1. Secret support: did prescription bras help Lionesses to Euro 2022 glory?
Well-fitting sports bras could improve performance and help athletes train for longer, research shows
It may go down as one of the most iconic images in English sporting history: Chloe Kelly whirling her England shirt above her head as she sprints across the pitch in a white Nike sports bra.
But if those cups could talk, they might claim a share of the Lionesses’ victory for themselves.
Ahead of the Euros, breast biomechanics experts provided personalised bra prescriptions to the England players to improve their comfort and ensure they were getting the right support. According to their latest data, the bras may have boosted the players’ athletic performances as well.
“Evidence suggests that sports bras have performance benefits, comfort benefits and health benefits, so I would say they’re just as important for exercising females as trainers,” said Prof Joanna Wakefield-Scurr of the University of Portsmouth, who led the project.
More...from The Guardian.
2. Asics Novablast 3 Review: Watch the Throne:
What You Need To Know
Weighs 8.9 oz. (253 g.) for a US M10 / 7.5 oz. (212 g.) for a US W7.5
Same great bounce, now with lighter Flytefoam Blast+
The midsole looks like it’s straight out of an anime
It’s still a do-it-all beast of a shoe
Available on September 1 for $140
MEAGHAN: The original Novablast felt like the turning point for Asics. Since its debut, the brand has been churning out some pretty amazing products. From the Metaspeed Sky+ to the Glideride 3, I’ve enjoyed all of the updates over the past few years. So, it’s no surprise that the Asics Novablast 3 is a welcomed addition.
Asics’ latest iteration of bouncy, lightweight foam — Flytefoam Blast+ — is easily one of my favorites. You’ll find this in the Glideride 3, Gel-Nimbus 24, and several other models. Version 3 of the Novablast comes with an extra millimeter of this foam (30mm / 22mm for an 8mm drop, Asics doesn’t count outsole rubber and insole in the stack measurements, btw) and feels even lighter and bouncier than its predecessor. And it’s not just a feeling, the shoes got about 30 grams lighter. My US W7.5 came in at 7.5oz (V2 was 8.2 oz).
More...from Belive in the Run.
3. Can (and Should) Women Carb Load?
What you need to know about the pre-event pasta party.
Women perform best when they’re well-fueled. Anyone who follows me here is clear on that. Women should prioritize protein to make and maintain our muscles. We also need carbs, of course, to fuel our exercise, training, and competition. But what about “carb-loading”?
Carb loading—the practice of “topping off” your muscle, blood, and liver glycogen (carbohydrate) stores by consuming high amounts of carbs in the days leading up to a big event—was developed in 1967 by Swedish scientist Gunvar Ahlborg, who discovered a positive correlation between the amount of glycogen in the body and endurance performance. He conducted a series of experiments showing that by intentionally depleting glycogen over a series of days and then loading up on carbs, athletes could experience “glycogen supercompensation” and increase their endurance.
More...from Dr. Stacy Sims.
4. The Beginner’s Guide to Running Faster:
If you’re new to running, the complicated world of training may seem overwhelming. Here’s a simple guide to teach you how to run faster.
The first goal of many beginner runners is to achieve a new distance. Once that’s accomplished, tackling the challenge of running that same distance faster should become your priority. Chasing PRs (aka, personal records) has fueled the spirits of every runner to add on more miles, seek out a training program, and take a closer look at how they can improve. This beginner’s guide to running is a simple starting point that will teach you how to run faster.
How to Improve Your Running Form
Becoming a faster runner demands that you hone in on your form. Focusing on good running form and mechanics will help you avoid injuries so that you keep progressing in your training. There are numerous resources to learn from, but they can often be technically daunting and hard to grasp as a new runner. Here’s what you need to know.
The basics every runner should understand is that you need to lift your knees, drive your arms, and stand tall with good posture. Keep your arms pumping forward and back so that you avoid crossing the vertical centerline of your upper body with your arms as you swing them. Below the waist, you want to avoid a kicking motion and focus on landing mid-foot underneath yourself. The vilified heel strike is a result of accelerating your lower leg in front of you as if you’re trying to stop a cartoon foot-propelled car. This momentary braking and absorption of ground reaction forces is the root cause of numerous injuries.
More...from Training Peakes.
5. Olympic Hurdler Dalilah Muhammad on Track Shoe Technology, Frequency of World Records for 400-Meter Hurdles:
Olympic gold medalist Dalilah Muhammad won the 400-meter hurdles at Rio 2016 and set the event’s world record twice in 2019, first at the USA national meet and again with a time of 52.16 seconds at that year’s world championship.
Muhammad later set a personal best of 51.58 seconds in the Tokyo Olympics, running what would have been another world record, if not for Sydney McLaughlin running even faster in the same race. In addition to that silver medal, Muhammad claimed a second career gold as part of the USA’s 4x400 relay team. At last month’s world championships in Eugene, Ore., Muhammad returned from a hamstring injury to finish third.
A 2007 IAAF World Youth title winner, Muhammad, now 32, is a native of Queens, New York who graduated with a business degree while compiling an All-American career running at the University of Southern California. She starred in Nike’s 2017 ad campaign on equality alongside Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe and LeBron James and, more recently, joined Cheribundi’s Pit Crew—its brand ambassadors of athletes and wellness experts promoting the company’s natural health products.
More...from Cycling Tips.
7. I Stopped Running During Pregnancy—Then I Watched Mothers Compete at the World Championships:
Through their performances in Eugene, Faith Kipyegon and Allyson Felix, among others, gave inspiration to one mother-to-be.
A few weeks ago, when I was 34 weeks pregnant, I joined my running group for a track workout. As I’ve learned throughout my pregnancy, some days I feel great while running and other days are extremely difficult. But I’ve tried to be understanding and patient with my body no matter how it feels. On this day, I happened to feel amazing.
For each 400-meter repeat, done relay-style with a partner, the competitive side of me really came out. With my belly peeking out of my singlet, I kicked past runners on the homestretch, smiling each time I reached the hand-off zone. I was still running within my body’s limits and having a blast doing it.
A few days later, my body took a dramatic turn. When I tried to go for an easy run, cramps shot down my lower legs and groin area. I tried walking for a few minutes, hoping the cramps would subside, but they didn’t. I tried using positive self-talk to process the moment but when my husband met me on the trail, I couldn’t contain my disappointment any longer, and I broke down.
More...from Runner's World8. Ask a cycling coach: ‘Why do I always get out of breath before my legs are tired?’
The answer isn’t that you just need to train more...
I won’t lie, when I saw this question come in for my weekly article, I was rubbing my hands together – a chance to get stuck into some real exercise physiology. Don’t worry though, I won’t start just throwing technical terms around - well, not just yet anyway...
To answer this question we need to understand – during very hard exercise – what exactly is going on there in the leg muscles and what it is that forces us to start breathing harder.
During very hard exercise such a VO2 max session or during anaerobic efforts, there are several changes that happen within the leg muscles. You have all probably heard about lactate (sometimes incorrectly called lactic acid) and how its build up causes our legs to burn and stops us from exercising… well, I am here to tell you that is completely incorrect.
Lactate is certainly produced but it doesn’t cause our legs to burn, nor does it stop us from exercising. In fact, without it, things would be a lot worse. Let me explain.
More...from Cycling Weekly.
9. 6 Signs Your Protein Intake Is Too Low:
Feeling sluggish? Or like you're losing strength? It could be that you're low on this critical macronutrient.
It keeps your energy up, builds muscle, and keeps you satiated, but it can be a nutrient many runners lack in their diet: protein.
In general, female athletes are more likely to miss the mark on their nutritional needs than male counterparts, says Yasi Ansari, national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, registered dietitian, nutritionist, and Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. That is especially true for runners who restrict their food intake, putting themselves at risk for low protein intake.
“In the work that I do, it’s really important to encourage my athletes to be eating enough to ensure they are meeting their nutrition needs from all their macronutrients,” she says.
Eating the right amount of protein plays a significant role in a runner’s diet. It helps repair muscles after a rigorous workout. It also builds and maintains muscle mass, which boosts performance. And it helps to support the immune system. “Protein plays many other roles as well,” says Ansari. It aids in cell turnover, for example, “the structural component of the body and makes up enzymes and some hormones while playing a role in a variety of physiological functions.”
More...from Women's Running.
10. Drafting Isn’t Just for Elite Marathoners:
A new study aims to resolve long-standing debates about how much drafting helps runners, and finds that even back-of-the-packers save meaningful time.
The numbers have been out there for decades. Drafting behind another runner, the data suggests, could save an elite marathoner as much as six minutes. It’s scarcely believable—which is probably why most of us don’t really believe it. After all, the most famous and influential study on drafting in runners, published back in 1970 by pioneering Everest physiologist Griffith Pugh, was based on a wind-tunnel experiment with a grand total of one subject.
Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour marathon attempts in 2017 and 2019, which featured rotating casts of pacemakers in carefully choreographed formations, made drafting a topic of conversation among runners. But estimating the resulting time savings remained controversial, especially since subsequent studies after Pugh produced widely varying results and often used convenient but inaccurate shortcuts to estimate the effects of a given amount of air resistance on energy consumption and running speed.
Enter a new study from Edson Soares da Silva of Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, Rodger Kram of the University of Colorado, and Wouter Hoogkamer of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. It aims to provide definitive answers about the effects of wind resistance on marathon running, and it offers some surprises along the way. Some people are better than others at running into the wind, it turns out, and five-hour marathoners save roughly the same amount of time as Kipchoge does by drafting.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
11. How I learnt that fitness is a feminist issue:
It is harder for women to take up exercise — but the pandemic highlighted just how valuable it can be
In the first lockdown, I became trapped. Inside my head. Stuck indoors, work was intense; so was home-schooling. Thoughts piled up, with no release. At the end of the working day, often late at night, I would take a short walk to clear my mind, keys clutched between my fingers in case of an attacker, only to return home, my brain crammed ever fuller.
Observing my sedentary days and lower moods, my partner suggested I run up and down the stairs between maths sessions or video calls or late at night.
Plod, plod, up I went. Boom, boom, down. It was so dull (surprise) I gave up after a few days. So I can understand the 37 per cent of women who recently reported to Nuffield Health that their physical health had worsened in the last year, with 47 per cent doing no vigorous exercise.
More...from the Financial Times.
12. Training alone or training with others - which is best?
Most endurance events are solitary pursuits as you're ultimately competing alone on race day. Training for these events is a very different matter though as many people choose to get together in pairs or groups for at least part of their weekly workouts.
For anyone performance-minded this leads to the natural question of which is really the best method for driving improvement; training alone or training with others?
Having gained quite a bit of experience of training alone and with other athletes over the years, I believe there's no single correct answer to the question. Both training alone and training in groups can be extremely effective, but what's important to understand is when and why you might be better off getting some company and when it’s more appropriate to go it alone.
There's a time and a place for both approaches and armed with the right information you can aim to get the best of both worlds, rather than the worst of both (as I definitely have done from time to time in the past).
The benefits of group training
In 2009 researchers conducted a very interesting study on the world famous Oxford University rowing crew. What they did was indirectly measure the levels of endorphins (‘feel good’ hormones) released in the oarsmen when they completed tough training sessions together in a group, compared to doing the exact same sessions in isolation.
More...from Precision Hydration.
13. Heat chambers, thermometer pills and chocolate milk: How Phil Sesemann prepared for hot Munich marathon
Exclusive interview: The top Briton in last year’s London Marathon competes in the European Championships on Monday and hopes to thrive in sweltering conditions
As England endures another heatwave, there has been a peculiar sight along the canal path that connects Leeds to Liverpool in recent weeks. Phil Sesemann has been routinely skipping along while completely covered in a long-sleeved tracksuit, hoodie and hat.
But it is this arduous training in such sweltering conditions that has formed a key piece to the puzzle that is marathon training and a shot at glory in the European Championships on Monday.
Blazing times are usually associated when the world’s best runners tackle 26.2 miles in Germany, with Eliud Kipchoge producing his world record (2:01:39) in Berlin four years ago. But blurring leg speed is unlikely to be the deciding factor in Munich in the middle of August. Instead, the medals look to be decided by fierce competition, resilience and who has conjured up and executed the perfect strategy.
More...from the Independent.
14. High-Fat Diets Still Don’t Boost Endurance:
After a controversial Australian study's negative findings about low-carb, high-fat diets, scientists made adjustments and ran the study again.
Nobody ever changes a strongly held opinion because of a single study. It’s too easy to find potential flaws in any given set of results: they tested the wrong people, or used the wrong protocol, or simply got a fluke result. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You shouldn’t discard all your previous opinions every time you read a new study. But it raises a question that’s worth asking yourself now and then with regard to controversial topics: What level of evidence would it take to convince you to change your mind?
That’s the implicit question underlying a recently published study in PLOS One on the long-standing controversy about whether low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets enhance endurance performance. Back in 2017, a team led by Louise Burke at the Australian Institute of Sport published a study called Supernova suggesting that three and a half weeks of an LCHF diet consisting of at least 75 percent fat and less than 50 grams a day of carbohydrates (the equivalent of two bananas) turned elite racewalkers into fat-burning machines but compromised their metabolic efficiency so that their overall race performance suffered. The results put Burke at the epicenter of a maelstrom of controversy—so she and her colleagues doubled down and repeated the whole study, calling their effort Supernova 2.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
15. Facts and fallacies in the trans athlete debate, a conversation with Dr Emma Hilton:
Ross sits down with Dr Emma Hilton, a developmental biologist who has outspokenly defended women's sport and explained the science and physiology of male vs female sporting performance differences. In a candid conversation, she shares insights ranging from political to philosophical, both personal and scientific. Why is the recent IOC Framework such a failure of leadership and setback for women? What do we make of trans men in men's sport? How should sports respond to sex reassignment during childhood? What are the most compelling arguments for and against inclusion, and how should fallacies like the length of Michael Phelps' arms steer our thinking about fairness in sport, and the need to protect the women's sporting category? All these questions, and more, answered in this wide ranging interview, which was initially broadcast live on Twitter Spaces on 25 November.
Listen to the podcast on The Real Science of Sport Podcast.