1. First Run: Adidas Adizero Boston 12:
A classic performance training shoe gets rejuvenated, and we find it delivers a versatile, smooth, quick-rolling ride.
For years, the Adidas Boston was a performance training shoe designed to get you through both the high-mileage weeks and the faster workouts necessary for running a strong marathon like, say, Boston.
But while shoe materials, components, and design paradigms improved with the running shoe industry’s focus on racing shoes, the Boston ambled along with minor midsole foam updates and the addition of a truncated version of Adidas’ original Energy Rods system. Now, as the focus has switched back to training shoes, there’s been a trickling down of top-tier technology that has started to enhance models in the performance training shoe category like the Boston.
One of the newest models in this revamped category, the new Adizero Boston 12 features Adidas’ new Energy Rods 2.0 propulsion system embedded in its midsole, an update that’s also found in its top-of-the-line Adizero Adios Pro 3 racing shoes. (Other shoes in the same semi-super training shoe realm include Saucony’s Endorphin Speed 3, Puma’s Deviate Nitro 2, the recently released ASICS Magic Speed 3, and the forthcoming Saucony Kinvara Pro.)
More...from Outside Online.
2. The Ingebrigtsen Method: Race Fast:
How good is Jakob Ingebrigtsen? His name is such a regular mention in this newsletter that I no longer have to double-check my spelling. That tells you all you need to know… and he also ran a new world record for two miles in 7:54.10, a time fast enough that it would have qualified him for the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championship 3000m.
Daniel Komen’s previous two-mile mark of 7:58.61 was set in 1997, a few years before Jakob was born. If breaking four minutes for the mile once qualifies an athlete for elite status, then what does doing it twice in one race do? I built my entire empire on the back of running a 3:52 mile and that’s what Ingebrigtsen ran for his second half. Imagine how successful HIS newsletter would be!
Now we can sit here and brood about the unfair disparity of talent in the world, or dive deeper into the numbers to further quantify just how much better Jakob is than everyone else, but here is what I have been returning to most the past few days: this interview.
3. How to carb load before your next race:
In the days leading up to a race, I'll add extra potatoes, rice and pasta to my meals. My non-sporting friends assume this form of feasting is a result of my previous student lifestyle where it's vital to make the most of every feeding opportunity at all-you-can-eat buffets, but fellow endurance athletes will recognise the tell-tale signs of carbohydrate-loading.
Carb-loading is a well-known tactic used by endurance athletes. In our Fueling Survey, 62% of respondents told us that they carb-load before their events.
You probably know you should do it and, for the most part, why. But do you know how to carb-load effectively ahead of an endurance event?
In our survey, 18% of those who carb-load told us that they start doing so at least one week in advance of their event.
Starting that early really isn’t necessary, but it does perhaps emphasise that the methodology behind carb-loading can be something of a grey area.
More...from Precision Hydration.
4. Hoka Zinal 2 Review: Speedy, Specialized Sequel:
JOHN: This summer, from the makers of the Hoka Zinal, comes Zinal 2, Zinal Kills. This is the Kill Bill-like revenge movie where the hero is left for dead but has to overcome hardship, reinvent themself, use ancient and beloved techniques, and become the ultimate badass that can get the bad guys that wronged them.
The Hoka Zinal 2 is very similar in weight and stack to the original. The lugs have increased to 5mm, and the lug pattern has been updated, but what jumped out to me was the look of the shoe. When I first saw it I got very strange vibes, like an EVO Jawz had a kid with a Brooks Levitate, but there are also some Salomon aspects to it, too. The Levitate-like upper on this shoe initially really scared me. This is a much different-looking shoe than the original version of the Zinal.
That first Zinal was a great shoe and was highly reviewed, but now has been given a new look and technology. Much like Robocop, it’s here to serve the public trust, protect the innocent, and uphold the law. It’s not messing around; Hoka is going all in on the brand-new look.
Did Hoka do the right thing by changing up a beloved shoe so much? Let’s find out if the sequel holds up or is a disappointing bomb.
SAM: What if I told you running in the Hoka Zinal 2 was like running in a pair of Toms? You know Toms — the original one-for-one shoe company. The people who made it cool for college dudes to wear flats. Who, with a magic wand of marketing, caused those same dudes and all their private college classmates to rethink their material consumption, first with the knowledge that their everyday dollars could have the potential for outsized charitable global impact, and again to rethink it all over again years later when they realized that global impact was mostly just disrupting local economies with the sudden influx of thousands of free shoes; and, in truth, not actually doing much good at all.
More...from Believe in the Run.
5. From Norway to Flagstaff: How Double Threshold Training Is Taking Over the World:
In the fall of 2019, Northern Arizona University cross country coach Mike Smith presented his team with an idea: one month out from the first major race of the season at the Nuttycombe Invitational, they would run two workouts in one day. For the past few years, Smith had been reading about a training system popular with Norwegian athletes, and that summer had used it with his girlfriend (now wife) Rachel Schneider as she prepared to race the 5,000 meters at the World Championships in Doha. The main principle of the system was to push an athlete’s anaerobic threshold as high as possible — a threshold that marked the difference between an intensity level sustainable for long periods of time and one that could be sustained for only a few minutes before fatigue forces the athlete to slow or stop. (Some people call this the “lactate threshold” because it is the point at which lactate, a byproduct created when the body breaks down glucose for energy, begins to accumulate rapidly in the blood).
Smith already had a training system that worked. Building on the success of his predecessor Eric Heins, he had led the Lumberjacks to back-to-back national titles in his first two seasons in charge. Why change a winning formula?
6. Carbohydrate intake before and during high intensity exercise with reduced muscle glycogen availability affects the speed of muscle reoxygenation and performance:
Muscle glycogen state and carbohydrate (CHO) supplementation before and during exercise may impact responses to high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This study determined cardiorespiratory, substrate metabolism, muscle oxygenation, and performance when completing HIIT with or without CHO supplementation in a muscle glycogen depleted state. On two occasions, in a cross-over design, eight male cyclists performed a glycogen depletion protocol prior to HIIT during which either a 6% CHO drink (60 g.hr-1) or placebo (%CHO, PLA) was consumed. HIIT consisted of 5 × 2 min at 80% peak power output (PPO), 3 × 10-min bouts of steady-state (SS) cycling (50, 55, 60% PPO), and a time-to-exhaustion (TTE) test. There was no difference in SS V?O2, HR, substrate oxidation and gross efficiency (GE %) between CHO and PLA conditions. A faster rate of muscle reoxygenation (%. s-1) existed in PLA after the 1st (? - 0.23 ± 0.22, d = 0.58, P < 0.05) and 3rd HIIT intervals (? - 0.34 ± 0.25, d = 1.02, P < 0.05). TTE was greater in CHO (7.1 ± 5.4 min) than PLA (2.5 ± 2.3 min, d = 0.98, P < 0.05). CHO consumption before and during exercise under reduced muscle glycogen conditions did not suppress fat oxidation, suggesting a strong regulatory role of muscle glycogen on substrate metabolism. However, CHO ingestion provided a performance benefit under intense exercise conditions commenced with reduced muscle glycogen. More research is needed to understand the significance of altered muscle oxygenation patterns during exercise.
7. Team GB athlete: Sport treats pregnancy like an illness:
Fresh questions raised over sport's help to pregnant athletes after Mathilda Hodgkins Byrne speaks to commons committee.
A rower who is crowdfunding to bring her baby son to next year’s Paris Olympics has told parliament that pregnancy is being treated like an “illness” in British sport.
In evidence that raises fresh questions over whether governing bodies are doing enough to support pregnant athletes, Mathilda Hodgkins Byrne, a European silver medallist, said she had been made to feel like a “development athlete” since giving birth to her first child, Freddie, last summer.
“When I was pregnant, the support team I had was brilliant. I was straight away removed from the programme — and that would be my biggest criticism,” Hodgkins Byrne told a women and equalities committee hearing exploring sexism and health inequality in sport. “From the minute I said I was pregnant — and currently — I’m not part of the squad.”
Hodgkins Byrne said she was unsure whether she would be a funded athlete come November. “At the moment, I’m being treated as a development athlete or an athlete who’s been injured, or is ill,” she said. “The coaches are the hierarchy, and unless they’re on board supporting, it’s very easy to feel alienated or pushed to the side.”
More...from The Telegraph.
8. Should I worry about my VO2 max?
Most people have never heard of VO2 max. A few know it has something to do with oxygen consumption. But how is it measured? And what does a high or low figure mean?
‘New VO2 max: 58.7ml/kg/min,” Bryan Johnson, the 45-year-old tech entrepreneur spending a reported $2m (£1.6m) a year on de-ageing himself, recently announced on Twitter. “Ranking me in the top 1.5% of 18-year-olds.” As a marker of the body’s ability to use oxygen, that’s pretty good, but maybe more impressive than the number is the fact that he put himself through the test in the first place. Any runner who has done it knows that gradually cranking up the pace on a treadmill while wearing a rubber mask isn’t exactly a great afternoon.
But does that stat actually mean anything? Is Johnson’s number good? And does anyone outside the winter biathlon circuit need to know their VO2 max?
Let’s start with definitions. As a concept, VO2 max was first studied in the 1920s by researchers who observed that oxygen consumption increases with running speed up to a certain limit, and then no more. At this point, your body has to rely on other sources of energy, and can’t sustain that level of effort for long. Your number, then, represents that peak: the maximum amount of oxygen (O2), measured by volume (V), that your body can take in while exercising.
More...from The Guardian.
9. It’s time to stop picking sides in the cardio vs. weightlifting debate:
The long-standing debate over cardio and weights seems like yet another wedge to divide us in these polarized times. How can marathoners and muscleheads live together when each is convinced that the other is neglecting a crucial path to health and longevity?
Happily, the latest data suggests that there’s a middle ground. At the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual conference, held earlier this month in Denver, a comparison of the health benefits of aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity was selected as one of the top papers of the year. Its conclusions, in brief, are that each form of exercise is good and both is better.
The paper – published in Current Sports Medicine Reports and authored by Angelique Brellenthin and Duck-chul Lee of Iowa State University and Australian researcher Jason Bennie – assessed the long-term impacts of meeting standard exercise guidelines. The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology’s 24-Hour Movement Guidelines, for example, suggest accumulating at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity, along with muscle-strengthening activity at least twice a week.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
10. How to use heart rate variability as a training tool:
Understanding HRV can help you keep your finger on the pulse of your running health.
As running technology gets smaller and more portable, the number of insights it offers into our health continues to grow. For wearable heart rate monitors, the tech has gone beyond simply providing data to reshaping the way many runners train and race. Instant access to the beats-per-minute (BPM) metric has made training by heart-rate zones the go-to training guide for many. Yet, there’s much more our hearts can tell us than how hard it’s working. Heart rate variability (HRV), an increasingly popular metric for runners, offers subtle insights that our hearts reveal between the lines—or between the beats—that can help us better understand our overall running health and guide us in tweaking our training accordingly.
What is HRV?
Unlike heart rate, HRV focuses on the gaps between the beats. Specifically, it’s a measurement of the natural changes in tempo from one beat to the next. It’s a concept that’s probably familiar to anyone who’s ever tried playing the drums (or has lived on the same block as someone who has). An experienced drummer with rock-solid timing can hold the tempo perfectly between successive beats, so their “variability” is low. A shaky beginner who keeps striking the snare a little too early or too late, meanwhile, has high variability. There are big differences between heartbeats and drumbeats, of course, and one in particular may make HRV seem a bit counterintuitive. While metronomic timing is great for drummers (and listeners), it’s not necessarily ideal for runners. In general, a heart that doesn’t keep the tempo exactly right between beats, like our fledgling drummer friend, reflects better overall health.
More...from Canadian Running Magazine.
11. The 9 Best Asics Running Shoes of All Time, Tested by Fitness Editors:
We've hit tracks, treads, and trails in dozens of Asics, but these models stand above the rest.
High functionality and a wide array of unique designs have catapulted Asics into having a full-blown style moment in recent years. The brand's classic running shoes, however, are at the core its cult-like following of running pros and amateurs alike.
By now, the brand is a household name. But few know the meaning behind the five letter word. It's actually an acronym derived from the Latin phrase "Anima Sana In Corpore Sano" meaning "a sound mind in a sound body," embodying the shoemaker's ethos of creating footwear that transcends mere functionality.
A commitment to innovation is ingrained in the DNA of the brand, driving the continuous evolution of their running product line, in particular. From cushioning systems such as FlyteFoam®, GEL® cushioning, and Dynamic DuoMax™ Support System (more on these later) that are designed to absorb impact and reduce fatigue to lightweight construction, each element is engineered to optimize the runner's potential.
More...from Men's Health.
12. Colorado Investigation Finds Body Composition Testing Harmed “Significant Number” of Athletes:
Coaches Wetmore and Burroughs and the school’s head dietitian remain in their jobs with new safeguards, following a university report.
The University of Colorado will enact new guidelines surrounding body composition testing after an independent review of the cross-country and track and field teams found evidence the school’s current practices “negatively impacted a significant number of student-athletes.”
An 82-page report was provided to Runner’s World along with a summary of the results and actions the university has taken in response. In the report, several members of the university’s medical and coaching staff, along with current and former athletes, told investigators they believed the testing and related nutrition advice exacerbated eating disorders and caused other harms, especially to athletes on the women’s team.
More...from Runner's World.
13. Is There a Place for Low-Carbohydrate Diets? With Dr. Paul Laursen:
We discuss the questions of whether a low-carbohydrate diet truly hurts performance and if it is better for our health.
Carbohydrates, particularly simple sugars, are a complicated topic in the world of endurance sports science—and also one of the most controversial. In Episode 259, we talked with Dr. Asker Jeukendrup who, along with Dr. John Hawley, have led the way in strongly supporting the need for carbohydrates to perform based on decades of research. But there are equally respected researchers on the other side of the camp who believe that we can perform just as well on a low-carbohydrate diet.
One of those respected researchers is Dr. Paul Laursen. He’s been involved in recent research that shows endurance athletes have no loss in performance after adapting to very low carbohydrate diets like the keto diet—even during short, explosive efforts.
Our talk with Dr. Laursen will be a follow-up to our episode with Dr. Jeukendrup about the pros and cons of carbohydrates. As Dr. Laursen points out, they agree on 95% of the science. But that other 5% can be important.
More...from Fast Talk Laboratories.
14. How to Exercise When It’s Humid:
Working out in muggy weather can be brutal. Here are four ways to survive and thrive when it feels like a sauna outside.
Anyone who has gone for a jog on a hot, muggy day knows how miserable it can be — not only because your shirt is glued to your back, experts say, but also because humidity makes exercise much more challenging.
This is because the sweat on your skin doesn’t easily evaporate, said JohnEric Smith, an associate professor of exercise physiology at Mississippi State University. Sweat itself doesn’t cool you, he said, but rather the evaporation of sweat. When the air is already thick with water vapor, however, “there’s nowhere for the moisture on our skin to go,” he said.
As a result, humid air makes it harder for your body to cool down. This can cause the cardiovascular system to become stressed, reducing blood flow to the muscles, and tires us more quickly than in drier climes. While there isn’t much independent research on how humidity affects the body, small studies on the topic have consistently found that athletes begin to tire more quickly once the relative humidity reaches around 60 percent.
More...from the New York Times.
15. Thirteen tips for running in heat and humidity:
Summer running can make it feel like you need gills rather than lungs. If you are doing heart rate training, good luck. The warmer the weather, the harder your body has to work to keep you cool. Your heart rate will be higher and breathing more difficult. The reason why is your body is directing blood to the skin to cool you off through sweating. That means there's less blood available to transport oxygen to your muscles. What would usually be an easy-paced run feels more like a max all-out effort.
If you don't like running in the heat or humidity, you don't need to retreat inside for the next few months. There are plenty of things to try to make it a little bit more comfortable and here are some of them:
Less is best: wear as little clothing as legally possible!
Start slow and end slow: warm up prior to a run to gradually increase your heart rate rather than starting out too fast. For the end of the run do a gradual slow-down that includes some time for a slow walk. It will help regulate your heart rate and cool your body a bit.
Slow down: Your body has to work extra hard in the heat and humidity running at a "normal" pace.
Drink up: If you are running more than 75 to 90 minutes, carry a hand-held water bottle, hydration belt or hydration vest with you.
More...from Human Kinectics.