1. Balancing Confusion vs. Habituation in Training:
Understanding how the body adapts to stress helps us to know when and how to change our training.
Legend has it that the ancient Greek wrestler Milo of Croton trained by carrying a newborn calf on his shoulders every day until it grew into an adult bull. This training enabled Milo to become one of the strongest men around, and to win six Olympic titles. While Milo probably didn’t articulate to the curious onlookers that carrying a growing bull on his shoulders around town was an example of progressive overload, this training theory became the basis for developing muscle strength.
Because a calf grows slowly into a bull, it wasn’t every day that Milo lifted a heavier animal than the day before. The training stress didn’t drastically change from day to day or even week to week. Milo’s muscles had time to adapt to the animal’s current weight, slowly progressing to heavier and heavier weights as the animal aged.
What Won’t Kill Me Will Make Me Stronger
Many years later, in 1950, Hungarian endocrinologist Dr. Hans Selye discovered that laboratory animals exposed to various stressors, like drugs, cold, or surgery, and individuals with various chronic illnesses, like tuberculosis and cancer, display a common set of symptoms and pattern of responses. From his observation of the stress response pattern, Selye developed the General Adaptation Syndrome, which represents the chronologic development of the body’s response to stressors when their actions are prolonged.
More...from Outside Online.
2. 4 Surprising New Insights on Fueling for Endurance Sports:
The downside of veggies, and upside of emptying your colon, and more.
In sports science, there’s sometimes a disconnect between those who conduct research in laboratories and those who work directly with elite athletes in the field—“at the coalface,” as sports nutritionist Louise Burke puts it. Both groups have valuable perspectives, but I find that the best advice comes from those who manage to straddle both sides of the divide.
On that note, I attended a presentation by Jennifer Sygo at a recent conference in Toronto. Sygo currently serves as a dietitian for the Canadian track and field and gymnastics teams, as well as the Toronto Raptors basketball team. On the side, she’s working towards a PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University, based on her work with the gymnasts. Her talk focused on sports nutrition for endurance athletes, and it included some ideas and perspectives I hadn’t encountered before. Here are a few highlights that stuck with me:
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
3. Best In Gear Awards: Best Road Running Shoes of 2022:
What You Need To Know
Our list of top road running shoes of the year
From race day to recovery day, we cover it all
Only shoes released in this calendar year were considered
Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment below
We made it another year and we’re back again with one of our favorite perennial posts. Over the course of the last twelve months, we’ve tested over a hundred shoes, from race day options to easy day and everything in between.
It was quite a year that saw the release of some very innovative options (the ultra max-cushion, carbon-plated New Balance SC Trainer), some fantastic updates to classics (the ever-reliable Saucony Ride 15), and of course, some letdowns (the not-as-magical Nike Alphafly Next% 2). One thing is clear– we are still smack dab in the middle of the golden age of running shoes. The super shoes are getting more super, finally closing the gap that the Vaporfly created several years ago. Daily trainers (and even stability shoes!) are getting the race day foam treatment. That’s not to mention shoes that are pushing against the outer limits of stack height, and doing it exceptionally well– like the Adidas Prime X Strung. There are also some really great shoes (like the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 and Hoka Mach 5) that didn’t make this list only because we couldn’t shoehorn them in exactly where we wanted, but are still fantastic.
More...from Believe in the Run.
4. The Nike Air Huarache Craft Gets A Sleek “Black/White” Treatment:
Celebrating its 30th anniversary last year, The Swoosh followed up the Air Huarache’s celebratory slate of offerings with a brand-new construction, debuting the Nike Air Huarache Craft just a few months ago. Having employed a seldom amount of propositions since then, a tried-and-true “Black/White” pairing is now entering the fold.
An invisible line separates the chosen shades, setting up the jet-black upper to sit in stark contrast to the crisp white sole unit underfoot. Everything from the neoprene sock construction to the doubled-up overlays of the midfoot come treated in pitch-dark fashion, rendering additional color-matches along its adjacently places pull tabs, semi-translucent heel counter and suede mudguard for a uniform ensemble. Matching the brightened efforts of the midsole and tread, seldom mini Swooshes at the forefoot and collar engage in reserved silver metallic branding that follows suit along the black-coated insoles in conclusion.
5. Caffeine gets you to the finish line faster, reveals new study on sprint performance:
At the international level of sports, even the smallest advantage can take an athlete from being a mere participant to a podium finisher. Consequently, athletes try to achieve that competitive edge with the help of performance enhancing training methods and pre-event performance enhancing aids.
Caffeine, a nervous system stimulant, is one such performance enhancing aid, most commonly and popularly used by athletes around the world. In fact, the International Association of Athletics Federations (now called World Athletics, WA) recommends caffeine as an ergogenic (or physical performance-enhancing) aid in a consensus statement of nutritional strategy for athletics.
However, owing to the absence of research on caffeine's effects on sprint performance, the recommendation is reflective of evidence from other anaerobic sports rather than sprint running in athletics, like the 100-m sprint event.
6. When Ideology Trumps Science: A response to the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport’s Review on Transwomen Athletes in the Female Category:
The recently published ‘Scientific Review’ by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport about transwomen’s participation in female sport doesn’t deserve its name; it is wholly unscientific. This publication follows a familiar pattern. The body is not important anymore when it comes to categorisation and eligibility in sport; instead, it’s all about a psychological phenomenon: gender identity. This side-lining of the body (which makes the side-lining of female athletes and the inclusion of male-born athletes possible) is now reinforced by an attack on the bio-medical sciences. Their agenda is – allegedly – the oppression of minorities. Only the socio-cultural disciplines can give us the answers we are looking for (in sport), because only they understand the coercive nature of academic disciplines and institutions which focus on material reality, rather than on social identity. The CCES Review is another attempt to replace materially based eligibility criteria in sport with ‘social identity’ as a passport to inclusion. We (a group of scientists and humanities scholars) have written an expert commentary about the CCES Review, highlighting its shortcomings in methodology, and its sometimes incoherent, sometimes misleading argumentation. We argue that the CCES strategy is a continuity with the history of the exclusion and oppression of female athletes in sexist, misogynist, patriarchal sport structures whilst, at the same time, masquerading as inclusive, anti-sexist and anti-misogynist.
More...from Nordic Sport Science Forum.
7. The flawed science of trans inclusion in women’s sport:
Advocates are embracing unreliable studies to justify unfair competition.
Following an embarrassing climbdown over the proposed inclusion of transgender cyclist Emily Bridges in a women’s elite race, British Cycling is calling for “a coalition to share, learn and understand more about how we can achieve fairness in a way that maintains the dignity and respect of all athletes.” There’s really no need. The UK Sports Council Equality Group did this work last year, and concluded it was not possible to “balance” trans inclusion in the female category with fairness and safety for females.
Multiple studies have shown that testosterone suppression does not change male physiological and anatomical characteristics by much. As described in peer-reviewed journals here and here, the measured effects are insufficient to eliminate male performance advantage and guarantee fairness for female sport.
More...from The Critic.
8. How this winter runner keeps going through ice, slush and snow:
It’s 7:30 a.m. in mid-November 2022, the morning after a surprise snow storm hit Toronto. 27-year-old public relations director Jorielle Nunag is checking the weather on her phone, not to remark on the precipitation that had accumulated, but to gauge how many layers to put on for her first snowy run of the season.
It’s not too cold, around -2 degrees Celsius, but it’s windy. So Nunag chooses a quarter-zip fleece with a windproof running jacket on top and a fleece headband to protect her ears. “Mittens are key,” she adds. “Your hands get cold so easily when you’re running.”
Nunag wasn’t always a winter runner – or a runner at all. Prior to the pandemic, she typically attended group fitness classes, like barre, spin and yoga. But a few weeks into lockdown, with gyms closed indefinitely, Nunag figured she’d give running a try. “At the beginning, I remember it being so painful,” she says. Today, Nunag relishes her outdoor runs, even in the winter, when the snowpack cushions her steps, the sidewalks are clear of foot traffic, the wind is fresh and she can be alone with her thoughts.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
9. Plantar Fasciitis Is a Real Pain:
Tiger Woods announced he has the common foot condition. Here’s what to know about symptoms, treatment and prevention.
The pain starts when you wake up — a stab in your heel when you get out of bed, an ache when you put weight on your foot. The condition is persistent and common; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 10 percent of people get it.
Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tight band of tissue on the bottom of your foot, can happen to anyone, said Dr. Eveline Tan, a podiatrist at Northwestern Medicine, but it occurs more frequently in people who are on their feet for long periods of time. “It’s probably more common than most people think,” she said, noting that she’s seen a resurgence of patients with the condition as more people have been returning to post-lockdown life. On Monday, Tiger Woods posted on Twitter that he withdrew from a golf tournament because he has developed plantar fasciitis in his right foot, making it difficult to walk.
More...from the New York Times.
10. Tour de France will skip Paris finale in 2024:
La Gazzetta dello Sport reports ASO will move finish to Nice due to the 2024 Olympic Games.
For the first time in race history, the Tour de France will not conclude in Paris in 2024.
That’s according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, which reports that Nice will be the host of the final stage in two years.
Why? With the Olympic Games set for Paris from late July into mid-August, officials do not want the logistical and security issues overlapping between the Games and the Tour.
The final stage of the Tour has always been in Paris (or in nearby suburbs), and since 1975 the final stage has ended on the Champs-Élysées.
La Gazzetta reports that an official confirmation could come as soon as this week.
11. How Lululemon Created a Female-First Footwear Line That Landed It FN’s Launch of the Year Award:
Lululemon conquered the athleisure market with its laser focus on women consumers. Now it wants to dominate footwear with the same approach.
When the Vancouver, British Columbia-based brand debuted its first sneaker line this year, it created the shoes from a last specifically designed from a woman’s foot. And the collection — which consists of four different silhouettes that dropped throughout 2022 — underwent a rigorous process of creation that included multiple rounds of wear-testing and analyzing footwear scans from more than a million feet.
According to Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald, Lululemon’s entry into footwear was “in response to a long-standing unmet need and a clear appetite” from consumers of the athleisure brand. For a company that had already made a name for itself in the activewear space, footwear was the natural next step for the growing brand.
“There was an opportunity to offer a new footwear experience, made for women first, by combining our 20-plus years of innovating and leading with how our guests want to feel,” McDonald said.
More...from FootWear News.
12. Heavy Resistance Training Versus Plyometric Training for Improving Running Economy and Running Time Trial Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis:
As an adjunct to running training, heavy resistance and plyometric training have recently drawn attention as potential training modalities that improve running economy and running time trial performance. However, the comparative effectiveness is unknown. The present systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to determine if there are different effects of heavy resistance training versus plyometric training as an adjunct to running training on running economy and running time trial performance in long-distance runners.
Heavy resistance training, especially with nearly maximal loads, may be superior to plyometric training in improving running economy and running time trial performance. In addition, running economy appears to be improved better when training is performed for a longer period in both heavy resistance and plyometric training.
13. Why Twitter Is Good for the Running World:
Between fan engagement and professional athlete interaction, the beleaguered social network still offers plenty of upsides for a niche sport.
As you may have noticed, Twitter has been in the news a lot of late—ever since Elon Musk tricked himself into acquiring the company for 44 billion dollars. The news has generally not been good: Mass layoffs, billions in consolidated debt, daily losses in the millions. Among users, it’s become fashionable to speculate on the site’s prospective demise. Some prolific posters have stated their intention to leave the site; a few have actually followed through. In the spirit of the premature elegy, I reached out to a few people to get a sense of Twitter’s place in the running and track and field community. Does running need Twitter? How, if at all, does the platform enhance how we collectively experience the sport?
“Of course I’ve been trolled a lot, but the positives have outweighed the negatives for me,” says two-time Olympian Kara Goucher, who currently works as a running analyst for NBC Sports and recently published a memoir. While she acknowledges Twitter’s occasional “dumpster fire” vibe, Goucher thinks that the site is still essential for connecting with other running enthusiasts and keeping track of races as they are happening.
More...from Outside Online.
14. Are carbon shoes making us injured?
We spoke to the experts to understand whether carbon shoes are making us more susceptible to injury
Super shoes are the footwear of choice for elite athletes around the globe, but since spiralling in popularity among amateur runners, some have have started to question whether carbon shoes cause injury.
To date there has been no research published examining the correlation between carbon shoes and injury, due to the shoes being so new and it not being in the industry's best interest to find out. However, sports scientists do have some indication of how, why and where injury is likely to occur.
Injury research is extremely hard to conduct, says Hannah Rice, associate professor in biomechanics at the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, because it involves hundreds of runners over an extended period of time which is costly.
More...from Runner's World.
15. Optimizing Female Performance at Altitude:
How to work with your female physiology to succeed in thin air.
If you’ve ever run, biked, hiked, or skied in the U.S. Rockies, European Alps, the Himalayans, or anywhere high above sea level—especially above 2400 meters or 8000 feet—you know performance drops as the air thins. That’s because oxygen levels are lower at high altitudes, so your cardiorespiratory system has to work harder to deliver oxygen to your working muscles than it does at sea level.
Your menstrual phase and/or hormonal status also impact your response to altitude. Research shows that premenopausal women who aren’t on hormonal contraception have a higher hypoxic ventilatory response at exercise (HVRe), which is the ability to increase breathing to help meet your oxygen needs during their early luteal/mid-luteal phase than in the early follicular phase. On the surface, that sounds like a positive, but it’s important to bear in mind that women’s respiratory rates are already elevated during this high hormone phase, so women may be more predisposed to asthmatic issues and higher respiratory distress. Postmenopausal women have similar HVRe as premenopausal women, though hypoxic cardiac response at exercise (HCRe), which is your cardiovascular system’s ability to increase output, is lower post-menopause, likely due to age-related changes.
More...from Dr. Stacy Sims.