6. New study shows consistent training the key to reducing age-related decline in running performance:
Way back in 1980, a 53-year-old Japanese runner named Keizo Yamada notched a finishing time of 2:49:12 at the Honolulu Marathon. The time was seemingly no big deal for the former Olympic runner and Boston Marathon champion, but it represented a milestone: He was the first person to run sub-three-hour marathons in five different calendar decades.
By the end of 2019, only 39 other people – 38 men and one woman (1984 Olympic champion Joan Benoit Samuelson) – had joined Yamada in this exclusive club. These 40 runners are the subject of a new analysis in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, and their remarkable feats suggest that our usual assumptions about the trajectory of physical aging may be too pessimistic.
It’s tricky to pinpoint exactly when physical decline begins, since different physical capacities such as strength, balance and agility fall off at different rates. For marathoners, lifetime bests are generally set between about 25 and 35 years of age, after which the inexorable decline begins.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
7. Want strong muscles? Eat your leafy greens:
There are many reasons to eat plenty of vegetables each day. Protection against high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, macular degeneration and cognitive decline are among them.
Now, new study findings suggest another important reason – to preserve muscle strength and muscle function as you age.
Entering middle age with better muscle strength is thought to protect against disability and frailty later in life. In older adults, declines in strength increase the risk of falls, a major cause of bone fractures.
When it comes to supporting muscle function, though, not all vegetables will do the trick. According to the Australian research team, veggies packed with compounds called nitrates – e.g., leafy greens, beets – are the ones that have muscle benefits.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
8. How Ellie Purrier Trained to Run the American 2-Mile Record:
Purrier and Coach Mark Coogan explain the strategy and workouts they use to build aerobic power.
On Feb. 13 at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, middle distance elite Ellie Purrier smashed the American 2-mile record, bettering Jenny Simpson’s outdoor record by 8 seconds. Purrier clocked 9:10.28 — indoors (running 4:42 and 4:28 splits with a 63-second last 400). A year ago, she ran a 4:16.85 indoor mile at the Millrose Games NYRR Wannamaker Mile, shattering the meet and American record, as well as breaking Mary Decker’s legendary 37-year-old mark.
Her coach, Mark Coogan, credits much of her success to the training that has made her into an “Aerobic Animal.” We spoke with coach and athlete to get the details on what that training entails and how you can benefit by building your aerobic power.
More...from Podium Runner.
9. How to Get a Bigger Boost from Caffeine:
To counteract caffeine tolerance, new research suggests you need to swear it off temporarily.
Abstention is a very controversial topic—and yes, I’m talking about sports science here. You’re gearing up for an important race, and hoping to get the biggest performance-boosting jolt possible from your race-day caffeine. Should you deny yourself coffee for a week or so leading up to the race, so that you’re in a state of heightened caffeine sensitivity?
That’s a fairly common routine among elite endurance athletes, but definitely not a well-loved one. I once attended a sports nutrition panel where Des Linden talked about this part of her pre-race routine. This is a woman who (along with fellow elite runner Ben True) owns her own coffee company, linden & true. She doesn’t swear off coffee lightly, and you could hear the angst in her voice as she described how that coffee-free week felt to her. But hey, anything for an edge, right?
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online
10. Good News, Runners: Thick Thighs Do Save Lives, Especially for Women:
Research finds that higher muscle and fat in women is associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
A UCLA study looking at more than 11,400 adults, roughly half men and half women, found that having higher muscle mass was associated with lower death rates from cardiovascular disease in both men and women.
In women, but not men, higher body fat was also associated with lower risk of dying from heart disease.
Women specifically should prioritize building muscle mass over losing weight to improve their cardiovascular health, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
It’s more than a catchy T-shirt or a meme of the day: thick thighs really do save lives.
A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association that found that men and women who have high levels of muscle mass are less likely to die from heart disease. In addition, women who have higher levels of body fat, regardless of their muscle mass, also had significantly lower death rates from heart disease.
More...from Runner's World.