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Runner's Web Digest - September 3, 2004

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  • Ken Parker
    Runner s Web Digest - September 3, 2004 The Original Runner s and Triathlete s Web was founded in January of 1997 as a not-for-profit resource site.
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      Runner's Web Digest - September 3, 2004

      The Original Runner's and Triathlete's Web was founded in January of 1997 as a not-for-profit resource site. RunnersWeb.com Inc. is
      now a small business venture which sponsors the OAC Racing Team, a women's road racing and triathlon club, and the OAC Gatineau
      Triathlon and OAC Corporate Relay. The site is not in any way associated with the two UK "Runner's Web" copycat sites or the
      Runner's Web Book Store in the USA.

      This issue is brought to you by Road Runner Sports, the world's largest running store at:
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      The Finish Line



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      TriSwim Coach - The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming

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      Get Fit Running: If you are 150 pounds, sleeping burns 61 calories an hour, race walking burns 442 calories and running 5mph burns
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      (Get fit with Runner's World)

      adidas' running apparel at 15% off! All running shorts, pants, and
      shirts at reduced prices .

      If you have an accident while running or cycling, do you want your family to be contacted? Do you want to receive immediate and
      proper medical treatment? If so, make this cool item part of your gear -- for safety and peace of mind. Road ID has created 4
      awesome ways for athletes to wear ID: the SHOE, the WRIST, the ANKLE, and the NECK.
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      The TRACK PROFILE Reader 2004, an in-depth review of the 2003 season by Bob Ramsak, is now available. Selected from hundreds of
      reports filed by the Track Profile News Service last year, The TRACK PROFILE READER provides a unique look back at the
      personalities, stories and events that defined track and field in 2003. With in depth profiles of the sport's biggest stars and
      comprehensive on-site reports from major competitions, this annual review takes the reader beyond the results, providing a perfect
      companion for casual and
      diehard fans alike. Check out the book at:

      The Stretching Handbook:

      Buy all your sporting goods at Fogdog Sports, your anytime, anywhere sports store.
      Click here: http://www.fogdog.com/cgi-bin/affiliate?siteid=40054907

      Lloyd's of London Platinum credit card

      How To Run And Enjoy The Marathon By James Raia:
      Price: $7.95
      As a practical guide to the 26.2-mile journey, How To Run And Enjoy The Marathon is a series of 15 self-help and service-oriented
      articles about running marathons - the proper shoes to running etiquette - is written by James Raia, a journalist and veteran
      middle-of-the-pack marathon and ultramarathon runner in Sacramento, Calif.
      Buy the book at:

      The Runner's Web Digest is a weekly e-zine dealing with the sports of running and triathlon and general fitness and health issues.
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      New This Week:

      The Runner's Web set a n all-time high for traffic in August with:
      Pageviews - 1,092,838 Daily Average: 35,252.84 (A 'Pageview' is defined as a request from a visitor's browser for a displayable web
      page, generally an HTML file.)
      All time high for Hits -
      Hits - 3,872,107, Daily Average - 124,906.68 ( A 'Hit' is simply a successful request to your web server from a visitor's browser
      for any type of file, whether an image, HTML page, an MP3 file, or any other type. A single web page can cause many Hits -- one for
      each image included on the page, etc.).

      Our September Running Trivia is available at:

      Our September Pegasus Quiz was posted on Wednesday at:
      We have already had a winner, Marie-Claude Poirier of Trois-Rivières, Québec identified the photo as Suzy Favor-Hamilton, USA

      Our latest column from Carmichael Training Systems
      Cycling Economy - Is it a better fitness predictor? by Edmund R. Burke, Ph.D. is available at:

      We have ONE personal posting this week.
      Personal Postings, when available, are located after the Upcoming Section towards the bottom of the newsletter.

      This Week's Digest Article Index:

      1. Ten Things You Should Know About Lactic Acid: Old Myths And New Realities
      2. Elite Athletes Can Rapidly Fall Out of Shape
      3. What does science have to say about the right training programme for the 10K?
      4. Got Grapefruit? It May Help You Lose Weight
      5. A pyramid, reshaped:
      Panel says to limit fat and salt and eat more fruits, veggies and whole grains, but decides not to include suggestion to limit sugar
      6. The tutor of Lance
      Chris Carmichael, himself a promising cyclist before a skiing accident, trains Lance Armstrong with an emphasis on nutrition.
      7. Do Sports Injuries Cause Osteoarthritis?
      Dr. Edward G. McFarland, a Johns Hopkins sports medicine specialist, explains how sports injuries may contribute to osteoarthritis
      later in life.
      8. Exercise May Preserve Immune Response in Older Men
      9. Exercise: Walk, Don't Run, the Knees Say
      10. A little exercise goes a long way for heart health
      Three 10-minute workouts may be more effective at lowering triglycerides than continuous activity.
      11. The Claim: Sex Before an Athletic Event Can Hinder Performance
      12. Sit up straight
      13. From Runner's World
      14. Running Commentary - Peaking Plus Pacing
      15. Diet drinks may skew body's calorie counter
      16. Transcript from a chat with triathlete Karen Smyers
      17. How to choose the right race strategy
      18. Study: Atkins weight loss doesn’t last
      Low-carb diets may cause side effects, tests show.
      19. Greeks, Triathlon, Heat, Oil, Determination, Desire and the Olympics
      A blow by blow of the Women's Olympic Triathlon race in Athens.
      20. Tactics at Athens - The Women's Triathlon
      by Dan Empfield
      21. Exercise may even flex your mental muscles
      22. Eat more whole grains, exercise more
      Panel issues final recommendations for food pyramid.
      23. The Ironman Investment Decisions: Getting Bang for Your Bucks!
      24. Increase Gym Time to Combat Obesity in Girls: Study
      25. News Scan

      Runner's Web Weekly Poll:
      This week's poll is: "Do you think it was wise for Paula Radcliffe to have started the Olympic 10K after not being able to finish
      the marathon?"

      Cast your vote at: http://www.runnersweb.com/running.html
      Post your views in our Forum at:
      [Free Registration Required]

      The previous poll was: "Have the Olympics inspired you to train harder?"
      The answers at publication time were:
      Answers Votes Percent
      1. No 37 36%
      2. Yes 63 62%
      3. No opinion 2 2%

      Total Votes: 102
      You can access the poll from our FrontPage as well as voting on and/or checking the results of previous polls.

      Forward the Runner's Web Digest to a friend and suggest that they subscribe at:

      Five Star Site of the Week: TaniaJones.com.
      Tania Jones is a rare individual who manages to balance elite athletic achievement in tandem with a successful corporate career.
      Tania is not only one of Canada's top marathon runners (2002 National Champion), but is also a scientific professional with Procter
      & Gamble Pharmaceuticals. As a veteran of over 16 years of national and international competition, Tania reached the pinnacle of her
      running career in 2001 with selection to Canada's marathon team for the World Track & Field Championships.
      Tania is a high profile role model in the running community. She has appeared as a running expert on CTV Balance, Rogers Sportsnet,
      and Oxygen. Tania has also delivered panel presentations at the Casino Niagara and National Capital Marathons.
      In August 2003, Tania became the proud mother of baby Callum. This life change provides Tania with the exciting opportunity to train
      as a full-time athlete for the first time in her athletic career.
      For more on Tania visit her website 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.

      If you feel you have something to say that is worthy of a Guest Column on the Runner's Web, email us at
      mailto:webmaster@... or leave your comments in one of our Forums at:
      http://www.runnersweb.com/running/forum.html or from our FrontPage.

      Our Photo Slideshow is updated on a random basis. Check it out from our FrontPage.

      Book of the Week: Sports Talent: How To Identify and Develop Outstanding Athletes.
      By Jim Brown, PhD
      If you have ever wondered if your athletically inclined child has what it takes to compete at the high school, college, or
      professional level, look no further than Sports Talent.
      In Sports Talent many coaches and scouts reveal the physical, mental, and emotional attributes they look for in young athletes. With
      a wealth of input from top experts and coaches, this book addresses key issues, sport-specific evaluations, and training development
      methods in 13 different sports for boys and girls.
      Buy the book at:

      More books from Amazon at:
      and Human Kinetics at:

      This Weeks News:


      1. Ten Things You Should Know About Lactic Acid: Old Myths And New Realities:
      By Thomas Fahey, Ed.D., Professor of Exercise Physiology, California State University at Chico.
      Lactic acid has a bad reputation. Many people blame it for fatigue, sore muscles, and cramps. They think of it as a waste product
      that should be avoided at all cost. Guess what? Scientists have discovered that lactic acid plays a critical role in generating
      energy during exercise. Far from being the bad boy of metabolism, lactic acid provides fuels for many tissues, helps use dietary
      carbohydrates, and serves as fuel for liver production of glucose and glycogen. In fact, lactic acid is nature's way of helping you
      survive stressful situations.
      Lactic acid has a dark side. When your body makes lactic acid, it splits into lactate ion (lactate) and hydrogen ion. Hydrogen ion
      is the acid in lactic acid. It interferes with electrical signals in your muscles and nerves, slows energy reactions, and impairs
      muscle contractions. The burn you feel in intense exercise is caused by hydrogen ion buildup. So, when you fatigue, don't blame it
      on lactic acid. Rather, place the blame where it belongs- on hydrogen ion.
      More...from CytoSport.com at:

      2. Elite Athletes Can Rapidly Fall Out of Shape:
      Without enough exercise, even those impossible bodies on display at the Olympics are in danger of rapidly morphing into the shape of
      a couch potato, a study of endurance athletes shows.
      Researchers in France found that among 20 highly trained rowers, those who stopped training saw their weight, fat mass and
      cholesterol levels reach that of the average sedentary person within a year.
      Given the athletes' very low body fat during training, it's not surprising that these changes happened quickly, the study's lead
      author, Dr. Cyril Petibois, told Reuters Health.
      However, increases in fat mass, cholesterol and triglycerides -- another blood-fat-carrying molecule -- should stabilize after a few
      months, according to Petibois, a researcher at the University of Bordeaux. Athletes in this study did not show such a stabilization,
      but instead had continuing alterations in body fat and blood fats during their year of "detraining."
      The concern is that, without enough exercise, these athletes will face an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in the future,
      according to Petibois.
      More...from Reuters at:

      3. What does science have to say about the right training programme for the 10K?
      The arrival of spring no doubt means you'll be running 10-K races more frequently. You'd like to do as well as possible, but
      trimming your 10-K times requires a smart, systematic approach to training, not just a hodgepodge of interval sessions and longer
      runs. Consulting the various running books for 10-K advice is like opening a Pandora's box of workouts and training schedules; there
      are so many recommendations that it's hard to know exactly where to begin or what to do. Isn't there a simple, scientifically sound
      way to prepare for 10-K competitions?
      Well, science has been annoyingly silent about 10-K racing. For one thing, exercise scientists don't usually look at race
      performances to evaluate the merits of their tinkerings, preferring instead to assess VO2max, running economy, lactate threshold, or
      some other variable obtained in the laboratory under controlled conditions. And when a race is utilised to gauge the worth of
      various training programmes, the chosen competition is almost always a 5K. After all, it's easier to get initially untrained
      subjects to agree to run a 5K, rather than a race which is double the distance
      However, there have been a few attempts to judge the value of various 10-K training programmes. The most notable effort was carried
      out by a pretty fair runner - Peter Snell (gold medallist at the 1960 Olympic Games and double-gold medallist at the 1964
      Olympics) - and his colleagues at the University of Texas Southwestern Human Performance Center in the 1980s. Snell et al worked
      with 10 runners over a 16-week period. For the first six weeks of the study, the runners, who were pretty well trained to begin
      with, logged about 50 miles of steady running per week
      More...from Crucible Fitness at:

      4. Got Grapefruit? It May Help You Lose Weight:
      Eating half of a grapefruit three times per day before meals appears to help people shed unwanted pounds, according to new study
      findings reported this week.
      Moreover, regular grapefruit-eaters experienced a decrease in insulin, which in excess can increase the risk of weight gain and
      cardiovascular problems.
      These findings suggest that adding grapefruit to your diet may be a good idea, a study author told Reuters Health.
      "There's something inert about fresh grapefruit that does help you with weight loss," said Dr. Ken Fujioka of the Scripps Clinic in
      San Diego, California. "All in all, I would recommend it."
      In an interview, Fujioka explained that people have been espousing the "grapefruit diet" ever since the 1930s, and the concept has
      resurfaced from time to time over the years.
      To investigate grapefruit's effect on weight loss, Fujioka and his colleagues asked 100 obese people who were not trying to lose
      weight to eat grapefruit in various forms, and recorded how their weight changed over 12 weeks.
      More...from Reuters at:

      5. A pyramid, reshaped:
      Panel says to limit fat and salt and eat more fruits, veggies and whole grains, but decides not to include suggestion to limit sugar
      An expert panel updating the government's dietary guidelines is recommending Americans watch their calories, exercise daily and eat
      more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy. But the panel scrapped a previous recommendation to limit sugar intake,
      instead advising Americans to "choose carbohydrates wisely."
      The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee released its recommendations Friday, consisting of nine one-sentence summary guidelines,
      supported by dozens of pages of explanation and detail.
      The guidelines, the foundation for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Pyramid, are due for a five-year update. They are used
      as a template for the school lunch program and WIC, the supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children. Friday's
      recommendations are not a final draft; the public has 30 days to comment.
      More...from Newsday at:

      6. The tutor of Lance
      Chris Carmichael, himself a promising cyclist before a skiing accident, trains Lance Armstrong with an emphasis on nutrition.
      If it weren't for coach Chris Carmichael, Lance Armstrong may never have claimed the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, much less
      the staggering six wins he currently boasts.
      After fighting off testicular cancer diagnosed in 1996, Mr. Armstrong was wavering about whether he would be able to climb on his
      bicycle and compete again, when Mr. Carmichael stepped in.
      "I wanted to convince him he had a second chance," Mr. Carmichael said. "I took him to Boon, in North Carolina, the area of the
      States where he had made a name for himself in the Tour de Pont. We trained together there as a reminder of what he could achieve --
      and he did."
      Mr. Carmichael has a talent as a great motivator -- but he didn't know it until a freak accident tore to pieces his own dreams of
      being a great cyclist. He had been part of the 1984 U.S. Olympic cycling team and the 1986 Tour de France, so it seemed like a
      biking career was in the cards -- until Mr. Carmichael's future went from forward-pedalling to a full stop.
      "I was going backcountry skiing and I went over some exposed ground, which caused me to break my femur on a rock," said Mr.
      Carmichael, who lives in Colorado Springs. "I was out of commission for nearly a year."
      Mr. Carmichael's injury became the seed of his career switch to coaching, and he has developed a lifestyle to match the pace of his
      Being a good coach starts from within, he says.
      "Everybody needs to get into a routine where being good to their bodies is a habit, and not a phase.
      "Part of being a successful athlete or a healthy person is about the daily decisions you make in the way you choose to live your
      life. Are you going to have a bag of potato chips or a piece of fruit?"
      As a nutrition adviser as well as a coach, Mr. Carmichael follows the diet he created for his athletes, which he outlines in his new
      book Food for Fitness: Eat Right to Train Right. The program favours a balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, against the
      current low-carb and low-fat trends.
      "Low-carb diets are dangerous to athletes because they deplete the body of glycogen, which is the prime source of the body's fuel,
      and then there's no energy to exercise," Mr. Carmichael said. "If you're struggling with your weight, you need to move away from the
      use of the word 'diet' at all, as the term implies beginning and ending, and starts a vicious cycle."
      Mr. Carmichael helped Mr. Armstrong re-evaluate his own nutrition -- as Mr. Armstrong acknowledges that earlier in his biking career
      he was not fuelling up in the best way for his body.
      Mr. Carmichael's program for athletes is a simple, straightforward approach to the best foods for busybodies -- which means looking
      at all foods as "carriers," whether they be "pollutant carriers" or "quality carriers."
      Foods that are recommended as "quality carriers" are leafy spinach, salmon and sweet potatoes, while "pollutant carriers" are pork
      rinds and fatty meats such as pork ribs.
      Nutrient-dense foods are the way to go, so the ratio of nutrients to calories is as high as possible -- and Mr. Carmichael has a
      list of foods that fill that niche, including wholegrain breads and cereals, kiwi fruit, chicken breasts, soy milk and brown rice.
      Mr. Carmichael says that athletes in particular have to be careful as to what they take in, as they can be calorically satisfied and
      looking fit but nutritionally lacking.
      Listening to the body, whether nutritionally or otherwise, is not an easy step; a challenge Mr. Carmichael knows well. After he went
      back to competition in the late 1980s, the multiple fractures in his leg meant that, every season, he had to undergo repeated
      Finally in 1989, Mr. Carmichael realized that, as much as he loved racing, it was time he took his talents elsewhere as his body
      wasn't cut out for the strain.
      "When I was asked by the national cycling team to work with developing riders, I took it," said Mr. Carmichael, who dropped out of
      university in Florida at 19 to race.
      Mr. Carmichael uses much of the wisdom he picked up as an athlete to relate to cyclists like Mr. Armstrong, whom he had known during
      his own racing days. Mr. Carmichael currently puts in eight to 10 hours of personal cycling time a week, going up to 80 kilometres
      in a seven-day span to stay fit.
      With the 34 to 36 hours per week that Mr. Armstrong rides during training season, Mr. Carmichael has got to be able to keep energy
      up on Mr. Armstrong's long jaunts.
      The coach aspires to be a prime source of moral support for his athletes, taking more of a holistic, back-patting approach than an
      authoritarian drill-sergeant tack.
      Yet, while Mr. Carmichael wants the relationship with his athletes to be close, he doesn't want it to involve suffocating pressure.
      "I've never missed racing, so I don't have to live through my athletes," he said. "I started cycling at the age of 9 and achieved a
      success I was happy with, so I had had enough by the time I started coaching."
      Fitness profile
      Chris Carmichael: Aged 43.
      Currently: Coach for Lance Armstrong, CEO and president of Carmichael Training Systems, author of Food for Fitness: Eat Right to
      Train Right.
      Previously: 1984 Olympic cycling team member and former Tour de France participant.
      The goal: To ensure good health and keep up with his athletes.
      'Low-carb diets are dangerous to athletes because they deplete the body of glycogen, which is the prime source of the body's fuel.'

      7. Do Sports Injuries Cause Osteoarthritis?
      Dr. Edward G. McFarland, a Johns Hopkins sports medicine specialist, explains how sports injuries may contribute to osteoarthritis
      later in life.
      Glance through almost any newspaper or magazine these days and you'll find an article extolling the benefits of sports
      participation. Hard on the heels of these articles are others filled with dire warnings of sports-related joint injuries. If you're
      lucky enough to survive the injury, it seems almost certain that you'll develop osteoarthritis as a result. For those considering
      taking up a sport to improve their health, it's a troublesome irony. That's a common feeling among many of my patients when they
      read the latest research regarding exercise and the development of osteoarthritis. There are a host of studies seeming to prove that
      sports injuries cause the condition, while another whole realm of research supports the notion that exercise improves
      osteoarthritis. What's the story?
      It turns out that both sets of studies are correct, under different circumstances. Exercise can cause osteoarthritis in people who
      develop joint injuries as a result of their sport. Such injuries can range from very common knee maladies to the relatively rare
      neck fracture. What these injuries have in common is that they set up inflammation in the affected joint. Inflammation can lead to
      damage to the cartilage, which can then lead to osteoarthritis. Such a scenario produces what's called secondary osteoarthritis,
      because it happens secondarily, or following an injury. Secondary osteoarthritis may occur in people who are relatively young and
      may affect joints not normally involved in osteoarthritis, such as an elbow, as well as the more commonly affected hips and knees.
      More...from Arthritismedication.com at:

      8. Exercise May Preserve Immune Response in Older Men:
      Older men who exercise regularly may not only keep themselves in good shape, they may also give their immune systems a boost, new
      study findings show.
      Physically active seniors who were injected with a protein to provoke an immune system reaction mounted an immune response similar
      to that seen in men half their age.
      "Maintaining a physically active lifestyle may prevent or slow age-associated decline in immune function," study author Dr. Monika
      Fleshner the University of Colorado at Boulder told Reuters Health.
      "Not only is it likely that these older physically active men are better able to fight infectious illness, but they are also
      probably better able to mount effective immune responses against influenza vaccinations," she added.
      More...from Reuters at:
      [Long URL]

      9. Exercise: Walk, Don't Run, the Knees Say:
      Running may get you places faster than walking does, but it is a less efficient form of locomotion because of the demands it places
      on the knees, researchers have found.
      For humans, running a given distance requires 50 to 80 percent more energy than walking the same distance does. Horses and other
      four-legged animals, in contrast, use roughly the same amount of energy to run a mile as to walk it.
      To figure out why humans are different in this way, researchers at Harvard's Concord Field Station in Bedford, Mass., filmed four
      healthy young men as they walked and ran at steady speeds. As the men progressed from walking to running, they steadily increased
      the amount of strength used to work their hips until it almost doubled. The amount of force at their ankles stayed fairly constant.
      But their knees used five times as much force when they ran.
      The research is reported in The Journal of Applied Physiology.
      The extra force is needed because, during running, the knees must stay flexed to enable the leg to act as a spring. And bending the
      knees means working the large quadriceps muscles of the thighs.
      "In running, the leg must compress and extend like a pogo stick," said Dr. Thomas J. Roberts, an assistant professor of biology at
      Brown University and an author of the study. "In walking you conserve energy because you move like an inverted pendulum. You sort of
      pole-vault over your legs."
      More...from the NY Times at:

      10. A little exercise goes a long way for heart health:
      Three 10-minute workouts may be more effective at lowering triglycerides than continuous activity.
      Some days — we've all been there — the schedule is just too tight for a long stretch of exercise. So instead, you do a little bit
      here, a little bit there, and hope it all adds up.
      And yet you feel like you're cheating yourself.
      New research in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise may reassure you. Three 10-minute workouts offer more benefit in
      reducing risk of one measure of heart disease than does a continuous 30-minute bout of the same exercise, according to an article in
      the journal's August issue.
      The study, by researchers at the University of Missouri at Columbia, found that intermittent exercise lowers levels of triglyceride,
      a type of heart-unhealthy fat in the blood, more effectively than continuous exercise.
      Researchers measured triglyceride levels in 18 men and seven women, all healthy and ages 18 to 45. Each ran once on a treadmill for
      30 minutes and, a week or so later, did three separate 10-minute sessions on the treadmill. Both times, their blood was drawn after
      several hours of rest.
      Each person ate a high-fat meal 12 hours after exercising; researchers took blood samples at two-hour intervals after the meal.
      Triglyceride levels dropped an average of 27% after the intermittent exercise compared with 15% after the continuous workout. "The
      longer fat hangs around, the more dangerous it is," said study co-author Tom Thomas, professor of nutritional sciences at
      More...from the LA Times at:
      [Long URL]

      11. The Claim: Sex Before an Athletic Event Can Hinder Performance:
      The Facts: No one knows exactly when it got started, but the idea that athletes should abstain from sex before a crucial game has
      been a golden rule of sports for centuries. Pliny the Elder may have been the first to draw a link, but with a positive spin.
      "Athletes when sluggish are revitalized by lovemaking," he wrote in A.D. 77.
      More than a millennium later, however, it has become routine for coaches in almost every sport to forbid their players to have sex
      before game night, to conserve energy and increase aggression. Boxers like Lennox Lewis and Muhammad Ali have said they would go
      without sex for weeks before a big fight. But perhaps the only scientific study to investigate the claim directly found that it was
      a myth. In 1995, Dr. Tommy Boone of the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn., measured athletic performance in 11 men after
      they had intercourse the night before and then, on another day, after they had abstained the night before.
      The subjects were given a treadmill test, a routine measure of athletic endurance. Each subject's peak performance was the same on
      both days, suggesting that sex the night before had not slowed them down, Dr. Boone said.
      As for aggression, in 1999 Italian scientists found that testosterone levels in men climbed as sexual activity increased, suggesting
      that more rendezvous in the bedroom might lead to higher rates of aggression the next day – and enhance athletic performance.
      THE BOTTOM LINE Sex does not impair an athlete’s performance.

      12. Sit up straight:
      PEOPLE who spend much of the day slumped in front of the TV could be damaging their backs, according to a team of British
      Research has shown that they risk deactivating muscles that support and protect the spine.
      As a result, characters like TV couch potatoes The Royle Family may suffer attacks of inexplicable back pain.
      The findings come from a study in which young men spent eight weeks in bed.
      Scientists found that an absence of load on the spinal support muscles can be just as debilitating as a physical injury.
      Ultrasound studies have shown that in most cases of lower back pain, muscles which keep the vertebrae in place or hold the pelvis
      together are inactive.
      More...from The Star at:

      13. From Runner's World:
      * Coach's Corner - Goalposts: "To be effective, goals need to be specific and measurable. Write your goals down in advance and
      adjust them as you record your actual results. Use your training dairy for this purpose, or make a simple chart for your goals and
      place it where you can see it often." -Bob Glover

      * Injury Prevention - Arch Ache: To prevent arch spasms strengthen your posterior tibial tendons by performing resistance exercises
      with a towel or tension band. To do this, move the forefoot inward against resistance. Do three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions for
      each foot daily.

      * Performance Nutrition - Sweet Red Peppers: These crunchy, colorful vegetables supply more immunity-boosting vitamin C than
      oranges. They're also loaded with carotenes. Use them as a colorful addition to any pasta dish or salad.

      * "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -Will Rogers, author/philosopher/philanthropist

      * Editor's Advice: Learn to make time for yourself: Get enough sleep and schedule your day to allow at least an hour of private
      time. Make your workouts non-negotiable. You wouldn't quit breathing just because you were too busy, right? Exercise should be
      equally important."
      -Jane Hahn, RW senior editor

      * Training Talk: "During moments of doubt or anxiety, maintaining confidence is paramount. However, it's precisely during those
      moments that we feel the least confident. The trick is to just hang in there until the stress or anxiety passes." -From Triathlon
      Training by Eric Harr

      14. Running Commentary - Peaking Plus Pacing:
      My viewing of the latest Olympics peaked on the third day of the running events. Nothing that would come after that Sunday could top
      a woman marathoner's race. Nothing in at least the last 20 years had topped it.
      Deena Drossin Kastor did everything perfectly. Her training peaked at the right time, she paced herself the right way, and her first
      emotional and verbal reactions to what she had done were just right.
      A friend of mine said on that Sunday night, "If she had gone out faster, think of what she might have done." My guess is that a
      faster start would have handed Kastor the same fate as Paula Radcliffe. The world record-holder dictated much of the pace before
      dropping out, overheated and exhausted, four miles short of the finish.
      Two other runners went faster than Kastor. None ran smarter.
      The scheduling of this race (along with the men's marathon a week later) was almost criminal. Everyone knew that Athens in August
      would be hot, and the late afternoon hottest of all.
      So when did the marathon start? At six P.M., in the heat of the day, on a day when the official Athens temperature peaked at 103.
      And why this hour? For the convenience of officials and the prime-timing of television. If the safety and performance of the
      athletes had been of any concern to schedulers, the race would have started at six o'clock that morning.
      More...from Joe Henderson at:

      15. Diet drinks may skew body's calorie counter:
      Study may help explain why some people lack the ability to regulate food intake
      Choosing a diet soft drink may not be the best way to fight obesity. The artificial sweeteners may disrupt the body's natural
      ability to "count" calories based on foods' sweetness.
      Terry Davidson and Susan Swithers at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., say this may help explain why increasing numbers of
      people lack the natural ability to regulate food intake and body weight.
      The researchers gave two groups of rats two different sweet-flavoured liquids. One group's two liquids were both sweetened with
      natural high-calorie sweeteners to ensure a consistent relationship between sweet taste and calories. The second group got one drink
      that was artificially sweetened with non-caloric saccharin so the relationship between sweet taste and calories was inconsistent.
      After 10 days of drinking their assigned liquids, the rats were allowed to eat a small amount of a sweet, high-calorie snack. The
      rats that had experienced the inconsistent relationship between sweet taste and calories were less able to compensate for the
      calories contained in the snack and ate more than the rats that had experienced the consistent relationship between sweetness and
      caloric intake.
      More...from The Medical Posting at:

      16. Transcript from a chat with triathlete Karen Smyers:
      Can you explain how a triathlon works? I know there's running, biking and swimming involved. But what's the order they go in? And
      what are the distances?
      Karen Smyers (Moderator)
      Let's start with the basics! A triathlon is a continuous event involving swimming, biking, and running, usually in that order.
      Since the clock is running at all times, the transition from one sport to another is a big part of the race: switching out of cap
      and goggles to bike helmet and shoes, then after the bike ride, to run shoes. The distances range from a sprint like the Monster
      Challenge (.5 mile swim, 12.5 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run) to an Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run)
      monster wannabe
      Is it too late to get into the Monster Challenge on Sept. 5? I've participated in a few triathlons and want to compete in this one
      as well. Am I too late?
      Karen Smyers (Moderator)
      It is NOT too late to enter the Monster Challenge. Check out the website at Monsterchallenge.org to enter. It is a great race for
      What's the best thing a first timer should know in training for her first sprint tri?
      Karen Smyers (Moderator)
      The best advice for first-timers is to RELAX. The swim can be a bit chaotic and is usually the biggest worry for novices. Start to
      the side or in back of your group at the swim start so you don't get caught up in the fray if you are nervous. If you need to stop
      and do breaststroke or even just float on your back to get your breath or calm down, that is perfectly acceptable. The other piece
      of advice is to at least TRY running right after biking once or twice before the race as it is a tough change of muscle groups and
      takes some getting used to. (Can you say "bricks for legs?")
      More...from Boston.com at:

      17. How to choose the right race strategy:
      By Peter Pfitzinger, M.S. - AmericanRunning.org (4/28/2004)
      The two adversaries in distance running are your competitors and the clock. Your racing tactics depend on which of these adversaries
      is more important in a specific race.
      To beat other runners of equal ability, you need to run smarter than them. To beat the clock, you simply need to run the fastest
      time possible, which is almost always accomplished with even pacing.
      So, first decide what your objective is for a given race, then select the tactics to meet that objective. Finally, during training,
      visualize yourself successfully using those tactics to achieve your objective.
      Running an even pace is the most effective way to run the fastest time, because it utilizes oxygen most economically and keeps
      lactate accumulation to a minimum. Most distance world records are set by running even pace.
      Consider the 10,000m world record (since broken) of 26:31.32 that Haile Gebrselassie set on July 4, 1997: His two 5,000m halves took
      13:16.74 and 13:14.58; his kilometer splits varied by less than 4 seconds (2:36.7 for the fastest, 2:40.6 for the slowest). Any way
      you parse it, Gebrselassie's run was a model of economical racing.
      Even pacing requires that you know the correct pace to select, that you have good pace judgment and that you have the discipline to
      hold back in the early stages of the race, when the pace feels easy.
      More...from Active.com at:

      18. Study: Atkins weight loss doesn’t last:
      Low-carb diets may cause side effects, tests show.
      More than 45 million copies of the books have been sold and everyone seems to be on it, but researchers said on Friday that Atkins
      and other low-carbohydrate diets do not help people stay slim.
      Clinical trials of low-carbohydrate diets show a greater weight loss at six months than low-fat and reduced calorie approaches in
      obese patients. But by 12 months there was no difference in the two groups.
      “There is no clear evidence that Atkins-style diets are better than any others for helping people stay slim, despite the popularity
      and apparent success of the Atkins diet,” said Professor Arne Astrup of RVA University in Copenhagen, Denmark.
      Low-carb diets have been around since the 1860s according to Astrup and his colleagues but the Atkins approach, which includes a
      restricted intake of carbohydrates and high fat foods, has made it popular with millions of people trying to lose weight.
      More...from MSNBC at:

      19. Greeks, Triathlon, Heat, Oil, Determination, Desire and the Olympics:
      A blow by blow of the Women's Olympic Triathlon race in Athens.
      By Coach Brendon
      Well I am back home after what has been quite a journey to the Olympics and I mean that in a personal way - it's been tough, indeed
      far tougher than I ever thought, far tougher than most people would have thought. I've certainly learned a lot - I've seen several
      of the world's leading triathletes build towards the event as well as being heavily involved with two athletes buildups. It's given
      me quite a bit of food for thought and will probably take several months to digest completely.
      Here is the first of three installments of reflection on the event and the buildup from a coach's perspective.
      So onto the Races
      There was quite a lengthy pre-race briefing on the two days before the women's race, with most issues revolving around the pontoon
      draw, world rankings and the start procedure. On the World Cup Circuit, starts have been dogged by people jumping the gun, so for
      this race there would be start video employed and anyone jumping the gun would be penalized by being held in the transition area - a
      grey area that still needs some work to be clear to everyone. With the pontoon draw, criteria for positioning was under fire as
      positioning could be critical with those starting on the outside getting clear water and potentially a safer road to the first turn
      at 360m. An updated world ranking was used - a bit of confusion surrounded this as it had not been posted or updated for several
      weeks by the ITU.
      More...from Endurance Coach at:

      20. Tactics at Athens - The Women's Triathlon
      by Dan Empfield
      Now that the Olympics are past, and the afterglow of winning a bronze medal has somewhat abated, a question remains. The United
      States had three of four athletes well in front of the main pack in the women’s race. Could there have been a tactic employed that
      would’ve gained us a higher medal, or a greater number of them? If so, ought tactics to have been employed or considered?
      I asked this of several people in a position to express reasonable and informed opinions.
      Steve Larsen, a former national caliber cyclist and triathlete, answered, “First, I want to acknowledge that these were three
      superbly conditioned athletes, and there is nothing I could’ve done that would’ve gotten them to that physiological level. And, I’m
      a spectator.
      “However, there were some tactical issues,” he continued. “Here you have the acknowledged strongest woman in the race [Loretta
      Harrop], perhaps the gold medal favorite, and our lead woman [reigning world champion Sheila Taormina] appeared to me to be trading
      pull for pull with her. Atop that hill it would’ve been easy to turn around and see you had two teammates well off the front of the
      pack, and only 50 meters behind. The only conceivable move is to sit on and do no work, and to let your teammates catch up. Then,
      you have a variety of options. It’s a shame to see such well-conditioned athletes ignoring or, even worse, failing to comprehend
      such basic, basic tactical elements.”
      More...from SlowTwitch at:

      21. Exercise may even flex your mental muscles :
      Working out makes you feel better and look better. But in case that's not enough to motivate you, here's one more reason to lace up
      your sneakers and get moving: studies suggest physical exercise could make you think better, too.
      There isn't one conclusive study demonstrating the positive effects of exercise on cognition or explaining how and why it might
      work, but several recent studies point to a correlation between physical exercise and improved cognitive function.
      Faster searching
      One such study, published in the journal Perceptual and Motor Skills in December 1998, investigated the influence of exercise on
      attention, response time and accuracy in a series of visual search tasks. The study looked at the effect of exercise on a test of
      visual search capabilities performed by 10 women and 8 men. Results showed faster search following exercise, "suggesting that
      exercise improved performance especially under conditions of focused attention."
      More...from UW Health at:
      [Multi-line URL]

      22. Eat more whole grains, exercise more:
      Panel issues final recommendations for food pyramid.
      Not any bread will do, a panel of doctors and scientists has told the U.S. government in issuing its final recommendations about
      what advice should go into the federal food pyramid.
      People should eat at least three one-ounce servings of whole grains each day, preferably in place of refined grains, or white bread,
      the proposals for the five-year update of the government's nutrition advice say.
      The advisers and the government want Americans to balance the calories they get from food with the calories they burn in physical
      activity. But with almost two-thirds of Americans overweight or obese, officials realize they have an uphill fight.
      "We have to have a good behavior change implementation to address this serious problem of obesity and overweight," said Eric
      Hentges, executive director of the Agriculture Department's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which will use the guidelines
      as it revamps the pyramid.
      More...from CNN at:

      23. The Ironman Investment Decisions: Getting Bang for Your Bucks!
      By Coach Wendy
      Hard earnt bucks Vs comfort Vs function Vs Usage - justifying the right gear for you!
      What will an Ironman cost me? It's a common question often asked by first time triathletes and especially those wishing to embark on
      the Ironman distance. In replying, I find it much easier to stick to the dollar value as opposed to the cost of time away from
      friends, time spent daydreaming at work, time spent looking at magazines or on the net looking for the best deals and latest bits of
      equipment. The greatest value to me is the price you would associate with comfort.
      How much would you pay to be able to ride in such a position on your bike that it felt that you had only ridden a half of the
      distance on fast roads? Maybe it is easier to pose the question, what's the cost of having to move around on your bike every five
      minutes to relieve your aching back, or move your feet around in your shoes to take the pressure off from the peddles? We soon start
      to picture or feel, what good equipment is worth in terms of comfort and what price you are prepared to pay to ensure this.
      The dilemma comes when, as a first time Ironman athlete, you invest a lot of time, energy and money into getting you to the start
      line - I do believe that you deserve the very best equipment to assist you in every way towards having a great day - BUT there is a
      trade off and this is hard earnt bucks Vs comfort Vs usage. I have seen over the years, first timers go out and purchase a bike to
      the value of $3500 US dollars and do maybe 30-40 rides on it, use it in the race and then leave it in the garage for years gathering
      dust and listening to the stories of it's 'fine' racing hour!,
      More...from Endurance Coach at:

      24. Increase Gym Time to Combat Obesity in Girls - Study:
      A new report suggests a simple strategy for combating obesity among young girls -- increasing their gym time.
      Giving first graders just one more hour per week of physical education than they had in kindergarten may effectively reduce obesity
      rates among girls who are overweight or at risk for becoming overweight, the report indicates.
      "Our findings are important because they suggest one important public health strategy for combating obesity in the early years,"
      study co-author Dr. Ashlesha Datar, of the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, told Reuters Health. "In fact,
      school-based physical education programs have the ability to serve a large population of children at risk for obesity."
      The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children participate in daily physical education classes, but
      research has shown that only a small minority of children do so. In many cases, less than half of the class time involves physical
      More...from Reuters at:

      25. News Scan:
      *Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine
      Runner's Knee:
      Runners are far more likely to suffer knee pain than cyclists. The most common long term injury in runners is a condition called
      runner's knee in which the back of the knee cap rubs against the front bottom of the femur, the long bone of the upper leg. If it
      hurts to push the kneecap against the bone behind it, you have runner's knee.
      The back of the kneecap is shaped like a triangle with the point fitting in a groove in the lower part of the bone behind it. During
      running, the knee cap is supposed to move up and down and not from side to side. When you run, you land on the outside bottom of
      your foot and roll inward toward the big toe side of your foot. This is called pronation. It forces your lower leg to twist inward
      while at the same time, three of the four quad muscles attached to the kneecap pull the kneecap outward, causing it to rub against
      the bone behind it.
      The amount of inner twisting of the lower leg during running is related to how straight your knee is. Bending your knee decreases
      inner twisting and rubbing of the knee cap against the bone behind it. People with runner's knee usually can pedal a bicycle with
      their seats set lower than normal to prevent their knees from straightening completely. Orthotics, custom-fitted inserts in the
      shoes that restrict pronation, may help. They can also use special exercises that strengthen the vastus medialis muscle above the
      kneecap that pulls the knee cap inward when they run or pedal.

      * Ironclad Evidence
      Iron-deficient women can boost their aerobic capacity by simply increasing their iron intake
      Try the following:
      Reach for meat. The iron found in red meat is best absorbed by the body, so shoot for two servings of lean red meat per week.
      Stock up on vitamin C. This vitamin helps boost iron absorption when eaten at the same time as other iron-containing foods. An easy
      way to do this is to drink citrus juices when you eat iron-rich foods such as meat, beans, whole grains, and fortified cereals.
      Watch what you drink with your meals. The tannins in beverages such as red wine, coffee, and tea can interfere with iron absorption.
      Use cast-iron cookware. Using cast-iron cookware increases the iron content of foods. The more acidic the food, and the longer it is
      cooked, the more iron will leech into it.
      Most women know that anemia can sap their strength and wreak havoc on their running. But few realize that even marginal iron
      deficiency can impair aerobic performance. The silver lining? Iron-deficient women can boost their aerobic capacity by simply
      increasing their iron intake.
      Researchers at Cornell University studied the aerobic performance of 41 women who were iron-deficient, but not anemic. Half of the
      women were given iron supplements while the other half received a placebo for 6 weeks. All of the women trained on stationary bikes
      for the last 4 weeks of the study. Ultimately, both groups saw improvements in muscle endurance and maximum VO2, but the women who
      received the iron supplements experienced significantly greater improvements in maximum VO2.
      Most important to women runners, this study clearly indicates that you don't have to be anemic to still experience a decrease in
      aerobic capacity. "Since there may be at least twice as many women who are iron-deficient without anemia as there are women who are
      anemic, the impact of this problem may be widespread," says Jere D. Haas, Ph.D., professor and director of the division of
      nutritional sciences at Cornell University, and one of the study authors.
      So what's the best way to boost your iron status? Improve your diet.
      by Jane Unger Hahn, from ReebokRunner.com

      * The Marathon:
      From The medical director of the London Marathon)"
      "Marathons are physically grueling to the point of being dangerous. Runners' immune systems become suppressed, and the blood vessels
      in the soles of their feet, which pound against the ground around 50,000 times in a single marathon, struggle to hold red,
      oxygen-carrying blood cells. Runners even lose a centimeter in height between the start of a marathon and its finish because the
      strain of running such a distance causes back muscles to tense strenuously."
      "The classic is that when you run too fast, you burn up all the glycogen (animal starch) in the muscle. You need to store up as much
      as you can
      before the race by carbo-loading. If you run too fast too early or if you don't run at a steady pace, then you'll burn it all up and
      you're reduced to
      burning fat, which is slow and painful. The muscles ache and you run more slowly. The other explanation is simply fatigue, which
      usually catches up with runners between 18 and 22 miles. That's when you see a lot of runners start walking. They suddenly feel
      tired. But if you run sensibly you don't hit the wall-at least not physically."

      * Good fat, Bad fat – keep it straight by remembering your A-B-C’s
      Our bodies are designed so that we need some fat in order to run efficiently. In addition to providing us with needed energy, and
      brain, nerve, and hormone develop, fat also helps in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins which is why it’s important to include
      some fat in our diet, and also that we take our multivitamin and mineral supplement with a meal that contains some fat.
      Many of us have a hard time keeping straight the good fats from the bad fats. Remember the unhealthy saturated fats by referring
      to your A-B-C’s. A is for animal fats – for example, lard, or fatty cuts of meats; B is for butter; and C is for cream. Trans
      fats are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated, and are typically found in stick margarine, bakery goods, crackers, and french
      fries. Think of the saturated fats (A-B-C's) as "bad" fat, and trans fats as "ugly" fat. The good fats, mono- and polyunsaturated
      fats come from plant origins and include nuts, peanut butter, seeds, olive oil, canola oil, and avocado.
      Provided by Cooper Wellness Program nutrition director Kathy Duran-Thal, R.D. For information on attending a four-, six- or 13-day
      program at The Cooper Aerobics Center, call 800-444-5192 or visit www.cooperaerobics.com/wellness

      Ongoing Events:

      This Weeks Featured Events:
      *Please verify event dates with the event websites*

      September 3, 2004:
      Van Damme Memorial - Brussels, Belgium

      September 4, 2004:
      Canadian Half-Ironman Triathlon - Ottawa, ON

      Pocatello Marathon - Idaho

      Rideau Canal 8K - Ottawa, ON

      Television: CBC 4 to 6 PM
      Brussels Golden League - Belgium

      September 4-5, 2004:
      World Mountain Running Trophy - Sauze d'Olux, Italy

      September 5, 2004:
      IAAF Grand Prix - Rieti, Italy

      Monster Challenge Triathlon - Boston, MA

      New Mexico Marathon - Albuquerque, NM

      Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon - Virginia Beach, VA

      September 6, 2004:
      New Alliance New Haven 20K - New Haven, CT

      Park Forest Scenic 10 Mile - Park Forest, IL

      US 10K - America's Greatest 10K - Atlanta, GA

      For more complete race listings check out our Upcoming Races Check the Runner's Web on Sunday and Monday for race
      reports on these events at:

      This Weeks Personal Postings/Releases:

      We have ONE personal postings this week.
      I am a doctoral student at The George Washington University, embarking on my dissertation research.
      The intent of this research is to measure non-physical changes that are experienced by individuals completing their first marathon.
      These changes focus on how the individual approaches new tasks.
      To be part of this study you must have signed up for (or started training for) a marathon recently or are planning to sign up for a
      marathon within the next year. Anticipated completion time is NOT a consideration for eligibility to participate in this study.
      As part of the study you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire. This should take less than 30 minutes.
      After your marathon date, you will be sent another copy of the questionnaire to complete. This will need to be filled out 2 to 3
      weeks after you complete your marathon.
      Surveys will be sent to you via email. The first will be sent within a few days of signing up for the study. The second will be sent
      about two weeks after your marathon date. You will be asked to return the completed surveys via email.
      There will be a third optional phase, in addition to the first 2 phases. This will be a short interview that should last less than
      30 minutes. You can choose to participate in just the first two stages of this study, or all three. If you choose to participate in
      the follow-up interviews they can be done either in person or by phone.
      To signup please go to www.bke-associates.com and select ‘research’. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at
      mailto:bea@... or call 410-353-4722.
      Please forward this to others (groups or individuals) who are / may be planning their first marathon.
      Bea Carson

      Television and Online Coverage:
      [Check local listings as event times are subject to change]

      Check out our FrontPage and our Runner's Web Television Links page at:

      For Triathlon Coverage check out The Sports Network at:

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      Forward the Runner's Web Digest to a friend and suggest that they subscribe at:

      Your Feedback and Comments:
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      Have a good week of training and/or racing.

      Ken Parker
      Runner's Web
      webmaster@... <mailto:webmaster@...>
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