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Runner's Web Digest - July 16, 2021 - Posted: July 16, 2021

The Runner's Web Digest is a FREE weekly digest of information on running, triathlons and multisport activities.
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Runner's Web Digest INDEX

1. #Fitspiration can be the Opposite of Inspiration
2. Wouter Hoogkamer interview: The study that named the Nike Vaporfly 4% super shoe
3. The Olympic Trials Showed Us Spectacularly That It Is Possible to Be Both a Mother and a Champion
4. Debunking the Gluten-Free Diet
5. Does having clear urine really mean you're well hydrated?!
6. Transgender sports policies have thrown fair play out the window
7. As we return to the gym, will ‘muscle memory’ kick in?
8. Athletes more likely than non-athletes to have irregular heartbeats
9. Osteitis Pubis and Osteitis Pubis Self Treatment
10. Why a muscle cramp or charley horse hurts
11. Eight myths that shouldn’t stop you running (including the truth about what it does to your knees) 
12. Six tips for improving strength
13. 25 rules of successful marathon training
14. What is Your Heart (Rate) Telling You?
15. Food and Mood: Carbohydrate Is Not Just for Muscles
Which of the following women played the greatest role in advancing women's distance running globally?
*	Joan Benoit (Samuelson)
*	Lynn Jennings
*	Nina Kuscsik
*	Kathrine Switzer
*	Joan Ullyot
*	Grete Waitz
*	Paula Radcliffe
*	Shalane Flanagan
*	Deena Kastor
*	Uta Pippig 

Vote here

Which of the following workouts do you incorporate into your training on a regular basis?
1	Long Runs 	240  (15%)
2	Tempo Runs 	216  (14%)
3	Hill Training 	195  (12%)
4	Pace Intervals 	203  (13%)
5	Speed Intervals 	206  (13%)
6	Running Drills 	183  (12%)
7	Pilates, Yoga, etc. 	171  (11%)
8	Other 	156  (10%)
Total Votes: 1570

Born in Eganville, ON, Melissa Bishop-Nriagu is a Canadian 800m Olympic runner & national record holder for this distance at 1:57.01.
She made her Olympic debut at the 2012 London games, competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and is known for her performance at the 2015 World Athletics Championships as the first Canadian woman to podium in the 800m.
As a University of Windsor Alumni, she holds gold medals in the 600m & 1000m from multiple CIS Championships and the record for the most sub 2 minute runs, at 27 times.
Motivated by her late coach, Dennis Fairall, husband Osi, and daughter Corinne, Melissa is back in form to make her 3rd Olympic appearance in Tokyo.
Visit her website at:

BOOK/VIDEO/MOVIE OF THE MONTH FOR JULY .AGELESS INTENSITY: HIGH-INTENSITY WORKOUTS TO SLOW THE AGING PROCESS By Ageless Intensity: High-Intensity Workouts to Slow the Aging Process Are you age 40 or over and want to maintain your workout intensity even as your body starts to age? Are you not yet ready to give up intense sweat sessions? Ageless Intensity offers a research-backed perspective on how high-intensity exercise can not only maximize health benefits past age 40 but also help minimize the physiological effects of aging. Fitness expert Pete McCall provides straightforward science-based information on how the same high-intensity exercise that provides a number of health benefits—from increased lean muscle mass to burning fat to reduced heart rate—can also influence human physiology in a way that can reduce the biological effects of time. Learn about the impacts of aging on the body and how to keep getting results from working out hard and pushing yourself to your limits while doing it safely, lowering the risk of injury, and building in the needed recovery for a body that may be starting to show signs of aging. You'll gain practical knowledge on the importance of strength and power, mobility work, and recovery as the keys to boosting your efforts to build and maintain muscle, burn calories, and help joints stay mobile as the body ages. The exercises included are designed to be challenging and deliver tangible benefits to middle-aged and older adults. Save time with the predesigned workouts or customize a complete workout plan to maximize your results and combat the effects of aging. Reaching the "over-the-hill" milestone doesn’t mean you have to slow down. Ageless Intensity is your guide to maintaining fitness with high-intensity exercise and workouts to remain active, stay in shape, and enjoy your favorite activities for the rest of your life.
Buy the book from Amazon.

For more books on running and Triathlon visit:,,, and


1. #Fitspiration can be the Opposite of Inspiration:
Research finds viewing #fitspiration posts can harm body image and make exercise feel harder.
As a female athlete performance physiologist, I work with women of all fitness and age levels to optimize their physiology and help them feel and perform their best. I know all too well how many barriers we women face to achieving our goals. One of those barriers that doesn’t get enough attention is self-image.
As women, we are bombarded with images of what the “ideal woman” should look like. Worse, the “ideal women'' we see don’t even look like the images we’re shown. They’re Photoshopped, airbrushed, filtered, and Facetuned to “perfection.” The result: We never feel like we’re enough. Those images have always existed, but now thanks to ubiquitous social media apps like Instagram and TikTok, we can also put a steady stream of them in front of ourselves. A recent study on #fitspiration—a hashtag used to tag images and videos intended to inspire you to get physically fit—shows just how damaging that can be.
More...from Dr. Stacy Sims.

2. Wouter Hoogkamer interview: The study that named the Nike Vaporfly 4% super shoe:
Do different people respond or benefit in various ways to super shoes? Is there an even playing field? Below is the interview with Wouter Hoogkamer who was part of the study that Nike named the Vaporfly 4% after. What other shoes may he be researching next?
Wouter Hoogkamer, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Integrative Locomotion Lab’s Department of Kinesiology Massachusetts, Amherst was involved with the commissioned study of the Nike Vaporfly 4% that garnered the name.
The lab uses a comprehensive approach to study human locomotion, integrating neurophysiology, biomechanics, and energetics. Their work covers the full health spectrum, from the neuromechanics of split-belt walking in individuals with neurological disease to the biomechanics and energetics of elite marathon runners. They focus specifically on how surface and footwear properties can be used and optimized to improve gait rehabilitation and sports performance.
The objective of the study by Hoogkamer, and the team made up of Shalaya Kipp, Jesse H. Frank, Emily M. Farina, Geng Luo, and Rodger Kram, was to determine if, and to what extent, these newly developed running shoes reduce the energetic cost of running compared with established marathon racing shoes.
More...from Runner's World.

4. Debunking the Gluten-Free Diet:
The gluten-free diet holds strong amongst its adherents — but is gluten intolerance even a thing? Dr. Jeff Sankoff debunks the GF craze.
For most of the past 10,000 years, our relationship with wheat was very much a happy one. Humans had a healthy, reliable food source at the ready, enabling us to establish villages, cities, and entire civilizations. In 2011, this relationship came into question by cardiologist William Davis, who first suggested that rather than being a wholesome grain, wheat might in fact be “the perfect chronic poison”. A decade later, the gluten-free craze continues unabated without much scientific evidence to support its efficacy.
History of the Gluten-Free Diet
According to Davis, gluten, a protein found in wheat, initiates a subtle inflammatory response in the gut of all humans, which initiates a cascade of effects over time that results in disease. Davis posited that this newfound problem is a result of alterations to wheat in the last several decades to make it more disease resistant and easier to grow. His book Wheat Belly went on to become a bestseller, sparking the creation of the gluten-free diet (GFD) along with the multi-million dollar GF food industry.
More...from Training Peaks.

5. Does having clear urine really mean you're well hydrated?!
There's a common misconception among athletes and the general public that you're optimally hydrated if your urine is a clear colour. The colour of your urine can help you understand how your hydration status fluctuates on a daily basis, but drinking until your pee is clear is not the route to optimal health or performance...
These charts can be found in nearly all bathrooms in elite sports facilities. I’ve spotted them in the toilets of just about every single NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAA College, Premier League soccer and rugby team that I’ve visited over the last 10 years.
[See charts on the website at the linke below]
How valid is the urine colour chart?
The Armstrong charts take their name from Dr. Lawrence E Armstrong, who ‘invented’ the concept of taking a close interest in your urine output and he’s most famous for attempting to validate his chart’s accuracy for predicting hydration status in two papers published in the International Journal of Sport.
In the team sports environment, these posters are often appended with provocative statements from team management. If you’re not in the 1-3 zone, you’re letting yourself down and you’re letting your teammates down. Heaven forbid - you find yourself in the 7-8 (dark) area; you’re definitely classified as ‘dehydrated’, you're a sub-standard human being, and you need to DRINK MORE!
More...from Precision Hydration.

6. Transgender sports policies have thrown fair play out the window:
Barbara Kay – The National Post
Athletes who are genetically male are, on average, 40 per cent heavier, 15 per cent faster and 25-50 per cent stronger than those born female
Reverence for sport’s first principle — fair play — unites people across the globe. Hell hath no fury like sport enthusiasts witnessing systemic cheating. Speaking of which: That burning smell? It’s the rubber of gender theory hitting the road of biological reality, as the consequences of broadening gender “inclusion” policies in sport achieve visible effect on our playing fields and medals podiums.
Since 2015, the IOC has allowed biological males who have self-identified as female for a year to compete in women’s sport, if they reduce their testosterone levels to 10 nmol/l (nanomoles per litre). That‘s still much higher than the female testosterone range of .54 to 2.4 nmol/l. In any case, testosterone is only one factor in the male athletic advantage — and not, as I explain below, the most significant one by any means.
On Oct. 16, in resolution of a civil rights claim levelled by Concerned Women for America against Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights agreed that FPU’s transgender sports and inclusion policy violated Title IX, which prohibits discrimination in educational programs and activities, including athletics, on the basis of sex. FPU has agreed to “rescind its Transgender Participation and Inclusion Policy and will cease any and all practices related thereto.”
More...from the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedom.

7. As we return to the gym, will ‘muscle memory’ kick in?
As workers at long-shuttered gyms dust the cobwebs off the barbells and polish up their spin bikes, we’re about to embark on a grand national experiment: How hard is it to regain lost fitness after a prolonged training interruption?
Think of it as the summer of “muscle memory,” the keynote topic at a recent conference hosted by York University’s Muscle Health Research Centre. University of Oslo bioscientist Kristian Gundersen, a pioneer in the field, presented an overview of the evidence that it’s easier to regain lost muscle than it is to gain it in the first place. But, as the ensuing discussion revealed, this idea and its underlying mechanisms remain hotly contested.
For decades, studies have suggested that you can gain muscle more quickly if you’ve previously had big muscles, even after a layoff measured in months or years. In 2010, Gundersen and his colleagues suggested an explanation for how this works, based on the acquisition of new nuclei, the control centres that store the genetic material and regulate the growth of cells.
More...from the Globe and Mail

7. Athletes more likely than non-athletes to have irregular heartbeats:
Risk of atrial fibrillation was 2.46 times higher among athletes than non-athletes
Athletes are two and half times more likely than non-athletes to experience irregular heartbeats, studies suggest.
Researchers analysed 13 studies between 1990 and December 2020 which examined the health of athletes who took part in sports including cycling, running, swimming, Nordic skiing, orienteering, rowing, football, rugby and netball.
The studies included data on 70,478 participants.
Previous studies have shown that physical activity can improve cardiovascular health and is associated with reduced illness and deaths.
However the new research suggests there is a threshold beyond which exposure to increasing levels of exercise is linked to heart issues including atrial fibrillation — a condition that sees irregular heartbeats raise the risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related problems.
More...from the Irish Times.

9. Osteitis Pubis and Osteitis Pubis Self Treatment:
Osteitis pubis anatomy, causes, risk factors and prevention tips, plus short term and long term treatment strategies.
Osteitis Pubis is the inflammation of the pubic symphysis; the point where the left and right pubic bones meet at the front of the pelvic girdle.
Individuals who are most at risk of Osteitis Pubis are those who participate in running events, especially distance runners. Weightlifters, ice skaters and dancers are also vulnerable to Osteitis Pubis, and people who have recently had prostate or bladder surgery.
Symptoms of Osteitis Pubis
The most common symptoms of Osteitis Pubis are pain and tenderness; this pain can be sharp or dull. The onset of pain is usually gradual, and is most commonly located in the front and center of the pubic bone. However, the pain may radiate into the lower abdomen and down into the groin and thigh.
More...from Stretch Coach.

10.Why a muscle cramp or charley horse hurts:
Anyone can experience muscle cramps — even LeBron James. Prevention tips include hydration, stretching and rest
There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night with what feels like the jaws of death clenched around your hamstring. The medical term for this is a muscle cramp or spasm, but you may know this painful paralysis — not-so-lovingly — as a ‘charley horse,’and well, it hurts. A lot.
Charley horse?
Although the origins of the name aren’t clear, some say the ‘charley horse’ got its name from, that’s right, a horse. “In the 1890s, an old horse named Charley was used in the old Chicago White Sox ballpark to pull a roller across the infield,” according to The Journal Times. The horse was old with stiff muscles that would make it difficult for him to walk. Apparently, when players and spectators had a cramp they started calling it a charley horse.
What is a muscle cramp?
A muscle cramp is a sudden and involuntary contraction of one or more muscles.
More...from the National Post.

11. Eight myths that shouldn’t stop you running (including the truth about what it does to your knees):
Jogging is a normal, healthy activity – yet there remains a glut of misinformation that prevents people from lacing up their trainers
As we emerge from Covid restrictions, many of us are struggling to get back into shape and lose unwanted pounds. For some, that means lacing up their shoes and heading out for a jog. But for every runner, plenty of others are literally “exercised” about running – that is, vexed, anxious, or tired of hearing that we are born to run, that running is the best kind of exercise, and that running is the secret to health and happiness. Apart from being uncomfortable, isn’t running ruinous for knees? Doesn’t it sometimes kill people? Isn’t running an ineffective or useless way to lose weight?
My late father-in-law was one of those runophobes. Whenever he drove past a runner, he would grumble “there goes another jogger running himself into an early grave”. In truth, running helps people stay healthy and live longer, but I can see why he was irritated by runophiles, a class who nag and brag about running which they mistake for a virtue. You know the type: people who tell insufferable yarns about their race experiences, describe their injuries in excruciating detail and showboat about how many miles or marathons they have run. Fortunately, the majority of runners are simply passionate about running, but countless others are bewildered, wary or averse altogether.
More...from the Daily Telegraph.

12. Six tips for improving strength:
Yes, you can get stronger and fitter healthfully without going to the gym or even breaking a sweat.
Everyone wants to be stronger. But few of us have the time or inclination to spend hours sweating in the gym — and is that even necessary or effective, anyway?
According to Dr. Phil Maffetone, it’s not. His new book Get Strong! details how to improve your strength using very basic exercises and minimal equipment from the comfort of your own home or office. No need to change into workout clothes, join a gym and commute there, or stick to a complicated workout plan or schedule.
At the basis of the program is performing one to six repetitions of a strength exercise using weight that is about 80 percent of your maximum. The minimum rest period between sets is three minutes but can be longer, even a day or more.
This method was developed by Dr. Maffetone through his research and work with Olympic weight lifters, who seek maximum strength while minimizing bulk. In other words, improving strength does not necessarily mean bigger muscles. In fact, the opposite is often true.
More...from Dr. Phil Maffetone.

13. 25 rules of successful marathon training:
Marathons are back this autumn. Here's how to make your 26.2 journey a healthy and happy one
Training for the marathon involves adapting your body to the rigours and demands of 26.2 miles of running. To get it right, you need to increase your cardiovascular fitness and endurance, as well as your ability to conserve and manage energy during the race. All this needs to be done while respecting your recovery so you don’t burn out.
What's the best training plan?
The marathon is a long way and your training needs to reflect that. Variety of training is important, as is making sure you have a training plan that prepares you specifically for the marathon, but for most runners, getting out the door and running at an easy and steady effort, with a good frequency and consistency, is what will get you ready. The most effective training plan is one you can stick to and enjoy. It is far better to get in four to five runs, week in, week out, than six runs one week and nothing the next.
More...from (Runner's World UK.

14. What is Your Heart (Rate) Telling You?
While heart rate is often used to prescribe workout intensity, it can also give you valuable insight into the effectiveness of your recovery, hydration, nutrition, and more.
As a coach, I pay attention to my athletes’ heart rate for more than prescribing intensity. I review what heart rate tells us about recovery, fitness progression, general wellness, and the effectiveness of fueling and hydration plans. Understanding what your HR communicates can help you make decisions to adjust your effort as you train and race so that you perform your best, sustainably.
Heart Rate & Recovery
If you aren’t sure what your baseline resting heart rate is, take some time to track it for a week or two. You’ll need at least seven days of tracking to establish a useful pattern. You can track your HRV (aka, heart rate variability, which looks at the variation in time intervals between heartbeats) as well. Generally speaking, the more variability between heartbeats, the better. To track HRV and resting HR, you can use an app or a wearable device such as the Whoop Strap or Oura ring. A bonus for the Whoop strap and some HRV apps is that they will upload directly into your TrainingPeaks log for easy tracking and pattern assessment.
When all is right with your body, your heart rate will return to your normal baseline after you recover from a bout of training. On the other hand, if you observe an elevated or decreased resting heart rate for an extended period of time, that could mean that something — usually recovery or general wellness — is off. Exactly what that is could be a variety of things, so you and/or your coach will need to do some sleuthing.
More...from Training Peaks.

15. Food and Mood: Carbohydrate Is Not Just for Muscles:
This is an excerpt from High-Performance Nutrition for Masters Athletes by Lauren Antonucci.
Another important area of interest is decreased mood accompanying a low carbohydrate diet or a state of low carbohydrate availability. Achten and colleagues (2004) studied runners on both high carbohydrate (8.5 g/kg/day) and low-carbohydrate (5.4 g/kg/day) diets and found clear evidence of both better physical performance and improved mood state on the higher carbohydrate diet despite matched total energy intakes on both (i.e., higher fat, higher protein intake to make up for lower carb intake). In addition to improved global mood with adequate total carbohydrate intake, these studies found decreased incidence and reports of fatigue (lower RPE) in athletes, both during exercise and at rest on higher carb diets. They noted that others have studied this and found similar results in swimmers, rowers, cyclists, and runners. Such studies support the idea that training in a low carbohydrate state may play an important role in the development of overreaching in athletes. Knowing this, it is paramount that athletes and those working with them ensure adequate total carbohydrate intake daily in order to reduce risk of overreaching as well as to maintain adequate mood state and performance during training sessions.
More...from Human Kinetics.

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Upcoming Races, Marathons, Races, and Triathlons June 26 - July 18, 2021: Tour de France - France July 17, 2021: Penn Relays - Philadelphia, PA USATF Women's 6 km Championships - Canton, OH July 22-25 2021: USATF Masters Outdoor Championships - Ames, IA July 30 - August 8, 2021: Tokyo Olympics - Tokyo Japan For more complete race listings check out our Upcoming Races, and Calendars. Have a good week of training and/or racing. Ken Email:

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