1. What Women Need to Know About the Gut Microbiome:
Digestion is just the beginning of what this “virtual organ” does for your health, performance, and well being.
What you eat is essential for health and performance. But what you put in your mouth is only part of the equation. What is happening in your gut, is just as, if not sometimes more important. In fact, the more we learn about the gut microbiome, the more clear it becomes that the gut microbiome is one of the most important—and overlooked—organs in athletic performance.
And yep, I just called it an organ, as did the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in a 2018 article that described the gut microbiome as “a virtual organ of the body.” That’s because the gut microbiome, which includes approximately 100 trillion micro-organisms living in the human gastrointestinal tract, encodes over three million genes and influences your fitness, phenotype, and health.
In fact, the specific bacteria that live in your gut influence pretty much everything in your body, including your moods (there are connections between gut health and anxiety and depression), cravings, metabolism, immunity, fat storage, and so much more that we probably don’t even know about yet. (That last part is important: new studies are coming out by the day. I’m just presenting a snapshot of our best understanding at this moment in time.)
More...from Dr. Stacy Sims.
2. New Study: Walking “Teabag Style” for a Few Minutes a Day Could Have Important Public Health Benefits:
A study influenced by Monty Python claims that making physical activity less efficient may have significant public health benefits.
A study published in The BMJ suggests that adults can meet global physical activity goals by walking in an inefficient manner for just a few minutes daily.
Despite efforts to increase physical activity and improve cardiovascular health in adults, the global rate of physical inactivity has remained unchanged for the past 20 years.
The inefficient walking styles of Mr. Teabag and Mr. Putey, acted by John Cleese and Michael Palin in the 1971 Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks sketch, have been shown to be more variable than usual walking, but their energy expenditure has never been measured.
To fill this vital research gap, a team of US researchers set out to compare the energy expenditure of low-efficiency walking with high-efficiency walking.
3. The Richest Pro Triathletes of 2022:
With roughly $15M of prize money floating around in our sport last season, we break down the pro triathletes who made the most cash.
One way to determine the most successful athletes is to keep track of the prize money they earn. Of course, this is only part of the total money athletes can make, as there are no reliable figures on sponsorship or appearance money. Also the numbers shown are earnings before expenses, and there are a lot of things such as travel, camps, coaching, or physio that have to be paid from this same pot of cash—it’s not pure profit for a pro. And while the numbers look nice and have grown considerably since the Professional Triathletes Organization (PTO) has entered the scene, there is still a lot of headway before we reach “golf levels”—where Rory McIlroy, the top 2022 prize money earner, made more than $44 million. That’s nearly three times the amount of prize money available to all pros, of all genders, at all distances!
4. Altra Rivera 3 Review: Yes, The River Knows:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 9.8 oz. (278 g.) for a US M9 / 8.2 oz. (232 g.) for a US W7
More stack (28 mm), still no drop
Put on a little weight, but you probably won’t feel it
SlimFoot Altra shape (the most “narrow” of Altra shoes)
Available February 2023 for $140
AUSTIN: Have you noticed that the Altra logo looks like a river? Yes, the image depicts a road that fades into the horizon, but I also see a mighty river that begins somewhere in the sprawling Rocky Mountains and flows into Denver, Colorado (which happens to be the location of the company’s office). I can hear John strumming his guitar now. I’d like to think that Taylor starts some of his trail runs with this 1972 classic. I know I would.
According to National Geographic, a river is “a ribbon-like body of water that flows downhill from the force of gravity. A river can be wide and deep or shallow enough for a person to wade across.” This description sparked many potential descriptors for the Altra Rivera 3: ribbon, flow, downhill, wide, deep, and shallow. Which ones will cling to this daily trainer, and which ones will be emptied like sediment along the banks? Let’s find out.
More...from Beleive in the Run.
5. ‘My Watch Thinks I’m Dead’:
Dispatchers for 911 are being inundated with false, automated distress calls from Apple devices owned by skiers who are very much alive.
FRISCO, Colo. — On a recent sunny Sunday morning, following a night of fluffy snowfall, tens of thousands of skiers flocked to the resorts of Summit County. Just minutes after the lift lines opened, sirens began blaring in the 911 emergency service center, where four staff members were taking calls and dispatching help.
Each jarring alert was a new incoming call, heralding a possible car crash, heart attack or other life-threatening situation. Often, the phone operators heard a chilling sound at the far end of the line: silence, perhaps from a caller too incapacitated to respond.
At 9:07 a.m., one dispatcher, Eric Betts, responded to such a call. From the map on one of the seven monitors on his desk, he could see that the distress call originated from a slope at the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. Mr. Betts tried calling back. A man picked up.
More...from the New York Times.
6. New Science Shows Almonds Can Help You Recover From Workouts Faster, Reducing Inflammation and Soreness:
Do you get sore and tired after an intense workout? There’s a change you can make to avoid this fitness pitfall, and it involves… nuts!
Almonds are well known to have multiple health benefits, but there’s now evidence that they have fitness perks, too. A new study published in Frontiers in Nutrition has found that adding almonds to your diet can help your body recover from exercise. A study of 64 adults, split into two groups—one that ate almonds, one that ate the caloric equivalent in a cereal bar—showed that the group that ate almonds had biomarkers that indicate improved muscle recovery, including reduced post-exercise fatigue and tension, and higher levels of strength. They also reported feeling less sore.
However, it’s not like the subjects just shoved some almonds in their mouths post-workout and had miraculously refreshed muscles. They ate two ounces of almonds (or about 46 individual nuts) every day for four weeks.
More...from Well + Good.
7. Supercharge Your Workouts: Active Molecule of Beetroot Juice Significantly Increases Muscle Force During Exercise:
A recent study discovered that consuming dietary nitrate, the active molecule found in beetroot juice led to a substantial improvement in muscle force during physical activity.
Although the benefits of dietary nitrate on exercise, including improved endurance and heightened high-intensity performance, are well documented, researchers still have much to uncover about the mechanisms behind this effect and how the body converts ingested nitrate into usable nitric oxide for cells.
In an effort to fill this knowledge gap, researchers from the University of Exeter and the National Institutes of Health in the US conducted a study in which they traced the distribution of nitrate ingested by ten healthy volunteers in saliva, blood, muscle, and urine. The volunteers then underwent a maximal leg exercise to determine where in the body the dietary nitrate was active, providing insights into its underlying mechanisms.
An hour after the nitrate was taken, participants were asked to perform 60 contractions of the quadriceps – the thigh muscle active while straightening the knee – at maximum intensity over five minutes on an exercise machine. The team found a significant increase in the nitrate levels in muscle. During the exercises, researchers found this nitrate boost caused an increase in muscle force of seven percent, compared to when the participants took a placebo.
8. Altitude Training:
Is altitude the key to unlocking peak performance, or is it just as likely to bury sea-level natives attempting to live and train too high?“
Two weeks ago in the newsletter, Dakotah Lindwurm discussed her travel to Albuquerque for a winter altitude training trip. She and Annie Frisbie are there for over two months, and Kevin Lewis will be joining them for a shorter stint as well.
Those of you who follow other pro runners will be well aware that training at altitude is a common practice, with locations like Boulder and Flagstaff considered hotbeds of U.S. distance running. Most people have a vague notion that altitude training can improve performance, and many will likely also have heard of cases and stories where altitude training “back-fired” and led to negative outcomes. So which is it? Is altitude the key to unlocking peak performance, or is it just as likely to bury sea-level natives attempting to live and train too high? The answer, which may not be very satisfying, is similar to the answer to any question about training….it depends.
The first thing to know is the mechanism by which altitude training can improve performance. No, it is not because there’s “less oxygen in the air” up there. Remember, the same air masses are moving and mixing all around the globe. The difference is the lower atmospheric pressure. This lower pressure in the atmosphere means less pressure to diffuse oxygen from the lungs into the bloodstream. In other words, altitude leads to less oxygen in the bloodstream.
9. How long does it take to die from dehydration?
We've written about how much dehydration an athlete can tolerate before performance suffers, but what happens when things go dreadfully wrong for an individual? We consider two remarkable tales of survival and the scientific evidence as we search for an answer to the morbid question - how long does it take to die from dehydration?
Survival Story #1: The 1994 Marathon des Sables
A person who has a pretty good idea of the fine margins between life and death when it comes to dehydration is Mauro Prosperi, the man famous for getting lost in the Sahara Desert during the Marathon des Sables. Mauro thankfully didn’t perish but he came as close to dying from a lack of fluid intake as a person can.
Prosperi was part way through the 1994 edition of the six day, 233-kilometre MdS in Morocco when he became disorientated by a sandstorm and ran in the wrong direction, ultimately ending up several hundred kilometres away in Algeria.
More...from Precision Hydration.
10. Women May Be More Likely Than Men to Sacrifice Fitness for Work or Family:
A study of men and women's time sharing habits found that men seem to "borrow" time from women for fit in their workouts.
Have you ever felt like you spend so much time taking care of others that you forget to prioritize yourself? A study from Australian National University suggests that women are more likely to sacrifice their workout time when their jobs and families need attention, whereas men might be “borrowing” the time that women sacrifice to squeeze their own workouts in.
The study looked at data from heterosexual couples aged 25-64 in more than 7,000 households to find out how men and women share time. As it turned out, men reported having more flexibility in their work schedules versus women, whose more rigid schedules cut into what would be free time to spend getting active.
“Even when a man in a couple increases the hours they work, they are able to preserve time to exercise, but when a woman works more, she gives up her time to exercise,” Lyndall Strazdins, PhD, study author and ANU professor, said in a release. “This suggests men are borrowing their time from the women in their lives.”
More...from Women's Running.
11. Trans Women in Female Sports: A Sports Scientist's Take:
When Lia Thomas won the women's 500-yard freestyle at the 2022 NCAA Division 1 swimming championships, the issue of trans women's participation in female sports ignited national headlines.
Let's start with the pro-inclusion argument that there are always advantages in sports.
That's true. The whole point of sports is to recognize people who have advantages and reward them for it. By the time this argument comes out, people have already accepted that males have advantages, right?
Some do, some don't.
If someone uses this argument to say that we should allow trans women, basically biological males, to compete in women's sports, they've implicitly accepted that there are advantages. Otherwise, what advantage are you talking about?
12. Garmin Connect reveals future skin temperature sensor integrations within Garmin smartwatches:
Gadgets & Wearables has discovered a new entry in the Garmin Connect app that points towards a new health monitoring sensor being present in future Garmin smartwatches. As the screenshot below shows, Garmin has added 'Wrist Temperature' measurements within Garmin Connect. However, no smartwatch in its current product stack offers such functionality.
Thus, it appears that Garmin is working on a smartwatch with an integrated skin temperature sensor. The app does not provide any information about Wrist Temperature compatibility, making it unclear whether this feature will be exclusive to future smartwatches. For reference, Garmin recently added ECG support to the Venu 2 Plus, which we discussed last month.
The app does not reveal when Wrist Temperature monitoring will become active. Its appearance within Garmin Connect suggests that the company is close to bringing the feature to market, though. Currently, the Apple Watch Series 8 and Galaxy Watch5 series have temperature sensors, although you cannot use either to display current body temperature. Instead, Apple uses skin temperature data to improve menstrual cycle monitoring accuracy, while Samsung uses a comparable sensor primarily to aid sleep tracking precision. Incidentally, Garmin is expected to launch the Forerunner 265 and Forerunner 965 series soon, pricing, specifications and details of which we reported on earlier today.
13. Four Training Zones Every Runner Needs to Know:
Don’t be confused by the diversity of running workouts. Learn the training zones they fit into, what type of fitness each zone builds, and how each feels.
Running seems like a simple sport. But once new runners start hanging around other runners, they start to hear about long runs, tempo runs, speed workouts, strides, hill workouts, and even the strange-sounding “fartlek.” They come to learn that experienced runners do different types of workouts at different times, and that coaches use all sorts of terms to describe runs.
Over time, coaches have organized the various different runs and workouts into groups, or zones. Within each training zone, you’ll find different types of runs and workouts to help build a desired type of fitness. Understanding the whys and hows of each zone is useful to tease out which workouts work best for you, and which workouts are ideal to prepare you for specific races.
I’m going to introduce you to the training system I use, which is comprised of four zones. I adopted these zones from exercise scientist David Martin, although I’ve renamed them because his naming system relied on physiology terms. My zone names reflect the aspect of fitness the runner would improve by running in that zone: (1) endurance, (2) stamina, (3) speed, and (4) sprint.
More...from Outside Online.
14. For a Stable, Strong Core, Forget About Crunches:
If the goal of your workout is to walk away with a chiseled six-pack, you’re missing the point.
To perform well at virtually any sport, you need a strong core. This is a no-brainer for rowing, golf and dancing, but it’s also true for less obvious activities: Your core gives you the stability you need to play darts, for example, and the power you need to play Ping-Pong.
A stronger core makes everyday life easier, too, resulting in fewer injuries, better posture and balance and less back pain.
Yet fitness experts say most people get core training wrong. In fact, the core may be the most misunderstood muscle group in the body — and core exercises are often the most dreaded part of a workout, what with the endless situps and planks.
“Breaking this stigma of thinking that you have to do 100 crunches and that’s going to make back pain go away and get the core strong, that’s the misconception,” said Jon Hernandez, a physical therapist and associate athletic trainer for the Los Angeles Rams.
More...from the New York Times.
15. How to Build Stamina and Why It Matters for Runners:
xperts explain this fitness concept and how training for it can boost your performance.
Becoming a better, stronger runner isn’t just about upping your mileage. In fact, logging too many miles can be counterproductive. A more strategic approach is to dial in your efforts—and that’s where stamina training comes into play. Building your stamina can provide a number of benefits for all types of runners, whether you’re a tried-and-true sprinter, a casual beginner, or a trail marathoner looking to nab a new PR.
Here, with the help of two experts, we get clear on what stamina is, why it’s important for runners, and how to build stamina today.
What is stamina and how does it differ from endurance?
Put simply, stamina is your ability to do prolonged or repeated bouts of exercise at maximum intensity, exercise physiologist DeAnne Davis Brooks, Ed.D., associate professor and graduate program director in the department of kinesiology at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and USATF level 1 track coach tell Runner’s World.
More...from (Runner's World.