1. The Surprisingly Simple Training of the World’s Fastest Marathoner:
A visit to Eliud Kipchoge’s Kenyan training camp reveals how he dominates the marathon world.
he routine is always the same. For four months before every race, at his base in Kaptagat, Kenya, the fastest marathoner in history will churn through slight variations of the same workouts, week in, week out. After that he’ll show up and—almost without fail—dominate his rivals on the world stage.
Between 2014 and 2019, Eliud Kipchoge won ten consecutive major marathons. He is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, the marathon world record holder, and, of course, the first man to break the two-hour barrier for the distance.
The 36-year-old’s performances have been otherworldly for many years, but his lifestyle has stayed the same—humble, simplistic—while his training involves doing the basics well day after day, year after year.
More...from Outside Online.
2. Nail Your Golden Recovery Window for Optimum Health and Performance:
Post-workout fueling matters even more for women than men.
Low energy availability is extremely common in women athletes. A 2019 survey of 1,000 female athletes across more than 40 sports published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine estimated the risk of low energy availability in women athletes at more than 47 percent.
That means nearly half of active, performance-minded women may not be eating enough for their body to perform basic functions like making muscle, regulating metabolism, and maintaining homeostasis after accounting for the energy they use for training.
That’s bad for your health and performance. Exercise doesn’t work without the nutrition to support it. Fueling directly around your training can help you avoid going into low energy availability. While I’ve seen women become more in tune to their pre and during exercise fueling needs, one area that still falls short is recovery. I see too many women who admit to skipping their post-workout snack because they’re trying to lose weight. This is the wrong way to go about it—especially as a woman.
I know the logic seems sound on the surface. It’s easy to think if you delay food postworkout, you will prolong your fat burning (since the body has nothing else left to burn) and thereby you will lose weight more effectively. In fact, the opposite happens. You may end up gaining weight. By withholding recovery fuel, you put your body in a catabolic state that stalls your recovery, dims your metabolism, and increases your fat storing because the body is afraid it is in a state of famine. Also, kiss lean mass gains goodbye; without adequate energy intake, you might get stronger, but you cannot build muscle.
More...from Dr. Stacy Sims.
3. Nike Zoom Fly 4 Review: Legit Carbon Plated Trainer or Not?
What You Need To Know
Weighs 9.6 oz. (272 g.) for a US M9 / 8.2 oz. (232 g.) for a US W9
Full React midsole with a carbon plate for high-speed pop
The Barely Volt Flyknit upper is bright but just right
Available now for $160
BRANDON: The Nike Zoom Fly 4. One of the most anticipated and hyped shoes of the year. We all remember when it first came out, right? Kipchoge was going for his first attempt at breaking two hours in the marathon, and Nike released the Vaporfly and Zoom Fly, thus starting the running boom of super shoes. I have run in four iterations of the Zoom Fly. The OG version, the 2nd with the heavy Flyknit upper, an SP variation from the NIKELAB, and now, the Zoomfly 4. So, does the fourth version live up to the hype of its former counterparts? We will see.
RUBY: If the Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next% is the training buddy to the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%, then the Nike Zoom Fly 4 is the companion to the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%. Nike combines a carbon-fiber plate with React foam for good propulsion and far better durability and versatility than Nike’s other carbon-plated shoes. From a fast-finish long run to your next goal race, the Nike Zoom Fly 4 could be the shoe for you.
More...from Belive in the Run.
4. Why Goal Setting is Important for Endurance Athletes + Tools and Tips:
Here are five tools endurance athletes should use for smart goal setting.
The infamous word “goal” seems to have almost become trivial these days. Personal goals, business goals, retirement goals, athletic goals, and the list goes on and on. I, for one, have so many goals that I can’t keep them all straight. And yet, goals, in their purest sense, are not at all trivial — they provide us with purpose. Without goals, our day-to-day actions may not add up, and our “why” remains undefined. Before long, there is no association between what we do and how it aligns with our goals. As Tony Robbins once said, “People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals — that is, goals that do not inspire them.”
As we move into 2022, we may know the importance of goals, but we often associate them with the annual buzzword that comes at the end of the year. While a new year can be a constructive reset, it’s also rather mindless to jot down your biggest aspirations on a piece of paper that’s left to sit in the drawer for the rest of the year. Instead of grand proclamations that may or may not come true, think of your goals as a compass that helps to determine changes to your current process. They should force you to develop habits to support your intention and ideals. In this way, goals are what I view as intelligence in action, becoming actionable items rather than lofty dreams.
More...from Training Peaks.
5. How to maintain motivation for training as you get older:
I spent some time researching the oldest athletes to have ever competed in professional sport and I was frankly staggered by what I found. Pro boxers at 60, soccer players in their 70’s and if you can believe it, Sobieslaw Zasada, a Polish rally driver, was a whopping 91 and still putting his cars sideways. Hell, you’re as much racing the undertaker as you are the competitors around you by that point.
It’s not so much their results that I find so fascinating though, it’s how and why they manage to keep going for so long. Most of us assume that professional athletes are retired by their late 30’s and the rest of us are hitting the garden centres, rather than racing, by the time we’ve collected our bus pass (although not if you’re Australian equestrian Andrew Hoy – he rocked up to the 2020 Olympic Games at 62!).
So, what can we learn from these athletes who defy old father time? When reviewing the science, there appear to be some consistent reasons as to why some athletes can maintain longevity in their sport…
More...from Precision Hydration.
6. Why vitamin K should be on your radar:
The health benefits of consuming enough vitamins C and D, calcium and iron are well-known. These nutrients support our immune system, build and maintain strong bones and, in the case of iron, allow our cells to produce energy.
You might not give much thought, however, to vitamin K. But you should.
Growing evidence suggests this lesser-known nutrient plays an important role in healthy aging. Here’s what to know.
Vitamin K basics
This fat-soluble vitamin occurs in two forms. Our main dietary source comes from a compound called phylloquinone, or vitamin K1. It’s plentiful in green leafy vegetables, like spinach and kale, and some vegetable oils.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
7.The Connections Between Overtraining and Underfueling:
According to a new study, overtraining and underfueling share pathways, symptoms, and diagnostic complexities. Those connections have important implications for long-term adaptation and health.
I think the most important workout I prescribe as a coach happens the day after many races. The workout is given in all-caps, shouted with urgency.
>BR>Or perhaps BURGERS. If we’re feeling spicy, BURRITOS. An athlete can make substitutions within the spirit of the plan, but if they eat a salad, it better be topped with enough bacon and croutons to qualify as a structurally-challenged BLT.
There are exceptions for athletes that have been told by a doctor or nutritionist to follow different guidelines. The main idea is that the post-race recovery window is a good reminder that eating enough food is the key to long-term adaptation in the context of a healthy life. So I might not always be writing PIZZA, but PIZZA is always implied. Pizza isn’t just a meal, it’s a lifestyle.
The rationale: eating enough is key for the healthy function of the nervous, endocrine, metabolic, and musculoskeletal systems, all of which are needed at full strength to encourage adaptation. Low energy availability—even within a single day during heavy training—is like pulling out an assortment of Jenga blocks from our physiology at random and then facing an earthquake. At first, things might not collapse with a few blocks on the ground. But eventually, when the quake comes (if not sooner), everything will come crashing down.
More...from Women's Running.
8. Understanding the Stretch Reflex (or Myotatic Reflex):
What is the Stretch Reflex and how can you use it to improve your flexibility?
The nervous system of mammals is very complex. For most major actions in the body the brain must decide what movement or action must be taken, the nerve impulses must be transmitted out of the brain, down the spinal cord and out to the intended receiver. Then when the action is carried out the impulse must return back via the reverse pathway to tell the brain it was completed and start the next process. This is the path for any brain-controlled, conscious, impulses. Although it takes a lot of words to explain, it is really a very rapid process.
However, there are many processes in the body that do NOT require direct thought to complete. The heart functions, breathing, metabolic processes, disease fighting and many other autonomic processes happen automatically in the body. The body uses signals to increase, decrease, or maintain many of these actions. If the carbon dioxide levels in the body begin to rise, for example, the autonomic nervous system calls for an increase in respiratory rate.
9. Getting active is the closest thing we have to a ‘magic pill’ for good health:
Our ability to be physically active was one of the many victims of the pandemic. It’s also one of the most important and least expensive tools that can help in our recovery.
We have known about the many benefits of physical activity for decades. And yet, physical inactivity is never treated as a fundamental national health priority, even though it’s considered one of the leading risk factors for chronic diseases and death worldwide, and costs our health care system over $6.8-billion a year. This is not sustainable. It’s time to prioritize and tackle Canada’s physical-inactivity crisis.
Over the course of the pandemic, the lifestyles of those able to work from home underwent drastic transformations. Active transportation and bustling workdays with breaks for walking to meetings or coffee runs were replaced with endless time spent at home. Many of us took comfort in the couch, while screens replaced social outings. COVID-19 furthered a global culture of convenience that has come to dominate our lifestyles – automation and omnipresent digital media have dramatically decreased everyday physical activity, and significantly increased sedentary behaviour.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
10. 300 Minutes a Week of Moderate Exercise May Help Ward Off Cancer:
More than 46,000 cancers in America each year, or about 3 percent of cases, could be prevented by meeting physical activity guidelines.
Already we have plenty of evidence that exercise affects cancer risk. In past experiments, physical activity has changed the immune system in ways that amplify the body’s ability to fight tumor growth. Exercise can, for example, ramp up the activity of certain immune cells known to target cancer cells. Exercise has also been associated with longer survival in people with certain forms of cancer, possibly by boosting levels of inflammatory substances that inhibit cancer cell growth. A 2016 review in JAMA Internal Medicine concluded that our risks for at least 13 types of cancer, including breast, bladder, blood and rectal cancers, drop substantially if we are physically active, and a separate 2019 report calculated that those reductions could be as high as 69 percent.
At the same time, many studies show that being inactive raises our risks for various cancers. But scientists know surprisingly little about how those risks translate into actual cases or, more concretely, how many people each year are likely to develop cancers closely linked to moving too little.
So, for the new study, which was published in October in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers with the American Cancer Society and Emory University in Atlanta used a sophisticated type of statistical analysis called P.A.F. to measure the links between cancer and inactivity. P.A.F. stands for population-attributable fraction and is a mathematical way for scientists to estimate how many occurrences of a disease — or drug responses or other biological reactions — within a larger population seem to be the result of a particular behavior or other factor. It can tell us, in essence, how many annual cases of, say, colon cancer — out of all the known instances of the disease each year — can reasonably be laid at the feet of smoking or alcohol or fatty foods or over-sitting.
More...from the New York Times.
11. What’s the Minimum Dose of Training to Stay Fit?
A new review assesses what it takes to maintain endurance and strength when circumstances interfere with your usual training.
My college coach used to assign us a week of complete rest every November, after the conclusion of the cross-country season. But one of my teammates, an exercise science student, discovered the research of Robert Hickson, who did some classic studies in the early 1980s on maintaining fitness with reduced training. So, during our yearly week of sloth and bacchanalian revels, we would sneak out for two 30-minute bouts of hard running, hoping that would allow us to be both well-rested and still fit when we started training for indoor track.
Life as a grown-up is more complicated, and the reasons for temporarily reducing training are sometimes considerably more pressing—like a pandemic, say. But the question endures: what’s the smallest dose of training you can get away with temporarily while staying mostly fit? It’s particularly relevant for military personnel, whose ability to train while on deployment is often severely constrained, which is why a group of researchers at the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, led by Barry Spiering, has just published an interesting review of the “minimum dose” literature in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
More...from Sweat Sscince on Outside Online.
12. Study: super shoes aren’t as helpful on a hilly course:
Recent research demonstrates that the shoes provide smaller performance benefits when running up and down hills
Super shoes, like the Nike VaporFly or the Asics Metaspeed, have taken over the running shoe market, and everyone from the weekend warrior to the world’s best athletes are sporting a pair in hopes that they’ll give them an extra edge on race day. We know the shoes do provide performance benefits, but are those benefits consistent across all types of racecourses? Recently, the researchers who were involved in much of the early work on Nike’s Vaporflys investigated how the shoes performed on uphills and downhills, and found they may not be as helpful under these conditions as we thought.
The Nike VaporFly 4% running shoes reduce the metabolic cost of treadmill running by four per cent thanks to their lightweight, highly compliant and resilient midsole foam and carbon fibre plate. The study, published in the Journal of Sport and Health Science, aimed to test the hypothesis that the shoes would impart the same level of performance benefits when running on uphills and downhills.
More...from Canadian Running Magazine.
13. How to Survive the Most Frigid Winter Runs:
Get the formula right and you'll never have to resort to the treadmill again.
The recent frigid temperatures hovering over the Northeast meant that my New Year’s Eve run was (as I noted on Twitter) a “three-sock run.” I was surprised to discover that quite a few people—even men—couldn’t figure out where the third sock would go. It was a reminder that dressing for winter running is an art born of hard-earned experience. Forget the third sock once and you’ll never forget it again.
In the ensuing conversation, a few people asked whether I’d written any articles about the science of exercising in cold weather. I have—but the truth is that heat has received far more attention from exercise physiologists than cold. That’s partly because exercise itself produces heat that exacerbates the effects of hot weather and counteracts the effects of cold weather. Like an internal combustion engine, your body is 20 to 25 percent efficient at converting stored fuel energy into motion—so cycling at 250 watts generates about 1,000 watts of “waste” heat, while running six-minute miles produces about 1,500 watts.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
14. How To Build Aerobic Capacity Over Speed For Better Racing:
Aerobic capacity, not speed, is usually the limiting factor in how fast you can race, even for a distance as short as 5K.
Perhaps the most misunderstood concept of training is the role of aerobic endurance versus speed in racing success. It’s easy to think that not being able to race faster at shorter distances, or not being able to kick the last 800 meters of a race, is due to a lack of speed. This is why so many runners spend so much time on lung-busting 400’s, 800’s or mile repeats to help them get faster.
This confusion stems from the fact that what you feel doesn’t always correlate with what is happening physiologically in your body. For example, the heavy, cement-like feeling in your arms and legs at the end of a 5K isn’t a sign of muscle weakness. Rather, this feeling is caused by the release of hydrogen ions when racing beyond your anaerobic threshold, which creates an acidic environment in the muscles and impairs muscle contraction. To avoid this feeling, and the reduced race pace it demands, you are better served hitting the roads for a tempo run than you are hitting the weight room or even the track.
More...from Trail Runner.
15. The Only Training Technique That Truly Keeps You Reaching New Goals:
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the fitness information out there, which makes it difficult to figure out which approach to working out will lead to progress. But when it comes to actually seeing results, your best best is usually to revisit the basics.
In fact, one basic training principle that all workout programs should have is called progressive overload—a fancy way to say you should continuously advance your workout so you keep seeing results. No effective cycling or strength program would be complete without this approach to training.
“Progressive overload is at the heart of all modern training programs,” says cycling coach Garret Seacat, C.S.C.S., owner of Absolute Endurance. “And for a good reason: It works.”
Here, we lay out the concept of progressive overload, how to apply it to your training, and how it benefits cyclists.
What is progressive overload, exactly?
Progressive overload is a method of gradually increasing one or more training variables from one week to the next.
More...from Yahoo Life.