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Runner's Web Digest INDEX
1. Brooks Glycerin 20 Review: A New Hope?
2. Middle-age spread isn't down to metabolism, but we know how to beat it
3. Lia Thomas and the slow death of women’s sports
4. Why Your Post-Exercise Recovery Differs from the Average
5. The Metrics Athletes Should Track Every Morning
6. Fitness: Keep heart health in mind when exercising
7. Running Legend Ryan Hall Shared What a Typical Workout Looked Like in His Prime
8. Stretching has legitimate benefits – they’re just not the ones you assume
9. The Masters Athlete: Using Science to Optimize Running Performance and Health at Every Age
10. Tucker & The Fallacy Of “T” When It Comes To Reasons Why Transgender Athletes Don’t Belong In Women’s Sport
11. Boston history – The challenges of qualifying for the 1973 Boston Marathon
12. Is a High-Protein Diet Destroying Your Testosterone Levels?
13. Eating “Healthy” Might Be Hurting Your Performance
14. Sweltering Sauna or Cold Plunge? Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable Can Boost Performance and Health
15. The Power of the Squat
THIS WEEK'S POLL:
"Which aspects of race organization are most important to you?"
* Certified course
* Accurate timing
* Traffic-free course
* Aid stations
* Finisher medals
* Prize money
* Medical services
* Large field
PREVIOUS POLL RESULTS:
What is/are your favourite sport(s) of the summer Olympics?
1 Athletics - track 136 (8%)
2 Athletics - marathon 261 (16%)
3 Cycling - road 103 (6%)
4 Cycling - track 70 (4%)
5 Swimming 273 (16%)
6 Triathlon 716 (43%)
7 Other 113 (7%)
Total Votes: 1672
FIVE STAR SITE OF THE MONTH MARCH 2022: UNION ATHLETICS CLUB.
Integrity, excellence, and diversity are values that drive us to be leaders on and off the track.
Together we stand. Together we thrive. Together we win.
Visit the website at: UnionAthleticsClub.com.
BOOK/VIDEO/MOVIE OF THE MONTH FOR MARCH 2022:.THE VILLANOVA TRACK STORY: 1966-1981: TOUCHING GREATNESS, FOREVER TOGETHER
By Jerry Bouma (Author), Jaclyn Draker (Contributor), & 2 more
Touching Greatness, Forever Together - The Villanova Track Story: 1966-1981 is an inside account of how a small private university in eastern USA became the greatest middle-distance track & field power in the world. For 16 consecutive years, the Villanova Track Team won the Championship of America Distance Medley Relay at the Penn Relays – a winning streak that is unrivalled in the world of amateur and professional sports. Astonishingly, during this same period, Villanova won a total of 52 Championship of America relay races including the One Mile, Two Mile, Sprint Medley and Four Mile at the Penn Relays as well as producing numerous IC4A and NCAA Champions, World Records and World Bests. Written by Jerry Bouma, a former Villanova track athlete (1970-74) and Co-Captain with John Hartnett in his senior year, the book provides front line insights of the philosophy and approach of the great Coach Jumbo Elliott. He describes in detail the ascendency of such national and international stars as Dave Patrick, Charlie Messenger, Frank Murphy, Tom Donnelly, Dick Buerkle, Marty Liquori, Chris Mason, Donal Walsh, Davey Wright, Wilson Smith, John Hartnett, Ken Schappert, Brian McElroy, Eamonn Coghlan, Tom Gregan, Ed Takacs, Phil Kane, Mark Belger, Don Paige, Tony Tufariello, Sydney Maree, Dean Childs, John Burns, John Hunter, Mike England and Marcus O’Sullivan and describes in detail the leaders who emerged from this accomplished group to inspire the team year after year, each in their own unique way. All supported and guided by another key contributing factor - Coach Jack ‘Mother’ Pyrah who played a critical role in the success of the team. Bouma addresses the fundamental questions of how and why the Villanova University Track Team sustained such a successful program for such a long period of time. He identifies and analyses several critical factors that encompasses coaching, training, the unique characters, leadership, team culture, and the uniqueness of the location of Villanova University itself including the training environment. Touching Greatness, Forever Together - The Villanova Track Story: 1966-1981 is a must read for any coach, aspiring runner or athlete from all sports. Additionally, the principles that generated success for Villanova Track year after year, can also be applied to any individual or business.
Buy the book from Amazon.
For more books on Running and Triathlon visit:
THIS WEEK'S FEATURES:
1. Brooks Glycerin 20 Review: A New Hope?
What You Need To Know
Weighs 10.1 oz. (286 g.) for a US M9 / 8.9 oz. (252 g.) for a US W7.5
DNA Loft V3 — Not just for the Aurora BL anymore
Brooks hasn’t forgotten that comfort is king
Coming in July 2022 for $160 (tentative)
ROBBE: It’s not often that I get excited about a Brooks shoe. No offense to Brooks, who has been solving run shoe problems for runners everywhere at a clip unmatched by any other company. They dominate the running market with shoes that just work at a reasonable price point. Point being, nobody goes ‘ayooga eyes’ at a car lot of Hondas Accords. But sauce some things up under the hood and you could convince me to step into the showroom.
The Glyercin 20 gets that kind of an upgrade, with a full midsole of DNA Loft v3, the same nitrogen-infused foam found in last year’s mad scientist creation, the Aurora-BL. We thought that shoe was the best Brooks shoe in recent memory, so we were excited to see the Glycerin get a major injection of that same DNA.
More...from Believe in the Run.
2. Middle-age spread isn't down to metabolism, but we know how to beat it:
It's a myth that extra belly fat in middle age is due to a slowing metabolism – and now we know what really causes the dreaded spread we can also fix it
FEW of life’s milestones are as unappealing and unceremonious as arrival in middle age. Our skin becomes noticeably looser, grey hairs more numerous and, of course, our clothes typically start to feel a bit tighter – especially around the waist.
The last of these is known as middle-aged spread, the commonly accepted idea that we start to pack on the pounds around the abdomen as we get older. This excess weight is said to be easy to put on and harder to shift than when we were younger, the thinking being that our once-perky metabolism gets sluggish with age. We can no longer get away with as much, and our efforts to ditch the belly with diet or exercise become a losing battle.
So far, so miserable. But then, last July, a study of over 6000 people around the world blew the idea out of the water. It showed that metabolism stays remarkably stable as we age, at least until our 60s. “The amount of calories you burn per day from age 20 to 60 remains about the same,” says Herman Pontzer at Duke University in North Carolina. “We’ve shown that you have much less control over metabolism than we thought.” The idea that your metabolism is just as active as you approach your 60s as it was in your 20s should be welcome news for anyone nearing middle age – usually defined as the period from 45 to 65 years of age – and facing the dreaded spread. But it leaves a burning question: if metabolism isn’t to blame, then what is? And what can be done?
3. Lia Thomas and the slow death of women’s sports:
This week, Lia Thomas became the first transgender athlete to be crowned National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion, winning the 500-yard freestyle in Georgia, US. The crowd was muted, and no wonder. Thomas spent around 20 years as a man and started competing against women in swimming only last year before becoming a national champion.
Feminism is about ending the oppression of women (by men) and not about claiming there are no differences between the sexes. One thing is clear: there are some things that we cannot compete with men in and one of those competitive sports.
Scientific papers have clearly shown that that those who have undergone male puberty retain significant advantages in power and strength, even after taking medication to suppress their testosterone levels.
More...from The Spectator.
4. Why Your Post-Exercise Recovery Differs from the Average:
New findings suggest that results from large training studies can’t be generalized to individuals.
Imagine you’re conducting a big study of typing performance. You put thousands of people through a battery of typing tests, then crunch the numbers. The data is clear: faster typing speed is correlated with fewer typos. Therefore, you conclude, the best way to avoid making typos is to type as fast as possible.
It’s easy to see that this is a wrongheaded conclusion. But sports scientists may be inadvertently making this kind of error all the time, according to a recent paper in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance by Niklas Neumann and his colleagues at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. In fact, some scientists argue that “the vast majority of social and medical science research” may be affected by this mistaken belief that group data can be applied to individuals, a phenomenon dubbed the “ergodicity problem.”
In the typing example, the problem is that better typists are both faster and less typo-prone. So on a group level, high speed and low error rate are correlated. But if you test any given individual repeatedly over time, you’d likely find the opposite pattern: higher speed comes with more errors. The group average can’t be generalized to tell you about individual outcomes. In contrast, rolling one die 100 times should give you (on average) the same outcome as rolling 100 dice once.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
5. The Metrics Athletes Should Track Every Morning:
Tracking your general wellbeing may be the key to balancing stress and logging more productive workouts.
As a previously coached athlete and a coach myself, the nebulous “listen to your body” mandate once perplexed me. What exactly does listening to your body mean? And does everybody listen to their body the same way? As I have trained and coached, I have gained perspective on how and when to listen to your body to help achieve your goals.
It can be tempting to focus only on the physiological costs of prescribed workouts in the form of Training Stress Score (TSS), heart rate and intensity factor (IF). This is especially true among “Type A” athletes, who pride themselves on motivation and day-to-day execution. However, one of the most important (yet overlooked) metrics is simple: how you feel when you wake up in the morning.
For example, there are days when I wake up, measure my morning heart rate, and crawl to the shower. As I make my way out the door, I feel agitated and grouchy. At work, I find that climbing the two flights of stairs is difficult. If I look at my Performance Management Chart, it will usually confirm what I’m feeling: my Training Stress Balance (TSB) is negative and/or my ramp rate is high. All of these indicators will help confirm what my body and mind are already telling me: to adjust my workout or rest for the day.
6. Fitness: Keep heart health in mind when exercising:
It's important to have automated external defibrillators in athletic facilities and during masters events, as well as an established emergency action plan specific to each facility, league or event.
One minute, Ken Covo of Pointe-Claire was chatting and joking with his teammates in the dressing room after his weekly game of old-timers’ hockey, and the next minute he was waking up with a teammate leaning over him doing CPR.
“It started out as a pretty regular fast-paced game,” said Covo, 65. “Toward the end of the first period, I got a feeling of intense heartburn. More intense than I have ever had. But I wasn’t short of breath and there was no pain radiating down my arm. I was still able to do hard shifts and even got off my once-a-year slapshot, so I ignored (the pain).”
About 10 minutes after getting to the dressing room, Covo felt light-headed. It’s the last thing he remembered before his heart stopped. Thanks to the quick thinking of his teammates, not only did he live to tell the tale, he’s back on the ice five months later.
More...from the Montreal Gazette.
7. Running Legend Ryan Hall Shared What a Typical Workout Looked Like in His Prime:
The former Olympian broke down his marathon training routine in a conversation with Dr. Peter Attia.
Ryan Hall might be better known for performing feats of strength these days, but his status as one of the best American runners of all time remains untouched. Hall regularly offers advice on training for big races on his Instagram, and in a recent conversation on Dr. Peter Attia's podcast, he shared what an average day of training looked like back in 2010 when he was a pro marathoner.
"Every Tuesday I'm doing interval sessions where I'm working on that 5K specific speed, things like 6 by mile, 10 by K, 800 meter repeats, 400 meter repeats," he says. "I've since gravitated more towards shorter distance repeats, 400s, 200s, things like that, I think that's way more important for marathoners because you kind of want a lot of differential between how fast those Tuesday intervals are compared to your Thursday or Friday threshold."
More...from Men's Health.
8. Stretching has legitimate benefits – they’re just not the ones you assume:
For me one of the major take-aways of the COVID-19 pandemic is that reaching a consensus among industry professionals is about as easy as climbing the CN Tower blindfolded and with one hand tied behind your back. Nowadays even basic principles (e.g., “viruses exist”; “vaccines are helpful”) are being called into question, often by people who are more interested in elevating their own status than actually helping anyone.
The fitness industry is as guilty as any other when it comes to obfuscating facts, but thankfully the stakes for us trainers aren’t all that high. No one will die as a result of arguing over rep schemes or exercise selection. But this of course doesn’t stop us from treating disagreements like personal affronts. I’ve had my own qualifications (not to mention my sanity) called into question several times over the course of my career all because I happen to be a proponent of one of the most contentious of fitness protocols: stretching.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
9. The Masters Athlete: Using Science to Optimize Running Performance and Health at Every Age:
Nearly every scientific research article I’ve pulled on the topic of “aging athletes,” “masters athletes,” and even “staying healthy as we age” contains some form of the phrase “age related decline” in the introduction. Everywhere we look, masters running is framed as a process of decline and we rarely talk about understanding and optimizing masters runners’ present potential in the same way that we do with younger runners.
While it’s scientifically true that aging affects our bodies and thus our running performance, we also know and have written in this column about how our psychology impacts athletic performance, with negative self-talk and low self-confidence leading to non-optimal performance. How can this negative, decline-centric approach possibly benefit masters runners?
All of this has us thinking, is there a way to flip the narrative and use the information that science teaches us to live and run optimally at every age?
In this article, we attempt to do this. We examine the physiology of aging and athletics, learn how to optimize our running at older ages, discuss the overall health benefits of maintaining our athletic pursuits as we age, and suggest ways our whole community can best support older runners.
10. Tucker & The Fallacy Of “T” When It Comes To Reasons Why Transgender Athletes Don’t Belong In Women’s Sport:
Ross Tucker, a PhD in exercise physiology who runs the Science of Sport podcast and is a leading brain-with-voice on performance analysis, has shot an arrow to the heart of rules that concentrate on testosterone levels to determine whether transgender athletes can compete in women’s sports such as swimming.
In response to the often aggressive and vile debate blown up by a decision of the Ivy League and the NCAA in college sport in the United States to allow Lia Thomas to compete and dominate some of events in women’s racing this winter just two seasons after the athlete was racing for the Pennsylvania University men’s team, Tucker took to Twitter to explain the fallacy of “T”.
In a long thread, Tucker nods to the impact of one of the most significant “lived-experience” impacts in women’s swimming, the GDR’s State Research Plan 14:25, when he writes: “Recall that women’s sport exists to exclude people who do not experience androgenisation during puberty and development.”
A CBS sports analyst, science and research consultant for World Rugby and an ambassador and scientific advisor to Virgin Active and Adidas, Tucker’s take on the role of testosterone in performance sport could hardly be more timely.
More...from State of Swimming.
11. Boston history – The challenges of qualifying for the 1973 Boston Marathon:
Ever wondered what it was like to try and qualify for Boston before you could Google “Boston training plans?” Ken Parker discovered marathon running in the early 1970s, this post takes you through his journey to earn a Boston Qualifier and will be followed by a post about his experience running the 1973 Boston marathon.
I didn’t start out as a distance runner. I was a sprinter, and my best event was the 100 yards. I had no coach, and I ran in a pair of thin leather shoes with spikes. Like many sprinters, I was occasionally drafted to take part in a relay, so I considered the 4X400 distance running. I was pretty good, but there was another kid from North Bay who always passed me around 70-80 yards, so I had no illusions of winning gold medals at the Olympics.
12. Is a High-Protein Diet Destroying Your Testosterone Levels?
New research suggests popular low-carb, high-protein diets can decrease testosterone by 37 percent.
Masculine stereotypes tend to suggest that the manliest diets are ones high in protein. Manly men love meat, happily down raw eggs à la Gaston from Beauty and the Beast and fuel up on protein shakes before hitting the gym to pump some iron. Contrary to these images of high-protein masculinity, however, some recent research suggests a high-protein diet might actually lower men’s testosterone levels.
The study, published in the journal Nutrition and Health and led by researcher Joe Whittaker of the University of Worcester in England, tested the testosterone levels of 309 men over the course of eight weeks. Subjects were fed a diet in which protein represented 35% of their caloric intake, including meat, fish and protein shakes. By the end of the study, subjects’ testosterone levels had dropped by 37%, representing a sufficiently low level to constitute medical hypogonadism. Subjects also began to display symptoms of low testosterone, including fatigue, erectile dysfunction, depression and muscle weakness, Whittaker told Insider.
13. Eating “Healthy” Might Be Hurting Your Performance :
Eating right looks different for athletes, and following vague nutrition maxims can have a surprisingly negative impact.
Proper fueling when you’re training is about more than just eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full, and it’s tough to get enough calories when you’re avoiding often-demonized calorically dense foods. While we’re thankfully undergoing a seismic cultural shift away from traditional diets and restrictive eating, subtler food rules like “don’t eat processed foods” or “limit carbs” persist among health-conscious people. These principles might seem innocuous, but the trouble with food rules is that they almost always decrease your caloric intake, and many active people have internalized ideas that make it tough to consume enough energy throughout the day. Limiting carbs might mean swapping bread for vegetables, and avoiding processed food could lead you to forgo on-the-go snacks or tasty desserts.
Kelly Jones, a Philadelphia-based certified sports dietitian who has consulted for USA Swimming and the Philadelphia Phillies, sees this often. “The majority of the clients that come to our practice, as well as athletes whose teams I consult for, are underfueling in some way,” she says. Jones explains that they’re not eating enough overall, not getting enough carbohydrates, or not eating the right nutrients at the right time. Below, two sports nutrition experts share the fueling mistakes that they often see athletes making, as well as how to avoid them.
More...from Outside Online.
14. Sweltering Sauna or Cold Plunge? Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable Can Boost Performance and Health:
The science behind ice baths and sauna sessions.
Extreme temperature treatments have been a hot (pun intended) trend for the past few years. Long time athlete Gabby Reece famously swears by super hot (up to 220 degrees F!) sauna treatments followed by icy cold plunges and Lady Gaga’s Instagram feed is peppered with her submerged in ice as part of her post-show routine that includes alternating between cold and hot treatments.
I’m not one to follow influencers, but both these women are correct that getting comfortable with getting uncomfortable in both hot and cold conditions can be good for your performance and your health—with women reaping some specific benefits.
The Science Behind Sauna
Cultures around the world have used saunas for health benefits for thousands of years, with good reason: a 2018 research round up reported that sauna use was linked to a reduction in high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, as well as pulmonary disease and neurocognitive diseases like dementia. It also appears to alleviate pain associated with inflammation and arthritis. Other research finds it reduces the risk of early death.
More...from Dr. Stacy Sims.
15. The Power of the Squat:
It’s the one exercise most of us should be doing. But we need to do it right.
What is the single best strength-building exercise many of us could be doing right this minute but almost certainly are not? Consult enough exercise scientists and the latest exercise research, and the answer would likely be a resounding: squats.
“For lower-body strength and flexibility, there is probably no better exercise,” said Bryan Christensen, a professor of biomechanics at North Dakota State University in Fargo, who studies resistance exercise.
The benefits are not confined to the lower body. “It is really a whole body exercise,” said Silvio Rene Lorenzetti, the director of the Performance Sports division of the Swiss Federal Institute of Sport in Magglingen. “It requires core stability and trains the back.”
More...from the New York Times.
*Please verify event dates with the event websites available from our FrontPage.
Upcoming Races, Marathons, Races, and Triathlons
March 26, 2022::
United Airlines Rock 'n' Roll - Washington DC
March 26-27, 2022::
Canadian Indoor Championships - St. John, NB
March 27, 2022::
Around the Bay Road Race - Hamilton, ON
April 3, 2022::
Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run - Washington, DC
April 3-24, 2022::
Colgate Women's Games - Queens, NY
April 9, 2022::
Amplifying Women: Championing Our Sport
April 9-10, 2022::
NN Rotterdam Marathon - Netherlands
April 9 & 13-16, 2022::
Mt Relays - Walnut, CA
April 18, 2022::
Boston Marathon - Boston, MA
For more complete race listings check out our Upcoming Races, and Calendars.
Have a good week of training and/or racing.