1. Eilish McColgan column: 'Why is menstruation still a taboo subject?'
Considering almost half the population menstruate every month, it seems odd to me that it's still such a taboo subject in 2022.
Even more so within the context of sport. As a professional athlete, performing is our number one task. But what if our own bodies are working against us on that particular day?
Dina Asher-Smith talked about it after pulling out of the European Championships 100m with cramps on Tuesday, and I know first-hand how much periods can affect performance.
Before Oslo earlier this season, I'd only ever dropped out of two competitions. The dreaded DNF. And on both occasions, periods were the perpetrator.
More...from the BBC.
2. Fuel for the Sole:
Fuel for the Sole is a podcast hosted by Believe in the Run and sports dietitian, Meghann Featherstun. Together they answer your questions about nutrition, hydration and the effects it has on performance. They’ll discuss the latest tech gadgets, nutrition products on the market and bring in the occasional specialist.
In this week's episode of Fuel for the Sole, we answer a listener's question about Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S). Listen
Listen to the podcast on Fuel for the Sole.
3. On Cloudgo: First Thoughts | This Was A Surprise:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 9.0 oz. (256 g) for a US M8.5/ 7.5 oz (214 g) for a USW7.0
Designed as the standard daily trainer for the everyday runner
More Helion cushion (including all-new layer beneath insole)
Increased stability with a wider platform
Available now for $140
As our hardcore followers know, we’ve had quite the history with On here at Believe in the Run. We won’t rehash the gory details, but suffice it to say that the first On shoe we really (like, really) enjoyed was this year’s Cloudmonster. Past versions were too firm, essentially putting the “board” in Speedboard (the base plate used across most On models).
So when we heard we were getting in their new entry-level shoe, the Cloudgo, and when we saw the pre-release photos and specs, we assumed it was back to the old ways.
After all, this is a $140 On shoe meant to be a go-to shoe for the everyday runner. We’re talking a shoe that falls into the same bucket as the New Balance 880 or Brooks Ghost. Those models are tried and true, and while they won’t send the needle flying off the end of the excite-o-meter, they at least deliver the raw goods year after year.
More...from Believe in the Run.
4. Micro-Burst Intervals: The Most Effective HIIT for Increasing Power and VO2Max:
We all know that HIIT workouts are highly effective, but what types are best? Here’s why micro-burst intervals are worth the effort.
Micro-burst intervals — such as 40/20s, tabatas, on/offs — have gained traction among the endurance community as one of the most effective training sessions for improving top-end fitness. Why are these types of intervals so effective?
Micro-Burst Interval Training Helps Increase VO2Max
Research has shown that micro-burst intervals can allow you to maintain an effort close to VO2max for longer than traditional intervals (e.g., 4×5 minutes w/ 4 minutes of rest). A hallmark study showed that runners who performed a 30/30 protocol to exhaustion, (i.e., 30 seconds at 100% of VO2max velocity alternating with 30 seconds at 50% of VO2max velocity) allowed the test subjects to hold maximal oxygen uptake for more than twice as long than those who ran continuously at 100% VO2max velocity until exhaustion.
More...from Training Peaks
5. Why Menopausal Women Need Polarized Training:
Donating blood is great. But you don’t need to give a pint to gain fitness as new research may suggest.
Women are not small men. It’s been my mantra for well over a decade. In recent years, the scientific community has been catching up and calling attention to sex differences in exercise adaptation, such as in a recent study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences.
The study, which was covered in Outside and has been the subject of myriad emails filling my inbox, is titled Marked improvements in cardiac function in postmenopausal women exposed to blood withdrawal plus endurance training. The authors state right out of the gate that mature women are “mainly unresponsive to endurance training”, so maybe they need some form of extra cardiac stress to go along with it, in this case, giving blood.
In the study, 15 moderately active women between the ages of 52 and 75 had a standard blood draw of about a pint (500 ml or 10 percent of the donor’s blood supply) withdrawn. They had three weeks to partially recover their hemoglobin mass and oxygen carrying capacity and then participated in an eight-week training program that included two to five sessions of short high-intensity intervals with a 2:1 work-to-recovery ratio (specifically three sets of 30-second sprints on a stationary bike with 15 seconds recovery and three minutes active recovery between sets) each week.
More...from Dr. Stacy Sims
6. Masters Athletes Can Reduce Performance Declines with High-Intensity Workouts:
If you train slower as you age, you are likely to lose performance at a greater rate per decade than if you train fast.
There’s no question that aging is a blend of genetics and lifestyle—nature and nurture. No one knows the exact proportions of these two factors—60-40, 70-30, or something else. Nor do we yet know for certain which has the most to do with how we age. Research on aging demonstrates that lifestyle has a big impact on biology and largely determines your physiological age. That’s important information because lifestyle—specifically our approach to training—is something we can control.
So what can you do in training to slow aging while maintaining or even improving fitness and performance? The answer is not all that difficult: What drives the physiology of training for high performance when you are old is no different from what it was when you were 30 years younger. The principles of training don’t change: namely, the duration, frequency, and intensity of the effort.
More...from Outside Online.
7. Sports scientists: How pioneering data technology can help elite sportswomen break more barriers:
Health experts from across the UK will meet in Scotland this week to discuss how technology and data research can improve women’s participation and performance in sport.
The Scottish Women in Sport 2022 conference, to be held at the University of the West of Scotland in Hamilton on Tuesday, will examine how technology and women’s sport can intersect.
Pioneering platforms include Hormonix, created by UK-based Mint Diagnostics, which is a new method of collecting and analysing hormone data to monitor menstrual cycles using saliva rather than blood samples. “Tracking and collecting hormone data in a non-invasive way is an important tool in the duty of care for female athletes,” said Dr Emma Ross, a consultant for Hormonix who will present at the conference.
More...from the Sunday Post.
8. 5 key steps to get out of your injury-rehab cycle:
Being sidelined by injury can be an incredibly frustrating time for athletes. Not being able to train and race, sometimes with a mysterious onset and an even more ambiguous recovery time, can leave you in a world of doubt. For some of us, we'll take some time out, get back to feeling good, only to then be struck by the injury again, thus beginning a seemingly relentless cycle.
But with over 70% of trail running injuries being due to overuse rather than due to an acute event, it's possible to break out of this injury-rehab cycle. At Strength for Endurance, we’ve seen athletes who’ve been struggling for years finally move on from a recurring injury by implementing these 5 key steps…
Get a reliable diagnosis
It's tempting to try and solve our problems (often with the help of “Dr. Google”), but to get to the root of our injury it’s essential that we have a clear and reliable diagnosis.
9. How Alcohol Tanks Your Heart Rate Variability and Sleep:
More and more people are measuring heart-rate variability using fitness trackers—and seeing their HRV numbers plummet after a few drinks the night before. Here's why.
It’s no secret that alcohol inhibits overall health, but for runners and other athletes, the risks are even more adverse. Drinking alcohol negatively affects your heart-rate variability (or HRV) and heart rate, hinders sleep, can lower testosterone, impair balance and coordination, decrease muscular strength, and impact bone health—which increases the risk of sports-related injuries. Simply put: you shouldn’t plan to just “sweat it out” post-drinking.
ow long does it take an athlete to recover from drinking alcohol?
Varying amounts or types of alcohol tend to affect people differently. But generally speaking, the more that’s consumed, the greater the psychological and physiological consequences. It takes the liver at least one hour to remove each unit of alcohol from the body, and the liver may struggle to remove all the alcohol overnight.
Alcohol affects the body in many ways, including excessive thirst as a result of alcohol’s diuretic effect, and diarrhea and indigestion as the alcohol wreaks havoc on the digestive system and increases stomach acid production.
More...from TRail Runner.
10. New Study Reveals Watching Sport Is Good for Your Mental Health:
Nearly half of (49%) sports fans say supporting their favourite sport has boosted their mental health, according to a new national study examining the most popular sports in the UK.
The study, conducted by the charitable social enterprise, Better, asks 2,000 sports fans what mental and physical health benefits they get from watching their favourite sport, as well as looking at various lifestyle aspects such as healthy eating, daily exercise, and alcohol consumption.
Diehard fans of the UK’s favourite sports list a myriad of wellness benefits associated with their fandom, 1 in 2 of all sports fans said it helps them socialise more with friends and family, and over a third (35%) said it makes them feel part of a community and 33% said it inspires them to be more active.#
Over half of all sports fans say that supporting their favourite sport has fantastic mental health benefits, but it was an even split of 50% or above among all 7 sports included in the study, with Formula One fans (52%) cited as the largest boost in mental wellness.
11. It’s Never Too Late to Start Lifting. Here’s How:
As intimidating as strength training may seem, it's relatively easy to get a steady regimen off the ground.
Lifters are scary at the gym.
Not big-scary, necessarily, though many of them are. They’re self-assured-scary. Regular lifters walk around their health clubs with all the comfort and confidence of a homeowner in their living room. They take mirror selfies, then take their shoes off. They do a shimmy when a song comes on that they really like. They spray things down when they’re done using them and always know exactly where to put them back.
Theirs is an intimidating world, and one — even if you’re inclined to join it — that sometimes feels best avoided. It’s easier to use the spin bike in the corner for 30 minutes, and maybe cap it with a few rounds of push-ups, than to experiment with varying forms of rows, presses and deadlifts, which you conclude will leave you looking weak and/or silly.
12. Mountain Bike World Championships 2022: 'Young female athletes need to know what's normal and what's not' - Evie Richards:
Evie Richards became Britain's first elite women's mountain bike cross-country world champion in 2021, and took gold for England in the same event at the Commonwealth Games earlier this month. She defends her world title at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Les Gets, France, from 24-28 August.
I love my life as a mountain bike racer, it's everything I dreamed of, but it's taken a lot of work to get here.
It took me a long time to realise what makes me happy as a bike racer, and as 'Evie' - the person I am when I am away from my sport - but, since I worked that out, I've seen my life on and off the bike just get better and better.
I don't think some of the issues I faced are focused on enough by anyone in professional sport, so I like to speak about them as much as I can.
After leaving school at 16 to join the British Cycling Academy and focus on becoming a professional rider, my periods stopped. In the following five years I only had three menstrual cycles, because I was over-training and not eating properly or enough.
When I spoke to doctors I was told that losing your period was very common as a professional female athlete, and it was nothing out of the norm or something to worry about.
More...from the BBC.
13.Two Promising Updates on Heart Health in Endurance Athletes:
here’s encouraging new evidence on artery stiffening and the risks of too much exercise,
Reporting on emerging science can sometimes feel like watching live coverage of an ultramarathon. Sure, there’s the occasional dramatic move, but for long stretches of time it feels like nothing is happening. Beneath the surface, though, the action continues. Fatigue mounts, blisters begin to form, an aid station is missed… the evidence gradually accumulates, and only later do we realize when the outcome was settled.
In that spirit, I have a couple of mid-race updates on a topic of longstanding interest: the potential deleterious effects of too much endurance exercise. I’ve been reporting on this controversy for more than a decade now, and summed up the current state of evidence most recently last summer. It would be nice, of course, if we now had final evidence about whether training for marathons or ultramarathons might damage the heart. Instead, it’s become clear that the perfect study is almost impossible to design, because you simply can’t randomize people to spend a few decades either running marathons or lying on the couch. Still, the steady drip of incremental evidence continues, and two new studies fill in some important gaps.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
14. 10 of the Worst Training Tips You Hear in Running:
There are lots of ways to find your running potential. These tips may not be helpful in that process.
I had a brief flirtation with running in seventh grade. That dalliance culminated at a local 5K, where I ran a relatively impressive race. After the awards ceremony, a spectator came up to me and offered congratulations. He looked a bit like Gandalf, so even though he talked a bit like Elmer Fudd, I listened to what he said next. And it was a training tip! Score!
Only it was total crap, a formula for calculating body weight based on height that he indicated would help me when I went to high school a couple years later. Country Gandalf couldn’t be wrong in my impressionable eyes, nor could numbers. I was on the school trivia team after all, a born mathlete. So I tried to solve that equation.
Over the next few months, I lost some weight. I also lost a solid chunk of hair from underfueling. I eventually quit running, moved to football, and later realized that what I thought was wisdom was actually bullshit.
More...from Women's Running.
15. Sex and gender in sport categorization: aiming for terminological clarity:
It is difficult to develop good arguments when the central terms of the discussion are unclear – as with the current confused state of sex and gender terminology. Sports organisations and sports researchers often talk in gender terms when they mean sex; or use the sex and gender vocabularies interchangeably. We propose the use of terminology that distinguishes sex from gender. Historically, sport has been based on sex, as seen in various sex verification procedures specifying female eligibility, based on the determination of sex by biological criteria. We think that this should be reflected in the vocabulary used for the two sport categories (‘male’ and ‘female’, not ‘women’ and ‘men’); and for referring to the binary as the sex binary (not the gender binary); and for calling the procedures sex verification (not gender verification).
More...from Journal of the Philosopy of Sport.