1. Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% 2: First Thoughts After Running In The Shoe:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 8.8 oz. (250 g) for a US M10.5
Wider heel allows for more stability
Additional foam under the Zoom Air pods (drop is also 8mm instead of 4mm)
Upgraded Atomknit 2.0 upper with more padding under the laces
Is this the Alphafly for all?
Available July 2022 for $275
When we broke the patent of the original Alphafly right before Eliud Kipchoge’s INEOS 1:59 project a couple years ago, it sent shockwaves through the run industry. What was this shoe with a huge-ass midsole, dual airbags, and one, possibly two– maybe even three!– carbon plates? After all, the patent had all of those designs.
The final version of the Alphafly was, of course, much more shoe-like and less trampoline-like, but nevertheless, it was a revolution in running. And nothing spoke to that revolution more than Kipchoge taking to the streets in Austria as he became the first human to run a sub-2-hour marathon. Since then, Kipchoge has oscillated between the Alphafly and the Vaporfly on race day (he wore the Vaporfly for both his Tokyo Games and Tokyo Marathon wins), but the Alphafly has stood on plenty of podiums on other athletes’ feet.
For the Believe in the Run team, the Alphafly has been the race day shoe of choice for most of us since its inception. Meg has consistently lowered her marathon PR to 2:49 and swears by the Alphafly on race day, while Brandon cruised to a 2:41 in his debut marathon wearing the shoe. So obviously we were incredibly excited to see what has changed or what hasn’t, in this genre-defining shoe.
More...from Belive in the Run.
2. Why You’re Tired All the Time:
Fatigue, writes our columnist, comes in two very different flavors, and fixing each requires a completely different approach.
One of my coaching clients, who I’ll call Jenny, is a 39-year-old entrepreneur. Lately, she’s been struggling with fatigue, nothing too severe but a general sense of exhaustion, or, in her words, “not feeling as sharp and energetic as I’d like.” The first solution that comes to mind is simple: rest. But what if she tries resting and still feels sluggish?
Jenny’s situation is not uncommon. It illustrates what I’ve come to think of as the difference between two types of fatigue:
When your mind-body system is truly tired, or what I’ll call real fatigue.
When your mind-body system is tricking you into feeling tired because you’re in a rut, or what I’ll call fake fatigue.
It’s important to differentiate between these two sensations, because the response each requires couldn’t be more different. The former calls for shutting things down and resting. The latter calls for nudging yourself in the direction of action, not taking the sensation of exhaustion too seriously but, rather, working your way out.
More...from Outside Online.
3. Women-Specific Strategies to Train and Compete in the Heat:
Race day temperatures are rising. Here’s what active women need to know.
As I write this, race season is underway in the Northern Hemisphere and temperatures are climbing as much as 20 degrees above average across a large swath of the U.S. As sweltering weather becomes the norm, it’s increasingly important for women to learn how to work with their physiology to keep their cool, stay safe, and perform their best in the heat.
It won’t surprise anyone reading this that women have different needs than men when it comes to training and competing in the heat. For one, research suggests that though both sexes see their core body temperature rise when they get dehydrated during exercise, women’s cores may get hotter at a lower level of dehydration because they start out with a lower volume of body water than men do; and have a more rapid rise of core temperature in the early stages of exercise.
Men also have a higher overall sweating capacity, which appears to be an advantage in hot and dry conditions, where sweat evaporates and helps keep you cool quickly, but a disadvantage in hot and humid conditions, where they end up with what’s called “wasted sweating,” where you’re pouring sweat, but it’s not evaporating or cooling you. Women, who have and use more sweat glands, but generally sweat less and “waste” less sweat, are better equipped to tolerate hot and humid conditions.
More...from Dr. Stacey Sims.
4. Five Great Exercises That Relieve Tight Hips:
These simple moves will help address the surrounding musculature of your hips, increasing strength and mobility for the long run.
The demands of training paired with time at a desk can leave many of us with tight hips. Tight hips manifest in many ways, from back and knee pain to decreased power and performance in your chosen discipline. The exercises below will help increase strength and mobility in your hips, helping negate those desk-hours and relieving any tightness or pain.
Exercise #1: Deep Ab Exercise
Endurance athletes could possibly benefit the most from this first exercise for two reasons: (1) This exercise focuses on relaxing the diaphragm and (2) it facilitates stimulation of the deep abdominals. As endurance athletes we love to take big inhales (diaphragm contracting) but we also don’t like to exhale (diaphragm relaxing and deep abs working). This can create hip and low back problems. The diaphragm actually shares an attachment to the low back with a hip flexor called the psoas (both have attachments on vertebrae L1-L3). This means what happens to one of these muscles will probably affect the other. The takeaway: If you want to relax your hip flexors, then you must relax your diaphragm (and vice versa).
More...from Training Peaks.
5. How Perfectionism Leads to Athlete Burnout:
Setting high goals is great, but how you deal with falling short determines how long you’re willing to keep chasing them.
Overtraining syndrome is one of the great mysteries of modern sports science. No one is exactly sure what goes wrong or how to fix it. But there’s a general consensus about what causes it: too much training, not enough recovery. It’s basically a math problem, and if the dawning age of sports technology ever delivers a perfect way of measuring training load and recovery status, we’ll one day be able to balance the books and eliminate overtraining for good.
At least, that’s the theory. But sports psychologists have been studying a parallel condition they call athlete burnout since at least the 1980s, which carries some different assumptions. In this view, burnout is influenced not just by the physical stress of training and competition, but by the athlete’s perception of their ability to meet the demands placed on them. Burnout isn’t exactly the same as overtraining, but there’s plenty of overlap: chronic exhaustion, a drop in performance, and in many cases a decision to eventually walk away from the sport. This perspective doesn’t get as much attention among athletes—which makes a new paper in the European Journal of Sport Science worth exploring.
More...from SweatScience on Outside Online.
6. New strength training protocol provides new insight in how we build muscle:
or those of us who dream of packing on a little extra muscle, or simply hanging on to what we’ve got, there was tantalizing news at the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual conference in San Diego earlier this month.
One of the society’s “Paper of the Year” selections, chosen for their impact and research significance, touts a new and uniquely effective strength training protocol called the 3/7 method. It’s the latest in a long line of supposed muscle-building breakthroughs – and the good news is that it works. But the more interesting question is why it works and what that tells us about the real keys to building muscle.
The paper has its origins in a meeting between a Swiss track and field coach and a Belgian neurophysiologist. Jean-Pierre Egger was a two-time Olympic shot-putter, and is the coach of multiple world champions including four-time Olympic shot put medalist Valerie Adams. He told Jacques Duchateau, a researcher at Université Libre de Bruxelles, about a new approach he’d been using that enabled his athletes to maximize strength gains with less training time and effort.
More...from the (Globe and Mail.
7. 6 ways you’re getting your fueling strategy wrong (and how to fix it!):
For athletes, fueling your hardest training sessions and races is a major piece of the performance puzzle. But sometimes the pieces just don’t seem to fit together, and if this happens it can be troublesome.
Recognising the common mistakes in your fueling plan ahead of time can help to make the puzzle easier to solve and thankfully most of these errors are easy enough to remedy...
Not enough carb
Not taking enough carbohydrate is the number one fueling mistake on the list for good reason. It’s the most common issue we see when working on individual fueling plans with endurance athletes.
The most fundamental part of your fueling strategy is making sure you’re getting enough carbohydrates in to adequately support your rate of energy expenditure.
When you’re performing exercise of moderate-to-high intensity for a duration of longer than ~90 minutes, you’ll need to consume carbohydrates to maintain optimal performance because your internal stores of glycogen, which up to that point predominantly fuel exercise, will start running low and this leads to a reduction in your pace.
Andy has previously described the concept of the ‘Three Levers Model’ which refers to the trifecta of acute costs of endurance exercise that need to be replaced in order to maintain performance during prolonged endurance activities:
More...from Precision Hydration.
8. FINA ruling on transwomen ends 20-year fantasy that sex is not real:
No serious scientist disputes that maleness confers a sporting advantage
Helen Joyce is the author of "Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality." She is currently on extended leave from The Economist, where she has been a staff journalist since 2005.
On June 19, the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA), the global governing body for competitive swimming, sent shock waves through the sport.
Transwomen, males who identify as women, would be barred from elite women's events if they had gone through any part of male puberty, it said. Two days later, the International Rugby League announced a similar policy. Sebastian Coe of World Athletics welcomed FINA's decision, causing speculation that the regulator for track, field and running events might follow suit.
This marks a shift for sporting bodies, which over the past two decades have rushed pell-mell toward transgender inclusion. Governments were allowing legal sex change, at first only after hormone treatment and genital surgery, then on the basis of self-declaration. Some biological males whose legal sex was now female wanted to enter women's competitions. That posed a conundrum for regulators.
More...from Nikkei Asia.
9. Running on Empty:
Over the past decade, ultrarunning has gone from a fringe pursuit for distance freaks to a hypercompetitive sport attracting big-time sponsors. But a mysterious training condition is suddenly plaguing its ranks, robbing a generation of top athletes of their talents and forcing victims to wonder: Is it possible to love this sport too much?
In May of 2012, a thousand of the world’s best ultrarunners were lining up for the start of the Transvulcania Ultramarathon, an 83.3-kilometer course traversing the volcanic outcroppings of La Palma, in the Canary Islands. The atmosphere was taut, a mix of pent-up energy and anticipation, and the runners milled about, checking their watches and exchanging high fives. “Bienvenidos, amigos,” yelled a scrawny Spanish announcer with a spectacular black mullet.
At the front of the queue, 34-year-old Mike Wolfe was trying to focus on the day ahead. A thin-faced, introspective Montanan, Wolfe had recently quit his job as an assistant U.S. attorney in Helena to concentrate on running for the North Face’s global athletic team. Transvulcania was his debut as a full-time professional, and even though he had set a course record at Wyoming’s Bighorn 100 in 2010 and won the extremely competitive North Face Endurance Challenge Championship in California’s Marin Headlands in 2011, he felt he had something to prove. A good performance would help validate his unconventional career turn.
More...from Outside Online.
10. Lessons from 10 Marathons Run in 10 Days on a Lab Treadmill :
Sharon Gayter’s closely monitored world record reveals insights on marathon fueling, pacing, and strategy.
In November 2017, Sharon Gayter, a 54-year-old British ultrarunner, completed ten marathons in ten days on a treadmill, with a combined time of 43 hours 51 minutes 39 seconds, breaking the former Guinness World Record by more than two hours. What’s important about Gayter’s feat now—besides being an impressive mark that still stands—is that she ran all ten marathons in the sports-sciences lab at Teesside University in Middlesbrough, England, allowing exercise physiologist Nicolas Berger to compile mountains of information. He presented these findings in a recent paper published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
The paper’s data includes details on Gayter’s sleep, hydration, and calories burned and consumed during each 24-hour cycle; her heart rate and perceived exertion while running; and ten-day changes in her body weight, fat, and muscle. And while the data reveals interesting information about how her body responded to the challenge, Berger warns that we can’t consider her specific strategies universally applicable. “Other runners probably shouldn’t use Sharon’s example as a template for their own ultra efforts,” he says. “Sharon’s quite unique, particularly in her recovery and consistency.” Still, Gayter’s data and race experience suggest some principles runners can apply. Here are the highlights.
More...from Outside Online.
11. How to Flip the Script to Take Control of Stressful Situations:
In an excerpt from his new book, ‘Do Hard Things,’ Steve Magness explains a clever tactic to combat anxiety and free yourself to perform.
t was the night before the NCAA regional cross-country championships, and the team I coach was about to face off against the best runners in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The women’s team came in with its best ranking in over a decade, led by a strong trio of runners who were on the cusp of achieving all-region status. The only problem: senior Meredith Sorensen was in fantastic shape but suffering from one of the worst cases of performance anxiety I’d ever seen.
Two weeks before, at the conference championship, while standing on the line awaiting the gun to go off, she turned around, puked all over the ground, then started the race. For Meredith, this was normal. She got so nervous that she couldn’t hold her food down. She finished that race in the medical tent with an IV. Now she was cleared physically to race, and I was stumped about how to help her get in a spot where she could compete up to her potential.
More...from Outside Online.
12. The Foods That Keep You Hydrated:
Water doesn’t have to come in eight 8-ounce glasses daily. Fresh fruits and vegetables, and various beverages, are viable sources of hydration.
With a summer of record-breaking heat upon us, hydration is more important than ever. If you’re not taking in enough fluid to produce adequate sweat on a hot day, you may be more vulnerable to heat stroke. Dehydration can be caused by extreme heat, but it can also exacerbate other heat-related conditions like heat cramps.
So taking in liquids is crucial, but hydration can go beyond simply drinking water. The popular belief that we all need to be drinking eight cups a day to be truly hydrated persists, though it has been debunked again and again.
“There’s really no data behind the eight glasses of water a day thing,” said Dr. Dan Negoianu, a nephrologist at the University of Pennsylvania. For example, “just because your urine is dark, that doesn’t prove that you’re dehydrated.”
More...from New York Times.
13. Four Training Zones Every Runner Needs to Know:
Don’t be confused by the diversity of running workouts. Learn the training zones they fit into, what type of fitness each zone builds, and how each feels.
Running seems like a simple sport. But once new runners start hanging around other runners, they start to hear about long runs, tempo runs, speed workouts, strides, hill workouts, and even the strange-sounding “fartlek.” They come to learn that experienced runners do different types of workouts at different times, and that coaches use all sorts of terms to describe runs.
Over time, coaches have organized the various different runs and workouts into groups, or zones. Within each training zone, you’ll find different types of runs and workouts to help build a desired type of fitness. Understanding the whys and hows of each zone is useful to tease out which workouts work best for you, and which workouts are ideal to prepare you for specific races.
I’m going to introduce you to the training system I use, which is comprised of four zones. I adopted these zones from exercise scientist David Martin, although I’ve renamed them because his naming system relied on physiology terms. My zone names reflect the aspect of fitness the runner would improve by running in that zone: (1) endurance, (2) stamina, (3) speed, and (4) sprint.
More...from Outside ONline.
14. The workout that beats HIIT for better heart health, according to a new study:
If you're looking for a cardiovascular activity that will get your heart pumping and improve daily life, running or interval training may immediately come to mind. To maximize your workout, however, you may want to give Nordic walking a try, new research suggests.
This low-impact, whole-body workout that originated in Finland can be performed at different intensity levels. It incorporates the use of specially designed poles that you work in opposition to your legs -- that is, your left arm and right foot work in tandem, and your right arm and left foot. The poles' planting and push-off help boost you along, and the system is especially helpful when walking up or down hills.
Patients with coronary heart disease who participated in Nordic walking had a greater increase in their functional capacity, or the ability to carry out daily activities, compared with those who performed high-intensity interval training or continuous training at a moderate-to-vigorous level, according to a recent study in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.
15. Don't Have Time For A Big Workout? Try 'Exercise Snacking':
If you've only got a few minutes — or if you simply don't feel like moving your body for long — this hack is for you.
After a long day at work, the last thing you may want to do is a hard workout. Even thinking about it can be exhausting, especially when you’re trying to balance that with dinner, spending time with family and friends and other things on your to-do list. How can you possibly do it all?
That’s where “exercise snacking” comes in. Instead of doing one big workout a day, it encourages you to get in some movement throughout the day in shorter bursts.
The goal is to move your body in a way that feels good or productive to you. Exercise snacking can be as informal or formal as you’d like. On the informal side, it might look like walking your dog, stretching your legs, doing jumping jacks while watching TV, taking the stairs or using a resistance band while you’re at work.