1. New York City Marathon changes pregnancy deferral policy – but it requires athletes to pay to defer:
This week, New York Road Runners (NYRR) – organisers of the New York City Marathon – updated the organisation’s pregnancy and postpartum cancellation policy in an attempt to become a ‘more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and socially responsible organisation’.
It means that the New York City Marathon is now the fifth World Marathon Major to allow women to defer places for pregnancy. But there's a catch. The policy requires women to pay for their entry fee again – a whopping $295 for non-NYRR members.
The London, Berlin and Chicago Marathon's pregnancy deferral policies do not require entrants to pay for their entry fee for a second time, if they choose to defer their place, however the Boston Marathon does.
‘Pregnant or postpartum athletes will receive non-complimentary guaranteed entry for one of the next three subsequent NYRR races for which they originally registered,’ the policy reads.
This includes its other events – the RBC Brooklyn Half and the United Airlines NYC Half. So if an athlete is registered for one of these events and becomes pregnant, or are postpartum, and their cancellation request is approved, they can then choose to register for either the 2024, 2025 or 2026 events. But will be required to pay for it, on top of what they have already paid for their original place. There also isn't the option for athletes to pull out of the race all together and get their money back – all race fees are nonrefundable.
2. Unlocking athletic performance: Essential role of fats in an athlete’s diet:
As athletes, we often hear about the significance of proteins and carbohydrates in fuelling our workouts and competitions.
However, there’s another crucial player in the nutrition game that deserves our attention. Probably only one other F-word is more controversial than this one, but they are both equally as offensive. Yes, I’m talking about FAT.
Contrary to the misconception that fats are to be avoided, these mighty macronutrients play a vital role in supporting our athletic endeavours and overall well-being.
The Power of Fats as an Energy Source
In the realm of sports, fats emerge as a powerhouse energy source that complements an athlete’s nutritional strategy. Beyond mere caloric content, fats deliver twice the energy per gram compared to carbohydrates and proteins. While carbohydrates dominate rapid, high-intensity efforts, fats shine during prolonged activities like
marathons and cycling, tapping into the body’s abundant stores to provide sustained endurance. This metabolic shift, known as aerobic oxidation, offers a steady energy release that extends an athlete’s stamina, allowing them to push boundaries and conquer lengthy challenges.
More...from The Tribune.
3. Hoka Cielo Road Review: I’m a Loner Dottie, a Rebel:
Introduction to the Hoka Cielo Road
ROBBE: What a difference a year makes. With back-to-back misses to lead of 2022 in the Mach Supersonic, Carbon X 3, and Kawana (whatever that shoe was), Hoka seemed destined for mediocrity. Not just in the near term, but possibly for years to come. If not mediocrity, then at least a bunkmates assignment with brace-face Brooks for the next couple semesters.
Aside from those belly flop trainers, there was another glaring pimple on the foamed-up face of Hoka: their race day lineup. Hoka was one of the first to the market with a carbon plated racer with the original Carbon Rocket. That shoe was actual trash and was a racing shoe in the same way that Guy Fieri is a Michelin-starred chef.
So, no marathon super shoe. Strike one.
Luckily, Hoka shot their shoes up with some HGH before stepping up to the plate in their next at-bat, because 2023 has largely been a home run.
The Rocket X 2 was (and is) a fantastic race day option, my personal favorite of 2023, and likely in the top three for all of us here at Believe in the Run. So what if we took that formula, stripped it down, and made a nice short-distance option?
More...from Believe in the Run.
4. These are the Nike running spikes ruling the World Champs:
The Nike ZoomX Dragonfly is the footwear of choice among many of the top distance runners – so what makes it so good?
You wouldn’t need to be running’s own Sherlock Holmes to have noticed a shoe that’s featuring rather prominently in the distance events at the 2023 World Championships. It’s bright pink, and it’s called the Nike ZoomX Dragonfly.
In many ways, it is the track spike equivalent of Nike’s record-breaking Vaporfly. It has a carbon plate, ZoomX foam and a propensity to hoover up world records like an anteater.
They adorned the feet of Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay on her way to winning 10,000m gold (incidentally, the Netherlands’ Siffan Hassan was also wearing them, but of course fell a few metres from the finish line). Meanwhile, the podium finishers in the men’s 10,000m – Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, Kenya’s Daniel Ebenyo and Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega – all looked to be wearing the Dragonfly too.
More...from Runner's World.
5. The Menstrual Cycle, Sex Hormones, and Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury:
Objective: To determine if anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in female athletes occur randomly or correlate with a specific phase of the menstrual cycle.
Design and Setting: Female athletes who sustained ACL injuries reported the days of their menstrual cycles and provided saliva samples for sex-hormone determination. Salivary sex-hormone profiles were assessed to confirm the self-reported menstrual histories.
Subjects: A total of 38 female athletes (20 college, 15 high school, 1 middle school, 2 recreational) with recent ACL injuries participated in the study over a 3-year period.
Measurements: Athletes with recent ACL injuries completed a questionnaire defining the injury, the last menstrual cycle, prior knee injury, school, and type of birth control used (if any). Each subject provided a 30-cc saliva sample within 72 hours of injury. Saliva samples were placed into sealed containers and frozen at -20°C. We obtained 13 additional control samples from uninjured females to test the correlation between saliva and serum sex-hormone levels. Progesterone and estrogen were assayed by radioimmunoassay. Physical examination, magnetic resonance imaging, or surgery confirmed the injury in all subjects.
Results: The correlations between saliva and serum estrogen and progesterone were 0.73 (a = .01) and 0.72 (a = .01), respectively. Ten of 27 athletes who reported their cycle day at time of injury sustained an ACL injury immediately before or 1 to 2 days after the onset of menses. We rejected the null hypothesis that such high frequency was due to random chance.
Conclusions: A significantly greater number of ACL injuries occurred on days 1 and 2 of the menstrual cycle. Salivary sex-hormone levels correlated with the reported cycle day.
More...from National Linrary of Medicine.
6. Largest study of brains of athletes younger than 30 finds early signs of CTE even in amateur players:
A new study from Boston University’s CTE Center has discovered more than 60 cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE, in athletes who were under the age of 30 at the time of their death. This is the largest study to look at the neurodegenerative disease in young people.
Researchers found about 40% of the brains studied had developed some of the earliest signs of the disease, which is associated with repeated head trauma.
The study also includes what researchers believe to be the first case of an American female athlete diagnosed with the disease.
The report, published in JAMA Neurology on Monday, describes the features of 152 brains donated between February 1, 2008, and September 31, 2022, to the UNITE brain bank — the largest tissue repository in the world focused on traumatic brain injury and CTE. Sixty-three out of the 152 donated brains (41%) had autopsy-confirmed CTE.
More...from News Channel Nebraska<
7. Do these 7 supplements boost your athletic performance? We do a reality check:
When American runner Thomas Hicks won the 1904 Olympic marathon in St. Louis, Mo., he partially attributed the win to his mid-race drink: a concoction of egg whites for protein, a hint of strychnine poison for stimulation and brandy to numb the pain of running.
You would be hard-pressed to find one of today’s top athletes enjoying Hicks’s potent mix halfway through a marathon. They instead are probably sipping on a high-carb or electrolyte-packed drink or gel to remain hydrated.
Still, the idea that a supplement could improve our health or sport performance continues to tantalize us, regardless of our individual fitness levels. A 2023 study revealed that one in 10 recreational athletes used over-the-counter medication for performance enhancement.
Some people are drawn to pills, plants or magic elixirs because they present an ostensible alternative to spending more hours at the gym or abiding to a healthy diet. In fact, our search for shortcuts has helped the dietary supplements industry grow to a global value of US$44.3-billion – a number expected to nearly double by 2030.
More...from the Globe and Mail.
8. Should You Be Going to Preventive Physical Therapy?
Here’s what the experts say.
In this era of wellness, you might engage with multiple health professionals—from your primary care physician and dermatologist to your therapist and dietitian—to take care of all aspects of your body. That may soon include a physical therapist.
“I know a number of clinics that are trying to implement an annual visit to a physical therapist—similar to how you would see your primary physician for a yearly physical,” says Katie Flores, a professor of physical therapy at California State University, Northridge.
What Is Preventive Physical Therapy?
Typically, you go to physical therapy because you’re trying to recover from an injury. But at a preventive physical therapy check-up, you can expect to take similar tests of strength, flexibility, balance, and gait. The results of these assessments determine where you could be prone to injury when walking, running, playing sports, or even just performing daily chores, Flores says.
More...from Outside Online
9. Why ChatGPT Isn’t Your Best Coach:
You’re better off picking up a women’s fitness magazine from the nineties.
As a scientist, I love tech. I’ve been experimenting and helping develop artificial intelligence systems, especially in the realm of women-specific exercise training, for several years. And when it comes to developing workout programs that will get you the results you’re looking for, I’m here to tell you that the popular programs like ChatGPT just aren’t there yet.
Case in point, I’ve heard from women who are using this artificial intelligence assistant to generate workout programs based on my training philosophies as outlined in my books Next Level and ROAR. Here’s one, for example. (If this were one of my courses, I’d invite you to find the mistakes. But I’ll point them out for you here as we go…)
More...from Dr. Stacy Sims.
10. Coaching Elite Athletes:
As pro athletes redefine the limits of performance, coaches are continually refining their strategy and leading a collaborative effort.
As rigorous as it is for an athlete to prepare and compete at a world-class level, it also incredibly demanding for their coach. There is a lot at stake for professional athletes, calling for more attention to detail, more communication, more expertise, and little time for much else.
This module of The Craft of Coaching features a coaching business that is churning out top ultrarunners with a fresh approach to training—proof that professional athletes also benefit from a biopsychosocial method. Master coaches from cycling, running, and triathlon address the challenges of time management, athlete expectations and disappointment, and motivation.
Elite athletes often rely on a team of experts, including nutritionists. Performance nutritionist Scott Tindal explores the pressure that pro athletes can feel to find their racing weight, whether that be fact or fiction. Regardless of whether you coach elite athletes, there is a lot to learn, both from the pros and their coaches.
For the aspiring coach, Joe Friel lines out important considerations when adding elite athletes to your roster in the article below.
More...from Fast Talk Laboroatories.
11. Board of Education votes to ban trans female athletes from competing in girls’ sports division:
The Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development has voted to pass a controversial resolution that prohibits trans female athletes from competing in girls’ division sports at the middle and high school levels.
The resolution passed Thursday afternoon in a unanimous 7-0 vote, with student advisor Felix Meyers symbolically voting no, and military advisor Lt. Col. James Fowley abstaining.
During the 90-minute discussion that preceded the vote, board members discussed the reasons behind the proposed change, such as the science between men and women and its correlation to safety in girls’ athletics.
Resolution 02-2023 — titled Preserving the Opportunity for Athletes — would change state regulations to “provide a girls’ division with participation based on a student’s sex at birth” and “provide a division for students who identify with either sex or gender” for school districts that join the Alaska State Activities Association (ASAA).
“A trans-gendered female would now be playing in the non-limited division,” Billy Strickland, executive director of ASAA said during the meeting.
More...from Alaska's News Source
12. Are There Sex-Based Differences in Athletic Performance Before Puberty?
While sex-based differences in performance in children are smaller than in adults, they can mean the difference between a gold medal and no medal in sports.
In the current battle over women’s and girls’ rights to female-only sports, a commonly heard mantra is that there are no sex-based differences in sports performance before puberty. Those who make this claim often contend that if a male is put on puberty blockers before age 12 (or Tanner development stage 2; whichever comes first), he can compete fairly in the female category. But is this really true?Are there really no differences in athletic performance between boys and girls before the onset of puberty? Do puberty blockers administered to children really erase male sex-based athletic advantages? Below, I’ll try to provide answers to these questions.
Like many things currently being put forth in public discourse as settled science, the presence or absence of sex-based athletic differences before puberty is not an open and shut case. There are few databases of records for children’s competitive sports performance and there has been limited scholarly research evaluating sex-based differences in competitive sports performance before puberty. Currently, there are no consensus statements from professional organizations such as the North American Society for Pediatric Exercise Medicine (NASPEM), the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), or the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) stating that there are, or are not, sex-based differences in athletic performance before puberty.
More...from Reality's Last Stand.
13. Do you really need to walk 10,000 steps a day? And 17 other fitness ‘rules’, tackled by the experts:
From stretching before a workout to the truth about protein, we separate the facts from dodgy exercise ‘wisdom’
You can’t use exercise to target specific areas (so sit-ups won’t give you a flat stomach)
TRUE “Sit-ups will strengthen your core, but they won’t get rid of belly fat,” says Daniel Lieberman, a Harvard University paleoanthropologist and the author of Exercised: the Science of Physical Activity, Rest and Health. “The good news is that we evolved to carry belly fat as a short-term energy supply, so when you start losing weight through exercise, that’s the first fat that’s going to get burned.”
According to Nick Finney, a personal trainer whose clients include Jennifer Lopez and Robbie Williams: “In order to lose weight, you need a prolonged calories deficit, which you get by eating less and exercising more. You’ll lose more belly fat doing compound exercises – deadlifts or squats – rather than targeted exercises like sit-ups, because they burn way more calories.”
Sore muscles are the sign of a successful workout
FALSE “You can have a great workout without any soreness,” says Finney. “Delayed onset muscle soreness (Doms) is usually just a sign of surprise – so people often find they are sore after their first few trips to the gym, or after trying a completely different workout, or a much longer one. There are some muscles, like biceps, which will hardly ever get sore – but that doesn’t mean that working them out hasn’t been successful.”
More...from The Guardian.
14. Should you train in the same shoes you race in?
Sports podiatrist Matt Hart gives us the lowdown on why it’s important to train in a variety of different shoes.
The benefits of running in carbon-plated running shoes – often referred to as super shoes – on race day, are well documented. Professional and elite runners say carbon shoes have helped them break records – notably, Eliud Kipchoge, who broke the two-hour marathon mark in Nike’s carbon-plated Alphafly Next%. While Strava data has previously reported that runners run four to five per cent faster in the Vaporfly or Next% compared to runners wearing an average trainer, and amateur marathoners buy them in hopes of running a personal best. But, the question is: should you be training in them?
Should you train in the same shoes you race in?
It’s important to train in a variety of different shoes to ensure your muscles and tendons can adapt and cope with different stresses and strains, explains sports podiatrist Matt Hart.
‘Differences in shoe weight, midsole densities and stiffness, flexibility and shoe geometry can all influence forces acting on the lower limb, so adapting to these is important,’ he says.
More...from Runner's World UK.
15. Are You Draining Your Body’s Battery Power? [Revised]:
If you’re an active female, chances are you’re at risk for low energy availability and the health consequences it brings. Here’s what you need to know.
When researchers screen the nutritional intake of female athletes, a staggering percentage are not eating enough to support their performance and their health.
Here are just a few examples of how many female athletes in various sports were at risk for low energy availability (LEA) and the detrimental health consequences it brings, according to recent research:
Nearly 80 percent of elite female cross-country runners show risk for LEA in this study.
88 percent of professional female soccer players had LEA in this study.
96 percent of ballet dancers had LEA in this study. 100 percent of synchronized swimmers had low energy availability in this study!
More broadly speaking, a 2022 study of more than 200 female endurance athletes published in Frontiers in Sport and Active Living reported that 65 percent were at risk of LEA, 23 percent were at risk of exercise addiction, and 21 percent had disordered eating behavior.
More...from Dr. Stacy Sims.