1. HOKA Speedgoat 5 Review: Still the GOAT:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 10.3 oz. (291 g.) for a US M9 / 8.5 oz. (242 g.) for a US W7.5
We’re in love from top to bottom
The jacquard mesh upper feels like a hug in all the right ways
This version puts the GOAT in Speedgoat
Available for $145 on March 15, 2022
TAYLOR: It’s my genuine hope that what I’m about to say won’t destroy my reputation as a trail reviewer. Alright, here goes. I had never run in the HOKA Speedgoat. There, I said it. However, the Speedgoat remains the shoe I’m asked the most questions about by far — even more than the Speedland SL:PDX.
After all, HOKA has built quite the legacy of this marquis trail shoe. The Speedgoat has a lot of promising aspects, like a high stack for cushion, a slightly different midsole durometer, off-road grip, and a locked-in fit. It also has plenty of range, as we often see HOKA pros using it for anything from Western States and UTMB to the Speedgoat 50k.
More...from Believe in the Run.
2. 5 Ways to Mentally Prepare For Your Next Race:
Racing can be a scary thing. Use these tips to make sure you're mentally prepared before the gun goes off in your next race. .
Running a race can be a scary thing. Whether you’re toeing the line for your first 10K, or an elite level marathoner trying to qualify for the Olympic Trials, knowing that you’re about to push your body’s limits is reasonable cause for anxiety at any level. How do you mentally prepare for the coming pain and effort of the race? Longer long runs and faster track workouts may increase your lung capacity and your leg strength, but how can your brain make the most out of all the work you’ve put in?
Here are five tips from top coaches and sport psychologists on how to mentally prepare to race your best when the gun goes off.
1. Boost your confidence through visualization.
“The human brain is strange in that instead of always looking to build up confidence, we seem to have a tendency to focus on the negative. Runners often can have 100 good workouts and one bad [workout] yet they will focus on that one bad one and let it erode their confidence for race day,” says coach Greg McMillan, founder of McMillan Running. “Successful athletes develop strategies to boost self-confidence, defeat negative thoughts and keep the positive ‘I can do it’ attitude more often. Formulate a picture of success on race day. They then replay this scenario over and over across the training plan and even come up with how they will deal with other scenarios that may come up so that race day, they are prepared for anything and can have a successful race.”
More...from (Outside Online.
3. Comments on “Transgender Athlete Inclusion: A Scientific Review”
Recently, a document entitled “Transgender Athlete Inclusion: A Scientific Review” was produced by an organisation known as E.Alliance, which calls itself a “Research Hub for Gender and Equity in Sport”, for the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES). CCES has form for presenting severely flawed material of this sort, but this one is the sort of document for which the term egregious exists: it is not just egregiously bad; it would not surprise me if it was actionable for slander. Moreover, given that the report has no attributed authors, and lists no source of funding, it is an affront to scholarship, to science, to sport, and to reasoned debate. It is an object of shame.
Details, then. The primary complaint of this document is that concentrating on the biomedical approach to the problem of the inclusion of transwomen in sport excludes sociological considerations. I should note that the authors (whoever they are) never actually defend the (presumed) primacy of these considerations; it seems not to occur to them that these are perhaps different disciplinary approaches that might each have distinct aims and value in approaching a complex question, or that they might have distinct fields of application. Thus, one might think the separation of distinct types of question to be appropriate, rather than a problem. It makes sense to ask whether female bodies are taken seriously or whether, e.g., heart function/disease manifests the same way in both sexes. But that is at least in part because we need to be able to make fact-based studies of how specific developmental or biological processes actually work, like: how dense is this bone, and why might that matter, before asking what social processes might affect its owner’s development. If we can’t do that, there is little point to any research about the material world. If we can’t have knowledge about material reality independent of social or linguistic confabulations, i.e., some variety of group mediated idealism, why bother whether the science is right at all? But it does seem odd to deliver the criticism that the authors do about the exclusion of sociology from science while never at any point presenting any of this vital sociological literature or presenting an actual argument for the position. If the complaint is that the science is bad because it isn’t sufficiently sociologically informed, we should expect to see (1) some theoretical underpinning for that claim, (2) an analysis of that literature, and (3) a detailed examination and defence of its relevance. None is provided.
More...Leslie A. Howe.
4. How Much Will Hitting the Wall Hurt Your Marathon Time?
New big-data study digs into hitting the wall in the marathon, revealing who is most likely to crash, when, and how much it will cost you.
A massive new analysis of marathon splits and finish times provides us with more information on “hitting the wall” than anything previously published. It also answers some questions we have never thought to ask before.
Ireland’s Barry Smyth became interested in marathon data about five years ago. Since then, he has published a handful of big-data articles analyzing performances and even the training behind performance. He has summarized some of this work in nontechnical articles at Medium.com. Smyth is director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at University College Dublin.
In his new paper, “How recreational marathon runners hit the wall: A large-scale analysis of late-race pacing collapse in the marathon,” Smyth dug into an astonishing 4.1 million marathon performances achieved by 2.7 million different runners from 2005 to 2019. For each performance, he collected every 5K split (8 of them per marathon), plus the final 2.195K split. The paper is published by PLOS One and is available in free, full-text form.
More...from Outside Onine.
5. 7 Good Reasons for Runners to Start Tracking Their Periods:
These pros and coaches have learned to use menstrual cycles to their advantage—here’s what they recommend.
Most runners keep tabs on stats like their mileage, paces, and heart rate; some are even diving in to glucose monitoring. But increasingly, both elite and everyday athletes who menstruate are plugging yet another crucial bit of data into their training logs: the timing of their cycle. And, they’re talking a lot more openly about what it means to track your period.
For Boulder, Colorado–based coach Jessica Broderick, the conversation about menstruation represents a welcome shift. When she competed as a pro triathlete from 2013 to 2018, few of her fellow competitors discussed their periods. Those who did mainly celebrated being lean enough not to have them, a mindset she now knows is extremely unhealthy.
More...from Women's Running.
6. What Marathoners (and Badminton Players) Think About:
A new study explores how inner monologue varies between sports, situations, and experience levels.
few years ago, I gave a talk on the brain’s role in physical limits to a group of star prospects from my hometown baseball club, the Toronto Blue Jays. One of the topics I discussed was self-talk, which in the endurance world is basically the idea that telling yourself “You can do this!” will lead to better outcomes than “I suck and should give up.” Afterwards, a mental skills coach from the team’s vaunted High Performance Department pointed out something obvious: psyching yourself up so that you’re ready to chew nails and spit fire doesn’t necessarily help you connect with a 90-mile-per-hour fastball.
Self-talk, it turns out, is a much broader and more nuanced phenomenon than just telling yourself that you can do it. According to one estimate, we spend about a quarter of our waking hours talking to ourselves, so it’s not surprising that the purposes of that inner monologue can vary. In sports, one of the key distinctions is between motivational (you can do it!) and instructional (keep your eye on the ball!) self-talk.
More...from Sweta Science on Outside Online.
7. Your Brain Fatigues First In Running. Cycling? It’s Your Muscles:
New study uses electrical stimulation to test runners and cyclists pre- and post-exhaustion—the results were surprising. What does this mean for triathletes?
Every sport has specialized training, specialized gear, specialized nutrition. Heck, every niche of every sport is specialized—the training an 800-meter runner does is worlds away from that of a marathoner. Yet, the science of fatigue to date has been one-size-fits-all.
While the outward manifestation of fatigue—the reduction in force of muscle contraction—is universal, it turns out the reasons that fatigue accrue are different in different sports. Guillaume Millet, professor of exercise physiology at Jean Monnet University (St-Etienne, France), recently published a study on those differing mechanisms of fatigue in running versus cycling.
8. The Secrets to Successful Aging in 2022:
Advice from Well’s most popular stories of the year.
Looking for ways to grow old gracefully? Over the past year, Well’s columnists have reported on how to keep your mind and body healthy over time. Here are some of their top insights from the most popular stories published in 2021.
1. For successful aging, recognize one’s issues and adapt accordingly.
So said Jane Brody, our Personal Health columnist, after she turned 80 this spring. Inspired by Steven Petrow’s book, “Stupid Things I Won’t Do When I Get Old,” Ms. Brody took an inventory of her own life and decided what she no longer needed to do (color her hair; talk about aches and pains to anyone who will listen) and what she is unwilling to give up (walking her dog in the woods). “Sooner or later, we all must recognize what is no longer possible and find alternatives,” Ms. Brody wrote. In her case, that has meant giving up ice skating, but still taking 10-mile bike rides.
More...from the New York Times.
9. Trans athletes have no place in women’s sport:
The febrile transgender debate tends to unite politicians only in their quest to obfuscate the truth. But at last we have a prime minister who is willing to be honest with the public. It’s not Boris Johnson — not yet, anyway — but Scott Morrison who has thrown caution to the wind. The Australian PM has declared that trans sheilas are not sheilas. Not in sport, anyway.
Sport focuses the mind because sport concerns the body, and male and female bodies are not the same. Last year in Tokyo, the female Olympic weightlifting competition was overshadowed by the presence of Laurel Hubbard, born male. Hubbard won nothing but the transgender swimmer Lia Thomas is smashing records in the pool, leaving women to compete for second place.
The future looks bleak for women in sport. Trying harder is not an option when your rival has the advantage of male puberty. Testosterone leaves a legacy that cannot be erased: larger muscle mass and stronger bones, not to mention a skeleton that never developed to carry children.
More...from The Times.
10.Runner’s High: Can Marijuana Enhance Your Running Performance?
Cannabis may not make you faster, but the science says the herb can provide benefits during light aerobic exercise and recovery.
Weed has made headline news over the past week for barring American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, who would have been a contender for the 100-meter gold medal in Tokyo, from competing in the Olympic Games. Although there is no evidence that it’s a performance enhancing drug, THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, is listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned substance list as a substance of abuse along with heroin, cocaine, and MDMA. (For those curious, here’s the Agency’s reasoning.)
Though there are strong arguments to be made that WADA shouldn’t be testing for marijuana consumption, if you are an elite athlete it’s best to avoid the the herb during competition. But because THC is only tested for and prohibited in-competition, in the context of training alone athletes can legally use cannabis in regions where it is, of course, legal. (At this point, 19 states plus Washington D.C. and Guam have legalized the recreational use of cannabis and another 36 states having legalized it for medical use.)
More...from Outside Online.
11. Cold Water Plunges Are Trendy. Can They Really Reduce Anxiety and Depression?
Early research suggests this age-old practice might benefit mental health, but more research is needed.
In a TikTok video from January, self-help author Mel Robbins held a hammer in 12-degree weather in her backyard in Vermont. “We’re about to do the cold plunge,” she said to the camera, after breaking through a layer of ice on the surface of a barrel to expose the water below. She then climbed into the barrel and, taking a deep breath, sank into the water chest deep.
Ms. Robbins took up the Wim Hof method, which pairs cold exposure with breathing and meditation, to help manage anxiety and stress. The frigid water brings on what feels like a panic attack at first, she said in a recent interview. But eventually, her body relaxes and her mind quiets. “The water is still cold but your anxiety response is gone,” she said.
More...from the New York Times.
12. A New Theory on Sudden Cardiac Deaths in Young Athletes :
The genes that make some people vulnerable to a fatal heart stoppage may be the same ones that give them an athletic edge, researchers suggest.
There’s been plenty of debate in recent years about heart health in endurance athletes. The current evidence, as I see it, suggests that it’s very, very unlikely that years of training for marathons will eventually damage your heart. But there’s another angle to this issue that’s often ignored: young, seemingly healthy athletes who drop dead during marathons or basketball games or soccer matches.
For these young athletes, their deaths have nothing to do with years of accumulated wear and tear. Instead, the most common cause of death is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, a genetic condition leading to thickened and abnormal heart walls that are more susceptible to triggering fatal arrhythmias. Researchers now have a pretty good handle on how and why this happens (for more background, check out David Epstein’s classic 2007 piece for Sports Illustrated), but several mysteries remain.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
13. Exercise Can Build Up Your Brain. Air Pollution May Negate Those Benefits:
People who worked out in even moderately polluted air did not show the kinds of brain improvements tied to a lower risk of dementia.
Work out in polluted air and you may miss out on some of the brain benefits of exercise, according to two, large-scale new studies of exercise, air quality and brain health. The studies, which involved tens of thousands of British men and women, found that, most of the time, people who ran and rode vigorously had larger brain volumes and lower risks for dementia than their less active peers. But if people exercised in areas with even moderate levels of air pollution, the expected brain improvements from exercise almost disappeared.
The new studies raise questions about how to balance the undeniable health gains of working out with the downsides of breathing in bad air and underscore that our environment can change what exercise does — and does not do — for our bodies.
More...from the New York Times.
14. adidas Build Statues in Honour of Female Athletes and Changemakers:
More female representation on the streets of London courtesy of adidas
The Three Stripes have immortalized their commitment to grow and support women’s sport by unveiling a series of statues representing several trailblazers in the worlds of football, basketball, dance and rugby.
Arsenal and Netherlands’ striker Vivianne Miedema, former Lioness and Angel City Technical Director Eniola Aluko and Goals4Girls Founder Francesca Brown are some of the individuals fronting this empowering campaign focused around sports bras.
As part of adidas’ latest Bra Collection launch, research highlighted how few women were ‘awarded’ statues in London. According to their findings, the Capital has more monuments of men (21%) and animals (8%) than it does of women (4%).
15. The Case For (and Against) Polarized Training:
A popular training rule for endurance athletes faces scrutiny from skeptical scientists.
The first rule of scientific fight club is that you have to agree on what you’re fighting about. A newly published debate on the merits of polarized training in endurance athletes, in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, flunks this test. That’s actually a good thing, because the failure to disagree suggests that there might be some broad training principles that just about everyone in the field can get behind.
The concept of polarized training emerged about 20 years ago, thanks primarily to an American-born researcher in Norway named Stephen Seiler. It began as an observation about how elite endurance athletes in the modern era tend to spend their training hours: a huge amount of low intensity, a small amount of high intensity, and very little in the middle. That missing middle is why it’s called polarized: most of the training is at the low or high extremes of intensity.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.