1. Q. & A.: How to Deal With Running Injuries:
How can you avoid overuse injuries? Can you run through upper body pain? What kind of cross-training is the most efficient? Your injury questions, answered.
The world’s greatest runners speak poetically about how they deal with physical pain.
Eliud Kipchoge, the world’s greatest marathoner, says pain is nothing more than a mind-set. He has a habit of smiling when it sets in.
In running six marathons in six weeks, Shalane Flanagan was reminded “just how temporary pain can feel and just how permanent memories can be.”
Allyson Felix, who surpassed Carl Lewis as the most decorated American Olympian in track and field, said the pain is always there. It’s all about how it can fuel you.
Then there’s Molly Seidel. Her coach, Jon Green, says her pain tolerance is almost too high. But, he said, “Molly will not tell me something is hurting unless it’s getting to the point where she feels I need to know.”
More...from the New York Times.
2. There’s New Data on Whether Endurance Athletes Get More Cavities:
The oral health risks associated with heavy sports drink use seem clear, but the evidence remains murky.
For decades now, endurance athletes and their dentists have wondered whether sipping sugar-filled sports drinks is putting their teeth at risk. You’ve got a sweet, acidic drink that you’re encouraged to sip frequently for hours at a time, while exercising hard enough to reduce the flow of saliva that would otherwise protect your teeth. That’s bad news.
Still, despite the scary stories that circulate now and then, there’s not a whole lot of evidence to tell us how bad this problem really is. Dental exams in the Olympic Village in 2012 found that 55 percent of athletes had cavities—which sounds bad until you consider that the overall prevalence of cavities among American adults is 92 percent. A small 2015 study found that cavity risk was proportional to training hours in triathletes. On the other hand, Gatorade’s parent company funded a 2002 study that found no association between sports drink consumption and dental erosion, which probably doesn’t reassure you.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
3. A Runner’s Guide to Visiting Boston:
The site of the world’s oldest annual marathon offers a welcoming running-club culture, unique New England running paths, and a snazzy microbrewery scene.
As the site of one of the most prestigious marathons, Boston boasts one of the largest and most vibrant running scenes in the United States. Sure, Boston is a bit more urban than professional training havens like Boulder or Flagstaff. But the city’s historical ties to the sport and large, active amateur running club scene give Bostonian running culture a uniquely warm and rowdy charm. The city’s deep, unconditional love for the sport is perhaps most evident during brutal winter months when hordes of runners can be seen braving snow, ice, and subzero temperatures. Come spring when racing fever hits, the community’s tremendous collective pride around its beloved marathon infiltrates the whole city.
Boston is home to the headquarters of several prominent running companies, including Reebok, New Balance, Saucony, Puma, Heartbreak Hill Running Company, and the New England apparel brand Tracksmith. The city is also the training ground for a number of prestigious running groups, including the Boston Athletic Association—one of the nation’s oldest athletic clubs.
More...from Women's Running.
4. On Cloudmonster Review: Wow, We Finally Love an On Running Shoe:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 9.7 oz. (275 g) for a US M8.5 / 8.1 oz. (230 g) for a US W7
On’s most max cushion shoe (stack height of 30 mm/heel, 26 mm/toe)
Softest iteration of Helion foam so far (and by far)
Finally, an On that doesn’t feel like an On
Available March 31 for $170
ROBBE: Sasquatch. Godzilla. King Kong. Lochness. Goblin. Ghoul. A zombie with no conscience. Question– what do these things all have in common? Everybody knows they wear the On Cloudmonster.
Jay-Z cameo bars aside, the newest shoe from On is here. And like a werewolf under the light of a full moon in a cloudless sky, it has transformed my thoughts on On.
A little history lesson first– On was one of the first brands I genuinely hated. Not because of the looks (indeed, I’ve always loved their design, which has only gotten exponentially better over the last couple years), but because of their cheap-toy feel on the run. In fact, the On Cloudswift of 2019 may be one of the worst shoes made in the last five years, second only to the original Brooks Hyperion Elite. It felt like a two-by-four lodged in a brick, wrapped in a shoe, and sold to suckers.
More...from Believe in the Run.
5. Pippa Woolven on the ‘toxic perfectionism’ that almost derailed her career:
International athlete Woolven has been motivated by her own experiences to create Project RED-S, an enterprise aiming to raise awareness of RED-S (Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport)
The athlete that Pippa Woolven describes from her darkest days at Florida State University is unrecognisable from the happy and successful international competitor she is today.
“I viewed moving abroad to pursue a scholarship opportunity in America as my chance to go ‘all in’ with my running,” says the 28-year-old. “I wasn’t naive. I understood the importance of rest, the basics of nutrition and the concept of periodisation.
“I knew about the athletes who became so thin their bones fractured; so over-trained they wound up with chronic fatigue; so focused on their appearance they ended up with eating disorders. I knew that it cost them their sport, their health and, sometimes, their lives. Yet, I also knew I wasn’t one of those athletes. I was simply someone who hadn’t yet tapped into the performance advantage of being lighter and was eager to explore my potential.
More...from Athletics Weekly.
6. How Positive Reinforcement May Improve Physiology and Hormones:
Fascinating studies from rugby show that positive reinforcement before and after matches can increase testosterone and reduce cortisol, along with improving performance. What are the implications for how we discuss training and racing?
I recently saw some interesting posts on social media. I am apparently now starting articles like grandma starts phone conversations that rapidly turn problematic.
But this is cool, I promise. Amazing coach and writer Steve Magness tweeted about studies from rugby looking at hormonal responses to coaching interventions. So I asked my wife/co-coach Megan to print the full articles and started going through some of the most wonderfully fun research studies ever written. Side note: I strongly recommend marrying someone who plans to continue with school into their 30s. One way to access my heart is via Pubmed access.
The part of these studies that I think is revolutionary isn’t about coaching. It’s about how we set intentions to process the ups and downs of our own athletic lives. Ted Lasso isn’t walking through that door. Even if you have a coach that ascribes to these principles, they’re one of many voices in your head for long-term internal processing.
7. Asking for fairness:
The inclusion of DSD and transgender athletes in sport has been very much to the fore lately. Former international marathon runner Mara Yamauchi gives her view on this emotive and divisive subject
All of us can and should treat everyone with dignity, respect and fairness, regardless of our background. At the same time, facts and science matter, especially in sport.
Sport is performed by human bodies which are one of the two sexes – male or female. Sport is not performed by identities; we don’t, for example, have categories based on religion or voting preference.
More...from Athletics Weekly.
8. Don’t like exercise? Your brain can change, study suggests:
Exercise seems a bit like cilantro: some people love it, others hate it. But what accounts for the chasm between those who dread the gym, and those who dread missing even a single session there?
A new study of the brain’s signalling networks in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise offers an optimistic perspective on the prospects for bridging this gap. Stick with your exercise routine through those initially unpleasant weeks, the results suggest, and you too can learn to love the gym, thanks to long-term adaptations in how your brain processes mood-altering chemicals.
Previous studies have found that regular exercisers tend to have lower levels of anxiety and depression compared with less active people, and they also get a bigger mood boost after a single workout. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle: you’re more likely to be motivated for your next workout if the last one made you feel great.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
9. Pregnancy Study Shows Benefits of Exercise, Useful Trends in HRV & RHR:
Results found increased activity led to improved HRV and resting heart rate, plus how monitoring these metrics could help better understand pregnancy timelines.
In 2021 we announced a study from West Virginia University School of Medicine using WHOOP to monitor health trends of active pregnant women. It is the first of its kind to track key biometrics with a wearable device throughout the participants’ entire pregnancy journey–before, during, and afterwards.
More than three years in the making, we are now pleased to share the results, which are currently under peer review.
10. Meta-analysis finds over 99% of athlete research methodology disregards female physiology:
A recent study examined trials conducted since 1975 and assessed whether supplements identified by experts as evidence-based products that increase performance for female athletes are actually supported by adequate methodological design.
11. Does the type of carb in your energy products really matter?
Every so often there’s lots of buzz around an exciting new fueling product for athletes that has a revolutionary formula or ingredient that’s definitely going to dramatically improve your performance.
The new product is often launched with claims that the formulation optimises the delivery of energy to your body, perhaps through the slow-release of more complex carbs, or by speeding up the rate at which the products are processed by your gut.
‘SuperStarch’. ‘Cluster Dextrin™’. ‘Hydrogel technology’. You’ve probably come across words like these in marketing campaigns in recent years and on gel and drink mix packaging. As you’ll see later in this post, some deliver on their claims better than others.
But, does the type of carbohydrate in your gel, bar, chew or drink really matter all that much?
More...from Precision Hydration.
12. Men, Are You Eating Enough to Fuel Your Exercise?
our unexplained fatigue may be due to calorie deficiency, with serious implications for your health and performance.
lost menstrual periods, a decline in bone density, and stress fractures resulting from taking in too few calories. For years, the condition was regarded as a concern only for women—and only those who lost their periods. Women who retained their periods weren’t considered at risk, and men, whose hormone systems are different, were thought to be unaffected.
In 2014, after an extensive review of the medical literature, the International Olympic Committee officially renamed the condition RED-S (relative energy deficiency in sport) and expanded the definition to recognize that the basic problem is consuming too few calories to support everything your body needs to do—a problem that is broader than the traditional female triad and can affect men as well as women.
More...from Ouside Online.
13. Can Moving the Body Heal the Mind?
In her new book, Jennifer Heisz blends personal experience and the latest science about how exercise can improve your mental well-being.
When Jennifer Heisz was in graduate school, she borrowed a friend’s aged, rusty road bike — and wound up redirecting her career. At the time, she was studying cognitive neuroscience but, dissatisfied with the direction of her work and her personal life, began experiencing what she now recognizes as “pretty severe anxiety,” she told me recently. Her friend suggested biking as a reprieve. Not previously athletic, she took to the riding with enthusiasm, finding it “soothed my mind,” she said.
That discovery convinced her to change the focus of her research. Now the director of the NeuroFit Lab at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, she studies the interplay of physical and emotional health and how exercise helps stave off or treat depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health conditions.
More...from New York Times.
14. ASICS Experiment Reveals Just One Week of Physical Inactivity Has a Similar Impact as a Week of Broken Sleep on Our State of Mind:
Yet Just 15 Minutes and 9 Seconds of Physical Activity Can Trigger a Mental Uplift
-Today, the impact of physical inactivity on our mental state has been revealed for the first time in the Mind Racei – an ASICS experiment in which regular exercisers paused their normal fitness routines for one week. The impact on their state of mind was found to be similar to a week of broken sleepii, with participants reporting a 23% increase in racing thoughts.
Reassuringly, the results of ASICS’ Uplifting Minds Studyiii, involving thousands of participants from across the globe, proves it can take just 15:09 minutes of physical activity to lift our mental state – even after periods of inactivity.i
The Mind Race: just one week of inactivity significantly lowers our state of mind
Professor Brendon Stubbs, a leading researcher in movement and the mind, monitored the State of Mindiv scores of healthy participantsv who agreed to pause their regular exercise routines for just one week. The results are significant with both their cognitive and emotional wellbeing being impacted. When active people stopped moving, their confidence dropped by 20%; positivity fell by 16%, energy levels slumped by 23% and their ability to cope with stress reduced by 22%.
In fact, after just one week of no exercise, participants’ overall State of Mind score dropped by an average of 18% - decreasing from a high 68 out of 100 when physically active to a mediocre 55 out of 100 when they stopped exercising. The effects of this inactivity are captured in the Mind Race experiment film asics.com/mindrace, following a group of study participants.
15. Quest to reduce injuries in young athletes:
England Athletics joins forces with Podium Analytics to begin much-needed research into why injuries happen to teenagers and how they can be avoided
Since time immemorial athletics has been bedevilled with what’s widely referred to as ‘teenage burn-out’. For every Dina Asher-Smith, Keely Hodgkinson or Katarina Johnson-Thompson who break through on to the world stage, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of young athletes in England alone whose dreams disappear during the notoriously tricky transition into senior, or adult, athletics.
It has been well documented by AW many times over the years. Mel Watman, for example, the long-time AW editor, noted that only seven athletes from the 2006 English Schools Track & Field Championships (an event often dubbed the Kids’ Olympics and featuring close to 2000 competitors) actually made it to the London Olympics in 2012.
More...from Athletics Weekly.