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Runner's Web Digest - December 3, 2004

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  • Ken Parker
    Runner s Web Digest - December 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 - December 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.

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      4. SportHill Clothing:
      Since 1985, SportHill has been committed to providing the world's best performance athletic clothing. Each item is designed to meet
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      The Runner's Web Digest is a weekly e-zine dealing with the sports of running and triathlon and general fitness and health issues.
      The opinions expressed in the articles referenced by the Digest are the opinions of the writers and not the Runner's Web. To
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      Athletes - Interested in getting sponsored?
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      Check out our Sports Nutrition column written by Sheila Kealey. Sheila is one of Ottawa's top multisport athletes and a member of
      the OAC Racing Team and X-C Ottawa. She has a Masters in Public Health and works in the field of nutritional epidemiology as a
      Research Associate with the University of California, San Diego. Her column index is available at:

      Our latest column ( Multisport: Drink To Your Health… And Performance) from Carmichael Training Systems is available at:

      Our latest column from Running Research News (Science of Sport: The Truth About Oxygen And Running) is available at:

      Check out our latest article from Peak Performance Online (Cycling: Female cyclists health and nutrition - A guide to the proper
      care and feeding of female cyclists) is available at:

      We have NO personal postings 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. Exercise Enzyme Extends Lifespan
      Activated in muscles, it may explain some beneficial effects of physical activity.
      2. Some people are 'immune' to exercise
      3. Cycling: Female cyclists health and nutrition - A guide to the proper care and feeding of female cyclists
      4. Blazing a path to very old age
      By studying seniors age 90 and older in Orange County, researchers hope to find clues to robust longevity.
      5. Stress Accelerates Death Clock
      Appears to shorten telomeres the equivalent of up to 17 years of normal aging.
      6. Low-Dose Antioxidants May Lower All-Cause Mortality in Men
      7. Can Being Fit Outweigh Fat?
      It's Possible to Be Obese and Healthy, Experts Say.
      8. Battle to beat stress can be won
      9. From Runner's World
      10. Dealing with the Body's Bumps, Folds and Curvy Bits!
      11. Joe Henderson's Running Commentary - Time Travel
      12. National Capital Race Weekend - Benefits of Strength-Training
      By Grete Waitz.
      13. Multisport: Effortless, Intuitive Training
      14. Coaches Article: Increasing Fitness with Power
      15. Courtney Bennigson: Emerging USA Triathlete Ready to Take on the World
      16. Head for the Hills
      To race well on hills, you have to train on hills. Try these four great workouts.
      17. Assessment Of Linear Sprinting Performance - A Theoretical Paradigm
      18. Exercise doesn't work for us all
      19. Working Out a Way To Get in Shape
      An Annapolis exercise group called Stroller Strides, and at least 150 others like it around the nation, reflect the latest
      development in the booming field of mommy-and-me exercise: stroller fitness.
      20. Drink To Your Health… And Performance
      21. Mental toughness secret to triathlon
      22. The dealers and wheelers
      23. Bear Creek triathlon a dirty job, but somebody had to do it
      24. The Uncertain Antiaging Pill
      On the eve of its launch, the touted life extender Protandim faces marketing ambiguity and scientific reservations.
      25. News Scan
      A collection of news items.

      Runner's Web Weekly Poll:
      This week's poll is: "Would you support the concept of a permanent site for the Olympic Games?"

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

      The previous poll was: "Which of the following marathoners has had the greatest impact on the sport?"
      The results at publication time were:
      Answers Votes Percent
      1. Derek Clayton 17 18%
      2. Paula Radcliffe 23 24%
      3. Bill Rodgers 23 24%
      4. Joan Benoit Samuelson 12 13%
      5. Frank Shorter 11 12%
      6. Paul Tergat 3 3%
      7. Grete Waitz 6 6%
      Total Votes: 95

      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: Paula Radcliffe.
      At long last the world's greatest female athlete has her own web site!
      "Hello and welcome to my website. I hope that this site will give visitors an opportunity to learn more about myself and to interact
      with other like-minded fans. Through sections such as the diary page, you'll be able to find out more about what I'm up to and how
      my training is going. If you'd like to find out about my races (both past and up-coming), then look in the news and the statistics
      In the fanzone section, there's a chance for visitors to interact. Discuss athletics-related things on the messageboard and download
      some wallpaper for your desktop."
      Check out Paula's site 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: Triathlete's Guide to Off-Season Training by Karen Buxton.
      The off-season is a time for recovery, planning, and indulging in other sports. Karen Buxton explains how to create a well-rounded
      off-season training program including core strengthening, increased flexibility through yoga, drills to boost swim, bike, and run
      performance, and alternatives to improve conditioning. Paperback. Black-and-white photos, tables, and figures throughout. 6" x 9".
      192 pp.
      Buy the book at VeloPress at:

      More books from Amazon at:
      and Human Kinetics at:

      This Weeks News:


      1. Exercise Enzyme Extends Lifespan:
      Activated in muscles, it may explain some beneficial effects of physical activity
      An enzyme activated in muscles by exercise extends life in the lab and may explain some of the beneficial effects of physical
      The enzyme, AMP-1, is a molecular sensor activated by a small molecule called AMP. AMP is generated as the final product of ATP,
      which cells use to store and transfer energy.
      "It is tempting to speculate that perhaps some of the beneficial effects of exercise in human health are the result of the effect of
      AMP-1 activation on the aging process," says Javier Apfeld of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Elixir Pharmaceuticals.
      Energy conservation
      When activated, AMP initiates reactions that cause the body to conserve energy stores. Limiting the availability of energy has shown
      in trials of caloric restriction to extend healthy lifespan.
      Apfeld and colleagues now report that they've shown in lab worms that an enzyme called AAK-2 that's the equivalent of AMP-1 in
      humans plays a role in life extension.
      More...from Betterhumans at:

      2. Some people are 'immune' to exercise:
      Public-health campaigns regularly plug exercise as a sure-fire way to avoid an early grave. But that message may be too simplistic.
      For an unhappy few, even quite strenuous exercise may have no effect on their fitness or their risk of developing diseases like
      “There is astounding variation in the response to exercise. The vast majority will benefit in some way, but there will be a minority
      who will not benefit at all,” says Claude Bouchard of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, US.
      At the Australian Health and Medical Research Congress in Sydney, Australia, last week Bouchard reported the results of a study
      assessing the role of genes in fitness and health changes in response to exercise.
      In the study, 742 people from 213 families were put through a strict 20-week endurance training programme. The volunteers had not
      taken regular physical activity for the previous six months. Exercise on stationary bikes was gradually increased so that by the
      last six weeks the volunteers were exercising for 50 minutes three times a week at 75% of the maximum output they were capable of
      before the study.
      Previous reports indicated that there are huge variations in “trainability” between subjects. For example, the team found that
      training improved maximum oxygen consumption, a measure of a person’s ability to perform work, by 17% on average.
      More...from New Scientist at:

      3. Cycling: Female cyclists health and nutrition - A guide to the proper care and feeding of female cyclists:
      The sex of skeletons can be determined from the shape of the forehead and the width of the pelvis and lower vertebrae. While the
      first does not affect athletic performance, the second certainly does. A girl's gait and ability to run fast alters dramatically
      after puberty because of the widening of the pelvis and the change in orientation of the hip muscles. In cycling terms, this means
      women may require different saddles and a different angle of saddle tilt. Furthermore, the obvious anatomical differences in this
      area need appropriate consideration in terms of position and clothing.
      Women tend to have relatively longer legs compared to their height than men, with the thigh often accounting for a greater
      percentage of leg length. These factors need to be taken into account when setting up a female cyclist's position or ordering a
      frame. Long thigh bones mean the saddle will need to be further back and the seat angle shallow. However, women with short legs
      (relative to their height) will need a steeper frame angle and the seat further forward. Women also tend to have a shorter reach and
      weaker upper body than men of similar height. This means that they need a relatively smaller frame size to allow for a reasonable
      stem length to be fitted (8-10cm minimum). As women are naturally more flexible, a greater seat-to-bar height difference can usually
      be accommodated. Too many women cyclists are wrongly advised, buy too large a frame and are forced to compensate by pushing their
      saddle forward and using a short stem. Thus the handling of the bike and the potential power output are impaired.

      More...from the Runner's Web at:

      4. Blazing a path to very old age:
      By studying seniors age 90 and older in Orange County, researchers hope to find clues to robust longevity.
      Most of the people Dr. Claudia Kawas refers to as "trailblazers" enter her Laguna Woods medical clinic haltingly, often with walkers
      or canes, or clutching the hand of someone with a steadier gait. Some don't come into the clinic at all; they're at home, bedridden.
      But the trailblazer description is fitting. It refers to a group of Americans who have far exceeded average life expectancy and are
      now showing others not only what it's like to reach very old age — but also, maybe, how to get there.
      Kawas, a professor of neurology, neurobiology and behavior at UC Irvine, is the architect of a $9-million federally funded study
      monitoring the health and well-being of people 90 and older in Laguna Woods. Her work is part of a growing body of research into the
      phenomenon she calls extreme aging.
      "In order to understand aging, you need to understand how to age well," Kawas says. "These people are the fastest-growing segment of
      the population, but we don't know much about them. We don't know how many are demented or how many of them are walking around well."
      A description of extreme aging is starting to jell, however, thanks to Kawas' data and that of a few other longevity studies. And
      the information is timely. Just under 2 million Americans are 90 and older, but that number is expected to grow to 10 million by
      Understanding the health needs and quality of life among the very old is essential, Kawas says. But relatively little is known about
      the status of this group. For example, when she first began the project, Kawas was able to locate only a couple of studies on
      dementia rates in people older than 90 — a key area of concern for researchers.
      More...from the LA Times at:

      5. Stress Accelerates Death Clock :
      Appears to shorten telomeres the equivalent of up to 17 years of normal aging.
      Psychological stress appears to speed cellular aging the equivalent of up to 17 years of normal aging.
      The difference shows up in telomeres, DNA-protein structures that cap the end of chromosomes. Thought to play an important role in
      aging and disease, telomeres shorten with cell division, and are therefore used as a marker for biological age. When telomeres get
      too short, cells die. They are lengthened by an enzyme called telomerase.
      American researcher Elizabeth Blackburn from the University of California, San Francisco and colleagues have now shown that
      accelerated telomere shortening may partly explain the mind-body connection between stress and aging. Psychological stress has been
      linked with several diseases and is thought to be partly responsible for premature aging. But the underlying physiological
      mechanisms have yet to be elucidated.
      More...from Betterhumans at:

      6. Low-Dose Antioxidants May Lower All-Cause Mortality in Men:
      Low-dose antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplementation lowers all-cause mortality in men but not in women, according to the
      results of a randomized, double-blind, primary prevention trial published in the Nov. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
      The investigators suggest that this may be due to the lower baseline status in men.
      "It has been suggested that a low dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins and minerals increases the incidence rate of cardiovascular
      disease [CVD] and cancer," write Serge Hercberg, MD, PhD, from Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) in
      Metiers, France, and colleagues. "To date, however, the published results of randomized, placebo-controlled trials of supplements
      containing antioxidant nutrients have not provided clear evidence of a beneficial effect."
      More...from Medscape at:

      7. Can Being Fit Outweigh Fat?
      It's Possible to Be Obese and Healthy, Experts Say.
      At 5-foot-4 and 190 pounds, Jude Mathews would seem to personify the health crisis facing a nation in the throes of an obesity
      epidemic. But the librarian from Evanston, Ill., begs to differ.
      "My blood pressure is rock solid. My cholesterol numbers are basically fine. My doctors don't see anything they say I need to worry
      about," said Mathews, who is 55, exercises regularly and eats a well-balanced diet. "One little number on the scale is not all there
      is to your health."
      As medical authorities have become increasingly alarmed by the rapidly rising number of Americans who are overweight and obese,
      people such as Mathews find themselves at the center of an intense debate: Can people be overweight but still healthy?
      In books, in medical journals and at public health conferences, scientists have been dueling over the relative importance of fatness
      vs. fitness, and whether there is any common ground between the two camps. A small but vocal cadre of researchers has been
      challenging conventional wisdom, arguing that not only is it possible to be both fat and fit, but fitness is actually more important
      for health.
      More...from the Washington Post at:

      8. Battle to beat stress can be won:
      In response to a column that ran two weeks ago, we wanted to provide more information and tools to help you relieve the stress in
      your life. Stress is with us all the time. In comes from the mental, emotional and/or physical strains we endure every day. It is
      unique and personal to all of us. However, too much stress can cause physical illness, high blood pressure, ulcers, heart disease
      and weight gain.
      It is important we learn to identify and cope with these stressful periods in our lives before their harmful effects take hold of
      us. Chronic difficulty in coping with stress puts significant burdens on the body that can be irreversible.
      First, put your current situation in perspective. Ask yourself how important this matter/task will be in five or 10 years. The
      majority of problems, which tax us mentally and physically, will be inconsequential in five years. However, if you let the related
      stress weigh you down, the harmful physical effects can be felt well into a decade.
      More...from the News-Press at:

      9. From Runner's World:
      * Coach's Corner
      Runners often get trapped in the same training patterns. They find a pattern that works for them (speedwork or distance) and often
      follow it to the exclusion of other patterns. Sometimes resistance to change can stifle your improvement. One way to improve is to
      do something different. Focus on different distances, which will force you to change training patterns. -Jack Daniels

      * Injury Prevention
      Schedule a non-running day at least once a week to keep your legs fresh. In general, the more consecutive days you run without a
      break, the more likely you'll become injured. Also, schedule a reduced-mileage week once a month and a reduced-mileage month once a
      year. How reduced? Figure to run half your normal mileage.

      * Performance Nutrition
      Chestnuts: Bite-Size Nuggets of Nutrition. Five chestnuts contain barely 1 g of fat, getting a mere 8% of their calories from fat.
      You can eat a bowlful and barely put a dent in your daily fat budget-which is a far cry from other nuts. Five chestnuts have only
      103 calories and 2.1 g of fiber, as much as a slice of whole wheat bread. An unexpected bonus: vitamin C.

      * Editor's Advice
      "The holiday season is the time to count one's blessings, but it's also a time of great temptation. Rather than focusing on foods
      you shouldn't eat, focus on ones you want to eat. Holding yourself to a few traditional favorites will prevent you from
      overeating." -Tish Hamilton, RW deputy editor

      * Words That Inspire
      "The thinking must be done first, before training begins." -Peter Coe, author and coach

      * Training Talk
      "People's abilities to adapt to hard work differ. Nevertheless, basic training techniques are the same for everybody, men and women,
      teenagers and masters." -From How to Train by Hal Higdon

      10. Dealing with the Body's Bumps, Folds and Curvy Bits!
      By Coach Wendy
      We've all done it at least once! Many have experienced it. Some still have the scars to prove it. Yes, even the pro's find it a
      challenge. Finding the best gear to fit ones unique body bits is often a trialing experience!
      You know the old saying" What do gynecologists, urologists and triathletes have in common?" Well, from the medical perspective, the
      two pursue the endless juggle of playing with physiology and the challenge of performance. In the case of the triathletes, they just
      want to avoid having to make an appointment to repair any damage caused through ill-fitting equipment causing unfavorable injuries
      to sensitive regions!
      Yes, choosing a good seat and or wearing a well fitting sports bra are two of the most common issues that cause triathletes concern
      in these sensitive regions. Ironically, they are topics often the first to be 'swum' over and avoided - especially the seat
      We often hear the comment "You'll be right, you'll get used to it". Well excuse the cow-shed terminology but guys, the short answer
      is that num nuts and unresponsive willies is not good for your health let alone any family planning that may be on the agenda.
      Girls, feeling like you're crotch is made of sand paper may mean that you need more lubricant and feeling like you've been punched
      in the chest after a run means that you need a more supportive sports bra!
      More...from Endurance Coach at:

      11. Joe Henderson's Running Commentary - Time Travel:
      Time is precious to any runner. It's how we keep score in this sport, so we glory in every second saved and worry about each one
      lost in the race against our pace goal.
      Phil Uglow from Toronto likes the idea of taking walk breaks during his long runs. But he wrote, "Could you talk about how to
      calculate run-walk times into minutes per kilometer or mile? I train with a number of run-walkers and they are all baffled, as am I,
      on how to set various paces."
      Uglow and friends were training for a four-hour marathon. They worried, as most new walk-breakers do, about falling behind their
      intended pace while walking -- or at least having the breaks play havoc with their splits.
      Let the time "run" on during walks to simplify split-taking and pacing, I told Uglow. If you think it's a complication to include
      walk breaks in total time, think how confusing it becomes if you punch out during the breaks.
      I recommended that he not check his pace at the usual one-kilometer or one-mile intervals. Some K's and miles might include two
      breaks and others none.
      Instead, take splits at longer intervals such as every 5K to five miles. This equalizes the number of walks per timing period and
      gives a truer picture of how the pace is going.
      More...from Joe Henderson at:

      12. National Capital Race Weekend - Benefits of Strength-Training:
      By Grete Waitz.
      After a long season and a short break it is time to think about getting ready for 2005. From talking to runners who have snow and
      cold weather in the winter I know that it can be hard to keep up the running routine from spring and summer. As long as you run
      regularly and keep a certain number of kilometres I think that is fine. You can spend more time working on strength and flexibility.
      Strength training is often a neglected part among runners. I did a lot when I was running track, then when I moved up to longer
      distances I stopped doing it. But very soon I realized I would be better off getting back into my strength training routine. You get
      some wear and tear injuries as a long distance runner, but if your muscles and connective tissues are strong they will hold up
      Many of the injuries that occur are because of muscle weakness or muscle imbalance. Proper strength training is the best insurance
      policy for meeting the demands of kilometres on the road or trails. Increased muscle mass and stronger muscles will add more power
      to your stride and increase your muscle endurance.
      More...from the National Capital Race Weekend at:

      13. Multisport: Effortless, Intuitive Training:
      As a coach, I often counsel my athletes to strive to "make every workout feel easy and effortless." This statement certainly
      deserves more clarification. Success in triathlon requires hours of difficult training, but only when you preserve your health and
      lead a balanced life will you be able to reach high fitness levels. With overtraining being the worst and most common mistake among
      triathletes of all levels, I advocate an enlightened approach called 'effortless, intuitive training' - where every workout feels
      comfortable, muscles strong and relaxed instead of sore or tight, breathing natural and steady instead of labored, mind strong and
      willing instead of suffering.
      Even when training intensely, the principle still applies. First, a strong aerobic base must be present before anaerobic training
      should be introduced. Second, anaerobic training should only be conducted when you are 100% rested and motivated. Thus, even an
      intense workout is effortless in a way. Your mind and body are strong and eager to thrive on the challenge every time you work hard.
      Is this distinction clear? Think of the difference between these two statements that describe a tough workout:
      · "I was really suffering, just hatin' life, on that hill"
      · "I was really pushing it to maximum effort on that hill"
      More...from the Runner's Web at:

      14. Coaches Article: Increasing Fitness with Power:
      More and more athletes are starting to realize the benefit of training with power. Below are some sample workouts that can be used
      to increase your performance at any given race. First thing we want to determine is your CP30 value. Critical Power (CP) stands for
      the average watts you could maintain for a given time. CP30 would be the average watts you could maintain for 30 min. This is often
      used because most athletes would not stay motivated and focused to perform a 60 min test, or a 40K time trial unless in a race
      situation. A test such as this can also be used to determine your lactate threshold heart rate.
      Secondly, we need to decide is what our goal value is for CP30. For example, for a given athlete who has a current CP30 value of
      185, this would be known as their “date pace” or “date watts”. Next a “goal pace” or “goat watts” is determined. This is a value
      somewhat higher than the date watts that is challenging, yet realistic to obtain. For the above athlete the goal watts might be 200
      by May for the upcoming race season. Through training with specific workouts emphasizing watts or power, this goal can be achieved.
      More...from MultiSportMadness at:

      15. Courtney Bennigson: Emerging USA Triathlete Ready to Take on the World:
      October 6, 2004 • When Courtney Bennigson '01 sets her mind on something there is no turning back. Just ask her mom, Cathy. "I had
      been visiting schools all over the country and was pretty much non-plussed by the whole experience of college hunting," said
      Bennigson. "On my way to visit Williams for the first time, on an ugly, cold, rainy day during March vacation, my mom and I were
      making our way through the hairpin turn and down into the Purple Valley, and I said “don’t quote me on this, but I think this is
      where I want to go.” She just said, “Can we at least see the campus before you make that decision?” It really was a visceral
      decision for me. I applied early and never applied to another school!"
      You need to know what the rest of the sporting world is starting to become aware of. Courtney Bennigson, former Eph standout in
      cross country (earning All-America recognition), a member of the indoor and outdoor track & field teams, is way ahead of schedule in
      her quest to represent the USA in the triathlon at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and maybe again in the 2012 Summer Games. "One of
      the realities of my life that is complicated by my erratic training schedule is the fact that I have to tell the USADA (the United
      States Anti-Doping Agency) where to find me 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, just in case they feel like dropping in for a random
      out-of-competition drug test," said Bennigson. "The UASDA dropped in twice in a matter of about two weeks this summer. We submit
      Athlete Location Forms once every quarter, and they are supposed to contain accurate travel, racing, and training schedules. You can
      imagine how hard it is to say where I’ll be three months from now, given that at the moment I don’t even know what time I’ll be at
      the pool next Monday, not to mention whether I’m racing in San Francisco on November 6th or in Brazil on November 7th!"
      More...from SiriLindley.com at:

      16. Head for the Hills:
      To race well on hills, you have to train on hills. Try these four great workouts.
      Boston has Heartbreak at mile 21. Bloomsday has Cemetery and Doomsday. The San Blas Half-Marathon has The Strangler. Apparently,
      just plain running isn't tough enough. So race directors, in their infinite wisdom, have decided we need hills. Big ones. And if
      they have sadistic-sounding names, so much the better.
      Many upcoming spring races will be run on hilly courses. The question is: How should you prepare? According to the principle of
      training specificity, in order to improve a certain aspect of physical fitness, you must train specifically for it. This means one
      thing: If you want to turn those looming hills into nothing more than speed bumps, you need to do some hill workouts.
      Think of a hill workout as a running-specific weight workout. The exaggerated knee lift, driving arms, and pronounced toe-off
      necessary to run up hills strengthens you every bit as much as hitting the weight room. Hill running also works the cardiovascular
      system as your heart tries to keep pace with the increased energy required to fight gravity. Consequently, hill workouts are very
      taxing and should be done only once or twice a week.
      More...from Reebok Runner at:

      17. Assessment Of Linear Sprinting Performance - A Theoretical Paradigm:
      In an effort to physically maintain a competitive edge, today's athletes dedicate a significant portion of time to training year
      round. They hire sports performance professionals to help develop a high level of sport specific fitness. This is not a luxury
      reserved only for professional athletes, young individuals (10-20 years old) are regularly participating in sports camps and
      training programs in order to make the starting varsity line-up for high school teams or trying to earn a college scholarship. While
      training by trial and error has been minimized in certain areas of fitness (e.g., strength and power training), research is lacking
      in other areas such as acceleration and speed development.
      Typically, athletes are tested prior to and following a designated training cycle. Using this bookend approach to monitor
      performance adaptations can lead to arbitrary and apparently common training regimens from one athlete to the next. For example,
      college football players invited to the National Football League (NFL) combine regularly participate in 6-12 week programs
      specifically targeting a reduction in 36.58 meters (40 yard) sprint time. Other sports, such as soccer (36.58 meters) and baseball
      (54.86 meters, 60 yards) also use the timing of common distances as the benchmark for determining if someone is 'fast'. In fact,
      most texts used by sports performance professionals only provide normative standards for these distances (Baechle and Earle, 2000;
      Kirkendall, 2000). Therefore, it becomes increasingly difficult to avoid arbitrary assignment of drills and exercises which may
      improve a 36.58 or 54.86 meter sprint time, but completely ignore weaknesses that should be targeted during training. Total finish
      time provides an overview of a complete puzzle; examining pieces of the puzzle however, is an essential element for sports
      performance professionals.
      A greater understanding of linear sprinting performance can be accomplished by determining split times. Using the world record in
      the 200 meter race it is known that humans can move approximately 23.5 miles·hour-1; however, examining the final 20 meter split of
      an elite 100 meter race suggests 28 miles·hour-1 is possible (Dintiman et al., 1998). This strongly indicates the value of examining
      various splits during athletic performance assessment. The Australian Sports Commission provides split times (e.g., 4.57, 9.14, and
      18.28 meter) for a variety of sports (Gore, 2000); however no interpretation is provided to allow for its use in program design.
      Dintiman (1998) suggests the use of splits to pinpoint weaknesses of an athlete. For example, he proposes using the difference in
      time between 40-80 meters and 80-120 meters as an indication of speed endurance. However, the total distance recommended (120
      meters) is most likely prohibitive for most athletes except those participating in track and field.
      More...from the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine at:

      18. Exercise doesn't work for us all:
      PUBLIC-health campaigns regularly plug exercise as a sure-fire way to avoid an early grave. But that message may be too simplistic.
      For an unhappy few, even quite strenuous exercise may have no effect on their fitness or their risk of developing diseases like
      diabetes. "There is astounding variation in the response to exercise. The vast majority will benefit in some way, but there will be
      a minority who will not benefit at all," says Claude Bouchard of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
      At the Australian Health and Medical Research Congress in Sydney last week Bouchard reported the results of a study assessing the
      role of genes in fitness and health changes in response to exercise. In the study, 742 people from 213 families were put through a
      strict 20-week endurance training programme. The volunteers had not taken regular physical activity for the previous six months.
      Exercise on stationary bikes was gradually increased so that by the last six weeks the volunteers were exercising for 50 minutes
      three times a week at 75 per cent of the maximum output they were capable of before the study. Previous reports indicated that there
      are huge variations in "trainability" between subjects. For example, the team found that training improved maximum oxygen
      consumption, a measure of a person's ability to perform work, by 17 per cent on average. But the most trainable volunteers gained
      over 40 per cent, and the least trainable showed no improvement at all. Similar patterns were seen with cardiac output, blood
      pressure, heart rate and other markers of fitness.
      Bouchard reported that the impact of training on insulin sensitivity- a marker of risk for diabetes and heart disease- also varied.
      It improved in 58 per cent of the volunteers following exercise, but in 42 per cent it showed no improvement or, in a few cases, may
      have got worse. "It's negative, but it's true. Some people slog away and don't get any improvement," says Kathryn North of the
      Institute of Neuromuscular Research at the Children's Hospital at Westmead in Sydney. In the eight volunteers who showed the largest
      improvement in insulin sensitivity, 51 genes were expressed in muscles at double the levels of the eight people who showed the least
      improvement, and 74 genes were expressed at half the level. Many of these genes were a surprise to the researchers because they have
      not previously been linked to exercise. "We need to recognise that although on average exercise may have clear benefits, it may not
      work for everyone," says Mark Hargreaves of Deakin University in Melbourne. "Some people may do better to change their diet."
      This article appears in New Scientist issue: 4 December 2004

      19. Working Out a Way To Get in Shape:
      Allison Begley charged through Westfield Shoppingtown Annapolis, pushing her stroller at a hurried pace. Then she stopped, nearly
      breathless, and leaned against the edge of the coin fountain to execute three sets of modified push-ups.
      Were she doing this alone, Begley might be restrained by mall security. But on this recent morning, she was joined by six other
      mothers from an exercise group called Stroller Strides
      The group, and at least 150 others like it around the nation, reflect the latest development in the booming field of mommy-and-me
      exercise: stroller fitness.
      "I used to be very petite," Begley said between puffs while steering son Brock, 8 months old, through the Annapolis mall. "And I
      still have 20 pounds to lose since I had my baby. My husband is taking me to Aruba in February, and I vowed to get my bikini shape
      back again."
      These are mothers who have given up on gyms, where working out typically means leaving Baby with a stranger; and on attempting to
      exercise at home, where chores beckon and fitness videos gather dust beneath stacks of "Dora the Explorer" and "Blue's Clues"
      "When I'm home and he's napping, I find my priorities lie in laundry, cleaning the house, that sort of thing," said Begley, of
      Stevensville. "This way, I've paid for it. I have to be here. That's why I do it."
      More...from the Washington Post at:

      20. Drink To Your Health… And Performance:
      Originally published in Cyclesport Magazine, April 2004
      Written by: Chris Carmichael
      Anyone who still had questions about the impact hydration has on performance, had their questions answered during Stage 13 of the
      2003 Tour de France, when several days of accumulated dehydration culminated in a crisis that could have cost Lance Armstrong his
      fifth victory. The weather during the race was unbearable, but if the heat had any positive effect it was to push the importance of
      hydration back into the front of every cyclist’s mind.
      Over the past several months, I’ve been asked most frequently about making the best hydration choices for specific events. The truth
      is, what you drink matters as much as how much you consume, and both of these variables change as your events or training sessions
      get longer. Hydration doesn’t begin and end with the fluids in your water bottles though; making sure you’re adequately hydrated
      prior to starting your workout improves your performance more than anything you eat or drink while on the bike. For most cyclists,
      this means consuming about a gallon of fluids (128 ounces) every day, which is over a 30% increase over what sedentary individuals
      need in order to stay hydrated. This gallon of fluids (some of which you’ll get from food) doesn’t include the water and sports
      drinks you consume during your workouts, and your decisions about fluids during training depend on the intensity and duration of
      your workout.
      More...from the Runner's Web at:

      21. Mental toughness secret to triathlon:
      If there's one thing a year of intense physical training has taught me, it's this: Ironman is all in your head.
      A strong mind is just as essential as a well-trained body.
      Without it, it would be easy to miss the whole point of this magical, spiritual albeit borderline insane adventure.
      I'm reminded of this at the start of my first Ironman in Panama City, Fla. It's a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile
      run. Toes twitching in the powdered sugar-hued sand, I can hardly contain myself.
      I flash a nervous smile to friends around me and we joke that the nearly 2,200 bodies thrashing through the Gulf of Mexico will
      surely scare the sharks away. Others stand quietly, sweaty palms clasped, thankful that the turquoise water, which had been
      dangerously choppy in the days leading up to the race, has calmed.
      This is it.
      This is the Ironman. And no matter how nuts the distance and the determination sounds to most people, life just doesn't get any
      better than this.
      Going the distance
      It's just past 7 a.m. and I'm whirling through what feels like a human-powered washing machine. Arms and legs flying, hundreds of
      bodies covered in neoprene surge through the salt water. After a few minutes of being kicked, slapped and elbowed, I can't help but
      laugh when a polite woman hits my shoulder and says, "Excuse me, sorry."
      Running out of the water, two volunteers rip off my wetsuit and help me up with a smile. Now that's a first.
      More...from the The Columbian at:

      22. The dealers and wheelers:
      I'm with Geoff Burndred and those who did not cheer Jeremy Yates' win in last weekend's Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.
      Burndred, you will recall, pedalled across the line second, behind Yates, then vented his frustration that he had had to race a
      convicted doper.
      Yates has been banned for two years after a positive test for the muscle-building steroid testosterone was confirmed last month.
      His positive was known before the Taupo race, yet Yates, bold as brass, fronted, won and pocketed the winner's purse.
      He slipped through a gap created by a delay in cycling officials processing the paperwork of the ban.
      It was not a good look, and Cycling New Zealand may have been better to withdraw his racing licence and take the small risk of its
      decision being challenged.
      Yates won $2000 at Taupo. To their credit, race organisers stumped up a winner's cheque for Burndred too - but the money is hardly
      the issue.
      Yates should have been shown the door. There's no argument that he's talented, as his 2000 world junior road race title shows. But
      rather than talent, what has too often been shown to be lacking in professional road cycling is ethics.
      That's why it shares a tainted reputation with the likes of track and field and weightlifting.
      More...from the New Zealand Herald at:

      23. Bear Creek triathlon a dirty job, but somebody had to do it:
      Any day that ends with the mountain bike plastered with mud, hiking boots caked with dirt and hands reeking of fish, I count as a
      good day.
      Such was the scene Monday when the sun set on my Bear Creek Lake State Park triathlon. And despite the warnings of Park Ranger Craig
      Guthrie that the facility was not in prime shape, I'd had a blast.
      My status as a triathlete might be in question, since hiking, biking and fishing aren't the standard iron-man ingredients. But my
      exploits found a perfect setting at Bear Creek Lake, where a colorful history, rich present and promising future stand in particular
      As Guthrie advised, the park was neither ideal nor idyllic. The woods teemed with work crews tending to an impressive to-do list:
      clearing land beside the archery range (which is closed) for a 2,100-square-foot meeting and conference facility; digging trenches
      for water and sewage lines; and laying the groundwork for six cabins.
      The improvements, among numerous projects approved in the 2002 bond referendum, will cost about $4.5 million and be completed in
      about a year, said John Zawatsky, park manager.
      More...from the Richmond Times-Dispatch at:
      [Multi-line URL]

      24. The Uncertain Antiaging Pill:
      On the eve of its launch, the touted life extender Protandim faces marketing ambiguity and scientific reservations.
      Last year, the Denver Post described it as a "once-a-day pill they say could extend life spans to 120 years or more." As recently as
      February of this year, the Denver, Colorado-based NBC affiliate 9News stated that it "promises to not only make you live longer, but
      make you feel younger."
      The pill in question, Protandim, purportedly causes the body to produce more of its own powerful antioxidants to fight the damaging
      effects of free radicals. While many people ingest antioxidants such as vitamin C in food and supplements, these must pass through
      digestive and other barriers, while Protandim is said to spur an increase in the body's internal defenses.
      And you'll soon have a chance to buy it. The Denver, Colorado-based company behind Protandim, Lifeline Nutraceuticals, says that the
      pill will be released in February 2005. Armed with preclinical results from animals, and with a human trial underway, company
      president Bill Driscoll calls Protandim "the first true antiaging pill that the market has very eagerly been waiting for," one that
      is "measurably better than any combinations of currently available antioxidant supplements."
      More...from Betterhumans at:

      25. News Scan:
      * Ice it down. All Miavita Fitness Tips
      Running can place a great deal of stress on the knees; here's a tip for do-it-yourself massage packs. Simply fill small paper cups
      up with water and place in the freezer. Gently massage the area with the frozen cups for 15 - 20 minutes your knees will thank you
      for it!

      * Water on Airplanes Highly Contaminated, Survey Shows
      Next time you fly and get thirsty, rather than asking for ice water from an airplane's galley, opt for bottled water instead. Recent
      EPA testing found the drinking water of 1 in 8 airplanes to be contaminated with coliform bacteria. This type of bacteria typically
      lives in animal or human intestines, and its presence in water indicates contamination from waste. Of 158 planes tested, 12.6% did
      not pass the federal standards for drinking water. Of the twenty planes with coliform bacteria, two tested positive for E. coli
      Read more . . . -

      * Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine
      Most People Can Eat Just Before They Exercise
      If you are going to exercise for more than an hour, you need to eat before you exercise or your muscles and liver will run out of
      sugar and you will tire earlier. Your brain gets more than 98 percent of its energy from sugar in your bloodstream. But there is
      only enough sugar in your bloodstream to last three minutes. So you liver has to constantly release sugar from its cells into your
      bloodstream. There is only enough sugar in your liver to last maybe an hour when you exercise vigorously. Eating before
      exercising can help you to exercise longer.
      Whenever your stomach fills with food, its muscles contract and require large amounts of blood. When you exercise vigorously, your
      heart pumps large amounts of blood to your skeletal muscles. If your heart is not strong enough to pump blood to both your stomach
      and your skeletal muscles, blood is shunted from your stomach muscles, the muscles lack oxygen, lactic acid builds up in muscles and
      they start to hurt. However, most people can exercise after eating without suffering cramps because their hearts are strong enough
      to pump blood to both
      their exercising muscles and their stomach muscles.
      Some researchers believe that you shouldn't eat sugar before you exercise because it will cause your blood sugar level to rise and
      your pancreas to release insulin, which will cause your blood sugar to drop too low so you will feel tired during exercise.
      However, the major cause of tiredness that you feel in your muscles during exercise is lack of stored sugar in muscles. Taking any
      extra calories before and during exercise helps to preserve the sugar that is stored in muscles and help you to exercise longer. If
      you are going to exercise for more than an
      hour, eat or drink anything you like before and during your exercise. Most people will not get stomach cramps while exercising, no
      matter what or when they eat.

      * Dear Dr. Mirkin: My husband thinks our children should try to become great athletes. Is it safe for them to lift weights before
      they even reach their teens?
      The best time for future Olympic athletes to start training is before they reach puberty. Having large strong muscles makes you a
      better athlete, and starting training before puberty enlarges the bones that are used primarily in that sport. Muscles growth is
      limited by the size of the bones on which they attach. The larger the bone, the stronger the muscle. Children who start to play
      tennis before they go into puberty have larger bones in the arm that holds the racquet. They also have larger bones in their tennis
      arm than those who start to play tennis later in life.
      The larger and stronger your muscles, the harder you can hit a tennis ball.
      Lifting weights during growth does not prevent children from growing to their full potential height. Bones grow from growth centers
      that are weakest part of bone, but strength training during growth does not damage these growth centers and children who lift
      weights in programs with experienced supervision do not suffer more injuries than adults. There used to be concern that growing
      large muscles would make people musclebound and interfere with coordination, but this is not true. With increased strength comes
      increased speed and increased
      coordination in movements requiring strength. The best time for future Olympians to start training is while their bones are still

      * Stretch it out for a long and lean look
      Have the patience to hold this flexibility move long enough to feel the back of your legs stretching. It's a great way to encourage
      your hamstring muscles to return to their original length after a leg-training workout, cycling or hiking. Getting the back of your
      legs more limber will help reduce strain to your lower back, and make everyday activities easier.
      1 Kneel upright on a mat or a padded surface with your knees directly below your hips. Place your right foot on the floor in front
      of you. Balance on your heel as you lift your toes toward the ceiling.
      2 Bend forward at your hips, and place both hands on the floor on either side of the front foot. Shift your hips back slightly and
      keep your spine as long as possible. Press the top of your back foot down to help you feel stable. Feel the stretch in the back of
      your thigh. Continue to walk your hands forward (think of moving your tailbone away from your front heel). Stay in this position for
      six breaths. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other leg.
      — Karen Voight

      * Moderate Alcohol Use Linked to Fewer Heart Plaques
      NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Drinking one or two alcoholic beverages per day seems to reduce plaque buildup in the coronary arteries
      that supply blood to the heart, new research indicates. This may help explain why moderate alcohol use has been tied to a reduced
      risk of heart disease.
      The findings are based on a study of 1795 subjects without heart disease who were evaluated with CT scans to look for calcium
      deposits in the coronaries, an indicator of plaque build-up.
      Dr. Jacqueline C. M. Witteman, from Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, and colleagues report their findings in the Archives of
      Internal Medicine.
      Seventeen percent of subjects consumed one or two alcoholic drinks per day. Sixty-two percent of subjects consumed less than this
      amount and 21 percent consumed more.
      Subjects who consumed one or two drinks per day had the fewest calcium deposits, while non-drinkers had the most. The other subjects
      fell between these two extremes.
      SOURCE: Archives of Internal Medicine, November 22, 2004.

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

      Saturday, December 4, 2004:

      Canadian Cross Country Championships _ Toronto, ON

      Kids Triathlon Phuket - Thailand

      Nike Team Nationals (High School Cross Country) - Portland, OR

      OUC Half-Marathon & 5K, Orlando, FL

      Santa Shuffle 5K - Ottawa, ON

      St. Jude Memphis Marathon & Half-Marathon, Memphis, TN

      Sunday, December 5, 2004

      California International Marathon - Sacramento, CA

      OC Marathon, Newport Beach, CA

      Tucson Marathon & Half-Marathon, Tucson, AZ

      December 6, 2004:

      Zatopek Classic 10K - AUS

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

      This Weeks Personal Postings/Releases:

      We have NO personal postings this week.

      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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      Have a good week of training and/or racing.

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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:
      The Stretching Video in a DVD version. With the DVD version you're able to use the convenient menu facility to:
      * Go directly to a specific stretch;
      * View only stretches for a specific muscle group;
      * Pause each stretch to get a good look at how it is performed;
      * View only the introduction and rules for safe stretching; or
      * Play the entire video from start to finish.
      Buy the DVD at:

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      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:

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