1. The Importance of Starting Slow:
It's okay for the first mile of your run to be the slowest. In fact, physiology says that might be the best way to begin.
If I could only give one tip to an athlete looking to make their daily run more enjoyable and productive, it’d be simple: start slower.
Make your first mile your slowest mile. Get passed by someone speed-walking to catch the bus. Slither around like you are playing a game of Charades and get “bipedal snail.” However you think about it, that slow start can help improve mental and physical health long-term.
Most lifelong runners learn this lesson eventually, and even the pros do it. On the day of the Bolder Boulder 10k on Memorial Day, I was doing my own snail impression around town, checking out the course before the pro wave went off. As I jogged around the city, I saw a few of them starting their warm up.
The eventual male winner, Getaneh Tamire of Ethiopia, would run 28:18 that day, a mind-boggling 4:30 minutes per mile pace (at altitude too!). For someone that fast, six-minute pace must feel like a jog, eight-minute pace a walk, and nine-minute pace a snoozle. As he started his run, he was going a bit easier still.
More...from Trail Runner.
2. Running during pregnancy:
It’s a subject that really doesn’t have a huge amount of readily available information so trail and marathon athlete Julia Davis wants to share her experience of running during pregnancy.
It’s a strange feeling when every mile you run and every consistent week of training doesn’t make you faster but instead you get slower – this is one of many baffling experiences of running when pregnant.
I am currently at 29 weeks pregnant and can honestly say its been one of the most challenging but also enjoyable experiences I have had as a runner. The challenges aren’t all bad, many have been enlightening and self-assuring but it’s certainly been a rollercoaster mentally and physically.
More...from Fast Running.
3. 4 Ways to Get Better Sleep for Optimal Performance Recovery:
Getting better sleep comes from simple shifts in habit and routine. Here’s what to prioritize
In the endurance community, there are a million marginal gains that are discussed to death on forums, debated, and fine-tuned for what might amount to a small increase in performance or recovery. While some of these hacks could be beneficial, you first need to get the basics right. In this piece, we take aim at nailing the basics of a solid night’s sleep so your body can rest and recover. Herein, four ways to get better sleep.
1. Cut Caffeine and Curb Alcohol
If I’m doing a late interview, writing at night, or cramming in an evening workout, I like to drink a late afternoon or early evening cappuccino to keep my body and brain going strong. The trouble is that the half-life of caffeine is a minimum of six hours and can be up to 48, so if I consume 200 mg at 7 PM, 100 mg are still circulating in my system at 1 AM (assuming that I metabolize this stimulant quickly). The reason caffeine combats sleepiness is that it prohibits adenosine — a brain chemical released to build sleep pressure throughout the day — from binding with its receptors. Drinking caffeine later in the day can therefore delay sleep onset and degrade sleep quality.
More...from Training Peaks.
4. How to Get Past ‘Did Not Finish’:
Some marathon runners end up with a final result listed as D.N.F. Getting back to the start line of another race can be that much more meaningful
Leah Ofsevit had long dreamed of running the Boston Marathon. A native of Newton, Mass., she had finished three other marathons before and had qualified for the 2018 installment of the Boston race, which she proudly calls her hometown marathon.
But when race day rolled around, the weather hardly cooperated.
The temperature on that April morning was around 40 degrees as runners battled pouring rain and hail. Marathon officials would later call the conditions some of the worst in the history of the race. The number of runners who dropped out in 2018 was up about 50 percent from the 2017 race.
More...from New York Times.
5. 5 Herbal Supplements That May Actually Improve Your Endurance:
These daily herbal supplements may enhance the effects of your training.
Let’s be clear: No herb is going to take you to the podium without your dedication to proper training and nutrition. However, if you’re already doing what you can in terms of diet and exercise, then adding a daily herbal supplement to enhance the effects of your training might serve as a “biochemical tune-up” for your body and help you reach the next level of performance.
Here are five dietary supplements that have been evaluated in research studies of endurance athletes on their ability to enhance oxygen efficiency, improve blood flow, balance hormone profile, and improve stress adaptation.
More...from Women's Running.
6. Shoe Review: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 (36, 37):
In keeping with Greek mythology, Nike’s Pegasus model of shoe is named after the white-winged horse, the alleged son of Poseidon and Medusa. Nike of course is a Greek goddess who personified victory; the giant corporation’s manifest destiny, if you will. Regardless, they have a winner here in the Air Zoom Pegasus 38.
The 38 at $120 to $160 (CDN/USD) is more than fair value for the trainer. As technology has advanced so much over the past few years, it turns out that these cushioned shoes are not your old heavy and clunky trainers (remember that ancient history?). The 38s, in addition to all regular training, happen to be useful for road time trialling, tempo runs, progression runs and even not-too-serious racing from 5km to the half-marathon.
Those familiar with the 36 and the 37, will find the refinements to the 38 borrows from both predecessors as well as incorporates changes in line with typical evolutionary advancements. They should always be improving, right; to fulfil the manifest destiny? There is also a 38 Flyease model with the no-tie lacing system, not sampled here.
More...from Athletics Illustrated.
7. Personal trainers are evolving past fitness:
It always intrigues me to learn the real reason why someone seeks my services. Sure, on the surface it seems obvious – people hire trainers to help them “get in shape.” But what does that even mean, really?
Some people want help learning proper technique because they’re new to exercise and they’ve been brainwashed to believe it’s a dangerous endeavour (it’s not, or at least it doesn’t have to be). Others have highly stressful lives and they’re too tired at the end of the day to marshal their mental resources. These people simply want someone who knows what they’re talking about to tell them what to do. Lately I’ve been noticing a new trend, one that’s becoming more visible as personal training continues to evolve from something ex-bodybuilders used to tinker with as a hobby into a legitimate profession open to anyone.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
8. Fair Game:
Biology, fairness and transgender athletes in women's sports
A new report lays out the physical advantages of athletes who are born male, and rejects gender-based criteria for competition, proposing instead two categories (“open” and “female”) to allow all athletes to compete fairly.
OTTAWA, ON (December 7, 2021): With the Beijing Games approaching, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has made headlines by adopting new guidelines on the participation of transgender athletes in women’s competitions. However, the IOC and other sports bodies, including in Canada, have so far failed to ensure fairness, particularly as it concerns women athletes, while also supporting inclusion.
The science is clear: athletes who were born male but who identify as women and seek participation in women’s events have significant competitive advantages. Additionally, a thorough ethical examination finds that while inclusion is an important objective, safety and fairness should be higher priorities when it comes to sport.
In any event, gender identity (a subjective concept) is a poor basis for sports categories. It is biological sex (an objective fact) which drives the inherent differences in athletic advantage, and which makes sex-based categories in sport necessary to begin with. Numerous models for inclusion fail when examined in this light.
More...from the Macdonald Laurier Institute.
9. What’s The Ideal Marathon Runner Body:
The full spectrum of body types can run marathons, but, that being said, the ideal marathon runner body for the pros is slightly more specific.
In this article we are going to;
Take an in-depth look into 7 key characteristics of the pro marathon runner body,
The average height and weight of the pro marathon runner body,
And we will find out whether your body can run a marathon.
More...from the Marathon Handbook.
10. What Happens To Your Body If You Don't Stretch After Exercise:
Your muscles and joints need some TLC when you're done working out. Here's why and how to do it properly.
Some days, just putting on your spandex can be a hurdle, let alone working out. And if you’re pressed for time or have a million other things to tick off that to-do list, you might wrap up your jog, cycle or strength training session and immediately hit the shower. But stretching is a crucial part of a healthy workout routine and skipping out on it could have consequences past feeling a little stiff the next day.
“Flexibility is important because it allows the muscles and joints to move through a full range of motion,” said Tim Waanders, a physical therapist at Finish Line Physical Therapy in New York. “If your flexibility is limited, it can place stress on other structures or muscle groups that aren’t able to handle an increased load.”
Here’s what happens both short term and long term if you consistently shrug off stretching. Plus, experts share how to properly stretch and how long a post-workout stretch should really be.
11. How the Nike Vaporfly War Was Lost:
The simple story of an unfair shoe with “springs” doesn’t capture the true complexity of the ongoing debate about technology in footwear.
I got my first glimpse of the Vaporfly in a briefing at Nike headquarters in 2016, a few months before the now-infamous shoe was released. It had already been used in secret by both the men’s and women’s Olympic marathon champions a few months earlier, and lab testing had already demonstrated a four percent edge, on average, in running economy compared to the fastest racing shoes on the market. The question that leapt immediately to my mind was: What does the IAAF have to say about this?
It took a while to get a straight, on-the-record reply to that question, but eventually a Nike spokesperson gave me this: “The VaporFly Elite meets all IAAF product requirements and would not require any special inspection or approval.” In other words, the authorities didn’t even know about the shoe that was about to upend the sport.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
12. A New Gold Standard of Exercise Is Here:
Thirty minutes of sweat a day, five days a week, is no longer the sweet spot. New research from Columbia University and Glasgow Caledonian University found the amount of exercise you need is directly proportional to the amount of daily sitting you do.
“We found three minutes of moderate to vigorous activity or 14 minutes of light activity per hour of sitting does the trick,” says study author Sebastien Chastin.
The model of running in the morning for 30 minutes, then letting your muscles atrophy in a desk chair all day? Not stellar.
“If you’re sedentary for more than seven hours a day, the benefits you get from exercise might be blunted.” Set alarms to prompt yourself to get the hell moving.
More...from the Men's Journal.
13. The Science of Exercising in Extreme Cold:
It’s time to break out the merino base layers and the heat-exchange breathing masks.
At last month’s World Cup cross-country-skiing event in the northern Finnish resort town of Ruka, some of the top competitors, including Finnish Olympic champion Iivo Niskanen, chose to withdraw at the last minute. “It’s not too long to the Olympics,” Niskanen told a Norwegian newspaper. “Minus 23 [degrees Celsius, or -9.4 degrees Fahrenheit] is too much for me. A simple choice.”
That surprised me, to be honest. Several decades of running through Canadian winters—occasionally, though not frequently, in temperatures colder than that—has left me with the general feeling that it’s almost never too cold to exercise outside as long as you’re appropriately dressed. I even wrote an article about how to survive those frigid runs a few years ago. But a major new review of research on sport in cold environments, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health by a team of researchers from Italy, Austria, and Canada, takes a somewhat more cautious view of things.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
14. A Penny for Your Squats?
Among 52 incentives to exercise, giving people a 9-cent award if they returned to the gym after missing a workout helped the most.
Receiving a tiny monetary reward at the right moment could play an outsize role in motivating us to exercise, according to a large-scale and innovative new study of how to nudge people to show up at the gym.
The study, published today in Nature, involved 61,293 American gym members, 30 prominent scientists working at 15 universities, and more than 50 different motivational programs. In addition to reward points, incentives ranged from a free audiobook for gym use to cheery instructions from researchers to reframe exercise as fun. While some of the programs galvanized additional gym visits, others, including some the scientists had absolutely expected to inspire more exercise, did not.
More...from the New York Times.
15. Scientists want to pay people to exercise while stoned for an upcoming study:
Researchers at University Colorado Boulder are recruiting people who like to run while stoned for a study.
Recruits who complete the three-part study can earn up to $100, say the researchers.
Limited evidence suggests cannabis can make workouts more fun and easier to complete.
You can now get paid to defy the "lazy stoner" stereotype.
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder are currently recruiting men and women who regularly exercise while high on cannabis to study the potential benefits of the practice. People who apply must live in the Boulder, Colorado area and be familiar with mixing cannabis and running workouts. Men who apply must be between 21 and 40, and women must be between 21 and 50.
The researchers will pay up to $100 to each recruit who completes the study, a callout on the university's website says.
An April 2021 meta-analysis found cannabis users tend to work out more than their cannabis-free counterparts. Anecdotal reports from so-called "stonercisers" and boutique fitness classes dedicated to getting high and sweating it out suggest the substance can offer a workout boost, Insider previously reported.
More...from Yahoo News.