1. Linda Blade: International body upholds fairness for women in sport. Will Canada follow suit?
World Athletics now understands that there is no way to mitigate the enormous advantage that male-born transgender athletes have in women's sports
At its spring council meeting in Monaco on March 23, World Athletics (WA), the global governing body of athletics, announced that it would “exclude male-to-female transgender athletes who have been through male puberty from female World Rankings competition.”
With this one announcement, WA sent ripples across the sports world. As many federations look to WA for guidance on eligibility policy in sports requiring speed, power and endurance, the ruling is bound to have an influence on other sports.
American swimmer Riley Gaines, who was forced to compete against male-born Lia Thomas at the 2022 NCAA Championships, stated that, “As a woman of sport, I sincerely thank World Athletics and Seb Coe for prioritizing fairness and integrity in sports over so-called ‘inclusion’ … this decision is monumental and gives me hope for other (sports) organizations.”
It is significant that Gaines contrasted “fairness and integrity” with “inclusion,” because at the heart of this debate is a question over what principle takes precedence: inclusion or safety?
More...from the National Post.
Linda Blade is president of Athletics Alberta and co-author (with Barbara Kay) of the book, “UNSPORTING: How Trans Activism and Science Denial are Destroying Sport” (2021)
2. Why Fitter People Drink More Alcohol:
Regular exercisers drink more, a new study confirms, but are less likely to be problem drinkers.
My second-favorite running T-shirt quote is usually attributed to the versatile New Zealander Rod Dixon, whose range stretched from an Olympic medal in the 1,500 meters to a New York City Marathon victory: “All I want to do,” he said, “is drink beer and train like an animal.” (My favorite is from Noureddine Morceli: “When I race, my mind is full of doubts. Who will finish second? Who will finish third?”) I don’t even like beer all that much, but there’s something appealing in the simple clarity of Dixon’s ambitions—something, it turns out, that seems to resonate with a lot of runners.
Many different studies over the years have concluded that people who exercise a lot also tend to drink more. This is mildly surprising, because in general healthy or unhealthy behaviors tend to cluster together: exercise buffs are less likely to smoke but more likely to eat a lot of kale, for example. Admittedly, alcohol is tricky to slot into the “healthy” or “unhealthy” category because there’s (much debated) evidence that light or even moderate drinking may confer some health benefits. But I don’t think Dixon’s taste for beer was driven by a desire to lower his blood pressure.
More...from (Sweat Science on Outside Online.
3. New Balance Takes a Tropical Trip With The SC Elite v3:
All Aboard The Pineapple Express
Warm weather is coming, racing season is upon us, and New Balance just blessed us with the two best colorways yet of the SC Elite v3– cosmic pineapple and neon dragonfly. The top-tier racer (which we ran in for the New York City Marathon in November) features a high stack of squishy FuelCell for the midsole, sock-style synthetic bootie upper, and Energy Arc carbon fiber plate geometry, designed to increase energy return.
Release colorways are usually ho-hum, but we were pretty onboard with the original white and mint colorways that came out a couple months ago. But we knew there was better stuff coming, and here it is.
The cosmic pineapple looks juicy– we’re not sure we can think of a race day shoe that will stand out like this one. Covered head-to-toe in tropical light, the all-yellow upper is graced by metallic accents on the flying New Balance logo. The product photos on the New Balance site do zero justice for this shoe IRL (we’d like to think our photos help a bit, but it pops way more when it’s in hand/on foot).
More...from Believe in the Run.
4. Plantar fasciitis, the pain in your heel:
Understanding the root cause of the injury is essential to its treatment.
Plantar fasciitis. Just the thought of getting this injury sends chills down your spine. It isn’t that this is the most painful or debilitating injury, but that it’s annoying. In its early stages, plantar fasciitis produces pain in the heel that is present upon stepping out of bed. And, while the pain may not be experienced when running, after prolonged inactivity the pain can return. Without proper intervention, this pain can progress and become a serious injury.
Unfortunately, how one intervenes is variable depending on the individual and their response to treatment. But before exploring treatment options, first, it is important to understand the injury itself.
Like shin splints, plantar fasciitis is a common overuse injury in runners. It occurs when the plantar fascia, which is responsible for the integrity of the medial longitudinal arch of the foot, becomes inflamed by repetitive stresses. And the constant pounding of your feet on the tarmac is a stress. Each kilometre of running requires roughly 600 to 800 footfalls. The force that is absorbed in each footfall is said to be two to three times the weight of the body, which is a considerable amount of force absorbed through the foot. Thus, with repeated exposure to this stress, it is reasonable to conclude that if there is any weakness already present in the foot – anatomical, biomechanics, fatigue or equipment – it will be exposed to injury.
More...from Triathlon Magazine.
5. Sports Were Never Designed Around the Female Body:
BY LAUREN FLESHMAN MARCH 10, 2023 7:00 AM EST
Fleshman is one of the most decorated American distance runners of all time, having won five NCAA championships at Stanford and two national championships as a professional. She is author of the New York Times bestselling book Good for a Girl: A Woman Running in a Man’s World
Ever since Title IX opened the door to our participation, female athletes have been encouraged, or even required, to fight their body’s natural development and restrict their diet to keep up with the boys. But no matter how many news stories come out about the epidemic of disordered eating and subsequent injuries and trauma for women in high school and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sports, we have continually failed to address the root issue: sports, as we know it, have never been designed around the developmental norms of the female body.
As a woman with nearly three decades in elite sport, first as a five-time NCAA and two-time USA champion athlete, and later, a coach of professional female distance runners, my direct experience and research shows how insidious and widespread this problem is for female athletes across a variety of sports, while our institutions are doing little more than shrug.
6. The 11 Best Running Shoes for Wide Feet in 2023, According to a Podiatrist:
Get the room you need to say goodbye to feeling crammed.
Nobody likes wearing shoes that don't fit well, especially when running. Finding a model and fit of running shoe that feels great takes some trial and error for most, but for those with wider than average feet, it can be a painstaking process. A solid pair of running shoes is arguably the most important piece of running gear you need to stay consistent and avoid injury while getting in your mileage, so it's worth investing time and energy in finding your Goldilocks pair.
Hitting the pavement in a too-narrow pair of runners can be uncomfortable at best, with your pinky toe taking the brunt of an ill fit. "Shoes that are too small or too narrow can cause for blisters, calluses, numbness in the toes, discomfort and or continued pain," says Dr. Mark Mendeszoon, a board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at Precision Orthopaedic Specialties in Chardon, Ohio, and owner of Achilles Running Shops in Willoughby, Ohio and Erie, Pa..
More...from Men's Health.
7. Why did it take Seb Coe so long to see sense over transgender athletes?
World Athletics has decided to protect women’s sport by restricting it to females. From 31 March, transwomen will not be allowed to compete in elite female competitions if they have gone through male puberty. Following yesterday’s meeting of the World Athletics Council, Seb Coe – the governing body’s president – explained that the decision was ‘guided by the overarching principle which is to protect the female category’.
That decision should be welcomed by everyone, but why did it take them so long? Swimming’s world governing body came to the same conclusion last summer; world rugby got there in 2020. Athletics, meanwhile, dithered and fiddled with rules based on the level of testosterone in an athlete’s blood. Should the cut-off be set at ten nanomoles per litre, or should it be just five? Recently, two and a half was mooted. These appeared to be little more than arbitrary lines, set at a level somewhere between the typical male and the typical female.
More...from The Spectator.
8. Sara Hall’s 6 Tips on Coping With a Long Injury Layoff:
The serial racer began to wonder if she’d ever make it back. Here’s what she learned.
Sara Hall started 2022 on a high note. On January 16, she set an American record in the half marathon, running 1:07:15 in Houston (a record Emily Sisson has since broken twice, most recently with her 1:06:52 in Houston this year).
Six months later, and after a 2:22:56, eighth-place finish in March’s Tokyo Marathon, Hall ran 2:22:10 to place fifth in the marathon at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, jubilantly leading the squad of three Americans in the top 10.
Hall, a famously frequent racer, then made big plans for the rest of the year—the Berlin Marathon in September, and the New York City Marathon in early November. But instead, by September, the Flagstaff, Arizona-based elite athlete couldn’t run more than 10 minutes without pain. It would be eight months before she’d see a starting line again.
More...from Runner's World.
9. Current evidence shows no influence of women's menstrual cycle phase on acute strength performance or adaptations to resistance exercise training:
Introduction: The bias towards excluding women from exercise science research is often due to the assumption that cyclical fluctuations in reproductive hormones influence resistance exercise performance and exercise-induced adaptations.
Methods: Hence, the purpose of this umbrella review was to examine and critically evaluate the evidence from meta-analyses and systematic reviews on the influence of menstrual cycle phase on acute performance and chronic adaptations to resistance exercise training (RET).
Results: We observed highly variable findings among the published reviews on the ostensible effects of female sex hormones on relevant RET-induced outcomes, including strength, exercise performance, and hypertrophy.
Discussion: We highlight the importance of comprehensive menstrual cycle verification methods, as we noted a pattern of poor and inconsistent methodological practices in the literature. In our opinion, it is premature to conclude that short-term fluctuations in reproductive hormones appreciably influence acute exercise performance or longer-term strength or hypertrophic adaptations to RET.
More...from Frontiers in Sport and Active Living.
10. How Long Does It Take To Run A Mile? Average Mile Time Guide:
Looking for practical answers on how long does it take to run a mile? Then you have come to the right place
Whether you’re a beginner runner or an elite marathoner, the average time to run a mile is likely one of those statistics you keep track of.
Monitoring this pace is a fantastic way to track your progress and speed while training.
But working out a one-size-fits-all average for the mile can be problematic.
As you might already know, mile speed depends on several factors.
In today’s article, I’m going to dive deep into the average mile time as well as how to improve it.
I’m also going to consider the different factors that affect your running speed.
Let’s lace up and dig in.
More...from Runner's Blueprint.
11. A pioneering relationship: How Orreco and Chelsea FC Women work together:
It was early in 2020 when Chelsea FC Women revealed the club were using Orreco’s FitrWoman app to monitor their players’ menstrual cycles to help enhance performance and reduce injuries.
Over two years on, the club’s relationship with Orreco and their Female Athlete Lead, Dr Georgie Bruinvels, continues to grow.
Forwards Erin Cuthbert and Jessie Fleming have both been on journeys of discovery when it comes to their female health. Their approach towards how they manage their menstrual cycles has changed and with Orreco’s expertise, the club continue to lead the way with their investment in this space.
‘Female athlete health was not necessarily an area that I was super well versed in before coming to Chelsea and working with Orreco,’ said Fleming. ‘It was interesting to get to know myself better, learn what my cycle looks like and how I can optimise what recovery strategies I use to allow me to be at my best regardless of what day of the month it is.’
Menstrual cycle symptoms are commonly experienced by women and athletes are no different, with Cuthbert explaining her own experience.
More...from Chelsea FC.
12. The Physiology of a 24-Hour Mountain-Bike Race:
Researchers use isotope tracers to accurately calculate calorie burn and other parameters during a grueling full-day ride.
When people say, “You can’t outrun a bad diet,” I smile and nod. It’s perfectly true, in a holistic sense. Exercise and diet are two different things, with separate effects on your health and performance. You can’t automatically compensate for deficiencies in one area by being extra good at the other, any more than donating to charity makes it OK to embezzle at work.
Still, there’s a little voice in my head that asks: “Well, how far were you planning to run?” It may be true that you’d have to jog three or four miles to burn the calories in a single McDonald’s Happy Meal, but some people run a lot farther than four miles. The question of how many calories a person can burn in a given day is an interesting scientific one, with some researchers arguing that our ability to get food through the digestive tract is actually the fundamental limitation on feats of sustained human endurance.
More...from SweatScience on Outside Online.
13. If You Can Only Exercise On Weekends, That’s Still Great For Your Health, A Study Suggests:
The “weekend warrior” exercise pattern once dismissed by experts as not quite good enough may not be so bad after all. A study in this week’s JAMA Network Open finds that people who walk 8,000 or more steps a day once or twice a week achieve cardiovascular benefits and lower mortality rates that are almost as good as people who go the same distance but do it nearly every day.
That distance is about 4 miles a day.
“We’ve long wondered what is the minimum physical activity we need for health. This study tries to answer that question,” said Dr. J. Sawalla Guseh, a sports cardiologist and director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. “This is putting an exclamation mark on something we already knew: that a little exercise goes a long way.” Guseh is the coauthor of a commentary article accompanying the study.
“We’re trying to find ways to encourage movement. This gives us permission to exercise even if it’s only two days a week,” Dr. Alysia Robichau, an ex-gymnast and primary care sports medicine physician at Houston Methodist The Woodlands, who was not involved in the study.
14. An 8th Grade Girl Explains Why Male Athletes Should Not Be Allowed in Women’s Sports:
ranswomen should play in separate leagues so that everyone can compete while ensuring safe and fair competition for women and girls.
Imagine training for years to be on the college swim team just to lose to a man claiming he’s a woman. For many girls around the U.S., they don’t have to imagine, because this is their reality.
It is my strong belief that males who identify as women should not be allowed to compete with female athletes because it is unfair to their teammates and opponents. Transwomen should have the opportunity to compete in separate leagues so that everyone can compete while ensuring safe and fair competition for women and girls.
My belief is rooted in the undeniable fact that male athletes have an unfair advantage over females. If a female had been training at swim her whole life and a transwoman swimmer comes along and beats her at every event, that wouldn’t be an equal and fair race, considering that swimmer is biologically male and enjoys the performance benefits of male puberty.
More...from Reality's Last Stand.
15. 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.