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Runner's Web Digest - April 21 - Posted: April 21, 2023

The Runner's Web Digest is a FREE weekly digest of information on running, triathlons and multisport activities.
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Runner's Web Digest INDEX

1. The psychology of pacing
2. “Athletes are Real People with Real Mental Health Issues:” Olympic Medalist Molly Seidel on the Long Road to Her ADHD Diagnosis 
3. A Simple Way To Improve Exercise Performance: Olive Fruit Water
4. Study finds regular exercise can help protect against the consequences of significant life stressors
5. Case Studies in Physiology: Male to female transgender swimmer in college athletics
6. Should Transwomen be allowed to Compete in Women’s Sports?
7. How to stay hydrated and fueled during indoor training
8. World Athletics Hits Back at Claims Over Transgender Competitors
9. 5 Recovery Foods That Pro Athletes Can’t Get Enough Of 
10. Improving your breath to improve your performance
11. Can tracking your period lead to a better workout?
12. Is Decoupled Cushioning the Future of Running Shoes? 
13. Fatigue Resistance And How To Improve It
14. My Hips Don’t Lie: The Problem (And Some Solutions) With Women’s Wetsuits
15. Yoga for Skeptics
"Which of the following shoe brands have you worn?"
*	Asics
*	adidas
*	Brooks
*	Fila
*	Mizuno
*	New Balance
*	Nike
*	Puma
*	Reebok
*	Saucony 

Vote here

Which of the following workouts do you incorporate into your training on a regular basis?
1	Long Runs 	257  (15%)
2	Tempo Runs 	233  (14%)
3	Hill Training 	212  (12%)
4	Pace Intervals 	219  (13%)
5	Speed Intervals 	222  (13%)
6	Running Drills 	199  (12%)
7	Pilates, Yoga, etc. 	187  (11%)
8	Other 	173  (10%)
Total Votes: 1702

The brainchild of Global Sports Communication director Jos Hermens, the formation of the NN Running Team, has proven to be one of the most innovative and ground-breaking developments in athletics. Launched in April 2017, the project has delivered on its goals to provide the athletes with access to better coaching, medical care and additional athlete support services with particular progress made in offering regular physiotherapy to athletes in training camps and during competition. That extra support has been reflected in the results enjoyed by the athletes in the NN Running Team. Since its inception its athletes have claimed no less than 13 Marathon Majors victories, set eight world records, snared world titles on the road, track and cross country and globally won over 175 road races.
Among its star athletes include; Eliud Kipchoge, marathon world record and the first man in history to run a sub-two-hour marathon; Kenenisa Bekele, the second fastest marathoner in history and three-time Olympic champion; Joshua Cheptegei, the World 10,000m and Cross Country champion and current 5000m and 10,000m track world-record holder; Geoffrey Kamworor, the three-time World Half Marathon champion and two-time New York City Marathon winner; Letesenbet Gidey, world record holder on the 5000m, 10,000m and half marathon, and holder of the fastest marathon debut ever; and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, 10k world record holder and winner of the 2022 TCS London Marathon. An exciting group of young women has also developed within the team including promising athletes such as: Letesenbet Gidey and Yalemzerf Yehualaw.
The NN Running Team has also played a role in the organisation of many unforgettable endurance events in recent years including the Nike Breaking2 Project, the INEOS 1:59 Challenge and the NN Valencia World Record Day.
Visit the website at:

Linda Flanagan (Author)
A close look at how big money and high stakes have transformed youth sports, turning once healthy, fun activities for kids into all-consuming endeavors—putting stress on children and families alike
Some 75% of American families want their kids to play sports. Athletics are training grounds for character, friendship, and connection; at their best, sports insulate kids from hardship and prepare them for adult life. But youth sports have changed so dramatically over the last 25 years that they no longer deliver the healthy outcomes everyone wants. Instead, unbeknownst to most parents, kids who play competitive organized sports are more likely to burn out or suffer from overuse injuries than to develop their characters or build healthy habits. What happened to kids' sports? And how can we make them fun again?
In Take Back the Game, coach and journalist Linda Flanagan reveals how the youth sports industry capitalizes on parents’ worry about their kids’ futures, selling the idea that more competitive play is essential in the feeding frenzy over access to colleges and universities. Drawing on her experience as a coach and a parent, along with research and expert analysis, Flanagan delves into a national obsession that has:
* Compelled kids to specialize year-round in one sport.
* Increased the risk of both physical injury and mental health problems.
* Encouraged egregious behavior by coaches and parents.
8 Reduced access to sports for low-income families.
A provocative and timely entrant into a conversation thousands of parents are having on the sidelines, Take Back the Game uncovers how youth sports became a serious business, the consequences of raising the stakes for kids and parents alike--and the changes we need now.
Buy the book from Pacing is a skill that’s tough to master. However, it’s an essential part of a triathlon. While your pacing strategy may depend on your strengths and weaknesses, how you pace your effort will make or break your goals of setting a new PR or making the age-group podium.
The Oxford dictionary defines pacing as doing something at a steady rate to avoid overexertion. In a triathlon, decisions are being made continuously to regulate effort versus the time or distance of a race.
The factors that influence pacing decisions are constantly debated. The change in the metabolic demand of working muscles is a common theory used to explain an individual’s effort. However, it only explains half the story. Over the last 20 to 30 years, research has looked into the effect the brain has on pacing. In 1996, Ulmer proposed a more extensive theory that the brain (central programmer) coordinates and adapts the outgoing messages of effort with the expected metabolic or biomechanical costs (fatigue, pain, breathing, lactic acid, recovery, etc.).
Triathlon Magazine.

2. “Athletes are Real People with Real Mental Health Issues:” Olympic Medalist Molly Seidel on the Long Road to Her ADHD Diagnosis:
Molly Seidel is a professional marathoner, Olympian, and mental health advocate. She made history in her Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games, where she became one of only three American women to ever medal in an Olympic marathon. Along the way, Seidel has been open and frank about her experiences living and competing as an athlete with OCD and ADHD, as well as her struggles with anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Here, she shares her story.
Molly Seidel is one of only three American women to medal in the Olympics in one of the most brutal of events, the marathon. Even with all her triumphs in competition, perhaps what is even more remarkable about Molly is her candor and courage in discussing and addressing a series of mental health challenges.
Molly Seidel was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) while studying and competing as a Division I athlete at the University of Notre Dame. She continued to compete through college, winning several NCAA championships, before seeking treatment for eating disorders. It wasn’t until years later — after medaling at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and finishing fourth with a personal best in the 2021 NYC Marathon — that Molly discovered the root source of her ongoing mental health challenges: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
“When I speak publicly about being diagnosed with ADHD and get absolutely flamed online for it, it’s frustrating and a little bit heart breaking sometimes because I know there are other people out there who are dealing with this,” Molly said in a recent conversation with WebMD. “One of the reasons that I didn’t get help earlier, when I was in high school or in college, is because I didn’t have the role models speaking out about this. Everybody who was at the pro level running then seemed like these perfect people, and I was like, Why doesn’t my brain work?”
More...from ADDitude.

3. A Simple Way To Improve Exercise Performance: Olive Fruit Water:
This research is the first to investigate the exercise benefits of consuming olive fruit water.
According to recent findings, a natural byproduct of olive oil production could offer antioxidant benefits and enhance physical exercise.
The study, which was published in the journal Nutrients and led by nutrition experts at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), is the first to examine the benefits of natural olive fruit water for individuals who engage in recreational physical activity.
Olive fruit water is a waste product derived from producing olive oil. Olives contain polyphenols which have antioxidant properties, and a commercially available olive fruit water product, called OliPhenolia, contains a number of phenolic compounds and is particularly rich in hydroxytyrosol. OliPhenolia consumption improved respiratory parameters at the onset of exercise as well as oxygen consumption and running economy at lower levels of intensity (lactate threshold 1).
More...from SciTechDaily.

4. Study finds regular exercise can help protect against the consequences of significant life stressors:
Recent research published in Mental Health and Physical Activity investigated the relationship between significant life stressors, resulting psychiatric illness, and exercise. The findings indicate that those who consistently exercised were more likely to be resilient in the face of life stressors.
Those experiencing improved mental health after a life stressor were moderate exercisers, and those with chronic illness after a stressor had the lowest levels of exercise. The study affirms the positive effects of physical activity on mental health and highlights the importance of promoting regular exercise for overall mental well-being.
As part of the human experience, individuals go through stressful events like medical issues or the loss of a loved one, which can lead to mental health problems like depression and suicidal thoughts. Regular exercise has been shown to boost mental health, reducing the chances of developing anxiety or depression and improving the quality of life for older adults and those with depression.
The main objective of the new study was to determine if exercise done before a stressful event could help prevent higher levels of depression symptoms. The hypothesis was that if a person exercises regularly before a stressful event, they will be better equipped to handle it and may not experience as many negative effects, especially if they are already considered to be resilient.
More...from PSyPost.

5. Case Studies in Physiology: Male to female transgender swimmer in college athletics:
There is current scientific and legal controversy about sports competition eligibility regulations for transgender athletes. In this case study, we quantified performances by an elite, transgender woman (male sex, female gender identity) college swimmer who competed in both the men’s and women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) categories. We also contextualized her performances with respect to world-record performances and contemporary elite college swimmers. These data demonstrate that the declines in freestyle swimming performances of a transgender woman after about 2 yr of reported feminizing gender-affirming hormone treatment (0.5% for the 100 to 7.3% for the 1,650 yard distance) are smaller than the observed sex-related differences in performance of top 200 world record performances in metric distances of similar durations (11.4% for the 100 m to 9.3% for the 1,500 m distance). Despite slower performances, the transgender woman swimmer experienced improvements in performance for each freestyle event (100 to 1,650 yards) relative to sex-specific NCAA rankings, including producing the best swimming time in the NCAA for the 500-yard distance (65th in the men’s category in 2018–2019 to 1st in the women’s, 2022). Similarly, NCAA-ranked male swimmers had no improvements in rank in the men’s category during the same time frame. Our findings suggest that the performance times of the transgender woman swimmer in the women’s NCAA category were outliers for each event distance and suggest that the transgender woman swimmer had superior performances relative to rank-matched swimmers. Our analysis may be useful as a framework for regulators considering participation guidelines, which promote fair competition for all athletes—irrespective of gender identity.
More...from the Journal of Applied Physiology.

6. Should Transwomen be allowed to Compete in Women’s Sports?
A view from an Exercise Physiologist
Gregory A. Brown Ph.D., Professor of Exercise Science, Physical Activity and Wellness Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology and Sport Sciences, University of Nebraska Kearney,
Tommy Lundberg Ph.D., Assistant Senior Lecturer, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Clinical Physiology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, SWE
Transgender women (transwomen) are individuals whose biological sex is male, but their gender identity is that of a woman. In 2003, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) released their initial policy on transgender athletes, in 2011 the NCAA adopted a transgender athlete inclusion policy, and in 2015 the IOC adopted a revised policy on transgender athletes. Starting in 2019 there were several high-profile cases of transwomen competing for championships in women’s sports (for example see these articles on, APNews, and the Washington Times). In response to these situations and concerns from athletes and the public, the International Olympic Committee, the NCAA, FINA, British Cycling, US Rowing, World Boxing, World Athletics and many other sports governing bodies have recently revised their policies regarding transgender athletes, particularly regarding transwomen. These policies vary considerably from the inclusion of transwomen in women’s sports based on self-identification as a woman, participation of transwomen in women’s sports if they meet testosterone suppression requirements, or participation in women’s sports allowed only for those who are recorded as female at birth.
More...from Center on Sport Policy and Conduct.

7. How to stay hydrated and fueled during indoor training:
ndoor training can be viewed as an unfortunate but necessary evil by some athletes, while others relish the opportunity to get in the ‘Pain Cave’ and log those hours on the turbo trainer or treadmill.
There's often an impressive (and slightly dangerous) pool of sweat on the floor whenever I've finished an indoor training session. So, does that puddle mean I sweat more when training indoors than outdoors? Let’s find out…
The effects of heat on sweat rate
The body controls core body temperature (CBT) to keep us alive and functioning, and we sweat when our CBT rises above a certain point.
The heat given off by working muscles has the greatest influence on CBT when exercising, so how hard you’re working has a massive impact on your sweat rate and more so than body fat, weight and overall size. This was emphasised by the findings of a 2015 study.
More...from The issue of transgender athletes came to the fore after swimmer Lia Thomas stormed to victory in the women's 500m freestyle NCAA swimming championships. Thomas, who had previously competed as a man, beat an Olympic silver medalist into second place in the women's event.
Since then, questions have been raised about whether male-to-female transgender athletes have an advantage over women athletes, as trans women could have higher testosterone levels and greater size and strength gained after going through male puberty.

9. 5 Recovery Foods That Pro Athletes Can’t Get Enough Of:
Plus, why post workout fueling is so important.
The best athletes don’t just train hard—they also recover smart. And a big part of effective recovery is the post-workout meal.
A good after-exercise nutrition plan can help an athlete replace the energy they burned during a workout, repair and rebuild muscles, and provide the fuel they need to crush their next training session, according to Jordan Hill, a Colorado-based registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics with Top Nutrition Coaching. The resulting gains can be significant.
Just ask Lea Davison. When the two-time Olympic mountain biker worked with a nutritionist some 10 years ago to dial in her post-workout fueling plan, she “really noticed the difference,” describing a reduction in rabid hunger and a feeling of being “stronger all around.”
More...from Outside Online.

10. Improving your breath to improve your performance:
This is an excerpt from Breathe, Focus, Excel by Harvey Martin.
As you start to understand your breath and how you can use it in your athletic performances, you must start with awareness. As an athlete and high-level performer, your main objective is to improve. What you can measure, you can progress, and as humans progress in activities, they go back to them. Think of a person starting a weightlifting program who finds immediate results in that process. As their muscles grow, they find the weight room less intimidating and more attractive, making it easier to continue and to improve.
So how do you create progress in your breathing? Start with the diaphragm. It’s the key muscle used in breathing and needs to be worked just like any other muscle, but working this muscle can be frustrating because you can’t see or feel that it grew like you can with the biceps after a series of curls. Therefore, you must go deeper into how you perceive progress in breathing.
Breathing, like anything else that athletes do, is a skill. We can improve our breathing, just as we can improve our squat. The beauty of breath practice, however, is that it is more than a mechanical skill. It also contributes to improvements in overall health. In recent years, we have learned that practicing breathing can control our autonomic nervous system, which regulates involuntary processes. Control over this system allows us to regulate other automatic systems in our body, such as heart rate, digestion, and blood circulation. All of these play a tremendous role in our health and natural ability to build immunity. By mastering the breath, we can take ownership of our health, which is a human superpower.
More...from Human Kinetics.

11. Can tracking your period lead to a better workout?
From elite athletes to TikTokers, more people are trying to tailor their workouts to their menstrual cycles. But does that work? Here’s what the science says.
What if there was a better way to exercise—one that took advantage of your menstrual cycle? It’s a question asked by elite athletes and casual gymgoers alike, who want to know how their body’s natural hormone fluctuations might be affecting their workouts.
You can see it on TikTok, where some influencers swear by lifting heavy weights in the early weeks of their cycle for better muscle gains. You can also find it in traditional media from The Guardian to Women’s Health, which offer guides for syncing your workout routine with the phases of your cycle.
More...from National Geographic.

12. Is Decoupled Cushioning the Future of Running Shoes?
Brooks’s innovative Aurora BL gives your feet both comfort and freedom.
There’s a route near my home that I jokingly refer to as “The Hardest Run in Boulder.” It’s a mostly flat circumnavigation of the Boulder Reservoir that measures just 5.3 miles long. But for a runner like me, who’s more comfortable clamoring up and down steep rocky mountain trails than cranking out fast flat miles, the run always feels disproportionately difficult.
Roughly two years ago, I ran the loop wearing the then-limited edition Aurora-BL—“BL” stands for BlueLine, Brooks Running’s shoe development subset that brings prototypes to market to test new innovations. I was hoping that the massive amounts of cushioning, instant step-in comfort, and interesting decoupled sole would make the “Hardest Run in Boulder” not feel so hard. And that day, two years ago, it did. My legs felt lighter, my stride felt smoother. I actually ran at a remarkably spry pace down the final stretch of flat, dirt road, and felt much less wrecked afterward than I usually do.
More...from Outside Online.

13. Fatigue Resistance And How To Improve It:
In the second of our two-part special on fatigue we examine Fatigue Resistance or durability. Is it just a modern term for an old concept, what does it really mean and what sort of training helps build it.
Watch the podcast on The Real Science of Sport.

14. My Hips Don’t Lie: The Problem (And Some Solutions) With Women’s Wetsuits:
The surf industry has made progress in bringing attention to this niche market of wetsuits, but women still have gripes over fit. Here's what surfers, women, and brands are doing about it.
It was midday afternoon at Trestles, just south of San Clemente, Calif. — the whole world and then some had come to claim a peak or two, but not before beating their chests wildly to assert dominance.
A wave comes straight to me. As I crane my neck from scanning the horizon back down to face my board, the Velcro latch from my wetsuit makes its own claim from the back of my head, yanking out a few inches of locks.
And somehow, underneath that Velcro, the zipper snuck down the tracks, fully exposing my back. Suddenly, the entire Pacific Ocean flushes into my wetsuit, rendering my feverish paddling for that coveted wave completely pointless.
It was a true flounder, in the most annoying sense, thanks to my wetsuit.
Over the past decade, women’s gear in the surf industry has primarily been focused on the user-friendliness of swimwear. And while many women brave the waves in warmer tropical waters that give way for cute bikinis, the majority of female surfers are soaking themselves in anything that’s 65 degrees Fahrenheit and below.
More...from GearJunkie.

15. Yoga for Skeptics:
It really is as healthy as people say. Here’s how to start a practice.
Yoga has been popular for decades, but participation in the mind-body practice just keeps growing. In 2017, more than 14 percent of adults in the United States practiced yoga, according to a nationally representative survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Despite its popularity, there are still many misconceptions about the activity and the ways in which it helps the body and mind. When many people think of yoga, thin, lithe bodies contorting in impossible ways come to mind. But “anybody can do yoga,” said Lori Rubenstein Fazzio, a physical therapist and clinical professor of yoga and health at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
You don’t even have to move your body much, if at all; even if you focus primarily on the breathing, you can still get benefits, said Laura Schmalzl, a neuroscientist and certified yoga instructor at the Southern California University of Health Sciences.
More...from the New York Times.

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Upcoming Races, Marathons, Races, and Triathlons April 21-22, 2023: St.Jude Rock 'n' Roll Nashville. TN April 21 - May 1, 2023: Marathon des Sables - Moroccan Desert April 22, 2023: 21K de Montreal - Montral, QC April 23, 2023: Haspa Hamburg Marathon _ Hamburg, Germany TCS London Marathon - UK BBC Coverage Vienna City Marathon - Vienna, Austria April 29, 2023: USATF 1 Mile Road Championships - Des Moines, IA April 29 - May 7, 2023: World Triathlon Multisport Championships - Ibiza, Spain April 30, 2023: Mississauga Half Marathon - Mississauga, ON N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon - Istanbul, Turkey For more complete race listings check out our Upcoming Races, and Calendars. Have a good week of training and/or racing. Ken Email:

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