Runner's and Triathlete's Web Digest - December 4, 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
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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. Tara Quinn-Smith set a new course record of 16:15.7 beating the 16:29 set by Nicole Stevenson
in 1996. 364 women completed the race with 33 women running under 20:00
The 2010 race will be run on June 19th.
For more on the race visit the website at:
2. Road Runner Sports, the world's largest running store at:
3. Toronto Waterfront Marathon, September 27, 2009
4. Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon - October 17, 2010
Register before the end of this month for the Marathon, Half Marathon, or 5k and save $$. Fees increase March 1st!
5. Training Peaks
The Runner's Web has partnered with Training Peaks to provide online coaching from experts such as Hal Higdon, Joel Friel and Matt
Fitzgerald. Sign up at:
6. 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.
7. 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.
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
8. Canadian Running Magazine: Subscribe at:
9. 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/
10. Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon and Half-Marathon
January 17, 2010
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NEW THIS WEEK:
PUMA Online Shop - $20 off orders of $100, plus free shipping
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For the month of December, Footlocker will be offering the following codes:
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Free Shipping on $75, [code LKS19D35, valid 11/30-1/2].
With InstantStretch you'll be creating safe, effective
stretching routines in no time. In fact, InstantStretch is
the quick and easy way to design unlimited stretching
routines today, starting from scratch in under 60 seconds
You know what to do next. Click on the link below to see
for yourself how InstantStretch will help you.
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RUNNER'S AND TRIATHLETE'S WEB CONTENT PARTNERS
ROAD RUNNER SPORTS
We have partnered with Road Runner Sports, the world's largest online running store, to provide a shopping portal. Check it out at:
* 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
* 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 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.
THIS WEEK'S DIGEST ARTICLE INDEX:
1. 5 Ways to Train Through the Pain
2. Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine
3. Long-term physical activity has anti-aging effect at the cellular level: study
4. Does Exercise Help You Sleep?
5. Strength Training Program for Runners
6. VO2max - The monthly newsletter of RunCoachJason.com
7. Muscle Fiber Types and Training
8. More Satisfying Substitutions
Better food choices to fuel your running.
9. Becoming Your Own Massage Therapist
10. Cycling training: how to approach multi stage cycling events
11. Phys Ed: How to Prevent Stress Fractures
12. Understanding recovery - training for running
13. Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine
14. 8 Ways to Plan Ahead for an Active Winter
15. Digest Briefs
RUNNER'S WEB WEEKLY POLL:
What was the greatest running achievement(s) of all time?
Emil Zatopek wins the 5K, 10K and Marathon at the 1952 Olympics
Roger Bannister breaks 4 minutes for the mile
Abebe Bikila wins the 1960 and 1964 Olympic Marathons
Lasse Viren wins the 5K and 10K in 1972 and 1976 Olympics
Flo Jo runs 10.49 in the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials
Joan Samuelson wins the first Women's Olympic Marathon
Michael Johnson runs 19.32 in the 1996 OIympics
Usain Bolt sets two world records in the 2008 Olympics
Kenenisa Bekele wins the 5000/10,000 double in the 2008 Olympics
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:
What age group are you in?
1 Under 20 4%
2 20 - 29 13%
3 30 - 39 17%
4 40 - 49 9%
5 50 - 59 13%
6 60 - 69 39%
7 70+ 4%
Our Photo Slideshow is updated on a random basis. Check it out from our FrontPage.
FIVE STAR SITE OF THE MONTH: Competitor.com
Competitor.com - a complete multisport site.
Check it out at:
BOOK/VIDEO/MOVIE OF THE MONTH:
By Ian McLeod
See how to achieve stronger starts, more explosive turns, and faster times! Swimming Anatomy will show you how to improve your
performance by increasing muscle strength and optimizing the efficiency of every stroke.
Swimming Anatomy includes 74 of the most effective swimming exercises, each with step-by-step descriptions and full-color anatomical
illustrations highlighting the primary muscles in action.
Swimming Anatomy goes beyond exercises by placing you on the starting block, in the water, and into the throes of competition.
Illustrations of the active muscles for starts, turns, and the four competitive strokes (freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly, and
backstroke) show you how each exercise is fundamentally linked to swimming performance.
Youll also learn how exercises can be modified to target specific areas, improve your form in the water, and minimize common
swimming injuries. Best of all, youll learn how to put it all together to develop a training program based on your individual needs
Whether you are training for a 50-meter freestyle race or the open-water stage of a triathlon, Swimming Anatomy will ensure you
enter the water prepared to achieve every performance goal.
Chapter 1. The Swimmer in Motion
Chapter 2. Arms
Chapter 3. Shoulders
Chapter 4. Chest
Chapter 5. Abdomen
Chapter 6. Back
Chapter 7. Legs
Chapter 8. Whole-Body Training
To order the book visit Human Kinetics 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
THIS WEEK'S FEATURES:
1. 5 Ways to Train Through the Pain:
Injuries often plague the life of a runner. When they happen, they are painful, debilitating and frustrating. The most frustrating
part of being injured is knowing that your hard-earned fitness is deteriorating while you take time off from training to heal.
In fact, this frustration can be so great that runners are often too reluctant to take time off or tempted into resuming training
too soon. Consequently, injuries become worse or last longer than they should.
One way to prevent this sort of self-sabotage is to choose a favorite go-to cross-training activity that you can switch to whenever
an injury makes running impossible or unwise. Having such a fallback option greatly reduces the temptation to run when you should
not because it enables you to preserve fitness even when you cannot run. Obviously, there is no alternative to running that builds
and maintains running-specific fitness as well as running itself, but there are some alternatives that come relatively close.
More...from Active.com at:
2. Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine:
** Why Sprinting Improves Endurance
Jens Bangsbo of the University of Copenhagen has shown that if you want to run, cycle or swim faster at any distance, you have to
train at a pace that is almost as fast as you can move(Journal of Applied Physiology, November 2009). He asked competitive distance
runners to reduce their mileage by 25 percent, and to run 8 to 12 30-second sprints 2-3 times a week, with some additional 0.6-0.8
mile sprints 1 or 2 times per week, for 6 to 9 weeks. The control group of runners continued their regular training program, and
showed no improvement. The sprint group improved both their 3K (1.8 mile) and 10K (6 mile) race times by more than three percent
(more than a minute in the 10-K race). Half of them ran
their best times ever, even though many had been racing for more than five years.
Two years ago, Dr. Bangsbo did ground-breaking research supporting the leading theory that exhaustion of the sodium-potassium pump
is the major cause of muscle fatigue during exercise (Acta Physiologica, November 2007). In this new study, he shows how sprint
training improves a muscle's capacity to pump potassium back inside muscle cells during exercise, which helps all athletes run or
cycle faster in competition, even in endurance events such as marathons and multi-day bicycle races.
A muscle can contract only if it has an electrical charge across the muscle cell membrane. This electrical charge comes mainly from
having sodium primarily outside the cell and
potassium primarily inside the cell. This higher concentration of sodium outside the cell and higher concentration of potassium
inside the cell is maintained by sodium-potassium pumps in the cell membranes. The pumps get their energy from an enzyme called
When the brain sends electrical signals along nerves leading to each muscle fiber, sodium moves rapidly into muscle cells followed
by an equivalent movement of potassium out of the cells, causing the muscle fibers to contract. However, the sodium-potassium pump
cannot pump potassium back into the cells as fast as the rapidly-contracting muscle cells move potassium out.
Dr. Bangsbo showed that during rapid contractions, muscle cells lose potassium so fast that there is a doubling of the potassium
outside cells in less than a minute. The electrical
charge between the inside and outside of muscle cells is reduced, and they contract with much less force until finally they cannot
contract at all. During continuous contractions of muscles, the loss of force from a muscle contraction is directly proportional to
the amount of potassium that goes outside the cells.
Over time, repeated muscle contractions themselves will markedly increase the ability of the sodium-potassium pump to pump potassium
into cells. The greater the force on a muscle during training, the more effectively the potassium pump can pump potassium back into
muscles, resulting in greater endurance for the athlete. So intense training is necessary for endurance, and any training strategy
that increases the number of intense workouts will give the athlete greater endurance.
You can also increase the effectiveness of the sodium potassium pumps by being excited before a race (which increases adrenalin),
and by eating before and during races (which raises insulin levels). Hormones known to strengthen the sodium-potassium pump, and
therefore to increase endurance, include adrenalin, insulin, insulin-like growth factor I, calcitonins, amylin, thyroid,
testosterone and cortisones.
How to apply this information to your training program:
You cannot gain maximum endurance just with continuous exercise. To improve your potassium-sodium pumps, you have to put maximum
force on your muscles. This requires some form of interval training. (CAUTION: Intense exercise can kill a person with blocked
arteries to the heart; check with your doctor before increasing the intensity of your program.)
Intervals are classified as short intervals that take fewer than 30 seconds and do not generate significant amounts of lactic acid;
and long intervals that take more than two minutes and generate large amounts of lactic acid. The longest you can exercise with
maximal force on muscles is about 30 seconds. All competitive athletes should do some sort of 30-second interval. Nobody knows how
often you have to do this, but most runners and cyclists do short intervals once or twice a seek. You probably should do long
intervals also. However, applying near-maximal force on muscles for more than 30 seconds causes considerable muscle damage, so you
have to allow muscles to recover by doing slow training for one or two days afterwards.
Since short intervals do not accumulate much lactic acid, you can do a large number of repetitions during a single workout. Long
intervals cause a tremendous amount of muscle damage, so you can only do a few long intervals during a workout. A sound endurance
program should include a lot of slow miles, one or two workouts with many short intervals, and probably at least one workout that
includes a few long intervals each week.
From Dr. Mirkin's e_zine at:
3. Long-term physical activity has anti-aging effect at the cellular level: study:
Intensive exercise prevented shortening of telomeres, a protective effect against aging of the cardiovascular system, according to
research reported Monday in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Researchers measured the length of telomeres -- the DNA that bookends the chromosomes and protects the ends from damage -- in blood
samples from two groups of professional athletes and two groups who were healthy nonsmokers, but not regular exercisers.
The telomere shortening mechanism limits cells to a fixed number of divisions and can be regarded as a "biological clock." Gradual
shortening of telomeres through cell divisions leads to aging on the cellular level and may limit lifetimes. When the telomeres
become critically short the cell undergoes death. The 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to researchers who
discovered the nature of telomeres and how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.
"The most significant finding of this study is that physical exercise of the professional athletes leads to activation of the
important enzyme telomerase and stabilizes the telomere," said Ulrich Laufs, the study's lead author and professor of clinical and
experimental medicine in the department of internal medicine at Saarland University in Homburg, Germany.
"This is direct evidence of an anti-aging effect of physical exercise. Physical exercise could prevent the aging of the
cardiovascular system, reflecting this molecular principle."
More...from China View at:
4. Does Exercise Help You Sleep?
THE FACTS It has long been said that regular physical activity and better sleep go hand in hand. Burn more energy during the day,
the thinking goes, and you will be more tired at night.
But only recently have scientists sought to find out precisely to what extent. One extensive study published this year looked for
answers by having healthy children wear actigraphs devices that measure movement and then seeing whether more movement and
activity during the day meant improved sleep at night. The results should be particularly enlightening to parents.
The study found that sleep onset latency the time it takes to fall asleep once in bed ranged from as little as roughly 10
minutes for some children to more than 40 minutes for others. But physical activity during the day and sleep onset at night were
closely linked: every hour of sedentary activity during the day resulted in an additional three minutes in the time it took to fall
asleep at night. And the children who fell asleep faster ultimately slept longer, getting an extra hour of sleep for every 10-minute
reduction in the time it took them to drift off.
Studies on adults have reached generally similar results, showing that an increase in physical activity improves sleep onset and
increases sleep duration, particularly in people who have trouble sleeping.
THE BOTTOM LINE Studies suggest that being more physically active can lead to better sleep.
From the NY Times at:
5. Strength Training Program for Runners:
There are at least three good reasons for distance runners to acquire a sizeable level of general strength in both the legs and the
upper body. First, workloads of greater intensity can be managed more easily.
Second, greater muscular strength decreases the risk of joint injury or overuse strain by minimizing connective tissue stress (bone,
ligament, tendon, or cartilage) which plays a part in maintaining joint integrity. Third, a progressive resistance exercise program
helps strengthen these connective tissues, making the entire support system more durable.
Why Weight Train?
As an example of the benefits strength training can provide, recent studies have shown that as few as six weeks of proper weight
training can significantly reduce or completely relieve kneecap pain or "runner's knee."
It also reduces the recurrence of many other common injuries, including nagging hip and low back pain. By strengthening muscle, as
well as bone and connective tissue (ligaments attach bone to bone; and tendons attach muscle to bone), weight training not only
helps to prevent injury but also helps to reduce the severity of injury when it does occur.
More...from Active.com at:
6. VO2max - The monthly newsletter of RunCoachJason.com:
** Workout Speeds
One of the biggest mistakes runners make is running workouts at speeds that are either too fast or too slow to obtain the desired
result. Problem is, they don't know what the desired result is. To determine the correct speed, you must know the purpose of each
workout. Is it to improve lactate threshold? VO2max? Anaerobic capacity? Muscle power? Technique? Each one of these variables
requires a different speed that will optimize the workout. While most athletes, especially the young and inexperienced ones, always
want to run fast, remember that the goal of training is to obtain the greatest benefit while incurring the least amount of stress.
This means that you want to run as slow as you can while still obtaining the desired result.
Each of the next few newsletters will focus on a specific type of workout and discuss the correct speed for that workout. This
month, we begin with easy and long runs.
The purpose of easy and long runs is to stimulate the physiological, biochemical, and molecular adaptations needed for endurance,
including the storage of more fuel (glycogen) in your muscles, an increased use of intramuscular fat at the same speed to spare
glycogen, an increased number of red blood cells and hemoglobin, a greater capillary network for a more rapid diffusion of oxygen
into the muscles, and an increased mitochondrial density and number of aerobic enzymes to enhance your aerobic metabolic capacity.
Since many of these adaptations are volume-dependent, not intensity-dependent, the speed of easy runs is not as important as their
duration. The single biggest mistake competitive runners make is running too fast on their easy days. By doing so, they add
unnecessary stress to their legs without any extra benefit and they won?t be able to run as much quality on their harder days.
Slowing down your easy runs has at least three benefits: (1) it decreases the chance of injury, (2) it allows you to get more out of
your harder days because there will be less residual fatigue, and (3) it allows you to increase your overall weekly mileage.
Remember that it is the volume of aerobic running, not the speed, that represents the major stimulus for adaptation.
Your easy runs should be about 1.5-2 minutes per mile slower than your current 5K race pace, about 70-75% of your maximum heart
rate. As you increase your weekly mileage, you may need to run slower to accommodate the extra volume. Speed-type runners (those
who fare better at shorter races) will have a greater difference between their race pace and easy running pace compared to
endurance-type runners (those who fare better at longer races).
** Cool Calves
One of the perks of being a runner is that I have nice calves. When you run, your calves are used a lot as they must produce greater
forces than when walking. With many miles of running each week, the calves have no choice but to adopt a cool-looking shape. So I
wear shorts as often as I can to show them off. Most people neglect their calves in the gym in favor of the more popular muscles,
like the biceps, gluteus maximus, and pectorals. However, a set of cool calves can create a lot of shape to your legs and can be
the difference between showing your legs in public and wishing for winter so you don't have to ever wear shorts. After all, nothing
looks worse than having a big, strong chest and small, wimpy calves. Most men wish they could have calves like diamonds, symbolic
of their power, while most women wish they could have slender, sexy calves that will prompt men to drop the
weights and go out and buy them diamonds.
The calf is comprised of two muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The most prominent and observable is the gastrocnemius, a
powerful muscle used for jumping and sprinting, which has a medial and lateral head. The two heads of the gastrocnemius converge to
insert into the calcaneus bone in the heel of your foot via the strong calcaneal tendon, also called the Achilles tendon, named
after the Greek god Achilles, the hero of the Trojan war.
The gastrocnemius plantarflexes the foot (points the toes down) and assists in flexing the leg at the knee. The soleus, which lies
beneath the gastrocnemius, also plantarflexes the foot. Together, the gastrocnemius and soleus form a muscular mass that is
sometimes called the triceps surae.
What makes the calves look cool is the division between the two heads of the gastrocnemius, which gives it the look of a diamond
when contracted and a bulb shape when relaxed. You also know you have cool calves when you can see the soleus peek out from
underneath the gastrocnemius when the muscles contract. If running nearly every day for 25 years so that you, too, can have my
calves doesn't appeal to you, do standing calf raises to target the gastrocnemius, seated calf raises to target the soleus, and
plyometrics like single leg hops, leg bounds, box jumps, and depth jumps to form more powerful-looking calves. Start with lighter
weights and more reps, and progress to heavier weights and fewer reps. And don't forget to make your legs lean by losing fat. The
smaller your percentage of body fat, the more definition you'll have in all of your muscles.
And if you train hard enough, maybe next time you step on the treadmill at your gym, someone will ask you where you got those cool
To view past newsletters go to: http://www.runcoachjason.com/newsletter
Copyright Jason Karp All Rights Reserved - http://www.runcoachjason.com
7. Muscle Fiber Types and Training:
By Jason R. Karp, M.S.
How skeletal muscles adapt to a repeated stimulus depends, to a large extent, on the inherent characteristics of the muscles
themselves. Specifically, the types of fibers that make up individual muscles greatly influence the way your athletes will adapt to
their training programs. There is a reason why some athletes can sprint faster and get bigger muscles more easily than others, and
why some athletes are able to run for much longer periods of time without fatigue. In order to design training pro- grams that will
work best for each of your athletes, it is important for the coach to understand at least some of the complexity of skeletal
TYPES OF MUSCLE FIBERS
Humans have basically three different types of muscle fibers. Slow- twitch (ST or Type I) fibers are identified by a slow
contraction time and a high resistance to fatigue. Structurally, they have a small motor neuron and fiber diameter, a high
mitochondrial and capillary density, and a high myoglobin content, Energetically, they have a low supply of creatine phosphate (a
high-energy substrate used for quick, explosive movements), a low glycogen content, and a wealthy store of triglycerides (the stored
form of fat). They contain few of the enzymes involved in glycolysis, but contain many of the enzymes involved in the oxidative
pathways (Krebs cycle, electron transport chain). Functionally, ST fibers are used for aerobic activities requiring low-level force
production, such as walking and maintaining posture. Most activities of daily living use ST fibers.
Fast-twitch (FT or Type II) fibers are identified by a quick con- traction time and a low resistance to fatigue. The differences in
the speeds of contraction that gives the fibers their names can be explained, in part, by the rates of release of calcium by the
sarcoplasmic reticulum (the muscle's storage site for calcium) and by the activity of the enzyme (myosin-ATPase) that breaks down
ATP inside the myosin head of the contractile proteins. Both of these characteristics are faster and greater in the FT fibers (Fitts
& Widrick, 1996; Harigaya & Schwartz, 1969).
More... from CoachR.org at:
8. More Satisfying Substitutions:
Better food choices to fuel your running.
Feel like your diet is at a monotonous road block? Not sure how to make improvements? Enjoy these satisfying substitutions. They
taste great while providing the nutrition you need to fuel great training.
Satisfying Substitution #1
Instead of: French fries
Try: Baked sweet potato fries
Why: A serving of French fries can add a whopping 300-700 calories and nearly 15-40 grams of unnecessary fat to a meal. You can
still splurge without the excess involved with eating regular French fries. A serving of baked sweet potato fries provide closer to
100 calories and a gram or two of fat. Not to mention you are getting more of the powerful antioxidants vitamin A and vitamin C that
help ward off the seasonal bug. They're also a good source of fiber, manganese, copper, and vitamin B-6.
Taste Tip: Chop a couple sweet potatoes into ¼- to ½-inch thick slices. Lightly toss the sweet potato slices with a tablespoon or
two of olive or canola oil. Follow that with a little paprika, chili powder, coriander, coarse rock salt and pepper. Bake at 450
More...from Running Times at:
9. Becoming Your Own Massage Therapist:
AS a former cross-country runner for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where a free massage was part of an athletes weekly
schedule, Briana Boehmer remembers the benefits of having qualified hands work her sore muscles.
Now that she is 30 and starting a corporate wellness business with her husband, Mrs. Boehmer no longer enjoys such a perk, so she
massages her muscles herself. She works out about seven hours a week, training for triathlons and duathlons, and begins and ends
each session by kneading her back and legs on a foam roller, which she calls her best friend.
Its like getting a massage without having to pay $85 an hour, she said. I cant afford the real thing right now.
Devices for self-massage have become more common as more people compete in endurance sports and, more recently, as the recession has
made professional rubdowns look prohibitively expensive. Trainers usually recommend a massage every week or every other week for
people who are training for a marathon or triathlon, but the costs do add up: according to the American Massage Therapy Association,
the average price of a massage is $63 an hour.
Though a massage may sound like a luxury, it can become a necessity as part of a training regimen. When the same muscles are forced
to do the same motions over and over, they become tight and injury-prone.
For instance, riding on aerobars on the bike sets up a huge muscle imbalance in the upper back and shoulders, said Tim Crowley, a
triathlon coach in Marlboro, Mass. Hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes become extremely tight and immobile from running.
More...from the NY Times at:
10. Cycling training: how to approach multi stage cycling events:
Riding the Tour de France places enormous psychological and physiological demands on the participants. In particular, keeping
control of emotions can be especially difficult. Andy Lane suggests strategies based around if-then plans designed to help manage
emotions for all athletes competing in multi-stage races.
The Tour de France involves cycling over 3,500km in 20 days, during which riders must perform to near maximal effort for a long
duration on a daily basis(1). The need to perform to high standards on a consistent basis is a concept that rings true for many
athletes and in this article, well use the Tour de France as an example of a task with excessive physiological and psychological
demands, suggesting ways in which individuals can cope with the demands involved.
The size of the challenge
The Tour has three major challenges. Riders who perform well in the event must be effective in long distance mass peloton stages,
individual time trials against the clock (10-60km range) and uphill mountain climbing (either as a mass start or as a time trial).
For the majority of the race, riders will be part of a large peloton of riders where riders can enjoy the benefits of drafting.
Drafting can lead to a 40% reduction in energy requirements due to a decrease in air resistance. The benefits of drafting leads to
bunching, and significant gaps between competitors are few and far between. This in turn leads to riders placing greater emphasis on
performance in the hill stages (where wind resistance is less of a factor) and the time-trial, where they ride independently.
It has been suggested that potential winners must excel in the individual time trials or the hill stages, where riders can break
their opponents by putting large time gaps between them (1). There are 4-6 mountainous peloton stages in the French and Swiss Alps,
as well as the French Pyrenees, where cyclists must overcome the major opposing force of gravity.
More...from Peak Performance Online at:
11. Phys Ed: How to Prevent Stress Fractures:
Stress fractures are one of the more pernicious injuries in sports, afflicting the experienced and the aspiring, with no regard for
competitive timing. Last year, Tiger Woods managed to win the U.S. Open despite suffering from stress fractures in his left leg (as
well as other leg and knee injuries), while the great British marathoner Paula Radcliffe struggled through the Beijing Olympics
Marathon on a leg barely recovered from a stress fracture, one of several shes suffered. The International Association of Athletics
Federations, the world governing body for track and field, recently described stress fractures, with a kind of grim resignation, as
the curse of athletes.
But studies published in this months issue of the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise offer hope that, at least for
runners, simple alterations in their stride or in the strength of their legs might reduce their risk for the most common type of
In one of the studies, undertaken at the University of Minnesota, researchers recruited 39 competitive women runners, ages 18 to 35,
and started measuring them. In particular, the scientists wanted to examine the size and shape of their shinbones, or tibias. About
half of all stress fractures occur in the tibia, studies show. When you run or jump, that bone is pulled and bent. Sometimes,
microscopic fissures form. In most cases, these tiny cracks heal quickly. But, sometimes, continued activity overwhelms the bones
capacity to recover. The cracks grow and combine into a fracture
More...from the NY Times at:
12. Understanding recovery - training for running:
There are two components to improving your speed and endurance. The obvious one is your training. Running, in all its training
variations, is needed to improve your lactate threshold, fat-burning ability, VO2max, and a host of other factors that allow you to
run faster and longer over time. However, training is only half the formula for performance improvement.
To improve, your body must recover from training and adapt to a higher level of training stress. If you understand recovery, you can
optimize your training. Poor management of recovery leads to overtraining, which overwhelms your body's ability to adapt to training
stress and can cause fatigue, depression, lowered immunity, burnout, and injury risk.
To optimize your training and avoid burnout find the correct balance between your training and recovery. Training provides the
stimulus for your body to adapt, but recovery is when those training gains occur. Supercompensation occurs when a workout or
training stimulus raises your fitness to a higher level.
Turning Genes On and Off
The process of adaptation begins with your genes. Training provides stimuli that turn specific genes on or off. When the gene
responds, your training changes the rates at which your body makes and breaks down specific proteins. For example, endurance
training turns on genes for the production of mitochondrial protein (where energy is produced). More endurance training leads to
more mitochondria in your muscles so that you can produce more energy aerobically. Your muscles and cardiovascular system adapt over
days and weeks to the cumulative effects of repeated training.
More...from BNET at:
13. Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine:
** Stress Fractures Caused by Weak Muscles and Over-Striding.
One of the most common injuries in runners is a stress fracture of the lower leg (tibia) because running fast causes the foot to hit
the ground with tremendous force that can shatter
bones. A study from the University of Minnesota shows that women with stress fractures do not have weaker bones, they have smaller
and weaker calf muscles (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, December, 2009). Another study from Iowa State University in
Ames, in the same journal, shows that longer strides cause the greatest foot strike forces that increase bone fracture risk.
Strong muscles may help to prevent bones from breaking by absorbing more force from the foot hitting the ground during running.
Most distance runners do not use weight machines to strengthen their leg muscles. They strengthen their calf muscles by running
very fast no more often than three times a week. In the Iowa study, reducing stride length by ten percent reduced force of
the foot striking the ground and therefore reduced force on the tibia.
Shortening your stride will not slow you down. When your foot hits the ground, your Achilles tendon contracts to store up to 60
percent of your foot strike force. Then when you step off that foot, your Achilles tendon releases the stored energy to drive you
forward. Over-striding deprives you of some of this stored energy. Since many runners take strides that are too long, shortening
stride length usually allows them to increase cadence and will help to increase speed and endurance.
** Dear Dr. Mirkin: Which sports are best for the knees?
A study from the University of California in San Francisco shows that high-impact weight-bearing exercises, such as running and
jumping, often damage the knees of middle-aged people; while low-impact sports, such as swimming and cycling, can help to protect
healthy or already-damaged knee cartilage (Annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. November 30, 2009). 236
people without knee pain were classified into low-, middle-, and high-activity groups based on their responses to the Physical
Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) questionnaire. MRIs of their knees showed that the more-active people were more likely to
have knee damage, with the highest incidence in runners or those who participated in sports requiring jumping or running.
Cartilage covers and protect the ends of bones. When the cartilage is gone, bone rubs on bone to cause pain all the time, increasing
your likelihood of needing a knee replacement. When you run or jump, your foot strikes the ground, causing your lower leg to stop
suddenly and your upper leg (femur) to slide forward (at the knee) over the lower leg (tibia). The harder you hit the ground, the
greater the force to push your upper leg forward over your lower leg, which can shear off cartilage in your knee. On the other
hand, you cycle with a smooth rotary motion with no sudden stopping and no jarring to push your upper bone of your knee over the
lower one. This strengthens the muscles around the knee and
stabilizes the knee joint. Low-impact exercises such as cycling and rowing are among the best ways to strengthen your knee joints.
From Dr. Mirkin's e_zine at:
14. 8 Ways to Plan Ahead for an Active Winter:
Are you one of those folks who like to ease back during winter? Although you can enjoy skiing and skating at this time of the year,
there are good reasons to regard winter as a chance to take a steady recovery period, just as nature does, in order to come back
re-energized and ready to enjoy spring. But although you let your body take a break, there's no reason to let your mind lose
interest. Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for a new season.
Check your gear. Now is the time to inspect your shoes; don't stop at checking for wear, but prod, poke, and twist to be sure they
are not becoming unstable. Shoe materials, such as heel counters, can begin to break down before you can actually see anything
Check your clothes to make sure they will still fit when you need them. Waistbands losing their elasticity? Any shirts that have
shrunk enough to be a bit tight? Any socks that stay stiff even after laundering? Put them on the inactive list before they cause
problems. Is your watchband cracking? Replace it now before it snaps and flies off during a workout.
Even though you want to be less active physically, you can still be involved with your favorite sport. Volunteer to help out at a
race or on one of the committees that make your sport possible. If you have only a few hours on odd occasions, remember many events
begin with something as simple as stuffing envelopes, and somebody has to do it. These activities will keep you in touch with other
folks who have the same interests as you have.
More...from Active.com at:
15. Digest Briefs:
** Need we stretch?
The latest science, Gretchen Reynolds writes for The New York Times, "suggests that extremely loose muscles and tendons are
generally unnecessary (unless you aspire to join a gymnastics squad), may be undesirable and are, for the most part, unachievable
anyway. 'To a large degree, flexibility is genetic,' says Dr. Malachy McHugh, the director of research for the Nicholas Institute of
Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York and an expert on flexibility. You're born stretchy or not.
'Some small portion' of each person's flexibility 'is adaptable,' McHugh adds, 'but it takes a long time and a lot of work to get
even that small adaptation. It's a bit depressing, really.' "
** This Week in Running:
10 Years Ago- Hailu Mekonnen (ETH) won the Cross Internacional Valle de Llodio (ESP) 9.9K by one
second over Eduardo Henriques (POR) who was a solid 7 seconds ahead of Paulo Guerra
(POR). Naomi Mugo (KEN) won the women's 4.3K by 2 seconds over Merima Denboba (ETH)
who was 9 seconds up on Ines Monteiro (POR). Monteiro was 3rd here again this year.
20 Years Ago- Pat Porter won the USA Crosscountry Championships 10K, some 11 seconds ahead of Tim Hacker.
Third went to Robert Kempainen who was another 14 seconds back of Hacker. Lynn Jennings
had a five second margin over runner-up Elain vanBlunk who, in turn, was 13 seconds ahead
of Gwyn Coogan. Porter won a total of eight titles while Jennings collected a total of
nine titles. These are the most USA crosscountry titles won by any individuals.
30 Years Ago- Alberto Salazar ran away with the USA crosscountry title (10K), besting Herb Lindsay
by 20 seconds. Robert Hodge was 3rd, another 5 seconds back. Margaret Groos won the
women's title (5K) by 8.5 seconds over Julie Shea. Jan Merrill was nearly 10 seconds
back of Shea in 3rd.
40 Years Ago- Leo Duart (USA) won the William Ruthrauff (PA/USA) Marathon in 2:32:52.4. This race
celebrated its 51st running this past weekend as the Philadelphia Marathon.
50 Years Ago- Allan Lawrence (AUS) won the USA crosscountry title (10.5K) by 4.5 seconds over John
Macy (POL). Billy Mills was the first USA finisher, some 23 seconds behind Macy. Mills
was the 1964 Olympic gold medalist in the 10,000m.
60 Years Ago- Robert Cons (USA) won the Culver City (CA/USA) Marathon in 2:45:27.
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.
THIS WEEK'S FEATURED EVENTS:
*Please verify event dates with the event websites available from our FrontPage (www.runnersweb.com)
December 5, 2009:
Ironman Western Australia - Busselton, Australia
Jingle Bell 5k - Ellicott City, MD
OUC Orlando 1/2 Marathon - Orlando, FL
St. Jude Memphis Marathon - Memphis, TN
Winter Sun 10K - Moab, UT
December 6, 2009:
Baltimore Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk for Arthritis - Baltimore, MD
California International Marathon - Sacramento, CA
Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship - Japan
Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon & 1/2 Marathon - NV
(Inaugural) Select Staffing Santa Barbara Int'l Marathon - CA
Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon
June 19, 2010
The Emilie Mondor Memorial 5K Race for Women
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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wear ID: the SHOE, the WRIST, the ANKLE, and the NECK. Get your RoadID at:
The Stretching Handbook:
The Stretching Video in a DVD version. With the DVD version you're able to use the convenient menu facility to:
* Go directly to a specific stretch;
* View only stretches for a specific muscle group;
* Pause each stretch to get a good look at how it is performed;
* View only the introduction and rules for safe stretching; or
* Play the entire video from start to finish.
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