesthetics. But here’s the thing: Looks alone is dumb way to judge running shoes. (Arguably a dumb way to judge many things in life.)
So a few years back, when an athlete suggested I give them a shot, I caved. And I’ve never been happier with that decision. Sure, Hokas still aren’t my favorite-looking shoe—I won’t lie!—but you simply can’t beat the comfort and support, mile after mile, that these kicks offer. Last year the Clifton 7 won a SELF Certified Sneaker Award and I sang their praises, and this year is no different. Here’s how I think Hoka has continued to improve on the Clifton series with the Clifton 8—and why I’m still wearing them, year after year.