Running News Daily

Running News Daily is edited by Bob Anderson in Mountain View, California USA and team in Thika Kenya, La Piedad Mexico, Bend Oregon and Chandler Arizona.   Send your news items to bob@mybestruns.com  Advertising opportunities available.   Over one million readers and growing.  Train the Kenyan Way at KATA Running Retreat.  (Kenyan Athletics Training Academy) in Thika Kenya.  Learn more about Bob Anderson, MBR publisher and KATA director/owner, take a look at A Long Run the movie covering Bob's 50 race challenge.  

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Crush your summer 5K with this broken kilometer workout

It’s summer, and the perfect time of year to lower the mileage a little and work on improving your 5K speed. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting out, aiming to improve your speed can add an exciting thrill to training. The best thing about working on your 5K speed is that it’ll pay its dividends when training for longer distances. 5K training is all about stepping outside your comfort zone and getting familiar with faster paces, so challenge yourself, lace up your running shoes and make this summer 5K your fastest yet! 

One of the most well-known workouts to improve your 5K is one-kilometer repeats, but they can become tedious or repetitive. Instead, try breaking down a kilometer into shorter intervals with brief recovery periods in between, to hit paces and put a fun twist on things. This type of workout provides an opportunity to practice pacing strategies, mental toughness and the ability to maintain a strong pace during moments of fatigue to help you feel more confident on race day.

The workout

Five to six sets of 600m, 400m with 30 seconds rest between reps and 90 seconds rest between sets

Before you get started, do a 10 to 15-minute easy-jog warmup with a few dynamic stretches.

This workout should be done at your goal 5K pace, or just a little faster. For example, if you are looking to break 20 minutes for 5K, try to do the 600m reps at 3:55-4:00/km pace and the 400s at 3:55/km or faster. 

The key to this workout is hitting paces and getting comfortable being uncomfortable. The short, 30-second rest is there to give you a quick breather, but to keep you on your toes for the next rep. 

Incorporating workouts like this into your training can enhance your 5K performance and ultimately boost your confidence, and your performance, on race day.

(07/08/2023) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Chinese company fires employee for not running fast enough

A Chinese manufacturing company is under fire for dismissing an employee for not running a 5K fast enough. Now, the employee has been awarded 6,700 yuan ($1,200) after a judge found that the company guilty of wrongful termination.

Mr. Liu, a man living in Suzhou City, China, filed a 10,500-yuan ($2,000) lawsuit against his former employer after he was allegedly fired for not being able to run 5K in 30 minutes–in 25 C weather.

Two weeks ago, the Shanghai News reported that The Suzhou Intermediate Court found that the company’s termination of Liu on these grounds was illegal; the judge ruled that the company should pay Liu.

According to Chinese media, Liu was informed by a company executive days after being hired in June 2022 that he would have to participate in a distance-running test. His colleagues warned him that this was indeed not a joke, and that failing to run the entire distance in the allotted time (30 minutes) would get him fired.

“Chinese man runs a 3:28 marathon while chain-smoking” — Canadian Running Magazine

View on the original site.

Liu said he didn’t have time to train and, to make matters worse, on the day of the test, it was a humid 25 C in Suzhou City. According to Weibo, Liu ran about a kilometre, then started experiencing heatstroke-like symptoms and gave up. That day he simply went back to work at the factory, and although no one said anything to him at the time, the next day he was notified that he had failed his probation period.

Article 39 of the Labour and Law of the People’s Republic of China stipulates that if an employee is proven not to meet the employment conditions during the probationary period, the employer may terminate the contract.

The company stood by their decision, referring to its rules and regulations about the long-distance running assessment for new employees of the company and stating that Liu, in failing the test, showed he was not suited to hard work.

Talk about a serious case of running out of patience. I guess the company couldn’t handle the heat of having a slower runner on their team.

(07/08/2023) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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British man runs 200 marathons in 200 days with his dogs

A 40-year-old British man and his two dogs have hit a marathon milestone, completing their 200th 42.2-km run in 200 days. Aaron Robinson of London, along with his border collies—one-year-old Inca and two-year-old River—hit their 200th consecutive day of running the marathon distance on Thursday.

The streak has already more than doubled the men’s official world record for the most consecutive days running the marathon distance—82, set by India’s Devdutt Sharma in January. But Robinson told BBC News he doesn’t plan to stop as long as his dogs remain eager to go on their extended mornining walks, which Robinson says typically last five hours. “I just want to run and push myself and do as many as we can,” he said. If the dogs want to run in the morning, then we’ll run.”

Robinson said he has stayed injury free so far during the streak, and that he’s consistently resisted the temptation to sleep in—he and the dogs get up at 3 a.m. to fit in the run before Robinson goes to work—but that he came very close to giving up on Day 171. “I did five miles and I thought, ‘I’ve had enough of this, I can’t do this any more,'” he told BBC News, adding that he then stopped and posted on Strava that his record attempt was over. “Then my dogs had a very stern word with me—words I couldn’t possibly repeat … and said, ‘Get back out there and finish this.’ So that’s what we did and now we’re still going. So it’s thanks to my dogs that we’re still doing this.”

Border collies are known to be exceptional runners that can easily outpace their owners. The number of kilometres a dog can run can vary depending on the dog’s breed, health, attention span and training.

Earlier in his streak, Robinson told the Daily Mail that he faced a lot of heat online for putting this mileage on his dogs, but he defended himself: “Since border collies are working dogs, if they weren’t pets they would be used to working on a farm all day, so they’re very used to running and working hard, and actually the cruel thing is just to keep them inside,” said Robinson. “They love it.”

Robinson is using the streak to raise funds for the charity he works for, Hope for Justice, which fights against modern-day slavery and human trafficking

(07/08/2023) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Spice Up Your Typical Running Route With These 7 Variations

From out-and-back challenges to artistic ventures, explore the most common types of running routes that will ignite your passion.

There is nothing wrong with having your favorite running route—you can run it mindlessly and you already know the distance, so you shouldn’t encounter any surprises. But there are even better reasons to mix up your running route planning. New routes will boost your motivation, bring a new wave of inspiration, and help you avoid burnout. What’s not to love?

So with that, let’s spice up your running and discuss some of the most common types of running routes that you can do almost anywhere.

Out and Back

Choose a great starting and end point. While your home may be the most convenient spot, riding your bike or driving to a different starting point may be a whole lot more exciting.

While there is nothing wrong with running even splits for your out and back, to mix it up, maybe challenge yourself to run the return route faster (or whatever other challenge you’d like to tackle). Increasing your turnover/speed will bring more of a challenge to the experience. Think “what goes up, must come down,” and as you make the turnaround, lean more forward in your running with a mindset of finishing strong.

Lollipop

This route is an intersection where a loop meets an out-and-back. If you’re not a fan of turning on your heel and running straight back, choose a route with a little loop at the end of it. It can be a detour to a convenience store for a sports drink, a fountain, or simply a place that speaks to you. 

Figure Eight or Four-Leaf Clover

These routes involve running four loops or out-and-backs, all returning to the same starting point. Home would be an excellent base for this one, giving you the opportunity to get a sip of a drink or use the bathroom before going back out. 

This particular option may be great for a day where you’re less focused on your mileage or pace, and lean more into the pretty drawing your route will create once you finish. Have you ever seen runners uploading completed runs depicting all kinds of amazing pictures? Get artistic starting with this route, who knows where it will take you next!

Running Every Street in Your Neighborhood

Determine an approximate area or neighborhood you’d like to cover, and then try to run every street within. This style will really help keep your mind engaged as you plot how to get to the street or alley you have not run yet.

Rolling Hills 

Hills pay the bills, baby! Sticking with hills is the best race currency, so for this one, choose a route that is as hilly as it is flat-ish.

Chart a course that will include hills along the way. This includes both uphills and downhills with winding roads along some flat terrain. Lean into the uphill and crest the hill standing tall, then settle back into any flat, followed by running downhill with control. Allow gravity to take over some of the control. I wasn’t always a fan of this type of route, but after maturing and seeing the positive impact of hill training during my races, it’s now my favorite type. Respect and welcome hill training.

Set Up a Rule

Before you head out the door, think of a rule for your run: It could be turning left whenever you see a red light, or maybe turning right every time a car of a certain color passes by you. The goal is to have fun with it.

Loop +Turned Into a Tour

This one is as great to put to use in your neighborhood or city as it is while you’re visiting a new place. Plot some stops worth seeing or visiting as you do a full roundabout.

Using software like Garmin Connect, Coros, MapMyFitness, Runkeeper, or Strava, you can simply input the goal distance and direction (N, S, E, W), and these technologies will return you a route in seconds. Make sure to double-check the routes go through parts of town where you feel safe running and preferably away from busy traffic. There is usually a toggle heatmap feature that will follow routes frequented by others.

Now for the fun part, pick your milestones when you’re in a new location: From murals, historic markers, convenience stores, and restaurants to a popular park, outdoor area, and entertainment or theater district, there are many ways to add life to this loop option. Have fun with it!

MORE FROM RUNNER'S WORLD ON APPLE NEWS

(07/08/2023) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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How to Get a Faster GPS Signal on Your Smartwatch

We tested affordable and high-end watches to see which located satellites quickest, and asked Garmin and Apple for their best troubleshooting tips.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever tried not to look awkward on the curb waiting for your smartwatch to get a GPS signal before a run. Like you, I’ve had my fair share of feigning interest in cloud formations, overstretching my quads, or just holding my wrist up to the sky while crossing the street with the faintest hope that maybe reaching for a satellite will make it engage with my watch.

During the winter months when I lived in a city apartment surrounded by tall buildings, I used to risk theft instead of freezing before my run. I’d leave my watch on the sidewalk, hoping an opportunist wouldn’t snatch it as I bundled up inside. Sometimes it’d get a signal. Mostly, I’d still be standing outside, shivering, waiting for one. Nobody ever stole my watch because no one was crazy enough to be outside on days I ran (every day, every season).

Those days are far behind me. My current watch, the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar, gets a signal when I’m wearing it around my apartment in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. It’ll give me the green light even when I’m in my windowless bathroom or foyer.

My previous Garmin watches were the Forerunner 10, 45, 345 Music, and 745 Music. Considering this history, I wondered if a higher model number correlated with getting a quicker GPS signal. Or was it just my move outside the city to a skyscraper-free valley? Or, maybe enabling the watch’s Bluetooth connection to my smartphone helped me get a signal more easily. Wanting to find answers—and get a few tips— I contacted Apple and Garmin with troubleshooting questions. I also tested several watches to see which found GPS signals fastest.

GPS Signal Test—and Bust

To compare the times it takes different smartwatches to get a GPS signal, I asked the RW test team to relinquish their models. (Fools.) The watches tested included:

For my “lab” setup, I reset each watch to its factory settings (with the blessing of my coworkers) and synced it to my phone. After flitting through app download upon app download and creating user profiles for each one, I then used my phone’s timer to measure how long each took to get a signal in four different situations:

Indoors next to a window, with Bluetooth connection to my phone

Indoors next to a window, without Bluetooth connection to my phone

Outside with Bluetooth connection to my phone

Outside without Bluetooth connection to my phone

Testing was...frustrating. Results were everywhere. I recorded at the office and at home. There were lots of outside variables and other issues that led to mixed outcomes. 

For example, ideally I would test the watches at different altitudes, in an open field, in the middle of Times Square, beneath an overcast sky on one day and cloudless skies on another. But time and travel had me abbreviate testing conditions. And in the end, it seems all of the above wouldn’t have mattered anyway.

By chance, I was able to do the window test on both a cloudy and sunny day, and results varied—for each watch. For instance, the Coros Vertix 2 clocked 01:16.64 by an office window with Bluetooth on a cloudy day. On a clear and sunny day, it found a signal in 00:15.89. Just minutes later on that same day, in that same position, it located a satellite in 00:09.78. 

The $700 Coros Vertix 2 also took longer to get a signal, both with and without Bluetooth, compared to the more affordable Garmin Forerunner 45. The fastest times from my Coros and Garmin tests are compared below:

The Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar performed as expected, beating the Forerunner 45 by approximately two seconds in both trials.

What could cause a high-end smartwatch like the Coros Vertix 2 to underperform? And how does a $130-Garmin get a signal faster than Usain Bolt’s world record-breaking 100-meter dash (00:09.58)?

On Coros’s support webpage, users are advised to download GPS satellite location data and send it to their watch before their runs. Data validity depends on the watch model and will last three to seven days. When location data expires, the watch can take over two minutes to receive a signal. Usually, the data updates automatically if the watch is synced with the Coros companion app on your smartphone. However, sometimes you will need to perform this update manually. 

Talking With Garmin

Joe Heikes, who is Garmin’s international product manager, said the model number and price of a watch will sometimes have an effect on the time it takes to get a signal. “Higher end models have additional satellite reception technologies that can improve performance. For example, the Forerunner 255, 265, 955, and 965 all have multi-band satellite receivers, whereas our entry-level Forerunner 55 does not.”

To get a faster signal, syncing your watch with your phone is the number one most important thing a user can do. 

“Through that phone sync in the background, we send the watch satellite data that helps tremendously with the speed of signal acquisition—and accuracy, too,” said Heikes. “To be clear, you don’t have to always be connected to the phone, and you certainly do NOT have to take the phone along on the run to get the benefit. However, if you are normally connected to the phone on a daily basis, then the watch will have the best, most up-to-date satellite data to work with when you do head out the door for your run.”

Heikes also confirmed that tall buildings do block satellite signals. But when it comes to congested areas—say, a race corral—the amount of time for your watch’s GPS to kick in is in no way delayed due to the crowd of runners also waiting for a signal. 

“It’s not like cellphones where everyone is vying for a channel,” said Heikes. “All the watches can listen to the satellites at the same time, just like all the cars on the freeway can be listening to the same FM radio station at the same time.”

Going Ultra

Out of the five tested, the one watch that made using a timer obsolete was the Apple Watch Ultra. This is because the watch doesn’t alert you before a workout when it has acquired a GPS signal. It features a precision dual-frequency GPS system—the watch already has a signal and provides data (pace, time, map, etc.) postrun. The standard system on smartwatches is a single L1 GPS frequency band, which can go wonky when tall buildings or dense foliage block satellites. The Ultra uses both L1 and L5 frequency GPS, allowing it to have the most accurate GPS in dense areas. 

Additionally, L5 combined with Apple’s map-matching software greatly improves accuracy for city workouts. For example, if you’re running the Chicago Marathon, Apple Maps data is used in combination with data from Apple Watch. This gives you an accurate route map, as opposed to showing that you’re running in the river.

This system, however, has its flaws. Jeff Dengate, Runner-in-Chief and director of product testing, found the Apple Watch Ultra’s distance measurements a little off, cutting his runs shorter compared to the Garmin Fenix 7X Sapphire Solar. (Dengate ran with both watches simultaneously to test their accuracy on a USATF distance-certified racecourse.) You can use the Precision Start feature, which omits the “3-2-1 Ready!” countdown before your run and lets you know when it locks a GPS signal on the top left of the watchface. It’s an ideal shortcut when you’re toeing a race’s start line.

Dual-frequency and Precision Start are major pluses for the Apple Watch Ultra. But there are other features to consider when choosing a smartwatch besides which one gets GPS the quickest. (Battery life, weight, and ease of navigation are especially important for runners.) However, if your patience costs $800—well, I’ll leave you to make that decision on your own.

(07/08/2023) ⚡AMP
by Runner's World
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Ice Plunges/Cold Baths for Muscle Recovery

The old adage goes “no pain, no gain,” and no crowd knows that better than long distance runners do. It’s the philosophy their entire sport is predicated on, pushing through the pain for hundreds of miles each month over hills and on concrete in the pursuit of athletic success. 

 

With grueling training methods comes a pressing need for improved methods of recovery. If you don’t give your muscles time to repair the microscopic tears that develop during strenuous exercise, you aren’t going to become a better athlete. Instead, you’ll end up with strained muscles and time away from sport that could otherwise be devoted to making gains. 

Sensitive tissues like tendons and ligaments are similarly important to safeguard, as repetitive stress injuries are a massive concern in a sport where you’re going to be covering long distances.

 

One way of recovering after a workout that’s gaining increasing popularity is the use of cold plunges to spur muscle repair. This can take a number of different forms, from soaking in a cold bath replete with ice water for five to ten minutes after a workout to the expensive cryotherapy technologies used by high profile athletes (although as this is becoming more popular, it will likely be more accessible to the general public in the near figure as demand increases and technology improves).

 

 

Many former Boston Marathon winners have incorporated cold plunges into their daily routines. Two-time Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi, Desiree Linden who won the Boston Marathon in 2018, and Kara Goucher who has competed in the Boston Marathon ten times. These runners all say that ice baths help them to reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, and to feel more refreshed and ready to train the next day. They typically do ice baths for 10-15 minutes after their hardest workouts or after the marathon itself. A BetMGM Massachusetts bonus code will come in handy for anyone looking to get in on the action in the next Boston Marathon. The 2023 New York City Marathon will be held on Sunday, November 5, 2023, and you can bet many runners are using ice plunges ahead of the big race (and most certainly after they’re done running) for muscle recovery.

 

Here’s a look at why cold plunges are all the rage these days, including how to take one for maximum effect and the numerous advantages of exposing sore muscles to chilly temperatures.

Part of the beauty of ice water therapy is that you don’t have to be rich to have access: anyone with a shower or bath can turn the tap to the lowest temperature setting and sit in the water for up to ten minutes following a workout. 

 

What’s the benefit, though? It comes down to basic science. Exposure to (relatively) freezing temperatures makes your blood vessels contract as your body pulls in heat to your core to keep you warm. This could reduce swelling and inflammation, and doing so immediately after a workout could give you a jumpstart on post exercise soreness because of that. 

 

Once you step out of the ice bath, the reverse process happens as your muscles warm up in the outside air and your blood vessels begin to dilate again. This circulatory rush kick starts the process of muscle repair, bringing vital nutrients to where they’re needed most.

 

 

One thing that’s important to note, though, is that the advantages of an ice bath can change quite a bit depending on the type of exercise you’re pursuing. Endurance runners have a much different set of goals than a powerlifter or anaerobic sprinter does, so this article doesn’t apply to everyone. Endurance runners engage in aerobic activity, plateauing at 80 to 90 percent of their maximum output for extended periods of time (although they may need a quick burst to finish a race or pass a competitor).

 

Sprinters and lifters deploy massive bursts of all their energy in one go, and as such they have different recovery needs: it’s critical to cool down properly after engaging in strenuous exercise so that you don’t expose yourself to cold temperatures before you’re ready, causing muscles to tense up.

(07/07/2023) ⚡AMP
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Daniel Simiu and Nicholas Kimeli secure tickets to World Championships after scintillating display

Commonwealth Games 5,000m silver medalist Nicholas Kimeli and Commonwealth Games 10,000m silver medalist Daniel Simiu have secured their tickets to the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary after taking the 1-2 positions during the ongoing National Trials at the Nyayo National Stadium.

A pack of more than 10 athletes braved through the chilly afternoon with the hope of making the cut to the national team but only the duo managed to be selected successfully.

Among the pack were some of the top 10,000m stars, including Kibiwott Kandie, Simiu and Bernard Kibet. After five laps, Kibet of Central Rift was looking comfortable leading the pack which was still intact.

Kimeli and Simiu overtook Kibet to take third place but after 4,000m, Kandie took the mantle as he crossed the mark in 11:08.00. At this point, the pack had started dropping off and Weldon Langat and Hillary Kipkoech were trailing.

The unpredictable race saw Kimeli take the mantle after 6,000m and he was now looking comfortable with Simiu following closely behind him. Shortly after, Simiu overtook Kipkorir after 16 laps but his reign was short-lived as Kipkorir took over again.

After 17 laps, the leading pack now consisted of six athletes both looking poised and ready for title contention. The race would become a battle between Kandie, Simiu and Kimeli with Kibet following closely.

With one lap to go, Kimeli was still leading the trio and with the finish line in sight, he unleashed a finishing kick to outshine Simiu and Kibet. He crossed the line in 27:20.84, unofficial time.

In a post-race interview, he expressed excitement to have won the race and noted that he might opt to double in both the 10,000m and 5,000m since he had a wild card in the 12.5 lap-race. 

He said: "We urge Kenyans not to lose hope in us because something good will come home. They should keep us in their prayers. We are okay in endurance and we have to improve on our speed."

(07/07/2023) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

From August 19-27, 2023, Budapest will host the world's third largest sporting event, the World Athletics Championships. It is the largest sporting event in the history of Hungary, attended by athletes from more than 200 countries, whose news will reach more than one billion people. Athletics is the foundation of all sports. It represents strength, speed, dexterity and endurance, the...

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Sha’Carri Richardson runs 100m world lead at U.S. Track and Field Championships

On the first day of the USATF Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson made a triumphant comeback, leaving spectators in awe as she blazed to a 100m world lead. Richardson set a new personal best and the fastest women’s 100m time of the year, clocking an impressive 10.71 seconds (+0.1 m/s).

During the heats of the women’s 100m on Thursday evening, Richardson delivered an outstanding performance, winning the first heat and securing her spot in Friday’s semi-finals. Her time not only surpassed her competitors by a significant margin but exceeded the previous world-leading time of 10.75 seconds set by Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast at the Oslo Diamond League just a month ago.

Richardson’s achievement was even more remarkable as she improved her best by one-tenth of a second from her previous record of 10.72 seconds, set in 2021 at the Miramar Invitational in Florida. Her new personal best now ranks as the sixth-fastest 100m time in history and the fourth-fastest ever by an American woman.

As anticipation grows, Richardson advances to the 100m semi-finals and ultimately aims for a spot in the final, scheduled for Friday evening. The stakes are high, as the top three U.S. sprinters in these races will earn the privilege to represent Team USA at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest next month. With her exceptional performance, Richardson is undoubtedly a strong contender for one of those positions.

Richardson’s journey hasn’t come without obstacles. Following her victory in the 100m at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials, she faced a ban and disqualification due to a positive cannabis test, causing her to miss the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In 2022, she also faced challenges, failing to reach the final in the 100m and 200m at the U.S. Championships and missing out on qualification for the 2022 Worlds team.

The 2023 USATF Track and Field Championships are taking place from July 6 to 9 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore

(07/07/2023) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Four ways hitting the trails can benefit road runners

Nothing rouses a runner’s self-discipline quite like training for a road race. Whether it’s preparing for a 5K or a marathon, getting in the best possible shape for the big event usually means setting a clear training schedule and sticking to it.

While challenging oneself to stay fully committed to a plan during weeks and months of tough sessions has a certain appeal, becoming overly obsessed with hitting every target on the calendar can turn training into a mental and physical grind. As road-race training plans tend to focus exclusively on road and track work, the lack of variety in sessions can make training feel even more taxing.

Adding the occasional trail run to a road-race training schedule can be a great way to keep training fresh without having to sacrifice crucial road or track sessions. You can tuck a trail run seamlessly into an existing training plan by scheduling it on a dedicated easy-run day, or on days when the schedule gives the option for either a rest day or an easy run. However it best fits best into the schedule, here are four reasons road runners may want to consider taking the odd trip down the trail.

1.- Enhanced stability and strength

Navigating hills, rocks and uneven terrain on trail runs forces runners to engage a wider range of muscles, including those in the glutes, hips and core, which are often neglected during road running. Further developing these muscles can help runners enhance stability, power and injury prevention–benefits that can reap rewards as runners progress in their road training.

2.- Reduced impact on joints

Trails generally have softer surfaces, such as dirt or grass, which reduces the impact on joints and can help prevent injuries like shin splints. A recent study found adding too many fast kilometres too quickly, as can happen in speed-focused road and track sessions, is more likely to lead to tibial stress fractures than taking on the steeper, slower climbs associated with trail running.

3.- Improved aerobic fitness

The generally slower pace of trail running lends itself to training at an easier effort, which can strengthen aerobic capacity. Training in the aerobic zone can help increase the body’s ability to take in, transport, and use oxygen, leading to improved running performance and greater endurance capacity.

4.- Greater mental stimulation

The changing scenery and the need to focus on the trail can offer a mental escape from the monotony of running only on the road. It can be an engaging and exciting experience that helps alleviate boredom and keep the mind sharp. Trail running allows you to explore new areas, discover hidden gems and become immersed in nature’s beauty.

(07/07/2023) ⚡AMP
by Paul Baswick
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South African sprinter Luxolo Adams:I want to use Oregon experience in Budapest

South African sprinter Luxolo Adams has said he will be leaning on the 'overwhelming' experience at last year's World Championships in Oregon ahead of this year's showpiece in Budapest.

Adams has been working on his 'mental fitness' after making a maiden appearance at the global show in 2022 where he reached the semifinals of the 200m.

Speaking to the BBC Sports The Warm-Up Track podcast, the 26-year-old said: "Now I know how the world class meet operates."

"I know how to execute my races. Now, when I'm standing in the lane with with a Noah Lyles, I know how to manage my stress levels, I know how to manage all the influences around me. I've got enough experience in store," Adams said.

Adams was the fifth fastest man in the world last year after winning the Paris Diamond League meet. The sprinter has already qualified for Paris Olympic Games.

"Mentally, it was challenging, because it was my first World Champs," he said. "Two or three weeks before, there was a visa issue. Days went by and then we got closer to the meet and we [still] don't have visas.

"We managed to get waivers but when I got there, it was a different type of environment for me. I couldn't know how to interact, I didn't know how to, to move around, and also how to behave because now it's a different type of meet. It's a world class.

"It was overwhelming. I don't know what I was going through but one thing was in my mind: God is not going to place me in a sport whereby I don't have the power or the strength to go through.

(07/07/2023) ⚡AMP
by Evans Ousuru
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World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

From August 19-27, 2023, Budapest will host the world's third largest sporting event, the World Athletics Championships. It is the largest sporting event in the history of Hungary, attended by athletes from more than 200 countries, whose news will reach more than one billion people. Athletics is the foundation of all sports. It represents strength, speed, dexterity and endurance, the...

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Higher VO2 max may protect against certain cancers, study shows

Men might be able to boost their protection against certain types of cancer by running or engaging in other forms of cardiovascular exercise, according to a new study. Researchers from the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences have linked cardio-respiratory fitness to a lower risk of dying from prostate, colon and lung cancer—the three most common types of cancer in men.

For the study, researchers pored over 10 years of data from 177,709 Swedish men ranging in age from 18 to 75, with the objective of determining how various levels of cardio-respiratory fitness might offer protection against contracting or dying from these specific cancers. Participants were ranked into four groups, from lowest to highest cardio-respiratory fitness.

After measuring participants for VO2 max—the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during dynamic exercise—the researchers found those with higher VO2 max had a significantly lower risk of dying from prostate, colon and lung cancer. They also found that those with a higher VO2 max were at lower risk of developing colon or lung cancer; that data did reveal a slightly higher risk of developing prostate cancer among this group, however.

While this latest study is unique in its examination of how higher fitness levels can curb rates of certain cancers in men, it adds to a growing list of research linking cardio-respiratory fitness to lower cancer risks. Previous studies have associated exercise with lower rates of stomach cancer as well as lower rates of cancer among girls.

Recent studies have also linked regular physical exercise to other aspects of health and well-being. A study published by researchers in the United States and Mexico earlier this year, for example, found that sticking to a regular running regimen throughout middle age may help prevent or slow memory loss associated with getting older.

Research has also shown that reaping the health benefits of a more active lifestyle doesn’t require a huge investment in time or energy. A report published by the American Heart Association last year showed adults needed only 21 and a half minutes of vigorous exercise—defined as running, walking, bicycling or swimming—a day to lower their risk of premature death.

(07/07/2023) ⚡AMP
by Paul Baswick
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Ashley Paulson wins Badwater 135, smashing her own course record

The defending women's champion chopped nearly two-and-a-half hours off last year's time to finish first overall.

Defending Badwater 135 women’s champion Ashley Paulson has smashed the women’s course record she set last year, chopping nearly two and a half hours off her 2022 time to finish first overall at this year’s race.

Paulson, of St. George, Utah, completed the course—an infamously hot and gruelling 135-mile (217-km) run through California’s Death Valley to Mount Whitney—in 21:44:35. In doing so she not only demolished the women’s record she set last year (24:09:34) but finished more than 20 minutes ahead of this year’s men’s champion, Simen Holvik of Norway (22:28:08). Temperatures during the race have been known to soar well above 100 F (37 C).

Placing second in the men’s category and third overall was last year’s winner,  Yoshihiko Ishikawa of Japan (23:52:29), who has two Badwater 135 victories under his belt. He was followed by fourth-place finisher and second-place women’s runner Sonia Ahuja of Thousand Oaks, Calif., who trailed Paulson by nearly two hours, finishing the course in 25:42:51. Rounding out the top five finishers was 2021 champion Harvey Lewis of Cincinnati, who completed his 12th Badwater 135 in 27:26:49, finishing third among the men. Rounding out the women’s podium was Maree Connor of Lambton, Australia (27:49:24).

Viktoria Brown, the only Canadian in the field of 100 runners, finished strong, running 30:11:52 to place fourth among women and claim 13th place overall. It’s been a stellar year for the Whitby, Ont., ultrarunner, who in March broke her own 48-hour Canadian record and 72-hour world record while competing at the GOMU (Global Organization of Multi-Day Ultramarathoners) six-day world championships in Policoro, Italy.

With her commanding victory this year, Paulson becomes the first woman to win back-to-back races at Badwater since Japan’s Sumie Inagaki won the event in 2011 and 2012.

Paulson’s win last year came amid some controversy.  In 2016, the professional runner and triathlete accepted a ruling from the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies (USADA) banning her from competition in triathlon events for six months, the result of an anti-doping rule violation. She had a positive result for ostarine, a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM), during a random sampling.

Follow-up tests found ostarine in a contaminated supplement the athlete was taking. In an analysis of Paulson’s GPX files and other data, Derek Murphy, who runs the site marathoninvestigation.com, concluded that her Badwater data was clean and showed no evidence of cheating.

This year’s race, which started Tuesday at 8 p.m. PDT, and lasts 48 hours, marks the 46th running of the Badwater 135. Considered by many to be the world’s toughest foot race, the ultramarathon begins at 85 metres below sea level—the lowest elevation in North America—and takes runners up to 2,548m of altitude.

(07/06/2023) ⚡AMP
by Paul Baswick
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Badwater 135

Badwater 135

Recognized globally as "the world’s toughest foot race," this legendary event pits up to 90 of the world’s toughest athletes runners, triathletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers against one another and the elements. Badwater 135 is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet. Covering 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA, the...

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Eliud Kipchoge shares insights on how to free Kenya from shackles of doping

Kenya is currently ranked in Category A, having the highest doping risk according to the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has shared that the fight against doping in the country will be more effective if the approach towards the menace is changed.

Kipchoge, speaking to Al Jazeera, insisted that there should be more testing done other than more education.

The four-time Berlin Marathon champion noted that everyone is knowledgeable and education on doping should not be given as much priority as it is being given at the moment. 

He, however, cautioned that those were just thoughts of his and they should not necessarily be followed.

“I think the measures are really enough…but they need to change their tactics from giving more education to more testing. We are in a world where everyone is actually well-educated.

"If we want to kill the menace as fast as we can, the only way is to put all the resources on testing purely…not education at all. I may be wrong…but these are just my thoughts,” he said.

The four-time London Marathon champion added that in order to seal the loopholes, people in authority should work around the clock to ensure that all the coaches, physiotherapists, and athletes are clean.

He noted that the Ministry of Sports, Athletics Kenya, and the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) should work together to ensure that the doping menace should be a thing of the past.

“The authorities have the power to investigate and find out all those people that are aiding the dopers. All of them should be tested and with that move, Kenya shall be free.

"But if you give education without testing, it’s like you are doing nothing. It’s good to get knowledge but it’s also good to be practical,” he said.

He added that more athletes dope because they want to quickly get rich but he insisted that running clean is honorable.

“It’s not a one-night event…it might take years before you get to the top. If you put your mind on money…you will crash. When you want money, you tend to use shortcuts to get to the top but the glory is short-lived,” he warned.

Speaking on the exploitation of athletes in the camp, Kipchoge advised that Athletics Kenya should ensure that all the coaches are registered. He was also irked by the poor state of training camps in the country

“I’m still active in the sport but I always advise Athletics Kenya to ensure that all the coaches and athletes are registered. This will make it easy to know which coach manages a certain athlete in case of a challenge.

"If we leave our country to be free without following any rules, things will keep being detrimental to athletes. I’m sorry to say that there are no camps in Kenya, maybe five, others are just private accommodations and that’s why coaches feel the need to do what they want,” he said.

(07/06/2023) ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wafula
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Faith Kipyegon contemplates doubling at World Championships

Double world record holder Faith Kipyegon is contemplating whether to compete in both the 1500m and 5000m at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, in August.

Kipyegon who holds the world records for the two distances said she is consulting widely before making a decision.

Speaking when she was named the LG/Sports Journalists Association of Kenya player of the month for June, Kipyegon said: "I will start my journey of defending my world title at the national trials this weekend."

"However, I am still consulting on whether I should double at the World Championships."

Kipyegon, a two-time Olympic champion over 1500m, said since she is qualified for Budapest after winning the world title in Oregon last year, she will compete in the 5000m race at the Athletics Kenya trials set for Friday and Saturday at the Nyayo Stadium.

This, she said, will also form part of her preaparations for the July 21 Monaco Diamond League.

At her training base at Global Sports Communication in Kaptagat, Uasin Gishu county, Kipyegon was crowned by the scribes after running two consecutive world records over 1500m and 5000m last month.

In Florence, Italy, on June 2, Kipyegon tore Genzebe Dibaba's record over 1500m with a new world mark of 3:49.11 over 1500m.

She was at it again in Paris a week later as she timed a new world record of 14:05.20 over 5000m.

“I’m so happy to be among the few athletes to win this award more than twice,” Kipyegon said.

 

“It's always good to see corporate entities acknowledge the good work of athletes. I am thankful to LG for their efforts to whip up the enthusiasm of sportsmen and women in this country. The win in Florence boosted my confidence levels and I feel I have to continue pushing for better track limits.”

She becomes the second athlete, after Angela Okutoyi, to win the SJAK award thrice. Kipyegon beat five other nominees among them Commonwealth Games champion Beatrice Chebet who produced a scintillating run to clinch the 3,000m title at the Oslo Diamond League in eight minutes, 25.01 seconds, which also counted as the latter's new personal best and world leading time.

Others were Carl Tundo and McRae Kimathi for their WRC2 and WRC3 finishes on the Safari Rally,  Moses Shumah for scoring Harambee Stars solitary goal at the Four Nations Tournament, Emma Wangila Nekesa for being the only African wrestler and Kenyan to have qualified for the World Beach Games in Indonesia.

Maureen Kemunto, LG East Africa Corporate Marketing and communication manager, said: “LG has been actively supporting the identification and recognition of sporting talent in Kenya through a partnership with SJAK."

"The purpose of this award is to recognise exceptional Kenyan sportsmen and women for their achievements across diverse disciplines each month and also to signify our commitment to contribute to the development of sport in the country."

SJAK President James Waindi congratulated Kipyegon and thanked LG for their continued support over the past eight years.

“With the monthly award, we are seeing a growing number of upcoming and talented sports personalities among them Angela Okutoyi who won the Wimbledon Open Junior category and won this award for a record three times, "said Waindi.

" Rewarding sportsmen and women is an important step towards whipping up the enthusiasm of sports personalities across all disciplines.”

(07/06/2023) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

From August 19-27, 2023, Budapest will host the world's third largest sporting event, the World Athletics Championships. It is the largest sporting event in the history of Hungary, attended by athletes from more than 200 countries, whose news will reach more than one billion people. Athletics is the foundation of all sports. It represents strength, speed, dexterity and endurance, the...

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It’s hot out: do I run short and fast or long and slow?

We are now in the midst of the warmest two months of the year, and many runners face the challenge of adapting their training routines to the heat. When it comes to running in warm weather, a common question arises: should you focus on long and slow runs or shorter and faster runs? While both approaches have benefits and serve different purposes, determining which is better, in the long run, requires consideration.

Running in warm temperatures presents several challenges, including increased strain on the cardiovascular system, impaired thermoregulation, and an elevated risk of dehydration. However, there are ways to manage the heat effectively. This includes acclimatization, staying hydrated and being mindful of your body’s signals.

According to health experts, it’s better to lean toward shorter and faster runs when the mercury soars. Shorter runs minimize the risk of overheating or experiencing heat exhaustion. These shorter and faster runs can be performed at a race pace, tempo, or steady pace. They reduce overall exposure to high temperatures and contribute to the development of anaerobic fitness, enhancing overall running performance. It’s important to note that if you are planning to do shorter-faster runs, it will take longer for your muscles to recover between sessions. It is recommended to take a day or two of rest or mix in a slow-short run between the faster training sessions.

While shorter and faster runs are generally recommended in warm weather, long and slower runs should still have a place in your training regimen under certain conditions. If you have gradually adapted to running in hot conditions and feel comfortable with longer distances, incorporating occasional long and slow runs is feasible. However, it is essential to have a contingency plan and be attentive to your body’s signals to prevent heat exhaustion. Adequate hydration becomes even more crucial for longer runs in the heat. Strategically planning your routes to ensure easy access to water sources or carrying a handheld bottle is advisable.

One useful tip used by many marathoners during summer training is setting up or dropping water stops along their planned route. Another option is running short looped routes close to home, ensuring close proximity to water sources. If a looped route is not possible, finding shaded areas in trails or ravines can help you avoid overheating or prolonged sun exposure.

To ensure your well-being, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety, stay adequately hydrated, and pay attention to your body’s cues while running in the summer heat. Making the right decisions will make your summer running experience seamless and enjoyable while effectively dealing with the difficulties posed by high temperatures.

(07/06/2023) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Six-year-old competes 25K trail race in British Columbia

Jake Hishon and his six-year-old son, Emmett, needed a reason to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto and explore the outdoors. Jake booked a week-long adventure to British Columbia’s Okanagan region, where the two engaged in water sports, hiking and a 25K trail race.

While Jake was looking for things to do with his son at Silverstar, resort, he stumbled upon the Slay The Dragon 25K on ultrasignup.com. “I saw the race had a generous cut-off time, and the course didn’t seem too crazy,” says Jake. He told us that he has been wanting to get more into trail running, and has done many 5K races with his young son in the past. “25K seemed like a gentle distance for Emmett and me, and running has been a sport he has always liked,” says Jake.

Jake chatted with the race director before signing up, and explained their situation. “Our goal was to try it, and if we get tired, we’ll stop,” says Jake. “We were not trying to win–just to try it, see how we do, and take it from there.”

The 38-year-old entrepreneur and father of two fell in love with trail running because it provided a refreshing change to Toronto’s urban running environment. “There are so many different aspects to running in the trails that you don’t get to experience in the city,” Jake says. He believes his frequent trips out west with his wife and children provide an opportunity to immerse themselves in nature and find joy in being outdoors.

Heading into the 25K, Jake said Emmett was nervous, but they prepared for the race by hiking five kilometres the day before. Starting from the back of the pack, the duo maintained their pace throughout the race, embracing the occasional fall (no injuries reported) and aid stations filled with treats for Emmett. They completed the 25K trail race in six hours and 23 minutes, finishing last of all 84 participants. 

Jake said the two took a lot of breaks, but stressed that he did not have to carry Emmett at any point. “I carried all the supplies. I was the pack mule,” says Jake. “Emmett never wanted to quit. He was excited to reach the aid stations, where they had snacks for him.”

Once the two returned to the village after covering 25 kilometres with 561 metres of elevation gain, Emmett was keen to receive his medal and show it off to everyone. When Emmett was asked what he had learned from the race, he said, “It was pretty fun.”

“I wanted it to be something he could look back on and be proud of,” says Jake. “Emmett would receive encouragement from total strangers, and it was a neat opportunity to see him receive gratitude.”

Jake was wary of the discouragement he might get from doing this activity with his son, but he found everyone at the race to be supportive. “We both looked at it as a fun way to spend a day outdoors,” says Jake.

The positive and encouraging environment inspired Jake and Emmett to plan future races. Emmett is eager to participate in the 6 km kids’ run at the Canadian Death Race in Grand Cache, Alta., this August, while Jake aims to tackle the 124K.

Reflecting on their adventure, Jake couldn’t help but recognize Emmett’s enthusiasm for the outdoors. “Even the next day, Emmett asked me if we could head out on another hike,” Jake laughs. “You give a kid an option to explore, and, odds are, they’ll take it.”

(07/05/2023) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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92-year-old Bill Thorn crosses Peachtree Road Race finish line to end 53-year streak

Bill Thorn is the only runner to have participated in Atlanta's Independence Day race every year since it began in 1970.

92-year-old runner marked the end of an incredible 53-year streak at the Peachtree Road Race on Tuesday, as the only person to have run in Atlanta’s famed Independence Day 10K every year since it began in 1970 crossed the finish line one last time.

Bill Thorn, who served as grand marshal of this year’s race, officially ended the streak Tuesday when he ceremonially broke the tape in a short walk to the finish line as crowds cheered him on.

Although Thorn now uses a walker to get around, he took his final steps toward the finish line of Tuesday’s race unaided, raising his hands triumphantly as he broke the tape.

The former high school track coach told Atlanta’s 11Alive the decision to stop running the race was “hard” but that he was “definitely at peace” with putting the streak to bed. “To be honest, I’m kind of relieved,” he said.

For Thorn, who was inducted into the Peachtree Road Race Hall of Fame in 1994, keeping the streak alive wasn’t always easy. One year, he ran the race with a sprained ankle. He also once finished the race during treatment for prostate cancer. But with his balance becoming more of an issue in recent years, Thorn said he agreed with his family that it was time to celebrate his record streak by officially bringing it to a close.

Thorn was one of 150 runners who ran the first Peachtree Road Race in 1970, and among the group of only 110 to finish that first race. He told 11Alive that the idea of a streak never occurred to him before it ballooned to the quarter-century mark. “I would just show up every year; no one said anything (about the streak) until the 25th year,” he said.

In 2019, to celebrate the 50th running of the race, Thorn crossed the finish line with four generations of his family and Julia Emmons, former executive of the Atlanta Track Club, which organizes the run. “It could’ve been just a fad,” Thorn said of his streak that year. “But as you go along through the years, people like Julia say to me every once in a while to ‘keep going’ and that was really encouraging, and so it just became a year-after-year thing.”

Since the pandemic, Thorn has completed the virtual edition of the Peachtree, running the distance around his neighbourhood.

Saying he still works out six days a week, Thorn told the Atlanta Track Club that “it’s been really exciting over the years, but there comes a time when you have to let go,” adding that “no one else will be able to say they did the first 50.”

(07/05/2023) ⚡AMP
by Paul Baswick
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AJC Peachtree Road Race

AJC Peachtree Road Race

The AJC Peachtree Road Race, organized by the Atlanta Track Club, is the largest 10K in the world. In its 48th running, the AJC Peachtree Road Race has become a Fourth of July tradition for thousands of people throughout the metro Atlanta area and beyond. Come kick off your Fourth of July festivities with us! If you did not get...

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World champion Jake Wightman out of defending his title in Budapest next month

After sustaining a freak injury to his foot in January during a gym session in South Africa, Jake Wightman’s recovery has not been straightforward and the 28-year-old says he has “run out of time” and is out for the summer.

This means he will be unable to defend his world 1500m title in Budapest in August just 12 months after claiming gold ahead of Jakob Ingebrigtsen at the World Championships in Eugene.

Wightman sustained the injury to the right foot when landing awkwardly doing plyometrics. He spent five weeks in a protective boot and missed the indoor season, but kept fit cross-training and then eased back into running in the spring.

But further injury-related complications have hindered his progress and he has been forced to withdraw from a number of races in recent weeks. He did not have to battle for World Championships qualification by running the UK Championships in Manchester this weekend because he already has a “wild card” entry to Budapest as a reigning champion.

But nevertheless he feels time has run out for him to get fit for the biggest event of the year and he is now looking at a return to running in late August with his sights set on 2024 instead.

“As a result of my injury, I’ve had to deal with several more set backs as I prepared to race this Summer,” he said on Instagram.

“I’ve always felt as though time has been on my side to overcome my problems fully, however it has finally run out. This means I’m sadly going to be unable to compete at Worlds which has been really gutting to come to terms with.”

Wightman, who was also one of the biggest attractions due to compete at the Diamond League in London on July 23, has had to watch in frustration this season as ten men from eight different countries have run inside 3:30 for 1500m so far this summer, led by Ingebrigtsen’s European record of 3:27.95 at the Bislett Games.

He added: “Although I’m very disappointed not be able to try and defend my title, my focus has to be on getting my body rested and ready for 2024, to ensure I’ll be back performing at my best. The are some risks I could’ve taken to be on that Budapest start line, however the potential to jeopardise my Olympic year makes this the obvious decision.

“I’m currently taking some down time before starting my rehab, ready to be back running safely and pain free by the end of August. Big thanks to all my team and British Athletics who have worked really hard to try and give me every chance of competing. I’ll see you back on the start line soon.”

(07/05/2023) ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

From August 19-27, 2023, Budapest will host the world's third largest sporting event, the World Athletics Championships. It is the largest sporting event in the history of Hungary, attended by athletes from more than 200 countries, whose news will reach more than one billion people. Athletics is the foundation of all sports. It represents strength, speed, dexterity and endurance, the...

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Should runners take a collagen supplement?

Collagen supplements have gained significant popularity in recent years for their potential benefits, which range from stronger skin, hair and nails to improved joint health and even relief from arthritis. Runners who are looking to prevent injuries or gain a performance edge might be considering adding collagen to their current supplement routine, but is it necessary? We spoke with registered dietitian Megan Kuikman (who writes the “Fuel Station” column in Canadian Running magazine) to find out.

What is collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies and plays a role in maintaining the health and integrity of various tissues, including tendons, ligaments, cartilage and skin. You can consume collagen through animal foods in the diet, or through foods that contain added collagen, like Jell-O or candies.

What are the potential benefits of collagen supplements?

Kuikman says that research in this area is still new, so it’s difficult to say definitively whether collagen supplements are beneficial. Still, she says supplements may increase collagen production, which can thicken your cartilage and decrease joint pain associated with osteoarthritis. It is possible this could be beneficial for runners, whose daily mileage places a lot of repetitive stress on their knees and other joints, but more research is needed to fully understand the effects of collagen on joint health, especially in athletes.

“It may be beneficial for an injured runner who’s recovering from a tendon or ligament injury or for a runner who is prone to these sorts of injuries,” says Kuikman, “however, as per above, research in this area is still needed.”

It’s also important to note that collagen is a complex protein, and oral supplementation may not guarantee that it will reach the specific target tissues in significant quantities. The body’s natural collagen production is regulated by various factors, including diet, exercise and genetics, so if you’re trying to target a specific area (for example, an injured knee), supplementing with collagen may not necessarily lead to increased collagen synthesis in that specific tissue.

It’s worth mentioning that a well-rounded diet that includes protein-rich foods will provide the necessary amino acids for collagen synthesis in the body. Consuming a variety of protein sources, such as lean meats, fish, poultry, dairy, legumes, and plant-based proteins, can support overall tissue health, including the production of collagen. 

Are collagen supplements safe?

“Collagen is a low-risk supplement, but there is not much data available to support its use in athletes,” says Kuikman. “Like all supplements, you can definitely take too much, and there is the risk that supplements may be contaminated with banned substances. This is a concern, as it could potentially lead to a \ if it were to contain a banned substance.”

How to choose the right supplement

If you are interested in adding a collagen supplement to your diet, you may want to consider consulting first with a dietitian or sports medicine provider, who can evaluate your individual needs, assess any potential deficiencies and provide personalized recommendations based on your goals and health status.

Collagen supplements are usually taken in the form of hydrolyzed collagen or gelatin (collagen extracted from animals), which means they are not suitable for vegan athletes. There are some vegan products available that claim to mimic animal-sourced collagen, but more work is needed to determine their effectiveness.

Kuikman adds that since vitamin C is important for collagen synthesis, the diet needs to be sufficient in vitamin C to get the most out of your supplement. You can also find some supplements that include vitamin C along with collagen.

The bottom line

Collagen supplements may be beneficial for runners who tend to suffer from joint pain and injuries, but we still don’t have very much research to support this. It is a relatively safe supplement, so if you do choose to add it to your daily regime, consider speaking with a dietitian or sports medicine practitioner who can help you make an informed choice.

No supplement can replace a well-balanced, healthy diet, so before you add any vitamins or supplements to your daily routine, make sure you’re doing your best to get all of your essential vitamins and minerals through natural food sources first.

(07/05/2023) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Keira D’Amato tells us more about her new Half Marathon American record

(On July 1 Keira D'Amato clocked 1:06:37 at the Gold Coast Half Marathon setting a new American record.  This is her story as it unfolded posted on FB)

I don’t know why this post has been so tough for me to write. There was so much emotion in my reaction to crossing the finish line and I think it boils down to one thing: hope. 

Earlier this year, I was injured, I had to scrap my spring racing plans, but I was in the pool everyday hoping it would heal so I could get back to my goals. 

Once I was healthy, the year started off slow. It always does when you are starting something. It takes a few months for me to really start feeling like my buzzsaw self. I had hope that if I stayed patient, I could build back to an even higher level. 

My flights got cancelled, and delayed, and cancelled again. But I hoped if I pushed through the travel, I would make it to the starting line. 

My daughter wasn’t exactly thrilled I was going to away for a week. That stings the heart. But I hoped, I could show her what it is to chase a dream and why the family has worked to hard to support my running. 

I hoped for good enough weather, I hoped my legs would feel good enough despite the travel, and I hope I could find sometime new within myself, that I wasn’t even certain was there. 

Then, with about 100 or meters to go, I saw the clock and all that hoping was actually coming true. We all know it doesn’t always workout like that. In fact, most of the time, it feels like it doesn’t. But on Saturday, July 1 in Australia at the @gcmarathon half marathon it did for me. 

So that’s why I look crazy crossing the finish line. 

I hope everyone has an excuse to make a crazy face like this too. Here’s to hoping. ❤️

Photos by: @caseysims_ and @beyondtheroad

(07/04/2023) ⚡AMP
by Keira D’Amato
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ASICS Half Marathon

ASICS Half Marathon

Run before the sun in the ASICS Half Marathon (21.095km) at 6am on Saturday 1 July. Enjoy the good times on our world-standard course while soaking up the beautiful broadwater on your return journey from Southport to Paradise Point. Enjoy scenic sunrise views over the water as you run through Labrador to Runaway Bay before being championed to the finish...

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Ethiopian runner misses Peachtree Road Race victory due to last-minute detour

In an unexpected turn of events during the AJC Peachtree Road Race 10K on Independence Day, Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi, the reigning champion, was poised to claim victory and the USD $10,000 prize. However, a wrong turn in the final 200m foiled her plans, resulting in a third-place finish and causing her to miss out on a large sum of money.

Teferi was closely following a leading police motorcycle as it suddenly veered off the course with 200m to go. Without hesitation, Teferi followed suit, mistakenly believing that the race course took an unconventional right turn.

Despite having a nearly 10-second lead over her compatriot, Fotyen Tesfay, Teferi’s confusion led to her sprinting back to the course and finishing third, with a time of 30:47. She was only two seconds short of second place, which went to Kenya’s Jesca Chelangat in 30:45. Tesfay seized the opportunity and claimed victory, finishing four seconds ahead of Teferi in 30:43.

Tesfay also briefly followed Teferi’s detour before swiftly correcting herself and surging ahead to win the 10K title and the USD $10,000 prize.

While it’s not uncommon for runners to take wrong turns near the finish line, it is surprising that it happened to someone who won the race just last year. This a reminder that even professional runners make mistakes.

The AJC Peachtree Road Race is held annually in Atlanta on Independence Day. It is currently recognized as the world’s largest 10K race, with over 60,000 participants. Canada’s own Rory Linkletter finished 17th overall in this year’s race, posting a time of 29:12.

(07/04/2023) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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AJC Peachtree Road Race

AJC Peachtree Road Race

The AJC Peachtree Road Race, organized by the Atlanta Track Club, is the largest 10K in the world. In its 48th running, the AJC Peachtree Road Race has become a Fourth of July tradition for thousands of people throughout the metro Atlanta area and beyond. Come kick off your Fourth of July festivities with us! If you did not get...

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Get lightning-bolt legs: try a fartlek session to spice things up

Adding a fartlek workout to your regular training is a fabulous way to switch up your routine and give your legs a speedy boost. Fartlek (a Swedish word meaning speed play) involves injecting your workout with varied paces that can range from a sprint to an easy jog. Because these sessions are based on effort, rather than specific paces, they work for roads or trails. You can make these workouts more challenging by cutting back on recovery time between faster sections, or by adding repeats.

Goal-based fartlek

Using landmarks to split up your speedy segments will make your workout go by quickly. Focusing on your surroundings can add a boost of mindfulness to your training, upping your mental game.

Warmup: 10–15 minutes easy running.

Workout: Pick an object in the distance: a telephone pole, tree or building works. Run toward it with an increased effort until you reach that landmark, then pick another object ahead to run easily toward to recover. Start with three to five fartlek segments, adding one or two per week or as you want more challenge.

Cool down: 10 minutes easy running.

Time-based fartlek

For this workout, you’ll use your watch to keep track of time, but will keep your attention on your effort rather than your pace.

Warmup: 10–15 minutes’ easy running.

Workout: Run faster segments of one, two or three minutes with equal amounts of easy running to recover. Begin with three to five faster sections and add one or two per session as you feel stronger.

Cooldown: 10 minutes’ easy running.

Remember to follow a more challenging workout with an easy recovery or rest day, and hydrate often during the warm summer months.

(07/04/2023) ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne
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Chepngetich, Hassan and Sisson to clash at Chicago Marathon

Ruth Chepngetich returns to defend her title at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum Label road race, and will face a field that features London Marathon winner Sifan Hassan and US record-holder Emily Sisson.

Chepngetich won last year’s race in 2:14:18 – just 14 seconds shy of the world record and the second-fastest women’s marathon performance of all time.

Kenya’s 2019 world champion will be back in Chicago on the hunt for her third consecutive victory on October 8, following her inaugural win in the US city in 2021, when she ran 2:22:31. 

“I am planning to defend my title and improve my time,” said Chepngetich. “There's no better race in the world than the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.”

To do so, she will have to defeat double Olympic gold medallist Hassan of the Netherlands. Hassan made her marathon debut in London in April when, despite stopping to stretch twice, she closed a 25-second gap on the leaders to win and set a national record of 2:18:33.

Hassan plans to compete on the track at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, less than six weeks before returning to the roads to race in Chicago.

“At the moment, my focus is on the World Championships in Budapest, so my marathon preparation will be very short, but as most people know, I like to be challenged,” said Hassan.

“I will see how my body responds and how my mind handles it. The good thing is that I have the experience from London so I'm looking forward to Chicago, to see what the marathon can teach me this time.”

Unlike Hassan, Sisson will skip the track season to focus on getting ready for Chicago. Last year’s runner-up, Sisson finished in 2:18:29, demolishing the US record by 43 seconds. Sisson, who also holds the US record in the half marathon, said the deep field improves her chances of running even faster this year.

“Chicago is where I set the American marathon record last year,” said Sisson. “I am really looking forward to coming back for another great race in October.”

Legendary matchups have long made for thrilling finishes in Chicago.

In 1985, a gruelling duel between Olympic champion Joan Benoit Samuelson and then world record-holder Ingrid Kristiansen saw Benoit Samuelson outlast her Norwegian competitor and set a US record.

In 2002, British world champion Paula Radcliffe defeated Kenya’s Catherine “The Great” Ndereba and shattered Ndereba' world record in the process. And in 2017, three-time Olympic gold medallist Tirunesh Dibaba took down rising star and future world record-holder Brigid Kosgei.

Chepngetich and Hassan have clashed once before, in the 2018 Copenhagen Half Marathon where Hassan broke the European record with 1:05:15 in what was her first serious attempt at the distance and Chepngetich finished fifth in 1:07:02.

The sole clash between Chepngetich and Sisson so far came at last year’s Chicago Marathon, while Hassan and Sisson have raced each other on four occasions, in the 5000m and 10,000m, with the record so far 4-0 in Hassan’s favor.

(07/04/2023) ⚡AMP
by William Njuguna
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Bank of America Chicago

Bank of America Chicago

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and...

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Charles Langat wins 2023 AJC Peachtree Road Race

Charles Langat won The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race’s men’s elite division Tuesday with a time of 27:43.

Tanzanian Gabriel Geay and Ethiopian Nimbret Melak finished second and third, respectively. Langat, Geay and Melak all finished at near identical times, officially recorded as 27:43. Race organizers later remarked that the finish may have been the closest in AJC Peachtree Road Race history.

Following his victory, Charles Langat expressed his confidence in winning the race after discussing it with his manager beforehand.

“Yesterday, I talked to my manager, and I told them that I would win the race,” Langat said after his winning performance.

Meanwhile, Andrew Colley was the top US finisher in 28:47 for 13th place.

In the women’s race, Senbere Teferi appeared to be on track to defend the title she won at the 2022 AJC Peachtree Road Race, but she took a wrong turn in the final moments, allowing Haiylu to seize on the instant and overtake the defending champion.

Jesca Chelangat from Kenya secured second place with a time of 30:46, while Teferi managed to recover and take third place with a time of 30:47.

The top American finisher in the race was Annie Frisbie, who clocked a time of 32:20 for 15th place, with Emma Grace Hurley running 32:28 to take 16th.

(07/04/2023) ⚡AMP
by Glen Andrews
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AJC Peachtree Road Race

AJC Peachtree Road Race

The AJC Peachtree Road Race, organized by the Atlanta Track Club, is the largest 10K in the world. In its 48th running, the AJC Peachtree Road Race has become a Fourth of July tradition for thousands of people throughout the metro Atlanta area and beyond. Come kick off your Fourth of July festivities with us! If you did not get...

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Carbs and runners: friends or foe?

Runners create many reasons for limiting their intake of seemingly “evil” carbohydrates: I don’t like sandwiches … Pasta is so “heavy” … I’m staying away from gluten … I avoid any foods with added sugar … I prefer to eat two veggies at dinner instead of a veggie and a carby food. And, most often I hear: Bread is fattening!

Anti-carb sentiment has pervaded my entire career as a sports nutritionist. While some fads have come and gone, the “carbs are bad” fad remains ingrained in the brains of even elite athletes. I am (again) encouraging you to reconsider your stance.

• Despite popular belief, carbohydrates are not inherently fattening. Excess calories of any kind are fattening. Excess calories of bread, bagels, and pasta are actually less fattening than excess calories of cheese, butter, and olive oil. That’s because converting excess calories of carbs into body fat requires more energy than does converting excess dietary fat into body fat. That means, if you want to be gluttonous yet suffer the least weight gain, indulge in fat-free frozen yogurt instead of gourmet ice cream!

• To allay any confusion, let’s clarify what carbs actually are. Carbohydrates include both sugars and starches. Carbs are in fruits, vegetables, grains, and milk (lactose). Sugars and starches all digest into the simple sugar glucose. Glucose travels in your blood and, with the help of insulin, gets taken into muscles and stored as glycogen for fuel. Runners who restrict carbs commonly complain about “dead legs.”

• Sugars and starches are biochemically related. For example, an unripe fruit, such as a banana, is starchy. As it ripens, it becomes sweeter; the starch converts into sugar. Similarly, vegetables, such as peas, are sweet when young. Their sugar converts into starch as they mature.

• All carbs—both sugars and starches—are excellent sources of fuel. Both “carby” bagels and sugary candy end up as glucose in your blood and feed your muscles as well as your brain. Whether you are running or lifting weights, a carb-rich sports diet (with adequate protein) can enhance your performance.

• Quality carbs, such as whole grains, fruits, and veggies, offer abundant vitamins, minerals (electrolytes), and other health-promoting nutrients. Refined sugar, however, offers little nutritional value. Yet, dietary guidelines say 10% of daily calories can come from added sugar. That’s at least 50 grams of sugar for most runners and allows for some “fun foods.”

• Sugar-avoiders please note: the 3 grams of added sugar in 2 tablespoons of peanut butter will not negate peanut butter’s health-promoting fiber, protein, and anti-inflammatory fats. Nor will the sugar in chocolate milk diminish its value as a helpful recovery fluid after a hard workout. Please look at the vitamins,  minerals and protein that come along with the added sugar, not just the sugar itself.

• Sports drinks, gels, and sports gummies are little more than refined sugar. That’s not bad; it’s exactly what the body wants during extended hard exercise. Even though refined sugar adds “empty calories” to a sports diet, runners need not eat a perfectly sugar-free diet to have an excellent diet. There’s a time and a place for sweets.

• The messages that carbs are inflammatory, fattening, and bad for you is targeted at sedentary people who consume excessive calories, often from highly processed foods. For those unfit (often unhealthy) people, excess carbohydrate can contribute to elevated blood glucose, which triggers the body to secrete extra insulin. Consistently high insulin can be inflammatory and lead to nasty health issues. Yet, most runners can handle carbs with far less insulin than the average American—and without carbs causing “sugar crashes” or weight gain.

• The most common reason for “sugar crashes” (hypoglycemia) among runners relates to running out of fuel. The shakiness and sweats are because the athlete did not eat enough carbs to maintain normal blood glucose levels and the brain has to demand a quick fix—sugar! One marathoner credited the sugary gel he took at Mile 16 to cause him to “crash.” More likely, he needed more just one gel to meet his energy needs.

• For runners who routinely train hard 3 to 5 days a week, carbs should be the foundation of each meal. The International Olympic Committee’s recommendations for a performance diet include far more carbs than many runners consume via fruit, salads, and cooked veggies.

Baseline targets for a 150-pound runner are:

375 g carb/day for ~1 hour of moderate exercise

450 g carb/day for ~1-3 hours of endurance exercise

525 g carb/day for >4-5 hours of  extreme exercise

This comes to about 100 to 150 grams carb per meal, which equates to about 400 to 600 calories of grains, fruits, and/or veggies per meal.

If your daily menu lacks starchy foods, experiment with adding grains to each meal and snack. You just might discover how much better you can feel and perform!

(07/03/2023) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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Kenyan Beatrice Chebet eyes podium finish in Budapest after Stockholm victory

The world cross country champion Beatrice Chebet has her eyes trained at setting a personal best and a podium finish in the 5000m race in world championships in Budapest, Hungary next month.

Chebet's sentiments come on the back of winning the Diamond League meet in Stockholm on Sunday where she cut the tape in a time of 14:36.52. 

"My main goal now is the new PB at 5000m, so maybe in London, if the conditions are good, I can try to do it. My body is in perfect shape so anything is possible,” said Chebet in a post-race interview.

The world silver medalist turned up the heat in the final lap beating the Ethiopian duo of world indoor 3000m champion Lemlem Hailu (14:38.06) and 18-year-old Medina Eisa (14:40.02) to second and third respectively.

This was the second consecutive Diamond League victory for Chebet following her 3000m triumph in Oslo, Norway on June 15.  

The 23-year-old said she was undeterred by the wet weather conditions at the Olympic Stadium.

‘The first thing was to get the win. The second was to fight the tough conditions. Yes, the weather was not really good but you need to run in any conditions. It was not easy to finish the race,” she added.

On the World Championships she said: "I am already thinking about Budapest where my main target is to get on the podium in my specialty."

 

(07/03/2023) ⚡AMP
by Samuel Nganga
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World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

From August 19-27, 2023, Budapest will host the world's third largest sporting event, the World Athletics Championships. It is the largest sporting event in the history of Hungary, attended by athletes from more than 200 countries, whose news will reach more than one billion people. Athletics is the foundation of all sports. It represents strength, speed, dexterity and endurance, the...

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Sixth fastest marathoner Ekiru latest Kenyan athlete suspended over doping

Kenyan marathoner Titus Ekiru has been provisionally suspended by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for the presence of a prohibited substances (Triamcinolone Acetonide and metabolite; Pethidine and metabolite).

The AIU said on Monday that the 31-year-old marathoner faces two charges for doping and two more for tampering.

The sixth-fastest marathoner of all time, Ekiru now faces a 10-year ban but has the right to defend himself before the Disciplinary Tribunal.

Ekiru ran a time of 2 hours, 2 minutes, 57 seconds to win the Milan Marathon in May 2021 to place him in sixth in history. The current record is 2:01:09 by Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin last year.

Ekiru tested positive at the Italian race for the corticosteroid triamcinolone acetonide, which is prohibited for use in-competition unless an athlete is granted an exemption for medical use.

The AIU said a first investigation into the Milan positive test was closed, then reopened when Ekiru also tested positive for a synthetic opioid while winning in Abu Dhabi in November 2021.

“The athlete tested positive for pethidine after winning in Abu Dhabi, and again claimed the outcome resulted from legitimate medical treatment,” the AIU said.

Ekiru was provisionally suspended one year ago and was later charged with suspected doping violations in March and April, the AIU said.

Two more charges of tampering have now been added for the runner “submitting falsified medical explanations and documentation to the AIU for both positive tests,” the AIU said.

(07/03/2023) ⚡AMP
by Samuel Nganga
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Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei will run debut marathon in Valencia

Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei is already the 5,000-meter Olympic champion and a two-time world champ in the 10,000 meter distance and the world record holder at both distances, but it seems he’s just getting started. Cheptegei, 26, one of only ten men to ever hold both records concurrently, says he feels it’s time to step up his distance–and will be doing so in Valencia, Spain on Dec. 3.

The Valencia Marathon, known for its fast and flat course, is familiar ground for the 26-year-old athlete. “I have run 2 of my world records there and they organized the NN Valencia World Record Day for me in Covid-times,” Cheptegei told World Athletics. “Now they have given me the opportunity to run my first marathon. I already know the track in Valencia and I am very excited to explore the roads here.” Cheptegei runs with the world’s fastest marathoner, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge on the NN Running Team.

While Cheptegei says his main focus for the next year will be the 2024 Paris Olympics, he hopes his marathon debut will be a good experience–and it will help determine what direction his racing will head in post-Olympics.

Cheptegei finished second at the New York Half Marathon in March (his second-ever attempt at the distance), and ran a PB of 59:21 at the World Half Marathon Champs in 2020.

The current course record in Valencia is a scorching 2:01:53, set in 2022 by Kenyan runner Kelvin Keptum, also in his marathon debut. The last four editions of the race have been won in sub-2:04 times, and Cheptegei’s debut at such a remarkably quick race will be greatly anticipated.

(07/03/2023) ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO

The Trinidad Alfonso EDP Valencia Marathon is held annually in the historic city of Valencia which, with its entirely flat circuit and perfect November temperature, averaging between 12-17 degrees, represents the ideal setting for hosting such a long-distance sporting challenge. This, coupled with the most incomparable of settings, makes the Valencia Marathon, Valencia, one of the most important events in...

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The Best Gas Station Running Snacks

In a pinch, these on-the-go eats are nutritious fuel

Imagine this scenario: You’re running a race out of state and are two hours into your road trip when lunch time hits. You meant to pack a lunch box of snacks before you left this morning, but you were too busy running around getting your hydration gear, sunglasses, shoes, sweat-resistant socks, patella band, and everything else, so you forgot. The next exit off the highway advertises a gas station, so you reluctantly pull off and get ready to decide between a mushy banana or trail mix that’s 90% chocolate, 10% sugar-coated peanuts.

Gas stations can seem like an endless pit of overly salty, sugary processed snacks that probably aren’t part of your training nutrition plan. But there are actually plenty of options that won’t leave you feeling sluggish or with a stomach ache – if you know what to look for.

Calories: 15

Carbs: 2g

Sodium: 660mg

Research suggests that pickles are good for endurance athletes for a surprising reason. In general, the high amount of sodium in pickles is frowned upon by nutritionists, but sometimes it’s exactly what runners need to restore all the electrolytes lost in a training session. Pickles are always wedged into gas station aisles. Oh Snap! Dilly Bites are perfect because they come in a portable bag, are sliced into easy bite-sized pieces, and have a good balance of sodium. You may think 660mg is a lot, but it’s not much compared to the popular brand of Van Holten’s (which contains 1,080mg).

Calories: 130

Carbs: 19g

Protein: 4g

Fat: 4.5g

Sodium: 210mg

If you’re a fan of Cheetos but can’t stand the orange powder staining your fingers (and the sluggish feeling you get after eating them) then Hippeas should be your gas station snack of choice. Because these crunchy puffs are made with chickpea flour, they’re gluten-free, peanut-free, and tree nut-free. Hippeas contain a decent amount of easily-digestible carbs and they’re not packed with dehydrating sodium.

Calories: 200

Fat: 15g

Carbs: 2g

Protein 13g

Sodium: 740mg

If you’re not a bar fan, it can be difficult to find a gas station snack with a good amount of protein. While meat sticks can be a little daunting, these Fatty Meat Sticks (don’t judge the name) are made with pork raised without antibiotics, grass-fed beef, cane sugar, and cultured celery juice powder.

Pretzel Crisps

Calories: 110

Carbs: 24g

Protein: 2g

Sodium: 270mg

Boiled Eggs

Calories: 60

Protein: 6g

Fat: 4g

Sodium: 60mg

These two snacks are a match made in runner’s heaven. Pretzel Crisps – which are lower in calories, sodium, and fat compared to their regular counterparts – offer crunch and digestible carbs while pre-boiled eggs contain a balance of fat and protein. One study conducted by the American Journal of Physiology reports that eating protein and carbohydrates improves protein balance (the equilibrium between protein intake and anabolism) in endurance athletes. Thus, this combination is a two thumbs up.

While you might be hesitant to try gas station hard boiled eggs, you shouldn’t fear. Tip: Circle K hard boiled eggs are known to be the best of the best.

Pistachios

Calories: 150

Carbs: 8g

Protein: 6g

Fat: 13g

Sodium: 135mg

Calories: 90

Carbs: 1g

Protein: 7g

Fat: 6g

Sodium: 190mg

This is another prime food combination that melds protein, fats, and carbs. Pistachios are one of the rare plant-based complete protein sources, touting all the essential amino acids to make them a powerhouse nut. They’re also high in fiber, which the Sargento String Cheese lacks. Speaking of, string cheese contains 20% of the recommended dietary allowance for calcium and 14% of selenium. Not to mention it has a balance of fat, protein, and carbs.

Regardless of what you pick, it’s always better to fuel rather than go hungry. Don’t stress too much when browsing the gas station aisles, and try to stick to flavors and foods that you’re familiar with so you won’t experience any unexpected gastrointestinal distress.

(07/02/2023) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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Many Long-Distance Runners Don’t Eat Enough Calories—Here’s How to Increase Appetite So You Do

Adequate nutrition can be easier said than done. Here’s how to up your intake.

As you ramp up run training in prep for marathon season, you may assume your appetite will follow a similar upward trajectory. But that’s not always the case. 

On the contrary: Intense or prolonged exercise can actually suppress hunger, quashing your desire to eat, Jordan Hill, RD, a Colorado-based registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics with Top Nutrition Coaching, tells Runner’s World. 

Combine that with other factors—including lack of awareness about what and how much your body needs to sustain training, not having enough time to meal prep, and fear of weight gain—and it’s no surprise that many endurance runners are under-fueled.

Research confirms the struggle: A 2021 study of 207 cross-country runners, for example, found that 79.5 percent of female athletes and and 54 percent of male athletes were at risk of low energy availability (not intaking enough calories to support their workouts and daily needs). 

That’s a problem, since subpar nutrition can trigger a cascade of issues that negatively affect your workouts—and overall health. 

Here, with the help of two registered dietitians, we explain why eating enough calories is crucial to both your run performance and day-to-day functioning, telltale signs you’re underfueling, and easy ways to rev your appetite to help meet your caloric needs. 

Why Adequate Calorie Intake is So Crucial for Runners

Calories are synonymous with energy, Hill explains, so not getting enough calories means you’re not getting enough energy for your body. That deficit can influence pretty much every bodily function including your immune system and metabolism, heart, hormones, GI system, and even mental health, she explains.

More specifically, not getting enough calories can decrease your performance in workouts, lead to excessive fatigue, increased your risk for injury and illness, cause nutritional deficiencies, decrease muscle mass, trigger hormonal imbalances, and cause negative psychological effects, such as mood swings, difficulty concentrating, and increased stress levels, says Hill. In other words, when you don’t fuel enough your body and mind take a serious hit.

Additionally, if you continually eat less than your body needs, you risk suppressing your appetite overall, Amity Lui, MS, RD, a New York City-based sports dietitian who works with runners, tells Runner’s World. “Not eating enough will actually impact your body’s metabolic rate and cause your body to kick into survival mode,” she adds. This means your body will require less calories over time and will shut down certain functions to save energy while increasing storage of body fat, according to Lui. 

In some cases, underfueling can lead to relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S) syndrome–essentially, a chronic state of low energy availability, Lui explains. Unfortunately, RED-S can cause long-lasting, negative effects, including decreased bone density, chronic fatigue, poor recovery, and diminished enjoyment of running since “you literally have no energy for it,” says Lui.

On the flip side, amping up calorie intake to meet your needs “will reap almost immediate benefits,” says Lui. These include increased energy, mood, cognition, and run performance, she says. You’ll also benefit from enhanced recovery, a strengthened immune system, improved body composition and cardiovascular health, elevated psychological well being, reduced risk for nutritional deficiencies, and improved hormonal balance, says Hill.

Signs of Underfueling

There are a number of signs you’re not eating enough to support your training, and tuning into them can help you rev up your nutrition habits before longer-term problems arise. “If athletes cue into how they’re feeling and what their body is doing, they can usually pick up on not eating enough before RED-S would become an issue,” says Hill. 

Common signs of underfueling, according to Lui and Hill, include:

Decreased energy levels and feelings of abnormal fatigue—think: needing long naps every day, going to bed earlier than usual, or saying no to plans because of fatigue

Decreased performance in workouts—this could include being unable to complete your workouts, or consistently not reaching your target paces

Psychological and emotional changes—examples: mood swings, slowed cognition, irritability, lack of concentration, and generally feeling unmotivated

Prolonged muscle soreness and slow recovery

Getting sick or injured more often

Unintentional weight loss or difficulty maintaining your current weight

Hormonal disruptions, including loss of menstrual cycle

Changes in sleep patterns

Always feeling cold

Hair loss

12 Ways to Increase Appetite

A big reason runners struggle to get in all the calories they need is they simply don’t feel hungry. 

Now, there are a “bunch of ways that our body tells us we’re hungry,” says Hill. You may not always hear your stomach growl, but could instead experience hunger in the form of a headache or fatigue. “It’s important for each person to figure out what’s their individual cue for hunger to help them be aware of that,” says Hill. 

With that in mind, here are 12 expert-backed ways to kickstart your appetite and thus up your chances of eating enough calories. 

1. Eat breakfast

A lot of Lui’s clients report having just coffee as their breakfast, and that’s a no-no. Skipping meals can lead to prolonged hunger, which can suppress your appetite in the long-term. “It’s almost like ignoring your body’s hunger cues,” Lui explains. “If you keep ignoring something, your body will no longer register it as a sign that you need food.” 

Additionally, forgoing the first meal of the day may make it more difficult to achieve your overall calorie totals for the day. Plus, dodging a.m. fuel is associated with nutrient deficiencies and poor diet quality, according to other research. 

Not sure what to chow on? Check out these on-the-go breakfast ideas for runners, plan your breakfast in advance with some meal prepping, or whip up one of these recipes to fuel your morning runs. 

2. Consume smaller, more frequent meals

Instead of cramming all your calories into three big meals—which can be daunting if you’re just not feeling hungry—opt for smaller, more frequent feeding sessions. There’s no perfect cadence, but as a general rule of thumb, aim to nosh every two to three hours, suggests Hill. “It doesn’t have to be full-on meals,” she warns. Nutrient-dense snacks can fit the bill, too (more on that below). 

3. Reach for easy-to-digest fuel post workout

The most common time Hill sees athletes struggle with low appetite is right after a training session, since, like we mentioned, prolonged or intense training can suppress hunger. But getting fuel in anyways—ideally within 30 minutes of a workout—is an important part of the recovery process and can, in many cases, help kickstart your appetite, says Hill. 

Postrun, she recommends reaching for refreshing, easily digestible snacks, like a fruit smoothie, because they’ll be easier to stomach—literally. Lui, for her part, is a big fan of recovery shakes that have a three-to-one ratio of carbs to protein for optimal refueling. 

4. Opt for energy-dense bites

If you’re really struggling to feel hungry, but know it’s time to intake calories, pick higher-calorie, higher-nutrient snacks to maximize the fuel you’re consuming, says Hill. So instead of having just a plate of crackers, have crackers with cheese and deli meat or nut butter, she says. Or in lieu of popcorn alone, combine popcorn with jerky or popcorn and nuts. Other options include Greek yogurt with granola, fruit, chia, or flax seeds; toast with nut butter; or hummus and veggies. The goal, says Hill, is to pair more than one macronutrient together. 

5. Stay hydrated

Dehydration can screw with your appetite, says Hill, so it’s important to stay on top of your intake. Hydration needs vary and depend on factors including how much you exercise and sweat, your overall health, and the heat, humidity, and elevation of your environment, per the Mayo Clinic. As a general rule of thumb, you’re probably adequately hydrated if you don’t feel thirsty and your pee is light yellow or colorless.

6. Consider liquid calories

When hunger just isn’t there, it’s often easier to drink versus chew your calories. That’s where things like smoothies, shakes, juices, and soups can be helpful. “It is less taxing to sip on something versus having to prepare, reheat the food, cook it, and then chew it,” says Lui. To make your sippable meals as nutritious as possible, consider adding nutrient-dense extras like nut butters and seeds, she says. 

7. Find foods you actually enjoy

This may sound like a no-brainer but finding foods you actually enjoy eating—and not focusing so much on what you feel like you should be eating—can help combat a suppressed appetite, says Lui. After all, you’re much more likely to want to nibble when it’s something you genuinely like versus something you feel obligated to choke down. 

8. Reduce fiber intake

High-fiber foods can help keep you ~regular~ but they also keep you feeling full for longer, which may not be desired when you’re struggling with appetite. Fiber-rich meals, like large salads, “can result in bloating and delay gastric emptying, both of which can make you feel less hungry,” explains Lui. So, instead of opting for a kale salad at lunch, consider a grain bowl with quinoa, farro, rice, or barely; in lieu of a whole baked potato at dinner, have a bowl of pasta. 

9. Keep mealtime exciting

Hill explains it this way: “If you’re eating the same thing over and over, you’re already going to be disinterested, and then you throw no appetite on top of that, and it’s really going to make you not want to eat.” 

Beat the mealtime blahs by trying new-to-you flavors and textures. Make a reservation at that just-opened restaurant in town. Or, explore food blogs, watch cooking shows, and follow social media accounts that offer diverse and innovative recipes, suggests Hill. 

10. Pack snacks

To help with eating consistently, carry non-perishable snacks with you—like granola bars or trail mix—so that you’ll have something to nosh on during those times when you’re commuting and transportation gets held up or you end up having to run an extra errand. “I like to call them emergency snacks, even though sometimes I eat them not in an emergency,” says Lui. 

11. Cook with oils

Don’t be afraid to cook with oils, says Lui. This will allow you to get more calories in without having to eat a higher volume of grub. Plus, the fats in the oil enhance the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, Lui adds. So instead of boiling or steaming your veggies, for example, coat them in oil and grill, stir fry, air fry, or sauté them. 

12. Tap an expert for help

Because dietary needs and the factors affecting your appetite can be so individualized, it never hurts to consult a registered sports dietitian for personalized advice. They can help you figure out where you can incorporate more nutrient- and energy-dense meals and snacks into your day, says Lui, as well as determine how you can best fuel for your training goals. 

(07/02/2023) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Bill Thorn Ends His 53-Year Peachtree Road Race Run Streak This July 4

The 92-year-old is the only runner to have completed the famous 10K every year since it began in 1970.

This year’s running of the historic Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta will mark the end of an era. Bill Thorn, the only person to have run what has become the largest 10K in the world every year since it began in 1970, is ending his 53-year race streak. At 92 years old, Thorn thinks it’s finally time. He’s dealt with balance issues over the past few years, and has been racing with the aid of a walker. 

“It’s been really exciting over the years, but there comes a time when you have to let go,” he said in an Atlanta Track Club press statement.

In a year that features the deepest women’s field in the history of the race, including five women who have personal bests faster than the course record of 30:22, it’s not just the elite runners who will be anticipated at the finish line. 

On Tuesday, Thorn will be honored as the Peachtree’s Grand Marshal, and he’ll be chauffeured down the 6.2-mile course that he arguably knows better than anyone else in history. Just before the finish in Piedmont Park, he’ll emerge from the vehicle to be celebrated as he crosses the finish line on foot for the last time. 

“There is only one way to stop worrying about not finishing, and that is to just be finished,” he said, “I’m going into a new era.” 

Thorn has been a lover and booster of running for a long time. He coached athletes across various sports for 64 years, and in 2019, he retired from Landmark Christian School in Fairburn (an Atlanta suburb) where since 1995, he’d led his teams to 42 state championships in football, track, and cross-country. 

For many years, Thorn had good company as one of the “Original 110” finishers from the inaugural 1970 road race, but those numbers dwindled over time. He and Don Gamel were the only two who ran every year through 1992, and by 1993, Thorn was carrying that torch alone. 

Every Fourth of July, he’s shown up on the start line and hustled up the infamous “Cardiac Hill” in the stifling summer heat and Georgia humidity, whether he was coping with an ankle sprain, heel gash, or something as serious as prostate cancer. In his younger years, he raced his fastest times in the 39-minute range, but over time, the race became more about having fun with his family—his 30-year-old granddaughter, Kenzie Bayman, was his “race day buddy” for several years. The senior runner has been completing the race virtually since the COVID-19 pandemic, running a carefully measured route in his neighborhood.

On the Peachtree’s 50th anniversary in 2019, Thorn said, “It could’ve been just a fad, but as you go along through the years, people like Julia [Emmons, the former Atlanta Track Club Executive Director] says to me every once in a while to ‘keep going’ and that was really encouraging, and so it just became a year after year thing.” 

This year, Thorn will be honored with his name engraved on the Peachtree Cup, an honor that up until now has been reserved for race champions, including Aliphine Tuliamuk, Stephanie Bruce, and Jeff Galloway. This distinction is all his own. “No one else will ever be able to say they did the first 50,” he said.

You can stream the AJC Peachtree Road Race on the 11Alive YouTube channel on Tuesday for free. The elite women will start at 6:50 a.m. ET and the elite men will set off at 7 a.m. ET. 

(07/02/2023) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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The Fastest Man Without a Country 

Refugee Dominic Lobalu has proven that he can beat the best runners in the world. But will that be enough to get him to the World Championships? 

In May 2019, a 20-year-old runner named Dominic Lokinyomo Lobalu, from what is now South Sudan, won a 10K road race in Geneva, Switzerland. Lobalu, who was separated from his parents as a child during the second Sudanese civil war, was competing for the Athlete Refugee Team—a World Athletics-backed initiative that recruits talented individuals from refugee camps and helps get them into prestigious events around the world. A rising star in the ART ranks, Lobalu was living in Kenya at the time and training under the former marathon great Tegla Loroupe. As a teenager, he’d competed in the 1,500-meters at the 2017 World Championships. The 2020 Olympics seemed like an attainable goal. But after that race in Geneva, Lobalu made a decision that would radically alter the trajectory of his young athletic career: early the next morning, he absconded from his hotel with the intent of seeking asylum in Switzerland.

What happened next sounds like the stuff of sports fiction. A few months after he defected from the ART, a Swiss refugee center put Lobalu in touch with Markus Hagmann, a schoolteacher in Saint Gallen, who coached at a local track club called LC Brühl. Hagmann had been a competitive amateur in his day and still held the club’s record in the 3,000-meters—a formidable eight minutes and nine seconds. As soon as he saw Lobalu run, Hagmann recognized the young man’s stupendous talent and began entering him in local races to get a sense of just how fast he could run. It quickly became apparent that the Swiss national-level road racing circuit wasn’t going to cut it. Initially, Lobalu’s asylum-seeker status meant that he couldn’t leave the country. But in June 2022 he finally got a short-term residency permit, allowing him to travel. In his first international race, Lobalu outkicked Jacob Kiplimo, the reigning half marathon world record-holder from Uganda, to win the 3,000-meters in a world-leading 7:29:40 at a Diamond League meet in Stockholm.

“When we first met, it was not about getting a Diamond League win or creating a champion,” Hagmann says of his relationship to Lobalu. “It was just that there was a guy who had suffered and who needed help. And the thing that connected us was running.”

His breakthrough performance in Sweden last June has established Lobalu not only as a world-class athlete, but as someone capable of medaling at a global championship. Subsequent results have only affirmed his incredible potential. In the span of two weeks last September, Lobalu ran a 12:52 5K and a 59:12 half marathon; both among the fastest times in the world. According to Hagmann, Lobalu produced these results on a paltry 40 to 50 miles a week—less than half the training load of your typical world-class distance runner—as his body was still adjusting to the demands of high-volume training.

But the principal obstacle preventing Lobalu from having a shot at a glittering career on the international stage is perhaps more bureaucratic than physical. He currently has a short term, self-employed work permit in Switzerland and is in the process of applying for permanent residency, but acquiring full Swiss citizenship usually takes more than a decade. This means that Lobalu is technically ineligible to represent Switzerland at the Olympics or the World Championships. Meanwhile, since he chose to leave the ART to seek asylum in Switzerland, World Athletics says that he has forfeited the right to compete for the program. When I asked Lobalu if there was a way for him to represent South Sudan, he responded that that was “never an option.” As he put it to me:  “Could you run for a country that took everything in your life? A country you’ve had no connection with for the last 16 years. A country that has one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world?” What’s more, when he left the country as a nine-year-old, South Sudan, which only became a republic in 2011, didn’t yet exist.

Earlier this year, the Swiss athletics federation put in a request with World Athletics asking the sport’s global governing body if there was any way for Lobalu to get out of his legal limbo in time to compete at the World Championships in Budapest in August. In an email, World Athletics confirmed that the Swiss had put in a request for a “transfer of allegiance” and the application was currently going through the “appropriate review process.”

The resulting uncertainty is the subject of “The Right to Race,” a mini documentary that was released today. (You can watch it here.) The film was produced by the Swiss running shoe company On, which began sponsoring Lobalu after its co-founder Oliver Bernhard happened to witness him eviscerate the competition in a Swiss road race in December 2019. It’s rife with gorgeous footage of Lobalu striding through alpine landscapes (and buying milk from a Swiss farmer) but the film smooths over some of the rougher edges of Lobalu’s story—most notably his reasons for defecting from the ART and his extreme ambivalence towards his country of birth.

In a 2021 article in Time, Lobalu is quoted as saying that while he was at Loroupe’s training camp, he was deprived of prize money that he had earned and generally treated as a second-class citizen of nowhere. When I asked Lobalu about this on a recent phone call, however, he demurred and simply said that the situation in Kenya “wasn’t working for him.” (On has also had sponsorship arrangements with the Athlete Refugee Team.) While one can hardly blame Lobalu for not wanting to ruffle any more feathers, his disenchantment with the ART program seems like crucial context that is noticeably absent from “The Right to Race.”

To be fair, the film does a good job of portraying the conundrum for World Athletics.

“We can’t continue to persuade countries to give visas to refugees who may abscond and seek refugee status in their country,” World Athletics official Jackie Brock-Doyle says in the film. “From where we sit, he couldn’t continue to be part of the Athlete Refugee Team because, if so, the message to every other refugee is: Look, isn’t he a hero? Why don’t you do the same?”

Brock-Doyle reiterated this to me via email, but said that World Athletics was working to find a solution for Lobalu: “We would like to stress that there is a huge amount of sympathy for Mr Lobalu’s situation given his terrible experience as a child fleeing civil war in South Sudan. He is undoubtedly a talented athlete, and if we were able to find a way to include him in the ART programme without seriously compromising the programme—or possibly damaging it irreparably—we would have done so.”

For his part, Hagmann told me that while he understands the predicament for World Athletics, he feels that a runner’s refugee status ultimately shouldn’t be contingent on where he happens to be seeking asylum.

Of course, the amount of attention Lobalu is getting—and any prospective “hero” status—has been amplified by his success on the track. Hagmann is adamant that their relationship is first and foremost about friendship, but it’s hardly a stretch to suggest that his star athlete would be less likely to have the backing of a foreign athletics federation and a global corporation if he were just another semi-pro. “The Right to Race” includes an interview with one of Hagmann’s friends, who explicitly argues that finding a way for Lobalu to compete isn’t a matter of humanitarian goodwill, but of athletic integrity. “There must be a way for him to compete as a neutral person. Not because he is a nice guy, but because he is the best. The fastest person, or if he’s the second- or third-fastest, needs to have the possibility to start at the World Championships and the Olympic Games.”

I asked Lobalu whether this had been on his mind when he made the fateful decision, four years ago, to remain in Geneva.

“I think, in running, there is nothing that you are sure about—where you can say that, This is going to happen in this way. It was just my decision. I took it without knowing what would happen. So I just took a risk. I said: Let me try.”

(07/02/2023) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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5 Exercises for Better Balance and Stronger Knees on the Trail

Fine-tune your muscle imbalances with this workout finisher series from physical therapist assistant and personal trainer Lee WeltonNo matter what type of workout you have planned, you can finish it off with exercises that make you a stronger and more injury-proof hiker. The suggestions below are ideal for hikers who are short on training time yet want to address remedy common issues like knee pain or poor balance or add a boost of low-impact cardio before their next adventure.Take 5 to 10 minutes to perform box step-ups after a workout. This short routine will provide an extra dose of exercise for the legs and lungs alike. Select a box height that is anywhere from mid-shin to about knee-high. Don’t have a box on hand? A park bench will do the trick. For an additional challenge, you can do these with a weight vest or while holding dumbbells. Alternatively, these can be performed as lateral steps up and over.

Lateral step-downs are an excellent option for hikers who experience knee pain while hiking downhill. This exercise requires a step of 6 to 8 inches in height. If there’s pain with the exercise at this height, lower the height to 2 to 4 inches and retry.

To perform a lateral step down, start by standing with your left foot on the step and your right foot next to the side of the step. Bending your left knee, slowly lower the right foot toward the floor and tap your heel. Be sure to keep your left knee in line with your left foot and behind your toes as you bend. Also, the lowering motion should come from your left leg, not from your right foot reaching for the floor.   

Press through the left foot to return to the start position. Slow and controlled is the key here; fast reps won’t do you any good. Aim for a 3-second lower and a 1-second raise. Begin by performing three sets of 15 per leg and build up to four sets.The treadmill is a great tool to help prepare for climbs, especially if you have a limited amount of time to train. This workout finisher is straightforward and helpful for building aerobic capacity for hill climbs. Set the treadmill at an incline level between 3 and 6 percent and set a pace to keep you moving steadily for 10 to 15 minutes. Focus on nasal breathing during the session to mimic climbing a hill while hiking. Nasal breathing will help to keep the intensity where it’s most beneficial for hikers and optimize training time. To progress, add a weighted pack, and increase the incline or speed while maintaining nose breathing.

Utilizing the rower or bike as a training tool can be helpful, especially if there’s a history of any joint pain. These machines are low-impact and excellent at building aerobic conditioning for hiking. 

For the rower, a 1,000-2,000 meter low-to-moderate effort focusing on nasal breathing will provide a great cardio workout finisher while targeting some of the larger muscle groups that hikers need. On the bike, pedal for 10 to 15 minutes with a low-to-moderate effort to maintain a consistent cadence or watts. Focus on nasal breathing for this workout also. Good balance can be the difference between staying dry while crossing a creek or ending up with wet feet. Not to mention that balance also builds ankle stability, which is helpful on a technical trail. This often overlooked component of training also serves us well in life beyond the trail. 

A few balance exercises are easy to fit into a daily routine, fit in between larger groups of exercise, or practice at the end of a workout. There are two types of balance: static and dynamic. Static balance is done on a hard surface without additional movement. Dynamic balance typically incorporates less stable surfaces and/or adds motion to challenge balance further.

Static balance at home might look like standing on one foot while the coffee or tea brews, while your food reheats in the microwave, or while you brush your teeth.

In the gym, add dynamic balance with a weighted pass. Stand on one leg and hinge at the hips so the torso is slightly forward. Transfer a 10-pound weight from one hand to the other while maintaining balance. Balance for 20 seconds per leg and repeat three times. 

Lee Welton is a physical therapist assistant and personal trainer in Southeast Idaho. He thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018 and trekked through the Dolomites in Italy. He can typically be found hiking and exploring the trails in Idaho and Wyoming. For more information, videos, and resources from Welton, visit trailsidefitness.com.

(07/02/2023) ⚡AMP
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Can Exercise Replace Your Antidepressant?

Some doctors are now prescribing physical activity for mental health. Here's why. 

For centuries, we’ve known anecdotally that movement can improve your mood. Joggers often describe a euphoric runner’s high, while swimmers recall an inner calm that lasts long after they leave the pool. In April, researchers published the strongest evidence to date showing that physical activity does more than induce these temporary feel-good effects; It can actually improve depression as effectively as medication or psychotherapy. The findings build on previous studies showing exercise can reduce anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar, and obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms.

This mounting evidence doesn’t suggest you should toss out your medication or skip your next therapy appointment in favor of exercise alone. But it does indicate physical activity could be a powerful first-line treatment for mental health disorders, especially when combined with other therapies.

Based on the data, some experts see exercise as a safe, cheap antidepressant that could help the estimated one third of adults with mental illness who do not receive adequate treatment. And some clinicians are putting this concept into practice, doling out “exercise prescriptions” for mental health. These scripts give patients step-by-step instructions for physical activity recommendations, much like they would with antidepressants or behavioral therapy. But providers say that on the whole, the field has been slow to embrace exercise as medicine for mental illness, and “exercise prescriptions” remain the exception in clinical care, not the norm.

“Exercise is a good, underutilized tool to help with mental health conditions,” Ivan Escobar Roldan, a psychiatrist in Florida who regularly writes “exercise prescriptions” for his patients and studies the use of exercise in clinical practice, says. He co-authored a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice in 2021 showing that while many providers generally encourage patients to be active, they don’t often give specific instructions due to a lack of training, education, or standardized clinical guidelines.

“Everyone says you should exercise more,” Seattle-based clinical psychologist Julie Vieselmeyer says. “But patients always ask: What does that mean? Do I need to take an extra lap around the grocery store, or does that mean I have to go to a gym for three hours every day?”

Currently, mental health providers don’t give the clearest answers to these questions.

Exercise is as close to a miracle drug as we’ve got. Research shows it works as effectively as some prescription drugs in preventing and treating more than 26 different diseases.

When you start a workout, your pulse quickens and breathing deepens as your heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to your brain and muscles. Within a few minutes, you likely notice a lift in your mood as your brain releases “happy chemicals” like endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin (the same neurotransmitter targeted by antidepressants). The fleeting bliss of a runner’s high results from a spike of endocannabinoids in the bloodstream—cannabis-like signaling molecules that are naturally produced in your body and induce feelings of calm.

After your strength or conditioning session wraps up, the positive effects don’t stop. Over time, physical activity can increase levels of a protein called brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which leads to the creation of new neurons. More BDNF is correlated with reduced anxiety and depression, better focus, improved cognition, and sharper memory as you age.

When people exercise regularly, the brain’s hippocampus—the area linked to memory and learning—has also been found to increase in volume. That’s not all. With a regular workout routine, people often feel better, sleep better, eat better, and report improved relationships and work satisfaction. Exercising can burn off anxious energy as well as increase resilience to future stress. Eventually, it can even help people taper off medication and cut down on doctor’s visits or medical treatments. People who start to exercise before or during middle age typically save between $824 to $1,874 annually on their health care costs after retirement.

“While medications may take a few weeks to work, you see benefits right away with exercise,” Escobar Roldan says. “It’s not only going to help with anxiety, depression, and many other mental health conditions, but also with patients’ overall health and other chronic conditions.”

Getting moving can be tough initially. Despite the upsides, less than a quarter of U.S. adults do enough aerobic exercise or strength training to meet the national physical activity guidelines. But once people get going, exercise’s instant gratification often kicks off a beneficial feedback loop, Vieselmeyer says.

“When we’re making healthy choices, that ends up affecting how we think about ourselves, our self-confidence, and our energy levels—things affect our emotions positively and lead to behavior change,” she says. Working out isn’t just about quelling anxiety, depression, or negative emotions, but fostering positive ones too.

Matthew Ellison, a late-twenties investment banker based in New York City, has experienced these benefits firsthand. Ellison has a history of anxiety and recently dealt with a bout of depression tied to work stress. With the support of his therapist, Ellison made going to the gym a daily priority. He says the routine pulled him through this period and has become a non-negotiable practice to maintain his mental health.

“Being able to clear my mind, in the morning or late at night, has honestly been the greatest thing for my mental health,” Ellison says. “It’s the foundation for my mental well-being.”

For more than 20 years, Vieselmeyer has been interested in exercise as medicine, and says that amid recent studies, she is seeing more acceptance of the topic across the field. But even with a robust body of evidence, providers still struggle to convert these research breakthroughs into targeted exercise prescriptions.

That’s because there’s little formal training or education on the topic. Some clinicians are concerned about their patients’ health status and worry that exercise might lead to injury or cause a heart attack. Others simply don’t have the time to discuss exercise in depth.

Many providers recommend 150 minutes (or 2.5 hours) of physical activity per week—guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—but are hesitant to give concrete instructions beyond that. The American Psychological Association’s most recent clinical practice guidelines on depression don’t mention exercise as treatment.

In his own practice, Escobar Roldan uses resources like this prescription form created by Exercise is Medicine, a global initiative coordinated by the American College of Sports Medicine. The organization also provides a handy action guide to help providers prescribe the right “dose” of physical activity for more than 40 chronic conditions, including mental health disorders. Exercise is Medicine maintains a referral program for health professionals to connect patients with qualified exercise professionals. Some insurance companies also subsidize training programs or gym memberships, or even reimburse health and fitness expenses. But these programs aren’t yet commonly used in the mental health arena. “You need a lot of mounting evidence to see a paradigm shift or clinical practice change,” says Escobar Roldan. “With more awareness, we’re moving towards that, but we aren’t there yet.”

To get patients moving, Vieselmeyer and Sarah England, a clinical psychologist based in New York, don’t use strict “prescriptions.” Instead, they draw on techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy, one of the most evidence-based forms of therapy. The psychologists use motivational interviewing to explore the root causes of behavior and barriers to exercise. They also target behavioral activation, which uses behavioral shifts like physical activity to influence people’s emotional state.

“If clients are severely depressed and unable to do their laundry, I’m not going to suggest running two miles,” England, who helps patients set “SMART” goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, says. “We have to behaviorally activate them first, in smaller steps, like walking around the block.”

Ellison managed to establish a regular workout routine with only vague encouragement from his therapist. But for many others dealing with mental health issues, symptoms like fatigue or lack of motivation preclude their ability to exercise regularly.

“When somebody is really depressed, it’s hard to put the running shoes on and get out the door, even if they know that’s going to make them feel a whole lot better,” Vieselmeyer says. Sometimes the easiest entry point might be medication or seeing a therapist, and then progressing to exercise, she says.

Much of the evidence behind the antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects of exercise is based on people with mild to moderate cases of mental illness. A few small studies suggest that structured workout treatments can help patients with serious mental illness in inpatient settings. But on its own, exercise is unlikely to alleviate serious mental illness, experts say.

A major reason why mental health providers have been slow to embrace exercise as treatment is because researchers haven’t nailed down the exact “dose and effect” like they would with a prescription drug. More research is needed to determine which type of exercise works best, how much is needed, and who it can benefit mentally.

Based on what we know so far, the most effective exercise prescription includes physical activity that is:

Escobar Roldan suggests people bring their heart rate up to the point where they are a little bit out of breath. Gardening, walking, dancing, hiking, running, or cycling can all ease symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Most studies point to aerobic exercise as a way to boost your mood, but evidence shows strength or resistance training works too. It’s more about getting people moving doing something they enjoy, rather than finding the “perfect” exercise, Vieselmeyer says.

Group exercise sessions, from bootcamp to yoga, can be especially effective. People appear to gain more benefit when supervised by trained health and exercise professionals. There’s also the extra opportunity to connect with others, which pays dividends on our mental health.

Vieselmeyer recommends starting small. No triathlon or two-a-days involved. It’s more about working out consistently, not calculating the perfect ratio of Crossfit to Pilates.

“Whatever prescriptions are made going forward need to fit with people’s lives, or they’re just not going to do them,” Vieselmeyer says. “There are already enough barriers for people to exercise.”

Ultimately, physical activity isn’t a silver bullet for mental health—and more intense movement isn’t always the best strategy, especially for fitness fanatics who already train hard. “A good long run is not enough to process through your history of trauma,” Vieselmeyer says. If exercise alone was the panacea to our mental health crisis, we wouldn’t see any mental health difficulties in professional athletes, England notes.

The right exercise prescription comes down to each person’s level of physical and mental fitness. “I certainly hope no one is hesitating to prescribe exercise on top of other evidence-based treatments,” Vieselmeyer says. “I would rather give patients more tools than fewer, and then see where their interest lies.”

(07/01/2023) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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Four unconventional ways to manage chafing—and effective alternatives

Chafing often happens when you least expect it, causing distress and irritation on runs that are typically enjoyable. Ranging from mild to severe cases, failing to tackle the issue as it arises can cause infections without treatment. For this reason, it’s usually better to stop and deal with the problem before it grows.

I’ll never forget the first time I dealt with chafing. I was on a long run following the Appalachian Trail, and the air was thick with humidity. By the time I stopped to look at my irritated skin, it was already red and inflamed. After stubbornly fighting my way to the top of another peak, I gave in and asked my friend to lend me their maximum-strength butt paste, a popular household product used for infants with diaper rashes that old-school runners have adopted as their own.

They’d been using it for miles, swearing by its ability to soothe the chafe. I squished the contents of the tube into my palm and slathered the cream all over my hips and thighs. In seconds, parts of my body that were previously swampy and covered in salt were dry and cool. It was the perfect cure for the endurance chafe, drying my skin long enough to churn out a few more miles.

This was my first run-in with raw hips, but it wouldn’t be my last. Although I usually scraped by on short trail runs without any serious chafing, I continued to struggle with friction on longer days. I quickly found a stick of Body Glide and found that it wasn’t long-lasting enough for me to love it.

The burn haunted my dreams, driving me to find lasting solutions by trying everything, from coconut oil to soothe the burn after long days in the wilderness to deodorant when I’d forgotten the magic butt paste. Some solutions worked, while others only made the situation worse.

Here’s what you need to know to prevent desperate chafing mishaps:

Chafing is a condition of the skin that occurs with repeated skin on skin contact. The friction of the rubbing can cause small abrasions in the skin, worsening in effect with moisture and the wrong fabrics. The result of this type of rubbing is painful, and it’s often difficult to continue running once the chafe has begun.

Chafing happens at the worst possible time, leaving you desperate to find solutions. To manage the problem, you might start out by ignoring it. When that doesn’t help, you start to wonder if slathering a packet of goo on the problem area might provide enough relief until you can make it home. But the sting of the solution only worsens the pain, driving you to hate the sport that brings you joy. So don’t get caught doing these things if you want to avoid the worst run of your life.

A few years after my Appalachian Trail run, I found myself jogging down the Colorado Trail when the chafe appeared. My thighs rubbed together, screaming in rage, but I was still ten miles away from my car. I pulled the material of my shorts over the chafed area, hoping that it would reduce the friction on my thighs. It kept creeping upwards, leaving my skin unprotected. Then, I changed my gait, attempting to reduce the skin-on-skin contact.

Finally, I pulled a little tube of chapstick out of my pocket and slathered it on my thighs. I figured it’d work like Body Glide, reducing the friction on my thighs. But then my skin started to tingle. The peppermint scent glided into my nostrils, and I knew I’d made a huge mistake. The faint burn turned into a raging fire, furthering my misery.

Do This Instead:

Try Body Glide. The first Body Glide was originally developed in 1996 by a surfer who got tired of the neoprene neck of his wetsuit rubbing against his skin. This irritation drove him to develop a plant-based product that would tackle the neck discomfort without damaging his suit.

Today, Body Glide can be found in most sports shops, giving runners access to an hour reprieve from chafing. It’s a great option for short, wet runs since it works effectively for about an hour before it needs to be re-applied. (Some testers found it lasted longer than an hour.)

Adopt Fancy European Products. If you’ve never heard of Chamois Crème, it’s time to give it a test. Not only does this solution help to reduce friction and rehydrate the skin, but it also lasts two to three times as long as products like Body Glide. This Swiss-based product was first released in the 1940s for cyclists, but due to its effectiveness, it has been adopted by endurance athletes across the world.

Invest in Butt Paste, Baking Products, or Anti-Monkey Butt Powder. Chafing occurs because of repeated skin-on-skin contact and moisture, causing small abrasions in the skin. Since babies experience the same type of rubbing from diapers, manufacturers have been searching for “diaper rash” solutions since disposable diapers first appeared on the shelves.

The first diaper rash creams were developed in the early 1900s, and they typically used some form of petroleum jelly. Desitin, the first widely used diaper cream, hit the shelves in 1919. About 20 years later, Johnson & Johnson started adding zinc to its own diaper rash cream to enhance its healing properties.

Today, babies and runners alike rely on products like Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, which helps to dry you out while creating an added barrier over the skin to reduce additional irritation and prevent moisture from accumulating in the area. And it takes just a small amount of the solution to begin to treat the problem.

Another potential chafing solution can be found in most household baking cabinets. Mothers and grandmothers have been using cornstarch on babie’s bottoms for decades. And now runners do, too. Cornstarch helps to reduce moisture in both food and on your skin, aiding in the treatment of your discomfort. Some research even suggests that cornstarch has antibacterial properties, which could prove helpful in the elimination of infections.

Finally, the Anti-Monkey Butt Powder is a beloved anti-chafing product because it helps to reduce moisture in the impacted area, but it also contains calamine to help the chafed skin begin to heal. While most anti-chafing products deliver short-term results, the Anti-Monkey Butt Powder is designed to provide relief long after you’ve applied it.

Pack Deodorant. This might sound silly but some runners find that applying a layer of deodorant to chafe-prone areas helps to reduce friction, resulting in less chafing. Although this strategy isn’t likely to produce long-lasting results, it may help runners in a pinch.

We’ve all heard the adage that “cotton is rotten.” When it comes to chafing, this concept certainly applies. Cotton can be a great material in dry environments because it’s airy and loose. But it can also absorb 24 to 27 times its own weight in fluid, which makes it a poor companion on humid or wet runs.  And the more swampy your clothing becomes, the more likely you’ll end up with raw thighs and hips.

Do This Instead: 

Use the Right Fabrics. Instead of wearing cotton, chafing-prone athletes often benefit from using moisture-wicking materials like wool, nylon, and polyester. These materials are naturally moisture wicking, which supports long-term dryness even on the longest trail runs. And fabrics like nylon and polyester can also enhance movement by reducing friction, leaving your skin feeling comfortable and fresh.

While some looney toons might be confident enough to run a race while wearing jean shorts or canvas, most runners find that this type of attire is quick to cause chafing. As the skin moistens, it becomes soft and more pliable than usual. Regular rubbing from those cute cowboy shorts can then slice through the skin like warm butter.

Do This Instead: 

Wear Protection. Every runner’s body is different, which means that no single fix will cure chafing for all. But many runners find that changing their clothing choice and testing it before their long runs helps to reduce chafing. Some of the most effective clothing types may include moisture-wicking clothes, anti-chafe bands that can be placed around chafe-prone areas of the body, and longer shorts with anti-slip technology. For example, the Janji Pace Short, comes with interior silicone grippers to keep the legs from sliding up as you run. Some runners also swear by nipple guards.

Get Creative with KT Tape. Although most of us think of Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape (KT Tape) as a tool that’s used for swelling and muscle support, it can serve another function. Those who experience bra or shorts chafing can apply a layer of KT Tape to the affected area, to reduce additional friction while they run. Since the material of your clothing is likely to just absorb butt paste and body glide, KT Tape may be a better solution in these situations.

Chafing rashes are basically a combination of abrasions and heat burns, which can create a lot of post-run discomfort. Without proper treatment, they may get infected, impacting your training regimen over the following weeks. Jumping into a saltwater or taking a steamy shower after your run will likely exacerbate the symptoms.

Do This Instead:

Take a Cold Shower. Apply substances like aloe vera, coconut oil, and rash creams to the affected area to provide additional relief after runs. And switch to cold showers to reduce skin irritation while the chafe begins to heal. This helps to minimize the pain while the body does its magic.

After a decade of trail running, I’ve found a few strategies that kick the burn when I start to feel it. I pack Butt Paste any time I know I’ll be out for a long day. But every once in a while, the chafe catches me unaware, leaving me wondering why I didn’t come prepared with one of these no-fuss chafing solutions, since I know it could save me from misery.

(07/01/2023) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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Why Are Runners Suddenly So Fast?

Records are falling and times are dropping. Is it the shoes, or something else?

Consider the Paris Diamond League meet in early June. Jakob Ingebrigtsen smashed the two-mile world best by more than four seconds, becoming just the second man to run back-to-back sub-four-minute miles. Then Faith Kipyegon notched her second world record in a row, outsprinting the reigning record-holder over 5,000 meters just a week after becoming the first woman under 3:50 in the 1,500 meters. Then, to cap the night, Lamecha Girma took down the steeplechase record.

It was a great night—but it was just one of many great nights that track fans have been treated to recently. A week later, at the historic Bislett Games in Oslo, eight men broke 3:30 for 1,500 meters in one race, setting a new record—including Yared Nuguse, who set a new U.S. best. Meet records fell in almost every event. At the collegiate level, an analysis by Oregon-based coach Peter Thompson shows that the number of middle- and long-distance runners hitting elite benchmark times has doubled, tripled, or in some events even quadrupled in the last two years. Earlier in June, four high-school boys broke four minutes for the mile in a single race, matching the total number of people who’d done it in history prior to 2011.

I could go on.

There are two main questions that arise from this buffet of speed. First, is it real? Are runners getting faster across the board, or are we just being fooled by the brilliance of a few individuals and random fluctuations in the depth of different events? Second, if it’s really happening, then why? The easy answer is, “It’s gotta be the shoes” (or, in this case, the super spikes), but does the data really back that up?

I don’t have any definitive answers at this point, but here are my thoughts on some of the possible explanations.

It’s easy to make an anecdotal case that runners are faster than ever. Backing that up with data isn’t quite as straightforward. If you look only at whether the top-ranked time in the world is getting faster or slower from year to year, any trends will depend on whether you happen to have a generational athlete in the event at a given point in time. The effect of an Usain Bolt is bigger than the effect of, say, a new shoe design. Even if you go deeper, the top ten times in any year often come from just one or two races that took place in exceptionally good conditions. So you’re better off looking farther down the list.

For example, here’s some data for the men’s 1,500 meters between 2009 and 2022, drawn from the World Athletics database. I’ve shown the first, tenth, 100th, and 1,000th ranked performers (not performances) for each year. The horizontal dashed lines show the average for 2009 to 2018. The first super spike prototypes had shown up on the circuit by 2019 at latest, and were widely available by 2021. The big spike of slower times in 2020 is because there were so few races due to the pandemic.

The number-one times don’t show any particular trend. The tenth-best times show a dip since 2021, but no bigger than the dip in 2014-2015 (which corresponded to two particularly fast races in Monaco). For the 100th and 1,000th best times, the pre-pandemic data finally starts to look more consistent, which makes the dip since 2021 more telling. The 1,000th-best performer is now 0.9 percent faster than the pre-pandemic average, and the 100th-best is 0.5 percent faster. This is smaller than the 1.3-percent estimate derived from lab testing of super spikes, but in the ballpark.

Here’s comparable data for the women’s 5,000 meters:

Again, the first- and tenth-ranked times fluctuate too much to draw any conclusions. The 100th and 1,000th places do show an apparent drop in the last few years, by 1.9 and 2.0 percent respectively—more than the lab estimate. There are lots of possible explanations for this discrepancy, including that the benefits of super spikes are reduced at faster speeds.

I’ll add one more graph just for context. Supershoes came to road running way back in 2016 (for prototypes) and became widely available by 2018. I think most observers agree that these shoes really have affected road-running times. So what does the comparable data show for, say, men’s marathon times? Here it is:

The data is confounded by the effects of the pandemic, particularly in 2020. Still, the post-supershoe improvement looks fairly similar to the track data. Compared to the 2009 to 2016 average, last year’s times were 0.7 percent faster at tenth, 1.6 percent faster at 100th, and 1.3 percent faster at 1,000th.

The conclusion I take from all this data? It does like there’s something going on, both on the track and on the roads. But it’s way less obvious in the data than I expected. My subjective feeling was that the last few years have seen records broken and times redefined at a totally unprecedented rate. I thought I’d see robust improvement of at least three or four percent. But that scale of change is not there, at least in the events I sampled.

So with that in mind, what explains the changes we do see?

My starting assumption is that any performance improvements we’ve seen in the last few years are because of the shoes. I’m not going to belabor that point here, because I’ve already written plenty on both road supershoes and super spikes.

But I do want to make one key point. The reason my prime suspect is the shoes is that we have direct laboratory evidence that both types of shoes improve running economy, by around 2 percent on the track and at least 4 percent on the roads (and, to complete the circle, lab evidence that improved running economy directly translates to faster race times). It would take some weird and hitherto undiscovered science in order for the shoes not to make us faster. In contrast, the other hypotheses that I’m going to discuss below may be compelling to various degrees, but all rely on some assumptions and guesses and hand-waving.

Here’s a sentence you wouldn’t have read prior to 2018, from Letsrun’s description of Kipyegon’s thrilling 1,500 world record in Florence: “Kipyegon sprinted away from the pacing lights with 200m to go, lengthening her gap from the green lights as she rounded the turn and entered the home straightaway.” I wrote about World Athletics’s introduction of Wavelight pacing lights when Joshua Cheptegei set the 5,000-meter world record in 2020, positing that more even splits could make a notable difference to times. Good pacing has been a hallmark of this year’s records too, all assisted by Wavelight.

Wavelight doesn’t factor in on the roads, but ever since Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-two marathon exhibitions, big-time marathons have devoted more attention to providing top-notch pacers for their elite runners. That has the double benefit of saving the mental effort of setting the pace, and of reducing air resistance. I think good pacing and drafting are both beneficial. But that can’t explain why the 100th and 1,000th performers seem to be getting faster, because Wavelight and paid rabbits are generally reserved for the front of the pack.

Freed from the tyranny of over-frequent racing during lockdowns, runners spent 2020 building up a massive base of endurance that has catapulted them to new levels. It’s even possible that, having learned their lesson, they’ll continue with this more patient approach to training. This theory has the disadvantage of being both unprovable and unfalsifiable. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s untrue, but if performance levels don’t start regressing to their pre-pandemic means over the next few years, I’ll remain skeptical.

It’s the “big, sexy thing” in endurance training these days, as miler Hobbs Kessler put it in a recent interview: lactate-guided double-threshold training, as popularized by Norwegian Olympic champions Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Kristian Blummenfelt. As I explained in this article, the approach emphasizes high volumes of threshold training with very tight control on the intensity to avoid going too hard. Whether it’s objectively better than other training approaches remains to be seen—but it hasn’t yet been adopted widely enough to make a noticeable impact on the top-1,000 list.

In the past, when I’ve looked at broad trends in performance over time, one of the first factors I’ve considered is changes in drug availability or drug testing. It’s extremely noticeable (though of course not proof of anything) that long-distance track times took off like a rocket shortly after the introduction of EPO in the early 1990s. If you look carefully, you can find what seems to be the performance signature of various drug-related events like the introduction of EPO testing and, more recently, the implementation of athlete biological passports.

Is there something new on the scene over the last few years? Or are we still seeing the effects of pandemic-related disruptions in out-of-competition drug testing? I certainly hope it’s not the case, but you’d have to be amnesiac to discount the possibility entirely. Once again, the best counterargument is that the performance improvements are noticeable even at the 1,000th-best level—though perhaps I’m being naive.

As you can probably tell, I don’t think any of the alternative explanations I’ve offered so far hold water compared to my default assumption that it’s the shoes. But this last category is a little different. If you spend enough time arguing with people about why runners are getting faster, you’ll encounter a number of broad, hand-waving theories that are hard to substantiate but nonetheless sound reasonable.

For example, I can attest to the fact that the Internet has made training knowledge far more widely accessible than it was when I was a young athlete in the 1990s. Ideas and approaches (like the Norwegian model) are endlessly debated and dissected, and any student of the sport is exposed to multiple perspectives. (In contrast, when I arrived at university and found that the workouts were different from those I’d done in high school, I thought the world was ending.) This theory has been offered frequently over the last decade or more as an explanation for steadily improving U.S. high school times. Maybe it’s true more broadly: people everywhere simply know more about the principles of training, and are doing it better (or at least fewer people are doing really stupid training) compared to the past. Even if elite coaching was always pretty good, this creates a wider pyramid of prospective talent feeding into the elite coaches.

I also have the sense that the pendulum has swung away from sit-and-kick racing towards aggressive front-running. After the 2019 world championships, where super spikes first made headlines, I wrote an article about the unusually fast early paces of the races. Jakob Ingebrigtsen, the current king of the 1,500, is notable for running from the front and pushing the pace rather than relying on a finishing sprint—which likely helps explain why he led those seven other men under 3:30 in Oslo. If runners these days are more focused on running fast times rather than trying to win sprint finishes, it stands to reason that times would get faster overall.

And there are plenty of other theories out there—broader support for professional training groups, better nutrition and recovery, the inevitable march of progress, and some that I’ve undoubtedly missed completely. As I said at the top, I don’t know the answers, and I don’t think anyone else does either. Times do seem to be improving, but not as much as I would have guessed based on all the hype about recent record-breaking. The shoes almost certainly play some role—but if there’s some other secret sauce in there, it’ll be fun trying to figure out what it is.

(07/01/2023) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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Five Secrets to Recover faster and better

Balancing training intensity, rest, and nutrition can help your body bounce back faster, reduce soreness, and improve overall performance

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or fitness enthusiast, recovery after exercise is just as important as your training. Optimizing recovery helps you minimize injuries and train at your highest level—and enjoy being active even more. Yes, rest and sleep contribute to recovery, but what you consume post-workout also has a huge impact. Set yourself up for your best training season yet with these tips for fast and effective recovery. 

Protein gets a lot of attention when it comes to recovery—and for good reason. When we exercise, our muscles experience minor tears and damage, which triggers a process of repair and growth known as muscle protein synthesis. Consuming protein after exercise provides the necessary building blocks (amino acids) to repair and rebuild damaged muscle tissue.

Aim for 20 to 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes to an hour after exercise to maximize muscle protein synthesis and prime your muscles for the next training session. For a quick way to guarantee you hit your protein quota, add protein powders like NOW® Sports Whey or Pea Protein to a smoothie or shake. Josh Kerr, Olympic bronze medalist in the 1,500-meter event at the 2020 Tokyo Games, explains, “The protein powder I like most from NOW® Sports is the Organic Unflavored Whey Protein. It’s so clean, it’s Informed Sport certified, and I use it every day. It’s fantastic for post-workout. It gets me that boost of protein I need.”

Amino acids like leucine are what’s known as “anabolic triggers” that stimulate muscle growth. When the body breaks down leucine, it creates a naturally occurring compound called β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (HMB). Health and exercise scientists have studied HMB extensively for its potential benefits in optimizing muscle repair and growth after training.* 

Leucine is one of the essential amino acids, meaning our bodies can’t produce it naturally. Instead, we rely on food to obtain this crucial nutrient. Meat, fish, soy, and dairy products are particularly high in leucine. But depending on your diet, eating enough leucine-rich foods to support HMB production can be difficult. Supplement your diet with NOW® Sports HMB Powder, Veg Capsules, or Tablets after every workout to reap the recovery benefits of HMB.*

Eating carbohydrates—before and after exercise—is critical for replenishing glycogen stores in the muscles and liver. During exercise, the body uses glycogen (the storage form of carbohydrates) as a source of energy. When glycogen levels are depleted, the body will then use protein for fuel, leading to muscle breakdown. Consuming carbohydrates after exercise restores glycogen levels, which in turn increases your body’s ability to use and store glycogen. Over time, more glycogen storage means more endurance for runs, bike rides, lifting sessions, and more. Kerr explains, “Carbs are very important, as is the timing of when you consume the carbs. For me, I do big/long workouts Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday, so Monday, Thursday, and Saturday are my big carbing-up days.”

Additionally, carbohydrates help muscles take up more amino acids to repair the damage from exercise. Choose post-workout snacks with a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to proteins to enhance muscle repair and improve overall performance.

Great training days aren’t great unless you’re getting high-quality sleep. During sleep, the body releases growth hormone, which helps repair and rebuild muscle tissue damaged during exercise. Additionally, sleep is necessary for the body to produce new muscle cells and maintain a healthy immune system. Inadequate sleep can lead to increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can impair healing and hinder athletic performance. Kerr explains the impact of sleep on his training regimen: “I enjoy getting up early, which means I like to get to bed early. I’m the most motivated in the morning, so I like getting my training in early. Sleep is just so crucial for recovery.”

NOW® Sports R&R Rest and Repair promotes restful sleep and may help prevent burnout from high-intensity training.* The supplement is made with clinically tested CherryPURE® Tart Cherry powder, which can reduce muscle soreness associated with intense exercise, 5-HTP, and melatonin.* 

As athletes push the boundaries of what the body is capable of, health and exercise science professionals continue to refine best practices for training and recovery. The NOW Sports Hub offers a community of top nutrition experts, trainers, and pro athletes, curating all the intel you need—from the proven benefits of science-backed ingredients and the latest supplement regulations to professional workouts and nutrition tips. Kerr explains how nutrition fits into his overall training: “For me, it’s about being able to show up day in and day out and having the right fuel. I am pounding 70 to 75 miles per week, and I must replenish as much as I can. Getting the right clean foods and the right clean supplements makes such a difference in what I’m doing. Without it, I don’t think I could be putting in the days I am right now.”

NOW® Sports Recovery Shake

Incorporate these five tips into the perfect post-workout recovery shake with a recipe by registered sports dietitian Lauren MacLeod.

Add all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Makes a single serving.

At NOW® Sports, we’re all about natural, unadulterated sports nutrition supplements that legitimately enhance performance. NOW® Sports products are certified by Informed Sport, the world’s leading anti-doping organization, so you can trust that our products are pure, safe, and effective for every level of athletics.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

(07/01/2023) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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How to Make a Homemade Gel Ice Pack

Plus, what to keep in mind as you ice that sore muscleRest, recover, and ice, ice, ice. If you’ve been injured, you’re likely familiar with this phrase. And like your plan to heal, icing is individual to you. While other members of your training group may prefer a bag of ice or frozen peas, you may gravitate toward the feel of a gel ice pack.

Instead of shelling out money on Amazon, you can make your own gel ice pack at home. However, icing an injury or ache is a bit more complicated than slapping a bag on your leg. Here’s what to keep in mind.

Icing is individual to you—and is something that should be discussed with and cleared by a medical professional, says Jen Caudle, DO, associate professor of family medicine at Rowan University in New Jersey. For example, if you have poor blood flow to certain areas of your body or nerve damage, there are certain risks. Depending on your injury and preference, there will be a particular cooling source that works best for you, Caudle says, whether a gel ice pack or a bag of frozen peas.

You’ll also want to find something to wrap around the pack. “It’s important to cover up ice packs with a towel,” Caudle says. “That sort of removes the extreme cold, which can actually damage skin and tissues.”

Timing is also critical. Leaving an ice pack on for more than the sanctioned amount of time can potentially create more problems than solutions, Caudle says. She recommends, for most people, to leave an ice pack on for no longer than 15 to 20 minutes.

Here, Caudle breaks down how to construct your own gel ice—using just four different items you likely already have lying around the house.

What you need: Rubbing alcohol (with a concentration of at least 70 percent isopropyl alcohol), water, a measuring cup, a resealable plastic bag

1. Pour ⅓ cup of rubbing alcohol and ⅔ cup of water into a plastic bag. If you want to create a larger ice pack, double or triple the amounts. The ratio should always remain two parts water to every one part rubbing alcohol.2. Squeeze out any air, seal the bag tightly, and mix the rubbing alcohol and water.3. Place your bag in the freezer for a few hours. It should feel like a gel substance when you remove it.4. Use your gel ice pack on sore muscles and joints. Return it to the freezer after you’ve finished icing.

(07/01/2023) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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How Running Can Help You Effectively Lose Weight


Weight loss is a major topic around the globe; with summer just around the corner, many people are hoping to get beach ready in a short space of time.

You can speed up your weight loss by taking up a particular sport: running. Though walking can help burn calories, a study revealed that runners can achieve 90% greater weight loss per energy expanded when they’re running. As such, people who want to achieve quick weight loss can benefit from running compared to walking regularly.

There are many reasons why running can help you lose excess weight in a fast manner. To illustrate, here are a few reasons why running can help you achieve your desired weight:

Running can complement the effects of your weight loss diet


As previously mentioned, running is a physical activity that can burn calories quickly. Due to this effect, dietitians consider it as a good strategy to combine with a healthy weight-loss diet.

Registered dietitian Natalie Rizzo explains that running is a good workout to include in a weight loss routine because it burns excess calories in your body. However, Rizzo emphasized that your running routine must go hand-in-hand with good nutrition because the food that you eat causes excess calories in the first place. Thus, you need to combine exercises like running with a proper diet to be able to minimize your calorie intake and make it easier to burn all the excess calories.

You can switch up your routine to burn calories more effectively


There are various types of running routines that you could do to lose weight. So if you want to burn more calories, you can simply adjust your routine now and then to increase the effects of your workout. In fact, running coach Chris Coggins explains that you should be running fast and running far to maximize the amount of weight that you’re losing. Switching up your routine is crucial because high-intensity runs can torch your calories better and give you that after-burn effect, while slower runs over long distances can target your fat better. Coggins suggests switching between the two approaches to reap both effects and avoid any plateaus from the routine.

Your running goals can serve as motivators for weight loss


It’s very common for people to lose their motivation for weight loss over time. Unfortunately, it’s easy for motivation to wane, especially if you are only focusing on weight loss as your sole goal. As such, it’s important to boost your motivation for weight loss by setting goals that are related to an activity that makes you want to get out there and move. Research shows that people are more likely to stick to a fitness routine if they’re motivated by internal rewards, which is why it’s crucial to set goals that are related to your running routine. To illustrate, you can focus on aiming for certain distance goals or prepare for a specific race to motivate yourself to run every day and lose weight in the process.

Serious runners are more likely to adopt healthy behaviors


There are more benefits that you can reap from setting running-related goals. These goals may encourage you to pick up healthier lifestyle habits, which can further contribute to your weight loss. Often people who fall in love with a running practice end up adopting healthy behaviors that can help them improve their fitness performance. To illustrate, they may start sleeping more to have more time for morning runs or load up on nutrient-rich foods to get more energy for their routine. Though these healthy habits are mostly for one’s running practice, they can improve your health and lower your weight in the process.

Running can help you lose weight, especially if you do the practice right. As such, you need to learn more about the practice to be able to burn any excess calories more effectively.

(06/30/2023) ⚡AMP
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Keira D’Amato Sets American Record in the Half Marathon

Keira D’Amato averaged 5:05 per mile pace and broke the American record set by Emily Sisson by 13 seconds.

Once she finally got to Australia, all the stars aligned for Keira D’Amato. 

On July 1, she ran the Gold Coast Half Marathon in 1:06:39 and broke Emily Sisson’s American record by 13 seconds.

In perfect conditions—temperatures were 50 degrees with just a touch of wind from the west—D’Amato, 38, ran behind a pacesetter on the flat course and averaged 5:05 per mile.

Getting to Oz, however, was full of travel challenges. D’Amato’s flight from her home in Virginia on Sunday was delayed and then canceled. The same happened on Monday. When she finally made it to Los Angeles, she missed her connection, had to spend the night (and do a track workout in there, according to her Instagram). 

Once in Australia, D’Amato soaked up the cheers from the local fans. 

“The crowds were amazing,” she said in a post-race interview on the race broadcast on YouTube. “Being from another country, hearing my name all over course, it made me feel so powerful today.”

Meanwhile, the back-and-forth duel between Sisson and D’Amato over American records continues. 

D’Amato held the American record in the marathon from January 16, 2022, until October 9, 2022, when it was broken by Sisson. 

Sisson held the American record in the half marathon from May 7, 2022—until D’Amato broke it.

Emily Sisson posted on Twitter;

Congrats @KeiraDAmato on breaking the U.S. women’s half marathon record today! It’s awesome to be a part of this era of U.S. women’s distance running where records are continuously improving. Especially impressive considering your travel—enjoy the moment Keira.

D’Amato’s next marathon will be at the World Championships in August in Budapest, Hungary. 

She makes it clear with every interview that she’s enjoying her return to elite running after 10 years off and having two kids. 

“I think when I first came back into running, it was for me,” she said during the post-race interview. “Somewhere along the way, it turned into a we. Doing this for all of us that think, ‘We’re too busy’ or ‘We’re too old.’ Or too whatnot. Feeling people cheer for me, I felt like they were part of my journey.”

(06/30/2023) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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On the track or the road, this workout will help you build strength and speed

If you’ve got an interval session coming up in your training plan, consider trying this descending ladder workout. Starting with 600m repeats to build strength and working your way down to 200s to work on your speed, it’ll help put you on track to achieve your next personal best in a variety of short and mid-distance races.

The workout itself is quite simple–the number of reps in each set increases as the intervals get longer, and you get a slightly longer rest between sets to reset before moving on to the next distance. As the intervals get shorter, the goal is to increase your speed, so aim to run the 600s at your current 5K race pace, the 400s at your 5K goal pace or a bit faster, and the 200s as fast as you can go (800m to 1,500m pace).

Don’t have a track nearby? Don’t worry–we’ve included a road option as well. Just make sure when you’re on the road that you’re paying attention to pace and cranking up the speed as the intervals get shorter.

The workout

Warmup: 15-20 minute easy jog, followed by form drills and strides

Workout: 600m/1 min rest/600m/2 min rest//400m/1min rest/400 m/1 min rest/400m/2 min rest//200m/1 min rest/200m/1 min rest/200m/1 min rest/ 200m

Road workout: 3 min/1 min rest/3 min/2 min rest//2 min/1 min rest/2 min/1 min rest/2 min/2 min rest//45 sec/1 min rest/45 sec/1 min rest/45 sec/1 min rest/45 sec 

Cooldown: 10-15 minute easy jog followed by light stretching and mobility

(06/30/2023) ⚡AMP
by BRITTANY HAMBLETON (Running Magazine)
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2023 US Outdoor Track and Field Championships preview from Chris Chavez

Last night was the deadline for athletes to declare their event for the 2023 U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will take place in Eugene from July 6-9. At USAs, athletes are allowed to enter multiple events and then make a decision about which event(s) they wish to contest once entries are in, which allows those who’ve achieved multiple qualifiers to be strategic about where they want to concentrate their efforts. The top three in each event who meet the qualifying standards for the World Athletics Championships will go on to represent the United States in Budapest in August.

Reigning World champions have a “bye” to the next year’s Worlds, which means the country they represent gets to send four athletes, not three. Similarly, reigning Diamond League and World Athletics Continental Tour champs earn a bye, but if there is both a World and other champion in the same event, their country still only gets to send one extra athlete.

These complex rules lead many American World champions to make interesting choices about what events they wish to contest at USAs and how hard they want to push while still in the middle of the championship season.

MEN’S SPRINTS

– 100m world champion Fred Kerley has the bye to the world championships and will only run the 200m. Last year, he qualified for the World Championships in the 200m with a third place finish behind Noah Lyles and Erriyon Knighton. He injured his quad in the semifinal of the 200m and was unable to run the 4x100m relay for Team USA. Kerley has a season’s best of 19.92 from his win at the Doha Diamond League.

– 200m world champion Noah Lyles has the bye to the world championships and will only run the 100m. He ran a season's best of 9.95 in his outdoor opener in April. The last time he ran the 100m at a U.S. Championship, he finished seventh at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials final.

– 400m world champion Michael Norman is declared for the 100m and 200m at the U.S. Championships. He ran a wind-aided 10.02 (+3.0m/s wind) at the Mt. SAC Relays in April. He has not raced since a last place finish in the 200m at the Doha Diamond League in 20.65 on May 5.

WOMEN’S SPRINTS

– Sha’Carri Richardson is running the 100m and 200m. She is looking to qualify for her first World championship team. Her season’s best of 10.76 from her victory at the Doha Diamond League is the second-fastest performance in the world this year. Her season’s best of 22.07 from the Kip Keino Classic at altitude in Nairobi is No. 4 on the world list.

Only Gabby Thomas’ 22.05 from the Paris Diamond League is faster this year by an American woman. Richardson, the 2019 NCAA champion, attempted the double at USAs in both 2019 and 2022, where her highest finish was 8th in the 100m in 2019. She has yet to make a U.S. final in the 200m.

– Reigning U.S. champion Abby Steiner is only running the 200m despite qualifying in both the 100m and the 400m as well. She just ran her season’s best of 22.19 to win the NYC Grand Prix.

– As previously announced, 400m hurdles Olympic champion, World champion and world record holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone is running the flat 400m. She plans to make a decision after the U.S. Championships whether she will run the flat 400m (if she qualifies) or defend her 400m hurdles title in Budapest.

– NCAA record holder Britton Wilson, who ran 49.14 to become No. 4 on the U.S. all-time list, will only run the 400m and not the 400m hurdles. She hurdled at last year’s World championships and participated in the 4x400m relay.

MEN’S DISTANCE

– This year’s men’s steeplechase team should have a new look. 2016 Olympic silver medalist Evan Jager is not entered in the steeplechase. He has raced just once this outdoor season. Hillary Bor, the reigning U.S. champion who also owns the fastest steeplechase time by an American this year in 8:11.28, broke his foot earlier this spring and will miss the U.S. Championships. This is the first U.S. team he has missed since 2015. The top returner is Benard Keter, who made the Olympic team in 2021 and the World team in 2022, but he is only the fifth-fastest entrant by seed time.

– For the first time, 2021 U.S. 5000m champPaul Chelimo is entered in both the 5000m and the 10,000m. Chelimo, the 3x global medalist at 5000m, has typically only focused on the shorter event, but after his 27:12.73 performance at the Night of the 10,000m PBs in the U.K. earlier this season, he has decided to contest both events. He’s seeded No. 4 by qualifying time in both events behind Grant Fisher, Woody Kincaid, and Joe Klecker (all also double-entered).

WOMEN’S DISTANCE

– 800m Olympic and world champion Athing Mu entered the 1500m, as previously announced with coach Bobby Kersee. She has the bye to the world championships in the 800m. Her personal best of 4:16.06 is well outside the automatic standard of 4:05.00 and was achieved outside the qualifying window for the championships, but USATF rules allow for significant discretion in accepting entries from the Sports Committee chair.

– Josette Norris and On Athletics Club coach Dathan Ritzenhein have decided to focus solely on the 5000m. Norris ran 14:43.36 at Sound Running’s Track Fest in early May. That’s the second-fastest time by an American woman on the year behind her teammate and training partner Alicia Monson’s 14:34.88 at the Paris Diamond League. Monson is entered in both the 5000m and 10,000m after choosing to only contest the 10,000m last year.

– NC State’s NCAA record holder Katelyn Tuohy will only run the 5000m. Tuohy qualified for NCAAs in both the 1500m and the 5000m but ended up only running the 1500m after an uncharacteristically disappointing performance in the final.

– The Bowerman Track Club’s Elise Cranny has declared for the 1500m, 5000m and the 10,000m. The first round of the women’s 1500m is 19 minutes before the final of the 10,000m on Day 1 of the competition, so Cranny will likely scratch one or more events at a later point.

 

(06/30/2023) ⚡AMP
by Chris Chavez (Citius magazine)
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USATF Outdoor Championships

USATF Outdoor Championships

With an eye toward continuing the historic athletic success of 2022, USATF is pleased to announce competitive opportunities for its athletes to secure qualifying marks and prize money, including a new Grand Prix series, as they prepare for the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.As announced a few months ago, the 2023 Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China have been...

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When you consistently stress the body and the mind, you are changing your chemical makeup. Here’s what the latest science tells us about burnout

Kieran Abbotts is a PhD student at the University of Oregon, studying human physiology. He earned his master’s degree in Metabolism and Exercise Physiology at Colorado State University. The lab where he now works studies exercise and environment and stressors on physiology. In other words, he’s an expert on how the chemicals in the body work during exercise, and what happens when things get out of whack.

“Essentially, there are two kinds of training. There’s functional overreaching, which means you stress the body with hard workouts and long runs. Then you provide adequate time to recover, and you induce adaptations,” Abbotts said. This kind of training is ideal—your body is getting stronger. “You want to be functionally overreaching as an elite athlete—so that you’re making progress and becoming a better runner, but also giving yourself adequate recovery.”

And then there’s non-functional overreaching, which can feel the same to many athletes, but it’s very different. “With non-functional overreaching you’re essentially doing the same thing—big workouts, stressing the body—but not giving yourself enough time to recover. And so you start doing damage.” That damage might take a long time to show itself, Abbots said, but it eventually will.

This might be the most important thing to know about being an athlete at any level. Non-functional overreaching is exactly the same as very healthy training, except without enough rest. And rest is different for everyone, which makes it exceptionally easy to slip from functional overreaching into damaging non-functional overreaching without realizing it. Without adequate rest, the body begins to break down instead of build stronger.

Stress Is Stress

Professional ultrarunner Cat Bradley, 31, living in Hawaii, has experienced fatigue and burnout in various forms, including just after she won Western States in 2017.

Winning a big race is great, but it also means all eyes are on you—the pressure is high to stay on top. “After winning Western States, I took a month off, but I was still running at a high level. And for lack of a better term, I felt like I had a gun to my back,” Bradley said. “I wanted Western States so badly, and after I won, so many things happened and I never shook that gun-to-the-back feeling. After a while, it led to burnout. I had to take a mental break.”

For many athletes, finding success can be the stress that makes non-functional overreaching feel necessary. How can you take an extended break when you’re winning and signing new sponsor contracts?

A second version of burnout for Bradley came when she went through an especially stressful situation outside of running. She was dealing with such extreme daily emotional stress in her personal life that everything else was affected, including running and training. When the body is enduring stress, it doesn’t know (or care) what the cause is. We can’t put our life into silos. If there’s stress in one’s life, everything else needs to be adjusted. It doesn’t matter if that stress is “just work” or illness, or relationships.

When you’re overtraining or chronically overstressed, your body is creating higher levels of “catecholamines,” hormones released by your adrenal glands during times of stress like epinephrine, norepinephrine, or adrenaline. “Having those chronically high levels of overstimulation and not enough recovery, you wind up with a desensitization,” Abbotts said. “Overstimulation also causes decreased levels of plasma cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone, and it plays a very important role in your physiology.”

When you’re exercising or stressing the body, cortisol will go up, to help the body deal with the stress. But if you’re constantly requiring lots of cortisol, your body will eventually down-regulate. It will adapt and then you’ll have low levels of cortisol. This means trouble dealing with physical and mental stress.

In February, Bradley experienced her most recent version of burnout, and it happened mid-race. Bradley was running the Tarawera 100-miler in New Zealand. Besides training for such a big race, she was also working full-time and planning and preparing for her wedding, which was just days after the race. On top of everything, travel to the event was incredibly stressful.

“I was in fourth place, I could see third, and at mile 85, I passed out and hit my head on a rock,” Bradley said. “We can talk about the reasons that I fainted, but I really think my brain just shut down—it was too much.”

For Bradley, reaching burnout has a lot more to do with outside stressors than the actual running. But now she’s aware of that—she continues to work on not reaching the “gun-to-the-back” feeling. The need to please others. The fear of losing fitness in order to take care of her body. It’s an ongoing process, but an important one.

Overdoing Is the American Way

Professional ultrarunner Sally McRae said, based on her observations, Americans are really bad at taking time off. “I’ve traveled the world and Americans are really bad at resting,” she said. “It’s part of our work system. You go anywhere in Europe and everyone takes a month-long holiday. You have a kid and you take a year off. We’re not conditioned like that in America. It’s like you get one week and then after you work a decade, you get two weeks of vacation.”

For McRae, avoiding burnout and overtraining has a lot to do with creating a life that’s sustainable. She started working when she was 15-years-old, so she realized earlier than most that life couldn’t just be working as hard as possible to count down to retirement.

“Perspective is massive when it comes to burnout. My goal every year is to find the wonder and the beauty and the joy in what I do. Because it’s my job, but it’s also my life,” McRae said. “And I really believe we’re supposed to rest—it should be a normal part of our life. Whether that’s taking a vacation or taking an off-season. I take a two-month offseason and I have for a long time.”

One of the most important parts about rest and not overstressing the body is that everyone is different. An overstressed body can lead to hormonal imbalances, which in turn affects everything.

“When you’re overtraining, you tend to get mood changes and have trouble sleeping,” Abbotts said. “Two of the big things that stand out are, you’re exhausted but you can’t sleep. And the other is irritability—mood swings, and depression.” When you get to the point that you’ve overstressed your body for so long that the chemicals are changing, pretty much everything starts falling apart.

And even though everyone is different, you’d never know that from looking at social media. “I know social media makes it seem like ultrarunners are running 40 miles a day, doing a 100-mile race every other weekend,” McRae said. “And that’s insane. You’ve got to be in touch with yourself. It’s very different to wake up and feel sore or tired, but if you wake up and feel like you have no joy in the thing you’re doing, you need a real break from it.”

How Can the Running Community Do Better?

Elite ultrarunner and running coach Sandi Nypaver wants runners to get more in touch with how they’re feeling and less concerned about numbers or what anyone else is doing.

“I have to have honest talks with people I’m coaching. I need them to feel like they can tell me how they feel, because sometimes they think they have to stick to the training plan for the week no matter what,” she said. “But the plan is never set in stone. It’s meant to be adjusted based on how you’re feeling. Some weeks we might feel great and not need to change anything, while other weeks we might have to totally crash the plan and do something else.”

It’s easy to judge ourselves against everyone else, especially when results and reactions are so public and available.

“It’s easy to say, ‘if that person only took three days off after a big race, and now they’re already back to training, that must be what you’re supposed to do,’” she said. “But even at the highest level, training is different for everyone. Resting is different for everyone.”

“Something that’s really, really hard for many runners to understand is that once you’re not sore anymore, that you’re still not recovered,” Nypaver said. “A lot of research says that things are still going on in your body for up to four weeks after, for certain races, depending on the distance.”

Sometimes it’s difficult to be aware of subtle signs when the soreness is gone. “Convincing people that they need to chill out for a while, even past the soreness, can be really difficult.” But after a huge effort, and before the next, people rarely end up saying things like, “I really wish I hadn’t rested so thoroughly.” Part of it is actually having a recovery plan. Putting rest days on the calendar, focusing on foam rolling and mobility on days that you’re not “doing.”

“And, actually just relaxing. Taking it easy. It’s not just a running model, we live in a culture where we’re always being asked to do more,” Nypaver said. “I wish instead of always thinking about doing more, we’d focus on how we want to be more. A lot of us want to be more relaxed and less stressed and happier and enjoy our lives. We need to put our attention on that instead of trying to do so much. It’s something I struggle with all the time.”

We don’t get validation for resting, relaxing, and being present because there’s no tangible thing to show for it. There’s no “be really calm often” challenge on Strava. But the bigger rewards are great. You just have to trade in immediate dopamine hits for a much more balanced, happier life.

Simple, right?

“One thing I’m doing, and asking my athletes to do, is to write down your intentions,” Nypaver said. “One of my intentions is to chill out more this summer and enjoy it. I grew up thinking it’s all about running, and I have to go all-in on running. But having other outlets, other things that I like to do, is so important.”

When you’ve reached burnout—an extended period of non-functional overreaching, prolonged rest is the only way to let the body fix itself.

“Once you are overtrained, you need to stop training,” Abbotts said. “It’s just kind of the bottom line. Maybe some people can get away with greatly reducing their training load, but most of the time you need to stop. You need an extended amount of time off.”

There’s nothing glamorous about rest. There’s no prize money in relaxing. But it’s the absolute key ingredient in extended performance, and in a much healthier, happier life.

(06/29/2023) ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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These five-ingredient, no-bake chocolate chip peanut butter bites will keep mid-run tummy grumbles at bay

No one wants a grumbly tummy halfway through their run, but timing your nutrition before your runs can be challenging when you’re trying to fit them around a busy schedule. These chocolate chip, peanut butter and oat balls require no baking and are the perfect snack to sneak in right before you head out the door. So whether you’re an early morning pavement pounder, a lunchtime hero or an after-work warrior, they’ll help keep you fuelled until your next meal. 

If the idea of making your own snacks sounds like a hassle, fear not: these tasty treats contain only five ingredients and don’t require any special equipment. All you need is a bowl, a spatula and your own two hands. (They’re also very easy to customize to individual tastes.)

The primary ingredients are:

Oats

Chocolate Chips

Banana

Peanut Butter

Honey

Not a banana fan? Leave it out and increase the amount of peanut butter and honey. Want a vegan option? Swap in maple syrup for the honey and carob chips for the chocolate chips. You can also try different nut butters and add all sorts of fun things into the mix, such as dried cranberries, chia seeds, flax seeds, chopped walnuts or anything else you’ve got in the cupboard. Be sure to check out the “optional add-ins” section for more great ideas.

These snacks take less than 30 minutes to make and can be kept in your freezer for up to a month. They’re a great alternative to store-bought snacks, but keep in mind that they don’t travel as well as packaged goodies, so they won’t make the best pack-and-carry fuel on a long trail run.

Check out the recipe below. Happy snacking!

Recipe

Ingredients

1 ripe banana, peeled *see note, below

⅔ cup smooth all-natural peanut butter *see note

⅔ cup honey (for a vegan alternative, use maple syrup)

4 + 1 cups instant or small-flake oats *see note

½ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (for a vegan alternative to milk chocolate chips, use carbo chips)

A pinch of salt

Method

In a large bowl, mash the banana until there are very few chunks left. Add the peanut butter and honey and whisk until smooth.

Add 4 cups of oats (reserving the last cup for later), chocolate chips and salt. 

Mix thoroughly with a spatula, making sure to scrape along the bottom so there are no dry sections. 

If the mixture is very wet, add the final cup of oats, ¼ cup at a time, stirring thoroughly after each addition. The mixture should be sticky enough that it holds together when you pinch it between your fingers, but not so sticky that it leaves a lot of residue on your hands.

Line a baking tray or large plate with wax paper. Wet your hands slightly with cool water and take about 2 tablespoons of the mixture into your hands. Roll it into a ball between your palms, gently squeezing it to ensure it sticks together. Each ball should be about the size of a golf ball.

Place each ball onto your baking sheet and freeze for at least an hour. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a sealed plastic bag or container to stay fresh.

Optional add-ins *see note

Dried fruits (cranberries, raisins, etc.) 

Nuts (peanuts, walnuts, pecans, etc.) 

Cinnamon

Chia seeds

Ground flax seeds

Flaked coconut

Notes

Banana: If you choose to leave out the banana, increase the liquid ingredients by about ⅓ cup (more honey, more peanut butter, or a mix of both)

Peanut butter: Feel free to use regular (not all-natural) peanut butter, but the consistency may be different and you may have to adjust your dry ingredient ratios.

Oats: These work best with instant oats, because large-flake oats don’t stick together as well. If you only have large-flake oats, pulse them in a blender or food processor a few times first.

(06/29/2023) ⚡AMP
by BRITTANY HAMBLETON (Running Magazine)
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Ingebrigtsen and Girma go head-to-head in hunt for fast 1500m in Lausanne

Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Lamecha Girma both made history earlier this month in Paris, where they set a world two-mile best and a world 3000m steeplechase record, respectively. Now they have the chance to push each other to fast 1500m performances when they return to Wanda Diamond League action in Lausanne on Friday (30).

Norway’s Ingebrigtsen, who broke the world indoor 1500m record by running 3:30.60 in Lievin in February, clocked 7:54.10 in Paris to improve Daniel Komen’s world best for two miles. Despite still having that race in his legs, the 22-year-old improved his own European 1500m record to 3:27.95 in Oslo six days later – a time that places him sixth on the world all-time list.

Although the world record had not been his aim in Oslo, Lausanne’s Athletissima gives Ingebrigtsen another opportunity to take further strides toward Hicham El Guerrouj’s almost 25-year-old world record of 3:26.00.

“I 100% have more left in me,” Ingebrigtsen said after his performance in Oslo. “I just have to keep focused on each race ahead in the build-up to Budapest (World Championships), where it really matters.”

Girma will hope to be up there with him. The Ethiopian 22-year-old stormed to a time of 7:52.11 for his specialism in Paris, taking 1.52 seconds off the world 3000m steeplechase record set by Said Saeed Shaheen in 2004, and then turned his attention to attacking the Ethiopian 1500m record of 3:29.91 at the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Ostrava on Tuesday (27). He still looked like he had plenty left in the closing stages but having to run wide down the home straight, he focused on the win, running a PB of 3:33.15 that he will aim to improve again in Lausanne.

It will be the first time that Ingebrigtsen and Girma have clashed in any discipline.

In Oslo, Ingebrigtsen led the first eight men under 3:30 for the first time in history, and this time the line-up includes two other men who have dipped under that barrier so far in their careers: Britain’s Olympic bronze medallist Josh Kerr and Australia’s Stewart McSweyn. They are joined on the entry list by Ethiopia’s Teddese Lemi, New Zealand’s Sam Tanner and Britain’s Neil Gourley.

In the 5000m – the discipline in which Ingebrigtsen won world gold last year after his 1500m silver – Olympic champion Joshua Cheptegei will take on Olympic 10,000m gold medallist Selemon Barega, world 5km record-holder Berihu Aregawi, Telahun Haile Bekele, Birhanu Balew and their fellow sub-13:00 runner Muktar Edris.

In the women’s 3000m steeplechase, world U20 silver medallist Sembo Almayew is back on the track after her world-leading PB performance of 9:00.71 to win in Florence. The 2021 world U20 gold medallist, Jackline Chepkoech, was second on that occasion and is also racing, along with world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech and world bronze medallist Mekides Abebe.

The world leader also heads the entries in the women’s 800m, where world and Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson – who improved her British record to 1:55.77 to win in Paris – will look to make another statement as she renews her rivalry with Kenya’s Mary Moraa.

World bronze medallist Moraa, who won Commonwealth Games and Diamond League titles ahead of Hodgkinson last year, has run a best of 1:58.72 so far this season and the strong field also features Habitam Alemu, Noelie Yarigo, Jemma Reekie, Catriona Bisset, Natoya Goule and Switzerland's Audrey Werro, who recently ran a world U20 1000m record of 2:34.89 in Nice.

(06/28/2023) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Maybe your long run is too long

5 clear cues it's time to dial down the distance

Your weekly long run can be tricky for runners to get their heads around. It’s one of those slippery but essential elements of training—like “easy days” or “hard” efforts—that not only differs from one person to the next, but is also tough to pin down for ourselves. Depending on a runner’s goals, experience and abilities, the weekly long run might range from a few minutes to several hours, or might vary in length from hundreds of metres to tens of kilometres.

Despite the countless possible variations, long runs of all distances and durations may have something in common: clear signs that your longest run of the week is too long, and that it’s time to dial things back. If you’re wondering whether your concept of the long run could use some reworking, keep these clues in mind.

The numbers don’t add up

The total distance you run per week can offer sound guidance for limiting the length or time of your long run. According to famed U.S. running coach Jack Daniels, runners who are racking up fewer than 64 km over the week should limit their long run to 30 per cent of their total weekly distance. For those logging more than that in a week, the long run shouldn’t exceed 25 per cent of the week’s total distance—or 150 minutes, whichever comes first.

As the length and possibly the duration of your long run will increase in the course of training for an event like the marathon, increases need to be made wisely. Daniels recommends that runners not change their total weekly distance for four weeks before bumping up their weekly total, and by extension, the distance of their long runs. If the distance of your long run relative to your weekly mileage, or the frequency of increases to your long-run distance, shoots above these guidelines, it’s a sign you should trim your long runs accordingly.

Recurring injuries

Even if you’re sticking to those guidelines, your body can be sending you strong signals that you need to cut things back further. The most urgent warnings come in the form of recurring injuries. Pay attention to injuries or niggles that consistently resurface after your long runs. They might indicate that the distance is placing excessive stress on your body. Heed these warning signs and consider trimming the length of your long run to prevent further injury.

A plummeting pace

If you find your pace significantly drops toward the end of your long run, and you struggle to keep a consistent speed, it could indicate the distance is too long for your current fitness level. Try cutting off the distance of your long run at the point your pace starts to plummet, and if that new distance is sustainable, cap your long runs there for the next four weeks before returning to your original distance.

Declining motivation

A prolonged lack of enthusiasm and persistently diminished motivation may be a clue that you’re consistently pushing yourself too hard during long runs. It’s crucial to strike a balance between challenging yourself and maintaining a positive mindset to make progress in your training. (Declining motivation could, of course, be due to any number of other factors, including that you are running your long runs too fast.)

Low heart rate variability (HRV)

More running watches and fitness trackers are adding heart rate variability (HRV) measurement to their long list of metrics. Low HRV—the natural variation in tempo from one heartbeat to the next—might be an indication that your long runs are too demanding for your current level of fitness. Shorten your long runs for at least the next two weeks and make note of your HRV. If you start scoring higher, 

(06/28/2023) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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World Road Running Championships in Riga Latvia September 30

Athletics fans will have the opportunity to see the world’s best milers, 5km runners and half-marathoners compete in a single day at the World Athletics Road Running Championships Riga 23 under the revamped schedule announced today.

World Athletics and the Riga Local Organising Committee (LOC) have agreed to introduce a more compact programme, which will see the elite races and mass races held on the same day, October 1, at the championships.

The inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships was originally envisioned as a two-day event, with the new road mile and 5km road championships to be held on Saturday 30 September and the half marathon races on Sunday 1 October, but in a move to create a more exciting build up for fans, all events have been brought together with the mass races on one day.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “As preparations for the World Road Running Championships have evolved, it has become apparent that the event will work better as a single-day event in Riga, both for local organisers and for broadcast. It will also give recreational runners the opportunity to be fully immersed in the day, running before and after our elite runners, and will create the festival atmosphere that we want to see to celebrate road running at every level.”

The new timetable begins on the morning of 1 October with the mass races over 5km and the road mile to be followed by the elite races over the same distances. Then attention will turn to the half marathon distance with the elite races to be followed by the mass race.

This unique global running festival will not only crown the world road mile, 5km and half marathon champions, but is also expected to feature thousands of amateur runners, kids and families from up to 100 countries participating alongside elite runners.

Aigars Nords, Head of the Local Organising Committee, commented: “With three months to go to the inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia, we have already attracted recreational runners from more than 50 countries all over the world. Saturday 30 September will see thousands of kids and families warm up for the championships during Kids’ Day, while Sunday 1 October will provide a unique opportunity for everyone to earn their mass race medals, not only in the road mile, 5km, and half marathon, but also in the half marathon relay, a new mass race, aimed at recreational runners not yet ready for the challenges of a half marathon.”

Any recreational runner who is ready for a challenge can register for any of the official mass races of the World Championships in Riga and earn a unique medal from the World Athletics Road Running Championships.

WRRC Riga 23 updated schedule

Saturday 30 September 202310:00 – 15:00 Kids’ Day

Sunday 1 October 202310:00 Mass race | 5km11:30 Mass race | Road mile11:50 Women | 5km12:15 Men | 5km13:00 Women | Road mile13:10 Men | Road mile13:30 Women | Half marathon14:15 Men + mass race | Half marathon | Half marathon relay (10.5km + 10.5km)

(06/28/2023) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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A woman has set a new time record for scaling all the mountains in Scotland higher than 3,000 feet

Ultra-runner Jamie Aarons finished the challenge in 31 days 10 hours and 27 minutes, breaking the previous record by more than 12 hours.

There are 282 mountains that meet the benchmark and they are known collectively as the Munros.

The challenge saw Aarons ascend 459,000 ft, the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest 16 times.

She also ran, cycled and kayaked between each of the Munros, covering a total of around 932 miles (1,500km) on foot and about the same distance by bike.

(06/27/2023) ⚡AMP
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Eliud Kipchoge says he is determined to keep on writing history — and secure a third Olympic marathon crown next year

Eliud Kipchoge is widely regarded as the greatest marathon runner of all time has set himself many challenges in his dazzling career, and remains insatiable despite his two Olympic titles, his world record of 2:01:09 in Berlin in 2022 and an incredible 15 wins in 18 marathons he has entered.

He broke the mythical two-hour barrier over the 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometre) distance in Vienna in 2019, with a time of 1:59:40, but the feat was not recognised as an official world record as it was not in open competition.

Victory has eluded the 38-year-old in the Boston and New York marathons, which if he won would make him the first man to have all six major titles under his belt.

"The priority now is to focus on the Olympics and win a third time. The other (challenges) will come later," Kipchoge says in an interview with AFP at the renowned Kaptagat training camp in Kenya's Rift Valley.

His two Olympic marathon gold medals in 2016 and 2021 put him at level pegging with Ethiopia's Abebe Bikila (1960, 1964) and Waldemar Cierpinski of East Germany (1976, 1980).

A third gold at the Paris Olympics in 2024 would make Kipchoge the undisputed marathon giant at the Games, and bring him a victory steeped in symbolism.

The French capital was the city where he won his first international crown in 2003 at the age of 18, clinching the 5,000 metres world championship title ahead of sporting legends Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele.

However, Kipchoge does not rule out giving up on his other goals.

"If time comes in to hang the racing shoes, I will say bye to other big things in sport."

'I know myself'

Sitting on a shaded bench in the Kaptagat camp where he has lived and trained for several months a year for 20 years, Kipchoge looks back on his poor showing in Boston on April 17, where he dropped from the lead group in the 30th kilometre and ended up finishing sixth.

This rare failure dampened his spirits.

"I'm trying to forget what has happened in Boston. It's caught in my mind... but I believe that what has passed has passed."

With his lifelong coach Patrick Sang, he has analysed the reasons for his disappointing performance, saying "it's mostly the hamstring".

He brushes aside concerns about his difficulties on hilly courses such as Boston and New York and which will also confront him in Paris.

"It is not really a concern, but I respect everybody's thoughts," he says. "I think it was a bad day and every day is a different day. I'm looking forward for next year.

"Everybody can write anything, you have no control. But I know myself."

'Want to be an inspiration'

Kipchoge is now preparing for his final marathon of the year.

"I'm doing well. My training is going on in a good way," he says.

But he has not yet disclosed which event it will be — Berlin on September 24, Chicago on October 8 or New York on November 5.

"At the end of July, I will know where to go."

He is following his usual training programme, eating up more than 200 kilometres a week on the red dirt tracks of Kaptagat forest, 2,400 metres above sea level.

Among his 20-odd training partners at the camp at the time of the AFP interview were Kenya's new 1,500m and 5,000m world record holder Faith Kipyegon and two-time New York marathon winner Geoffrey Kamworor.

As the respected dean of Kenyan athletics, Kipchoge is happy to see the emergence of 23-year-old compatriot Kelvin Kiptum, who won the London Marathon in April in 2:01:25, the second fastest time in history and just 16 seconds away from his own world record.

"I want to be an inspiration and I trust my breaking the world record twice is an inspiration to many young people. I trust they will want more and even beat my records."

'Prioritise drugs tests'

But in a country where athletics has become tainted by large-scale drug use, Kipchoge laments that "many people are going into shortcuts to advance".

"I think doping is there... It's all more about getting rich."

Kipchoge says the authorities should prioritise testing for performance-enhancing substances, saying it was much more important than education "because everybody who is doing doping knows what is going on".

"Just pump everything in testing, put testing as a first priority and all will be well," he says.

"The moment we prioritise testing and we register those who are handling the athletes across the country, we have the right data to know who is who in the whole country.

"But if we really ignore the people who are working with athletes and athletes themselves, then we are in danger."

(06/27/2023) ⚡AMP
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Natasha Wodak and Jeremy Coughler win Canadian 10,000m titles

Wodak secures her second national in three weeks, and Coughler wins his first Canadian 10,000m title at Pacific Distance Carnival in Langley, B.C.

Three weeks after successfully defending her Canadian 10K title in Ottawa, Natasha Wodak added another national title to her extensive resume at the Canadian 10,000m Championships in Langley, B.C. Wodak won by a significant margin of 30 seconds, securing her second Canadian title of the 2023 season. On the men’s side, London, Ont’s. Jeremy Coughleremerged as a first-time national champion, crossing the finish line in 28:46.96 on a warm and windy evening at the Pacific Distance Carnival.

Despite experiencing some minor hamstring tightness leading up to the 10,000m championships, Wodak displayed her exceptional fitness by establishing an impressive lead of nearly 100 meters after the 5K mark. Assisted by 2020 Olympian Natalia Allen for 12.5 laps, Wodak maintained her position and claimed victory overKatelyn Ayers and Cleo Boyd.

Ayers achieved a personal best time of 33:11.77, securing second place, while Boyd from Kingston, Ont., finished seven seconds behind Ayers in 33:18.27, taking the third spot. This marks the second time in the last four years that Wodak has achieved the remarkable feat of winning both the 10,000m and 10K titles. She previously accomplished this feat in 2019.

Wodak will now return to training as she continues her preparations for the marathon at the 2023 World Athletics Championships scheduled in Budapest in late August. Her last representation for Canada was at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where she placed 13th in the marathon.

Coughler captures Canadian crown

For Coughler, following his third-place finish at the Canadian 10K Championships last month, the desire for further success propelled him to secure his first individual Canadian national title. Representing the London Western Track Club and working as a full-time chiropractor, Coughler has been on a roll in 2023, winning multiple races and showcasing his talent. Perry MacKinnon from Sherbrooke, Que., impressed with a commendable time of 28:52.60, securing the second position.

Meanwhile, Mexican Olympian Juan Luis Barrios claimed third place with a time of 28:55.82. However, since Barrios is ineligible for Canadian championship recognition, the third-place medal was awarded to Andrew Alexander from Toronto, who finished fourth in 29:25.64.

(06/27/2023) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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