1. An Unconventional Training Idea for Older Women:
Mounting evidence suggests that women respond differently to endurance training after menopause. Could donating blood be the solution?
A new paper in the Journal of Sports Sciences, in setting up what turns out to be a highly unusual and interesting experiment, casually drops this little fact-bomb in its opening sentence: “The cardiac phenotype of a substantial fraction of the population, i.e., mature women, is mainly unresponsive to endurance training.”
Wow. The hearts of mature women are “mainly unresponsive”?! That seems like kind of a big deal, since the health-promoting effects of endurance training are an article of faith in this column. So it’s worth starting out by acknowledging the chronic underrepresentation of women in exercise science studies. Exactly how women respond to a given training program, and how that changes with age, remains uncertain because it hasn’t been studied enough.
More...from SweatScience on Outside Online.
2. Asics Novablast 3 Review: Watch the Throne:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 8.9 oz. (253 g.) for a US M10 / 7.5 oz. (212 g.) for a US W7.5
Same great bounce, now with lighter Flytefoam Blast+
The midsole looks like it’s straight out of an anime
It’s still a do-it-all beast of a shoe
Available on September 13 (updated) for $140
MEAGHAN: The original Novablast felt like the turning point for Asics. Since its debut, the brand has been churning out some pretty amazing products. From the Metaspeed Sky+ to the Glideride 3, I’ve enjoyed all of the updates over the past few years. So, it’s no surprise that the Asics Novablast 3 is a welcomed addition.
More...from Believe in the Run.
3. It’s OK to Be a Weekend Warrior:
New research suggests that exercising only once or twice a week can deliver similar health benefits as more frequent workouts.
For over a decade now, the conventional wisdom has been that excessive sitting is a lethal activity and we should be moving regularly throughout the day. Cue the stand-up desk revolution, and a wave of guilt for those of us who want to be fit but are still tied to our computers for 40 hours a week. Some studies have questioned whether endurance training can mitigate how constant sitting affects vascular health, specifically—with mixed results.
Now new research has emerged with a clearer bottom line, and encouraging news for anyone who tends to cram their exercise in over the weekend.
An investigation by an international group of researchers, published in JAMA Internal Medicine this summer, found that when it comes to longevity, exercising only on the weekend is enough to compensate for a sedentary lifestyle during the rest of the week as long as you meet the recommended guidelines for level of physical activity—a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. This confirms research conducted in the UK in 2017 that came to a similar conclusion about weekend warriors, albeit in a smaller study.
More...from Outside Online.
4. Why Athletes Need Carbohydrates:
Many endurance athletes are moving to a low or no carb diet in order to become more "fat efficient". Does this strategy pay off or is detrimental to your performance? Read more to find out.
In today’s world of nutrition and sport, the word “carbohydrate” is like mentioning a four-letter word. It seems that every other headline is talking about another food fad or the next latest and greatest low-carbohydrate diet. The majority of these diets and food fads suggest nutrition such as high-protein, high-fat and low-carbohydrate. For endurance athletes, the idea of burning fat rather than carbohydrates is gaining popularity.
No Fuel or Low Fuel Strategies
Many of the athletes adopting the low-carbohydrate/high-protein, high-fat diets are also adopting a “no-fuel/low-fuel” strategy during exercise and training. Many times, these athletes thought process is, “Why should I put calories in during exercise? The less I eat during exercise, the more calories and fat I will burn.” Often times individuals are drawn toward such food fads and diets because they are looking for fast weight loss. Sure, reducing carbohydrates can create fast weight loss; however, the loss is very temporary, and the weight typically goes back on quickly. This is where an athlete should ask themselves if they are looking for “change” or if they want results; meaningful and sustainable results for a lifetime. There is a big difference between these two options. A food fad or diet that brings about a quick weight loss and then an even quicker weight gain did not bring about results. Rather, it simply brought about change. The body changed temporarily and then went right back. Instead, athletes should adopt a nutritious lifestyle that will produce meaningful and sustainable results for a lifetime.
More...from (Training Peaks.
5. A new reason to build muscle: brain health:
Now that Canada’s all-too-brief beach season has drawn to a close once again, you may be tempted to push the dumbbells to the back of the closet – to forsake vanity, forget bulging muscles and focus instead on the whole-body aerobic fitness that’s so tightly linked to health and longevity.
But a recent study from researchers at McGill University, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, offers a new reason for continuing to work on building muscle: It’s good for your brain, not just your biceps. Greater muscle mass, the results suggest, helps ward off cognitive decline in older adults beyond what you’d expect based on their exercise levels alone.
The findings are drawn from more than 8,000 older adults in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, with an average age of 73. They underwent a series of baseline assessments that included an X-ray measurement of their muscle mass, a battery of 10 cognitive tests and questionnaires about their exercise habits and other health characteristics. The cognitive tests were repeated three years later.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
6. 7 Keys to Recovery From an Elite Runner Who Experienced Long COVID:
Kate Grace, an 800-meter specialist who ranked third in the world in 2021, is taking a slow road back to competition.
At first, the COVID symptoms Kate Grace experienced at the end of December 2021 seemed mild enough. She had a sore throat and fever and felt tired. That turned into a cold, which gradually eased over the next several days. And because she had been vaccinated and had a booster shot, she didn’t expect any lasting complications. Within two weeks, the 800-meter specialist, a 2016 Olympic finalist, was back to running.
But in January, she began to notice she was struggling in training. She was pushing to hit her usual 7-minute pace during easy runs, and she felt exhausted afterward. In workouts, her difficulties were even more stark. “Paces that should have been pedestrian for me were an all-out effort,” she told Runner’s World.
Grace, 33, had had a terrific 2021 track season, setting PRs in the 800 meters (1:57.20) and 1500 meters (4:01.33) and finishing in the top 3 in six of seven Diamond League meets she ran, with three victories. She couldn’t wait for the 2022 season, with the World Championships set to take place in July in Eugene, Oregon, the first time the meet will be held in the United States.
More...from Runner's World.
7. Study Finds Elite Runners Improved Performances Post-Pregnancy:
Hailed as a groundbreaking new study in athletic performance and pregnancy, researchers found that elite runners improved performances by 46 per cent after pregnancy.
When Allyson Felix laced up and took to the track at the Tokyo Olympic Games, audiences watching around the world could only root for the 35-year-old American. As one of the most decorated athletes to ever take to the sport, Felix’s career has long been revered; a testament to her hard work and discipline, an unwavering dedication to her craft and an ability to consistently push her body to the limits. But what made Felix’s appearance at Tokyo al the more special was that she wasn’t just a sprinter, she was also a mother – one who had undergone her own traumatic birthing experience. Crossing the finish to claim bronze in the 400m, Felix did what she had done all her career: she defied expectations and showed the world that despite the changes one grapples with during pregnancy and early motherhood, it doesn’t have to slow you down.
Now, it seems science can confirm what Felix long knew. Published online in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise Journal, researchers sought to examine the training and performance of 42 elite runners both during and after pregnancy. Included amongst the study’s authors are some of the top researchers in the field, with the likes of Dylan Wykes, Sarita Hira, Amy Schneeberg and Ryan Brodie amongst others lending their discerning eye and wisdom.
More...from Women's Health.
8. Speeding Up Your Daily Walk Could Have Big Benefits:
In the largest study to incorporate activity tracker data, picking up the pace paid dividends for long-term health.
Many of us regularly wear an activity tracker, which counts the number of steps we take in a day. Based on these numbers, it can be hard to make sense of what they might mean for our overall health. Is it just the overall number of steps in a day that matter, or does exercise intensity, such as going for a brisk walk or jog, make a difference?
In a new study, which looks at activity tracker data from 78,500 people, walking at a brisk pace for about 30 minutes a day led to a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, dementia and death, compared with walking a similar number of steps but at a slower pace. These results were recently published in two papers in the journals JAMA Internal Medicine and JAMA Neurology.
More...from the New York Times.
9. BAA launches inaugural Boston Marathon medical research funding program:
The Boston Athletic Association announced on Tuesday a new research funding opportunity for scientific researchers surrounding the Boston Marathon.
The new BAA medical research funding program will provide an annual request for proposals to conduct research at the world’s oldest annual marathon.
Researchers will be asked to submit scientific proposals for projects which will be considered in conjunction with the race.
Clinical and scientific questions surrounding athlete health and performance are often studied in field projects such as organized road races. Over the last several decades, at least one study has been annually conducted in conjunction with the April event.
"Scientific research related to athletic performance and health and safety is a long-standing tradition at the Boston Marathon," Dr. Michael P. O’Leary, chairman of the BAA board said in a news release. "The Boston Marathon medical research program will promote future work to address key areas of clinical and scientific research relevant to endurance athletes.”
10. Running brand On creates shoe made from carbon emissions:
* Introducing an innovation to the footwear industry, Swiss company On says it has created the first shoe using carbon emissions as a raw material in its foam, according to a press release shared with Retail Dive.
* The Cloudprime shoe — which uses CleanCloud EVA foam in the midsole — was made in partnership with LanzaTech, Borealis and Technip Energies to create a “supply chain coalition,” per the release.
* Approximately 70% of the shoe is CO2 based and it is in the prototype stages with the goal of bringing it to consumers within the next three to five years, a company spokesperson said.
On is one step closer to its goal of all products being fossil fuel free and circular.
“Holding the first-ever shoe made of carbon emissions in my hands is a huge milestone – not only for On, but for the whole sports industry”, Caspar Coppetti, co-founder and executive co-chairman of On, said in a statement. “Five years ago, this was barely a dream. Imagine what can happen in the future as we unlock the potential of alternative carbon sources with further research and in collaboration with the best partners.”
More...from Retail Dive.
11. Could We Ever Make "Exercise In A Pill" To Replace Physical Activity?
Sorry, couch potatoes. This pill isn't for you.
Could exercise someday be replaced with a simple pill? It might sound like the far-out idea from a lazy dystopian future, but it’s an idea that’s already being explored by a number of different scientists, with some promising results.
This kind of “exercise in a pill” isn’t intended for couch potatoes. One of the big pushes behind this research is people who aren’t able to exercise but would benefit from it, such as the elderly, people with severe obesity, paralyzed people, or those recovering from surgery.
Regular exercise is one of the very best “medicines” for your body, especially when it comes to slowing down aging. It also often has a welcome effect on blood pressure, heart rate, fitness, body fat, body weight, mental well-being, and cognitive sharpness. While it seems unlikely scientists will ever be able to find a substitute for the real deal, they have been keen to see whether treatment could spark some of the much-needed molecular processes sparked by exercise without any physical activity.
12. Why You Should (Sometimes) Ignore Your Training Plan:
Runners make bigger improvements following a flexible workout schedule rather than sticking with a predetermined one.
The techno-utopian vision of the future of endurance training is that on any given day, your workout will be perfectly calibrated for how you’re feeling, how your body responds to different stimuli, and what your current goals are. Wearable tech will track your workout and monitor your recovery around the clock, and the algorithm will know just how far to push you.
A new study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, from a research team led by Olli-Pekka Nuuttila of the University of Jyväskylä in Finland and funded in part by the sports tech company Polar, seemingly takes a big step toward this goal. Runners, they find, do indeed get faster when they feed heart rate and other data into an algorithm that tells them when to push their training harder and when to ease up. At least, they get faster compared to following an inflexible cookie-cutter training plan. The results are intriguing, but they also leave you wondering if there might be a middle way.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
13. How to measure your sweat rate to improve your hydration strategy:
Estimating your sweat rate can be a useful exercise when you’re trying to figure out how much and what you need to drink (in terms of fluids and electrolytes) during training and events.
Sweat rate varies considerably from person-to-person and it can also vary quite a lot for any given individual because things like how hard you’re working, the ambient temperature and humidity, your clothing choices, genetics and heat acclimation status all play a role in determining how fast and how much your body perspires.
So, sweat rate measurement is something that should ideally be done on a number of occasions and in a range of conditions if you want to extrapolate the results to help use them as a guide in different contexts, like planning your likely hydration needs for an upcoming race.
More...from Precision Hydration.
14. In the case of women in sports, separate IS equal:
We should not forsake women and all that Title IX afforded them. There has to be another way.
Last week, writer and journalist Maggie Mertens published a piece in The Atlantic entitled: “Separating Sports by Sex Doesn’t Make Sense.” What she seemed to be saying is that gender categories in sports reinforce a gender binary that is merely a societal construct, not rooted in any sort of reality. And that this binary is ultimately harmful to us all.
The debate, as represented in athletics, is exemplified by the ongoing conversation about how to include trans women in sports. And Lia Thomas is at the center of this conversation. Thomas is the University of Pennsylvania swimmer who began her college swimming career competing as a man, and beginning in 2021, started competing as a woman, after gender affirmation through hormone replacement therapy.
In March 2022, Thomas became the first openly transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I national championship in any sport, after winning the women's 500-yard freestyle event. When competing as a man, she had ranked within the top 100 college swimmers in this event, an impressive feat, but not one that would garner an Olympic team placement. With her win in 2021, she became an Olympic Team contender, and her story became central to the debate around transgender women in sports.
More...from SEY Everything.
15. Apple Watch Ultra Review: All About the New Running Features:
Apple has been quietly working on a whammy of a follow-up to the standard Apple Watch. Runners, here's all you need to know about the new Apple Watch Ultra.
Get ready to geek out over all the fun tech you can use for road and trail running.
While Garmin and COROS have steadily released new running watches and software updates, Apple has been quietly working on a whammy of a follow-up to the standard Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch Ultra, which will be available starting Friday for $799, was designed with endurance athletes and adventurers in mind, and boasts a slew of features that will have new runners and data nerds alike psyched to log miles.
I got to test the Apple Watch Ultra before its release and, from a hardware standpoint, there’s a few notable differences from the Apple Watch you might be accustomed to: For one, it’s the largest Watch yet, with a 49-millimeter titanium design (that’s almost as big as the Garmin Enduro and COROS Vertix 2). It felt a little bulky at first, but I barely noticed the difference after a day. There’s also a new, customizable Action Button on the side that you can program for easier access to certain features (I programmed mine to take me right into a workout).
More...from Women's Running.