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Runner's and Triathlete's Web Digest - February 13, 2009

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  • Ken Parker
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 12, 2009
      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 our daily news, features, polls, trivia, bulletin
      boards and more. General questions should be posted to one of our forums available from our FrontPage.

      SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS: All of the revenue from our advertisers and affiliates goes to support clubs, athletes and clinics related
      to multisport and Canadian Olympians.

      1. Emilie's Run - The Emilie Mondor Memorial 5K Race for Women - Canada's Fastest Women's 5K
      Emilie's Run is over for another year. Almost 300 women completed the race with 38 women running under 20:00
      The 2009 race will be run on June 20th.
      For more on the race visit the website at:
      **Register before March 15, 2009 and get a 10% discount**

      3. Road Runner Sports, the world's largest running store at:

      4. Toronto Waterfront Marathon, September 27, 2009

      5. Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon - October 18, 2009
      Register before the end of this month for the Marathon, Half Marathon, or 5k and save $$. Fees increase March 1st!

      6. Training Peaks Training Peaks, LLC is dedicated to the endurance athlete and coach. With our industry leading software products,
      we're committed to help you monitor, analyze and plan your training. We encourage you to draw on our passion for excellence to help
      you reach your athletic dreams. Trusted by thousands. Dedicated to you.

      7. January 4, 2008: Goodlife Fitness has come on board as a sponsor of Emilie's Run GoodLife Fitness - Coed or Women's Only Visit
      www.GoodLifeFitness.com today to receive 3 FREE Visits! Your 3 FREE visits include: . A Visual Fitness Planner Consultation . Fit
      Fix Orientation to learn how to exercise safely and effectively . Access to all cardio and strength-training equipment . Access to
      all of our world-class Group EXercise classes . A copy of Living the Good Life audio CD Get started today! Visit
      www.GoodLifeFitness.com Limited time offer.

      8. iRun Magazine
      More than a million Canadians are runners, making it this country's most popular recreational and fitness activity. Canadians run
      for exercise and we run to raise money for important causes. We run alone and in groups. And every year, hundreds of thousands of us
      participate in organized races, from fun runs to marathons, which are growing steadily.
      Until now, Canadian runners haven't had our own running magazine. But now, there's iRun, providing a uniquely Canadian perspective
      on the activity and the sport. Published six times a year, iRun educates, informs and inspires Canadian runners.
      The Team
      Mark Sutcliffe, Publisher and Editor
      Mark has more than 20 years of experience in the Canadian media business. An avid runner, he has completed five marathons and 10
      half-marathons. He writes a popular weekly column on running in the Ottawa Citizen and co-hosts The Running Show every week on The
      Team 1200 radio. Mark is the former Executive Editor of the Ottawa Citizen and has also launched several publications, including the
      Ottawa Business Journal, now in its second decade, and the Kitchissippi Times, a successful community newspaper in Ottawa. His
      writing has appeared across the country in daily newspapers, and magazines like Macleans and Canadian Business.
      Ray Zahab, Contributing Editor
      Ray Zahab is Canada's most renowned ultramarathon runner. A former pack-a-day smoker, Ray transformed his life by becoming a
      successful long-distance runner, winning some of the world's most challenging foot races. Beginning in November 2006, Ray and two
      other runners ran across the Sahara Desert in 111 days, averaging 70 kilometres per day without a single day's rest. Ray is an
      accomplished public speaker, writes regularly about running and coaches athletes striving to achieve their own goals.
      iRun is Canada's highest-circulation and most popular running magazine. With a total distribution of 50,000 and more than 9,000
      subscribers, iRun is leading the market in the rapidly growing and highly desirable demographic of Canadian runners.
      iRun Magazine is a sponsor of Emilie's Run

      9. Canadian Running Magazine: Subscribe at:

      10. Mi-Sport - The Ultimate Sports MP3 Player Introducing the world's first and only waterproof and wireless sports mp3 player.
      These Mi-SPORT mp3 headphones have a 1GB memory built into a cool neckband design. At last no wire tangle and no earbuds to fall
      out. The patented design makes this waterproof/sweatproof mp3 player great for running, cycling and gym work. The player however is
      more than splash proof! It can be completely submerged with no harm to it making it perfect for swimming, kayaking, and water
      skiing. Now incorporating the latest 3D music quality with it's adapted waterproof speaker. Relax to music in the bath, or push out
      that training session with no fear of losing your player or tangling the wires. Circuit training is so much easier with your own
      music. Enjoy the waves wire-free. This is the only waterproof pair of classic headphones with a built in mp3 player in the world.
      The stylish looking headphones play the usual MP3, WMA and WAV formats and are compatible with Windows98/98SE/2000/XP and Apple MAC.
      Depending on track length, the headphones hold well over 14 hours worth of music and the rechargeable battery life is about 8 hours.
      Nick Matthew, the 2006 British Open squash champion now uses the player to train with and Mi-SPORT are endeavouring to encourage
      more athletes to enjoy the benefits of training to wire-free music, podcasts or coaching aids. Inspiration and freedom at last, for
      athletes and exercise enthusiasts everywhere.
      Check it out at: http://www.mi-sportmp3.com/

      The Runner's Web is a member of Running USA, The National Professional Organization for the Running Industry.

      NEW SUBSCRIBERS: Check the "New Subscribers' note at the bottom of the newsletter

      Check out our RSS auto-feeds page for automated news updates:

      Webmasters: Get our Syndicated headlines for your site.
      Add the Runner's Web News feed to your site through a simple JavaScript. Check out OnTri.com's implementation at:
      The Runner's and Triathlete's Web Digest is now available
      through an RSS feed for myYahoo at:
      [Long URL]
      The Digest is also available through other RSS Readers on request.

      Get the Runner's Web button for the Google Toolbar 4 for Internet Explorer from the link on our FrontPage at:
      http://www.runnersweb.com . We have added a button for Lauren Groves, Triathlete.

      If anyone is looking for a web mail provider, you might wish to consider Google's GMail. You can now sign up for free Gmail at
      Google WITHOUT AN INVITATION at: www.gmail.com

      Race Directors: Advertise your event on the Runner's Web.
      For more information:
      You can also list your events for free in our Interactive Calendars and on our Marathons, Races and Triathlons pages.


      Register before March 15, 2009 and get a 10% discount.

      We have added a new event calendar. It is available for event directors to add events at:
      Events must be approved before going live.

      Watch live and webcast of Track and Field and Road races on Universal Sports
      Sign up at:

      I've created a Runner's Web Group on Facebook. To join the Runner's Web Facebook group, if you are not a member of Facebook, you
      must first create a free Facebook account at www.facebook.com. Once you have your own space, search "Runner's Web" under "Groups".
      At the Runner's Web site, click "Join this group". Once I have approved your request to join, you'll be able to visit the site, post
      race photos, discuss training tips, and share information about running, racing and training.

      If you feel you have something to say (related to triathlon or running) 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.

      We have 2,478 subscribers as of publication time. Forward the Runner's Web Digest to a friend and suggest that they subscribe at:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RunnersWeb/join .


      We have partnered with Road Runner Sports, the world's largest online running store, to provide a shopping portal. Check it out at:

      We have partnered with Breaksweat TV to provide us with video content.
      Simply Sports Media is part of a large group called Simply Media, which operates more than 25 digital TV channels, including 6 on
      satellite and cable. Simply Media has developed and continues to expand on premium content for TV, web, mobile, captive Audience
      Networks, and IPTV.
      Breaksweat.tv was recently launched to provide instant access to premium video content covering outdoor sports. The innovative
      online channel uses a system called, Brightcove to continually and seamlessly deliver content to its users, whilst providing
      easy-to-use navigation.
      Breaksweat TV is not a user generated website, or a broadcasting channel; rather it is a platform used to host Breaksweat.tv's
      independently produced video content, and content it obtains from key relationships in the outdoor sports industry. By applying this
      strategy to supply content for its viewers, SnowZone.tv is able to showcase video content that is unique, high-quality, and
      continuous filled with updated material.
      For more information and to visit other existing channels in the Simply Media network, please visit:

      * 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: http://www.runnersweb.com/running/SK_index.html

      * 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:
      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:
      http://www.runnersweb.com/running/PRP_index.html .

      * 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 to RRNews.com. Check out the
      article index at: http://www.runnersweb.com/running/RRN_index.html

      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.


      1. The Challenging Periods for Women in Training
      2. Limiting Fatigue When You Run
      3. The Mystery of Honking
      Why do runners make drivers honk like geese?
      4. Building on the Abs of Madonna and Gwyneth
      A workout trainer responsible for Madonna's and Gwyneth Paltrow's toned physiques has opened a studio in New York City.
      5. Exercise Plays Large Role In Recovery From Knee Replacement And Occurrence Of Osteoarthritis
      6. Learning to Love the Sport
      How runners are reaching the next generations.
      7. Study Finds No Benefit From Daily Multivitamin
      8. Sportsmedicine: Rehabilitation for a Healthy Back
      9. Sports Technology For Para-athletes: Closing The Gap
      10. Peak Performance by Karlene Sugarman, M.A.
      11. This Week in Running
      12. Hams Give Out Before Quads In Marathon
      13. Mental Health for the Long Run
      14. Even Short Bursts Of Intense Exercise Can Improve Metabolism
      15. Chocolate: It's just not that good for you

      "Should women's road race records ("best times") be allowed to be established in mixed (men and women) races?"

      You can access the poll from our FrontPage ( http://www.runnersweb.com) as well as checking the results of previous polls.

      "On which of the continents have you run?"
      Answers Percent
      Answers Percent
      1. Africa 14%
      2. Antarctica 0%
      3. Asia 18%
      4. Australia 15%
      5. Europe 22%
      6. North America 29%
      7. South America 3%

      FIVE STAR SITE OF THE MONTH: Women's Running Magazine
      Women's Running is the world's largest women-specific running magazine.
      Women's Running covers all aspects of the running lifestyle, from active beauty needs to training plans. The Women's Running mission
      is simple: to create a high-quality magazine for smart, successful women who use running to balance and enrich their lives. Women's
      Running features quality editorial that motivates women to train intelligently, participate in active travel, adopt healthy
      nutrition habits and keep moving.
      Women's Running is distributed at over 4,000 retailers including Barnes & Noble, Borders, REI, Dick's Sporting Goods, Eastern
      Mountain Sports, and other independent, specialty retailers.
      Visit the website at:

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

      BOOK/VIDEO/MOVIE OF THE MONTH: The Coolest Race on Earth: Mud, Madmen, Glaciers and Grannies at the Antarctica Marathon
      By John Hanc
      The Coolest Race on Earth* follows Hanc's 2005 attempt to complete the 26.2 mile grueling race in humorous and invigorating detail.
      This icy adventure traces the wild history of the Antarctica Marathon while amusingly meditating on what drives people to spend
      thousands of dollars to run atop glaciers, thick mud, penguin dung and extinct volcanoes on the most desolate continent on earth.
      With a diverse and delightful cast of international athletes, among them a wheelchair bound runner, three law-breaking grandmothers
      and an ex-Marine who describes the race as "the hardest thing I ever did in my life, next to Vietnam," *The Coolest Race on Earth*
      tells an exhilarating Antarctic tale that truly few people in the world can tell.
      Buy the book from Amazon at:

      For more publications on running and triathlon visit:
      http://www.runnersweb.com/running/human_kinetics.html and http://www.runnersweb.com/running/amazon.html


      1. The Challenging Periods for Women in Training:
      By Coach Wendy
      I'm not sure if is the pre menstrual irritability or the dealing with the inconvenience of the actual period that often cause the
      most hassles for us active women. I would imagine it would depend on who is on the receiving end of the period!!! For the most part,
      we have probably become used to this monthly ritual and the general feeling associated with it... but for those of you new into the
      active lifestyle or for those old hand athletes, juggling period needs with being active does have its challenges.
      You will all recognise the variety of common symptoms of feeling bloated, or of having a slightly dull ache in your back. The
      feeling of a deep dull tension in the lower abdominal region (dysmenorrhea) and then there is the general feeling of being tired
      especially in the first 3 days of the cycle. For some women, their monthly period is accompanied with minimal symptoms and for
      others it is a time of great discomfort and requires considerable planning when it comes to exercise.
      The effect of menstruation on training is varied. Most active women notice minimal change in their 5 day cycle and if anything they
      comment on their increased awareness as to how the body is feeling during this time. Their heighten sense of body awareness is one
      of the many benefits that comes from training and listening to their bodies.
      Encouraging women to be aware of how they are feeling during this time is extremely important especially when it come to training
      for longer events such as marathons or ironman triathlons. For events such as these, the training intensity and quality become
      critically linked to a persons available energy and the balance becomes finer the longer the distances.
      It is important during this time that women pay particular attention to their dietary and rest requirements. Due to the blood loss
      from the menstruation process, combined with the destruction of blood cells in the feet caused by running, women can find their iron
      stores reduced. An increase in either red meat or other foods high in iron such as silver beet and lentils along with vitamin C plus
      a reduction in tea during the period week, will enable your body to absorb and store the iron necessary for everyday body cellular
      function. The necessary chocolate bar/s goes with out saying - and it would be a brave man who questions any women during this week
      as to whether she REALLY needs them!
      For women who encounter heavy bleeding, major fatigue or discomfort - they may be well advised to significantly modify their
      training during their periods. From experience, by changing the emphasis from say intensity to technique, I have found that women
      are often able to sustain the training as set in their programme and yet accommodate their levels of fatigue. It is common for women
      to report a sense of tiredness in the days leading up to the period starting, for this to last for the first three days of their
      cycle and then they comment of returning back to normal energy levels at the completion of the cycle.
      More...from Endurance Coach at:

      2. Limiting Fatigue When You Run:
      One of the great mysteries of running is why elite African endurance runners have greater fatigue-resistance, compared with runners
      from the rest of the world.
      What do we mean by fatigue-resistance? It is simply the ability to sustain a high-quality pace.
      If you tell an elite African runner to run as far as possible at an intensity of 90 percent of maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max),
      he/she will often be able to race a half-marathon at that level of effort. But, if you provide the same instructions for an elite
      American or European distance runner, he/she will be able to run for only six or seven miles before slowing down. The elite African
      has greater fatigue resistance - an enhanced capacity to perform at a high intensity for a sustained period of time without
      diminishing pace.
      Traditionally, we have tried to explain differences in performance between endurance runners by invoking an "aerobic paradigm."
      Superior performances were thought to be the result of higher aerobic capacities and therefore faster speeds.
      However, the disparity in fatigue-resistance between African and white runners can not be due to differences in VO2max, because
      research shows that elite white and black runners have similar aerobic capacities. The truth is that runners who share the same
      VO2max can have great differences in fatigue-resistance - and that endurance runners with higher fatigue-resistance can beat runners
      with greater max aerobic capacities.
      More...from The Educated Runner at:

      3. The Mystery of Honking:
      Why do runners make drivers honk like geese?
      Socks that disappear in the laundry. Why it suddenly became de rigueur to shuck corn at the supermarket. How people who put flags on
      their cars after September 11 decided it was time to remove them. These are perplexing matters, but nothing compared to the eternal
      question, What the hell are people thinking when they honk at runners?
      Like any long-time runner, I have my theories. The most flattering one came decades ago from a friend's mother. Her hypothesis was
      that her son and I were always getting honked at, swerved at, yelled at and otherwise menaced on the roads of Reisterstown because
      the sight of Chris and me running induced great feelings of guilt in drivers, pedestrians and everyone else who regularly heaped
      abuse on us. Only by lashing out at the catalysts of guilt, the theory goes, can the guilt be assuaged. Sounds good, until you
      realize that Chris, who became a 2:17 marathoner, used to pelt the neighborhood jogger with snowballs. Can we really believe that,
      at age 12, his snowballs were an expression of guilt that he hadn't started running yet and, therefore, was possibly preventing
      himself from running 2:16 a dozen years later?
      As my wife, a cyclist, will testify, we runners aren't the only ones who attract attention while working out. In this view, part of
      the abuse stems from drivers thinking they have exclusive rights to the roads. The law says they're wrong, of course, but I'm not
      sure that legal minutiae are the primary concern of the guys who threw tobacco juice on me, or the one who shot a BB into a friend's
      leg, or that guy in the Jeep who asked if I would like to get in while he was masturbating. (Thanks, but I'm busy.)
      More...from Running Times at:

      4. Building on the Abs of Madonna and Gwyneth:
      A workout trainer responsible for Madonna's and Gwyneth Paltrow's toned physiques has opened a studio in New York City
      THIS is the woman responsible for Madonna's arms.
      Tracy Anderson pulls down on resistant elastic bands strung across the ceiling; dances around the room; endlessly circles her arms.
      She moves her torso back and forth and sideways to strengthen the abdominals, and then lies on her - of course - taut belly for a
      series of butt-toning leg lifts.
      To spend an hour working out with Ms. Anderson, with an iPod blasting and the heat cranked up, is to get a taste of what it's like
      to prepare for a grueling concert tour, striving for that sinewy muscle tone. Or so you can tell yourself. Maybe this is how it
      feels to sweat like Gwyneth Paltrow, bopping around your blond-wood home gym in the Hamptons, losing the pregnancy pounds with Ms.
      Anderson's mat exercises and dance routines. "You really are how you move," Ms. Anderson said.
      Ms. Anderson, 33, worked out with a reporter recently in a rented space in Midtown, demonstrating her signature muscle strengthening
      and cardio dancing, which have won her two devoted clients in Madonna and Ms. Paltrow. With those celebrity names lofting her
      reputation, she is preparing to open a high-end $900-a-month workout studio in TriBeCa.
      More...from the NY Times at:

      5. Exercise Plays Large Role In Recovery From Knee Replacement And Occurrence Of Osteoarthritis:
      Two new studies found that exercise may be a factor in recovering from a total knee replacement (total knee arthroplasty or TKA)
      and knee osteoarthritis (OA). One study involving a progressive quadriceps strengthening program after total knee replacement found
      that it enhanced clinical improvement almost to the level of healthy older adults.
      The other study, the first to examine the relationship between four components of physical activity and the incidence of knee OA in
      older adults, found that certain types of activities were linked to an increased risk of the disease.
      Nearly half a million total knee replacements are performed each year in the U.S. to treat severe knee OA, which is on the rise due
      to an increase in the elderly and overweight populations. Although knee replacement improves function, patients continue to have
      impaired quadriceps strength and function for activities such as walking and climbing stairs, which remain below those of healthy
      people of the same age. Rehabilitation targeting these areas has not been studied well and is not routinely prescribed.
      More...from Science Daily at:

      6. Learning to Love the Sport:
      How runners are reaching the next generations.
      The epidemic of childhood obesity is well-documented, along with the plethora of programs designed to get kids away from the tube.
      But the real road to fitness is to fall in love with running as a lifetime passion and make it part of your identity, not something
      you "have to do" to keep from being fat. Here's a look at people and programs inspiring young people not just to get out, but to
      become athletes, challenging them to be better runners and better people, and building the future of the sport.
      Dan Bellino can recall when he fell in love with running. It was the 2003 New York City Marathon. "My dad and brother asked me to
      run the marathon with them. Up to that point I was just a casual runner," recalls Bellino. "During my training I fell in love with
      the simplicity of the sport. Every run became an adventure that I looked forward to, whether it was a beautiful trail run along the
      Hudson River or running in Central Park. The sound of my running shoes slapping the pavement was enough to get me going." Now an
      administrator with the New York City Department of Education, he is giving back to the sport he loves by volunteering as a coach for
      the New York Road Runners Foundation (NYRRF) youth running program, turning young kids on to running instead of having them tuning
      out at home on video games.
      More...from Running Times at:

      7. Study Finds No Benefit From Daily Multivitamin:
      Multivitamins are the most commonly used diet supplement, but new research shows that daily multivitamin use doesn't ward off cancer
      or heart disease.
      In a study of 161,808 women who were part of the government-funded Women's Health Initiative research effort, doctors from 40
      centers around the country collected data on multivitamin use. While research shows that people who eat nutrient-rich diets filled
      with fruits and vegetables have lower rates of heart disease and cancer, it hasn't been clear whether taking a daily supplement
      results in a similar benefit.
      After following the women for about eight years, they looked at rates of various cancers and heart problems among the 42 percent of
      women who were regular multivitamin users, and compared them to those who didn't take vitamins. The researchers found no evidence of
      any benefit from multivitamin use in any of 10 categories studied, including no differences in the rate of breast or colon cancer,
      heart attack, stroke, blood clots or mortality.
      The finding that multivitamins produced no benefit in such a large, well-regarded study is disappointing, given that some earlier
      research has produced mixed results. While some earlier studies failed to show a benefit of daily multivitamin use, other research
      has suggested a possible benefit for colon and breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, those data were collected from
      less rigorous studies, and researchers say the lack of a benefit measured in the Women's Health Initiative is a "robust finding." In
      the tightly controlled W.H.I. trials, data from women were copiously collected, and participants actually brought vitamin bottles to
      W.H.I. centers so supplement use could be confirmed by researchers.
      More...from the NY Times at:

      8. Sportsmedicine: Rehabilitation for a Healthy Back:
      This issue of the Stretching & Sports Injury Report comes from a well-respected web site called, Spine-Health.Com. Spine-Health has
      been developed by a multi-specialty group of medical professionals, and their goal is to provide you with a comprehensive, highly
      informative and useful resource for understanding, preventing, and seeking appropriate treatment for back & neck pain and related
      If back pain has caused you any problems, either now or in the past, I highly recommend you visit Spine-Health. Their extensive
      range of back care information and articles is second to none.
      People who suffer from lower back pain are often encouraged to participate in their own recovery, but they are seldom given the
      knowledge and tools needed to accomplish this. This discussion will help you acquire a basic understanding of the reasons for lower
      back pain, and take charge of your own health by taking the appropriate steps to rehabilitate your back.
      Of course, getting better is only the beginning, since further episodes of back pain are quite common as time passes. Fortunately,
      you can improve your chances of avoiding recurrences by rehabilitating your back, whether you are experiencing your first bout with
      low back pain or have had extensive treatments or even surgery.
      Causes of back pain
      There are several structures in the back that can cause and/or contribute to low back pain.
      Although the intervertebral disc is a remarkably versatile and strong structure, essentially acting as a shock absorber as we go
      about our activities, sometimes the disc fails when there is a sudden, unexpected force (such as a fall, lifting or other trauma).
      And when the disc does get injured it cannot repair itself very well, which is one of the major reasons recurrent back pain is so
      More...from the Runner's Web at:

      9. Sports Technology For Para-athletes: Closing The Gap:
      This issue of Sports Technology, published by Wiley-Blackwell, spotlights recent developments that seek to close the gap between
      able-bodied athletes and para-athletes, with two published articles highlighting running prostheses.
      The first article, entitled "Biomechanics of double transtibial amputee sprinting using dedicated sprinting prostheses" by
      Bruggemann et al., compares the sprinting mechanics data of able-bodied sprinters with that of a double transtibial amputee by
      examining the overall kinetics and the kinetics at the joints - while sprinting at maximum speed.
      The carbon blade used by the amputee sprinter has a significant advantage in both energy storage and return in fast sprinting, in
      comparison to the healthy human ankle joint. The blade allows the disabled sprinter to deliver the same level of performance as an
      able-bodied athlete - but at a lower metabolic cost.
      The other article, "Lower Extremity Leg Amputation: an advantage in running?" , authored by Lechler and Lilja describes the clinical
      view of fitting an amputee with a prosthetic leg.
      More...from Science Daily at:

      10. Peak Performance:
      by Karlene Sugarman, M.A.
      I think it is important to talk about peak performances because this is what athletes are trying to achieve and what experts in the
      field of sports psychology are trying to help athletes and teams obtain. It's imperative we examine some of the universal
      characteristics of that best performance. This way you will have more control and awareness about these peak performances and they
      won't seem as mysterious as they once might have.
      In the flow, in a groove, on a roll, in the zone - whatever you call it, it's all defining one thing. It's that special feeling of
      playing like you can do no wrong and everything goes your way. You are so involved in what you are doing that nothing else seems to
      matter because you are so connected to your task. Unfortunately, these peak performances don't seem to happen often enough. In fact,
      every time it does happen, it is usually by chance, it just happened to be a day when everything fell into place, clicked for you,
      and you got a taste of what it's like to be in the zone. It's kind of like getting a taste of the good life. Hopefully this
      occurrence will motivate you to do everything you can to have more peak performances.
      By implementing mental training skills and working effectively as a team, you can increase the chances of this transpiring on a more
      consistent basis and you will be able to be in the zone as one harmonious unit. Being in the zone means doing more than anyone else
      thought possible, even superseding your own expectations at times. This zone is the definitive reason why many people are motivated
      to participate in sports.
      Characteristics of being IN THE ZONE
      1. Relaxed: The days of getting psyched up to play are over. Research has shown over and over that the best performances occur when
      you are just slightly above your normal state of arousal, not at the extreme end of the spectrum as once thought. You are energized,
      yet relaxed it's a subtle balance of quiet intensity. Your mind is calm and your body is ready to go. You feel relaxed, but you are
      able to move with great strength and ease.
      2. Confident: Not letting a lapse in performance undermine your belief in your overall abilities is at the core of this
      characteristic. When you are playing well, you feel confident that no matter what you are up against, you are going to come out on
      top. You just exude with confidence and pride, and it is evident in your performance. There is no fear. Confidence on the inside is
      outwardly shown by way of your presence, your walk and your facial expressions. You should expect to be successful, not hope or wish
      to be successful. You must adopt a confident, winning attitude. It is trusting your instincts and intuition to do the right thing at
      the right time; and if you are prepared, you can be confident that this will happen. This complete faith allows you to just know
      that you are going to do everything necessary to be successful without the conscious use of reasoning or analyzing.
      More...from Peak Performance -- Sport Psychology with Karlene Sugarman, M.A. at:

      11. This Week in Running:
      10 Years Ago- Philip Tarus (KEN) won the 37th edition of the San Blas (PUR) Half Marathon with a still-
      standing course record of 1:02:11. Khalid Khannouchi (MAR) was a distant 2nd with 1:03:24
      while Silvio Guerra (ECU) was 3rd in 1:03:41. Svetlana Zakharova (RUS) took the women's
      race by a wide margin with a 1:13:55 while Nadezhda Wijenberg (RUS) was 2nd in 1:15:35. Irina
      Timofeyeva (RUS) was 3rd in 1:16:10.
      20 Years Ago- Keith Brantly (USA) defeated an international field at the Gasparilla Classic FL/USA) 15K,
      clocking a 42:50. Gerardo Alcala (MEX) prevailed in a close battle for 2nd, coming in at
      43:03 over James Cooper (USA) at 43:04, Salvador Garcia (MEX) at 43:06, and Stephen Jones
      (WAL) at 43:07. Ingrid Kristiansen (NOR) won the women's race with a 48:14 as six women
      broke 50 minutes. Lisa Rainsberger (USA) was 2nd at 49:01 while Nancy Tinari (CAN) was
      3rd in 49:09.
      30 Years Ago- Ralph King (USA) won the Gasparilla Classic FL/USA) 15K with a 44:12. Near Olympic bronze
      medalist in the marathon (finished 4th in 1976), Don Kardong (USA) was 2nd in 44:15 while
      Doug Brown (USA) was 3rd at 44:44. Gayle Olinekova (CAN) won a close race over Betty Jo
      Springs-Geiger (USA), 53:17 to 53:23 while Kim Merritt (USA) was well back in 3rd with a 55:33.
      40 Years Ago- Gaston Roelants (BEL) won the 7th edition of the San Blas (PUR) Half Marathon in 1:06:30.
      50 Years Ago- Bill Dillinger (USA) defeated Max Truex (USA) at the BAA Indoor Meeting in Boston MA/USA
      with a time of 8:49.9 (no time available for Truex).
      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.

      12. Hams Give Out Before Quads In Marathon:
      In a marathon or prolonged run, especially one involving a fair amount of downhill running, one would expect the quads to take quite
      a pounding. However, new research indicates that the hamstrings are the muscles which are most fatigued by very long bouts of
      running- and thus may be the muscles which are mostlimiting during extended efforts. Exercises for bolstering the eccentric strength
      of your hamstrings,including leg swings and pistol squats, are prescribed.
      Which muscle - or muscle group - fatigue to the greatest extent during a marathon? That is not a trivial question. Understanding
      which sinew - or collection of sinews - is most apt to lose its normal functioning during a marathon is very useful information. If
      there is a muscle which is most likely to fail during the 26.2-mile event, marathon runners can focus intently on strengthening this
      muscle in a running-specific way during their pre marathon training, lessening the possibility that it will spoil things on race
      To find out which muscle is most likely to interfere with the opportunity to set a marathon PR, Dr. W. Schobersberger and his
      colleagues at the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria recently monitored 13 runners (12 male an one female) who completed the
      Tirol Speed Marathon (1). These competitors performed isokinetic muscle tests three to four days before and then 18 hours after the
      marathon (isokinetic muscle actions are ones in which the speed of contraction is kept constant). Both legs were tested, and
      strength testing involved both concentric and eccentric contractions of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles (concentric actions
      involve force production and shortening of the muscle; eccentric actions involve force production as the muscle lengthens). The idea
      was to see which muscles had lost the most strength as a result of the completion of the race.
      More...from Running Research News at:

      13. Mental Health for the Long Run:
      By Kate Chappell
      The science is only just emerging, and it's too early to prescribe exercise as treatment for mental illness, but we may soon have an
      answer to the question: is running good for your mind? And if so, why?
      A good hard run can sweep your head of worries, solve a problem or perk up your mood. It's especially true when winter's dark,
      inhospitable days descend upon us. But despite its reputation as a coping tool, it's still not completely clear why a run can
      generate positive feelings. Obviously, it makes sense that if you allow your body to sweat, to move free of inhibition and to work
      towards and achieve a goal, you will feel good about yourself. But the characteristically cautious medical and psychological
      community is still searching for definitive evidence that clearly and directly links running and mental health.
      This search for a link is crucial for several reasons. Advocates are still working to overcome the stigma of mental illness, and
      funding is not as accessible as it is for other diseases.
      If exercise and running come to be regarded as a supplemental form of treatment for mental illness, it could open up an entire new
      realm of more affordable and accessible treatment options. But it's too early to prescribe a 10k run as a cure for mental illness,
      since there is still so much undiscovered about mental health and the treatment for illness. For now, exercise and running are
      considered insufficient as a sole treatment for most forms of mental illness.
      Nevertheless, there are a handful of groundbreaking projects specifically related to running and mental health. The Ontario chapter
      of the Canadian Mental Health Association is embarking on research exploring how exercise relates to mental wellbeing. Also, the
      Mental Health Commission of Canada, considers running and exercise as one possible piece of the puzzle to overall health, although
      it's not yet the organization's official policy.
      Eventually, it is conceivable that running and exercise could be widely regarded as a supplemental tool for dealing with anxiety and
      depression, in addition to conventional treatment such as pharmaceutical drugs or therapy.
      More...from iRunNation at:

      14. Even Short Bursts Of Intense Exercise Can Improve Metabolism:
      Sedentary people who find the idea of fitting regular exercise sessions into their lives so difficult that they don't even try, may
      be interested to hear about a new study that found even regular short bursts of intense exercise, such as a short session of four to
      six 30-second high intensity sprints on an exercise bike every two days, showed a significant effect on the body's ability to
      metabolize sugars and could be an effective way to cut the risk of diabetes.
      This was the conclusion of a study by professor James Timmons and a team of researchers from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh,
      Scotland, that is to be published in the journal BMC Endocrine Disorders.
      Most people know that regular physical activity is a good way to cut the risk of developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, but
      knowing it and doing it are not the same, and many people feel they just don't have the time to do vigorous aerobic exercise for
      several hours week, as suggested by many of the current guidelines.
      Timmons said that while these guidelines are worthwhile in principle, the fact many people don't follow them shows we need an
      "Unfortunately, many people feel they simply don't have the time to follow current exercise guidelines. What we have found is that
      doing a few intense muscle exercises, each lasting only about 30 seconds, dramatically improves your metabolism in just two weeks,"
      he said.
      More...from Medical News Today at:

      15. Chocolate: It's just not that good for you:
      If an excuse is needed to consume chocolate, it comes on Valentine's Day.
      Heart-shaped boxes full of sweet treats lurk in just about every drug and department store, testing the wills of even the most
      ardent detractors of the lovers' holiday.
      But this year, some of that temptation is moving over to the health food aisle.
      A new crop of companies are trying to sell consumers on the positive aspects of dark chocolate as part of a growing campaign to
      rebrand it as a health food.
      It marks a new era in chocolate marketing prompted by research that has shown dark chocolate contains antioxidants, which can help
      protect cells and potentially prevent disease. The findings are similar to studies that have pointed to the health benefits of red
      After the link between dark chocolate and antioxidants was made several years ago, well-known confectionery companies such as
      Hershey, Mars and Dove began launching new dark chocolate products as a way to appeal to consumers.
      Now, new companies are going one step further by promoting their dark chocolate products not just as treats with a nutritional
      benefit, but as health foods.
      Some experts worry that the new tactic risks crossing the line of responsible marketing.
      More...from the Globe and Mail at:

      *Please verify event dates with the event websites available from our FrontPage (www.runnersweb.com)

      February 13-14, 2009:
      Tyson Invitational - Fayetteville, ARK

      February 14, 2009:
      Marathon Sports Valentine's 5K - Minneapolis, MN

      Smile Mile - Orlando, FL

      February 15, 2009:
      Austin Marathon - Austin, TX

      ABC 7 Sarasota Grouper Marathon - Sarasota, FL

      Lost Dutchman Marathon - Apache Junction, AZ

      Pensacola Marathon - Pensacola, FL

      March 6-9, 2009:
      European Athletics Indoor Championships - Torino, Italy

      June 20, 2009:
      Emilie's Run - The Emilie Mondor Memorial 5K Race for Women - Ottawa, ON
      **Register before January 31, 2009 and get a 15% discount**
      **Register before March 15, 2009 and get a 10% discount**

      August 15-23, 2009:
      World Athletics Championships - Berlin, Germany

      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:

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      Have a good week of training and/or racing.


      Ken Parker
      The Running and Triathlon Resource Portal

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