Runner's Web Digest - January 10, 2003
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New This Week:
We are now up to 559 members in this community.
We have one personal postings this week.
Personal Postings are located after the Upcoming Section towards the
bottom of the newsletter.
This week's poll is: "Of the following shoe brands, which do you prefer?
Brooks, Saucony, Puma."?
Cast your vote at:
The previous poll was: ""In which event do you expect a new world record in 2003?
100M, M or F
Men's mile or 1500M
The results at publication time were:
100M, M or F 17
Men's mile or 1500M 24
Men's marathon 37
Women's marathon 75
Other event 16
Total Votes: 169
You can access the poll from our FrontPage as well as voting on and/or
checking the results of previous polls.
Book of the Week: Running Tough
Imagine training with the best distance runners and running coaches of our time, learning their favorite and most effective workouts, and discovering their hard-earned secrets to success. With Running Tough you'll find yourself running side by side with such world-class runners as Bill Rodgers, Libbie Hickman, Frank Shorter, Arthur Lydiard, Ron Clarke, Emil Zatopek, and Adam Goucher, tasting their unwavering dedication and determination, and viewing firsthand their training runs.
Buy the book at:
If you feel you have something to say that is worthy of a Guest Column
on the Runner's Web, email us at
or leave your comments in one of our Forums available from our FrontPage.
Our Photo of the Week, which was being updated several times during the
week, has been replaced with the Photo Slideshow which will have a
random number of photos you can cycle through. Check it out from our
The FiveStar Site of the Week:
The FiveStar Site of the Week for next week is: the London Triathlon.
The London Triathlon takes place at the Royal Victoria Dock in London, England on August 3, 2003.
Unlike any other triathlon, the transition and finish are both staged indoors, providing fantastic viewing opportunities for spectators.
The web site provides entry information on this year's race and has an archive with results and photos of last year's event.
Check it out at:
Send us your suggestions for our Five Star site. Please check our list
of previous Five Star Sites available from the Five Star Window under
the link "Previous Five Star Sites" as we do not wish to repeat a site
unless it has undergone a major redesign.
Be sure to check out our Flash Page where we list all recent additions
to the Runner's Web. This page is updated before Monday morning each
This Weeks News:
The Most Effective Warm-up:
Just how hot should your warm up be?
There is considerable disagreement among athletes and coaches about how intense a warm-up should be. Current thinking, however, suggests that a significant portion of the warm-up should be very intense if the ensuing workout or competition is to be carried out at a high intensity.
One theory is that 'firing up' the brain and spinal cord with very high-level activity will prepare the nervous system to coordinate the muscles more efficiently during the top-quality work which is to follow.
Another reasonable hypothesis is that high-intensity effort during warm-up does a better job of warming up the muscles, and thus of promoting flexibility, which may enhance movement and decrease the risk of muscle and tendon strains.
More...from Peak Performance Online at:
Management of Sports Injuries:
When it comes to sports, pain and gain often go hand-in-hand. Some sports-related injuries are only temporary while others can cause lasting damage. But if proper treatment is executed early, pain from these injuries can be effectively controlled. Join experts as they talk about the most common injuries in sports activities and the various treatment techniques for relieving pain.
"No pain no gain. That's the motto many athletes live by in the exciting world of recreational sports.
Often those that live by it, however, know all too well that pain might be the result an injury."
Some of the most common injuries these enthusiasts encounter are found in the shoulder, knee and ankle.
More...from ABC News at:
[Audio capability as well as transcript]
AOFAS Running Shoe Survey:
Purpose: To evaluate the role of shoes in running related injuries
Population: Runners ages 20-70, male and female
Prizes: Opportunity to win a new pair of running shoes - winners will be drawn at random
(An injury is defined as any pain or condition that causes discomfort, modification or suspension in running regimen)
Take the quiz at:
Obesity virus claim by US researcher:
A virus that means people might be able to "catch obesity" could play a part in causing steeply rising numbers of those who are seriously overweight, according to an American researcher.
Nikhil Dhurundbar, who has conducted blood tests on both US and British volunteers, is said to have found significantly higher levels of the virus among obese people.
The makers of Fat Plague, a documentary film for Channel 4 to be shown on Monday night, organised the first UK screening of people for the virus, called AD36.
More...from the Guardian at:
Ironman Turns 25:
By Nick Munting for Ironmanlive.com on Tue, Jan 7th 2003 (8:36 AM).
The legend that is Ironman most likely began with the simple words "Swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles, brag the rest of your life..."
In the beginning there was quite simply an idea that became a spark. And that spark became a flame and the flame became a brush fire - but only after some fiercely determined athletes decided that they just had to have the competition that became Ironman.
In many ways nothing has changed and Ironman remains the pre-eminent people's world championship in triathlon. It's the competition that is so much more, a lifestyle, a sport, an emotion.
Why Ironman? The name came from the nickname of a naval runner, renown for an ability to run short, long, or very long races at a constant pace and to always finish...
More...from IronmanLive.com at:
A call to keep on stretching:
Veteran coach preaches gospel of flexibility, core strength for runners.
Routine stretching provides much more than injury prevention, one expert says. Stretching enhances flexibility, enabling runners to approach their potential, said Dean Brittenham, 71, a longtime college track coach and conditioning authority.
Brittenham, of Lyons, Colo., will speak to several hundred junior high and high school track coaches Friday and Saturday at the annual USA Track and Field UT-Arlington Track and Field Clinic in Fort Worth. He's also known for establishing the model for off-season college football training programs in the late 1960s.
More...from the Dallas News at:
Jogging is back in the running:
After years of scare stories, experts now believe jogging is good for you, and especially your joints
JOGGING HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT of many medical scare stories in recent years. It has been blamed for everything from sagging breasts to premature wrinkles and damaged joints, and has even been cited as a fast route to a heart attack.
So it is astonishing to learn that some experts are now suggesting that if you make one concession to the post-festive fitness frenzy, it should be to take up running.
Not only is jogging considered good for us because it whittles away fat cells, but it is thought to be helpful in protecting - yes, protecting - our joints. Scientists at Stanford University in California have recently carried out research which suggests that regular running can delay the onset of arthritis by 12 years.
More...from the Times at:
Pumped to Jump:
(HealthScoutNews) -- Athletic shoes can make a real difference. The research comes from The University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, as reported in Medical Science in Sports and Exercise.
Lots of energy in running and jumping is lost at the metatarsophalangeal joint, which is the point where the big toe meets the rest of the foot. So sneaker-makers thought if they made soles stiffer with carbon fiber plates, there wouldn't be the same energy loss, and people could run and jump better.
It turns out they were right. The carbon fiber plates really did reduce the amount of energy lost during jumping exercises. When 25 people tested the stiff soles, their jumps really did go higher -- by about half an inch.
Takahashi taking life in stride:
First of two parts
Sydney Olympic women's marathon champion Naoko Takahashi has been an icon in Japan since her stirring victory on Sept. 24, 2000, when she became the first Japanese female to win an Olympic gold medal in track and field.
Naoko Takahashi, winner of the gold medal in the women's marathon at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney (seen breaking the tape in photo below) speaks to The Japan Times at an exclusive interview in Tokyo.
Takahashi, who became the first woman to break 2 hours and 20 minutes in the marathon when she won the Berlin Marathon in 2001, has won six straight marathons, most recently in Berlin in 2002.
Takahashi was scheduled to run in the Tokyo International Marathon in November, but had to withdraw from the race after being diagnosed with a broken rib.
Shortly after our interview, Takahashi's coach at Sekisui Chemical, Yoshio Koide, announced he was leaving the company in order to train runners on his own.
Takahashi subsequently announced she may leave the company as well, but has not yet made a decision.
More...from the Japan Times at:
Olympic Group Stumbling, Bumbling and Grumbling:
They were so awed by the glint on Lloyd Ward's charisma, so unsophisticated when eyeing the carat, cut and clarity of his dazzling PowerPoint message, America's Olympic caretakers failed to notice how their incoming chief had a crown made of tinfoil and rhinestones.
Duped again. If only there were shredders for dopey decisions. If only because, at some point, Congress may perk up and poke its nose into the United States Olympic Committee's pristine breeding ground for chaos in Colorado Springs.
The Pike's Peak serenity ends at the door. Inside the U.S.O.C.'s headquarters, more than a decade of infighting between the hired help and the volunteers has left the group hopelessly divided.
Paper or plastic? The U.S.O.C. would have to cater a lunch to decide.
More...from the NY Times at:
[Free Registration Required]
Fat at 40 'slashes life expectancy':
People who are obese at 40 can lose up to seven years off their life, research has found.
The findings mean that being fat in middle-age increases the risk of dying early as much as smoking.
If a woman is obese and a smoker at 40, she risks dying 13.3 years sooner than a slim non-smoker.
An obese male smoker was found to lose 6.7 years from their life expectancy.
Dutch researchers analysed data from just under 3,500 volunteers in Framingham, Massachusetts, USA from 1948 to 1990.
They found that even if people lost weight later on in their lives, they were still at a higher risk of dying early.
More...from the BBC at:
The Athletic Performance Diet:
Interestingly the athletic diet has changed very little over the years. The reason being is that there are not many pathways to fueling the body most efficiently. A diet consisting of 60-65% carbohydrate, 20-25% fats, and 15-20% protein is the proper ratio of macro nutrients for most athletes and has been the mainstay for years.
A highly trained endurance athlete would not last very long on a high protein diet, because their glycogen stores would quickly become depleted and they would no longer have the energy or reserves to train effectively. There is little controversy in athletic nutrition when compared to the general population. I believe the reason for this is athletic nutrition is based on hard science and fact, rather than sensationalism and circumstantial evidence. Coaches rely on clinical studies and proven methods rather than the latest hype. Remember, most diets have to have a "hook" or gimmick to get you to purchase their plan or products. That is not to say there is not hundreds of performance enhancing athletic supplements, many with dubious value. But the overall big picture on how to fuel an athletes body really has not changed all that much. This is what most athletes should focus on, rather than the latest supplement, performance enhancing product, or fad diet plan.
More...from CTS at:
Frequent tipple cuts heart risk:
Not only does alcohol help to ward off a heart attack, a regular daily drink is probably a good idea, researchers have found.
They have found that frequent consumption of alcohol is linked to a lower risk of heart attack in men.
However, experts have warned that alcohol can damage health in other ways.
The researchers, from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Harvard School of Public Health Study, tracked the drinking habits of nearly 40,000 men over a 12-year period.
They found that men who drank moderate amounts of alcohol three or more times a week were up to 35% less likely to have a heart attack than non-drinkers.
Researcher Dr Kenneth Mukamal said: "Even relatively modest amounts of alcohol may be protective if consumed frequently.
More...from the BBC at:
10 possible pitfalls of popular fad diets - especially for active athletes:
Lose 10 pounds in 2 days!"
"Melt away fat 24 hours a day, seven days a week!"
What more could you ask for? How about seriously impaired athletic ability, kidney failure, and premature osteoporosis? These are much more realistic results from certain fad diets and products on the market today.
Trendy weight-loss marvels, such as Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, The Zone, and Metabolife 356, entice both aspiring and hardcore athletes with their alluring headlines and promises. It's surprising how many intelligent athletes fall prey to these false guarantees.
No matter what the sport, many athletes are torn between body image issues and the drive to succeed athletically. This internal conflict leads rational individuals to experiment with these self-defeating behaviors.
So if you find yourself hopelessly falling short of completing that 10K or struggling to do that extra set of reps, fad diets and products may be the culprits.
Tempted to try one of these diets? If optimal athletic performance is your goal, here are 10 reasons to avoid these fads at all costs:
More...from Active.com at:
Weight gain in the Off-Season:
by JulieAnne White
Unfortunately this is the time of year when people--athletes or not--can pack on ten pounds in no time flat. Some by just looking at all those tempting holiday sweets, pastries and homemade luxury foods, along with the caviar, smoked salmon, turkey and mounds of stuffing. Then, of course, there are all those baked potatoes stuffed with globs of butter; it's enough to swing the pointer on the scale with the just the thought of them.
However, a few extra pounds gained in the off-season for athletes can be very advantageous for deep body repair at a cellular level. By a few pounds, I mean 5-7 pounds, which will easily melt off when scheduled training begins in January for most multi-sport athletes.
Ironman world champ Peter Reid, one of the athletes with whom I work, recently told me that he was feeling fat--but as a world champion, he knew this to be a healthy occurrence. An athlete at Peter's level will feel fat at five pounds over race weight because his body is so finely tuned. However, I encourage Peter to eat whatever he wants in the off-season in moderation and enjoy the freedom of not monitoring his
diet so strictly.
More...from Semi-Colon at:
(HealthScoutNews) -- Dietary recommendations from self-proclaimed health gurus abound, but what do nutrition experts from the highly regarded Mayo Clinic choose when preparing lunches or dinners?
An article in the January issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource offers some clues. Here are a few of the experts' picks for favorite foods and why they recommend them:
Broccoli: The experts say broccoli contains a phytochemical that may prevent growth of cancer tumors and lutein, a powerful vision-protecting antioxidant. They recommend including broccoli in your menu two to three times a week.
Vegetables: Because they're high in nutrients and low in calories, vegetables can be a great choice if you're looking for volume. Consider this: One cup of vegetables is about 50 calories, while a cup of M&Ms is about 850 calories. The experts recommend eating vegetables every day.
Apples: How can an apple a day keep the doctor away? Here's how, say the experts: Since they're a good source of phenol antioxidants, they can keep the "bad" LDL cholesterol from getting oxidized, and oxidized LDL is bad for your arteries.
Soy nuts: They are a good source for protein and isoflavones, which may protect the heart and bones and reduce the risk of cancer.
Fish: Salmon and tuna, in particular, are high in omega-3 fatty acids. They taste great and can be prepared many ways. Eat a 3-ounce portion once a week.
Nuts: They are high in monounsaturated fat and are a great snack. Pistachios, in particular, are recommended for snacking and toasted almonds for salads.
From Runner's World:
Do it, and Do it Well: "The challenge of running is not to aim at doing
the things no one else has done, but to keep doing things anyone could
do - but never will." - Joe Henderson
Sweat it Out: According to recent research, sweat has antibacterial
properties. Researchers found that sweat contains plenty of LL-37, a
substance that weakens bacteria. And when bacteria becomes weaker, the
body's immune system can spend more time fighting off infections.
Get Strong Shins and Calves. Here's how: For your shins, stand about 6
inches from the wall, knees straight, back pressed against the wall.
Lift your toes up as far as you can and hold for 3 seconds, then lower.
Repeat 10 times. For your calves, stand on the edge of a step and let
your heels drop down slightly. Starting in that position, raise your
body up on your toes. Repeat eight to 10 times. To work another part of
the calf, try seated calf raises. Sitting on a bench with a 20-pound
weight across your knees, raise your heels as high as you can eight to
10 times while keeping your toes on the floor. Add weight to increase
Keep Your Head Up. "Many racers run with their heads down and eyes
focused just a few feet ahead. This is especially true near the end of a
race, when neck and shoulder muscles fatigue and it seems easier to rest
your chin on your chest. But for optimal performance, you need to run
with your head up and eyes forward. This way, you can see what's going
on ahead of you. You can breathe easier, too, as your lungs will be able
to fully expand. And tactically, you'll be able to keep contact with
other runners and close gaps when necessary. Once your head and eyes go
down, you're no longer racing, you're surviving."-Ed Eyestone
Stride Right by Martin Dugard:
Most world-class runners do some sort of stride drills after their daily workouts
Over years of running, inefficiencies can creep into your stride. Often, an injury changes the way you run. Or maybe one leg has become stronger than the other for some reason, or you've started swinging your arms across your chest too much.
Stride drills can help. Most world-class runners do some sort of stride drills after their daily workouts. They know these simple exercises optimize their stride by searing proper mechanics into muscle memory. Niggling flaws work themselves out, posture improves, forward movement is accentuated. Following are four excellent stride drills to incorporate into your running program (a level grass field is the best place for them). Aim for two to four of each drill per session and cover at least 50 meters when you do each one.
To run or not to run: "Junk miles", that is. Junk miles can give you
empty mileage with little training effect. Their
accumulation can lead to overtraining, fatigue and injury. For best
results, try to keep your training pace no slower than 2 to 3 minutes
slower than your race pace. If you concentrate on running less mileage
at an honest pace, you will feel and race better. - Lori Adams, RW
Five (5) Canadians top 2002 IT "All (North) American" List:
Five (5) Canadians topped the 2002 Inside Triathlon "All (North) American" listing for age group triathletes and duathletes, as well as Under 23 competitors. Thirty five (35) others also made the top rankings, while one (1) Canadian athlete made the All (North) American list in both triathlon and duathlon.
Leading the triathlon list were Lauren Groves (Under 23), Len Gushe (35-39) and Roman Jezek (85-89). Groves was the top Canadian finisher at the 2002 ITU Triathlon World Championships placing 8th (top North American) in the U23 category, but also won the ITU International race in Vera Cruz, MEX and placed 6th overall at the Canadian Elite Triathlon Championships. Len Gushe of Corbeil, ON won the 2002 Canadian Long Distance Triathlon Championships, placed 3rd overall in the 2002 ITU Triathlon World Championships and was second in his age group at the IRONMAN Championships in Kona, Hawaii (9:19.25). Roman Jezek, named 2002 Honourary Team Canada Captain for the ITU World Championships in Cancun, MEX was the oldest competitor at the event and the oldest ever to finish an Olympic distance World Championships.
In duathlon Jimmie Georgas (75-79) of Collingwood, ON was top North American. Georgas won his 8th Duathlon World Championship title in 2002. In the women's 55-59, Sharryn Oleskiw of Port Colborne, ON claimed the top spot. Oleskiw won her first World Championship title in duathlon in 2002.
Complete List of 2002 Canadian "All (North) Americans" at Triathlon Canada:
The benefits of red fruit:
We've heard the message again and again.
Eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day for optimum good health.
Now research shows red fruit alone offers a number of healthy rewards.
Varieties of red fruit provide antioxidants, ward off inflammation, prevent urinary tract infections and reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Watermelon is high in fiber, vitamins A and C, and is a good source of potassium.
Research shows it's a healthy addition to your diet and that all of the watermelon, including the seeds and rind, is edible.
More...from CNN at:
Poll: Most adults want Title IX law left alone:
Seven of 10 adults who are familiar with Title IX think the federal law should be strengthened or left alone, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup poll.
A commission appointed by the Bush administration will meet Jan. 29-30 in Washington to consider recommendations on what changes are warranted in the 30-year-old law that prohibits sex discrimination at schools receiving federal funds.
The Commission on Athletic Opportunity originally was scheduled to meet Wednesday in Washington. The poll asked respondents how much they had heard or read about the law. Just 43% knew a great or moderate amount. Of those, 20% want the law made stronger, 50% want it kept about the same and 21% would like it made weaker; 9% had no opinion.
More...from USA Today at:
Stretching Reduces Injuries:
If there is anything like a sacred cow in sports medicine it has to be stretching. Every book and how-to article on exercise emphasizes the virtues of stretching, and avoiding injury is right up there at the top of the list. Okay, we've read them, too.
However, here's a challenge; get into any database you can find on sports medicine, fitness, health, anything you can lay your hands on, and run a computer search on "athletic injuries" and "stretching." We guarantee you'll come up with plenty of studies on all kinds of injuries that mention stretching, but you won't find a single description of controlled research that proves stretching reduced the frequency of injury.
More...from WISH TV at:
Lower leg pain could be more than shin splints:
Back when I was in high school (way back when), all-weather running surfaces were replacing old cinder tracks.
With the change, rain wasn't an issue, times were faster, performances improved almost overnight and we all couldn't wait to run on these new surfaces. When one was installed at our school, it wasn't long before some runners were doing their training just inside the track on the grass because of shin splints.
Since such times, practically every instance of pain in the lower leg (between the knee and ankle) has been attributed to "shin splints," but there are other things that could lead to pain in the lower leg. During an examination, the doctor considers a "differential diagnosis," or what are the potential diagnoses that could cause the same signs and symptoms - something a doctor does every time they examine a patient.
More...from Active.com at:
January 11, 2003:
Mississippi Marathon - Clinton, MS
January 12, 2003:
Walt Disney World Marathon & Half - Orlando, FL
Gatorade Triathlon Series - Sandringham, Australia
2002 Ironman Triathlon World Championship
NBC @ 3:30 PM EDT
January 14, 2003:
Men's NCAA Cross Country Championship 3:00 - 3:30 PM
Women's NCAA Cross Country Championship, 3:30 - 4:00 PM
This Weeks Personal Postings/Releases:
Very much a fan of running, do it all the time. Can't start a day without it in all good conscience. Training schedules and the like are endlessly fascinating for me and I do some coaching at some of the more basic levels. Need to know more about films and tapes on the genre as I learn so much as a result of that visual stimuli.
Television and Online Coverage:
[Check local listings as event times are subject to change]
USA Track and Field 2002 Elite U.S. TV Schedule
OLN Triathlon Broadcast Schedule:
[2 Line URL]
CBC Sports Schedule
Sundays @ 1P.M. EDT
Track & Field: The Running Zone
Runner's World VCR Alerts
USATF summer track broadcasting listing
"A Woman's View of the World"
Bikes on TV.com
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