1. Should Sport Be Non-Competitive In Schools?
Over the past few years English schools have begun to introduce non-competitive sport in an effort to be more inclusive. But is that the right strategy when it comes to producing future champions and developing a 'winning' mentality? The team take an in-depth look into the evidence surrounding the debate and examples of countries that have already rolled out similar plans.
Litsten to the podcast on Science of Sport.
2. How to Train Your Gut:
Females suffer more GI issues than their male counterparts. Here’s how to get the fuel you need without the GI distress you don’t.
Women are no strangers to GI distress. Research shows we’re more prone to symptoms like bloating, stomach cramps, and constipation, partially because of monthly hormonal shifts in menstruating women and also because females have slower motility through the stomach and intestine than our male peers. Though research is somewhat mixed, women also may be more likely to suffer GI distress during exercise, especially abdominal cramps, side stitch, flatulence, intestinal bleeding, the urge to have bowel movements, and diarrhea, than men.
This can make it especially challenging to get the energy you need during exercise, especially for longer endurance events and/or during super hard efforts like CrossFit workouts. That’s why it’s important to understand your physiology and, importantly, to train your gut to meet the challenges you’re asking of it.
Duration and Intensity Matter
When it comes to fueling for exercise, duration and intensity matter. You can walk the dog, take an easy bike ride, and lift some weights without worrying too much about what you eat. Once the efforts get harder and longer, digestion becomes more finicky.
More...from Believe in the Run.
4. Harder, better, faster, stronger: why we must protect female sports:
In 1988, at the US Olympic trials in Indianapolis, Florence Griffith Joyner romped home in the female 100m quarterfinals to set a new world record of 10.49 seconds (1). This was an astonishing moment in female sports, and not just because of her (in)famous six inch long fingernails. In an event where records usually progress by mere 100ths of a second, she smashed the existing female world record time by nearly three 10ths (the previous holder was Evelyn Ashford, running 10.76s). The world went ‘Flo Jo’ crazy as they celebrated the ‘Fastest Woman Ever’, an accolade she still holds today, some 30 years on from the event and 20 years after her death.
10.49s. That 10.49 seconds stands as one of the oldest world records in athletics (2). The closest a female has ever got to it is Carmelita Jeter, with 10.64s in 2009. Marion Jones is recorded as the third fastest 100m female sprinter, with 10.65s in 1998. However, her subsequent admission to steroid use before the 2000 Sydney Olympics means this result might be taken with a pinch of performance enhancing drugs. 10.49s is a time that today’s current crop of 100m female sprinters acknowledge is beyond their reach (3). The current ‘Fastest Women in the World’, 2016 Olympic champion Elaine Thompson and 2017 World champion Tori Bowie, have personal bests of 10.70s and 10.78s respectively. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, acknowledged as the greatest female sprinter of all time – her medal haul is astonishing – ran a 10.70s personal best in 2012.
More...from Fond of Beetles.
5. Exercise May Be The Best Treatment For Depression, New Studies Suggest:
Depression has always been a common condition, and has likely risen in the last few years. And while there are effective treatments, not all treatments are effective for every person, and some come with prohibitive side effects or costs. A new study, the largest of its kind to date, finds that exercise “interventions” appear to reduce depression symptoms about as much as conventional treatments, like medication and therapy. The authors recommend their findings be taken into account by organizations writing clinical guidelines which don’t currently consider exercise a first-line therapy for depression.
In the new meta-analysis, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the authors culled data from 41 previous studies, made up of more than 2,200 participants. Each of the study’s participants had either started exercise routines of various descriptions or remained inactive (as controls). Overall, the effects of exercise were considered moderate to large, statistically speaking – comparable to the effect sizes of standard treatments, like antidepressants or talk therapy. Certain types of activity had greater impact – exercise supervised by professionals, group exercise programs, and moderate-intensity and aerobic exercise – but even light exercise was effective.
6. Why ‘Meaningful Competition’ is not fair competition:
In this paper I discuss a new conception that has arrived relatively recently on the scene, in the context of the debate over the inclusion of transwomen (hereafter TW) in female sport.
That conception is ‘Meaningful Competition’ (hereafter MC) – a term used by some of those who advocate for the inclusion of TW in female sport if and only if they reduce their testosterone levels. I will argue that MC is not fair. I understand MC as a substitute concept, as an attempt to substitute for the perfectly serviceable concept of fair competition. It is an attempt at conceptual engineering that should be resisted. This is important because some International Federations have accepted MC as good coin, and the underlying theory of MC, which I explicate for the first time, underpins the stance taken by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) in its Framework Document. To establish that the inclusion of TW in female sport meets the criteria of MC in the sense I explicate here, does not show that the inclusion of TW in female sport is fair. Such inclusion is not fair, and the proper currency of sport is fair competition. ‘Meaningful Competition’, on the other hand, is a snare and a delusion.
More...from Journal of the Philosophy of Sport.
7. 92% of women are concerned for their safety on the run, according to a new study:
‘The Ridiculous Run’ campaign highlights the need for male education and allyship.
Today, sportswear giant Adidas has launched a brand new campaign – ‘The Ridiculous Run’ – to help raise awareness about the safety concerns faced by the vast majority of women when running.
According to a recent survey conducted by Adidas – in which 9,000 runners from nine different countries were interviewed* – 92% of women reported feeling concerned for their safety, with half (51%) afraid of being physically attacked, compared to 28% of men.
Additionally, the survey revealed that 38% of women have experienced physical or verbal harassment while running, and over half of these women have received unwanted attention, sexist comments or unwanted sexual attention, been honked at or followed. The majority of women (69%) also reported taking specific safety precautions, from tying their hair up in a bun and carrying keys in between their fingers to running with a person who can protect them.
More...from Runner's World UK.
8. Study of marathoners shows running not linked to knee or hip arthritis:
There is some good news for all the runners out there. You don't have to stop running to spare your knees.
It's a widely held belief that running puts wear and tear on the legs, leading to arthritis down the road.
But a new study from the University of California, San Francisco looked at more than 3,800 marathoners and found running itself was not linked to the development of knee or hip arthritis.
They found that runners and non-runners share the same risk factors for arthritis such as getting older, having a family history, previous knee or hip injuries or previous surgeries, and a higher BMI, in other words being overweight.
And while running can make matters worse for people who already have arthritis in their knees and hips, prevention of arthritis is not a reason to stop pounding the pavement.
More...from CBS Boston.
9. Why Zone 2 Hype is Bad For You:
Easy is in. If you are an athlete and paying even a little attention to endurance sport media, you have likely been inundated with content hyping easy training intensities. ‘Go slow to go fast’ is trending, with loads of content creators going all in on Zone 1, Zone 2, more rest days, fewer intervals, and avoiding Zone 3 at all costs. They’re not wrong but they’re encouraging the overuse of a blunt instrument where a nuanced approach is more appropriate. Zone 2 is good for you, but here’s why overhyping Zone 2 isn’t.
The Strength of Simple
I’m not above the fray when it comes to commercializing training content. I’ve made a career of packaging training and nutrition ideas in ways that resonate with athletes. I co-authored “The Time-Crunched Cyclist”, which promoted the idea of using high-intensity interval work to address athletes’ common pain point: limited time available for training. The boundary, for me and for the coaches I’ve worked with, is saying that any method of training is the only one that works.
10. New Research Provides Guidelines for Pregnant Runners Returning to Sport:
Armed with research, a new app is increasing accessibility to post-partum rehab for runner mothers on their journey back from childbirth.
When Rachel Selman got pregnant with her first child in 2017, she sought advice from multiple sources on safe forms of exercise. The 31-year-old physical therapist spoke to her doctor, and she reached out to friends who are personal trainers and physical therapists. To her frustration, everyone shared a different opinion.
In the end, the former college soccer player listened to her doctor, who advised her to keep her heart rate below 140 beats per minute, lift no more than 25 pounds and avoid core workouts so as not to aggravate any abdominal separation that can occur during pregnancy. That meant Selman, who prior to pregnancy went to the gym 4-5 times each week, couldn’t even lift a barbell or run because her heart rate would surpass the recommended limit. Instead, she did occasional light lifting.
“I lost so much endurance and [musculoskeletal and cardiovascular strength] that I had been working really hard for as someone who had been active,” Selman told Women’s Running, while explaining that body changes during pregnancy also proved difficult on her mental health.
11. Jumbo-Visma and the ‘game changer’ baking soda system that’s shaking up pro cycling:
Primož Roglic helped develop it, Wout van Aert loves it: How Jumbo-Visma and nutrition pioneers Maurten created pro racing's latest must-have..
Sodium bicarbonate. It helps bake cakes and clean your kitchen.
And now it’s become the hottest performance enhancer in the pro cycling.
An innovative bicarb-based product created by nutrition nerds Maurten and already in use by riders like Wout van Aert, Lotte Kopecky, and Primož Roglic is turning racing’s biggest gamble into the latest must-have marginal gain lusted for throughout the WorldTour.
“We’ve taken a baking product you find in almost every home, and for the first time ever, we’ve made it possible for anyone to use it to boost athletic performance,” Maurten representative Herman Reuterswärd told VeloNews.
Maurten is the manufacturer of the groundbreaking carb-laden hydrogel drinks and gels that are guzzled en masse in the men’s and women’s WorldTour.
Now, the Swedish brand is causing a stir with its “Bicarbonate System.”
12. Christopher Labos: Is high-level endurance exercise bad for your heart?
It's tempting to conclude from a recent study that excessive exercise is bad for you. A closer look at the findings tells a different story.
Exercise is the best thing you can do to stay healthy. But there is always the worry that some forms of exercise are dangerous and there are always just enough news headlines and studies around to fan the flames of that concern. For example, this month, researchers at the American College of Cardiology conference presented research from the Master@Heart study showing that lifelong endurance athletes had more coronary plaques than non-athletes. The implication was that high level endurance exercise, like marathons, must be bad for your heart.
But before we can make that conclusion, we have to remember that there is a difference between having plaque in your arteries and having a heart attack
It’s somewhat interesting that marathons became a popular sporting event given that the first person to ever try one was Pheidippides of Athens and he reportedly collapsed and died after running the distance from Marathon to Athens. Despite this inauspicious, and possibly apocryphal, beginning, the marathon has become a staple of the sporting world.
More...from the Montreal Gazette.
13. Two Ways That Tracking Your Training Data Can Boost Your Performance :
So-called “augmented feedback” can offer both information and motivation. A new study tries to separate the effects.
As a young runner in the 1990s, I spent a ton of effort collecting and interpreting data. I would check my pulse every morning as soon as I woke up, then again ten seconds after getting out of bed. The difference between those two numbers, I had read, was a sensitive early warning sign of overtraining. I plotted my weekly mileage in a Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet, and scrutinized the peaks and troughs and trailing averages. I faithfully memorized and recorded every split of every interval workout.
These days, of course, we’ve shifted from scarce and laboriously collected data to an abundance that I could hardly have imagined—which, for an obsessive enthusiast like me, is a mixed blessing. There’s a seemingly endless array of devices that offer you real-time feedback to optimize your training and performance. Over the years, I’ve written lots about heart-rate variability and continuous glucose monitors and muscle oxygen sensors and so on. I’ve also pondered the relative merits of subjective versus objective metrics, and descriptive versus prescriptive use of data. Overall, I’m still conflicted about it. Data, like Homer Simpson’s paean to alcohol, seems like both the cause of and solution to a lot of problems for endurance athletes.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
14. How (And Why) To Avoid Quitting Workouts:
It's one thing to think about a workout; it's another to actually do it. Here's how to make sure workout brain doesn't convince you to quit
Imagine you’re in the middle of an interval workout.
Wait, that’s impossible. The exact sensations you feel during a workout are pretty hard to conceptualize at rest. Sitting here at my computer, almost any workout seems doable. Fun even! 5 x 3 minute hills? That’s just 15 minutes of adventure. I can do that in my sleep!
Before getting to this paragraph, I ran that exact workout at altitude outside Aspen. My resting brain thought it was going to be challenging and rewarding, a chance to push to the edge with love. My workout-brain took a different perspective.
15. In New Study, Majority of Women Say They Feel Unsafe While Running — Here’s What Adidas Is Doing About It:
Adidas is shining a light on women’s safety. Earlier this month, the athletic company released “The Ridiculous Run” ad campaign to drive greater awareness around the ridiculous realities women face every time they go for a run.
In the clip, the female runners can be seen starting their night-time run alone then comes extreme backup measures — a horse, motorcycles, cars, men. The point? To call attention to the absurd precautions women have to take to feel safe. In reality, some of those precautions include wearing loose clothing, running with someone they think can protect them or sharing location with friends.
To accompany the ad, Adidas surveyed 9,000 runners across nine countries to understand men and women’s experiences and perceptions of safety when running. In the study, 92% of women reported feeling concerned for their safety, with half [51%] afraid of being physically attacked, compared to 28% of men. Plus, over a third of women said to have experienced physical or verbal harassment, and of these women, over half have received unwanted attention, sexist comments or unwanted sexual attention, been honked at, or followed.
More...from Footwear News.