1. Rundown? Underperforming? Research Shows You’re Likely Undernourished:
Here’s how to make sure you’re eating enough!
When women come to me because they’re struggling with poor performance one of the simplest (though not always easiest) and most successful strategies I provide is getting them to eat more.
Many women athletes are chronically underfed, whether it’s because they’re afraid to eat; they’re in a constant state of trying to lose weight (a.k.a. afraid to eat), or they are unknowingly under fueling themselves because they just don’t realize how much energy and nutrition they need.
This is more common in women than men and a research review (change to the English view in your browser if needed) published earlier this month in the journal Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutrición (Latin American Archives of Nutrition) shows the consequences: Women athletes are more susceptible to iron, calcium, and vitamin D deficiencies than their male peers. Iron is essential to produce oxygen-carrying hemoglobin and calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone and muscle health (among many other things!). The women were also at increased risk for being low in magnesium, which helps with muscle function, blood pressure, bone health, and maintaining blood glucose.
More...from Dr. Stacy Sims
2. Adidas AdiZero Adios 6 Review: The Real Boston?
What You Need To Know
Weighs 9 oz. (257 g.) for a US M10.5 / 7.8 oz. (221 g.) for a US W8
A classic racer trapped in a modern racing world
Utilizes both Lightstrike and Lightstrike Pro in the midsole
Available now at Running Warehouse for $120 (which is a steal)
THOMAS: Over the last year, Adidas has made a concerted effort to move into the future. As legendary as it was, Boost midsole technology needed a, well… boost. Enter Lightstrike and Lightstrike Pro, the future of cushioning for Adidas, for better or for worse. In pretty much every shoe we’ve tried, Lighstrike has been a dud; however, we’ve been huge fans of the super-bouncy and soft Lightstrike Pro, especially in winners like the Takumi Sen 8.
All that to say, things have changed a bit around here. The Boston 10 was enjoyed by some but reviled by many. Faithful Boston fans had more than a feeling about the changes and were looking for peace of mind with the Adios 6. Could this be the shoe that the Boston was meant to be?
More...from Belive in the Run
3. Running Angles:
Running technique has a lot to do with the angles at which the runner’s legs and feet strike and push off the ground. When your foot lands on and pushes off the ground, it applies a force to the ground. As Isaac Newton taught you in high school physics class, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The ground applies a force to your foot when it lands on the ground, throughout the stance phase, and when the foot pushes off the ground that is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the force applied by your foot. This is called the “ground reaction force.”
Running is about optimizing the ground reaction forces upon both landing and push-off to absorb shock effectively upon landing and optimize propulsive force at push-off to move forward.
When your foot lands out in front of your body, a brake is created, which quickly decelerates your leg. The magnitude of this brake depends on the angle of your leg’s shank (the part of your leg from your knee to your foot). The greater the shank angle, the greater the braking force.
More...from Dr. Jason Karp.
4. Comparing Athletic Performances: The Best Elite Women to Boys and Men:
If you know sport, you know this beyond a reasonable doubt: there is an average 10-12% performance gap between elite males and elite females. The gap is smaller between elite females and non-elite males, but it’s still insurmountable and that’s ultimately what matters. Translating these statistics into real world results, we see, for example, that:
Just in the single year 2017, Olympic, World, and U.S. Champion Tori Bowie's 100 meters lifetime best of 10.78 was beaten 15,000 times by men and boys. (Yes, that’s the right number of zeros.)
The same is true of Olympic, World, and U.S. Champion Allyson Felix’s 400 meters lifetime best of 49.26. Just in the single year 2017, men and boys around the world outperformed her more than 15,000 times.
This differential isn’t the result of boys and men having a male identity, more resources, better training, or superior discipline. It’s because they have an androgenized body.
The results make clear that sex determines win share. Female athletes – here defined as athletes with ovaries instead of testes and testosterone (T) levels capable of being produced by the female non-androgenized body – are not competitive for the win against males—here defined as athletes with testes and T levels in the male range. The lowest end of the male range is three times higher than the highest end of the female range. Consistent with females’ far lower T levels, the female range is also very narrow, while the male range is broad.
These biological differences explain the male and female secondary sex characteristics which develop during puberty and have lifelong effects, including those most important for success in sport: categorically different strength, speed, and endurance. There is no other physical, cultural, or socioeconomic trait as important as testes for sports purposes.
More...from Duke Law.
5. Master These 3 Steps and You’ll Be Pacing Like a Pro Runner:
Three methods to cultivate pacing mastery and optimize your performance potential.
In a recent study, Barry Smyth and Aonghus Lawlor at University College Dublin found that, on average, male runners took 4 minutes and 29 seconds longer to complete a marathon than female runners of equal fitness. The reason? Poor pacing. Specifically, the male runners tended to start too fast and fade.
You couldn’t ask for a better scientific illustration of why pacing is important. Simply put, poor pacing is wasteful. When you arrive at the starting line of a race, you have the potential to perform at a certain level, determined mainly by the fitness you’ve accumulated through your training. How close you come to realizing your full potential on a given day is largely determined by how well you pace. If you start too fast, you’ll wear out and have to run some slow, ineffective miles later in the race. Pace too slowly and you leave some potential in the tank. If your effort is erratic throughout the race, you will waste a certain percentage of your hard-earned potential.
More...from Outside Online.
6. Should your hydration strategy change as you get older?
The question of whether your hydration strategy should change as you get older is a particularly pertinent one as we're seeing average life expectancies increase and more and more 'senior' athletes complete endurance events.
Sport & Exercise Scientist, Andy Blow, takes a look at the hydration needs of older athletes and provides guidance on how they can avoid dehydration...
Life expectancy and increased sporting participation
Human life expectancy is increasing rapidly, with some current predictions suggesting that women will pass the 90 year mark relatively soon (well, those lucky enough to be born in South Korea in 2030 anyway).
This is amazing when you think that just less than a century ago the average life expectancy in the U.K. in 1921 was pegged at 59 for women and just 55 for men.
This dramatic increase in is largely credited to breakthroughs in the control of infectious diseases, childhood immunisation, improvements in nursing and - in more recent times - treatments for heart disease, cancer and other ailments of ageing. Together these factors have given the Brits amongst us a realistic shot of getting that 100th birthday letter from Her Majesty the Queen…
More...from Precision Hydration.
7. Easy Ways to Test and Train Your Aerobic Fitness and VO2 Max:
Including VO2 max and aerobic testing in your training regime can help you train smarter in the long run. Here’s how to regularly test and improve these important stats.
Threshold testing gets a lot of attention, but it is not the only way to set your seasonal benchmarks. Regularly testing your progress across varying intensities — such as VO2 max and steady-state endurance — can allow you to identify and train your weaknesses, making you a better, more well-rounded athlete in the long run. Here are some easy ways to do so.
VO2 Max Testing
VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen you can use during intense training. Increasing your VO2 max translates to more oxygen consumption and, therefore, more energy production.
Even if you don’t race at higher intensity levels, working to improve your VO2 max can bring you substantial benefits. In addition to improvements in energy production and delivery, a higher VO2 max can increase your lactate threshold, plasma volume, muscle strength, lactate tolerance, glycogen storage, and stroke volume.
To get an initial read of your pace or power at VO2 max, complete a best sustainable effort session as outlined below:
Warm up for about 20 minutes. During this warm-up, be sure to include some short, harder efforts (around your threshold effort). For example, 5 x 1 minutes at threshold with 1-minute easy recoveries.
Speed up to exert maximal effort for 5 minutes
Slow down for a 10- to 15-minute cool-down
More...from Training Peaks.
8. Harder, better, faster, stronger: why we must protect female sports:
In 1988, at the US Olympic trials in Indianapolis, Florence Griffith Joyner romped home in the female 100m quarterfinals to set a new world record of 10.49 seconds (1). This was an astonishing moment in female sports, and not just because of her (in)famous six inch long fingernails. In an event where records usually progress by mere 100ths of a second, she smashed the existing female world record time by nearly three 10ths (the previous holder was Evelyn Ashford, running 10.76s). The world went ‘Flo Jo’ crazy as they celebrated the ‘Fastest Woman Ever’, an accolade she still holds today, some 30 years on from the event and 20 years after her death.
10.49s. That 10.49 seconds stands as one of the oldest world records in athletics (2). The closest a female has ever got to it is Carmelita Jeter, with 10.64s in 2009. Marion Jones is recorded as the third fastest 100m female sprinter, with 10.65s in 1998. However, her subsequent admission to steroid use before the 2000 Sydney Olympics means this result might be taken with a pinch of performance enhancing drugs. 10.49s is a time that today’s current crop of 100m female sprinters acknowledge is beyond their reach (3). The current ‘Fastest Women in the World’, 2016 Olympic champion Elaine Thompson and 2017 World champion Tori Bowie, have personal bests of 10.70s and 10.78s respectively. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, acknowledged as the greatest female sprinter of all time – her medal haul is astonishing – ran a 10.70s personal best in 2012.
More...from FondOfBeetles - a developmental biologist in a gendered world
9. Outside or via YouTube, exercise has great mental, physical benefits for kids (parents, too):
It’s possible, if you don’t have young kids in the house, that you aren’t familiar with the secret yoga code word “naah-maah-staay.” It’s how Jaime Amor, the onesie-clad host of Cosmic Kids Yoga, begins every YouTube session, and for parents these days it triggers a complex mix of emotions: relief that the kids are up and moving, guilt that they’re not outside playing, and regret that the video won’t last forever.
The recent wave of school lockdowns, coming just as the weather turns harshest, has rekindled parental anxiety about how much exercise kids are getting. Even before the pandemic, this was a problem; only about 40 per cent of children between the ages of 5 and 17 reach the recommended threshold of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day, according to Statistics Canada data. There’s no doubt that online learning, no walk to school, no games of tag at recess and the cancellation of many organized sports has made things worse.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
10. Effects of wearing a cloth face mask on performance, physiological and perceptual responses during a graded treadmill running exercise test:
Cloth face masks led to a 14% reduction in exercise time and 29% decrease in VO2max, attributed to perceived discomfort associated with mask-wearing.Compared with no mask, participants reported feeling increasingly short of breath and claustrophobic at higher exercise intensities while wearing a cloth face mask.Coaches, trainers and athletes should consider modifying the frequency, intensity, time and type of exercise when wearing a cloth face mask.
From British Journal of Sports Medecine.
11. Five Common Mistakes Runners Make & How To Fix Them:
An elite runner asked me for help. He experienced a nice progression to the elite level after leaving college, but his performances had reached a plateau over the last three years. He trained hard, but the race results were not what he wanted or what his training predicted. As we talked and reviewed his training, I saw the same mistakes I see when reviewing the training of new online coaching clients. Here are the top five reasons runners, like this elite athlete, get stuck at a performance level, and simple fixes to keep your running career moving forward.
1) Lack of Variety
FAULT: The quickest way to reach a plateau in your performances is to do the same training week after week after week. Yet in reviewing the training logs of new coaching clients, I often see a training pattern that varies little across the year. Does this sound familiar? Tuesday — meet with running club at track for speed work. Thursday — tempo run with training partner. Sunday — long run. Winter, spring, summer and fall, it stays pretty much the same. The result? A performance plateau. Same was true for my new elite runner. His training looked very similar from week to week.
More...from McMillan Running.
12. Long Runs Train Your Heart, Sprints Train Your Muscles:
Different workout styles can get you equally fit, but they affect your body differently—which suggests that you should mix it up.
The usual way of explaining VO2 max, the canonical measure of aerobic fitness, is that it’s a function of how quickly you can pump oxygen-rich blood to your muscles. You need lots of blood to carry the oxygen, and a big strong heart to pump it out. And it’s true that endurance training, over time, tends to increase the total amount of blood circulating in your body, and the amount that your heart can pump with each stroke.
That’s only half the story, though. Back in 1870, a German physician named Adolf Fick explained what became known as the Fick principle, which basically says that the amount of oxygen your body uses is the amount your heart pumps out minus the amount that returns to the heart unused. Your muscles may be screaming for oxygen, but if they can’t extract and metabolize it before the blood rushes past, then pumping faster won’t help. That means there’s a whole other set of adaptations that determine your fitness, like the density of the network of capillaries that seep blood into your muscles and the quantity and efficiency of the mitochondria that fuel contractions in your muscle cells.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
13. Is it time to rethink our long-term sport participation models?
In Canada, Sport for Life’s long-term athlete development model (Balyi, Way, & Higgs, 2013), now known as Long-Term Development (LTD) in Sport and Physical Activity Opens in a new window, has served as the guiding framework for national, provincial and territorial sport programming since 2005. However, multiple models of sport participation exist in the academic literature and around the world. For instance, the Developmental Model of Sport Participation (DMSP) (Côté, Baker, & Abernethy, 2007) is among the most commonly cited models in the research world. While the Australian Institute of Sport’s preferred model is the Integrated Foundations, Talent, Elite, Mastery (FTEM) framework Opens in a new window (Gulbin, Croser, Morley & Weissensteiner, 2013).
These models are important for anyone delivering sport programs because they provide guidance on how to promote long-term involvement in sport and physical activity. Our recent study confirmed scientific support for these models and their influence on some sport participation outcomes. However, it also raised questions about the level of confidence we should have in these models to guide sport policies, programs and practices (Gallant & Bélanger, 2021). In this blog, we explain the main findings of our study that aimed to shed light on scientific support backing sport and physical activity models, and what these findings mean for people delivering sport and physical activity programs.
14. Is It Better to Exercise in the Morning or Evening?
Working out at different times of the day might have unique benefits for health, an ambitious new study in mice suggests..
Morning exercise has very different effects on metabolism than the same workout later in the day, according to an ambitious new animal study of exercise timing. The study, which involved healthy lab mice jogging on tiny treadmills, mapped hundreds of disparities in the numbers and activities of molecules and genes throughout the rodents’ bodies, depending on whether they ran first thing in the morning or deeper in the evening.
Many of these changes related to fat burning and other aspects of the animals’ metabolisms. Over time, such changes could substantially influence their disease risks and well-being. And though the study featured rodents, its findings likely have relevance for any of us who wonder if it is better to work out before work, or if we might get as much — or more — health benefit from after-hours exercise.
More...from the New York Times.
15. Transgender ideology is trampling Title IX:
In 1972, female athletes scored a huge victory upon the signing of Title IX. Women and girls who longed for equal treatment under the law and had worked to achieve their dreams in athletics were finally protected in doing so.
In 2022, those dreams are being shattered, and the law that was signed to protect them is being violated. Biological males are crushing females on the athletic field, destroying their records in the swimming pool, outrunning, outlifting, and outcompeting them at every level.
The recent controversy surrounding a University of Pennsylvania swimmer invites the question of how we ended up here. How do we live in a country, born on equality and opportunity, where such blatant unfairness is acceptable?
More...from the Washington Examiner.