FIVE STAR SITE OF THE MONTH FOR APRIL2023: NNRUNNINGTEAM
The brainchild of Global Sports Communication director Jos Hermens, the formation of the NN Running Team, has proven to be one of the most innovative and ground-breaking developments in athletics. Launched in April 2017, the project has delivered on its goals to provide the athletes with access to better coaching, medical care and additional athlete support services with particular progress made in offering regular physiotherapy to athletes in training camps and during competition. That extra support has been reflected in the results enjoyed by the athletes in the NN Running Team. Since its inception its athletes have claimed no less than 13 Marathon Majors victories, set eight world records, snared world titles on the road, track and cross country and globally won over 175 road races.
Among its star athletes include; Eliud Kipchoge, marathon world record and the first man in history to run a sub-two-hour marathon; Kenenisa Bekele, the second fastest marathoner in history and three-time Olympic champion; Joshua Cheptegei, the World 10,000m and Cross Country champion and current 5000m and 10,000m track world-record holder; Geoffrey Kamworor, the three-time World Half Marathon champion and two-time New York City Marathon winner; Letesenbet Gidey, world record holder on the 5000m, 10,000m and half marathon, and holder of the fastest marathon debut ever; and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, 10k world record holder and winner of the 2022 TCS London Marathon. An exciting group of young women has also developed within the team including promising athletes such as: Letesenbet Gidey and Yalemzerf Yehualaw.
The NN Running Team has also played a role in the organisation of many unforgettable endurance events in recent years including the Nike Breaking2 Project, the INEOS 1:59 Challenge and the NN Valencia World Record Day.
Visit the website at: NNRunningTeam.com.
BOOK/VIDEO/MOVIE OF THE MONTH FOR APRIL 2023: TAKE BACK THE GAME: HOW MONEY AND MANIA ARE RUINING KIDS' SPORTS--AND WHY IT MATTERS
Linda Flanagan (Author)
A close look at how big money and high stakes have transformed youth sports, turning once healthy, fun activities for kids into all-consuming endeavors—putting stress on children and families alike
Some 75% of American families want their kids to play sports. Athletics are training grounds for character, friendship, and connection; at their best, sports insulate kids from hardship and prepare them for adult life. But youth sports have changed so dramatically over the last 25 years that they no longer deliver the healthy outcomes everyone wants. Instead, unbeknownst to most parents, kids who play competitive organized sports are more likely to burn out or suffer from overuse injuries than to develop their characters or build healthy habits. What happened to kids' sports? And how can we make them fun again?
In Take Back the Game, coach and journalist Linda Flanagan reveals how the youth sports industry capitalizes on parents’ worry about their kids’ futures, selling the idea that more competitive play is essential in the feeding frenzy over access to colleges and universities. Drawing on her experience as a coach and a parent, along with research and expert analysis, Flanagan delves into a national obsession that has:
* Compelled kids to specialize year-round in one sport.
* Increased the risk of both physical injury and mental health problems.
* Encouraged egregious behavior by coaches and parents.
8 Reduced access to sports for low-income families.
A provocative and timely entrant into a conversation thousands of parents are having on the sidelines, Take Back the Game uncovers how youth sports became a serious business, the consequences of raising the stakes for kids and parents alike--and the changes we need now.
Buy the book from What are the biological differences between males and females and how do they relate to sports performance?
More...from The Paradox Institute.
5. Study finds Commonwealth Games athletes to live longer than rest of population:
A study from the International Longevity Centre UK has used Commonwealth Games record to find that elite athletes can live more than five years longer than the rest of the population.
The report Marathon or sprint: do elite-level athletes live longer than average? used competitor records since the inaugural edition in 1930, when it was known as the British Empire Games.
Conducted by Professor Les Mayhew and Ray Algar, it said that in male competitors in aquatic sports longevity was increased by 29 per cent equating to 5.3 extra years of life.
There was an increase of 25 per cent for male track athletes and 24 per cent for those in indoor competitions.
The longevity of female competitors across all sports categories was boosted by 22 per cent, or 3.9 extra years of life.
More...from Inside the Games.
6. Eliud Kipchoge Boston Marathon 2023 Running Form Analysis:
To say Eliud Kipchoge’s Boston Marathon didn’t go the way most people anticipated is putting it mildly. And yet this performance was actually more revealing about what makes him one of the greatest marathoners of all time than his many successes have been.
I’m sure I wasn’t alone in feeling a baffled sense of unreality as I watched him running alone and well behind the lead men late in the race. His left hand was open–his “tell” that he’s getting fatigued. But most importantly, his cadence seemed increasingly uneven, with his left foot staying on the ground longer than the right. The difference wasn’t large, but again and again it was there, and I began to suspect an injury.
In a novel I recently read, a normally inexpressive character’s slightly raised eyebrow was described as the equivalent of a scream from anyone else. That’s how it is with anything anomalous in Kipchoge’s form. Although not perfectly symmetrical–no one is, after all–his form is incredibly even and consistent. And apparently a slight change in Kipchoge’s ground contact time for one leg is the equivalent of anyone else completely falling apart.
More...from the Balance Runner.
7. How Elite Marathoners Handle Hot Conditions:
In-race data collected during the world championships sheds new light on how top endurance athletes avoid overheating.
At the 2019 world track and field championships in the muggy heat of Qatar, a total of 108 marathoners and racewalkers swallowed wireless temperature pills a few hours before their races and posed for an infrared camera at the start and finish lines. The resulting data, some of which has just been published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, offers a peek inside the engines of the top athletes in the world in real-world competitive conditions—including some unexpected surprises.
The unsurprising part is that the athletes got very hot. The conditions for the events included in the study—marathon, 20K racewalk, and 50K racewalk—ranged between 85 and 91 degrees Fahrenheit, with relative humidity between 46 and 81 percent. And this was in the middle of the night! The races took place between 11:30 P.M. and 5:00 A.M. local time, which at least eliminated the additional heating effects of solar radiation, both from above and reflected from the road.
Still, it was much too hot for optimal performance. Only one of the athletes in the study matched their pre-event personal best, and on average they were 13 percent slower than their best. Core temperature, as measured by the temperature pills, drifted upward by an average of 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of the races. All the athletes finished with “feverish” core temperatures above 100 degrees, and 16 percent of them were above 104 degrees, which was long considered an approximate upper limit of tolerance.
More...from Sweat Science o Outside Online.
8. What happens to your body when you run a marathon? 7 things you need to know:
Marathon season has officially begun across Europe.
This Sunday (April 23), key players on the continent and beyond will be closing down their cities so hundreds of thousands of runners can take months’ worth of training to the streets; whether they’re looking for a personal best, a new medal to hang in their hallway or just to be able to say they were there.
While events like the Manchester Marathon and the Paris Marathon have already taken place, cities including London, Madrid, Hamburg, and Vienna will be shutting down their main roads this weekend so that runners - from the elite to the everyday jogger - can chase that coveted 42.2 km.
Safe to say, it’s a long old slog running a marathon whatever your ability level. But what exactly does the physical challenge do to your mind, body, and - if it doesn’t feel a stretch too far to add - soul?
1. You genuinely will get shorter
Several studies suggest you can lose up to half an inch throughout the course of a marathon (don’t panic though, gentlemen, this is purely spinal cord-related).
It’s believed this is due to a number of factors, including muscle tension and losing fluid between your spinal disks. And on that note…
9. Rimi Riga marathon to measure runners' generated energy:
The Rimi Riga marathon this year will measure the kinetic energy generated by participants, the organizers said on April 25.
Runners will cross a special ruler near the Riga State Gymnasium No. 2 that will accumulate kinetic energy and convert it into kilowatt-hours to find out the amount of energy generated by all participants.
The marathon will take place on May 6 and 7.
There is a choice of the classic marathon, half-marathon, 10 km, 5 km, and a mile race.
More... from LSM.lv.
10. How to use caffeine BEFORE exercise:
Many endurance athletes can benefit from getting some caffeine on board ahead of their training sessions or races.
The well-used drug can have stimulating effects on your brain and central nervous system to help get you ready for action, but some individuals can be highly sensitive to caffeine and suffer adverse side-effects that derail them before they even get to the start line.
So, before working out how to incorporate caffeine into your pre-race fueling strategy, you should ask yourself: should I be using caffeine to enhance my performance?
Once you’ve answered that question, then you can consider how to use caffeine before and during your training and races…
More...from Precsision Hydration.
11. The Psychology of Startup Speed: My conversation notes with Olympic runner Aisha Praught-Leer:
“Part of my training is lying in bed each day”, Olympic middle-distance runner Aisha Praught-Leer told me as we hiked up a steep glacier in Iceland’s South Coast. I’d been curious about her schedule as an Olympic athlete, wondering if there were parallels to building a high-growth startup.
“What do you mean?”, I asked. I’d figured at her level, she spent every waking hour pushing every possible limit on the track.
“Rest is as important to running as running is”, she said matter of factly.
As Aisha walked me through her typical day, I realized that although her training was of course physical, it was — surprisingly — heavily focused on psychological strength too.
It made me wonder — why is startup advice so unevenly skewed toward strategy and tactics, when the foundation of the highest performing companies is how the founding team thinks?
More...from Elizabeth Bailey Weil.
12. These 6 Brilliant Biohacks Will Give You Crazy-High Energy in No Time:
Need to get your energy levels up ASAP? Try these science-backed tips that’ll have you feeling awake and reenergized in mere minutes
There are a lot of tips and tricks that are meant to help you increase your energy, from eating the right nutrients to incorporating energizing supplements into your daily routine. But unfortunately, these habits can take some time to deliver the motivation, productivity and “awake” level of energy you’re looking for. Fortunately, they aren’t the only solutions; there are certain energy-revving biohacks you can use when you’re feeling sleepy and sluggish, and they’ll get you alert and focused in no time.
We’ve got easy – and, to be honest, kind of brilliant – biohacks that’ll raise your energy levels quickly. From HIIT workouts to autophagy to mitochondrial manipulation and beyond, these 6 science-backed ways to hack your system will boost your energy. And you can try them right now.
1. HIIT it
For sustained stamina, you don’t have to spend grueling hours in the gym. Instead, try HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, which alternates short bursts of powerful movement with low-intensity exercise or rest. HIIT revs up the metabolism, boosts blood flow and enhances the ability of muscles to use oxygen, and studies show regular HIIT regimens measurably increase strength, power and endurance.
More...from Clean Eating.
13. Why How We Select Young Sporting Talent Is Probably All Wrong:
Around the world, the way that young talent is identified is often done without an understanding of how young athletes develop. We talk to Norwegian researcher in the field, Eirik Halvorsen Wik, PhD, from Cape Town's Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine at Stellenbosch University, for a close look at the challenges faced by young sporting stars, why there may be a better way to make selections at youth level and how to ensure the best athletes are given the best chance at long term success. Wik has previously worked at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences and the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre.
Listen to the podcast on The Real Science of Sport.
14. Surprising training methods of the world’s fittest 75-yr-old:
In a recent lab test, Hans Smeets broke the unofficial world record for the highest vo2 max by a 75 year old. His score was roughly equivalent to that of a young man in his mid 20s. And Smeets isn’t just a lab rat. He has won dozens of world championships in his age group, excelling in particular in the 800 meters and 1500 meters.
How can an old guy be so fit? Smeets admits that probably 50% of his success comes from good genetics. The other 50%, according to exercise physiologist Bas van Hooren, is Smeets’s consistent training through the last several decades. Surprisingly, much of this training has been slow. Smeets says he often walks up several of the biggest hills on training routes near his home.
“Speed training produces more damage,” notes Van Hooren. “By doing higher volumes of easy training, masters athletes might gain positive adaptations with less damage and need for recovery.”
More...from Run Long, Run Healthy.
15. What We Don’t Know About Carbon-Plated Running Shoes May Be Hurting Us:
There is evidence to suggest this popular footwear option might be a contributing factor in bone stress injuries.
Eliud Kipchoge, arguably the greatest marathoner of all time, ran a 1:59:40 marathon in 2019 wearing custom-made carbon-plated shoes. Since then, carbon-plated shoes seem to be everywhere, from record-breaking efforts in running and triathlon to age-groupers looking for a PR.
It is quite true that in triathlon events, even small tweaks to gear have an impact on final outcome and competition result. Whether the thickness of the neoprene in your wetsuit, the geometry of your bike, or the material used in the soles of your running shoes, we’re always looking for an advantage. But when does an advantage become a detriment? Success cannot and should not come at the expense of the athlete’s health. But with carbon-plated shoes, there is evidence to suggest this popular footwear option might be a contributing factor in some bone stress injuries.