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Articles tagged #Poles
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Over 4,000 runners in Göteborgsvarvet Virtual Race 21K

This weekend, 15-17 May, you can join a virtual version of one of the largest running events in the world - and support the sport! Make a difference when it matters and support the future of running.

Göteborgsvarvet Virtual Race 21k is also a seeding race before the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon 2021. There will be a livestream from the race on Saturday May 16th with one of Sweden´s best runners at the Swedish media channel gp.se, it starts at 12.45 pm CET. The solo runner is Suldan Hassan from a local athletics club in Gothenburg, and he will run after the race leader car, the 100% electric Polestar 2.

All runners in the race is contributing to the local athletics with their start.

The registration to the Göteborgsvarvet Virtual Race 21k is open until May 17th, and already have 4200 runners from 21 different countries registered to the race.

Main partners to the virtual race are the electric performance brand Polestar, and Garmin, the race is organized in collaboration with the athlete’s app Strava and one of the world’s largest races Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon.

The 41st annual Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon takes place on 22 May 2021. (The 2020 years race has been cancelled due to the corona virus). The great half marathon in Gothenburg, Sweden was first held in 1980 and approximately 80,000 runners are usually participating in one of the races during race week of the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon.

Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon is organised by Gothenburg Athletic Association in favor of the athletics clubs in the region and is certified according to the ISO 20121 standards for sustainable events. 

(05/14/2020) ⚡AMP
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Gothenburg Half Marathon

Gothenburg Half Marathon

Run through the heart of one of Scandinavia's most beautiful cities. The course will be lined with over 200,000 enthusiastic and sports interested spectators. Gothenburgs central location in Scandinavia makes it easy to reach by plane, boat, train or car. Göteborgsvarvet is an annual half marathon running competition in Gothenburg, Sweden. It is the largest annual running competition in Sweden,...

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To Run or Walk the Hills, That Is The Question

Those old enough to have learned to drive with a manual transmission were probably told they had to shift gears when the tachometer reached a certain RPM. Once you became proficient at it, you simply knew when to shift, by feel or sound, and didn’t need to look at the gauge much less think about it. The same is true of changing between running and walking uphill, but, surprisingly, it isn’t as simple, involving many variables. In fact, it is so complex that the choice of when to run or walk up a hill was the focus of a mountain runner student’s recent honors thesis.

Jackson Brill, a Salomon-sponsored runner and soon-to-be-graduate of the University of Colorado-Boulder, wrote his thesis on “To Run or Walk Uphill: A Matter of Inclination” toward earning his degree in Integrative Physiology. In researching it, he worked with his advisor, prominent CU faculty member, Dr. Roger Kram, Ph.D., Integrative Physiology, who runs the locomotion lab that did the original Nike 4% testing.

The Study

Brill’s thesis centers on the point at which uphill trail and mountain runners transition to walkers. He measured three different speeds at which this can occur. First is the “Preferred Transition Speed” (PTS), where people prefer to switch—any slower, humans prefer to walk, any faster, they prefer to run. The second is the “Energy Optimal Transition Speed,” (EOTS), where exercise economy — the cost required to maintain a certain speed — indicates transitioning to walking is mechanically better. (Note: Brill shies away from saying “more efficient” as there is no way to truly measure mechanical power in runners.) Finally, there is the heart rate optimal transition speed (HROTS); a third measure that is basically the same idea as EOTS but using heart rate as the efficiency indicator. At HROTS, heart rate is the same between walking and running. Slower than this speed, walking heart rate is lower than running heart rate. Faster than HROTS, vice versa.

Brill’s study set out to examine the effect that incline had on PTS and EOTS, and to determine “how heart rate is influenced by gait selection.” Brill’s hypothesis was that at certain speeds it would be more efficient to walk on steeper inclines and that both speed and incline play into PTS and EOTS. In other words, that both measures would get slower at steeper inclines.

“I thought this would occur because both walking and running are more metabolically demanding at steeper inclines and, thus, there would be greater drive to minimize energetic cost,” he says. “Finally, I hypothesized that HROTS and EOTS would be equal at each incline. I thought this would occur because heart rate generally correlates with energetic cost during steady state endurance exercise.”

Brill based his study on testing ten “healthy, high-caliber, male trail and mountain runners.” He tested the runners in two sessions, one where the treadmill was set at 0 degrees and 15 degrees and a second at 5 degrees and 10 degrees. PTS and EOTS were determined from metabolic cost data for walking and running at three or four speeds per incline near the expected EOTS.

Expected and Unexpected Research Findings

Image Courtesy Jackson Brill

Brill’s study and analysis produced expected and unexpected results. Consistent with prior research, the study showed that at all inclines walking generally required less metabolic power at slow speeds and running required less at faster speeds, and that the transition would arrive at a slower speed on steeper inclines. Also consistent with prior research was that PTS would be less than EOTS at shallow inclines. The reasons we transition sooner than what would be most metabolically efficient is unclear, but theories point to biomechanical factors, such as sparing fatigue on specific muscles.

This changed at a higher incline, however. At 15 degrees, PTS and EOTS were the same. Since this was only on average (not all of the subjects showed this change), Brill is cautious with drawing conclusions “especially because no prior research looked at PTS and EOTS on these steep inclines and, thus, nobody else has validated such a finding,” he says. However, he observes: “There’s physiological plausibility for PTS and EOTS to converge at steeper inclines since the greater intensity of the steeper inclines means that subjects are closer to their VO2 max and energetic cost or oxygen consumption begins to become a limiting factor at higher intensities, unlike lower intensities on the more gradual inclines.”

Unexpectedly, the study determined that HROT did not equal EOTS at all inclines and, accordingly, that heart rate is not a reliable predictor of when a runner will shift to walking. Therefore, athletes and coaches shouldn’t rely on heart rate monitors to govern gait.

Further Questions

As part of Brill’s written conclusion, he states: “Energetic, biomechanical, and neuromuscular factors may influence gait transition, and these should be studied in further detail, especially on inclines commonly experienced by trail and mountain runners, where the question of gait transition has large performance implications.” He says he’d love to delve into the effects of fuel utilization and carb sparing, local fatigue and the relative strength and weakness of specific lower leg muscles.

Image courtesy: Jackson Brill

Brill points out that the study was limited by the fact that the subjects weren’t able to place their hands on their quadriceps or knees to facilitate knee extension during late stance due to the constraints of the mouthpiece and breathing tube that collected expired air. This may have influenced metabolic cost and discomfort, especially at 10 and 15 degrees, and thus artificially distorted the results. Brill’s thesis also recognizes that the limitations of lab-based research eliminated a variety of relevant factors such as the steepness of the incline, length of the climb, ground surface, and the overall duration of the effort, which all weigh on an individual’s gait selection. Those factors are crucial, along with fueling choices, a runner’s unique leg strengths and weaknesses, use of poles or no poles, at what point in the run the incline comes, and, perhaps most importantly, whether there are other runners to pass or be passed by, or observers to cheer or jeer.

Impact of the Study

Brill says he thought this study was “important because many trail and mountain running coaches and athletes believe that deciding whether to walk or run uphill is solely determined by speed or solely determined by incline.” He wants runners and coaches to understand the “nuance and complexity of gait selection.” Additionally, many trail and mountain running coaches and athletes rely on cardiovascular or energetic models in their training—in the sense of VO2 max and anaerobic threshold workouts—and he wanted to determine whether that reliance was well founded. “Furthermore,” he says, “since coaches and athletes often utilize heart rate monitors to approximate cardiovascular stress or energetic cost, I also wanted to learn if this was a useful tool for approximating EOTS.”

Beyond heart rate, Brill says, “The practical importance of this finding is that if someone says ‘I always switch to walking if I’m going slower than 12 minutes per mile’ or, alternatively, ‘I always switch to walking if I’m going steeper than 10 degrees,’ they’re dumb, because ultimately the speed of transition—whether we’re talking PTS, EOTS, or the unknown transition speed that optimizes performance—is a function of both incline and speed, not just one or the other.”

Expected and Unexpected Research Findings

Brill’s study and analysis produced expected and unexpected results. Consistent with prior research, the study showed that at all inclines walking generally required less metabolic power at slow speeds and running required less at faster speeds, and that the transition would arrive at a slower speed on steeper inclines. Also consistent with prior research was that PTS would be less than EOTS at shallow inclines. The reasons we transition sooner than what would be most metabolically efficient is unclear, but theories point to biomechanical factors, such as sparing fatigue on specific muscles.

This changed at a higher incline, however. At 15 degrees, PTS and EOTS were the same. Since this was only on average (not all of the subjects showed this change), Brill is cautious with drawing conclusions “especially because no prior research looked at PTS and EOTS on these steep inclines and, thus, nobody else has validated such a finding,” he says. However, he observes: “There’s physiological plausibility for PTS and EOTS to converge at steeper inclines since the greater intensity of the steeper inclines means that subjects are closer to their VO2 max and energetic cost or oxygen consumption begins to become a limiting factor at higher intensities, unlike lower intensities on the more gradual inclines.”

Unexpectedly, the study determined that HROT did not equal EOTS at all inclines and, accordingly, that heart rate is not a reliable predictor of when a runner will shift to walking. Therefore, athletes and coaches shouldn’t rely on heart rate monitors to govern gait.

Further Questions

As part of Brill’s written conclusion, he states: “Energetic, biomechanical, and neuromuscular factors may influence gait transition, and these should be studied in further detail, especially on inclines commonly experienced by trail and mountain runners, where the question of gait transition has large performance implications.” He says he’d love to delve into the effects of fuel utilization and carb sparing, local fatigue and the relative strength and weakness of specific lower leg muscles.

Brill points out that the study was limited by the fact that the subjects weren’t able to place their hands on their quadriceps or knees to facilitate knee extension during late stance due to the constraints of the mouthpiece and breathing tube that collected expired air. This may have influenced metabolic cost and discomfort, especially at 10 and 15 degrees, and thus artificially distorted the results. Brill’s thesis also recognizes that the limitations of lab-based research eliminated a variety of relevant factors such as the steepness of the incline, length of the climb, ground surface, and the overall duration of the effort, which all weigh on an individual’s gait selection. Those factors are crucial, along with fueling choices, a runner’s unique leg strengths and weaknesses, use of poles or no poles, at what point in the run the incline comes, and, perhaps most importantly, whether there are other runners to pass or be passed by, or observers to cheer or jeer.

Impact of the Study

Brill says he thought this study was “important because many trail and mountain running coaches and athletes believe that deciding whether to walk or run uphill is solely determined by speed or solely determined by incline.” He wants runners and coaches to understand the “nuance and complexity of gait selection.” Additionally, many trail and mountain running coaches and athletes rely on cardiovascular or energetic models in their training—in the sense of VO2 max and anaerobic threshold workouts—and he wanted to determine whether that reliance was well founded. “Furthermore,” he says, “since coaches and athletes often utilize heart rate monitors to approximate cardiovascular stress or energetic cost, I also wanted to learn if this was a useful tool for approximating EOTS.”

Beyond heart rate, Brill says, “The practical importance of this finding is that if someone says ‘I always switch to walking if I’m going slower than 12 minutes per mile’ or, alternatively, ‘I always switch to walking if I’m going steeper than 10 degrees,’ they’re dumb, because ultimately the speed of transition—whether we’re talking PTS, EOTS, or the unknown transition speed that optimizes performance—is a function of both incline and speed, not just one or the other.”

(05/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Podium Runner
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A memorial to victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings is taking shape in Boston

Light pillars that form the nucleus of the memorial are being installed Wednesday morning near the finish line on Boylston Street.M

“I think it’s important just to memorialize what happened here, again, it’s about the resilience of Boston and the way this city came together,” said Patrick Brophy, chief of operations for the city of Boston.

For the last several months artist Pablo Eduardo and his team of more than 50 have worked building and molding the pieces.

Twenty-two foot bronze spires are being installed at 755 Boylston St., the location of the second bomb that claimed the lives of 8-year-old Martin Richard and Boston University student Lingzi Lu.

Another set of spires will be placed next week at the second Marathon marker, near the finish line where Krystle Campbell died.

The monument also will incorporate decorative bronze-cast light poles.

Planning began four years ago for the $2 million memorial, which has undergone substantial redesign to satisfy the hopes and expectations of families who lost loved ones.

Three spectators were killed and more than 260 others were wounded in the April 15, 2013, attacks, and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer later was fatally shot by the bombers as they tried to steal his gun.

Boston officials also envision a larger monument that will involve input from bombing survivors.

(07/14/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Nicky Spinks will lead the way at Trail Skills for Ultrarunners

Scotland-based women’s guided trail running company, Girls on Hills Ltd, have just announced that they will be hosting a ‘Trail Skills for Ultrarunners’ course in Glencoe October 11-13, with the legendary ultrarunner Nicky Spinks the star tutor.

Spinks will be sharing her experiences and coaching women in the essential skills of ultrarunning, including training advice and running with poles. She will be joining an otherwise all-Scottish line-up of other providers, with experts covering areas such as yoga, nutrition, foot-care and self-massage. 

For female ultrarunners, there can be no better teacher than Spinks. The inspirational Inov-8 athlete just became the first person to complete double rounds of Britain’s three classic 24-hour mountain running challenges: the Bob Graham Round in England; the Charlie Ramsay Round in Scotland; and now the Paddy Buckley Round in Wales. 

On her two laps of the Paddy Buckley Round circuit last month, Spinks ran 94 peaks and 56,000ft of height gain (almost two times Mount Everest), in 57hrs 27mins to complete the ‘doubles’ and make fell-running history. 

Girls on Hills Ddirector Keri Wallace told runABC Scotland online: “Nicky is an incredible woman and an inspiration to so many people, runners and non-runners alike. As a 51-year old, a woman, a farmer and a cancer-survivor, she breaks so many trail-running stereotypes! Who better to join us at Girls on Hills and help coach women in the skills they need to get outside and explore their limits through ultrarunning!”

As a company, Girls on Hills Ltd, who are sponsored by Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports and are partnered with Inov-8 clothing, seeks to address the gender gap in participation that exists in trail, fell and skyrunning by increasing the accessibility of off-road running disciplines. 

“There are no actual barriers stopping women from running long distances in remote places or exploring the mountains – there are only perceived barriers. We welcome women of all ages and from all walks of life, and surprise them with how much they can achieve!”  

(06/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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I walked with the camels, sat on top of sand dunes, sang songs, mediated and helped Runners through some tough moments at MDS

Lisa Smith-Batchen wanted to see "The view and experience from the back and middle pack" for the long 55 mile stage of the Marathon des Sables in Morocco recently completed. She posted her experience on Facebook today. “This ones for you mom. Thank you for always being such a powerful bright light in my life. I love you and miss you... I went to MDS to have a very different experience. It was everything I asked for and more. I carried a heavy pack (max weight) used poles and walked most every step. I wanted to see "The view and experience from the back and middle pack" Humbling to say the least. I walked with the camels, sat on top of sand dunes and mountains, sang songs, prayed,meditated and helped a few runners through some tough moments. I cried a great deal missing my mother but she helped carry me through. I watched the full moon rise and set as I did the sun rise and sunset. I lied down under the miraculous stars and gave thanks over and over for the life I have been given. The best part of all, the people and the lifetime friends. My tent mates and MDS friends are forever in my heart. I am left full of gratitude that I got to have this journey and have come to realize that first place or last place..it's all the same. It's the journey of self discovery.'' (04/20/2018) ⚡AMP
by Lisa Smith-Batchen
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Using Poles can greatly add to a more efficient trail running experience

Poles can greatly add to a more efficient trail running experience, primarily while walking on uphills. Poles are especially useful in longer in trail running races with lots of sustained or steep terrain. Walking with poles can be a good way to conserve leg power as it allows athletes to engage otherwise unused muscles in the upper body. Poles can also be helpful on very steep uphills with loose footing. In these situations racers can take up body weight with the upper body and reduce foot slip. On steep downhills the use of poles can aid balance and stability. While striding with poles, keep your hands relaxed get into a natural rhythm. Let momentum & gravity swing the pole forward. (04/05/2018) ⚡AMP
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Here are the Best Poles for Trail and Ultrarunning

Poles have long been considered essential equipment by many backpackers, but runners have been slower to adopt them. The value of poles in an ultra depends on several things: Individual fitness, Course length, Amount of vertical climbing, and if the course is rough and tough. Here are some poles that are good: 1. Black Diamond Carbon Z (10 oz; $160), 2. CAMP Xenon 4 (10 oz; $110), 3. RaidLight Compact Folding Carbon (12 oz; $150) These models pack down much smaller and are therefore less clumsy to carry. (03/18/2018) ⚡AMP
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