1. I've Tried Many Workout Drinks. Nuun Is the Best:
One of our editors is ready to declare this slightly effervescent libation as the perfect sports pick-me-up
Exercising in the high desert of New Mexico is a dusty, dry affair. Even when you’re not sweating, the sun feels unfiltered and harsh, like it’s sucking moisture from inside your body. As someone who prioritizes sweaty aerobic activities every day in this climate, I try my best to stay hydrated. But if I don’t drink enough fluids, the aridity makes it challenging to catch up: no matter how much I chug, I’m often still thirsty.
I employ a rotating cast of beverages to achieve my hydration quotas: SodaStream sparkling water with lime, 100 percent juices cut with sparkling water, fruit smoothies with protein powder, and my favorite: Nuun Sport tablets ($25 for four tubes).
These magic disks are easy to use. Fill a pint glass with water, drop in a tablet, and in a few minutes the tab will completely dissolve, leaving you with a slightly sweet, effervescent beverage that I find endlessly refreshing. Dripping sweat post-run, I often stand holding the cup, watching the disintegrating tablet float to the surface of my cold filtered water in anticipation of that first, most satisfying hit.
More...from Outside Online.
2. 7 reasons running is better than triathlon:
We all know what's better.
Listen, triathlon is great. Like running, it’s an endurance sport that gets people all around the world exercising, and that’s invaluable. But when it comes to the question of which is better, running or triathlon, the answer is obvious: running is best. Our friends at Triathlon Magazine Canada seem to think otherwise, and we don’t want beef with all you multi-sport athletes out there, but come on, you know it’s true. Here are seven reasons why we’re right.
We have so much time on our hands
Triathletes spend so much time training. Like, way too long. Runners? We get our run in for the day, do some strength work and get to chill out. Relaxing is fun, but it’s something triathletes rarely get to do. They finish their swim, hop on their bike, ride for four hours and then close out the day with a run. Honestly, triathletes must have so little free time. It’s a miracle they get anything else done in their lives.
Our sprints are actually sprints
In running, a sprint actually means athletes are sprinting. We’re talking 100m and 200m races that are done in 10 to 20 seconds. In triathlon, a sprint takes even the fastest athletes close to an hour. What’s with that? Triathlon “sprinters” swim 750m, bike 20K and run 5K.
More...from Canadian Running Magazine.
3. Cutting through the BS: Exercise Intensity:
Lecturer in sports coaching at Stirling University, Dr Andrew Kirkland, advises us to be wary of the quasi-science that is prevalent in endurance sport
Training for endurance sport isn’t so complicated. We know it’s working if race performance continues to improve without detrimental effect on short-to-long-term health. It’s as simple as that. However, we’re often hit with a overwhelming array of top-tips, ultimate training programmes and quasi-scientific terminology which hinders rather than helps our understanding of performance.
In this article, I’ll explore how bullshit (BS) hides such simplicity. Specifically, I’ll focus on exercise intensity to show how simple it really can be.
What is BS?
As an accredited sports scientist, chartered scientist, academic and coach I’ve learnt to see the world from multiple perspectives. It makes me sad that I often feel that I’m floating in a quasi-scientific sea of BS information which is threatening to swamp the whole endurance sports world. This is a world in which a discourse of obfuscation has developed, circulated and consumed in such a way as to make most people believe that training is way more complicated than it is. It has taken me 25 years to develop sufficient wisdom to realise:
More...from Fast Running.
4. Everything You Need to Know About the 10 Most Popular Marathon Training Plans:
Committing to running a marathon is a big. deal. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, training for 26.2 miles takes a minimum of four months of physical and mental prep. And finding the right training plan? Well, that can be just as overwhelming as making that initial commitment to run.
Not only do you need a plan that gets you to the finish line, you need one that’s going to get you to the starting line feeling strong, healthy, and confident. That will look different to every single runner. Some people respond well to logging high mileage six days a week; others prefer lower-intensity plans that allow for more cross-training.
No matter what any other runner tells you about the plan they swear by, the best marathon training program is one that works for you. That’s why we’re breaking down everything you need to know about the most popular marathon training plans—including insider details from real people who’ve used these plans to cross the finish line.
More...from Runner's World.
5. Should you go training on Christmas Day?
There's a pretty infamous story in athletic circles about Seb Coe going training on Christmas Day in 1979. That winter was particularly harsh in the U.K. but, despite the nasty weather, he got up and did a hard 12-mile run early in the morning before sitting down to enjoy the Coe family’s turkey dinner.
In the afternoon Seb sat around relaxing with the family but, after a while, he noticed he was beginning to feel a bit uneasy. Eventually he realised that the source of his growing discontent was not the amount of sprouts he’d eaten, but the fact he was pretty sure his rival Steve Ovett was out doing his second run of the day whilst he was just slobbing out on the sofa!
So, he got kitted up again and went and did some hill reps in the ice and snow to make sure he wasn't being outdone by his nemesis.
Many years later, Seb and Steve met for dinner and Coe told Ovett about what he’d done all those Christmases a go. Steve was highly amused and quipped back ‘Did you only go out twice that day?!’ (For the full story, see this Daily Telegraph article from 2009).
More...from Precision Hydration.
6. Can Smiling Make You Faster?
Change your mood, change your performance. Is it really that easy?
When you smile and you’re happy, you can trigger the mind to not feel your legs.” – Eliud Kipchoge
There he was, the first man ever to run a marathon under 2-hours, smiling the whole way. The crowd lining the streets roared as Eliud Kipchoge achieved what was once thought to be impossible.
After such an accomplishment, who wouldn’t be smiling? But there is more to Kipchoge’s smile than just the joy of success. There is a convincing argument that your facial expression can have a significant effect on your performance. Perhaps the stoic expression adopted by many professional cyclists isn’t just a “poker face” designed to trick the competition. Maybe adopting a calm expression while exercising can actually make you faster.
The idea that facial expressions can change the way you feel has been around for a long time. In the 1800s, Charles Darwin proposed that a facial expression can intensify your feelings, whereas suppression of a facial expression will lessen your emotions. This idea was dubbed the “Facial-Feedback Hypothesis (FFH).” The basis of this hypothesis is that your facial expression plays a causal role in how you experience emotions.
More...from Training Peaks.
>7. Rethinking What Power Meters Mean for Runners:
A leading company redefines what it’s actually measuring, and explains why that’s what we really wanted all along.
Stryd, the company that pioneered the idea of power meters for running, recently published a scientific white paper called “Running Power Definition and Utility.” That might seem like an odd topic for a company that’s been selling power meters since 2015. You’d figure they must know by now what running power is and why it’s useful.
But these questions are far knottier than you might think, and Stryd has always been fairly forthright about admitting this. In Outside’s initial coverage of their launch, one co-founder said their fundamental challenge was “lack of knowledge,” and hoped initial users would help the company figure out what its product was good for. In the years since then, Stryd has gotten excellent word-of-mouth. The users I’ve spoken to have found it helpful. But there’s been a nagging disconnect between the positive user reviews and the general consensus of scientists who actually study running, which is that “running power” is a fundamentally meaningless concept.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
8. Low Carb Training for Endurance Athletes:
Traditionally, endurance athletes have consumed large amounts of carbohydrates to ensure training and racing are well-fuelled. This makes perfect sense, given the well-documented performance benefits of carbohydrates. Over the last decade though, research has shown the potential for even bigger training gains when carbohydrate availability is limited around training sessions (often termed ‘low carb training’). Total Endurance Nutrition spent the last 4 weeks educating athletes from Total Tri Training on the benefits and pitfalls of low carb training, and here we share the key points from these sessions.
Let’s start with the ‘why’?
It’s worth saying from the outset here that the aim of low carb training is NOT to create an energy deficit which leads to weight loss. What we’re actually trying to do with low carb training is teach our body to be better at burning fat. This is incredibly important, not only because a better ability to burn fat is linked to greater performance in endurance events, like Ironman triathlon, but also to remain healthy too.
9. Running Blind, and Running Free:
A blind runner issued a challenge to technologists last year to find a way for him to run safely without a guide. They did.
Thomas Panek dreamed for years of running the way he did before he lost his sight, without fear and without a human or a dog tethered to his wrist as a guide.
That dream took Panek, 50, to the north end of Central Park one frigid morning last month, to test drive something that might one day liberate thousands of other people with severely impaired vision. As a camera crew and a team of technologists made some final adjustments, he stood on the downslope of West Drive. He straddled a painted yellow line and waited for the signal to go.
A little more than a year had passed since Panek delivered a challenge to a group of engineers at Google’s Manhattan offices during a company hackathon. Could they develop a way for him to run by himself, with a clear sense of where he was going and without having to worry about hazards along the way? There had been other attempts to find technological solutions to this problem, but none of them completely untethered runners from their guides.
More...from the NY Times
10. The Secret to Longevity? 4-Minute Bursts of Intense Exercise May Help:
Including high-intensity training in your workouts provided better protection against premature death than moderate workouts alone.
If you increase your heart rate, will your life span follow?
That possibility is at the heart of an ambitious new study of exercise and mortality. The study, one of the largest and longest-term experimental examinations to date of exercise and mortality, shows that older men and women who exercise in almost any fashion are relatively unlikely to die prematurely. But if some of that exercise is intense, the study also finds, the risk of early mortality declines even more, and the quality of people’s lives climbs.
Scientists have known for some time, of course, that active people tend also to be long-lived people. According to multiple past studies, regular exercise is strongly associated with greater longevity, even if the exercise amounts to only a few minutes a week.
More...from the NY Times.
11. Glucosamine Supplements May Reduce Risk of Early Death As Much as Exercise:
But that doesn’t mean you should take a supplement and skip your workout.
* Taking glucosamine with chondroitin supplements may improve longevity as well as regular exercise does, according to a new epidemiological study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.
* Taking glucosamine/chondroitin for a year or longer was associated with a 39 percent reduction in early death from any cause.
The supplement was also linked to a 65-percent reduction in cardiovascular-related deaths.
More...from Runner's World.
12. 3 Signs It’s Time for an Endurance Athlete to Rest:
Open up any training program from any running publication and you will inevitably see the following training structure:
3 weeks ‘on’
1 week ‘off’
In normal training nomenclature this means you train hard for three weeks, take one week easy, and then repeat that cycle. Did you ever stop to think why this structure emerged in the first place? The roots of this training philosophy emerged more from convenience (4 weeks is about a month) and tradition than from physiology. Despite the lack of logic, static training programs abound with this even and cyclical flow of hard and easy weeks.
It does not have to be this way. Training cycles do not have to fit the 3 weeks on, 1 week of paradigm regardless of athlete, time of year or training focus. Rather than the calendar driving when to go hard and when to go easy, it makes more sense for your training to dictate the hard to easy workflow. The latter choice, while more difficult to execute, will result in maximizing your effort and time so that you push when you can, rest when you can’t and reap more rewards along the way.
13. An Observational Study of the Effect of Nike Vaporfly Shoes on Marathon Performance:
We collected marathon performance data from a systematic sample of elite and sub-elite athletes over the period 2015 to 2019, then searched the internet for publicly-available photographs of these performances, identifying whether the Nike Vaporfly shoes were worn or not in each performance. Controlling for athlete ability and race difficulty, we estimated the effect on marathon times of wearing the Vaporfly shoes. Assuming that the effect of Vaporfly shoes is additive, we estimate that the Vaporfly shoes improve men's times between 2.1 and 4.1 minutes, while they improve women's times between 1.2 and 4.0 minutes. Assuming that the effect of Vaporfly shoes is multiplicative, we estimate that they improve men's times between 1.5 and 2.9 percent, women's performances between 0.8 and 2.4 percent. The improvements are in comparison to the shoe the athlete was wearing before switching to Vaporfly shoes, and represents an expected improvement rather than a guaranteed improvement.
14. How to Manage Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness:
While we can’t avoid some muscle soreness in training, it can be managed for better, more rewarding workouts
Whatever your sport of choice, you’ll be familiar with the sensation of muscle soreness, especially waking up the day following a tough workout. This can be anything from a slight tightness when you perform a specific movement, to lying in bed unable to even roll onto your other side without pain. This is known as delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS for short, and it can be so bad it puts people off exercise entirely.
The human body is remarkable for its ability to adapt to stimulus. If our muscles are exposed to levels of force that are beyond their ability to cope with, they will adapt by making us stronger, so next time we are faced with that situation we can cope with it better.
When we provide our body with a sufficient stimulus, our muscles are actually damaged, developing small tears as our muscles are pushed outside of their comfort zone. This sounds frightening, but people experience this on a day-to-day basis; whether it’s lifting heavy pans of water around in the kitchen or going for a long walk, your body is constantly being exposed to new stimuli. When your body is recovering from exercise (during sleep), muscle tissue swells slightly as part of the healing process, which (along with the micro-tears) results in soreness and stiffness the next day.
More...from Training Peaks.
15. Best Ways to Strength Train for Your Next Marathon, Monitor Your Training Load, and Think About Running Shoes and Injuries:
Amby Burfoot's Science of Running: News runners can use from the latest scientific reports.
How to Strength Train for your Next Marathon
For a number of years, runners aiming for optimal performance have been advised to use heavy strength training (HST) in their training program. There’s research to support this approach, but the studies were mostly done on elite or near-elite athletes. That left open the question: Is it worthwhile for midpack runners to consider HST or similar approaches?
Scientists at Shanghai University recently decided to find out. They’re part of a group called the Chinese Marathon College.
The new study:
The research team collected a group of 38 veteran runners (average age, 31) with a measured VO2 max equivalent to a 2:50 marathon performance. The runners were randomly divided into three groups that spent six weeks continuing their normal training (about 28 miles per week) while also adding different strength workouts twice a week. One was termed “complex training” (CPX) and included heavy weights, plus plyometric jumps. The second was heavy strength training (HST). The third consisted of light-weight endurance strength training (EST).
More...from Podium Runner.
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