1. Altra Vanish Carbon Review: Zero Drop, Drop Top, Carbitex Plate for the Pop Pop:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 7.9 oz. (225 g.) for a US M10 / 7.1 oz. (201 g.) for a US W7.5
Altra’s first crack at a carbon-plated racer, and it better not be the last
EGO Pro foam: Stiff in the hand, sublime on the foot
The upper might be a downer, but overall its a winner
Available now for $240
THOMAS: My relationship with Altra (before the Vanish Carbon) has been hard to grasp. I remember when their first shoe came out and hearing the brand’s origin story. Regardless of what you may think of their shoes, Altra’s mission has always been to help runners get a better experience through its footwear. That sounds like our goal here at Believe in the Run, though we achieve it by testing gear and giving honest feedback to consumers with the hope that we can get runners into the best product for their needs.
Altra started by modifying other brands’ shoes to make them better for their running store clientele. Its technique for creating zero drop shoes (now called “balanced”) was to cut wedges out of existing ones and melt them back together. Why zero drop? Altra values natural movement and is all about not interfering with the way our feet have evolved. Then, Altra decided to widen the toe box and make the shoes more “foot-shaped.” Over the years, Altra has developed nicely and gained a shit ton of loyalists. The story is a good case study of how a company can stick to its founding principles and succeed in a competitive market.
More...from Belive in the Run.
2.How to Nail Your Marathon Recovery With Nutrition, Rest, and Mobility:
Wondering what you’re supposed to do after your marathon? Here’s how to recover like a pro.
When training for a marathon, your physical and mental preparation is probably solely fixed on getting you to the start line and then doing your best over the next 26.2 miles. But as important as this is, it’s all too easy to cross the finish line, collapse in a heap, and have no plan for recovering. As a result, it will take your body and brain longer to restore itself and repair the damage from those thousands of foot strikes. In this article, I’ll share some tips that will hopefully help you go into your race with not only a pacing strategy for the actual event, but also a blueprint for what comes next.
What to Eat and Drink After a Marathon
Back when I interviewed Stacy Sims for my book Waterman 2.0, she told me that post-race hydration in any sport should be divided into two categories: the two-hour window right after you cross the finish line followed by the rest of the evening and the next day. For the former, you need to replenish fluids and electrolytes depleted during the marathon. Sure, sports drinks, goos, and gels are one way to do this, but beware products that are high in sugar, as this can upset your stomach. Instead, go for something with a lower glycemic index rating, like Momentous Hydrate.
More...from Trianing Peaks.
3. One Part of Your Life You Shouldn’t Optimize:
In a recent conversation with a colleague, the topic of Zoom came up, and I pointed out that the advantage of socializing with friends on video is the ability to simply say goodbye and X out of the conversation — no need for lingering or superfluous pleasantries. My colleague laughed and remarked: “Even better: Stay on a free Zoom trial! This way, it kicks you off after 40 minutes, regardless of what is happening.”
And she’s right: Pandemic-era socializing can be incredibly efficient. But maybe — hear me out — efficiency shouldn’t be the main goal when it comes to friendship? Intimate relationships take time to build and their benefits are not measurable, at least not in immediate and quantifiable ways.
More...from the New Yorl Times.
4. The art of middle-distance running:
Andy Young, coach to Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir and Olympian Jemma Reekie, outlines what is involved in tackling disciplines from 800m to 3000m.
Middle-distance running is a balance of several different elements. These include three types of running – endurance, speed and speed endurance – plus strength and conditioning and technique. That is universal. Everyone at every level can learn to improve their performance by improving each of the different elements.
Anyone can run
In essence, everyone can become a distance runner of some sort and improve substantially by training, but the level reached will be mainly determined by natural ability. Distance running is perhaps more welcoming than, say, sprinting which relies more on whether you have fast-twitch muscle fibres.
You don’t have to be super skinny to be a distance runner. If you are going to be the very best in the world – that top 0.001 per cent – then the power to weight ratio is going to have to be on target but generally in middle-distance running there’s more scope for different types of body shape.
More...from Athletics Weekly.
5. ‘You Don’t Necessarily Hit Your Limit at Any Given Age’:
After taking breaks from the sport, Natasha Wodak, 40, and Malindi Elmore, 42, expect to be in the mix among the elites at the Boston Marathon.
BOSTON — Last summer, Natasha Wodak exceeded her expectations when she pushed through molten conditions to place 13th in the women’s marathon at the Tokyo Olympics, finishing not far behind Malindi Elmore, her Canadian teammate, in ninth. At the time, Wodak considered the possibility that her run through the streets of Sapporo signified the end of her career. Perhaps, she thought, it was the right moment to move on. A two-time Olympian, she was a few months from turning 40. And her life in the sport had been fulfilling.
But when Wodak shared her feelings with Elmore, her plans suddenly changed.
“No, we’re going to try to do Paris,” Elmore told her, referring to the 2024 Olympic Games.
Wodak laughed last week as she recalled their conversation.
“I was just like, ‘OK!’” she said. “Malindi is so confident that we don’t have an expiry date. So I’m going to keep going until I can’t anymore.”
On Monday, Wodak, 40, and Elmore, 42, will be together again, on the start line for the Boston Marathon. Their paths have been intertwined for decades, dating to when they were teenagers competing for secondary school championships in British Columbia. Now, they are two of the women who are proving, again, that marathoners of a more refined vintage can compete at the highest level.
More...from the New York Times.
6.. Andy Blow, Co-Founder of Precision Hydration On Hydration And Fueling Needs and Sweat Rate Calculation For Endurance Athletes:
Andy Blow, the Co-Founder of Precision Fuel & Hydration, is a Sports Scientist with a degree in Sports and Exercise Science from the University of Bath. In this episode of Run with Fitpage, Andy talks about hydration and fueling with our host Vikas Singh.
00:26 - About this episode
04:08 - Welcome Andy to the show!
05:25 - Andy talks about himself
08:00 - Hydration requirement for runners in addition to water
11:23 - How should runners work on their sweat replenishment?
18:40 - Hydrating in hot and humid conditions
26:30 - How should people deal with hypernatremia?
30:03 - How should a beginner fuel themselves in their first race?
34:09 - How can a runner know that week after week before a race, they are getting dehydrated?
43:11 - Andy's advice to runners
Listen to the podcast from: Precision Hydration.
7. Should you be training in a fasted state?
f you hang around with endurance athletes for long enough, you’re likely to meet men who openly talk about shaving their legs and you’ll almost certainly hear some chat about ‘fasted training’, ‘training low’ or ‘fat burning sessions’.
What do these phrases actually mean? Whilst the exact techniques and strategies may differ slightly, they all essentially focus on deliberately limiting carbohydrate intake before or during workouts in the hope that this will increase positive training adaptations…
Why might you train fasted?
Deliberately depriving yourself of calories in the build-up to endurance exercise seems counterintuitive, especially to those of us who’ve been schooled on the importance of carb loading for peak performance. After all, fueling adequately is a proven strategy to maximise training or racing intensity and to enhance recovery.
More...from Precision Hydration.
8. A look inside the Call Room:
Before stepping out into an arena to compete, the final stage athletes have to negotiate is the Call Room. Verity Ockenden writes about a space which can either make – or break – your performance
Log your 10,000 hours, eat well, sleep well, break the bank for the shoes if you must, but come “squeaky bum” time all can be won or lost in the final quarter of an hour before the gun fires. The last frontier, the space in which the only variables left are entirely down to you and your competitors and how you react to the situation you find yourselves in, is the often-dreaded Call Room.
The mere crackle of peeling paper as hip numbers are slapped on to sweating skin charges the room with an unavoidable electricity – whether you choose to catch a gaze or avoid it, to crack a joke or to remain aloof. This is a place within which the closest of bonds and the fiercest of rivalries between athletes are forged, and you never quite know what you’ll be faced with until you cross that threshold.
More...from Athletics Weekly.
9. There’s New Data on How Your Arm Swing Affects Running :
You can’t run fast without using your arms—or can you?
In the fourth century B.C., the Greek philosopher Aristotle laid down some key principles of running form. “Runners run faster if they swing their arms,” he wrote. “There is in extending the arms a kind of leaning against the hands and wrists.” Modern coaches explain it a little differently, but they still generally believe that pumping your arms is an important key to running fast.
Scientists, on the other hand, have had a harder time agreeing on exactly why we swing our arms, and whether there are specific ways we can use our arms to speed ourselves up. The latest addition to a century’s worth of often conflicting research appears in the journal Gait & Posture, from Lance Brooks, a doctoral student at Southern Methodist University, along with Peter Weyand of SMU and Kenneth Clark of West Chester University.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
10. Can “Aging Clocks” Accurately Predict How Long You’re Going to Live?
Scientists are developing ways to find the difference between your chronological and biological age.
It’s common for us to sigh in disbelief when someone dies at what we perceive as a premature age. We say, “57? Oh, man. He was so young. That’s really sad.”
But that line of thinking presupposes that one’s chronological age is the ultimate indicator of one’s longevity. In reality, birth date might not matter nearly as much as your behaviors — how you work, how you eat, how you sleep. One’s lifestyle produces the more accurate biological age. The late 57-year-old might have had the epigenetic markers of a 75-year-old.
How to zero in on that number, though? Aging clocks, which were recently voted a top breakthrough by readers of MIT Technology Review, look for patterns in the DNA of your vital organs, in order to assess how much they’ve “degraded.” Some clocks are designed to figure out exactly how much your body’s already aged, while others look to express the pace of your aging. In the last few years, hundreds of these tools have emerged from labs across the world, though there isn’t yet a definitive agreement on which method is most effective.
12. Improve your aerobic threshold with this pyramid tempo workout:
Switch up your workouts this spring with this pyramid progression tempo designed to get your legs moving.
Albert Einstein once said, “If you do the same things as everyone else, you will have the same results as everyone else.” Instead of doing a steady tempo over a certain amount of time, switch things up by breaking up the interval and speed on each rep. A tempo workout is a slight injection of speed that you can run at a comfortable level. A previous coach once told me that if you can’t answer a question or talk without feeling fatigued, then you are going too fast.
Switch up your workouts this spring/summer with this pyramid progression tempo designed to get your legs moving and help build your aerobic endurance, so that when you run your next race, you’ve got an extra gear when you need it.
More...from Canadian Running Magazine.
13. RESISTANCE PROFILE: Canada’s Coach Blade – a leader in the race to save women’s sports:
Tireless in her defence of women athletes against ideological cheaters, Canadian sport-performance coach Dr. Linda Blade isn’t about to let a man’s win of the 2022 NCAA Women’s 500-yard freestyle swim slow her down.
A champion in her own right (Canadian national champion, women’s heptathlon, 1986), Coach Blade has helped athletes improve their performance in more than 15 sports, including NHL hockey and Olympic skating. With World Athletics in the 1990s, Linda educated coaches in the Middle East, including Iran, where she delivered a ground-breaking course for female coaches. Coach Blade also holds a PhD in Kinesiology. Her thesis on growth and development of children informs her coaching, writing and advocacy today.
Analyzing and critiquing sport policy as well as sport performance is entirely within Linda’s lane. She has served as the president of Athletics Alberta since first being elected to the position in 2014. It is in this position that Linda is now racing against the clock to persuade her sport governance colleagues and the decision makers at Athletics Canada, the national track and field organization, that its draft new policy on gender diversity and inclusion in Canadian track and field needs to be thrown into the deep end of the pool.
More...from Gender Dissent.
14. Strength Training: Why All Endurance Athletes Should Go to the Gym:
Improving your economy — the ability to sustain a given power at a certain VO2 value — should be one of your top training priorities. Here’s how strength training at the gym will make you a more powerful and economical endurance athlete.
Despite much evidence supporting the profound benefits of strength training for endurance athletes, year-round strength training is not commonplace in many athlete’s programs. As a coach, I always want to explain the ‘why’ to my athletes before prescribing anything. Outlined below are just a few of the reasons why you definitely should go to the gym year-round.
More Than Just VO2 max
Early research in endurance performance found that the fastest runners had the highest VO2 max values relative to bodyweight. Since that time, VO2 max has been enshrined as the most important metric for performance in many people’s eyes. Of course, it is true that a Tour de France winner must have an exceptionally high VO2 max. However, more recent research has shown that VO2 max is not the most accurate predictor of performance.
This notion is most relevant for experienced endurance athletes. If everyone on the start line has been training for many years and has similar VO2 max values, what really sets them apart? What has become clear is that it is not just how much oxygen you can consume, but how effectively you can use that oxygen during exercise. For this reason, economy has been shown to be a very important metric for performance.
More...from Training Peaks.
15. How Your Female Sex Hormones Affect HRV:
Why your recovery scores may not be what they seem depending on y
Many women tell me that they use heart rate variability (HRV)—the variance in time between beats of your heart—for tracking recovery. HRV is the metric that Whoop Strap, Oura Ring, and other recovery tracking devices use to tell you how rested or ready you are. It’s a good indicator, but, like many physiological factors, female hormones affect it, so that number is not telling you the whole story—and sometimes it’s telling a false story.
Your HRV is the result of the interplay between the parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) and sympathetic (fight-or-flight) branches of your autonomic nervous system. It describes the variability in the time between your heartbeats. When your HRV increases, that means your body is resilient to stress. When it decreases, you have less stress resilience.
Sounds straightforward—until you factor in sex hormones. Estrogen tends to increase vagal tone (i.e., the ability of your ventral vagal nerve to regulate your heartbeat), which is what devices measure to give you HRV. Progesterone, though “calming” in the brain, has the opposite effect on the vagal nerve and overrides estrogen’s effect on increasing vagal tone. In naturally cycling women, when progesterone goes up, estrogen is still there, but progesterone is the dominant hormone, decreasing vagal tone. When progesterone drops, estrogen becomes the dominant hormone, which increases vagal tone.
More...from Dr. Stacy Sims.