1. What Extreme Heat Does to Your Body:
Heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. While the human body is able to withstand high temperatures, unprecedented extreme heat driven by climate change is challenging our ability to adapt. As heat waves become more common, it’s important to know why heat can be so dangerous and who is most at risk for heat-related illnesses. Here’s what happens inside your body when it gets too hot.
How the body handles heat
When you start to heat up from exertion or the temperature outside, your body works to cool itself by moving warmer blood away from your internal organs and cooler blood toward them. It has two main techniques for doing this.
Blood is redistributed from your body’s core to its periphery in order to release heat through your skin. Capillaries at the surface of the skin fill with blood, which is why people often look flushed when they are hot.
More...from the New York Times.
2. The pressure for sportswomen to look a certain way is immense – and unreasonable:
At Chelsea we do not do body composition tests and we never weigh players. Never. All that fuels is eating disorders.
Why have they put that picture up of me? Are they trying to show I’m fat? Do they want to show that things don’t look nice on me?”
I have had hundreds of conversations with players like this – it happens all the time. If a player sees an image of themselves that they do not like, it can add fuel to some very insecure minds about their bodies and they do not eat properly.
I have even seen pictures of myself and thought, ‘Why did they have to use that one?’ I am from a generation where I can accept it. You just have to say, “Whatever, I’ll move on. I can’t focus on it. I won’t let it debilitate me”. But I will still say, “Oh f—--- hell, they could have done a bit better with that”.
We live in a society where women are constantly scrutinised – any parent of a daughter will relate to what I am saying. This generation is experiencing that fear of being judged more than any other because this is a generation that has grown up only knowing social media. They are forever seeing pictures of people and being told how they are supposed to look. The unreasonable pressure on them to look a certain way is immense, despite the fact that the way someone can look as they smile down the lens might have nothing to do with how they might be feeling in real life.
More...from The Telegraph.
3. What We Know About the Future of Endurance Training :
Sports scientists weigh in on the trends that will keep the PRs coming,
One of my favorite quadrennial rituals is the serve-and-volley between articles arguing that progress in Olympic sports has ground to a halt and those—like the one I wrote in June—wondering how the heck athletes managed to defy our predictions and continue getting faster. Somehow we always manage to convince ourselves that we’ve picked all the low-hanging fruit, and the only way to get better in the future will be to change the rules or cheat.
That’s why the title of a recent article in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance caught my attention: “The Evolution of World-Class Endurance Training: The Scientist’s View on Current and Future Trends.” It’s the “future” part that piqued my interest. An expert panel of 25 sports scientists who work with world-leading endurance athletes and coaches, wrangled by Øyvind Sandbakk and former Olympic cross-country skier Silvana Bucher Sandbakk, both of the Norwegian University of Science of Technology, peered into their crystal balls to predict why and how they think top athletes will keep getting faster.
The panel actually addressed two distinct questions. The first was on the key trends that have fueled progress in the past ten to 15 years; the second was on the trends that will drive progress in the next ten to 15 years. The answers to the first question are interesting to contrast with the ideas I discussed in my June article on why endurance runners have seemingly been tearing up the track over the past few years. The biggest factors, in my telling, have been the development of supershoes and improved pacing. I also considered other ideas like changes in training philosophy (such as Norwegian-style thresholds), better dissemination of training knowledge, and of course drugs.
More...from Sweat Science on Outside Online.
4. New Balance SC Trail Review: Almost Ready to Rip:
While the carbon fiber craze may have jumped the shark on the road side of things, we trail folk are still singing happy days when a new model drops with all the plated super foam tech that’s now ubiquitous for race day on the tarmac. Of course, there’s been some debate as to whether or not stiff carbon plates are actually all that helpful on the trails, especially technical trails, but that won’t stop brands from trying and trying again to carry over some of the advantages and secrets from their more refined road racing models onto the dirt.
It seems simple, right? Take proven tech from the road scene, beef it up a little, slap on a knobby outsole, and you’ve got yourself a Vaporfly for the trails. Well, as it turns out, there are a few more pieces to the trail super shoe puzzle. Some have come closer than others to solving said puzzle, but an industry-changing shoe like the Vaporfly 4% still seems to evade most brands. Of course, that won’t stop them from trying or stop us from getting excited about every new release.
The latest brand to do just that is New Balance, debuting the SC Trail. Despite its relatively simple naming (and even more simple logo design), the SC Trail is souped up with all the juicy tech from New Balance’s uber-successful plated road lineup, just waiting to be let loose on the trails. Sporting a lightweight mesh upper, a nice heaping of soft, responsive FuelCell foam, a full-length carbon plate, and a Vibram outsole, the SC Trail has all the makings of a great racing shoe that we know and love from New Balance. Of course, there remains one question to answer, can all these separate pieces fit together and solve the puzzle of the perfect carbon-plated trail racer?
More...from Believe in the Run.
5. Developing the Running and Related Activities Urinary Incontinence Symptoms Questionnaire:
Are you leaking urine when you run, jog, or walk?
Urine leakage during physical activity can discourage women from participating. We are in the process of developing surveys that will help to improve our understanding of how many women leak as well as the circumstances around their leaking.
Our current survey is being designed to assess the symptoms of urine leakage in women who run, jog and walk as a form of physical activity.
Click National Review.
7. Your Smartwatch May Be Impeding Long-Term Running Goals:
Modern gadgets tell us more about our physiology and recovery needs than ever before, but how might this constant data bath might actually work against our training?
A month ago, one of the runners I coach contacted me in a panic. We’ll call him “Adam.” He’s training for a sub-three-hour marathon and is, consequently, pouring himself into his training.
So far, everything in his preparation has been going to plan. He’s healthy. His workout times are solid. He’s hitting overall mileage levels that are challenging but manageable. Adam has also been feeling good for most of his training, so he’s right where I’d like him to be.
But Adam was panicking over his cadence. Last week, he ran two of his easy runs with an average cadence of 169 steps per minute. Usually, his cadence lands at around 170 to 171 steps per minute.
Was Adam right to panic over his cadence slipping ever so slightly? Was this a sign of excessive fatigue? Would this trend keep progressing over time?
Having this immediate, ongoing access to so many metrics about your running is both a blessing and a curse. In this case, Adam had nothing to worry about, but let’s discover why.
More...from Outside Online.
8. Nike Ultrafly Review:
The Nike Ultrafly is a top option for ultra-marathons on hard terrain, though there are issues, particularly with its upper.
The Nike Ultrafly may have the same carbon plate and ZoomX foam in the midsole as the brand’s road racing shoes, but this isn’t a Nike Vaporfly for the trails. The focus of this shoe is on long-distance events, with comfort and stability prioritized over the speed and bounce of the lighter Vaporfly and Alphafly road shoes.
It’s one of the best trail-running shoes available for ultra-marathons, but given the quality of shoes available for less—including other excellent carbon plate running shoes—the high price is off-putting. Also, the upper lacks the protection you expect for off-road running
The Nike Ultrafly launched in limited quantities in July 2023 ahead of its full launch in August. It costs $250 in the US and £250 in the UK, which makes it the most expensive trail shoe I’ve tested.
9. Study finds eating disorders and mental health issues a concern for ultrarunners:
Researchers suggest that as many as 32–62 per cent of ultrarunners struggle with eating disorders.
A scientific review published in the journal Sports Medicine has amalgamated information about mental health issues among ultra–endurance runners (UERs), and the conclusions may be surprising to many. The study defined UERs as runners who had participated in one or more ultra–endurance events (longer than a standard marathon, 42.2 kilometres).
“Among ultra-endurance runners, the mental, behavioral, and physical demands of training/competition can result in maladaptive outcomes,” researchers shared. “Mental health issues are common in athletes and can impact psychology, physical health, and performance.”
Researchers compiled 282 papers for review, with a total of 3,670 UERs included in the body of work. They considered papers reporting on mental health and UERs in the past year, and considered data on both elite and nonprofessional athletes. Researchers then extrapolated data, focusing on rates of eating disorders, exercise addiction, sleep disturbance and depression.
More...from Canadian Running Magazine.
10. How to run a marathon in under two hours:
It takes an elite athlete like Eliud Kipchoge plus other runners set up to reduce air resistance.
In an unofficial race in Vienna in 2019, Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge became the first person ever to run a marathon in under two hours. A new study shows how teamwork made that feat possible.
Kipchoge ran with a rotating posse of pacers, other runners who deflected some of his air resistance in a process known as drafting. Now, wind tunnel tests with action-figure manikins suggest that those pacers saved him 3 minutes and 33 seconds — dropping him below the two-hour mark to 1:59:40 — researchers report August 16 in Proceedings of the Royal Society A. An alternative configuration of pacers could have given Kipchoge an even bigger boost, cutting an additional 49 seconds, the team proposes.
More...from Science News.
11. 3 Ways you can improve your mental toughness:
A Quebec triathlete's research shows how "you can develop your inner resources to navigate any stress that you encounter."
The summer of 2018 was so hot and dry in Europe that Swiss cows were keeling over from heat exhaustion, and smoke from Scandinavian forest fires blackened the skies. So, who would have dreamt that in Zell am See in the Austrian Alps in late August, Ironman 70.3 organizers would be forced to cancel the bike leg by wintry weather. Temperatures had suddenly plunged, and on race day, sleet turned to snow. The steep switchbacks were ice-covered and simply too dangerous to navigate safely.
When that announcement was made before the scheduled race start, dozens of disappointed athletes trudged off to collect their bikes. Of the 2,604 triathletes who’d signed up, 585 didn’t even start. The rest of us milled around in wetsuits, drinking coffee, waiting for an update. Some found a quiet place to sit out the rain, eyes closed in meditation. For close to three hours, I swatted away my pre-race butterflies, rethinking my goal of conquering 90 km of mountain roads. By the time the gun went off, the rain was a mere drizzle, the lake flat and warm as bathwater. Then the sun burst through the clouds, and I charged around the lake on fresh legs, thrilled by the sight of the snow-covered mountains, clocking my best-ever run time.
More...from Triathlon Magazine.
12. The sanctification of Nikki Hiltz's "nonbinary" status is only one of many reasons pro running is in the toilet:
Hiltz could grow a handlebar mustache at this point and her fans wouldn't blink.
The most obviously inane of the many unattractive aspects of professional running is the emergence and especially the sanctification of the sham identity “nonbinary.”
This notion’s proponents—small in number, but magnificently ignorant, loud, and censorious in practice—cannot explain what “nonbinary” means any better than anyone can draw a square circle. That’s because claiming to be “nonbinary”—i.e., a bipedal primate born with no genitals or genitals only others can see—is no different than claiming to have been given instructions by God or the neighbors’ Labrador retriever.
This is a private and hence non-falsifiable revelation and contains no debatable or even definable content. Someone claiming to be a hobbit or a warlock or a sorceress is making no more sense than someone claiming to be “nonbinary”—but also no less. It’s as impossible to argue against the concept of “nonbinary” (or warlockhood) as it is to support it.
More...from Back of the Pack.
13. Fall Marathoners: It’s Time to Up the Miles and Find Your Pace:
Now that your foundation is built, you should be challenging yourself with longer runs faster speeds.
If you’re training for a fall marathon, you’ve hopefully built your foundation and have entered the thick of your training. The miles are getting longer, the runs more frequent, and the hard work is underway. These next four weeks you’ll focus on extending your long run, finding your goal pace, if you have one, and further preparing your body and mind for the rigors of a marathon.
Here’s what you’ll need to get through this next, more specific, training block.
Your Workout Plan
“Make your long run your biggest priority each week,” said Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, an exercise physiologist and Olympic marathoner.
More...from the New York Times.
14. Victor Conte: Players are still doping and the leagues know it:
BALCO mastermind tells Deadspin how athletes are still circumventing PED tests.
The doc — which debuted last night and details the rise and fall of BALCO, its mastermind, Victor Conte, and the performance-enhancing drug scandal that rocked most of the sports world in the early 2000s — is presented with the nostalgia of a long-gone era. Yet, just two weeks ago, Dallas Cowboys RB Ronald Jones was suspended for violating the NFL’s PED policy.
Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t see the news. Jones’ paltry two-game ban was covered with the shrug of a strained hamstring injury. Granted, Jones is a bit player, and when DeAndre Hopkins was nailed with a PED ban in 2022, the coverage and interest were a bit more intense, though nothing like they would have been during the BALCO years — back when the suspensions of MLB role players such as Alex Sanchez led to big headlines.
15. Nerd Lab: How Dr. George Brooks Revolutionized our Understanding of Lactate:
We dive into the extensive work of Dr. George Brooks, one of the preeminent exercise physiologists of our time. His work revolutionized our understanding of lactate and health.
At one point or another, we’ve all been told that the burn we feel in our legs is lactic acid. If we wanted to get rid of that soreness the next day, we needed to clear the lactic acid out of our legs. That was the belief for decades – that lactic acid was a dead product we produce when we “go anaerobic,” and we need to do everything we can to prevent that lactic acid from building up.
This is the landscape a young Dr. George Brooks was facing when he proposed an alternative theory. For one thing, it’s lactate, not lactic acid. For another thing, it’s not a dead-end product that just makes us sore – it’s in fact a critical fuel we produce all the time. Not to mention, it’s needed by many of the tissues in our body.
To say Dr. Brooks was met with skepticism when he proposed these notions in the early 1980s would be an understatement. But in the decades since, his theories have been vindicated, and our understanding of this essential molecule has fundamentally changed.
More...from Fast Talk Laboratories.