1. Female Athletes Need Carbohydrates:
Men do, too. Research shows another downside to low-carb training.
Women perform best in a fueled state. That means eating carbohydrates. That shouldn’t be a radical concept. Carbs are the preferred fuel source for our brain; they’re necessary to fuel high intensity efforts, and they improve exercise performance for any efforts lasting longer than 45 minutes.
Yet the fear and villainization of carbs will not stop.
I blame the low fat debacle when everyone decided it was fat that was making people gain weight and become metabolically unhealthy. So we were told to eat “fat free” and manufacturers just removed the fat and poured sugar into everything to make it taste okay without fat in it. The result: a public health disaster. People were eating rice cakes instead of avocados and sugary jelly instead of nut butter on their toast. The population gained more weight and metabolic health suffered.
So then the pendulum swung way too far in the other direction and everyone became carb-phobic, convinced that it’s the carbs that are causing all the problems, when it’s really this kind of extreme thinking that is problematic. Especially in active women, whose metabolism is more sensitive to dramatic restrictions because our hormones are designed for survival of the species.
That’s why intermittent fasting may help men get lean, but makes it harder for women to budge their body composition. It elevates the stress hormone cortisol, which signals for the body to hold onto body fat and to turn down the resting metabolic rate.
More...from Dr. Stacy Simes.
2. Saucony Kinvara 13 Review: Times Change, The Kinvara Doesn’t:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 7.7 oz. (219 g.) for a US M10.5 / 6.2 oz. (184 g.) for a US W8
Still light, still firm, still a Kinvara
It might be time for a few tweaks to the classic formula
Coming soon to Running Warehouse for $120
THOMAS: You know that weird feeling you get when Facebook shares a memory with you, and you’re like: “WTF was I thinking? Did I write that?” I’m not even close to the person I was back in 2010, and for the most part, it’s a good thing.
However, the Kinvara 13 is still like the original Kinvara. But maybe it shouldn’t be. Back in 2010, the excess of other available shoe options are what made the Kinvara unique. The average daily trainer at the time weighed around 11 oz. (312 g). There were thick overlays, generous amounts of rubber on the outsole, plastic heel counters, and trusstic systems. At the time, the industry seemed to go with the mantra “more is more.”
More...from Belive in the Run.
3. Zone 2 Training to Improve Aerobic Endurance and Fat Burning:
Low intensity rides are a critical component of any cyclist’s training plan, even plans that also feature high-intensity interval workouts. These easier rides go by a number of different names, including ‘aerobic endurance’, ‘Zone 2’, ‘base miles’, and ‘LSD’ or Long Slow Distance. In CTS terminology, we refer to them as EnduranceMiles. Many athletes – particularly those who are short on training time – devalue this lower intensity level because it feels too easy. But there are some big performance benefits to spending time at a conversational pace.
What is Zone 2 training?
As training intensity increases from very easy to very hard, your body adjusts the mechanisms used to provide fuel for working muscles. For endurance athletes, the most important shift is between the relative contributions of the aerobic system and glycolytic system (sometimes referred to anaerobic system). There are no on/off switches, and the body doesn’t really recognize separate systems. You use energy derived from aerobic and glycolytic metabolism at all times.
4. Pushing too hard without adequate recovery can lead to a condition called overtraining syndrome:
he more you exercise, the fitter you get – but only up to a certain point.
Elite athletes have long known that pushing too hard for weeks or months without adequate recovery can lead to a mysterious and poorly understood condition called overtraining syndrome.
Scientists haven’t been able to reliably pinpoint when athletes are in danger of crossing the line, or exactly what goes wrong in an overtrained body. But in some cases, according to a recent scientific paper by researchers in Canada, Europe and Australia, the mystery may have a relatively simply explanation: The athletes aren’t necessarily training too much – they’re simply not eating enough to fuel their training.
Fatigue is, of course, a non-negotiable part of athletic life, particularly in endurance sports. Athletes in heavy training often get temporarily slower or weaker, and this “overreaching” stage is normal if it lasts for a few days. But if it settles in for weeks or months, even after the training load is lightened, that’s overtraining.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
5. How to Deal with Running Pain Like a Pro :
Science-backed strategies to help you learn to accept racing discomfort and choose how you react to it.
My favorite quote about the suffering that runners experience during races (and hard workouts) is from legendary ultrarunner Scott Jurek: “Pain only hurts.” In other words, as intense as it may be, the discomfort we experience when running to our limit does no harm beyond being uncomfortable. Sure, it might feel like you’re dying, but you’re not. Some runners, including the pros (who wouldn’t be pros otherwise), have a higher tolerance for this sort of discomfort than others do. Those who maintain a pain-only-hurts attitude toward their suffering have the highest tolerance for it—and consequently get the most out of the physical fitness they bring to each race.
What does it mean to have a pain-only-hurts attitude? At its core, it’s about not making race discomfort out to be more than it really is. To say that pain only hurts is to accept the pain as a necessary part of the racing experience instead of wishing it away as though it were an indication that something has gone wrong. Former 5,000-meter American record holder Bob Kennedy said it well: “One thing about racing is that it hurts. You better accept that from the beginning or you’re not going anywhere.”
More...from (Ouside Online.
6. Two foods for fat-burning:
Forget the ‘Five Food Groups.’ Here are the two foods that spark the most fat-burning.
Diets have not stopped the global explosion of the overfat pandemic because they are typically unhealthy, and don’t match our individual needs. To personalize the process of burning off excess body fat, we each must match the selection of natural foods to our unique metabolic requirements.
First, the foods to avoid are a priority, because even if we eat the two foods that are key to fat-burning, our efforts will fail if . This group is junk food.
Beyond this, the two key foods to eat are fat and protein.
We’re all individuals and it’s up to each of us to find the right combination of foods for our particular needs, but as the years pass, the human body and metabolism changes. So we must adjust our eating habits to reflect these factors if we want to maintain great fat-burning for a lifetime.
More...from Dr. Phil Maffetone.
7. New lab-based evidence suggests electrolyte intake can help reduce cramps:
The theories suggesting that exercise-associated muscle cramps are caused by electrolyte-depletion have been overshadowed by 'neuromuscular fatigue' theories in recent years, but a new study has suggested that sodium intake can help reduce cramping.
Sports Scientist and Precision Fuel & Hydration founder Andy Blow discusses the lab-based study and what the findings could mean for the future of cramp research...
Muscle cramping is a subject of deep interest for me as I suffered with cramps repeatedly when I was training and competing seriously in triathlon.
It’s an insanely frustrating phenomenon for athletes because very few things can derail a performance more instantaneously than a bad cramp.
It’s equally infuriating from a scientific point of view because no-one really seems to be able to pinpoint the singular cause of cramp, or find a way to reliably prevent or treat exercise-associated muscle cramps.
More...from Precision Hydration.
8. Muscle strengthening lowers risk of death from all causes, study shows:
Half an hour a week of activities such as gardening, sit-ups or yoga could help reduce the risk of dying from any cause by a fifth
Half an hour of muscle strengthening activity such as lifting weights, push-ups or heavy gardening each week could help reduce the risk of dying from any cause by as much as a fifth, according to a new global analysis of studies conducted over three decades.
Health guidelines recommend muscle strengthening activities, primarily because of the benefits for musculoskeletal health. Previous research has indicated a link to a lower risk of death, but until now experts did not know what the optimal “dose” might be.
To try to find out, researchers in Japan scoured databases for relevant studies that included adults without major health issues who had been monitored for at least two years. The final analysis included 16 studies, the earliest of which was published in 2012. Most were carried out in the US, with the rest from England, Scotland, Australia and Japan. The maximum monitoring period lasted 25 years.
More...from The Guardian.
9. Weightlifting at 56 is the most empowering journey I have ever been on:
Red-faced, sweating and gasping, my brain tries to focus on what my trainer just said. I’ve just set down a 130 lbs hex frame and stepped off the platform to gulp water.
“Describe that to me,” asked Rob. He is looking for an answer that requires me to do something I’m just learning to do – connect my brain to my body.
Yes, I know. My brain is connected to my body – that slowly and inexorably expanding thing, below my neck that has been carrying my head around for the last 56 years. Since completing my undergraduate degree, work life has increasingly immobilized me. Sitting stationary at a desk, staring at a screen – it’s mostly through my fingers that I connect to my brain. I am an academic working at a business school – so they work feverishly to keep up as I pour out my thinking onto the screen, into the memo, e-mail, journal article … whatever the work is.
“It felt great,” I reply. “I could feel the work down my whole posterior chain.” (Who says that? – oh ya, I do!) “But my breathing and bracing weren’t great and I think I let my knees fall inward a couple of times.” Rob is quick to correct, encourage and set up more weight. Then cheerfully he’ll say, “Okay, next set.”
More... from the Globe and Mail.
10. How Simple Exercises May Save Your Lower Back:
Back pain is common and complicated. But altering your workout to build control and stability can help prevent it.
The past few years have not been kind to my lower back. Between the physical tolls of pregnancy, parenting and working from home, I have a constant stiff, achy feeling in my lower spine. I am not alone: It’s estimated that up to 80 percent of Americans will develop lower back pain during their lifetime, with 15 to 20 percent of adults reporting it in an average year.
Could exercise prevent some of this pain? The short answer is maybe. A consistent mixture of cardio and dedicated core work can help. However, exercise alone is not a guarantee of pain relief, as there are a number of mistakes that many of us, even experienced athletes, may make.
More...from the New York Times*.
11. Why Performance Under Pressure Isn’t All in Your Head :
New research explores how physical and mental factors affect how athletes raise their game when it counts
Everyone has their own personal workout-to-race conversion. Take five runners who each complete an identical predictor workout at the same nominal effort, and they’ll produce five different times in their next race. And those conversion factors aren’t constant. When the stakes are highest, some runners find an extra gear, while others get stuck in neutral. Pressure does funny things to people.
I’ve been thinking about clutch performance—and its mirror image, choking—thanks to a recent study of baseball performance published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Three researchers who all formerly worked with Los Angeles Angels analyzed the pitching, hitting, and fielding performance of 1,477 Major League Baseball players who competed in postseason games between 1994 and 2019. The results are pretty much the opposite of what I would have expected, which tells us something interesting about either clutch performance or, perhaps, about another hot topic in pro sports, load management.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
12. 5 Myths About Protein Intake for Endurance Athletes:
We examine some of the myths around protein intake for endurance athletes.
Protein intake for endurance athletes can play a huge role in training and recovery. But do you know everything you need to about protein intake?
Like training for a triathlon, dietary protein is not something to take lightly. Protein is essential for a wide range of bodily processes, most notably the synthesis and maintenance of muscles, enzymes, hormones, bones, cartilage, hair, and skin. Plus, protein helps dull hunger, preventing surreptitious midnight fridge raids, and provides another fuel source for athletes to be used alongside fat and carbohydrate.
So, if all you focus on is carbohydrates, your body won’t function to its full potential, yet there remains considerable confusion about protein intake for endurance athletes, which may leave you with no idea how best to approach this macronutrient. Let’s set the record straight.
13. Why Endurance Athletes Feel Less Pain:
Even compared to athletes from other sports, endurance athletes have a unique relationship with discomfort.
While researching a book on endurance a few years ago, I interviewed a German scientist named Wolfgang Freund who had recently completed a study on the pain tolerance of ultra-endurance runners. Subjects in the study had to hold their hands in ice water for as long as possible. The non-athlete control group lasted an average of 96 seconds before giving up; every single one of the runners, in contrast, made it to the three-minute safety cut-off, at which point they rated the pain as a mere 6 out of 10 on average.
The results were consistent with previous research showing that athletes can tolerate more pain than non-athletes. But not all sports impose the same demands, Freund pointed out: “Maradona, at least, had the illusion that a brilliant soccer player didn’t need to suffer.” As a runner myself, I liked the implication that endurance athletes are uniquely tough, so I happily included that quote in my book. But is it really true?
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
14. It pays be to be compliant: the physics of indoor track and “optimal” surfaces:
45 years ago, a young lad hailing from a southern suburb of Dublin ripped around the interior of Madison Square Garden 11 times. By doing so faster than six other gentlemen making the same prestigious rounds, he was crowned champion of the 1977 Wanamaker Mile.
6 years later, in 1983, that same lad, a bit stronger and a bit wiser, ripped 10 laps for a mile around the interior of Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey on a track designed to his specifications. This time, he did it in 3 minutes and 49.78 seconds, faster than anyone had ever covered that distance indoors (with the previous fastest person being his own 1981 vintage), and faster than anyone would cover it for another 14 years.
More...from Geoffrey Burns.
15. The Link Between Zone 2 Training, Fat Burning, and Performance:
How do easy Zone 2 rides actually better your performance? Here’s a peek into the physiology of aerobic training and fat burning.
At face value, riding steadily at a relatively easy pace would not seem to help your racing. How does riding for hours on end in Zone 2 replicate shredding the field on the finishing climb in a road race or making the winning break in a criterium? While it may not seem like it, endurance rides are a requirement for successful training. One of the most important adaptations that you get from endurance rides is the ability to use fat more efficiently.
Why Fat Burning Matters in Cycling Races
Apart from explosive one-off events such as track racing, short time trials, and 5 ks, efficient fat burning is a major key that sets great racers apart from the rest of the pack. In professional cycling, there are lots of riders who can do a 5-minute or 20-minute power test on par with Grand Tour contenders; however, in real races, these riders are often pack-finishers and domestiques. Why? Racing tactics and skills play a large part, but another major key is the ability to burn fat.
At lower intensities, you burn mostly fat and some carbohydrates. The harder you ride, you begin burning an increasingly higher percentage of carbs and a decreasing percentage of fat. At around your lactate threshold and beyond, you burn almost entirely carbohydrates. If there are not enough carbs in your system (i.e., glycogen), you simply won’t be able to reach these intensities. You have surely felt this at the end of a long ride. It’s unlikely you would be able to do a 5-minute best after four hours of hard riding because there’s just not enough left in the legs.
Thus, it’s not just the riders with the highest FTP or VO2-max that end up winning a lot of races, but also those who can efficiently utilize fat as a fuel source and therefore better preserve their glycogen stores. Research has shown a correlation between the intensity at which the aerobic threshold occurs and performance in competitive cyclists. In other words, the riders who could burn fat the most efficiently perform better. You, too, can teach your body to burn fat more efficiently so that you can spare glycogen for when it matters most.
More...from Trainintg Peaks.