1.Not a Prank: The Cutoff for the 2022 Boston Marathon is 0 Minutes and 0 Seconds:
The race returns in April for the first time since 2019.
On Thursday morning, the Boston Athletic Association announced that if you ran a qualifying time for your age group and gender and applied during the registration window, you’re in for April 18, 2022. Seriously: the Boston Marathon cutoff time is 0 minutes and 0 seconds.
This is the first time since 2013 that the cutoff time has been so low, and a stark difference to the cutoff times for 2021, which at seven minutes and 47 seconds (meaning you had to have a time of 7:47 faster than the qualifying time for your gender and age group) made the race the hardest to get into since 1986. For 2022, almost 24,000 runners applied during the registration window of November 12–18, with a return to the traditional field size of 30,000 (an increase of 10,000 runners from 2021, when the number of entrants was reduced as a part of COVID-19 safety measures).
More...from Women's Running.
2. Altra Provision 6 Review: Light Touch of Stability:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 10.1 oz. (287 g) for a US M9 / 8.3 oz. (235 g) for a US W8
Zero drop stability shoe in a lightweight package
Features Altra EGO midsole
Exceptional grip in a full rubber outsole
Available now for $140
TAYLOR: The vehemently zero-drop foot-shaped shoe company drops yet another variation of their proud line of shoes. I keep thinking to myself, how many different things can they do with this simplistic approach? Turns out that they are a creative bunch over at Altra.
This shoe “philosophy” has a cult following and, through experiences, I’d say there are some definite benefits to their ideals. I would never say that zero-drop or a wider toe-box benefits everyone. On the other hand, most would find comfort and possibly correction (physiologically) in Altra shoes for the day-to-day miles. That’s exactly where the new version of the Provision line has been finding its stride for me!
More...from Belive in the Run.
3. How to Save Your Knees Without Giving Up Your Workout:
There’s no magic bullet to knee health, but staying active and building muscles around the joint are cruciaThere’s no magic bullet to knee health, but staying active and building muscles around the joint are crucial.
In the annals of unsolicited advice, few nuggets have been dispensed as widely and with less supporting evidence than this: “If you keep doing all that running, you’re going to ruin your knees.”
The latest salvo in the debate over knees and running — a systematic review of 43 previous MRI studies that finds no evidence that running causes either short-term or long-term damage to knee cartilage — is unlikely to convince the opinionated ex-football star at your Thanksgiving table who swears his bum knee was caused by wind sprints. But given that nearly half of Americans are expected to develop painful knee osteoarthritis at some point during their lives, the findings do raise a nagging question: If abstaining from running won’t magically protect your knees, what will?
More...from the New York Times.
4. Greg McMillan: The Art of Coaching:
Chill Track Friday is back with legendary coach, Greg McMillan, M.S. Greg holds a masters degree in exercise physiology with a research focus on the determining factors of distance running performance. Greg is one of the best running coaches around, using his expertise in exercise science to create scientifically-based training programs that are individualized to runners of all abilities, from new runners all the way to age group and pro runners.
Greg is also an accomplished runner. His accolades include: National Trail Marathon Masters Champion (2009); 2:31:58 marathon; 1:10:28 half marathon; 30:57 10000m; 14:55 5000m; 3:57 1500m; and 1:57 800m. He has coached over 10,000 Boston Qualifiers (and counting); 14 National Champions; athletes training for the Olympic Trials; Olympic Games; World Championships; Pan American Games, to name a few. Greg is the creator of the McMillan Running Calculator and the head coach for the McMillan Run Team. He has authored five books, was a senior writer for Running Times Magazine and is a consulting expert for numerous publications such as Runner’s World Magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, Outside Magazine, and Men’s Health. Greg is currently creating a McMillan Coaching Certification program.
More...from Precision Hydration.
6. How Heavy Should You Be Lifting? Weight Training for Endurance Athletes:
Wondering how heavy you should be lifting? Here’s what endurance athletes need to know about heavy-duty strength training.
A common question for endurance athletes who are getting started in the gym is “how heavy should I lift?”. Conventional wisdom would suggest that you should do lots of reps at lighter loads because this mimics endurance sports. However, your muscles are already getting plenty of endurance from cycling or running, so if you want to see the most benefit from the gym, your ultimate goal should be to lift heavy.
Heavy Lifting Benefits
The heavier a load that you lift, the more muscle fibers your body will need to recruit to lift that object. When lifting at or near maximal effort, your body must recruit nearly every muscle fiber in the active tissue to move that load. This is the reason why gym training is such an effective method for improving endurance performance.
When you maximally recruit all muscle fibers, you are enhancing the “neural pathway” from your brain to your muscles. Over time, your body must learn to synchronously fire your muscle fibers as efficiently as possible to lift a load. Teaching your muscles to work in unison with one another will transfer into improved efficiency on the bike.
When lifting heavy, you are improving your strength to a greater extent than lifting lighter loads. The ultimate goal of strength training is to improve force production (i.e., Power = Force x Velocity). If you improve your ability to produce force at any velocity (cadence) on the bike, you will improve your power. This is especially true at higher intensities where greater force must be produced.
More...from (Sweat Science on Outside Online.
8. Iron and the Female Athlete:
What is iron’s role in the body and what are the symptoms of iron deficiency?
Dr Charlie Pedlar: “Iron has a fundamental role in producing red blood cells which are packed with haemoglobin and carry oxygen to the muscles. We have this constant turnover of red blood cells in the body so these cells are always being made.
“As soon as you compromise that process then you’ll start to see symptoms associated with iron deficiency. The further you move along the continuum from iron replete to fully anaemic, you’ll see fatigue, lethargy, headaches and experience more breathlessness. You’ll also need more sleep because it’s all to do with oxygen transport so if the oxygen carrying capacity of your red blood cells is decreased, everything is going to feel harder.”
Are females more susceptible to iron deficiency, and why?
Dr Georgie Bruinvels: “Females are at higher risk of iron deficiency, especially if you’re a heavy menstrual bleeder. If this is the case you should ensure you’re eating enough iron regularly in your diet. It also often affects women who do sports where there’s a degree of impact such as running, basketball, even field hockey where you are loading the ground. We know that impact can cause the breakdown of red blood cells and increase iron losses. Also sweat can cause iron losses as well.”
9. What is PNF Stretching?
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation – How to do it, precautions to take, safety guidelines, and PNF stretching examples.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) is a more advanced form of flexibility training, which involves both the stretching and contracting of the muscle group being targeted. PNF stretching is one of the most effective forms of stretching for improving flexibility and increasing range of motion.
PNF stretching was originally developed as a form of rehabilitation, and to that effect it is very effective. It is also excellent for targeting specific muscle groups, and as well as increasing flexibility, it also improves muscular strength.
Side note: There are many different variations of the PNF stretching principle. Sometimes it is referred to as Facilitated stretching, Contract-Relax (CR) stretching or Hold-Relax stretching. Post Isometric Relaxation (PIR) and Muscle Energy Technique (MET) are other variations of the PNF technique. And Contract-Relax-Antagonist-Contract (CRAC) is yet another variation.
10. International Olympic Committee Abandons Women Athletes:
Imagine that you are a top administrator at a track meet and you notice that in the 17-year-old category there appears to be a boy running in the girls’ race. What course of action you would take? Well, according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), your approach would depend upon what year you noticed such a thing.
Pre-2003, you would have simply explained to the athlete that it is not permissible for a boy to compete against the girls. The boy would be instructed that in the future he should be racing with the boys.
After 2003 (Stockholm Consensus), you would have had to determine if the boy had undergone some sort of sex change surgery at least two years prior to the race and had legal recognition as a girl. This set a tough standard for a male wishing to participate in a female race, and transgender advocates felt that the IOC was being was too rigid.
Well, the IOC wanted this problem to go away, and so by 2015 they made it a lot easier. At that point, this boy would have had to self-declare that he “identifies as a girl” and “then lived as a girl for at least a year” (whatever that means), while ensuring that his testosterone level (T) was 10 nmol/L or below throughout that time. (Note: 10nmol/L is low for men but still many times higher than the maximum testosterone level allowed for women, which is about 2 nmol/L.) No surgery was to be required.
More...from Family Rsearch Council.
11. Are Workout ‘Highs’ Real? Study Finds Cannabis-Like Substances Released After Exercise:
New research finds that exercise can stimulate microbes in our guts.
These microbes can produce pain- and inflammation-relieving substances called endocannabinoids.
It’s important to talk with your doctor before starting an exercise regimen, especially after a recent injury or if you have cardiovascular disease.
New research finds that exercising can increase production of our body’s own cannabis-like substances, which reduce inflammation and could potentially help prevent conditions like arthritis, heart disease, and even cancer.
The study, published in the journal Gut Microbes, found that people with arthritis not only experienced reduced pain, but also lowered levels of inflammatory markers called cytokines and increased levels of endocannabinoids, which are substances naturally produced by gut microbes in our microbiomes.
“The microbiome plays a key role in many bodily functions, such as digestion and the immune system,” Elena A. Ivanina, DO, director of neurogastroenterology and motility at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, told Healthline.
12. How Exercise Affects Your Appetite:
For most of us, exercise impacts our hunger and weight in unexpected and sometimes contradictory ways.
Does being active make us ravenous afterward and prone to eating more than we perhaps should? Or does it blunt our appetites and make it easier for us to skip that last, tempting slice of pie?
A new study provides timely, if cautionary, clues. The study, which involved overweight, sedentary men and women and several types of moderate exercise, found that people who worked out did not overeat afterward at an enticing buffet lunch. However, they also did not skip dessert or skimp on portions. The findings offer a reminder during the holidays that while exercise has countless health benefits, helping us eat less or lose weight may not be among them.
More...from the New York Times.
13. New research outlines how longer lives are tied to physical activity:
Just about everyone knows that exercise is good for you. Some people can even rattle off reasons it keeps your muscles and joints strong, and how it fights off certain diseases. But how many people can tell you the story of why and how physical activity was built into human biology?
A team of evolutionary biologists and biomedical researchers from Harvard are taking a run at it (sometimes literally) in a new study published in PNAS. The work lays out evolutionary and biomedical evidence showing that humans, who evolved to live many decades after they stopped reproducing, also evolved to be relatively active in their later years.
The researchers say that physical activity later in life shifts energy away from processes that can compromise health and toward mechanisms in the body that extend it. They hypothesize that humans evolved to remain physically active as they age—and in doing so to allocate energy to physiological processes that slow the body's gradual deterioration over the years. This guards against chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some cancers.
14. One-Hour Workout: Find Your Top-End Swim Speed:
Don't get lost in slow, steady miles—add some speed and power to your swim with this fast, fun swim set.
Although many of us are well into winter training, this doesn’t mean you should let all of your fast twitch muscle fibers forget what it feels like to do a little work. Too much time spent doing long, slow, steady miles can leave you feeling sluggish, so this week’s One-Hour Workout is designed to help you change that in the pool. It comes from coach Marilyn Chychota, who said: “Remember there needs to be a certain amount of speed and power in your training program all year long. You may not be looking for full gas speed work in the middle of winter, but you do want to keep ticking over. This applies to swim, bike, and run workouts.”
This workout begins with a 400 warm-up, aiming to work in a mix of strokes, not just freestyle. You’ll then hit a short prep set of 4 x 50 as 25 fast/25 easy, taking 15 seconds rest between each 50.
15. Timing of caffeine intake in long races:
There is no question that caffeine can improve endurance performance. A large number of studies has confirmed this and the topic has been reviewed in several review paper including a recent one by Professor Lawrence Spriet (1). There are also dose response studies that seem to suggest that small doses can already have effects and larger doses are not necessarily better. It is important to note, however, that many studies used an exercise protocol of approximately 1 h duration and this seems to be an optimal duration for caffeine to have performance enhancing effects. In these studies caffeine is typically ingested 1 hour prior to exercise so that the caffeine concentration in blood peaks at the onset of exercise and stays relatively high for the duration of exercise. Recommendations are then extrapolated from these kind of studies.