1. Effects of Massage and Cold Water Immersion After an Exhaustive Run on Running Economy and Biomechanics: A Randomized Controlled Trial:
Duñabeitia, I, Arrieta, H, Rodriguez-Larrad, A, Gil, J, Esain, I, Gil, SM, Irazusta, J, and Bidaurrazaga-Letona, I. Effects of massage and cold water immersion after an exhaustive run on running economy and biomechanics: A randomized controlled trial. J Strength Cond Res 36(1): 149-155, 2022-This study compares the effects of 2 common recovery interventions performed shortly after an exhausting interval running session on running economy (RE) and biomechanics. Forty-eight well-trained male runners performed an exhaustive interval running protocol and an incremental treadmill test 24 hours later at 3 speeds: 12, 14, and 16 km·h-1. Subjects randomly received either massage, cold water immersion (CWI), or passive rest (control). Runners repeated the treadmill test 48 hours after the first test. A two-way mixed analysis of variance was performed comparing groups and testing times. The massage group had significantly better recovery than the control group at 14 km·h-1 in RE (p < 0.05; ?2 = 0.176) and greater stride height and angle changes at 16 km·h-1 (p < 0.05; ?2 = 0.166 and p < 0.05; ?2 = 0.208, respectively). No differences were observed between the CWI and control groups. The massage group had greater stride height and angle changes at 16 km·h-1 than the CWI group (p < 0.05; ?2 = 0.139 and p < 0.05; ?2 = 0.168, respectively). Moreover, differences in magnitude suggested moderate effects on RE (?2 = 0.076) and swing time (?2 = 0.110). These results suggest that massage intervention promotes faster recovery of RE and running biomechanics than CWI or passive rest.
From National Libreary of Medicine.
2. Train like a Norwegian:
Bergen is a city in Norway with a population similar to that of Southampton. It’s not a big place and it’s hardly the perfect location for triathlon training. Yet, this city produced the first single country clean sweep of a WTS podium, the best middle distance triathlete in 2019, 2020 and 2021 and the Olympic gold medallist for triathlon in Tokyo 2021. Outside of triathlon Norwegian athletes are taking on the world in athletics as well as having top representation in the World Tour. They have a proud history in cross country skiing with more Olympic golds at the winter games than any other nation and this will surely be added to at the upcoming games. But how is this happening? Is there something in the water? It all starts with Steven Seiler and world class sports science observations.
More...from The Draft.
3. Fond Of Women’s Sport: Dr. Emma Hilton & The Science That Shows Why Biological Sex Not Gender Choice Says Who Swims As Man Or Woman :
On July 10, 2019, Dr Emma Hilton, a prize-winning development biologist and research associate specialising in Cellular & Developmental Systems and well as Evolution, Systems and Genomics at the University of Manchester, was introduced to the audience at the Woman’s Place UK Conference with a short warm-up that included this on the impact that growing up as a boy and man has in sport:
Sport is meaningless without fair competition. Some people say that if a man transitions into a woman this eliminates all the male performance advantage they had as a man. Science does not support that claim. Male puberty locks in many changes to the male body that simply cannot be reversed.
Kiri Tunks, founder and chair of Woman’s Place UK – image courtesy of Justice for Rohingya Minority
he topic of Dr. Hilton’s talk at a conference held in association with the campaigning group Fair Play for Women and also featuring British swimming ace Sharron Davies among speakers, was ‘review of the science supporting the IOC decision to let male-born transgender athletes into female competition’. None of the presentations went well for the IOC, starting early on in the video below, when the owner of the @FondOfBeetles Twitter account (some of her work has focussed on insects and the meaning of mutation in nature) confirms where she’s going:
“Reproductive anatomy aside, the physical differences between males and females were already apparent when our ancestors emerged from the trees, and now, in modern sports, we can measure them precisely. Males can run faster, jump longer, throw further and lift heavier than females. They outperform females by 10% on the running track to 30% when throwing various balls.”
More...from State of Swimming.
4. What We’re Learning About Covid-19 Vaccination and the Menstrual Cycle:
If you thought it affected your cycle, you were right. Here’s what’s going on.
I just got boosted. Aside from a sore arm (which I had to put a brave face on for, so my daughter wouldn’t be afraid to get her shot after me), I didn’t have too many side effects. After my first and second shots I had no side effects other than feeling like someone punched me hard in the arm, which is different from what so many other women are reporting. (I was a geek and timed my vaccine with my menstrual cycle, read on…)
Women have been reporting menstrual side effects since the shots rolled out. Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly), clinical trials of the current Covid-19 vaccines did not collect menstrual cycle outcomes as part of their research. That means changes in the menstrual cycle were not listed as a known side effect of the vaccines. When women began experiencing disturbances in their menstrual cycle and sharing them online, it led to questions and concerns about whether this was normal and if there were concerns regarding potential impacts on fertility.
More...from Dr. Stacy Sims.
5. On the Beauty of Great Running Form:
We tend to assume that a nice-looking stride is a fast one, but maybe looking good is its own reward
The setup to a newly published study on running form feels a bit puzzling. Years—or in fact decades—of previous studies, the researchers tell us, have found that the way you run doesn’t seem to predict how efficient you are. Their new experiment will use two high-tech ways of quantifying running form to analyze the movements of 52 runners, and also assess their efficiency. Their hypothesis is that there will be no link between the efficiency data and the form data. Sure enough, that’s exactly what they find.
So why, you may wonder, did they bother doing the experiment? That’s the question that was on my mind when Malcolm Gladwell’s email newsletter dropped into my inbox last week. The subject: two short videos of runners running beautifully. One was a fantastic short film from 1962 about Canadian runner Bruce Kidd, featuring a lot of long, slow takes of Kidd running. The other was Tracksmith’s recent video about New Zealander Nick Willis’s New Year’s Eve attempt to extend his streak of sub-four-minute miling to 20 years.
More...from Seat Science on Outside Online.[Member Exclusive]
6. The Science Behind Building an Aerobic Base:
How “Zone 2 training” went from temporary fad to science-backed gospel.
In the past two decades, exercise science and lab testing has caught up with the demand of endurance athletes, providing them with unprecedented knowledge about the ‘why’ behind their training. Born from this endurance enlightenment, if you will, is the widespread acknowledgment of the effectiveness of aerobic base training (aka, Zone 2 training). In this article, we’re going to dive into the science and physiology of aerobic base training and its application to endurance sports such as swimming, running, cycling, and more.
What is Aerobic Base Training?
Aerobic base training is specific training meant to increase your aerobic threshold, or your ability to perform steady-state work for a long period of time. Base training workouts are simple: go at a pace just below your aerobic threshold (the upper limit of Zone 2), and hold it.
Your aerobic threshold is the exercise intensity at which blood lactate begins to increase substantially. Below your aerobic threshold — in Zone 1 and Zone 2 — the exercise intensity is quite low, and that’s why you can maintain these “easy” efforts for a long period of time. We’ll dive deeper into blood lactate and training zones in the next section.
Research has shown that almost all elite endurance athletes use aerobic base training as a part of their weekly routine, including sprint-distance triathletes, marathon runners, and Tour de France cyclists. The reason is simple. Endurance events are typically longer than a few minutes, sometimes longer than a few hours, and sometimes longer than a week (in the case of cycling’s Grand Tours). These events place physiological demands on the body for very long periods of time, testing the body’s ability to endure rather than its explosive energy output.
More...from Training Peaks.
7. Can you train your gut to tolerate more fluid?
In response to our athlete case studies which analyse fluid, sodium and carb consumption during various endurance events, people often ask how some athletes can routinely tolerate drinking considerably more than 500ml (~16oz) of fluid per hour when competing.
So, let’s dive in and see what the science says…
How much do elite athletes drink during competitions?
We can see from the data we’ve collected in our case studies that 63% of the triathletes we’ve studied have consumed more than 500ml (~16oz) of fluid per hour on average across their race.
And it’s not only in triathlon where we see these high numbers being hit; Malcolm Hicks, an Olympic marathon runner who competed in Tokyo, drank an average of 1.1L (37oz) of fluid each hour across the hot and humid race. This was matched by ultra runner Pierre Meslet during the Marathon des Sables, who comfortably drank more than 1L/hr (34oz/hr) for three of the six stages when temperatures were pushing 50? (122°F).
Based on the questions coming in, it seems as if it’s not unusual for athletes to struggle to drink these kinds of volumes themselves. Common complaints revolve around fluid accumulating in the stomach, causing bloating or sloshing, and this seems especially prevalent during high intensity or very prolonged exercise in hot conditions.
More...from Precision Hydration.
8. Does the timing of protein intake matter for muscle-building?
If you’re trying to put on muscle, you probably pay close attention to protein. Combined with resistance training – the most potent stimulus for increasing muscle mass and strength – getting enough protein can help you realize this goal.
Is there an optimal time, though, to eat that protein?
Perhaps you’ve heard that consuming protein immediately after a workout boosts muscle-building. Or that a protein shake before you sleep is best to enhance exercise-induced muscle gain.
Turns out, evidence doesn’t support meticulously timing your protein shake around workouts or bedtime.
Here’s what to know about the link between protein timing and muscle mass and strength.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
9. How Nike Is Transforming Its Supply Chain to Best Serve Consumers:
The last two years have presented unique challenges for all companies. Throughout the adversity, Nike’s team has risen to the challenges and is seizing the opportunity to accelerate a transformation in its operations. In mid-2020, as consumers across all segments immediately shifted to digital engagement, Nike began transforming its supply chain to serve consumers more directly. From accelerating the opening of several regional distribution centers across the United States and Europe to securing a dedicated train dubbed Nike’s “Sole Train,” the company is innovating to better serve consumers now, while transforming its supply chain to power long-term growth.
“From early in the global pandemic, we knew that our recovery and return to growth would neither be linear nor intuitive,” says Andrew Campion, Nike Chief Operating Officer. “We believed that the immediate and significant shifts we were seeing in consumer engagement would be systemic. So we took decisive action and began building a digital-first supply chain to power Nike’s more direct, faster and precise service of consumers, all while prioritizing sustainability.”
10. Injury and the mind:
Colleen, how do you handle the mental side of injury?
It’s honestly a fair question. As an athlete, being injured, taken out of the game, forced to stop doing what you love and what you do best is really really tough on the psyche. Athletes are supposed to be tough. If you get injured, that shows weakness and fallibility. Injury takes you off your perfect athlete pedestal and shows how human you are.
Last week I was aqua jogging and letting my thoughts swirl when I had to doggie paddle over to the side of the pool to write this thought down in the notes app of my phone:
One of my greatest challenges is believing I have been given all the talent I need and letting my work ethic compliment and amplify that talent instead of sabotaging it.
I have come to realize that many of my struggles with injury stem from a lurking lack of confidence in myself and my abilities. I’m often not confident enough to “listen to my body” when it is giving me warning signals and even SOS signals. I’m so tough and so persistent (and so no confident in myself) that instead of slowing down when something feels off, I just keep plowing forward, terrified that I will “fall behind” if I have to skip a couple runs or workouts. What inevitably happens is that instead of skipping a few miles right away, I let things get so bad that I have to take a few weeks or more off my feet, setting myself further back than I would have if I had been smart at the onset.
More...from Colleen Quigley.
11. How an environmental ban on toxic ski waxes prompted an Olympic snow-sport arms race:
Andrew Chisholm wasn’t even alive at the time, but he has heard the stories of what happened when the miracle substance was first used, in secret, on the ski racing circuit. “I think it was in the mid- to late-1980s when the Italians first started waxing with pure fluorocarbon powders,” said Mr. Chisholm, an assistant coach and ski technician with Biathlon Canada. “It wasn’t even fair. Their skis were so much better than everyone else’s, and nobody could figure out what they were doing.”
Mr. Chisholm was referring to perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs – chemicals that almost magically repel water, grease and dirt, and that can therefore add extraordinary glide to skis and snowboards. After the Italian triumphs in the eighties, he said, whispers began to circulate about the special source of the country’s speed. PFCs became a standard component of snow wax, and eventually any national team that was serious about competing had “tens of thousands of euros of fluorocarbon powders in their wax boxes.”
More...from the Globe and Mail.
12. Why are endurance sports so addicting?
Endorphins stimulate a powerful pain relief and pleasure response when we exercise. But there's more at play when part take in endurance sports.
The runner’s high, it’s the feeling of euphoria you experience as you explore a new route, set a new personal best or complete a tough workout. Simply put, endurance sports are addicting. It’s why you wake up early before work to get in a run. Or why you take to the open country roads on the weekend.
This state of euphoria is craved by endurance junkies. The point in which your body releases a surplus of endorphins upon exercise, stimulating a powerful response of pleasure and relief. Though we may not experience a “high” every time we go out for a run or quick spin after work, endorphins are always working.
The name endorphin comes from the combination of endogenous (produced from within) and morphine (an opioid and pain-relieving drug). These endorphins are polypeptides – chains of amino acids – that are made by our central nervous system and can act on hormones in our pituitary gland.
More...from triathlon Magazine.
13. Could Psychological Flexibility Be More Important Than Mental Toughness?
When I had CTS coach and licensed psychotherapist, Neal Palles, on the Trainright Podcast, I thought we were diving into a conversation about mental toughness and psychological considerations for the masters athlete. Instead, I walked away with a mantra I’ve scribbled on a sticky note on the corner of my computer monitor:
“Psychological Flexibility > Mental Toughness.”
When he first said it, my initial reaction was an enthusiastic fist pump. Mental toughness, while valued highly in the ultra-endurance community, does not serve you unless you can also adapt when a workout doesn’t go to plan, or you hit a low during an event. I think adaptability – or flexibility – is an idea we can all get behind. But what does psychological flexibility mean in practice and how can you apply it to your own training and racing?
14. The Speedland SL:PDX Is a $375 Running Shoe—Here’s Why It’s So Expensive:
The Speedland SL:PDX might just change how runners think about their equipment.
We’ve seen $250, carbon-plated shoes for a few seasons now. But $375 for a pair of trail runners? One company out of Portland is betting that people will pony up.
“We thought, ‘Let’s build what we want to build and the price will be the price,’” says Kevin Fallon, one of the two founders of Speedland. The brand just launched its first shoe, the SL:PDX, in August of 2021. Of a limited run of 1,200 pairs, a little over half have sold.
Fallon and his co-founder, Dave Dombrow, worked together for 20 years developing shoes at Nike, Puma, and Under Armour. They left Under Armour in 2019 and spent a year (due to a noncompete clause) filming a YouTube channel called SpeedHack, where they dissected and sometimes rebuilt shoes from every brand in an attempt to make them better. Then they decided to make something themselves.
More...from Outside Online.
15. Study shows that caffeine increases fat burning, but does it matter?
In a new Spanish study that was published in the European Journal of Nutrition the role of caffeine in fat burning (oxidation) was investigated (1). The idea that caffeine stimulates fat oxidation dates back to the 1970s, but studies have produced very mixed results. The new study from Juan del Coso’s research group (a very well conducted study), show
Greater fat mobilisation with caffeine
The studies by David Costill in the late 1970s (2) showed that caffeine can increase the mobilisation of fatty acids from their stores. Fat is stored in several tissues but mostly in adipose tissues. The fatty acids are released from adipose tissue, can be transported to the muscle and be used as fuel. Some, but not all, studies show also an increase in fat oxidation with this elevation in fatty acids. However, it is not always true that an elevation in fatty acids levels in the blood also results in increased fat oxidation. This increase in fat oxidation was originally used to explain the performance benefits but it is now generally accepted that the increase in fat oxidation, does not spare muscle glycogen and improve performance. The performance enhancing effects of caffeine are predominantly through effects on the central nervous system.