Runner's and Triathlete's Web Digest - May 4, 2007
- A FREE WEEKLY E-ZINE OF MULTISPORT RELATED ARTICLES.
The Runner's and Triathlete'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 necessarily
those of the Runner's Web. Visit the Runner's Web at http://www.runnersweb.com The site is updated multiple times daily. Check out
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1. Emilie's Run - The Emilie Mondor Memorial 5K Race for Women:
Win your entry into Emilie's Run. Take Emilie's Quiz at: http://www.emiliesrun.com.
Nicole Stevenson of Toronto, the winner of last year's RunnersWeb5K.com Race for Women will return this year to defend her title.
The top 7 women from last year gave entered. It is shaping up to be a great race.
The RunnersWeb5K.com Race for Women has been renamed in memory of Canadian Olympian Emilie Mondor who died in a car crash September
9th on her way to her high-school reunion. Emilie had just completed a 2 hour plus run along the Ottawa River during which she
talked with her coach about the upcoming Philadelphia Half-Marathon (September 17th) and the New York City Marathon in November.
For a story on Emilie read Emilie Mondor: Life Cut Too Short at:
The first RunnersWeb5K.com Race for Women was held on June 24th at Ottawa's Aviation Museum. Canada's #2 ranked marathoner, Nicole
Stevenson, won the race in 16:28. Thirty-five women ran under 20 minutes. For a race report and photos go to:
The 2007 race date will be Saturday, June 23, 2007. The prize money will be increased from $3,000 to $5,000 for open and masters
runners. The team competition will be expanded to include Open, Club and University Teams. A children's (12 and under) 1K run will
also be held.
More information at: http://www.emiliesrun.com and at http://www.somersault.ca
Online race registration is now available through Events Online at: http://www.eventsonline.ca/events/somersault_rweb/
We have added a Google Group for Emilie's Run. Join and the group and contribute at:
3. Road Runner Sports, the world's largest running store at:
Check out their Perfect Fit Finder for running shoes.
4. Toronto Waterfront Marathon. September 30, 2007.
5. The Toronto Marathon, October 14, 2007
6. Carmichael Training Systems
7. The ING Ottawa Marathon.
Ottawa's Race Weekend returns next May 25 to 27 with a new course for the marathon and new (earlier) start time for the
For more information and online entry visit:
8. 26.2 with Donna:
The National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer
The only U.S. marathon dedicated solely to raising funds to end breast cancer.
February 17, 2008 8 a.m.
Location: Near Mayo Clinic
Beneficiaries: Donna Hicken Foundation and Mayo Clinic
Proceeds from the race will go directly to The Donna Hicken Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to helping women with
breast cancer. While a portion of the proceeds will be used by the Donna Hicken Foundation for the critical care of breast cancer
survivors in need, the foundation has pledged to donate the majority of funds raised to Mayo Clinic for research and its
Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic, which specializes in the detection and treatment of breast cancer.
Visit the website at: http://www.breastcancermarathon.com
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Women runners: Join Emilie's Run Google Group, an information source for women runners and Emilie's Run - the Emilie Mondor Memorial
5K Race for Women. Visit: http://groups.google.com/group/emiliesrun?hl=en
Style that goes the distance. Nike running apparel and footwear. Shop Nikestore.com!
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400,000+ Shoes in Stock Today at Road Runner Sports! $5 Shipping in our Entire Store!
Activa has just launched an Outfits section promoting Fun Fitness Styles and New Spring Looks. Customers love the ease of adding an
entire outfit to the cart once. Activa has already seen increased average order sizes from customers who shop this section!
Outfits from Activa - http://clickserve.cc-dt.com/link/tplclick?lid=41000000014122034&pubid=21000000000028567
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RUNNER'S AND TRIATHLETE'S WEB CONTENT PARTNERS
RunnersWeb.com has teamed up with Active Trainer coaches to offer training programs that are a balance of aerobic, anaerobic and
cross-training workouts. These training programs are built to get people of all levels across the finish line. From the first timer
to the seasoned veteran you will find the right training plan for you. Good luck with your training and we will see you at the
Training Log and Analysis:
Log your daily workouts and monitor your progress along the way.
Set a realistic goal for training. Review the list of training programs developed by Active Trainer Coaches. Select the program that
best matches your current training schedule. If you have been inactive, select a conservative schedule to assure success and
decrease the risk of injury. Plug in the start date or the date of your target race and go! The schedule will automatically be
entered into your log. It is as simple as that...
Select the daily email to receive your training by the day or log on to your account and review the entire schedule. Use the
interactive log to enter in valuable training information. The more information you enter in your personal log, the better. You will
be able to use this information in the future to evaluate performance, keep track of what works and what doesn't and stay motivated
to see just how far you've come.
Sign up at: www.RunnersWebCoach.com OR http://training.active.com/ActiveTrainer/listing.do?listing=51
* Sports Nutrition 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:
* Carmichael Training Systems
Carmichael Training Systems was founded in 1999 by Chris Carmichael.
From the beginning, the mission of the company has been to improve the lives of individuals we work with through the application of
proper and effective fitness and competitive training techniques. Whether your focus is recreational, advanced, or you are a
professional racer, the coaching methodology employed by CTS will make you a better athlete. Check the latest monthly column from
CTS at: http://www.runnersweb.com/running/cts_columns.html.
Carmichael Training Systems at:
* Peak Performance Online
Peak Performance is a subscription-only newsletter for athletes, featuring the latest research from the sports science world. We
cover the whole range of sports, from running and rowing to cycling and swimming, and each issue is packed full of exclusive
information for anyone who's serious about sport. It's published 16 times a year, including four special reports, by Electric Word
plc. Peak Performance is not available in the shops - only our subscribers are able to access the valuable information we publish.
Check out our article archive from Peak Performance Online at:
Visit the PPO site at:
Peak Performance Online:
* Peak Running Performance
Peak Running Is The Nation's Most Advanced Running Newsletter. Rated as the #1 Running Publication by Road Runner Sports (Worlds
Largest Running Store) , Peak Running caters to the serious / dedicated runner. Delivering world class running advice are some of
running's most recognizable athletes including Dr. Joe Vigil (US Olympic Coach),
Scott Tinley (2 Time Ironman Champ) Steve Scott (3 Time Olympian) and many more. This bi-monthly newsletter has been around for over
13 years, and in the past two it has been awarded the "Golden Shoe Award" in recognition of it's outstanding achievements.
Check out the Peak Running article index at:
Running Research News:
RRN's free, weekly, training update provides subscribers with the most-current, practical, scientifically based information about
training, sports nutrition, injury prevention, and injury rehabilitation. The purpose of this weekly e-zine is to improve
subscribers' training quality and to help them train in an injury-free manner.
Running Research News also publishes a complete, 12-page, electronic newsletter 10 times a year (one-year subscriptions are $35); to
learn more about Running Research News, please see the Online Article Index and "About Running Research News" sections below or go
Check out the article index at:
THIS WEEK'S PERSONAL POSTINGS/RELEASES:
We will only post notes here regarding running and triathlon topics of interest to the community.
We have NO personal postings this week.
THIS WEEK'S DIGEST ARTICLE INDEX:
1. 1. Variety is the spice of....running
2. Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine
3. VO2 Max Newsletter by Jason Karp
4. Athletic Performance - keeping your cardiovascular system in shape
5. Gastrointestinal bleeding in endurance runners - GI
6. Lymphocytes, Immunoglobulins, And Running
7. Joe Henderson's Running Commentary - On Your Feet
8. The snack shake-up
Americans are reaching for nutritious snacks, but are retooled old favorites really better?
9. Real Diet Pill? New 'Exercise Pill' Tells Cells To Burn Fat; Works in Mice
10. How to iron out the problems of anaemia
11. The Barefoot Route
Some runners prefer to return to the basics of human locomotion.
12. Water: How much should you drink every day?
13. A Healthy Mix of Rest and Motion
14. Exergaming blends video games with workouts
The interactive exercise equipment appeals to kids. Will arcades be the gyms of the future?
15. Taking Time to TRI & Michele's Mission
16. Waste not, bonk not
17. This Week in Running
18. Training through Seasonal Allergies
19. Train Right Nutrition
20. Digest Briefs
RUNNER'S WEB WEEKLY POLL:
"Should the use of "rabbits" at major marathons be eliminated, as the New York City Marathon has done?"
You can access the poll from our FrontPage ( http://www.runnersweb.com) as well as checking the results of previous polls.
LAST WEEK'S POLL RESULTS:
"Which of the following shoe brands do you use:
1. Asics 18%
2. adidas 9%
3. Brooks 8%
4. Fila 0%
5. Mizuno 7%
6. New Balance 21%
7. Nike 20%
8. Puma 4%
9. Reebok 1%
10. Saucony 12%
FIVE STAR SITE OF THE WEEK: Mississauga Marathon - Canada's Fastest Growing Marathon
Mississauga's race weekend takes place on May 12-13th. The events include a marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K, 10K relay and a 2K
family fun run/walk.
Over 10,000 participants are expected for this year's event.
Canon Marathon and Grand & Toy Corporate Relay Challenge
A beautiful run that encompasses much of Mississaugas beauty. This point to point course is a fast net downhill. The course starts
at Mississaugas City Hall, and makes its way west across the Credit River to Mississauga Road and then travels south for a
beautiful stretch past the University of Torontos Mississauga Campus, Mississauga Golf Club, and continues through some of
Mississaugas most beautiful residential neighbourhoods, before winding along the scenic Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail and finishing
on the edge of Lake Ontario at Lakefront Promenade Park. Walkers are welcome; there is NO prizing category for walkers.
Rbk Half Marathon
The Rbk Half Marathon course follows the lead of the Marathon course. Also starting at Mississaugas City Hall, this course is also
a point to point net downhill run. The course is extremely fast and stunningly beautiful. Walkers are welcome; there is NO prizing
category for walkers.
Canadian Tire 10K and 10K Student Relay
A visually stunning run, almost entirely on Mississaugas beautiful waterfront, and finishing at the same point as the Marathon and
Rbk Half Marathon at Lakefront Promenade Park. Parks and shops line the course making it extremely spectator friendly
Biovail "The Hazel" 5K
The Hazel 5K will be held along with the Canadian Tire 10K race on Saturday evening on race weekend and will cover the last 5K of
the Canadian Tire 10K route.
Bell 2K Family Fun Run/Walk and MaraFun
Starting at Hiawatha Park at Hiawatha and Cumberland Drive, the Bell 2K proceeds onto the scenic Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail.
Participants will finish by crossing the same finish as all other runners to the cheer of spectators.
MaraFun - School aged children, from grades 2 through 8 are encouraged to complete a 6-week program leading up to the Bell 2K Family
Fun Run/Walk whereby they run or walk the first 40K of a marathon. By registering for the 2K event, they complete their marathon
distance and the MaraFun program to the cheers and encouragement of the event spectators. See the MaraFun page.
Visit the website at:
Our Photo Slideshow is updated on a random basis. Check it out from our FrontPage.
BOOK/VIDEO OF THE MONTH: The Perfect Distance: Training for Long-Course Triathlon
Author: Tom Rodgers
Packed with technique and drills built on the proven Ultrafit platform, The Perfect Distance is the first book to equip triathletes
of all levels for the long course. Every facet of effective preparation for a long-course event is thoroughly outlined, and
extensive appendixes with workouts for swim, bike, run, key training sessions, and indoor training make this book the ultimate
resource. Along with the sport-specific chapters, Tom Rodgers provides instruction on:
* Selection of equipment
* Making smart nutrition decisions
* Strength training
* Overcoming common injuries caused by long-distance training \
Buy the book from VeloPress at:
For more publications on running and triathlon visit:
THIS WEEK'S FEATURES:
1. Variety is the spice of....running:
American Running Association
Sometimes runners get hooked on the same running routine -- route, time of day, pace -- and what was once a routine becomes a rut.
Motivation and joy can languish. Perhaps even more important -- you can miss the opportunity to make fitness gains since working out
at the same intensity, frequency and duration week after week will preserve, but not improve, your current level of fitness.
If your workouts have a distinct sameness about them and the thrill is gone, you need a dose of variety to get it back. Stepping out
of your rut will banish the blahs and can give you the added benefit of improvements in strength, stamina and speed. Try these
suggestions to spice it up.
~ Find a new route. If you've been running the roads, find a trail. Check out a new neighborhood. Drive to a nearby scenic area and
plot a course, park and run. Set yourself the goal of one new route a week until you find a few you really enjoy. Commit to trying a
new route once a month.
~ Get a running partner. Check out a local running publication for listings of runners in search of running buddies. Running stores
often have bulletin boards to match up runners of similar ability.
~ Join a running club. If you've had trouble finding the motivation to complete a weekly long run, a running club can keep you
~ Set a new goal. If you have been running the same pace for years, challenge yourself to shave a little time off over the next few
months. Set a new goal when the first is achieved.
~ Sign up for a race. Try a 10K if you've been running 5Ks or vice versa. Half marathons are gaining in popularity and can be a
great next step for a 10K runner.
~ Volunteer at a marathon. Nothing is quite as motivating as the exhilaration of accomplishment written all over the face of each
~ Add some cross-training such as cycling, swimming, elliptical trainers, yoga or strength training. Each can challenge muscles in a
different way and increase overall fitness without increasing the risk of running injury.
~Keep a journal, but don't stop at recording just the specifics of your workout. Jot down notes on mood, ideas that occurred to you
on your run, observations and enlightenment. You might discover poetry you didn't know you had.
~ Add a quality workout to your week. Try hills or repetitions. After a warm up, time yourself for a mile. The next week try it a
~Fartlek. If you make no other change in your routine, at least give fartleks a try. Head out at your usual warm-up speed, then on a
random basis pick a landmark and run a fast pace until you pass it. Jog to the next landmark. Take a longer, slower segment. Take a
hill faster than usual. Break up each speed segment with an easy jog or a walk to recover. Continue randomly spicing it up
throughout your usual route. Or better yet, fartlek over uncharted territory.
American Running Association, Running & FitNews, Vol. 20, No. 7
2. Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine:
* Strengthen Quad Muscles to Help Your Knees
Doctors have known for many years that having weak quad muscles (in the front of your upper legs) increases risk for damage to the
cartilage in your knees. A study from Purdue
University shows that strengthening these muscles slows down knee cartilage damage and may even improve knee function (Arthritis &
Rheumatism, October 2006).
The researchers placed 221 adults in their sixties and seventies either on a program of strengthening their muscles in their upper
legs or just moving their knees in a series of range-of-motion exercises. The subjects exercised three times per week (twice at a
fitness facility and once at home) for 12 weeks. This program was followed by a transition to home-based exercise for 12 months.
Older people weaken naturally with aging, but the range of motion exercisers lost more strength than those who exercised against
progressive resistance. The strength training helped retain joint space, signifying that this group had less loss of cartilage.
The knee is like two sticks held together by four bands called ligaments. Strength training stabilizes the muscles that support the
knee and helps to prevent loss of cartilage with aging. People with knee pain should get a diagnosis from their doctors. Most will
be advised to do exercises that strengthen the knee, such as pedaling a bicycle or performing knee strengthening exercises that
involve bending and straightening the knees against resistance. People with knee pain should avoid exercises that jar the joints,
such as jumping or running.
* Is there any natural way to raise growth hormone levels?
Entrepreneurs claim that since growth hormone levels decrease with age, their "growth hormone releaser" products will help you
combat the effects of this process. It is true that growth hormone levels drop as a person ages, but there is no evidence that lack
of growth hormone causes aging or that taking growth hormone slows aging. The evidence that growth hormone grows muscle and gets rid
of fat is highly controversial. It is against the law to sell growth hormone without a prescription, so these products do not
contain any growth hormone.
Products that are sold as "growth hormone releasers" are just amino acids, the building blocks of protein, that are the same as the
protein you get in your food. Anything that you eat can be called a growth hormone releaser because all foods raise blood levels of
growth hormone temporarily. When you eat protein, blood levels of growth hormone rise even higher. Growth hormone releaser pills
cost much more than food and have not been shown to raise blood levels better than the ordinary foods you eat every day.
Exercise can also be called a growth hormone releaser because every time that you exercise, blood levels of growth hormone rise.
Exercise raises growth hormone levels more than and longer than eating does. Recent research shows that growth hormone levels are
lowered by having lots of fat stored in your belly. However, no one knows whether these growth hormone manipulations have any effect
on the aging process since we have no dependable tests for aging. The commonly used tests to measure aging actually measure fitness.
To reduce the effects of aging and improve your performance on all medical tests of aging, start an exercise program. If you want to
gain muscle and lose fat, reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates and fatty foods; eat plenty of the foods that come from plants
(fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other seeds); and maintain a regular, vigorous exercise program that includes strength
From Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine at: http://www.drmirkin.com/
3. VO2 Max Newsletter by Jason Karp:
* Running For Carbs
It has been known since the late 1960s that the ability to perform endurance exercise is strongly influenced by the amount of
pre-exercise glycogen stored in skeletal muscles,
with muscle glycogen depletion becoming the decisive factor limiting prolonged exercise. One major reason why marathoners do long
training runs is to deplete muscle glycogen.
In the presence of ingested carbohydrate following the long run, the skeletal muscles respond rather elegantly to the "empty tank"
by synthesizing and storing more glycogen and
thus increasing endurance for the future.
Many studies have shown that ingesting carbohydrates immediately after a workout maximizes muscle glycogen synthesis, which has led
to the long-standing position of physiologists and sports nutritionists that immediate post-workout ingestion is the best recovery
and training strategy for optimal performance. However, recent molecular evidence suggests that the opposite strategy--holding out
on the muscles by delaying the consumption of carbohydrates--may be even more beneficial. By "starving" the muscles of
carbohydrates, they may respond by synthesizing even more glycogen when carbohydrates are finally introduced. Low muscle glycogen
content has been shown to enhance the transcription of genes involved in protein synthesis. Think of this strategy as creating a
threat to the muscles' survival: when you threaten the survival of muscles by depriving them of their preferred fuel, a strong
signal is sent to make more of that fuel to combat the threat. The downside to training in a low-glycogen state, however, is that
it's hard to maintain a high intensity since high-intensity running is dependent on carbohydrates for fuel. A lot more research
needs to be done in this area, but if you're going to try training with low muscle glycogen, make sure you consume lots of carbs
before your marathon, so you "train low, race high."
* VO2 Plateau
It has traditionally been believed that VO2 increases linearly with increasing exercise intensity and reaches a plateau at near
maximal workloads. VO2max is often defined by its plateau despite an increase in workload. However, many researchers have not
observed such a plateau in all subjects. This inconsistency in observing a plateau in VO2 has led to the suggestion that a VO2
plateau should not be used as a requirement for defining VO2max. Whether or not VO2 plateaus is important, because it brings into
question whether VO2max is really a valid measure of the limit of the cardiorespiratory system's ability to transport oxygen from
the air to the tissues. To test whether VO2 really plateaus, a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found
that the VO2 attained during exercise at a 30% higher intensity than that achieved during a VO2max test didn't elicit a higher
VO2max, supporting the contention that VO2max does represent the limit of the cardiorespiratory system to supply oxygen to the
* Weight Loss Strategies
If you're trying to lose weight, lifting weights can help you preserve muscle mass. A study published in American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition compared three weight loss strategies: diet plus strength training, diet plus aerobic training, and diet only.
After eight weeks, all three groups lost the same average amount of weight--20 pounds--and had the same decrease in resting
metabolic rate. The strength training group lost significantly less fat-free mass than the other two groups and the aerobic
exercise group increased VO2max more than the other two groups. Bottom line: there are many ways to lose weight, but weight training
is best for preserving muscle mass, aerobic training is best for increasing cardiovascular fitness, and resting metabolic rate
decreases when you're losing weight regardless of strategy.
* To view past newsletters go to: http://www.runcoachjason.com/newsletter
Copyright Jason Karp All Rights Reserved - http://www.runcoachjason.com
4. Athletic Performance - keeping your cardiovascular system in shape:
Heart rate variability what is it and how can it be used to enhance athletic performance?
Heart rate monitors provide important feedback about the intensity of exercise, but cant measure the cumulative fatigue of workouts
or the subsequent training effects. However, new innovations using heart rate variability data mean thats about to change. Eddie
In practice, its difficult to assess accurately the effect of training on the body. How do you fix your training load? How well is
your body adapting to the training? Is there any accumulated fatigue and how much rest do you need for recovery? Other questions
that you need to ask are how do I know I am getting the right training effect? Have I improved? Am I over- or undertraining?
At rest your body system is in balance. To achieve a training effect, you need to disturb this balance by putting the body under an
adaptive stress to which it can react. This stress is known as training and your bodys reaction to training is called a training
Traditionally, training zones have been established from fixed formulae. You may be familiar with some of them: using percentage of
maximum heart rate or heart rate reserve, percentage of estimated maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) or estimated VO2max reserve,
lactate thresholds or a combination of these variables. Heart rate during training gives information on the momentary intensity of
exercise but does not take into account the cumulative effect of exercise duration.
Recent research has focused on the use of heart rate variability (HRV) to assess training load, training adaptation and cumulated
fatigue(1) and there are now some commercially available products to assist the serious trainer in using HRV to improve athletic
More...from Peak Performance Online at:
5. Gastrointestinal bleeding in endurance runners - GI:
Athletes participating in intense physical activity, especially long-distance running, commonly have a low hemoglobin and
hematocrit. This "sports anemia" has been attributed to a physiologic response to exercise due to expansion of plasma volume that
dilutes red blood cells. However, stool samples taken after intense workouts or post-race have revealed occult bleeding in 7-30% of
marathoners with occasional reports of major upper GI or lower GI hemorrhage also reported in runners.
Exercise may decrease visceral blood flow to 20-50% of baseline, increasing risk of ischemic damage to stomach and intestine.
Aerobic activity also decreases lower esophageal sphincter pressure, increasing risk of erosive esophagitis. Trauma of running may
produce bleeding from hemorrhoids or anal fissures. Direct trauma to viscera may also cause injury.
GI blood loss or iron deficiency anemia in runners is multifactorial. In selected individuals, treatment may include dietary
changes, acid-supressing medication, and avoidance of potentially injurious drugs. Since GI bleeding due to running is a diagnosis
of exclusion, caution is needed in attributing blood loss to running-related causes without considering underlying digestive tract
More...from LookSmart at:
6. Lymphocytes, Immunoglobulins, And Running:
You run the best track workout of your life. Four repeat miles, and you feel like Moses Kiptanui. You hang around in your
sweat-drenched clothes, talking splits with the other runners, and savoring the atmosphere. The next morning you wake up with the
Russian Army marching down your throat. You have the flu.
Did the track workout suppress your immune system and allow you to get sick?
The answer is not clear-cut. The immune system is a complex blend of lymphocytes, leukocytes, immunoglobulins, eosinophils, natural
killer cells, and other beasts, each with its own unique role in protecting our bodies from disease. Recent research from McMaster
University in Ontario, however, provides some interesting insights into running and your immune system.
In a study published in the August, 1995 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Dr. J. Duncan MacDougall and
colleagues investigated the effects of training on the immune systems of distance runners. Unlike previous studies, MacDougall's
group looked at the effects on the immune system of increasing training volume and/or intensity, and at both acute (immediate), and
chronic (longer-term) effects. I contacted Dr. MacDougall to find out more about his results and their implications for runners.
In this study, two groups of six runners each, trained for 40 days, consisting of four 10-day training phases. The volume and
intensity of training differed between phases. Group 1 ran at low volume/low intensity during the 1st phase, followed by high
volume/low intensity during the 2nd phase, then low volume/low intensity again during the 3rd phase, and high volume/high intensity
during the final phase. Group 2 followed the same protocol, but switched phases 2 and 4.
More...from Pete Pfitzinger at:
7. Joe Henderson's Running Commentary - On Your Feet:
How many pairs of running shoes line your closet or clutter your doorstep? If you're typical of runners, you can count a half-dozen
with mileage left in them. My current total is an even dozen.
And how many of those pairs feel just right? If you're lucky, you can name one or two. I'd hoped for better from all of mine than
they have delivered.
That's why I now own 12 pairs, most with little or no mileage on them. Each represents a failed search for the perfect shoe.
Perfection might be too much to ask of our shoes, but we keep asking. We want them to give no trouble from first use to retirement.
Of course this almost never happens, so we blame the shoes for letting us down. (In fact, RC 662 carries that title, with a question
mark, "Blame The Shoes?")
Even if shoes could be perfect, we can't. Our biomechanical oddities and running excesses cause most of our troubles. Even the best
shoes can't overcome these imperfections and indiscretions.
This I know from having worn out at least 100 pairs of shoes since the 1960s. They weren't perfect but were the best available at
the time. We ran hundreds of miles as a team, as if it were a mini-marriage: for better or worse, in lameness and in health, parting
only when the shoes died of old age.
I haven't quite averaged one injury per shoe change. But the breakdowns have come often enough to confirm the first of the following
beliefs about shoes and their connection to healthy, happy feet.
1. Shoes are directly responsible for no more than half of running injuries. The other perpetrators are running too far, too fast,
too soon, too often. Relief often comes from correcting those mistakes, not from changing shoes.
More...from Joe Henderson at:
8. The snack shake-up:
Americans are reaching for nutritious snacks, but are retooled old favorites really better?
NO longer satisfied by three meals a day, Americans have become accustomed to noshing whenever hunger hits.
On any given day, about a quarter of Americans skip breakfast and 1 in 8 skip lunch, but 90% treat themselves to a snack, according
to the International Deli-Dairy-Bakery Assn. In 2002, a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about
86% of Americans admit to eating between meals on any given day. On average, Americans eat about two snacks daily a frequency
mostly unchanged since the first CDC survey in 1971.
Although Americans are consuming about the same weight of snacks daily (about 21 ounces, including snack beverages) as they did
three decades ago, the number of snack calories has increased significantly over the last three decades, according to the CDC
surveys. In 1971, a typical snack was about 185 calories; in 2002, it was 234.
Now, however, snackers may be having second thoughts. Although bored cubicle workers may not be ready to give up the midmorning
vending machine visit, they seem increasingly aware of the caloric toll.
About three-quarters of American shoppers are now trying to eat more healthfully, according to a recent survey by Information
Resources Inc., a market analysis research group. About two-thirds are trying to replace high-calorie snacks with healthier options
or eat snacks with more nutritional value. And 57% are flat-out trying to snack less often.
More...from the LA Times at:
9. Real Diet Pill? New 'Exercise Pill' Tells Cells To Burn Fat; Works in Mice:
Science Daily By giving ordinary adult mice a drug - a synthetic designed to mimic fat - Salk Institute scientist Dr. Ronald M.
Evans is now able to chemically switch on PPAR-d, the master regulator that controls the ability of cells to burn fat. Even when the
mice are not active, turning on the chemical switch activates the same fat-burning process that occurs during exercise. The
resulting shift in energy balance (calories in, calories burned) makes the mice resistant to weight gain on a high fat diet.
The hope, Dr. Evans told scientists attending Experimental Biology 2007 in Washington, DC, is that such metabolic trickery will lead
to a new approach to new treatment and prevention of human metabolic syndrome. Sometimes called syndrome X, this consists of obesity
and the often dire health consequences of obesity: high blood pressure, high levels of fat in the blood, heart disease, and
resistance to insulin and diabetes.
This chemical switch is not the first success Dr. Evan's laboratory has had in being able to turn on the PPAR-d switch in adipose or
fat cells, activating local metabolism and increasing the amount of calories burned. As a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator at The
Salk Institute's Gene Expression Laboratory, Dr. Evans discovered the role of the gene for PPAR-d, the master regulator of fat
metabolism. By permanently turning on this delta switch in mice through genetic engineering, he was able to create a mouse with an
innate resistance to weight gain and twice the physical endurance of normal mice. Because they were able to run an hour longer than
a normal mouse, they were dubbed "marathon mice."
More...from Science Daily at:
10. How to iron out the problems of anaemia:
As we've already indicated earlier in this issue, iron problems and female athletes are as closely linked as Westminster Abbey and
Big Ben. In Great Britain and the United States, about 30 per cent of adult women and 40 per cent of adolescent women are iron
deficient, while around 6 per cent of both groups suffer from true iron-deficiency anemia. However, studies of athletes report
higher frequencies of iron problems; research indicates that up to 19 per cent of swimmers and runners may be troubled by
iron-deficiency anaemia, which can have a strongly negative impact on performance.
Basically, iron difficulties can take two forms, either iron deficiency or true anemia. Iron deficiency itself has two distinct
stages. Stage 1, the iron- depletion stage, is characterized by blood-ferritin levels of less than 12 ng/ml, which indicates that
iron levels have been significantly reduced. Ferritin, a key protein which latches onto iron, serves as an important mechanism for
iron storage within the body. Stage ll of iron deficiency involves iron- deficient erythropoiesis, which basically means that newly
created red blood cells contain lower than normal amounts of iron.
Stage ll iron deficiency can eventually lead into true iron-deficiency anaemia, with abnormally low levels of blood haemoglobin
(haemoglobin is the iron-containing compound found in red blood cells which actually carries oxygen to the tissues) and truncated
haematocrit readings (haematocrit is simply the percentage of blood which is made up of red blood cells).
In women, the act of training for a specific sport can increase the risk of iron deficiency. Studies with female hockey players
uncovered a steady drop in ferritin levels during each of three consecutive seasons, with a return to normal between seasons, and
other research with female high school and college athletes detected unusually high frequencies of iron deficiency. Causes of the
iron problems were not exactly clear but were thought to be related to iron-poor diets, losses of iron through menstruation,
bleeding in the digestive system, poor iron absorption, and losses in sweat and urine.
More...from Peak Performance Online at:
11. The Barefoot Route:
Some runners prefer to return to the basics of human locomotion.
The human foot is a work of art and a masterpiece of engineering.Leonardo Da Vinci
Though it could have happened, running barefoot did not disappear with the advent of the running shoe. A subculture of runners still
abides by the au naturel technique our ancestors relied on even with the rows upon rows of hi-tech options stocking the shelves of
running stores these days. One of the most often-cited barefoot cases was Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila, who ran a world-record
2:15:17 marathon at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. South African Zola Budd also springs to mind: in the early 1980s, she made headlines
by breaking one middle-distance record after another sans shoes.
A solid example of a barefoot runner these days is Ken Saxton, 51, a computer technician from Long Beach, California. Saxton
finished 14 marathons barefoot in 2006, and has now completed a total of 56 marathons barefoot, including major races such as Los
Angeles and Boston. There is even a society, the Society for Barefoot Living, devoted to the lifestyle. Though barefooting has
survived the test of technology, many runners disagree about it, with some being wholehearted backers while others view it as a
route to potential injury.
So with this in mind, it seems interesting to trace how we went from running barefoot through nature to running in what to ancient
man would probably seem like clodhoppers. From there, we will take a quick tour of what barefoot running can offer endurance runners
A Natural Evolution
The evolution of mankind has witnessed humans running barefoot safely on dirt trails and roads for thousands of years. Stories exist
of Bushmen relentlessly chasing down zebra and of Navajo Indians doing the same with pronghorn. Some anthropologists believe humans
evolved as a diurnal endurance predator that was an adept endurance runner. One such person is Daniel Lieberman, a professor of
biological anthropology at Harvard University. His studies in human evolution include how the ability to run played a crucial role
in this arena. His published work in the British science journal Nature highlights his theory of how the human body was shaped by
long-distance running. He says early humans probably took up running around 2 million years ago, after our savanna ancestors began
Lieberman said there is often a misunderstood aspect of ancient mans ability to run long distances. We wrongly think of ourselves
as natures wimps, he said. We are actually among the most spectacular athletes in the mammalian world, but we are a different
kind of athlete compared to most animals. Whereas most animals are designed for speed and power, humans have evolved to be endurance
athletes. The human ability and proclivity to run long distances, especially in hot conditions, is unique among primates and
exceptional among even the best runners in the animal kingdom. He said traits that aided running included a foot structure that
allowed efficient use of the feet to push off, ligaments that acted like springs, and shoulders that rotated independently of the
head and neck, aiding in better balance.
More...from Marathon and Beyond at:
12. Water: How much should you drink every day?
How much water should you drink each day? a simple question with no easy answers. Studies have produced varying recommendations
over the years, but in truth, your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.
Though no single formula fits everyone, knowing more about your body's need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to
drink each day.
Health benefits of water
Water is your body's principal chemical component, comprising, on average, 60 percent of your weight. Every system in your body
depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist
environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.
Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal
Nearly all of the major systems in your body depend on water.
How much water do you need?
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must
replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
A couple of approaches attempt to approximate water needs for the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate.
Replacement approach. The average urine output for adults is 1.5 liters a day. You lose close to an additional liter of water a day
through breathing, sweating and bowel movements. Food usually accounts for 20 percent of your total fluid intake, so if you consume
2 liters of water or other beverages a day (a little more than 8 cups) along with your normal diet, you will typically replace the
Dietary recommendations. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3.0 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a
day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.
Even apart from the above approaches, it is generally the case that if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and
produce between one and two liters of colorless or slightly yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably adequate.
More...from Yahoo Health at:
13. A Healthy Mix of Rest and Motion:
SOME gymgoers are tortoises. They prefer to take their sweet time, leisurely pedaling or ambling along on a treadmill. Others are
hares, impatiently racing through miles at high intensity.
Each approach offers similar health benefits: lower risk of heart disease, protection against Type 2 diabetes, and weight loss.
But new findings suggest that for at least one workout a week it pays to be both tortoise and hare alternating short bursts of
high-intensity exercise with easy-does-it recovery.
Weight watchers, prediabetics and those who simply want to increase their fitness all stand to gain.
This alternating fast-slow technique, called interval training, is hardly new. For decades, serious athletes have used it to improve
But new evidence suggests that a workout with steep peaks and valleys can dramatically improve cardiovascular fitness and raise the
bodys potential to burn fat.
Best of all, the benefits become evident in a matter of weeks.
Theres definitely renewed interest in interval training, said Ed Coyle, the director of the human performance laboratory at the
University of Texas at Austin.
More...from the NY Times at:
Related: Making the Transition With a Little Help
14. Exergaming blends video games with workouts:
The interactive exercise equipment appeals to kids. Will arcades be the gyms of the future?
Electronic beep-boops echo inside XRtainment Zone, a gym noticeably absent of the usual treadmills, stair climbers and weight
In their place are "exergames" and "exertainment" machines interactive exercise equipment, often with a video component that
beckon to the admittedly young (as in elementary school) clientele trickling in on a recent afternoon. Stationary bikes with ride
simulation videos, monitors that track vertical jumps, and a rock wall compete for attention against a trio of screens that prompts
exercisers to run in place, dodge obstacles, hop across hurdles or simulate a boxing match.
Along one wall are video games with cameras that show the users onscreen hitting imaginary baseballs or playing air guitar. Along
another, core training comes in the form of video games in which users stand up and move controls, engaging torso muscles. Kids hop
from one machine to another, spending five minutes here, five there. Most focus intently on a game when they're in the throes of it,
then dash off to find something else, or hook up with friends to play. "Dang, that's hard!" says a girl maneuvering a video
simulation. Some work up a sweat, while others especially those on bikes get so caught up in the video they pedal only
If some game and video makers are to be believed, in the future this is what we'll all be doing at the gym.
For children and preteens who have grown up with game controls in their hands, exergames are a natural. But as more tech-savvy
apparatuses hit the market, the games are beginning to move beyond the mini-exerciser market. Some are finding their way into
high-end clubs, YMCAs, rehab facilities and sports training centers.
More...from the LA Times at:
15. Taking Time to TRI & Michele's Mission:
By Michelle Redrow
We are the Queens of multi-tasking work, clean, cook, get the kids to soccer or dance, homework and collapse into bed. Most of us
thrive on it .multi-tasking that is.
Its a control thing. But more often than not we forget the top priority in our lives ~ me. Learning to love ourselves first is
sometimes the hardest thing to do. We skip that massage because its too much money. We cant sit down and read that book because we
choose instead to fold laundry.
Most women say they dont exercise because they dont have time. They all have time. Its just not a priority. Well its time says
Michele Redrow. A wife, mother of 3, fitness fanatic and avid triathlete. She is giving women the opportunity to empower themselves
to change their lives through the sport of triathlon. If you can multi-task why not multi-sport?!
Michele Redrow, race director of the Philadelphia Womens Triathlon, founded the first ever, in the area, all womens race in 2006
to not only give women a chance to feel good about themselves and their lives everyday but to celebrate incredible women doing
incredible things. Last years race had more than 700 women finish the race with more than 300 first time athletes. This year her
goal is to have 1,000 women complete the race and she will do it.
More...from Transition Times at:
16. Waste not, bonk not:
By Matt Fitzgerald
Every running stride wastes energy. One of the most effective ways to improve your running ability is to reduce the amount of energy
you waste with each stride by correcting particular stride errors.
Among the most common energy-wasting stride errors is failure to properly activate the deep abdominal muscles that are responsible
for maintaining pelvic stability during running. According to Michael Fredericson, Ph.D., a running biomechanics expert at Stanford
University, 90 percent of runners exhibit this flaw.
The deep abdominal muscles -- the transverse abdominis and the internal obliques, to be specific -- wrap around the abdominal area
like a corset. When these muscles contract, your navel moves toward your spine and your pelvis rotates backward. The deep abs have
an important role to play during the thrust phase of the running stride -- when your foot is planted on the ground and your buttock
muscles and hamstrings are contracting forcefully to pull your body forward in relation to your foot.
Because these thrusting muscles attach to the back and bottom of the pelvis, their forceful contraction tends to tilt the pelvis
forward. If the pelvis is actually allowed to tilt forward, some of the energy that your thrusting muscles are trying to transfer to
the ground for forward movement winds up wasted in stretching your deep abs.
However, if you activate your deep abs to hold the pelvis neutral, more of the force generated by the thrusting muscles is indeed
transferred to the ground. The end result is that you cover more ground with each stride.
More...from Active.com at:
17. This Week in Running:
10 Years Ago- Dmitriy Kapitonov (RUS) won the Bordeaux (FRA) Marathon by more than a minute with
his 2:11:31. In his wake were Fred Kiprop (KEN) at 2:12:44, Paul Arpin (FRA) at
2:13:25, and Abraham Limo (KEN) at 2:13:44. Laura Fogli (ITA) won the women's race
by a similar margin, her 2:33:38 handily defeating Alain Gherasim (ROM) at 2:34:36.
Olga Michurina (RUS) was well back in 3rd at 2:38:15.
20 Years Ago- Arturo Barrios (MEX) won the Mount SAC Relays (CA/USA) 10,000m with a 27:56.1, besting
Pat Porter (USA) at 28:07.9, Jesus Herrera (MEX) at 27:09.8, and Keith Brantly (USA)
at 28:10.1. Lynn Nelson (USA) captured the women's 10,000m with a 32:46.0, followed
by Brenda Webb (USA) in 32:51.7 and Bente Moe (NOR) in 33:05.8. Marcos Luis Barreto
(MEX) took the men's 5000m in 13:28.9, ahead of Mauricio Gonzalez (MEX) at 13:32.1 and
Michael Blackmore (USA) at 13:41.5.
30 Years Ago- Pekka Paivarinta (FIN) won the Karl Marx Stadt (now Chemnitz GER) Marathon in 2:13:32.4.
Bernd Arnhold (GER) was 2nd in 2:14:26.6 and Gerald Umbach (GER) 3rd in 2:14:43.0. Eight
Germans broke 2:20 in this race (only three Germans broke 2:20 in all of 2006).
40 Years Ago- Ron Hill (ENG) won the AAA 10 mile title in London ENG with a 47:38.6. Alistair Murray
(SCO) was 2nd in 47:45.2 with Mike Turner (ENG) rounding out the top three in 47:51.4.
50 Years Ago- Nothing of note in the ARRS database.
From The Analytical Distance Runner, the newsletter for the Association of Road Racing Statisticians with a focus on races, 3000m
and longer, including road, track, and cross-country events.
The ARRS has a website at http://www.arrs.net.
18. Training through Seasonal Allergies:
Are you one of the millions of people who suffer from seasonal allergies? Seasonal allergies can disrupt training schedules for
weeks at a time. The symptoms of allergies can make training even impossible with sneezing, congestion, runny nose and itchiness in
the throat, eyes, nose and ears. In severe cases sinus and/or lung infections can develop that require antibiotics. These are just a
few of the symptoms athletes have to endure when pollen, dust, grass and mold counts skyrocket at different times of the year.
If you have seasonal allergies the first thing to consider is visiting a local allergy clinic to seek expert advice and
recommendations on which medications to take. The clinic may even test you to determine which allergens you have reactions to so
they can narrow down a possible solution for your symptoms. Allergy clinics can also show you current levels of local pollen, grass
and molds. Regular tracking of your local allergens may give you a heads-up before they start rising and allow you to start taking
medication before your allergies really kick in.
Over-the-counter meds such as Claritin can help a lot of people. I know quite a few professional cyclists who in Aprils Tour of
Georgia bike race took Claritin since the pollen count in Georgia was at an all-time high. There are plenty more medications that
require a prescription so again, visiting a specialist can be well worth the trip.
To help reduce the amount allergens you come in contact with, try to keep windows at work, home and in the car closed. During hot
spells rely upon air conditioning instead of outdoor air.
Training with Allergies
Training while suffering from allergies is not fun at all. Flexibility in scheduling of daily workouts is key for athletes who
suffer from allergies. You may need to adjust your training on a daily basis as symptoms come and go with weather patterns and daily
allergen levels. One thing to consider if you work with a coach is to have them prescribe a list of workouts to complete each week,
but let you decide when to actually do them. A long bike ride may not be the best thing to do on a dry, windy day, for example.
Increasing the number of indoor workouts is also recommended. Consider conducting all of your high-intensity training indoors and
leave the outdoor sessions for lower intensity endurance training. Also, try to avoid the morning hours as this is when plants tend
to release pollen. Protective face masks may help while you exercise at lower intensity levels outdoors.
Swimming may be a preferred sport since the humidity can help your breathing. Swimming in the ocean may be the best place of all
since allergens tend to be non-existent away from shore.
If you cant raise your heart rate beyond heart rate zone 1 due to congestion try incorporating strength and skills work as the main
focus of your training until you get better. If you can maintain muscle and improve your specific sport skills you can at least come
back to normal training and racing with better economy and strength. That isnt such a bad thing, is it?
Be careful of your body weight during times of reduced training. You may need to lower your total caloric intake and place more
importance on consuming nutrient dense foods. Besides fruit and veggies, focus on high quality fat and protein. Omega 3 fats may
also help with allergies since they have proven to benefit asthma sufferers as well. You might also try adding a local unfiltered
honey to your diet since honey may help your body build up a tolerance for local pollens.
In the end keep your head up and take it day by day. Sometimes a little downtime is exactly what is needed.
Dirk Friel has raced as a professional cyclist on the roads of Europe, Asia and the Americas since 1992. He is also an Ultrafit
Associates coach specializing in road training with power. Dirk is also co-founder of www.TrainingPeaks.com. He may be reached by
e-mail at mailto:dfriel@....
From UltraFit's e-Tips for Endurance Athletes at: http://www.ultrafit.com
19. Train Right Nutrition:
Q: I bonked on my first long, hard ride of the year, even though I'm fit, eat right, and was careful to pre-hydrate before I set
out? What gives?
Jeff K. via e-mail
A: First off, I commend you for taking a serious approach to integrated nutrition, hydration, and training. However, your downfall
was your body's inefficient use of fuel. Your body's glycogen operation, your muscles' main source of fuel, wasn't ready for what
you put it through. From your description, it sounds like you started out okay, but when you continued beyond your usual end point
for a ride, your glycogen stores were tapped out. And once those stores are gone, life goes downhill really fast.
This is exactly why a progressive training plan builds up mileage over the course of several weeks. Each week's 5- to 10-percent
increase in miles is just enough to push the body to adapt to the extra work without bonking. What you did, Jeff, was skip that
progression, and you paid the price. But here's the cool part'if you can say there's anything cool about bonking'I bet if you tried
that same ride two weeks after your bonk without changing your diet or hydration you'd probably cruise through those miles without
any problem. Why? Your body would now have adapted to this long-term stress and have become more efficient at using its glycogen
More...from Train Right at:
20. Digest Briefs:
* Alcohol plus fruit equals health buzz:
A fruity cocktail may count as health food, U.S. and Thai researchers said Thursday.
Adding ethanol the type of alcohol found in rum, vodka, tequila and other spirits boosted the antioxidant nutrients in
strawberries and blackberries, the researchers found.
Any colored fruit might be made even more healthful with the addition of a splash of alcohol, they reported in the Journal of the
Science of Food and Agriculture.
Dr. Korakot Chanjirakul and colleagues at Kasetsart University in Thailand and scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture
stumbled upon their finding unexpectedly.
They were exploring ways to help keep strawberries fresh during storage. Treating the berries with alcohol increased antioxidant
capacity and free-radical scavenging activity, they found.
Berries, for instance, contain compounds known as polyphenols and anthocyanins. People who eat more of those fruits and vegetables
have a documented lower risk of cancer, heart disease and some neurological diseases.
The study did not address whether adding a little cocktail umbrella enhanced the effects.
THIS WEEK'S FEATURED EVENTS:
*Please verify event dates with the event websites*
Check the Runner's Web FrontPage for links to the race sites.
May 5, 2007:
Cumberland Duathlon & Relays - Cumberland, ON
May 6, 2007:
Demi-Marathon International de Québec - Quebec City, ON
Flying Pig Marathon - Cincinnati, OH
Frederick Marathon - Frederick, MD
Nevada Wide Open Marathon de Mayo - Reno, NV
Niketown 5K - Denver, CO
Orleans 1/2 Marathon & 5/10km Run - Orleans, ON
Sporting Life 10K - Toronto, ON
St.Croix Triathlon -St.Croix, Virgin Islands
Union-Tribune Race for Literacy 8K - San Diego, CA
Whole Foods Santa Monica Classic 5K / 10K - Santa Monica, CA
June 23, 2007:
Emilie's Run - The Emilie Mondor Memorial 5K Race for Women - Ottawa, ON
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:
For Triathlon Coverage check out The Sports Network at:
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