1. Four Elements of Effective Post-Race Recovery:
The intense physiological demands of racing can leave your body depleted and in need of repair. Here are four areas to focus on that will help you bounce back stronger.
Your main goal for any upcoming event could be reaching the finish line (particularly if it’s your first crack at a half or full marathon or your Ironman debut), qualifying for a major event, or breaking your PR for the distance. Yet while achieving any such aim is admirable and marks the culmination of weeks’ or months’ worth of work, the moment the race stops, you should start considering how to help your body bounce back strong. Here are four evidence-backed practices to implement in your post-race recovery plan.
Post Race Recovery Checklist:
Focus on these four areas to recover faster and stronger.
Even if you went into your event with your fluid levels topped up and executed your coach’s race plan to a tee, you’re still going to need to rehydrate as soon as possible afterward. This involves not only replacing the extra water that you lost to sweating but also putting back the electrolytes that were diminished along the way. Pre-made powders engineered specifically for this purpose provide the easiest win, though you should remember to avoid those with artificial ingredients and choose options that have gone through rigorous third-party quality and purity testing programs like NSF Certified for Sport® and Informed Sport.
If you want to stick to real whole foods as much as possible to increase your fluid intake, it’s worth noting that many fruits and vegetables are 90% water and so can be a great complement to whatever you drink to rehydrate once you’ve crossed the finish line. Frequent TrainingPeaks contributor and hydration expert Dr. Stacy Sims suggests salting watermelon, cantaloupe, and the like. Doing so will not only supplement the post-event liquids you drink but also put back some of the sodium you excreted via sweat on the course. Combining salt and the kind of carbs that fruit and veggies offer also helps fluids reach their optimal osmolality (aka, the state of peak absorption). You can add in other natural options to top off different electrolytes that might also be depleted. For example, bananas, avocados, and kiwis will supply potassium, while spinach, kale, and other leafy greens give you magnesium and calcium.
More...from Training Peaks.
2. Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 Review: On Race Days, We Wear Pink:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 7.9 oz. (223 g.) for a US M10.5 / 6.2 oz. (177 g.) for a US W7.5
*Steven Tyler voice* Pink, it’s my favorite color
Even more PWRRUN PB foam for a barely legal 39.5mm heel
Welcome to the top tier of racing goodness, Saucony
Available on August 2, 2022, for $225
JARRETT (WIDE FOOT): It’s gotten to the point where any shoe from the Endorphin family will have serious hype. At the top of that line resides the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3. We’re talking the crème de la crème. It’s Saucony’s elite racing shoe with all the bells and whistles. I’ve got good news for all you readers: The Endorphin Pro 3 does live up to the expectations and easily launches itself right into the top tier of racing shoes.
More...from Believe in the Run.
3. Finally, Women’s Running Shoes Are Being Made for Women’s Feet:
Shoe companies are rethinking shoe design to better support female runners.
For as long as women have been running in modern performance shoes—let’s say since the late 1960s, when women like Bobbi Gibbs and Kathrine Switzer shattered the ill-conceived notion that a woman’s uterus would fall out if she ran more than one or two miles—they’ve been doing it in sneakers designed for men’s feet.
It made sense when men dominated the sport, as athletes and designers. But, as of 2019, there were more female than male runners for the first time in history, according The State of Running report by RunRepeat.com (58 percent of American runners are women, the data revealed). And in 2021, women’s performance footwear sales were growing at a faster rate than men’s, according to data from The NPD Group Inc.—a surge mostly driven by running.
More...from Women's Running.
4. How Pregnancy Affects Your Marathon Time:
A new study assesses how childbirth altered the career trajectories of the fastest marathoners in history, with encouraging results.
A few years ago, Nike-sponsored runners Alysia Montaño and Kara Goucher publicly revealed the extent to which their pay had been slashed when they got pregnant. Allyson Felix followed up with the story of how Nike had offered her a contract with a 70 percent reduction in pay after she got pregnant. “Getting pregnant,” former Nike runner Phoebe Wright said, “is the kiss of death for a female athlete.”
There are some basic questions of right and wrong here. But there are also some physiological questions. Is it correct to assume that, once a woman gets pregnant, her best athletic days are behind her? After all, some researchers consider carrying a baby to term to be an arduous feat of endurance that bumps up against ultimate human limits. Or, conversely, might it be that female athletes actually have an advantage after giving birth? That’s what other experts propose, pointing to lasting changes in cardiovascular abilities such as the amount of blood the heart can pump and potential increases in pain tolerance.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
5. Weekend warriors are lowering their risk of early death, study says:
Weekend warriors can still stave off disease even if they are packing their workouts into a couple of days, according to a new study.
Adults should get 150 minutes of physical activity and two days of muscle strengthening activity a week, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. If you are trying to spread that out over the week along with work, errands, cooking and cleaning, it can sound like a lot.
People who are physically active -- whether that is on weekends only or more often -- have lower mortality rates than inactive people, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
6. How to get your kids into sport for life:
Children benefit hugely from sport, but dropout rates are high. Experts and athletes – from Rebecca Adlington to Chris Hoy – tell us how to keep kids hooked
Few parents go as far as Richard Williams, who began shepherding his daughters Venus and Serena towards Wimbledon glory by writing an 85-page plan and coaching them on the public tennis courts of Compton, Los Angeles, every morning before they had even started school. For the rest of us, mums and dads can still play a crucial role in nurturing a love of sport and exercise in their children from a young age.
“Parents and guardians play an absolutely fundamental role in children’s introduction to sport, with their encouragement behind the child’s persistence and progression,” says Claire-Marie Roberts, psychologist and head of coach development at the Premier League. All kids benefit physically, emotionally and socially from staying active, so here’s how to get them moving.
More...from The Guardian.
7. Heat Special: Five Tips for Riding in the Heat:
The first few days in the heat will be the hardest, but it will get better.
Summer temperatures can throw a curve-ball into your training. Intervals that once felt easy now seem out of reach. The hot temperatures are not only uncomfortable, but they begin to wreak havoc on your abilities and your recovery. Will the heat ever be easier to tolerate? How can you work to maximize performance even in sub-maximal conditions?
What Happens During Heat Acclimation
The first few days in the heat will be the hardest, but it will get better. Heat acclimation generally occurs in 9-14 days of consistent heat exposure. A more highly-trained athlete will likely make adaptations faster than a less-trained athlete.
Over the course of that two-week adaptation period, your body is working to make positive physical changes to support your new, and hotter environment. A few noteworthy changes are that you will sweat more and earlier in your workout to help cool your body more efficiently. You will experience a more even distribution of sweat across your body, and your sweat will become more diluted in order to preserve sodium.
While these changes are happening automatically in your body, here are some conscious changes to your routine that you can do to help support your body’s heat acclimation process.
8. How Olympian Elise Cranny Saved Her Season:
She was suffering from RED-S, but she didn’t recognize it immediately. Once she did, she rested, ate a lot, and recovered quickly enough to win a national title in the 5,000 meters.
Heading into the 10,000 meters in late May at the Prefontaine Classic—the race that determined who would represent the United States at the World Athletics Championships in July—Elise Cranny was the clear favorite. Two months before, on March 6, she ran 30:14 at Sound Running’s The Ten—just one second off Molly Huddle’s American record of 30:13.17.
But on May 26, the day before the championship race, the 26-year-old Cranny shocked the running world by announcing she wouldn’t compete.
At the time, the 2021 Olympian in the 5,000 meters said vaguely she wasn’t “feeling like herself” in training.
The full story: She was coping with symptoms of overtraining and relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S), a mismatch between the amount of calories an athlete consumes and what they expend during training.
More...from Runner's World.
9. Racing Shoes: What You Need to Know :
If you want to run fast, you have to dress the part. Yes, that means wearing your favorite clothes that are light, breathable, allow full range of motion, and won’t chafe late in a race. But most importantly it means lacing up a pair of light and fast race-day shoes.
Today’s racing shoes are more effective and more diverse than ever before. Finding the right pair for you depends on the type of race you’re running, your pace, your stride, and your budget. Here are eleven questions to help you sort out what shoes to buy for your race, plus how to optimize how you train and race in them.
1. How important is your race time?
If you’re going after an ambitious goal time you might want to invest in a high-end racing model tooled for top performance. If your goal is just to finish or to enjoy a strong run among friends, you might favor the most comfortable, cushy pair of shoes you can find. There are many options in each category, so it will come down to your goals and expectations, how much you want to invest in running shoes and, most importantly, finding a pair of shoes that works well for your feet and your gait.
More...from Outside Online.
10. How to maintain your performance in extreme heat:
During exercise, offloading metabolic heat to the environment is one of the biggest challenges the body has to overcome. Despite being well adapted, cooling in extreme environmental conditions can put an unbelievable and dangerous strain on thermoregulation.
So, understanding and defining your own limits is incredibly important for any athlete wanting to perform well, and safely, in the heat.
What is extreme heat?
There are two definitions of extreme heat: :
1. A number of unusually hot days occurring in succession
2. Weather that’s much hotter (or humid) than the average for a particular time and place
When it comes to determining whether heat is 'extreme', much will also depend on the individual. Some people have a lower ‘threshold’ than others and may interpret conditions as extreme on occasions when others deem it OK. A person's degree of acclimation and their training level play a big role in this thermal perception.
More...from Precision Hydration.
11. You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet, study shows:
I eat my vegetables, but I am guilty of thinking you can have your cake and eat it too, so long as you exercise enough.
So too, did Melody Ding, an associate professor from the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney. That was until she conducted her latest study.
“I am very active, and I eat generally healthy, but sometimes I do feel that I could ‘relax’ a bit because of how active I am,” says the epidemiologist and behavioural scientist. “I think many around me share the same feelings.”
When she looked at the research, however, she could only find several short-term studies. These suggested it was possible to mitigate some effects of a poor diet through exercise, with high-intensity exercise protecting against inflammation, insulin resistance and increased cardiovascular disease risk.
But Ding, and her team, wanted to know “the interacting effects” of diet and physical activity on long-term health and life-span.
More...from the Sydney Morning Herald.
12. Fit but unequal:
ake two highly trained, Olympic-caliber athletes: one man, one woman. Here are some biological differences that affect their performance:
MuscleTestosterone and other hormones give him a greater percentage of lean muscle, particularly in his upper body. Some research indicates that even his individual muscle fibers are larger. Because more muscle means more power, men’s top performances in jumping and sprinting sports and especially weightlifting and throwing events greatly exceed women’s.
More...from the Washington Post.
13. You Won’t Live Longer by Diet or Exercise Alone, Study Says:
Sprawling new research showed that healthy eating and regular workouts do not, in isolation, stave off later health issues. They need to be done together.
Health food or exercise alone isn’t enough to prevent chronic disease, new research shows. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t outrun the toll of a poor diet — and healthy eating, on its own, won’t ward off disease.
Most people know that working out and eating well are critical components of overall health. But a sweeping study published this week in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that hitting the gym won’t counteract the consequences of consuming fat-laden foods, and mainlining kale can’t cancel out sedentary habits.
“Sensationalized headlines and misleading advertisement for exercise regimens to lure consumers into the idea of ‘working out to eat whatever they want’ have fueled circulation of the myth about ‘exercise outrunning a bad diet,’” the study authors wrote.
More...from the New York Times.
14. Why Elite Athletes Are Getting Serious About Mental Coaching:
It's no secret that athletes need to develop their mental game to compete at their best, but a growing number of athletes in many sports are now seeking out expert-led training for their minds
When his athletes describe the ways that stress has impacted their performance, clinical psychologist Justin Ross likes to tell them: “Welcome to having a mind.” Ross specializes in mental performance coaching, a growing discipline aimed at helping athletes strengthen their competitive minds just like their bodies. “This stuff is pervasive,” Ross says, from the amateur level all the way up to the elite echelons of sport. “The majority of things we may be struggling with are deeply human.”
Athletes and coaches have long known that a sharp mental game can be the deciding factor in competition, and mental techniques like visualization and self-talk are often part of their preparation. But in recent years, there’s been an uptick in awareness of formal mental skills training designed to develop and hone those techniques, as well as in the number of experts entering the field. In 2018, the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) certified 29 new mental coaches; in 2021, the number was 100. This has also coincided with a growing chorus of high-profile athletes, including Mikaela Shiffrin, Simone Biles, Chloe Kim, Naomi Osaka, and Nathan Chen, starting frank, public conversations about their mental health and the pressure to perform.
More...from Outside Online.
15. Your HIIT Habit Isn't as Healthy as You Think. Try These Forms of Cardio Instead:
Trainers have promised you the moon and more if you use this training protocol. Here's what you need to know about HIIT.
If you've bought into the hype and you don't need to do anything other than High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIIT) to stay healthy and fit, there’s a good chance you're missing out on your goals and putting yourself in a bad position.
This buzzy training protocol often under-delivers on the benefits trainers promise. HIIT has been touted as the all-in-one workout that can build muscle, shed fat, and make all of your physical dreams come true. The fact is, however, according to Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., and MH Advisory Board member David Otey, C.S.C.S., is that HIIT doesn't exactly live up to the hype.
These days, the HIIT label has been watered down, often being applied to any form of training that features quick bursts of activity, broken down into circuits of work periods and rest periods. Unfortunately, most exercisers (and the trainers instructing them) fall far short of that first key part of the acronym: high intensity. “When it comes to HIIT training for the most part, people think it is the best possible cardiovascular exercise and protocol,” Otey says. “And unfortunately, it doesn't meet the standard because it's misinterpreted by a lot of people and misapplied by a lot of coaches.”
More...from Men's Health.