1. How Hot Is Too Hot to Run?
As events as big as the Olympic Trials get rescheduled because of heat, we went to the science to find out how you should decide when it is too hot to run safely.
Runners don’t like heat. When the mercury rises, so too do many of us — early in the morning, that is, in an effort to get in our training before the heat sets in. Increasingly it seems, even rising before dawn is a futile effort to beat the heat. But, hot or not, we’ll get out in it, sweat, suffer and complain.
Sometimes, however, you have to take more dramatic action. When the Pacific Northwest was swept by a heat wave that produced conditions more commonly associated with Yuma, Arizona, than Eugene, Oregon, the U.S. Olympic Trials were repeatedly rescheduled “for the safety and well-being of athletes, officials and fans.”
A meet of the magnitude of the Olympic Trials being cancelled raises a question: how hot is too hot? Not just for well-conditioned pros, but for the rest of us?
To find out, we turned to the experts.
First, the good news. “If you’re well prepared and make adequate adjustments, you can safely exercise most days of the year,” says Brett Ely, a 2:38 marathoner and thermal physiologist at Salem State University, Salem, Massachusetts, whose research has focused on the impact of heat stress on exercise performance and health.
More...from Women's Running.
2. Gender and Sport Policy in Canada: Protection of Fair Play for Female Athletes:
The summer Olympics is less than 200 days away and many people are clearly becoming alarmed at the growing trend of trans-women competing as females in women’s sporting events. While many had voiced great hopes that the International Olympic Committee would update their transgender self-ID policy in time for Tokyo 2020 to ensure fairness for female athletes, the IOC remained strangely quiet on the issue right up to the end of 2019. Clearly, the IOC is prepared to let the gender self-ID experiment run its course irrespective of potential upheaval in the female category.
We wondered how these policies have taken effect across the many sporting organizations in Canada. Cycling Canada, for example, allows trans-athletes to compete in whichever gender category they self-identify. This policy has stripped medals and other benefits from a number of deserving female athletes.
More...from Canadian Gender Report.
3. HOKA ONE ONE Rincon 3 Performance Review:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 7.4 oz. (210 g) for US M9.0 / 6.2 oz. (176 g) for US W7.5
Changes include asymmetrical tongue, thinner pull tab, and vented mesh upper
Improved durability was a focus of the shoe during development
Releases August 1 for $115
ROBBE: Like that adorable art school girl you were enamored with until you realized her favorite artist was Ed Hardy, my past experience with the Rincon has been all butterflies and butter, until it wasn’t. Out of the box, every version of this shoe has been a beauty. Beloved for its light weight, max cushion, and rolling ride, it has quickly become a fan-favorite over the last two years.
Except – as most Rincon lovers know, it had a tendency to lose that magic pretty early on. It’s rare we get a ton of miles in a shoe, but I was able to put in 150 miles in the last version, and it seemed to lose some/all of its fizz, like that mostly-full can of Coke my wife has left in the fridge for the last week, with no intentions of ever picking it up again. Like, why even open it in the first place? Just eat a tablespoon of sugar and call it a day.
More...from Believe in the Run.
4. Outdoor Exercise Doesn’t Boost Melanoma Risk—as Long as You Take Precautions:
New research suggests you don’t need to hit the treadmill on super sunny days. But you do need sunscreen.
Exercising outside doesn’t raise your risk of melanoma, as long as you follow sun-smart strategies, new research suggests.
Using sunscreen (a minimum of SPF 15 or 30 is recommended), covering your skin, and taking advantage of shady spots when you can all lower your chances of getting a sunburn—if you get too many sunburns over time, they can lead to melanoma.
The long route you’re about to run is all sunshine and no shade. Does that mean you’re putting yourself at higher risk for skin cancer? A recent study in the journal Preventive Medicine suggests you can lace up and get outside without worry—as long as you follow sun-smart strategies.
Norwegian researchers looked at over 150,000 women ages 30 to 75 who participated in a large-scale study on cancer done over nearly 20 years. They examined whether participants who exercised outdoors reported more incidents of melanoma, which is considered the deadliest type of skin cancer. Previous studies have suggested this is the case, in part because those who spend more time outside are at higher risk of sunburn, which is a contributor to skin cancer.
More...from Runner's World.
5. Olympics-Athletics-Spring effect: Athletics struggles with carbon footprint problem:
When a sport has over a century of meticulous records and gold medals can be decided by a thousandth of a second, times matter, but carbon shoe technology has trampled all over that tradition and left fans unable to quantify what they are seeing.
In the early years of Nike’s carbon-planted, thick-soled Vaporfly revolution, most of the disquiet was about perceived inequality as some athletes had access to shoes that undoubtedly improved performance while others did not.
Predictably, most of the other major manufacturers have now come up with their own version of a carbon shoe, which, although seemingly leveling the playing field at the elite level at least, has now led to concern about how to get any historical perspective of performance.
More...from the Ottawa Citizen.
6. The Real Story of Males in Women’s Sports:
USA Today and progressive activists want Americans to think that this is a nonissue. They’re wrong.
Magic tricks rely on a simple technique: misdirection. It’s all about making the audience think they’re paying attention, when really, they’re being distracted. It’s in those moments when they can be deceived.
Right now in the conversation about males in women’s sports, some people are taking a page out of the magician’s handbook. Just look at a recent USA Today piece, wherein the reporters spend over 4,500 words arguing that having biological males in women’s sports is a nonissue. The piece trots out anecdotes, numbers, and non-contextualized statistics galore to make a case that’s not at all grounded in reality. According to USA Today and others in the mainstream media, the whole situation has been blown out of proportion — no one, they claim, actually cares that a few males are trouncing women and girls in athletic competition
Meanwhile, behind the curtain, law and public policy are telling a very different story. Even as the media try to downplay the numbers and effect that males have on women’s sports, there is a concentrated push from government officials — from the White House down to school boards — to pass laws and policies designed to dismantle women’s sports, and ensure that women lose the right to fair competition for good. The whole situation exposes the ridiculous lengths that people will go to undermine reality, and the sleight-of-hand that transgender activists use to mask their radical agenda.
More...from National Review.
7. She Used to Sell the Shoes, Now Tracy Ann Roeser Designs the Running Shop:
The lifelong runner designed a new Long Island running store and a space for Olympic athletes to train—all while working from home during COVID-19.
Like many runners, Tracy Ann Roeser gets a lot of inspiration during her daily morning jaunts out on the trails.
As an interior designer and visual marketing professional in Boulder, Colorado, she’s often thinking about how to make spaces and things more functional, more modern, more invigorating, and, quite frankly, even more cool.
So when she had the opportunity to design a new running store last winter, she jumped at the chance. But this wasn’t just any running store: It was an extension of the Runner’s Edge shop that she’d often frequented when he was a young teen growing up in Merrick, New York, and where she worked after college.
More...from Women's Running.
8. Run faster by running slower:
The Movement Movement features some of the brightest thought leaders in natural movement — experts who dispel myths, confusion, and sometimes outright lies about how people should move their bodies during activities such as running and yoga. Recently Dr. Phil Maffetone joined host Steven Sashen to discuss the concept of training slower to run faster, the MAF 180 Formula and of course barefoot running and natural footwear.
Watch the video on Dr. Phil Maffetone.
9. Bouncing behavior of sub-four minute milers:
Elite middle distance runners present as a unique population in which to explore biomechanical phenomena in relation to running speed, as their training and racing spans a broad spectrum of paces. However, there have been no comprehensive investigations of running mechanics across speeds within this population. Here, we used the spring-mass model of running to explore global mechanical behavior across speeds in these runners. Ten elite-level 1500 m and mile runners (mean 1500 m best: 3:37.3?±?3.6 s; mile: 3:54.6?±?3.9 s) and ten highly trained 1500 m and mile runners (mean 1500 m best: 4:07.6?±?3.7 s; mile: 4:27.4?±?4.1 s) ran on a treadmill at 10 speeds where temporal measures were recorded. Spatiotemporal and spring-mass characteristics and their corresponding variation were calculated within and across speeds. All spatiotemporal measures changed with speed in both groups, but the changes were less substantial in the elites. The elite runners ran with greater approximated vertical forces (+?0.16 BW) and steeper impact angles (+?3.1°) across speeds. Moreover, the elites ran with greater leg and vertical stiffnesses (+?2.1 kN/m and?+?3.6 kN/m) across speeds. Neither group changed leg stiffness with increasing speeds, but both groups increased vertical stiffness (1.6 kN/m per km/h), and the elite runners more so (further?+?0.4 kN/m per km/h). The elite runners also demonstrated lower variability in their spatiotemporal behavior across speeds. Together, these findings suggested that elite middle distance runners may have distinct global mechanical patterns across running speeds, where they behave as stiffer, less variable spring-mass systems compared to highly trained, but sub-elite counterparts.
10. Elite Athletes Don’t Sleep As Much As You Think :
It’s the simplest and cheapest performance booster available, so why don’t elite athletes take advantage of it?
One of the hallmarks of truly elite athletes, and of high-performing people in general, is task discipline: you know what you need to do, so you do it. You run 100-mile weeks, project a hard climbing route for months, or work on your crossover with ankle weights strapped to your wrist for six hours a day. That’s the hard stuff. In comparison, you’d think that the routine challenges of daily life—eating and sleeping, for example—would be easy.
But that’s not necessarily the case, as a recent study of athlete sleep habits illustrates. The study is from a research team led by Charli Sargent of Central Queensland University, published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance (free to read here). The researchers surveyed the sleep habits of 175 athletes from 12 different Australian national teams, and monitored their actual sleep with a wrist band for a couple of weeks. The main conclusion is that a startling number of these athletes, who are presumably performing herculean feats in their training, are falling way short of their sleep goals.
More...from New York Times.
12. Does CrossFit Have a Future?
After the pandemic and accusations of racism almost destroyed the gym brand, a new owner tries to bring it back.
Early on an October morning, I met Eric Roza for a workout at a CrossFit gym in Boulder, Colorado. Roza, who is fifty-three, was a few months into his tenure as the owner and chief executive of CrossFit, Inc., the preëminent gym brand of the twenty-first century. A typical class is an hour long, with a warmup and a cooldown bookending twenty to thirty minutes of punishing strength movements, Olympic lifts, gymnastics, and body-weight exercises. CrossFit is designed for general fitness or, as its disciples say, general physical preparedness for whatever life might throw at you, from helping a friend move a couch to competing in the Olympics.
I hadn’t been in a CrossFit gym in years, so I was relieved to find that the session would consist mostly of endurance work: three rounds of a five-hundred-metre row, a four-hundred-metre run, and thirty burpees. My goal was simply to keep moving and, of course, not to finish last. Rowing with a mask made the workout feel considerably harder, but voluntary hardship is the point of CrossFit. Its adherents believe that it leads to human optimization, and willingness to seek out physical adversity has helped build CrossFit’s fervent community. The workout of the day is tough, but everyone is pleasant and supportive. It’s competitive, but not ostensibly.
More...from the New Yorker.
13. Lifting Weights? Your Fat Cells Would Like to Have a Word :
A cellular chat after your workout may explain in part why weight training burns fat.
We all know that lifting weights can build up our muscles. But by changing the inner workings of cells, weight training may also shrink fat, according to an enlightening new study of the molecular underpinnings of resistance exercise. The study, which involved mice and people, found that after weight training, muscles create and release little bubbles of genetic material that can flow to fat cells, jump-starting processes there related to fat burning.
The results add to mounting scientific evidence that resistance exercise has unique benefits for fat loss. They also underscore how extensive and interconnected the internal effects of exercise can be.
More...from the New York Times.
14. The basic laws of running according to Jack Daniels:
This is an excerpt from Daniels' Running Formula-4th Edition by Jack Tupper Daniels.
In addition to the important ingredients of success in running, I have come up with what I call basic laws of running. I have designed these laws in hopes of allowing runners of all levels of achievement to be able to optimize the benefits of training. Because runners respond differently to a particular coaching treatment, training program, or environment, these basic laws help evaluate and enhance individual training situations.
1. Every runner has specific individual abilities.
Each runner has unique strengths and weaknesses. Some runners have a desirable muscle fiber design, with a high fraction of slow-twitch endurance fibers, which leads to a high aerobic power output (high VO2max). On the other hand, another runner who does not have a particularly high VO2max may have outstanding running economy because of ideal mechanics. I think that runners should spend a good deal of their training time trying to improve known weaknesses, but when approaching important races, the main emphasis should be taking advantage of known strengths. For example, a runner who feels weak in the area of speed but great in endurance should spend early and even midseason time working on improving speed, but in the latter weeks of training, put more emphasis on endurance to take advantage of what works best for this individual.
More...from Human Kinetics.
15. The Japanese Way: Why don't Japan dominate major marathon races?
Japan has a long, proud tradition of marathon running, winning nine Olympic medals down the years, including the women’s gold at both the 2000 Games in Sydney and the 2004 event in Athens.
In more recent years, Japan has had to play third fiddle in the marathon rankings behind Kenya and Ethiopia, but it still produces far more top road runners than any other nation. Earlier this year, for example, 40 Japanese men ran under 2 hours 10 mins for the marathon in a single race, the Lake Biwa Marathon - which is not even Japan’s biggest marathon.
To put that in perspective, only 17 British runners have ever run that fast.
More...from Precision Hydration.