1. Does Getting Tired Increase Your Risk of Hypothermia?
In my now 30 years as a student and scientist in environmental physiology, I’ve done a number of stupid things in the name of science. This article highlights two of my dumbest.
We know that cycling in the winter can be a chilly experience, but can you become at greater risk for hypothermia if you’re on a long/hard ride and get tired?
Whenever the weather gets extreme, extra planning is required to make sure your ride or workout is a fun and safe one. When it’s cold, the challenge is to maintain body heat, which can be difficult with the combination of cold temperatures along with wind chill from riding fast.
To maintain temperature, the two keys are your exercise intensity along with your clothing. If you’re sheltered from the wind, in the woods on your fat bike at low speed but working hard, you can get away with pretty light clothing. However, if you’re out on the exposed roads moving at fairly fast speeds, you’ll need a lot more clothing.
More...from PEZ Cycling News.
2. What are cardio heart rate zones?
What are cardio heart rate zones? Find out how heart rate training can maximize your workouts.
Cardio heart rate zones are a feature of many exercise programs, but what are they and how can they help you get fitter? We've got the answers.
Whether you're going for a steady run or increasing your stroke rate on a rowing machine at home, exercise that gets your heart pumping improves cardiorespiratory fitness, builds stamina and burns calories, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. But how do you know if you're exerting the right amount of effort during a workout? And when using heart rate as a training tool, what's the sweet spot to get the maximum benefits?
3. Performance effects of periodized carbohydrate restriction in endurance trained athletes – a systematic review and meta-analysis
Endurance athletes typically consume carbohydrate-rich diets to allow for optimal performance during competitions and intense training. However, acute exercise studies have revealed that training or recovery with low muscle glycogen stimulates factors of importance for mitochondrial biogenesis in addition to favourable metabolic adaptations in trained athletes. Compromised training quality and particularly lower intensities in peak intervals seem to be a major drawback from dietary interventions with chronic carbohydrate (CHO) restriction. Therefore, the concept of undertaking only selected training sessions with restricted CHO availability (periodized CHO restriction) has been proposed for endurance athletes. However, the overall performance effect of this concept has not been systematically reviewed in highly adapted endurance-trained athletes. We therefore conducted a meta-analysis of training studies that fulfilled the following criteria: a) inclusion of females and males demonstrating a VO2max?=?55 and 60?ml · kg-?1 · min-?1, respectively; b) total intervention and training periods = 1 week, c) use of interventions including training and/or recovery with periodized carbohydrate restriction at least three times per week, and d) measurements of endurance performance before and after the training period. The literature search resulted in 407 papers of which nine studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The subsequent meta-analysis demonstrated no overall effect of CHO periodization on endurance performance compared to control endurance training with normal (high) CHO availability (standardized mean difference?=?0.17 [-?0.15, 0.49]; P?=?0.29). Based on the available literature, we therefore conclude that periodized CHO restriction does not per se enhance performance in endurance-trained athletes. The review discusses different approaches to CHO periodization across studies with a focus on identifying potential physiological benefits.
More...from Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
4. Swearing May Help You Run Better—Unless You Do it Too Much:
Here's what we know about swearing and running performance.
Swearing like a sailor might be so second-nature to you that you may not even realize you’re doing it. Whether it’s a “hell yeah,” when you nail a new PR, a “f**k this” when you realize you’re only on mile 20 of the marathon, or a “you’ve f**king got this” when you’re digging deep on the squat rack, you don’t have to be a Roy Kent-level swearer to appreciate that throwing in an expletive or two feels good.
But why is that?
There’s actually some solid psychological study behind the idea that swearing can make you a more engaged athlete (one study also found that swearing occurred more frequently in the context of sports). From pain relief to confidence-building, here’s what we know about how your body and mind respond to curse words.
More...from Women's Running.
5. Athletes Aren’t Numbers: The Negative Health and Performance Impacts of Program-Wide Body Composition Monitoring:
A recent report in The Oregonian details allegations that the University of Oregon program adjusted training based on body composition readings in repeated DEXA scans. If true, that practice is medically dubious and physiologically wrong.
This article contains a discussion of topics related to fueling and body composition that may be triggering for some readers. You are amazing and you are enough, as you are, always. If you or a friend are struggling with mental health or disordered eating, you can call or text the National Eating Disorder Hotline.
Let’s start by acknowledging the elephant in the room. Training for performance at the edge of human capabilities is extremely complicated. Different things work for everyone, and that also applies to approaches with nutrition and body weight. While I am a fan of throwing out the scale entirely, other individuals may take their own approaches and have long-term success.
The keyword there is “individuals.” Individuals can do what works for them, ideally while working with an expert nutritionist. But when it comes to programs like high schools, colleges, and post-collegiate teams? There is absolutely no place in this sport for program-wide bodyweight and bodyfat monitoring that dictates subsequent interventions to hit arbitrarily low numbers. For performance, it’s questionable at best and disastrous at worst.
More...from Trail Runner.
6. Can an Athlete’s Blood Enhance Brainpower?
Scientists who injected idle mice with blood from athletic mice found improvements in learning and memory. The findings could have implications for Alzheimer’s research and beyond.
In an experiment, researchers injected sedentary mice with blood from mice that ran for miles on exercise wheels, finding that the sedentary mice then did better on learning and memory tests.
Scientists who injected idle mice with blood from athletic mice found improvements in learning and memory. The findings could have implications for Alzheimer’s research and beyond.
What if something in the blood of an athlete could boost the brainpower of someone who doesn’t or can’t exercise? Could a protein that gets amplified when people exercise help stave off symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders?
That’s the tantalizing prospect raised by a new study in which researchers injected sedentary mice with blood from mice that ran for miles on exercise wheels, and found that the sedentary mice then did better on tests of learning and memory.
More...from the New York Times.
7. Best In Gear Awards 2021: The Best Road Running Shoes:
What You Need To Know
Our list of top road running shoes of the year
From race day to recovery day, we cover it all
Only shoes released in this calendar year were considered
Disagree? Leave a comment below
It doesn’t feel real, but another year is drawing to a close. On the bright side, it means we get to rattle off our favorite road running shoes of 2021. After all, this year saw the world take a step back towards normal after a difficult 2020. We got to race against other runners in real life, attend some pretty sweet events, and even host our headquarters launch party with all of you!
That’s probably enough about us, though, now it’s time to talk shoes. We saw some pretty incredible things this year — from an explosion of updated super shoes to some daily-training sequels that knocked our socks off. New Balance hit us right away with the FuelCell Rebel V2, which we loved almost universally. The folks up in Boston kept the goodness coming with hits on recovery shoes and racers, too. ASICS had a pretty impressive year in its own right, and our awards reflect that.
More...from Belive in the Run.
8. Female Olympians’ voices: Female sports categories and International Olympic Committee Transgender guidelines:
The fair inclusion of female athletes at elite and Olympic levels is secured in most sports by way of female categories because of the extensively documented biological and performance-related differences between the sexes. International policy for transgender inclusion is framed by the definitive International Olympic Committee transgender guidelines in which the International Olympic Committee confirms the ‘overriding sporting objective is and remains the guarantee of fair competition’ and transwomen can be excluded from female categories if, in the interests of fairness, this is necessary and proportionate. Feminist theorists argue justice requires that women have equal moral standing in the sociocultural–political structures of society including sport. As such their voices should carry equal democratic weight. However, female elite and Olympic athletes are rarely heard in the sociocultural–political discourses of academic literature or policy formulation for transgender inclusion in female categories by the International Olympic Committee and governing bodies of sport. This empirical study investigated the views and presents the ‘voices’ of 19 female Olympians. The main findings include (1) these athletes thought both female and transgender athletes should be fairly included in elite sport, (2) unanimous agreement there is not enough scientific evidence to show no competitive advantage for transwomen, (3) unanimous agreement that the International Olympic Committee should revisit the rules and scientific evidence for transgender inclusion in female categories, and (4) the majority of athletes felt that they could not ask questions or discuss this issue without being accused of transphobia.
More...from Sage Journals.
9. Fuel Your Gut for Better Performance:
Your microbiome helps you turn food to fuel and a whole lot more.
Most of us don’t think too much about our gut…until our gut demands our attention with bloating, cramping, and other forms of GI distress. That’s a mistake because our gut microbiome is one of the most important—and overlooked—organs in athletic performance.
And yep, I just called it an organ, because that’s how it’s described in scientific literature. A 2018 article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), said it best, noting that with approximately 100 trillion micro-organisms living in the human gastrointestinal tract, encoding over three million genes, and influencing your fitness, phenotype, and health, the microbiome is “now best thought of as a virtual organ of the body.”
Beyond digesting food, your gut microbiota also plays a key role in regulating your hormones like estrogen, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), serotonin, and stress hormones. It’s so instrumental in managing sex hormones that recent research has suggested the concept of a “microgenderome” to indicate the interplay between the gut microbiome and sex hormones.
More...from Dr. Stacey Sims.
10. Should You Do More Strength Training During the Off-Season?
It’s tempting to load your off-season calendar with strength training, but is that the right approach for your physiological needs?
When your competitive calendar is in full swing, it can be difficult to fit in as many gym sessions as you might like. But when your racing schedule winds down, should you upshift to doing harder strength-focused workouts more often? That’s what this article aims to answer.
As Andy Galpin, my Unplugged co-author and director of the Center for Sport Performance at Cal State, Fullerton, likes to say, the short answer to such a question is, “It depends.” He’s not trying to be evasive or hedge his bets, but rather stating a truth that’s often underappreciated in athlete preparation: context is everything. Before you say, “I’m going to strength train harder during my off-season,” you need to consider several variables.
More...from Training Peaks.
11. How should athletes use caffeine during training and racing?
Caffeine is a go-to supplement for athletes across many sporting disciplines, thanks to its proven and legal performance-enhancing effects (the World Anti-Doping Agency approved its use in sport in 2004).
It especially lends itself to enhancing endurance performance but are athletes using it effectively? And if you aren’t using caffeine already, should you be?
What are the benefits and drawbacks of athletes using caffeine?
For many people, a caffeinated drink is the only way to get the day started on the right footing. For example, PH founder Andy Blow once walked through a coffee shop's drive-thru and convinced the poor barista to serve him a double shot Americano as it was the only place open at 4:30am that day!
Knowing Andy’s penchant for an early morning run, he was no doubt looking for a quick boost before heading out to get some pre-work miles in.
More...from Precision Hydration.
12. Unorthodox “Exercise in a Pill” Could Offer Simple Solution to Those Incapable of Physical Activity:
Researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) have identified unique molecular signals in the body that could hold the key to developing a supplement capable of administering the health benefits of exercise to patients incapable of physical activity.
The molecular messages are sent to our brain and potentially our eyes immediately after we exercise.
The ANU team is conducting research to better understand what impact these molecular messages have on retinal health, but also the central nervous system and eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Associate Professor Riccardo Natoli, Head of Clear Vision Research at ANU, says the molecules could potentially be hijacked, recoded, and “bottled up” in a pill and taken like a vitamin.
“The beneficial messages being sent to the central nervous system during exercise are packaged up in what are known as lipid particles. We are essentially prescribing the molecular message of exercise to those who physically aren’t able to,” he said.
13. Why Taking a Cold Shower After Workouts Boosts Recovery and Muscle Repair:
Many athletes are often seen chilling in an ice bath as part of their post-training regimen. You may be wondering why anyone would willingly give themselves a cold shock at any point, let alone when you're completely tired out after a rigorous exercise routine.
Dr. Edward Laskowski, a professor of physical medicine, rehabilitation and orthopedics at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and former co-director of Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine, told Newsweek: "In general, cold helps to aid recovery after an exercise session."
If sitting in an ice bath sounds too extreme, a quick cold blast in the shower may offer similar benefits. But how so?
14. “Playing for team motherhood”: Returning to team sport after childbirth:
“After each pregnancy, I wonder if I’m gonna be able to get back to where I was before. I want to be able to jump and hit the ball or catch the frisbee. I want to be able to perform the way I used to. I put this pressure on myself to be back where I was after my first kid, in the fittest shape of my life. Plus, society is made up to make you feel like that. It’s in the ads, the grocery store, everywhere! The pressure is insidious and has been piling up on women’s backs for years.”
Michelle, research participant
Motherhood and a decrease in physical activity participation often go hand in hand. Specifically, early motherhood is a time when women have some of their lowest rates of sport participation (Rhodes et al., 2014). This is a problem, because during the postnatal period (up to 1 year after giving birth) women are at high risk of drastic weight gain, postpartum depression, isolation and anxiety (Demissie et al., 2011).
While physical changes that affect sport participation are well-addressed, how postnatal women re-engage in sport is also affected by gendered expectations accompanying motherhood. These expectations include gender roles dictating how mothers “should” behave (Freysinger et al., 2013). Another expectation is intensive mothering, that is, the expectation that mothers must prioritize their child’s needs over their own (Trussell & Shaw, 2012). These expectations both decrease mothers’ physical activity levels and also weaken their emotional and physical well-being (Henderson et al., 2016).
15. The Psychology of Racing Versus Pacing:
Running alone against the clock is very different from trying to beat other runners, but untangling how our minds process the challenge is “like knitting with spaghetti”
A year ago, when the idea of a “virtual race” seemed like a novel concept rather than a sick joke, I wrote about a study that explored the psychological differences between solo time trials and head-to-head races. A key observation: effort (how easy or hard it felt) was the same in both situations, but affect (how good or bad it felt) was very different. The power of running with others is that it can make a hard effort feel good, or at least less bad.
Now the same research team, led by Everton do Carmo of Senac University Center in Brazil, has a new study in the European Journal of Sport Science that digs further into the topic—and specifically into the question of goals. Anyone who has watched the cat-and-mouse tactical games in middle-distance track races at the Olympics knows that trying to win and trying to run fast produce very different styles of race. And there’s also a big difference between racing a stronger opponent and racing a weaker one. As you add more and more variables into the mix, the psychology of pacing gets very complicated—and interesting patterns emerge.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.