1. Runners Take Note: Glucosamine-Chondroitin May Help You Live Longer:
In large population studies, glucosamine-chondroitin, long taken to ease runners' joints, is linked to greater longevity.
Two surprising but impressive new studies published in the last year might revive interest in what was once almost every runner’s favorite supplement — glucosamine-chondroitin (GC). In the 1980s and 1990s, many runners took GC because it has few to no side effects and was thought protective against knee pain and knee arthritis — a runner’s greatest fear.
Interest faded after results from a two-year, national, randomized trial (Glucosamine/chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial — GAIT) were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006. This report concluded: “Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate alone or in combination did not reduce pain effectively in the overall group of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.” Several “exploratory analyses” nonetheless indicated that GC “may be effective” in those with “moderate-to-severe knee pain.” Despite inconclusive evidence, many runners continue to take the supplement, just in case.
More...from Outside Online.
2. The Power of Plant-Centered Eating:
Building the foundation of your diet on plants builds a strong foundation for health and performance, especially for women.
Since I spend so much time helping inform how other people should eat for optimal health and performance, many women ask me how I eat. I have been a plant-centered athlete since I was 15. I don’t say “plant-based,” because that implies I eat no animal-based foods, which isn’t the case. I will eat dairy-based yogurt and kefir as well as whey protein isolate, especially when I’m traveling and need easy to find sources of protein.
Whether or not you consume other animal foods (totally your choice!), I think building the foundation of your diet on plants is key for building the best foundation for good health and optimum performance. And there’s plenty of science to back me up, including a recent study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, which reported that eating a plant-centered diet can help women (and men) reduce the risk of developing heart disease during young to middle adulthood years, which is when the disease often ramps up.
More...from Dr. Stacy Sims.
3. Run Long, Run Healthy Weekly Roundup — February 10, 2022:
The link between running form and performance remains a mystery
We’d all like to look smooth and graceful while running, just as many would like to be impossibly slim or have rock-hard abs. No one wants to be an ugly runner. But does it make a difference? Decades ago pioneering physiologist Jack Daniels measured the running economy of top Nike runners, and then showed video of the same runners to a group of veteran coaches. “Who are the most efficient runners?” he asked them. The coaches got an “F” grade; they simply couldn’t tell. Many studies since then have reaffirmed the same: You can’t tell much by looking. I mentioned this several weeks ago in the Jan. 28 newsletter, and it has since appeared in articles by Alex Hutchinson and Malcolm Gladwell. Here’s what they are saying.
More...from Podium Runner.
4. Nike ZoomX Streakfly Review: Worth The Hype? Yes, Kind Of:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 6.0 oz. (170 g.) for a US M9/US W10.5
Nike’s return to the Streak name and racing flat game
Is there a better-looking shoe around? We don’t think so
Sold out immediately for $160, new colorways coming soon
THOMAS: Think about this: just a little over six years ago, a prototype of a marathon shoe called the Nike Streak 6 propelled Eliud Kipchoge to a win in the Berlin Marathon, his insoles flapping like the wings of Icarus on the way to a decisive victory. That shoe was light, but it also had a stack height of 26mm in the heel and 18mm in the toe. Now, in 2022, that kind of minimalism in a marathon shoe would violate the Geneva Conventions.
Look no further than the shoe we’re reviewing today, the Nike ZoomX Streakfly. It’s a 5K/10K shoe with a 32mm stack in the heel and 26mm in the toe. Nearly 25% more stack height than the Streak 6 for what is essentially a racing flat. Times have certainly changed.
While the stack has certainly increased, the weight has decreased in an inverse proportion. To that end, the Nike Streakfly exists as the lightest shoe in the brand’s running arsenal for 2022. While it’s not quite at Mayfly status (4.8 oz./135 g), it barely registers on the scales at 6 oz./170 g for a US M9.0.
More...from Believe in the Run.
5. What is Runner’s Dystonia?:
Learn more about the rare movement disorder.
World championships silver medalist and two-time Olympian Kara Goucher announced today that she has been diagnosed with runner’s dystonia.
“For the past year I’ve been quietly battling for my health,” she wrote on Instagram. In the post she described difficulties she’s had staying balanced while walking and running and numbness in her legs.
Goucher courageously shared her diagnosis and the implications it would have on her life. “The doctor confirmed repetitive exercise dystonia, and tried to tell me, as gently as possible, that the more I run the worse my symptoms will get. I have to drastically cut back or not only will I lose the ability to run at all, I will struggle to walk as well,” she wrote.
It’s important to note that the disorder is considered rare—though dystonias in general are the third most common movement disorder in the United States. Here’s more about what runners should know about repetitive exercise dystonia.
More...from Women's Running.
6. Three Mental Blocks That Might Be Impacting Your Performance:
Learn how to identify and address these three common thinking errors for better wellbeing and performance.
Even if you’ve got a regular mental training practice, your mind can easily start to play tricks on you. As such, you could have thoughts that impact how you see your performance, the people around you, or even yourself in inaccurate ways, like those fairground mirrors that make you look funny. If left unresolved, these errors can negatively impact how well you train, knock your self-confidence, and damage your relationships. In this article, I’ll share three of these common thinking traps and then provide an antidote for each that you can start using right now.
Mental Block #1: Perfectionism
Here’s a common thinking trap you might fall into: that your performances are right on the money or they’re worthless. It’s great that you’re highly motivated, driven, and want the very best of yourself; but while perfectionism has its perks, there are also some significant downsides. One of them is that there are uncontrollables that can derail your hopes and intentions.
For example, let’s say that you’re coming off a couple of bad sleeps and are stressed out about an argument you had with a friend. Still, you’re determined to go to the track and get a solid interval workout in. When you get there, it starts to rain, and the wind picks up. You’re determined to push through the session, but your legs feel heavy, and your mind keeps wandering back to that relationship issue and what you’ll say when you call your buddy later. When you look down at your watch after the first split, you see that you’re three seconds slower than your coach’s target, so you get mad. It’s the same story with the second and third intervals – you just seem to be getting slower and slower. By the time you get back to your car, you’re fuming at yourself and the situation.
More...from Training Peaks.
7. Study: when should you stop strength training ahead of your goal race?
Research says reducing or eliminating your strength workouts ahead of race day may improve performance
triathlon regime can improve your running performance, but as you approach your goal race, too much strength work can do more harm than good. Research has shown that reducing or completely eliminating strength training from your routine in the days and weeks leading up to a race can benefit performance, but is there a sweet spot? That answer is less clear.
In this 2021 study published in the journal Sports, researchers had eight runners follow an eight-week training program that included either plyometric or dynamic strength training alongside their running routine. After the eight-week period, the runners stopped strength training for four weeks. The participants performed a series of tests before the study, after the eight-week training protocol and after the four-week cessation period. These tests included an energy cost of running (Cr) test, a VO2 max test, a lower-body maximal power test, countermovement jumps and a 3,000 m time trial.
More...from Triathlon Magazine Canada.
8. Brief exercise after 70 can ward off heart disease:
It only takes 20 minutes a day, says study — but start early.
It is better late than never. Twenty minutes of exercise a day after the age of 70 can help to ward off heart disease, research has found.
A study said people in their seventies who did 20 minutes’ exercise a day had significantly lower rates of heart disease than those who were inactive. The benefits were more apparent among those in their early seventies.
The researchers, led by Claudio Barbiellini Amidei, from the University of Padua, found that consistently high levels of physical activity were associated with a 52 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular disease among men compared with those who had consistently low exercise patterns.
More...from The Times.
9. Exercising right after vaccination can boost immune response:
New research from Iowa State University has found a long bout of moderately intense exercise following COVID-19 or influenza vaccination can amplify the body’s immune response. The study showed 90 minutes of exercise immediately after vaccination increased antibody responses four weeks later.
The relationship between exercise and general health is so obvious that it is barely worth mentioning. But, investigations into exactly how exercise improves our health have yielded some fascinating studies over the past few years, from the way exercise helps the body kill cancer cells to the anti-inflammatory proteins released during physical activity that can prevent cognitive decline.
More...from New Atlas.
10. The Science of Endurance: Fuel & Hydration:
Prof. Ross Tucker and sports journalist Mike Finch break down the various forms of energy the body uses, how they work, how we fuel them and when to use what. Plus learn to decipher the ingredients in energy supplements, understand why carbs are still king and how best to train your body to become an efficient endurance machine. A must-listen for any endurance athlete.
Listen to the podcast on Science of Sport.
11. Will Running Make Me Better at Sex?
An experienced physician and marathoner answers questions you’re embarrassed to ask about running and sex
Running is a journey of discovery. Not just of running routes and new places but of your own human body.
Over the years as a runner, family doctor, coach, and health expert for magazines and online communities, I have been asked literally hundreds of running-related health questions. In my book Run Well, I provide straightforward, science-based answers to many of them. Excerpted here are a few about sex and fertility that many are embarrassed to ask.
Will running improve sexual performance?
Studies on sexual performance rely on surveys and self-reporting, so there is always the risk that people don’t give accurate answers to questions about their sex lives and exercise habits. One of the larger, more recent studies carried out by the University of California in 2019 surveyed around 3,900 men and 2,200 women with an average age of over 40 to determine whether more cardiovascular activity (running, cycling, and swimming) each week reduced the likelihood of sexual problems. It found that men doing more cardio exercise each week reported less erectile dysfunction and women exercising more vigorously suffered less sexual dysfunction, too, with easier arousal and better orgasm satisfaction.
More...from OUtside Online.
12. Running’s Cultural Reckoning Is Long Overdue:
Since Mary Cain spoke out about the Nike Oregon Project in 2019, a growing wave of young runners have come forward with their own allegations of negligent coaching and toxic team cultures across the sport
Hannah Whetzel couldn’t sit down. When she did, pain radiated everywhere. So the then junior at the University of Arizona stood. She stood during the four-hour bus ride to Flagstaff for the team’s first cross-country meet of the 2017 season. She stood at breakfast. And she stood any time she wasn’t driving or in class.
The problem started in her hamstring while at preseason running camp. She notified her coaches during the first week of school, but she says they didn’t seem too concerned. At times Whetzel broke down crying due to the intense pain—sometimes in front of her coaches, sometimes alone in her car. But she kept running and racing. Oddly, it didn’t hurt when she ran hard workouts. It was as if her body’s circuitry misfired, holding off the searing sensation until the endorphins faded. Since she was a non-scholarship member of the team, she felt like she had no wiggle room to disappoint her coaches. Finally, in February 2018, Whetzel got an MRI, which revealed a partially torn hamstring and tendinosis. After receiving two platelet-rich plasma-therapy injections, Whetzel was left to rehabilitate on her own with little direction from athletic trainers or support from her coaches. “I felt incredibly alone and isolated,” she says.
More...from Outside Online.
13. Your Body Knows You’re Burned Out:
Here’s how to recognize the physical symptoms of work-related stress — and what to do about them.
Dr. Jessi Gold, a psychiatrist at Washington University in St. Louis, knows she’s edging toward burnout when she wakes up, feels instantly angry at her email inbox and doesn’t want to get out of bed. It’s perhaps not surprising that a mental health professional who is trying to stem the rising tide of burnout could burn out sometimes, too. After all, the phenomenon has practically become ubiquitous in our culture.
In a 2021 survey of 1,500 U.S. workers, more than half said they were feeling burned out as a result of their job demands, and a whopping 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in December in what has come to be known as the “great resignation.” When people think of burnout, mental and emotional symptoms such as feelings of helplessness and cynicism often come to mind. But burnout can lead to physical symptoms as well, and experts say it can be wise to look out for the signs and take steps when you notice them.
More...from the New York Times*.
14. How to Survive the Most Frigid Winter Runs :
Get the formula right and you'll never have to resort to the treadmill again.
The recent frigid temperatures hovering over the Northeast meant that my New Year’s Eve run was (as I noted on Twitter) a “three-sock run.” I was surprised to discover that quite a few people—even men—couldn’t figure out where the third sock would go. It was a reminder that dressing for winter running is an art born of hard-earned experience. Forget the third sock once and you’ll never forget it again.
In the ensuing conversation, a few people asked whether I’d written any articles about the science of exercising in cold weather. I have—but the truth is that heat has received far more attention from exercise physiologists than cold. That’s partly because exercise itself produces heat that exacerbates the effects of hot weather and counteracts the effects of cold weather. Like an internal combustion engine, your body is 20 to 25 percent efficient at converting stored fuel energy into motion—so cycling at 250 watts generates about 1,000 watts of “waste” heat, while running six-minute miles produces about 1,500 watts.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
15. What Runners Should Know About Donating Blood:
Donating blood is an easy way to make a huge difference in someone else’s life. Here’s what runners should keep in mind.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the American Red Cross reported a shortage of donated blood. While that initial shortage eventually eased, the organization reported an even more critical need for blood last month—the worst shortage in a decade. With staffing vacancies, the onset of the annual flu in addition to COVID-19, and winter weather limitations, some hospitals have reported having only a one-day supply of blood for patients who need it.
In a time when donors are needed so urgently, should runners roll up their sleeves? Read on for what athletes should keep in mind when it comes to donating blood.
How Donating Blood Works
When you arrive at a blood drive, your blood pressure and temperature will be taken, and you’ll be asked a series of questions about your medical history, travel, medications, and sexual history. These are confidential and designed to ensure that you haven’t been exposed to things like HIV, hepatitis or other blood borne illnesses. A phlebotomist will test your hemoglobin level with a small blood sample from your fingertip. (Hemoglobin is a protein responsible for transporting iron and oxygen through your body, so if that test result is too low, you won’t be allowed to donate that day.)
More...from Women's Running.