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Does running hard suppress your immune system?

Given the risk of COVID-19 infection being heavy on everyone’s mind, should we be running hard?

It’s an idea that keeps popping up on social media at the moment to tell people one of the many reasons that runners are selfish and should just stay at home instead.

It’s “common knowledge” that hard workouts suppress your immune system, but two academics at the University of Bath, John Campbell and James Turner, wrote a paper in 2018 titled “Debunking the myth of exercise-induced immune suppression” and it’s worth a read.

What we thought

A lot of studies, mostly back in the 80s and 90s, are the basis of the consensus that hard activity suppressed the immune system. Some found a link between runners undertaking races and developing upper-respiratory tract infections (URTIs), whilst others saw a reduction in immune cells (lymphocytes) in the blood after hard workouts.

Pretty clear cut right? But possibly a bit of misdirection. Firstly most of the studies looking at post race infections were self-reported and when infections were actually verified by researchers the rates were actually a lot lower.

Then there are other factors to consider. Anyone going to a big gathering, like a marathon, is raising their risk of infections too, hence our current social distancing restrictions.

Turner and Campbell highlight a study on the Hajj, a mass Muslim pilgrimage that also showed an increase in URTIs for the participants. Big groups, not hard exercise, can spread communicable diseases.

Which brings us to the other potential increase around races, travel, specifically air travel, which again raises your risk. Take the falsely high numbers from self-reporting, the increased risk of a mass event and the numbers that travel to a big city marathon and the numbers don’t even beat the normal population.

The blood doesn’t lie?

The second set of studies that looked at immune function by examining lymphocytes in the blood is surely a nail in the coffin though? After a hard work out there was a window of time, up to 24hrs, that saw lower numbers in the blood.

The problem is if this was a destruction of the cells then it isn’t possible that these would regenerate in just 24hrs. Maybe there is another reason for the lower levels in the blood?

Studies, albeit done on exercising rodents, have provided an answer. The simplest way to put it is that “exercise redeploys immune cells to peripheral tissues [gut, lungs] to conduct immune surveillance.

The numbers don’t drop, the body is just redistributing the immune cells to the places we might expect infection to infiltrate, like the gut and the lungs. Post exercise we’re just ready for the attack and the troops are on the front line, not back at base camp.

Exercise is good for your immune system

“If exercise is portrayed as being ‘immunosuppressive’ then this might discourage patients and clinicians from participating in and recommending exercise,” discusses Simpson et al in a 2020 paper, “and could also project the wrong message to the vast majority of the population who would benefit from increasing their physical activity levels to improve, not only immune function, but also general health and wellness” 

Now that we’ve got some momentum let’s keep going. Exercise is good for your immune system and makes you less likely than the general population to get sick.

The Bath University department for health experts continue by highlighting that regular bouts of exercise can help “limiting or delaying the ageing of the immune system’ and that “a physically active lifestyle reduces the incidences of communicable (eg. bacterial and viral) and non-communicable (eg cancer) diseases.

Hard workouts, previously thought to suppress the immune system and create a “window” for illness to infect, have been misunderstood and do not leave you more vulnerable.

One potential immunosuppressant though is nicotine, so if you are worried it’s probably best to avoid chain smoking for the next couple of months. Use the money saved to get yourself a treadmill maybe?

We’re not saying you should be going out every single run smashing the life out of it (the benefits of easy running we have covered in depth before), but completely avoiding your harder sessions altogether isn’t necessary either. 

In a 2020 paper that presented a discussion between “Yes” and “No” camps on this subject the majority of studies that showed that vigorous exercises led to an increased rate of infection were undertaken around competitions, a time of higher exposure for all.

If the general public are taking note of current government advice then this is one aspect of risk that should be heavily reduced in the current situation. No mass participation activities or group training sessions removes a big risk of exposure for us all.

Rather than avoiding hard exercise, which could actually boost our immune system, we should be focusing on the other potential factors such as sleep, nutrition and exposure to potential infection.

Speaking to Dr. Turner “if a runner, given the current circumstances, can continue with their normal training it shouldn’t cause problems to their health”.

“If your heavy training leads you to be sleep deprived [or under-fuelled], for example, then it’s worth reducing the volume and intensity to a lower level.”

There simply isn’t enough solid evidence to support the “open window” caused by hard training efforts, but instead we should be looking at other factors that leave us at risk, big gatherings, sleep deprivation and a poor diet, as well as asking yourself the question “do I need to be doing X, Y or Z session given my races have all moved to the Autumn?”

(12/24/2021) ⚡AMP
by Robbie Britton (Fast Running)
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Want to prevent injuries? Wear cushioned shoes, a recent study found that runners who wore more cushioned footwear experienced fewer injuries

The highly cushioned shoe versus the minimalist shoe debate has been a topic of conversation among runners for years, but it appears the pendulum is swinging in the direction of cushion. In a recent study, researchers found that runners who wore more cushioned shoes experienced lower rates of injuries than those who wore harder shoes.

The study

The study, published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, aimed to determine how shoe cushioning influenced injury risk in recreational runners, and whether the association depends on the runner’s body mass. To find out, they gave 848 recreational runners one of two shoe prototypes: one that had soft cushioning, and one that did not. Participants were also classified as either light or heavy and were followed for six months regarding their running activity and injury rates.

The researchers found that the runners who received the harder shoes had a higher risk for injuries compared to the runners in the softer shoes. Interestingly, their data indicated that the lighter runners experienced higher injury rates in harder shoes, while the heavier runners did not, causing them to conclude that the relative protective effect of cushioned shoes was only present for lighter runners.

What does this mean for runners?

This study used a large pool of participants, which makes it a more credible source of information. That being said, there are many reasons why a smaller or lighter runner might experience a higher rate of injuries beyond what type of shoe they wear. Still, this study does seem to make a case for some runners to wear highly-cushioned shoes in order to prevent injuries.

There is a wide range of shoes available on the market today, that range from ultra-cushioned to barely-there, and it may take some trial and error to figure out which shoe is best for you. If you’re having trouble finding your perfect shoe, check out these tips when shopping for your next pair.

(12/24/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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New athletic shoe regulations have been approved by Council

New regulations to replace Technical Rule 5 relating to athletic shoes, and its transitional provisions, which expire on December 31 2021, were approved by Council yesterday.

The new rules and regulations will be in place from January 1, 2022. The amendments include:

The deletion of the transitional provisions inserted in 2020 and 2021, leaving just an enabling rule at Technical Rule 5.2.

A definition of ‘applicable competitions’ to make the scope of events the rule and regulations apply to clear and to avoid them being applied to amateur club, school or college or even masters level competitions.

Clarification on which types of customizations are permissible with prior approval from World Athletics. This is to allow adaptations for individual athletes on medical and safety grounds.

The simplification on sole thicknesses across all athletic shoes in track and field events to a stack height of 20mm from November 1, 2024. This timeline was agreed to give manufacturers sufficient notice following the significant investment they will have made into spike shoes with a sole thickness between 20 and 25mm. The current sole thicknesses will continue until then.

A more flexible compliance process for athletic shoes to make checking compliance more practical and efficient depending on the nature of the event. Greater emphasis will be placed on conducting post-race spot checks through the introduction of shoe control procedures and a shoe control officer role. There will be some events (e.g. major marathons) where pre-event declarations will continue.

A new approach to sanctions for breaches of the rules and regulations relating to athletic shoes particularly at events and breaches that come to light post event. Referees’ powers have been made clearer and World Athletics CEO or their nominee has been given the authority to act (or refer the matter to the AIU) where post-competition breaches are identified.

That athletic shoes must not contain any embedded ‘sensing or intelligent’ technology now or in the future. This does not apply to use of heart rate, speed distance monitors etc.

Minor word changes and phrasing as part of a general tidying up of the language in the rules and regulations.

Commenting on the new regulations, World Athletics’ Chief Executive Jon Ridgeon said: “There has been an enormous amount of background work and meetings held both internally and externally on our shoe rules since the inception of the Working Group on Athletic Shoes in June 2020, following on from the work in 2019 of its predecessor, the Assistance Review Group. There is still more to do but I would like to thank the Working Group, the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) and the shoe companies for their openness and collaboration in finding solutions that help support innovation on the one hand while ensuring innovation in shoe technology does not create unfairness or a paradigm shift in athletic performances on the other.”

The major and central issue the Working Group on Athletic Shoes had been exploring is a long-term sustainable and implementable solution for athletic shoes which balances innovation and fairness.

The Working Group considered options within a framework of measuring performance advantages of the current technology in athletic shoes including energy return. While this work has merit, a maximum energy return has not been included in the rules and regulations, given the variables involved and the

potential impact on shoe manufacturers in its implementation. The pace of technological change in every sector is rapidly increasing and with it will come new and different challenges to all sport. World Athletics will continue its dialogue with the shoe manufacturing industry on a regular basis in 2022 and beyond.

(12/24/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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2022 March's Tokyo Marathon to Cancel if Government Asks

On Dec. 23, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced its decision that within the month prior to the planned Mar. 6 race date, if the government asks events to voluntarily refrain from going ahead as a measure against potential spread of the coronavirus it will cancel the race.

The TMF also announced that it will not require runners and others involved in the event who are fully vaccinated to undergo PCR testing and will refund the 6800 yen they have already been charged for the tests. 

The Tokyo Marathon was last held in March, 2020 as a small, elite-only race. The 2021 edition was initially moved from March to October of this year, then postponed again to March next year.

(12/23/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...

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U.S. marathon record holder Scott Fauble announced as Rory Linkletter’s new coach

It has been a busy few weeks for Canada’s Rory Linkletter, as he ran a marathon personal best at the California International Marathon (2:12:52) and left the NAZ Elite track club. Now Linkletter is joining forces with American marathon record holder Ryan Hall as his coach.

In an interview with The Lap Count, Linkletter gave some insight on what’s next for Canada’s up-and-coming marathoner.

“I have fallen in love with Flagstaff, my wife and I bought a home earlier this year, so ideally I will stay here for the remainder of my career,” says Linkletter. “As for coaching, I’ve decided to work with Ryan Hall.”

This announcement comes days after his departure from HOKA and Ben Rosario’s NAZ Elite. Linkletter is now left unsponsored but believes that Hall’s philosophy will suit his talents and career goals. “I trust that if I perform how I know I can that won’t last forever,” says Linkletter.

Hall currently coaches his wife Sara Hall,  the second-fastest U.S. marathoner, clocking 2:20:32 at The Marathon Project in Chandler, Ariz. Ryan holds the fastest time ever by an American and is the only North-American man to run under 2:05 (Boston 2011). Although Ryan has retired from professional running, he remains as a coach for post-colligate athletes and marathoners in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Linkletter’s previous NAZ Elite teammate, Scott Fauble, also revealed that he will be remaining in Flagstaff. The top American at the 2019 Boston Marathon will be coached virtually by Joe Bosshard, who resides in Colorado and currently coaches Emma Coburn, Emma Bates and Cory McGee.

(12/23/2021) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Coach Alberto Salazar's lifetime ban upheld by US Center for SafeSport

Track coach Alberto Salazar's lifetime ban appeal for sexual misconduct has been rejected by the US Center for SafeSport.

The 63-year-old was handed the lifetime ban following allegations he had emotionally and physically abused a number of athletes during his time as part of the Nike Oregon Project.

In January 2020, SafeSport temporarily banned Salazar with the decision subsequently made permanent in July 2021.

However, his entry in the SafeSport database has now been updated to permanent ineligibility - signaling the appeal had been rejected.

In a separate case earlier this year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld a four-year ban for a series of doping-related violations that occurred while Salazar was training Olympians with the Nike project. Nike shut down the running team shortly afterwards.

None of Salazar's former runners have ever been charged with doping violations.

As an athlete himself, Salazar won the Boston and New York Marathons in the early 1980s before going on to coach a number of Olympic medalists, including Sir Mo Farah and Galen Rupp.

(12/23/2021) ⚡AMP
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Athletics Kenya joins UNEP, in fight against air pollution

Concerned by the state of changing environment that is already affecting the sport, Athletics Kenya has joined environmentalists and policy makers in addressing the problem of air pollution.

Athletics Kenya President Lieutenant General (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei says AK has already drawn a strategy to address pollution and climate change.

One of the critical issues to be addressed is how climate change and air pollution have affected the sporting environment.

The athletics umbrella body is doing it in conformity with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which has come up with the Sports for Climate Action Framework as the strategy to address sporting activities and climate effects.

“Over the last few decades, the athletics world has been experiencing side effects of global warming which in turn is affecting the weather patterns in different parts of the country as well as the world. The increasing hot temperatures affect the sport because athletes biologically perform optimally within a certain environment,” said Tuwei.

“If there is a rise in temperatures, it can only mean, either to postpone until the right temperatures recommended for a given sport is realised or to move it to another location. Any above decisions will mean re-strategising, and if that were to be done every time there was a world sporting event, then you can read where the mark is going about sports budgets in future.”

Besides rising temperatures, athletes are prone to lung infections if they happen to be racing within an area whose ambient air (open ground-air) is polluted.

This lowers their mobility (kinesis) as they are not able to breathe freely, something that affects their end performance.

To a great extent, air quality is interlinked with environmental and forestry destruction, alongside changing weather patterns within highlands where athletes have long been known to practise to optimise their stardom internationally.

“Some of you who followed the 2021 Olympics Games in Tokyo may recall that even as we celebrated the endurance and resilience of our athletes Peres Jepchirchir and Brigid Kosgei, who dominated the women’s marathon and brought glory and honour to Kenya by bagging gold and silver medals, they had to endure unusually high temperatures in Sapporo that even forced the organisers to change the start time of the race. Other adverse weather conditions were witnessed during the World Championships in 2019 and Beijing Olympics in 2008,” explains Tuwei.  

It is due to this concern that different players drawn from environmental, health and policy sectors have been meeting to deliberate on the way forward.

“Clean air is very important to a runner. As you run, you need to exhale used air and for the lungs to get in fresher air so as to facilitate the running activity. It comes as no surprise that all around us we are witnessing deteriorating air quality due to an increase in air pollution, which is made worse by the impacts of climate change,” added Tuwei.

During a meeting held in Nairobi to address air pollution and its effect on athletics, that brought together UNEP, WHO, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) – Africa Centre and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services, a concern was raised on the risk that morning joggers could be exposing themselves to during heavy traffic as people rush to work.

“The carbon emission cumulatively by heavy traffic in the morning as people rush to work gets to be concentrated within one area and particularly along the roads where people jog. This happens because, in the morning, the air is usually still with little or no breeze to whirl it,” explains Dr Njogu Mbarua, an expert on climate and environment with Joint Environment and Climate Action, a non-governmental organisation.  

“Precipitation is not enough to keep our ambient air clean and going. We must devise actionable ways, policy and regulatory, of ensuring that the air we are breathing and our children are going to be breathing is well within the international safety standards. As we get concerned with protecting children who are already born, we must bear similar concern for the unborn children as research is indicating of a possibility of mother-to-foetus air pollution transmission,” said Dr Andriannah Mbandi, an air quality researcher and UNEP Technical Coordinator, Regional Office for Africa.  

The meeting recommended more studies to be conducted to ascertain the level of pollution in various parts of cities and towns.

(12/22/2021) ⚡AMP
by Peter Musa
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Marathon man Gary McKee prepares for 365 marathons in 365 days

Marathon man Gary McKee has shaken off concerns that his latest challenge of completing 365 marathons in 365 days is one step too far.

The 52-year-old raised £200,000 by completing 110 marathons in 110 days only a few months ago, with the dad of three now aiming even higher this time around.

From January 1 to December 31, Gary will complete his biggest challenge to date in an effort to raise £1 million for two charities close to his heart: Hospice at Home West Cumbria and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Cleator Moor man Gary is no stranger to tough challenges and over the years, his fundraising feats have included jumping from aeroplanes, climbing Kilimanjaro, and cycling through Brazil.

Despite being his toughest challenge to date, Gary is confident he’s got what it take to succeed.

“Some people think you are crazy and I understand why people think that because they think of themselves and think ‘I could never do that’, but they don’t know me,” he said.

“People ask me ‘how are you going to do 365 marathons in 365 days?’ but I’ve done 110 and I know what it is about and I know how to do it.

“I know how to prepare myself, I know how to sort myself out the next day and I know how to do things in a certain way. I am in charge too so if I want to go slow at certain points I will go slow.

“It’s just four hours running and then you prepare yourself for the next day.”

Stella Walsh, fundraising and communications team leader for the hospice, said: “We are so excited to begin this journey again with Gary. Everyone here at Hospice at Home West Cumbria wants to wish him lots of luck and thank him once again for his incredible support.

The dedication and commitment he has shown to support both charities is astounding. The support he received from our local communities during the 110 challenge was amazing, and I’m sure this time it will be even bigger and better!”

Balancing work, running and family

Gary will start his first marathon from his home on New Year’s Day and will do so every day as well as working full-time, and being a busy family man with his three children.

Sue McDonald, Macmillan Cancer Support’s fundraising manager for Cumbria, said: “We’d like to thank Gary for his amazing commitment to raise funds for two causes close to his heart. His efforts last year were extraordinary enough, but this 365 Challenge is almost incomprehensible in the scale of its ambition.

“We know Gary is inspired by the three million people who are living with cancer in the UK. He says that if they can undergo the rigors of treatment and the many challenges that cancer brings, then he can put himself through this.

“Nearly all (98%) of Macmillan’s funding comes directly from donations, and it’s only through our fantastic fundraisers like Gary who help ensure Macmillan can continue to deliver the services that people living with cancer desperately need, now and in the future.”

Macmillan Cancer Support’s chief executive, Lynda Thomas, added: “Gary McKee has been a prolific fundraiser for Macmillan for almost 20 years; for which we can’t thank him enough.

“Gary is genuinely inspiring – and at some point in 2022 I hope to make it up to Cleator Moor and run part of this with him to show our support for him.”

Brendon Cook, chair of Hospice at Home West Cumbria, said: “As a small local charity, the support that Gary has given us and the people in our local community that have got behind him really does make a difference. The effort Gary makes to not only raising our income but also raising our profile, is immeasurable. Our Board of Trustees are delighted to have been able to personally sponsor his first running vest and we all look forward to showing our support throughout the year.

Gary is appealing for everyone to once again get behind him and help him reach his target.

(12/22/2021) ⚡AMP
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British runner Russell Bentley breaks winter Paddy Buckley Round fastest known time

American ultrarunner John Kelly and British ultrarunner Russell Bentley set out to complete midwinter Paddy Buckley Rounds, starting out in the same place and running opposite directions to meet each other back at the finish. Bentley had a fantastic day, and ended up setting a new FKT (fastest known time) on the 100K route, finishing in 20:15:49.

The Paddy Buckley Round is an extremely challenging course in Wales that takes runners over 47 summits throughout the 100K route for a total of 28,000 feet of elevation gain. According to fastestknowntime.com, it was first completed in 1982 by Wendy Dobbs. The winter FKT on the course was previously held by British runner Damian Hall, who completed the loop on January 29, 2020, in 21:30:06.

Bentley’s time smashed Hall’s record by nearly one hour and fifteen minutes, and Hall himself made a point of congratulating Bentley on his accomplishment.

Bentley ran the course unsupported, counter-clockwise, while Kelly ran the route clockwise. Unfortunately, Kelly made it as far as the Llanberis checkpoint in 14:49:29 before throwing in the towel. This was Bentley’s second attempt at the winter Paddy Buckley Round after his first try in December 2020, which he completed in 22:45.

Bentley is a UK Athletics-qualified coach and is sponsored Noble Pro VJ Sport Vroom Nutrition. He has a marathon personal best of 2:20:20 from the Berlin Marathon, and has only begun tackling longer runs since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

(12/22/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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2022 Registration for Run Rome The Marathon is open

Rome runs with you, are you ready to answer the call of Run Rome The Marathon?

Spurred on by a resounding success, the Rome Marathon is already getting ready for Sunday March 27, 2022. It promises great hotels, history, Italian cuisine, 35 historic sites in 42km and a record-breaking marathon.

Dawn, the Tenor of Nessun Dorma, the Colosseum in the background, the Italian National Anthem, thousands of athletes eager to set off, to restart after the darkness of the COVID-19 pandemic, their dreams, their eyes, hugs and greetings. It was important to be there; going to conquer Rome was a relief for the soul.

Hearts are still beating hard after what happened at Fori Imperiali, for 42.195km across Rome on Sunday 19 September, a date that will remain historic, engraved in many people’s memories. It was the rebirth, to demonstrate that this sport — running, being together to do what we love most — could still be done. With appropriate care and precautions, but still, it could be done. And when it’s all over, all you can think about is the future, about being there again, about the next victory.

March 27, 2022

Rome runs with you! Are you ready to answer the call? 27 March 2022, 27th event. Make an appointment with history and with your story. Rome is waiting for you and will run with you for 42.195km, supporting you, embracing you. Dream, run, have fun, get excited. Become a marathon runner in the Eternal City.

Run Rome The Marathon will once again be a great celebration of running and sport, starting at 8.30am at Fori Imperiali, the place that has always been a symbol of the Rome Marathon. After the dawn of the latest event, we hope that the sun never sets on this new day.

The route

Run Rome The Marathon is a journey in the Eternal City that will make you fall in love with the race and the marathon, forever. The beats of your heart will be in synch with those of the other participants in the race.

With them you will share the entire journey of wonders: starting from the Fori Imperiali, you will go past the Vittoriano; in Piazza Venezia, you will gaze at the Circo Massimo, you will feel the breeze of the Lungotevere, and then you will pass the Castel Sant’Angelo and Viale della Conciliazione with the Basilica di San Pietro, the Foro Italico, the Mosque, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza di Spagna with the famous staircase of Trinità dei Monti, Piazza Navona, via del Corso and much more. 35 monuments and historical sites in 42km: a world record.

Register now!

Registration for Run Rome The Marathon is already open, and already thousands of foreign participants have signed up, mainly English and French, who have endless love for Rome and its marathon.

Registrations are also open for the other two events of Run Rome The Marathon: the Run4Rome relay that you can take part in with a team of 4 people and which always has a strong, supportive atmosphere, and the Stracittadina 5k Fun Race, giving anyone the chance to walk or run.

It’s time to dream again, to be embraced by Rome once more, for this city with an endless history that loves to run and live for eternity. Rome is waiting to embrace all the marathon runners in the world.

Accommodation — In the accommodation section of the official Run Rome The Marathon website there are various offers for booking 3 or 4 star hotels, for one, two or more nights, so that you can enjoy Rome beyond the marathon, the museums, the historical sites, the Italian cuisine and various experiences, all in agreement with the marathon.

(12/21/2021) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Run Rome The Marathon

Run Rome The Marathon

When you run our race you will have the feeling of going back to the past for two thousand years. Back in the history of Rome Caput Mundi, its empire and greatness. Run Rome The Marathon is a journey in the eternal city that will make you fall in love with running and the marathon, forever. The rhythm of your...

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Scottish veteran Paul Forbes smashes 800m world masters record

Scottish veteran and three-time Commonwealth Games competitor smashes M65 indoor mark with 2:15.30.

Glasgow 12’s Fun Day & Glasgow AA Yuletide Open Graded Meeting, December 18 Almost 40 years since he reached the 1982 Commonwealth Games 800m final (a feat he repeated in 1986), Paul Forbes broke the world M65 indoor 800m record with a 2:15.30 clocking.

The time is half a minute outside his lifetime best – 1:45.66 set in Florence in 1983 behind world silver medalist Rob Druppers’ 1:45.12.

Forbes finished third in his heat behind Cumbernauld’s Dylan Drummond, who is 45 years his junior and who won in 2:01.49, plus Scottish M40 Stephen Brown (2:09.25).

Showing the great range of ages in the race (a 51-year age gap), behind Forbes came 14-year-old Lydia Simon in sixth and first woman in 2:20.75.

Forbes began as a cross-country runner and won the Scottish East District Junior Boys Championships in 1969 and he was sixth that season in the Scottish Championships. In 1973 he won the Scottish Schools 1000m steeplechase title and then won over two laps in 1974 in 1:58.0.

In the Scottish Under-20 Championships he was second in 1:56.5 but ahead of future Commonwealth Games 1500m medalist John Robson and in 1975 he won the AAA Junior title in 1:50.1 and made the European Junior final that year in Athens where he placed eighth.

Forbes won the UK title in 1982 in a championship best 1:46.53 narrowly ahead of Steve Caldwell (1:46.65) and Peter Elliott (1:47.76) and he also ran for Scotland in the 1978 Commonwealth Games where he was a semi finalist.

After his successful senior career – spanning three Commonwealth Games – he had a complete break in his 30s before later returning as a master and he was involved in a stunning battle with Alastair Dunlop in the Scottish Championships in his first major race as a vet with Dunlop edging home in 2:00.60 to Forbes’ 2:00.61.

After that 1997 race Forbes said he felt he was capable of a world masters record if he could train seriously but the world record ultimately took nearly another 25 years with injury regularly scuppering his ambitions.

He competed in the European masters 10km as an M45 in 2005 and ran a few other masters road championships before eventually re-focusing again on the track.

He made another comeback as a M60 – finishing sixth in the World Masters 800m at Toruń in 2019 and winning the Scottish and British masters indoor titles in 2021 at the age of 64 – but it was turning 65 in November that gave him the opportunity to make a real mark in the masters.

The previous best was held by Ireland’s multiple world age-group champion Joe Gough with 2:16.65 in Dublin in 2018.

Forbes’ 2:15.30 is his fastest in recent years, equaling his outdoor best of 2021 and is even faster than the outdoor UK M65 best.

The Scot’s run took an astonishing nine seconds off of Pete Molloy’s UK indoor best of 2:24.48 set in 2014 and is even fractionally quicker than Dave Wilcock’s M60 UK indoor record of 2:15.60.

(12/21/2021) ⚡AMP
by Steve Smythe
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Do these things to recover faster after your race

After running a half marathon, the last thing you’ll want to do is more work. But taking the time to properly recover can prevent long-term injury and get you back into shape sooner.

Richard Neitzelt, PT, DPT, SCS and Katherine Wayman, PT, DPT, SCS, physical therapists at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, offer some advice on recovering in the first few hours after your race.

Take these four tips into account after your next race and you’ll be on your way to feeling better in no time at all:

1. Stretch right away

Neitzelt explains that stretching isn’t guaranteed to totally prevent oncoming muscle soreness, though it does provide an opportunity to improve your flexibility and expedite the healing process. Exercising loosens up and brings blood to your muscles, making them more willing to stretch. Stretching within the first 15 minutes following the race takes advantage of this state and can leave your muscles more flexible than they were before the race.

Post-race stretches should be static rather than dynamic, meaning they don’t involve extra movement. Static stretches involve holding the muscles in a stretch for an extended period of time, typically around 30 seconds. Static stretches are repeated two to three times on each muscle and have the added benefit of allowing the body to mostly rest, which lets the muscles start replenishing spent glycogen.

Neitzelt suggests focusing on muscles that you know are usually tight or weak and returning to these spots multiple times during the post-race cool down. A foam roller or massage stick can also help target a specific area and massage the muscles more deeply than a regular stretch would, bringing in extra oxygen and blood flow.

2. Change into warm, dry clothes

The clothes will help keep your muscles warm and let them ease back to normal. Leaving your muscles exposed leads to a rapid decrease in temperature that will force them to tighten up before they’re ready.

3. Grab a snack

Eating is necessary to give the body fuel to start putting itself back together. Recovery doesn’t start until you bring in nutrients. Wayman suggests a balance of carbs and protein, offering a turkey sandwich or a smoothie with whey protein as easy, effective options. Sodium and a little sugar are also helpful, so have some pretzels and drink fruit juice along with plenty of water.

"Replenishing fuel and fluids is absolutely IMPERATIVE after a race. Everyone wants to train like they’re an elite athlete, but no one wants to recover like one," says Wayman.

4. Take a nap

After stretching and eating, you’ve put your body on the path to recovery. Get home and shower, then try a 15-minute ice bath for your lower body. After that, take a nap or just let yourself rest. 

Taking care of your body is an ongoing effort, and the hours immediately following the race are crucial.

Proper recovery is necessary to get your body back into shape without any problems. Running a half marathon leads to a lot of wear on the body, even with proper training. Starting recovery right away means your muscles will spend less time in their worn-out state, avoiding damage and getting you back to pre-race shape sooner.

(12/21/2021) ⚡AMP
by Noah Mastruserio
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Sebastian Coe states stand on vaccination of athletes

World Athletics will not force athletes to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

But the world track and field governing body’s President Seb Coe maintains that it would be prudent for the athletes to get the jab “for the greater good.”

In the last few days, world sport has felt the effects of the latest Omicron variant of the coronavirus with several English Premier League matches suspended to curb the spread of the virus.

On Friday, agencies reported that Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was forced to cancel a pre-match press conference after returning an inconclusive coronavirus test result.

AFP reported that Guardiola must now await the result of a follow-up PCR test before finding out if he will be able to lead the English champions for Sunday’s trip to Newcastle.

Also, the Confederation of African Football on Thursday announced that supporters attending matches at next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon will be required to show proof of vaccination and present a negative Covid-19 test result.

In a Zoom interview with Nation Sport on Friday, Coe said World Athletics was studying the situation but would not force athletes to get the vaccinations.

Coe said he had just held discussions with Stephane Bermont, World Athletics’ director of health and science department, about the challenges athletics will be confronted with in a few months.

“We don’t understand yet as much as we need to about Omicron, and it will be a few weeks before we understand, through the data, the full impact,” Coe responded to a Nation Sport question.

“But we have to assume that for the moment, and for the next few weeks, there are going to be some difficulties. My personal view — and I’m not really speaking on behalf of World Athletics, but I guess it’s inevitable that I do — is that I’m always aware about personal liberties,” Coe explained regarding vaccination.

“I’m not comfortable about telling athletes they have to be vaccinated — there may be good reasons why they choose not to be, and there may be health reasons why they choose not to be…

“But all I’d say, if they have the ability or potential to be vaccinated, I think it’s a sensible approach (to be vaccinated).

Coe noted that while he’s not forcing athletes to be vaccinated, individual countries are going to be more demanding about everybody, and vaccination may be inevitable.

“My advice to athletes is if you have the ability to get the vaccine, it is probably a sensible thing to do, but I’m not yet at that point where I need to be mandating or telling athletes that they have to do that.”

Coe noted that the vaccination debate is more than an athletics issue, stressing that communities around the sport must also be kept safe.

“We don’t want (to host) events that are super spreaders. We have to be mindful of those communities that we join, and which host our events because we don’t want to leave them with rising numbers – it’s not just the welfare of athletes but also the welfare of communities that host our events.”

(12/21/2021) ⚡AMP
by Elias Makori
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What All Runners Should Know About Protein

Every runner knows they need carbs, but protein is just as crucial to muscle recovery after a workout. It repairs muscle damage, diminishes the effects of cortisol—the so-called "stress" hormone that breaks down muscle—and, when taken with carbohydrates, speeds your body's ability to replenish its glycogen stores, your all-important energy source for those long runs during marathon season. If you've ever "hit the wall" or "bonked" in a marathon, you know what it feels like to deplete your glycogen reserves.

The 30/30 Rule

To gain the full benefits of protein's power, most sports dieticians and nutritionists recommend getting 10-20 grams of protein within 30 minutes of finishing a run, and some say even sooner—that's when your muscles are the most receptive to a helping hand.

The amount of protein you eat matters; 10 grams is a baseline and 20 grams is optimal, according to Deborah Shulman, who holds a doctorate in physiology. Much more protein than that won't do you any good. A 2009 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that consuming more than 30 grams of protein in a single sitting didn't help muscles any further than more moderate amounts. Call it the 30/30 Rule: eat less than 30 grams of protein in less than 30 minutes post-run.

Healthy Protein

What kind of protein is best? The folks at the Harvard School of Public Health recommend fish, poultry and beans. Sure, a big juicy steak will do the trick, but it comes with a price: loads of saturated fat. A 3-ounce serving of salmon (about the size of a deck of cards or a woman's palm) gives you 17 grams of protein and only 2 grams of saturated fat. Beans do fish one better: a cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of fat.

Don't have the time or inclination to cook up a meal? Many athletes fuel post-run with a smoothie or protein shake. Just be sure to watch those protein amounts—some shakes carry a wallop. According to dietician Matthew Kadey, excess protein, like excess everything else, can be converted into fat.

Carb-to-Protein Ratio

Be sure to hydrate and eat plenty of carbs too. Remember, carbs and protein work together to replenish your glycogen stores more efficiently. The jury is still out on the ideal ratio of carbs to protein, but most sports nutritionists say to aim for a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio for your post-run meal, especially when you've run for an hour or longer.

Here's a handy formula from Running Times magazine to figure out how many carbs you should be eating at mealtime: divide your weight in half. That's your magic carb number. You can extrapolate your protein intake from there by dividing that number by three or four.

For a 125-pound runner:

63 grams of carbs, 21 grams of protein in a 3:1 ratio

63 grams of carbs, 16 grams of protein in a 4:1 ratio

And when in doubt, just remember the 30/30 Rule: eat less than 30 grams of protein in less than 30 minutes after a run.

(12/20/2021) ⚡AMP
by Karla Bruning
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Try this unique interval workout to become a better racer

In an ideal race, you start out running at your goal pace and you run that exact speed until you reach the finish line. Of course, a real race rarely plays out like that, especially if you’re running on a course with undulating terrain (hello, trail runners) or rolling hills.

Downshift intervals are a great way to practice adjusting your pace mid-run and teach you how to recover your pace after a burst of harder effort.

Example workouts

The idea behind downshift intervals is simple: start your interval at a pace that is intentionally much faster than your goal pace, then settle into your goal pace for the remainder of the interval. Here are a couple of examples:

For a 5K or 10K: Run 30 seconds at your 1,500m pace, then slow down to 10K pace for 2.5 minutes, so the entire interval is 3 minutes in length. Repeat this 4-8 times (depending on your fitness level), with 1-1.5 minutes of rest between each interval.

For a 1/2 marathon or marathon: Run for one minute at your 5K pace, then slow down to half-marathon pace for 4 minutes. Repeat this 4-8 times (depending on the length of your race), with two minutes rest between each interval.

While these are just two examples of a downshift interval workout, you can apply this structure to any workout where you’re running multiple intervals of the same length. Of course, not every workout should be done this way (there are benefits to practicing holding a consistent pace throughout an entire workout), but this style of training can inject a bit of fun into your speedwork and help you practice a different race-specific skill.

(12/20/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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World 100 meters champion Christian Coleman to make his return from 18 months suspension at Millrose Games

Christian Coleman, who served an 18-month ban for breaching anti-doping whereabouts rules, plans to race for the first time in nearly two years at New York's Millrose Games, the American told Reuters.

Millrose Gemes will be his first since February 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic and the anti-doping suspension curtailed the 25-year-old's career.

"I think it will be emotional to get out there and finally display my talents again," the indoor 60m world record holder said by telephone from Lexington, Kentucky, where he trains.

The Atlanta sprinter had been given a two-year suspension by an independent tribunal of track and field's Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) before it was reduced to 18 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Under the so-called whereabouts rule, elite athletes must make themselves available for random out-of-competition testing and state a location and one-hour window where they can be found on any given day.

"I think it comes down to being more responsible," said Coleman, 25, who has never failed a doping test but was suspended after three failures to be at a location provided to anti-doping officials.

"Those are the rules and I just have to do better."

An alarm on his phone that reminds him to update his schedule daily and a new doorbell that alerts him to visitors are helping to prepare for testers, he said.

Training continued throughout most of the suspension, which ended in November, and he had begun speed work, Coleman said.

He does not see Millrose as just a trial run.

"I want to win," said Coleman. "I think I have a higher standard for myself than just being back out there and being average."

He said he would see how his body feels before determining his indoor season, though defending his world indoor 60m title in March in Belgrade is definitely on his schedule.

"The ultimate goal is to be ready for the world (outdoor) championships" said Coleman.

That meet in Eugene, Oregon in July will be the first World Championships held in the United States.

Whether Coleman will just defend his 100m title or add the 200 remains to be seen but he plans to run both during the regular season.

While he said he had "come to terms" with missing the Tokyo Games because of his suspension he wants to compete in Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles four years later.

Beyond that, Usain Bolt's 100m world record of 9.58 seconds remains on his bucket list.

"As time goes on, I think it is possible," said the American, who ran a personal best of 9.76 in winning the 2019 world championships.

Coleman said he wanted to be remembered as "one of the great competitors in sport".

"I want people to think of me as one of the legends, one of the great sprinters who have come through the USA ranks," he added.

(12/20/2021) ⚡AMP
by Gene Cherry
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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Olympic Bronze Medalist Molly Seidel has started a YouTube channel

Her first video gives you a behind-the-scenes look at her trip to the New York City Marathon.

Molly Seidel fans have another place where they can follow along with their favorite runner. The Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist has started her own YouTube channel, and her first video, which follows her during her trip to the New York City Marathon, is full of that goofy charm we’ve all come to know and love from Seidel, along with a few snot rockets.

Barely three months after her incredible third-place finish at the Tokyo Olympic Marathon, Seidel finished fourth at the 2021 New York City Marathon in 2:24:42.

Her time broke the previous American course record of 2:25:53, set by Kara Goucher in 2008. She revealed after the race that she had fractured a few ribs during her build-up to New York, making her performance through the five boroughs even more outstanding.

“This was truly one of the most challenging marathon builds I’ve ever had to do — mentally and physically,” Seidel says in the video. “Just getting through the amount of pain, the de-motivation after the Olympics, dealing with the pressures that now come from being an Olympic medalist and the eyes on you.”

(12/20/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Here’s How Many Minutes of Running It Takes to Boost Your Mood

A new study suggests it doesn’t take much aerobic exercise to feel an emotional lift.

Just 10 minutes of moderate-intensity running can create significant enough effects in the brain to improve executive function and mood regulation, new research shows.

The reason for this may related to a region of the brain called the bilateral prefrontal cortex, which plays a major role in executive function and mood. Running seems to simulate this area. 

Although you might swear by a long run to change a crusty mood, new research suggests you could get that lift even before your first mile is over. A new study in the journal Scientific Reports notes that just 10 minutes of moderate-intensity running can create significant enough effects in the brain to improve executive function (the mental processes that help us plan, pay attention, remember instructions, and balance multiple tasks) and mood regulation.

Researchers recruited 26 healthy participants and had them complete both a 10-minute running session on a treadmill done at 50 percent VO2 max and a resting control session. Executive function and mood were determined using established research tools for each, and were tested before and after both running and resting. 

Running resulted in a considerable boost to function and emotional response, according to study lead author Hideaki Soya, Ph.D., professor at the Laboratory of Exercise Biochemistry and Neuroendocrinology at University of Tsukuba in Japan.

He told Runner’s World that the mechanism is likely related to a region of the brain called the bilateral prefrontal cortex, which plays a major role in executive function and mood. Running seems to simulate this area, he said, and this may induce an immediate change in neurotransmitters like noradrenaline, acetylcholine, and dopamine, which have all been found in previous research to affect cognition and mood regulation. 

While exercise of any type may have an effect, there’s something distinctive about running, Soya added.

“Given that running is a whole-body locomotive exercise, it requires more control for coordinated movement and balance,” he said. “For example, the prefrontal cortex is engaged for coordinated action. That tends to be lower for an activity like bicycling, which doesn’t require as much coordination or weight-bearing demand.”

Although the study is limited due to its small number of participants, it’s far from the only research to suggest there’s a connection between running and mental health. For instance, a research review that included 116 studies found running improve mood even if it was done only once. 

The best takeaway from the recent study isn’t just that 10 minutes will give you a boost, it’s that you can get that even if it’s the very first time you’ve ever run, or if it’s been years or decades since you last ran. 

“Our experiments always use minimal exercise models, and this one shows that a single session of 10 minutes makes a difference, whether you run regularly or not,” said Soya. “Based on this assumption, it’s possible there’s a greater effect if you run for longer, especially because it may enhance other parts of the brain.”

(12/20/2021) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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How one runner made a bucket list trail running trip into reality - The Dream: Running Hut-to-Hut in the Dolomites

By Andy COCHRANE

I was no more than 8 years old when I saw my first photo of someone running in the Dolomites. Red windbreaker, dark shorts, storm brewing over a line of jagged peaks. I cut it out of the magazine (don’t tell my mom) and still have it in my wallet today. For years, trail running in the Italian Alps wasn’t on my bucket list; it was my bucket list. 

This fall, I finally got to check it off. Along with two friends and my coach Magda Boulet, I flew to Venice and drove north into the Dolomites. We spent a week running from hut to hut, meandering 20 miles each day, stopping for cappuccinos and strudel and staying at small, family-run rifugios high up in the mountains.

It was a trip of hearty laughs, long meals, stout climbs, loose descents and a handful of exposed ledges to tiptoe across. But the top of the long list of highlights was the people we met. The kindness and care we received from total strangers was unlike anything I’d ever experienced.

Route & Rifugios

We worked with a local guiding company, Dolomite Mountains, that made our planning easy. They offered suggestions on trails, places to sleep and peaks to climb. Our route took us 100 miles from San Candido to Compatsch, along a few of the major thoroughfares. We ran through the Sesto subgroup of mountains, on the border of Italy’s German-speaking South Tyrol and the Italian Veneto region, which was the frontier of Austria and Italy in World War I. 

Many of the trails here were developed by soldiers– old trenches, defensive barricades and forts are still visible in many places. On our first day we ran under Tre Cime, a trio of peaks that reminded me of home in the Tetons. We continued through remote valleys and high passes in Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park, through the iconic Alta Badia valley, past Puez Nature Park to Val Gardena, through a beautiful alpine meadow called Alpe di Siusi, then summited Plattkofel and climbed up Rosszahnscharte, our last major pass, before running all the way down to Compatsch.

For the first two days we were led by Paolo Posocco, a local runner and incredibly knowledgeable guide, who offered a steady buffet of insights on the ecology, history and trails of the area. After two days with Paolo, we were sad to see him go– and still stay in touch to this day. 

There are dozens of bucolic rifugios, but a few stand out from the rest. Drei Zinnen Blick is in a valley adjacent to a beautiful lake, close to Tre Cime. Rifugio Fodara Vedla is perched high in the range, with no cell service and warm and friendly hosts that make you feel like family. Rifugio Sassopiatto has some of the best views, perched on a ridgeline. Gostner Schwaige, a small restaurant near the very end of our run, was hands down the best food we had all trip.

Weather & Seasons

We spent the last week of September in the Dolomites, which is squarely in the fringe season. With cool temperatures (we had more than one frosty morning), leaves changing color and admittedly fickle weather, I think it was the perfect time to visit. There were considerably fewer tourists than during the peak seasons, making trails more fun to run. Midday rifugio stops were quieter and we had a lot more options for places to stay, making our interactions with hosts and immersion into local culture that much more intimate.

Gear We Used & Loved

Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress–  OV only recently started making gear for the running scene and hit the mark with this dress. Breathable fabric, adjustable straps, two pockets and a built-in liner make it great for long days in the mountains. 

Outdoor Voices Fast Track Shortsleeve– Less is often more. This running tee is comfortable, breathes well and is lightweight, everything I ask for in a good running base layer.

Stio Fremont Stretch Fleece Jogger– We had a lot of cold mornings when shorts wouldn’t quite cut it. These breathable fleece tights move with you and are some of the comfiest tights we’ve ever tested.

Stio Alpiner Hooded Jacket– A must-have layer for any high-output alpine missions, the Alpiner rarely overheats even when you’re sweaty. Stretchy and water resistant, it was perfect for our cool, misty days. 

Tracksmith Brighton Base Layer– One of the brand’s most popular pieces for a reason. With a Merino wool mesh that’s more open around the core, it keeps your extremities warm while not overheating the rest of you. Plus it’s odor resistant, which is a huge bonus on a week-long trip.

Tracksmith Off Road Shorts– Designed for long days on the trail, these 2-in-1 shorts have a light outer layer with compression shorts underneath, a back belt for carrying an extra layer, two waist pockets for snacks and liner pockets for your phone or keys. 

Ciele ALZCap– The newest iteration of the widely popular GOCap, it has more mesh coverage to maximize breathability and a more fitted, low profile look than previous versions. 

Skida Nordic Hat– The brand’s first product hasn’t changed in years, for good reason. Originally designed for cross country skiing, we found the Nordic hat to be perfect for fall running. It wicks moisture while keeping you comfy and warm, and is easy to stow when not in use. 

Brooks Catamount Trail Shoe– The trails in the Dolomites are rocky and rough, which means a shoe with good traction is key. With a unique rubber grip, foam cushioning and a protective midsole layer, the Catamount helped us get up and down half a dozen mountain passes.

Coros Apex Pro Watch– With an incredibly long battery life, accurate tracking and well-designed mapping features, the Apex Pro played a key role in keeping us on route and on time.

(12/18/2021) ⚡AMP
by Trail Runner Magazine
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Professional singer caught cutting course at Vienna City Marathon

On Sept. 12, British musician James Cottriall ran the Vienna City Marathon, setting an eyebrow-raising personal best of 2:56:46. Upon a further breakdown of his result by Derek Murphy of marathoninvestigation.com, it became obvious that Cottriall’s cut the course on an out-and-back route between 32 and 35 kilometres, clocking a world record 5K split of nine minutes. 

Cottriall was on pace for a 3:10 to 3:15 marathon at the 30K mark when he decided to cut the course. What made his activity more suspicious was the singer’s uploads on his Strava page: “I am feeling ready, it’s time to break 3 hours! The training is done, my legs are prepared!” Clearly, he said the sub-three-hour marathon goal in his mind before the start of the race. 

After the marathon, the singer did the media rounds, appearing on Austrian news shows and doing an interview with Heute.at, where he talked about beating Austria’s Labour Minister, Martin Koche, and how he ran the marathon off six hours of sleep while promoting his new album. Cottriall also spoke with Heute about his four months of training leading up to the race where he ran 100 km per week. But on further investigation, his highest training in last the year was one 90 kilometre week. 

Cottriall crossed the line in 75th place and said after the race that breaking three was a lifelong dream. In 2019, Cottriall legitimately ran Vienna City Marathon in 4:03:51 and the LA Marathon in 3:55:04. “I am unsure of his motivation,” says Murphy. “He would have run a fast time and still shattered his marathon personal best even without cutting this small section.”

Earlier this year, Cottriall released his fourth album “Let’s Talk,” which was written throughout the various lockdowns in Austria. He has also appeared as Fauke on Austria’s version of The Masked Singer in 2020. 

(12/18/2021) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Vienna City Marathon

Vienna City Marathon

More than 41,000 runners from over 110 nations take part in the Vienna City Marathon, cheered on by hundreds of thousands of spectators. From the start at UN City to the magnificent finish on the Heldenplatz, the excitement will never miss a beat. In recent years the Vienna City Marathon has succeeded in creating a unique position as a marathon...

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The Long Slow Distance Run vs. Tempo

In the traditional marathon training plan, a long slow distance (LSD) run serves as the cornerstone. The LSD run is often prescribed as a weekend run, anywhere from 2-3 hours long, and run at a pace about 30-90 seconds slower than your goal race pace.

By contrast, the tempo run is much shorter and sometimes mixed into a training plan. Tempo works as a speed day when track workouts aren’t an option. The most common tempo run is about 30 minutes at a pace you can hold for the duration.

Recently there has been a lot of debate over which run is better in training for the half marathon and marathon. The new argument is that speed and endurance can be accomplished without spending early weekend mornings running long, slow miles. In addition, some argue that the long, slow run can lead to injury.

So is one really better than the other?

First, it’s best to understand what each training run does for your body.

The LSD, according to running coach Brad Minus, is meant purely to build aerobic endurance.

“When running at a ‘conversational pace’ as I like to call it, the runner breathes more naturally,” he says. “By breathing more deeply the body is provided with more oxygen which translates into a higher capillary density, which, in turn, increases mitochondria.”

If you remember back to biology class, mitochondria are found in cells and are part of the respiration and energy production—both of which runners need.

“The more oxygen in the cells of the muscles, combined with glucose, makes more ATP which is the energy source that moves the muscles,” says Minus. “Endurance cannot be built without increasing the transport of oxygen.”

For newer runners, the long slow run can greatly improve their aerobic endurance and help them reach new distance goals. The newer the runner, the more they can benefit from a long, slow run. Often times, newer runners set a mileage goal for a long run and that also helps boost their mental confidence.

The tempo run will burn through energy more quickly but helps a runner increase the overall quality of training runs. These help a runner incorporate more race day scenarios, such as running hard when your legs become fatigued. Physiologically the tempo run increases a runner’s lactate threshold, the point at which your body fatigues.

In reviewing both the LSD and the tempo run, it would appear that the answer to this debate lies somewhere in the middle, and the long, fast run could be the answer to gaining both aerobic endurance and increasing lactate threshold.

“High-end aerobic endurance athletes thrive off lots of work ranging from long steady runs at marathon pace to runs done at threshold,” says running coach and two-time U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier Mason Cathey. “Alternating paces has been found to be very productive for slow-twitch athletes.”

According to Cathey, slow-twitch runners have better aerobic fuel systems, are not sprinters, and can handle longer runs. She prescribes a variety of runs to her athletes including long runs that incorporate fartleks and short tempos or progressive finishes.

“Speed endurance with anaerobic work is helpful for when we want to maximize performance, but we don’t want to do so much speed that we deteriorate on aerobic strength,” she says.

So there you have it—sort of. The best recipe is one that includes a variety of ingredients. Don’t be shy about pushing yourself with speed work, but maintain an LSD-to-tempo balance for best results.

(12/18/2021) ⚡AMP
by Beth Shaw
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The Four Pillars of Distance Running

1. Aerobic Conditioning

When the term “aerobic conditioning” is mentioned, miles and miles of running immediately come to mind—but that is only one aspect of aerobic conditioning.

I like to compare aerobic conditioning to communication—when communicating, you are attempting to get information or a message from a sender to a receiver through a medium or channel. Without any one of those aspects, the message does not travel. In aerobic conditioning, you are attempting to move oxygen from a sender to a receiver through a medium. The sending is done by your heart and lungs, and to maximize the those organs’ abilities to transmit oxygen, you need to develop more capillaries—which are built up by the body when an athlete performs an aerobic function for longer than 60 minutes (but are more effective for lengths of effort longer than 75 minutes).

That takes care of sending, but what is the receiver? And, how is the ability to receive maximized?

The receiver is the muscles, and we increase the muscles’ ability to take on oxygen by training at or close to the velocity at which the maximum volume of oxygen can be moved, or vVO2max. vVO2max training is done as repeats in bouts of 90 seconds to about five minutes with a rest interval that is approximately equal to the duration of vVO2max effort.

Last is the medium in which the oxygen travels. Well, we all know that oxygen is carried in red blood cells through arteries to the muscles, except for the veins, which carry oxygenated blood from the alveoli of the lungs back to the heart. So how is that process improved?

Being able to move in the most efficient manner possible.

Getting rid of the excess hydrogen ions in the blood that is broken down from lactic acid buildup due to burning glycogen without oxygen with higher-intensity running.

Efficient running (or running economy) is developed and improved by a combination of the next three pillars. Your body’s ability to get rid of hydrogen ions is developed by training at a velocity equal to about 80% to 90% of an athlete’s vVO2max. That is done by what is known as tempo running (which is closer to the 80% area), lactate threshold or cruise intervals (done at about 85%), and critical velocity, which is 90% to 91% and also has a vVO2max improvement component.

2. Speed or Anaerobic Condition

The next pillar of distance running is speed or anaerobic condition (which by definition means “without oxygen”). With regard to the high school cross country distance of 5k, science tells us that anaerobic use of fuel comprises about 7% of an athlete’s effort. That is where many coaches come up short in their application of anaerobic training.

That’s not to say that speed is the only thing it takes to make a distance runner. On that thought, in 1987, Bob Kennedy won the Kinney (now Footlocker) National Cross Country Championship. A year later, as a true freshman at Indiana, he won the NCAA National Cross Country Championship. He was the first native-born American to break 13 minutes in the 5,000-meter event and never ran more than 35 miles a week in high school—and, after that, about 45 miles a week as a pro with mostly speed work as a staple of his training.

High school coaches all over the U.S. got a hold of that information and created maybe the worst decade in American high school distance running in history. Running a 3200m in under nine minutes was rare in the 1990s. Where are we at now? At the last Arcadia Invitational, 14 runners finished faster than nine minutes in one meet. So, where does that leave us with speed? More than just training your body to use a fuel source without the use of oxygen, anaerobic speed training has several other functions.

First, running fast is a skill that utilizes a combination of strength, reactiveness, and coordination, all of which must work in unison to perform effectively. That skill is no different than hitting a baseball, throwing a football, or even shooting a basketball. If an athlete in any of those sports spends time not practicing those functions, they lose muscle memory for that skill. It is for that reason that speed work must be a part of a distance runner’s training, year-round.

Why does a distance runner need the skill of speed? The more comfortable a distance runner is at running fast, the easier it feels to run at an aerobic race pace and the more economical the athlete performs the function of running. Speed is an athletic movement. Endurance runners do well in distance races, but endurance athletes win distance races. Speed helps turn the endurance runner into an endurance athlete.

Several forms of speed training can be utilized to build the function of speed in the athlete. Speed training as basic as 60-yard strides at the end of a warm-up can be trained almost on a daily basis. Flys of 30-50 meters are also useful. The types of speed training utilized by most distance coaches are:

Speed

Speed endurance

Special endurance 1

Special endurance 2

Those distances go all the way up to 600 meters and build fast twitch, strength, and lactate tolerance. The variance of distances and speeds used together and sequenced properly in a macrocycle work together to prepare the athlete for the culminating event.

3. Strength and Mobility

If you wanted to build a V8 engine that can also go from 0-60 in a few seconds, you wouldn’t put that engine in the frame of a Pinto. That’s where this third pillar comes in—if you assign the work required to build a strong, aerobic, and fast athlete into a young runner without a strong athletic background, many stress-related problems will start to occur because their body just can’t handle it.

So, what type of strength does a distance runner need in order to handle the stresses of training required to improve? The basic answer is…all of it.

I like to build strength from the knee to the shoulder and all points in between. Start with the quadriceps to the hip flexors with the lunge matrix or band work, and the runner can handle the mileage required to build an aerobic engine. The abdominal and all the core muscles help the athlete hold form throughout the race; if that form breaks down, it could reduce the runner’s speed and efficiency while increasing the likelihood of injury.

The chest and shoulder strength come in at the end of the race—during the kick, extra upper-body strength is used to bring about that last bit of form and speed needed to win the sprint finish. Mobility comes into play with the reduction of stiffness of muscles and joints, which could adversely affect movement, cause reduced efficiency, and increase the risk of injury. Strength training should be performed throughout the year and macrocycle to an extent necessary to prepare the athlete to perform their best.

4. Rest

I’ve heard many coaches talk about how their athletes performed due to a specific type of training or workout, but athletes don’t actually respond to a program or workout—they perform as a result of recovering from the stresses of that program or workout. Rest is essential. The stress put on an athlete flexes the body—if they don’t recover from that stress, they cannot benefit from it. The various stresses create micro tears in the muscle and those tears need to heal. That’s where recovery comes in.

Rest in distance running comes in different forms at different times, and for different reasons. Easy running is a form of rest. The reason the athlete runs on a recovery day instead of no work at all is that the run elevates the runner’s pulse to above 120 beats per minute. That helps bring the healing blood to the damaged tissues from the hard workout and flush out the toxins created by the damage of the workout. Recovery days should be treated with as much importance as each hard workout day.

Another form of rest is sleep. The endurance runner experiences a stress that is unlike most other athletes, and most of the healing from that stress comes through sleep. An endurance athlete needs at least eight hours per night, and if that is not possible due to schoolwork or other factors, the coach should alter or reduce the training because the athlete is unable to properly recover from the workout.

The last type of rest is actual days off. During a macrocycle, a rest day can be done a few ways without reduction of performance. Once a week is the most popular among high school athletes; however, a high school athlete should not go more than 21 days without at least one rest day.

Outside of the macrocycle, the athlete needs a rest period more for psychological than physiological reasons. High school coach and physiology teacher Scott Christensen says a high school runner needs about six weeks off in a calendar year. Other coaches say that rest of longer than two weeks at a time leads to injury once the athlete starts back up. The best method is the one that works for your program and athletes, but they do need some form of a rest period following a season.

(12/18/2021) ⚡AMP
by Jeremy Duplissey
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Why You Should Reach for Your Trail Shoes for Winter Road Running

It's dumping snow outside my office window, and I'm watching the black pavement and gray sidewalk disappear under a blanket of winter white. Instead of plotting a treadmill run because of the weather, I'm gleefully getting amped up for a "trail" run right from my front doorstep. As a runner who likes road running and doesn't mind the occasional treadmill or track session, but thrives (heart, soul, and body) on the natural surfaces of trails, I welcome winter weather for changing up my neighborhood once in a while. Plus, I think it's just dang fun to laugh in the face of adversity and run in a snowstorm; in a short amount of time, it makes me feel like I can do anything.

Another situational bonus: In a winter snowstorm, I'd rather run out the door than clean off my car and drive through town on potentially icy roads to reach a trail.

When the roads turn to trails because of a hearty snowstorm, sure, I pull on layers and gloves and a beanie. But I also reach for one key item of cold-weather gear: trail running shoes. Here's why.

Why Trail Shoes are Your Best Cold-Weather Running Shoes

No-Slip Grip

While road shoes have smooth outsoles, the toothy lugs on the underbelly of trail shoes are there to grip loose dirt, gravel, mud, and rocks. Coincidentally, they work great on snow. Road shoes all but guarantee a slip on snow and ice, while trail shoes dig in for secure footing. Choose trail shoes with especially luggy soles, opting for toothy protrusions of rubber over more-shallow tread patterns, for winter running.

Some trail shoes come with built-in, hard metal carbide spikes for extra icy conditions-just don't forget to take them off before walking across your nice wooden porch or interior floors.

(Note: An alternative or additional option for particularly slick winter surfaces is adding traction to any shoe; still, opt for trail shoes over road because of reasons below.)

Secure Foothold

Some road running shoes do a decent job of securing feet in place. Others skew more toward a sock-like fit, and can get away with the lack of support over the top of your foot because they're meant to run on smooth, flat roads. Trail running shoes, on the other hand, are built with heartier overlays, or, reinforcements of material that keep feet in place on everything from scree fields to off-camber trails cutting across the sides of a mountain. That kind of secure hold is what you want on snowy surfaces, where you never know just how much the snow is going to give-and subsequently, your foot is going to move-with every step.

Weather Protection

If you run in particularly cold or nasty winter weather regularly, or your feet tend to get cold to the point of pain on winter runs, opting for cold-weather trail running shoes made out of Gore-Tex or other winter barrier materials, like eVent, can help keep you comfortable. While there are a handful of road running shoe models available in Gore-Tex (Brooks Ghost GTX), more winterized options exist among trail running shoes. But even non-winterized trail shoes-without Gore-Tex or eVent uppers-can keep feet warmer than road shoes; the extra overlays and heartier materials of trail shoes add insulation.

Overall Burliness

To arm runners against pokey tree roots, pointy rocks and other natural features, trail running shoes are built with burlier materials than are road running shoes. Those burly materials both protect your feet from winter cold, and help keep shoes intact under the rigors of winter weather. Also, the lightweight midsole cushioning of many road running shoes can actually harden up under freezing temperatures, turning a usually plush road shoe to feel stiff underfoot. Most trail running shoe midsoles are selected to perform consistently under temperature ranges.

Also, there's an inherent, contagiousness of a trail shoe's burliness-it rubs off on the human stepping into them. Once armored with a rugged, durable, capable pair of trail running shoes, you're ready to head out the door and charge that winter weather for an oh-so-convenient, from-home trail run.

(12/18/2021) ⚡AMP
by Trail Runner Magazine
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How to Fuel Properly in Cold Conditions

For those who like to train outdoors throughout the winter months, we salute you. From slippery sleet to skin-peeling wind chill, there's seemingly nothing that can keep you inside. But if you're brave enough to face the cold, then you need to understand how to properly adjust your fueling for your wintry outdoor pursuits.

The season of layers can be a time to make a few important tweaks to your sports nutrition habits. That's because exercising in cold temperatures presents some unique nutrition and hydration challenges you're not faced with during the summer months. Make a few missteps and it could suck all the remaining warmth out of your winter training.

Here's everything you need to know to stay comfortable and safe while still performing at an optimal level-even when the weather outside is frightful.

You may be hungrier than usual

While you may run or ride the same route in warmer months without the urge to reach for the feed bag, that may not be the case during the deep freeze. In cold weather, it's normal for your body temperature to drop, which can stimulate appetite and drive up feelings of hunger. Hence, if you become chilled during winter exercise you'll likely find yourself searching for calories. You should permit yourself to eat-and, better yet, not get hungry in the first place.

Hunger pangs can increase the perception of effort, which may cause you to scale down the pace or prematurely call it quits. Also, eating stokes the furnace, generating heat and helping warm your body a degree or two. Food's overall warming effect is known as thermogenesis. Your body generates more heat when in a fed state than when you have an empty stomach. Think about that flushed feeling you have after polishing off a huge meal.

So eating not only provides fuel but also increases heat production (warmth). That means you should never let yourself get too "low" during exercise in the cold or you risk succumbing to hunger and a case of shivers.

There isn't much in the way of research regarding the impact that working out in chilly climates has on fuel stores. But we do know that your body is going to allow some additional energy above what is needed for muscular contraction for preserving body temperature and to warm and humidify the air you breathe when you exercise in the cold. These processes can be considered non-shivering thermogenesis and may necessitate the need to consume calories to compensate for. If you do end up getting really cold, research demonstrates that muscle glycogen is a primary fuel source to generate the heat needed in the body to combat any shivering that occurs. (Shivering is involuntary muscle tensing that generates heat.) So even if exercising at lower intensities, the onset of shivering can drain this vital energy source as the body further ramps up thermogenesis.

It's important to keep in mind that prolonged exhaustive exercise can itself lead to glycogen depletion which, in turn, could compromise your ability to maintain proper thermal balance and making it harder to continue your workout and raising the risk for hypothermia. Also, if you are wearing a lot of winter gear, you will burn a few more calories to carry the extra weight of layers of clothes, and any gear such as skis.

What this means is that for cold weather exercising lasting longer than an hour or so it is important to fuel yourself. This is due to food being used to fuel the body's increased metabolic needs in addition to providing energy for the exercise itself. You want to eat continually to replace carbohydrate stores that are being used for exercise and warming. If you don't replace this energy you will likely feel more fatigued than you would like and could become uncomfortably chilled. Plan to fuel yourself with 100-200 calories, 30 to 60 grams of carbs for every 30 to 45 minutes of activity. This can come from the usual suspects like gels, chews, bars and sports drinks.

Athletes who are not acclimated to exercising in the cold will likely tap into their glycogen stores to stay warm even more so than cold-hearty athletes. So an Alaskan triathlete will be more fuel-efficient (i.e. burning more fat, fewer carbs at a given work rate) during cold-weather workouts than a counterpart from Arizona.

And finally, winter athletes should carry an emergency food source, just in case some incident leaves you static in a cold setting. The extra food can help keep you warm.

Don't forget to drink up

One thing most athletes neglect in the winter is proper hydration, but it's not your fault-your brain's ability to detect thirst is compromised in the cold. This might be the result of less sodium loss through sweat than what occurs when working out in a hot environment. That means an athlete needs to make a more conscious effort to consume enough fluids to maintain a better hydration balance.

Although your fluid requirements in winter aren't as high as in the middle of summer when you're sweating buckets, that doesn't mean you can or should ignore your hydration needs when training alongside Jack Frost. You lose fluids just by breathing in the cold air because your body adds humidity (i.e. moisture or condensation) to warm the air in your lungs. You can see this vapor ("steam") when you breathe. When we exhale at a faster rate during exercise, a significant amount of water is lost into the air.

Add this to the perspiration that can still occur during cold exercise, especially if you are overdressed, and you can end up dehydrated, which will put a ding in your training pace or ability to continue with exercise. We may not realize how much we're sweating in the winter as the additional clothing absorbs much of our sweat. It does appear, however, that being in a hypohydrated state in cold environments does not negatively impact performance to the same degree or place as much of a strain on the body as it does during hot, humid climates.

There is no reason to drink gallons of fluid, but do your best to take in about 4 ounces of fluid for every 15 minutes of activity, especially if exercise duration is longer than 60 minutes. Since it's not advisable to drink to thirst when your thirst mechanism is compromised in the cold, set your watch to beep every 15 minutes as a reminder. Sodium losses will be less than when working out in steamy conditions, but it's still a good idea to include some in your hydration efforts if you are training for a long period of time to make sure levels don't dip too low. Aiming for anywhere from 300 to 600 milligrams for each hour of activity should suffice. Several sports drinks formulations can help you get this amount.

Turn up the heat on your hydration

When it comes to drinking during cold-weather exercise, warmer fluids are ideal. The problem with cold water is that it can start to chill the body thus requiring the use of more energy to stay warm. In summer, this cooling effect is helpful during exercise, but not so much when the snow is flying.

Athletes who aren't opposed to training in the great outdoors when temps have plunged have all sorts of hacks for preventing their fluid from turning into an icy slurry. Wearing a hydration pack can help keep your water close to your body and warmer than if it is carried in an external water bottle.You can also try covering a water bottle filled with warm liquid with a wool sock or a neoprene insulating sleeve. The wider the mouth of your water bottle, the longer it will take for water to completely freeze over your bottle's opening. Or make use of an insulated water bottle-just be sure not to fill it with boiling water, as it will remain too hot to safely drink when pushing the pace. Skratch Labs Hot Apple Cider Hydration Drink Mix  provides easily digested carbs and electrolytes and is designed to be served warm to help you feel all cozy inside when training hard.

Recover with comfort foods and drinks

The best way to warm yourself up while simultaneously kick-starting recovery is to start refueling and rehydrating on hot carbs. Hot cider, hot chocolate, steaming soup, as well as oatmeal or even chili will all work. The warm food, added with the thermogenic effect of eating, contributes to body temperature recovery.

This recovery nutrition should include both carbohydrates and protein. The purpose of the carbs at this time is to replace the muscle fuel (glycogen) utilized during the chilly workout. The protein will help stimulate the development of new muscle tissue and also raise insulin levels to help drive more recovery nutrients into your muscles. So hot chocolate made with milk and some sweetener will deliver both carbs and protein. As will a hearty bowl of chili containing sweet potato and chunks of meat. A steamy bowl of oatmeal with some protein powder mixed in is another example of this dynamic duo that can warm you up from the inside.

Don't skimp on calories

There is a reason why polar explorers aim to pack on the pounds before their expeditions-extra insulation helps keep their bodies warmer when physically exerting themselves in a frigid environment. While you certainly shouldn't stuff your silly to the point where you are greatly tipping the scale, off-season training in the cold is not the best time to lose significant body weight through inadequate fueling.

When heavy physical activity is coupled with chronic underfeeding, the resulting negative energy balance is likely to lead to loss of body mass, and the corresponding reduction in tissue insulation, in turn, compromises thermal balance by facilitating conductive transfer of body heat from the core to shell. The upshot is that negative energy balance through underfeeding can affect thermoregulation during cold exposure thereby impacting performance and also raising the risk for hypothermia.

This means for improved heat conservation and to better defend body temperature it's important to couple your training with calorie consumption.

Also, under-fueling will also likely result in subpar glycogen stores, which could impact performance since training in the cold can place added stress on this vital energy reserve. This will be particularly detrimental if you're training at higher intensities that call upon a greater use of glycogen for energy generation.

Up your iron intake

If you're someone who has a hard time staying warm during your winter outings, there is a chance that low iron levels could be part of the problem. A little-known side-effect of chronic iron deficiency is that it can impair your ability to maintain adequate body temperature by impacting thyroid functioning, which hinders heat production within the body. There is data to suggest the rates of iron deficiency are increasing in America owing to inadequate intakes. This investigation in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine determined that both male and female runners are at risk for iron deficiency and anemia, with higher rates appearing in elite triathletes and runners.

If you suspect you might be operating on inadequate iron levels, have your physician perform a blood test and, if necessary, take the necessary dietary measures such as those outlined here to get your levels up to where they can overturn a deficiency and help keep you feeling toasty while braving the wind chill.

(12/18/2021) ⚡AMP
by Trail Runner Magazine
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If you've had COVID-19, your running kinetics may have changed

If you’ve had COVID-19, it may have changed the way you run. Recent research compared the running kinetics of people who have had (and recovered from) the virus to those who have not, and found differences that may put those who’ve experienced the virus at a greater risk for injuries.

The effects of isolation

These changes are not a result of the virus itself, but are because of the need to quarantine. The researchers note that while social isolation through quarantine is important to mitigate the spread of the virus, one of the negative side-effects of having to stay inside is a lack of physical activity. You may not think that two weeks indoors would have a significant impact on your running mechanics, but according to this research, it may affect you more than you realize.

The researchers studied forty men and women aged 20 to 30, who were divided into two groups. The first group was made up of participants with a history of COVID-19, while the second group did not. Both groups were tested for their running kinetics using a variety of methods. Results indicated that COVID-19 individuals showed greater peak vertical ground reaction forces (GRFs) when their heels contacted the ground, greater peak mediolateral GRFs during push-off and a shorter time to reach peak of vertical GRFs at heel contact. They also experienced lower activity in their vastus medialis (the small quad muscle that inserts into the upper border of your knee) during the stance phase of their stride and in their gluteus medius (the glute muscle on the side of your butt) in the final phase of their stride.

Runners who have higher GRFs are less stable, which puts them at greater risk for running-related injuries. The results of this study indicate that runners who’ve had to spend time in isolation, then, may be more at risk for injuries when they return to activity.

What should runners do post-COVID?

If you have had to stay in isolation because of COVID-19, you shouldn’t jump immediately back into your regular, pre-COVID running routine. Instead, treat your return to running the same way you would if you were coming back from injury: start small and slow, and work your way up from there.

The authors of the study also advise runners to include balance and strength training in their weekly routine to improve lower limb alignment and mediolateral control while running. If you’re not sure where to start, make an appointment with a physiotherapist who specializes in running, who can pinpoint your weak spots and give you a program to fix them.

(12/18/2021) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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The former Nike Oregon Project changes team name to Union Athletic Club

One of the world’s best-known professional running clubs has found a new name after the Nike Oregon Project was abolished, coincident with the four-year ban of ex-head coach Alberto Salazar. The new name, Union Athletic Club, was announced on the Elevation Om YouTube page and confirmed by Chris Chavez on Twitter on Thursday.

After Salazar’s dismissal, the group remained intact through the past three years under coach Pete Julian.

Julian is currently the coach of many of the world’s top athletes, such as Suguru Osako, Shannon Rowbury, Raevyn Rogers, Jessica Hull, Donovan Brazier and Craig Engels.

He spent three years coaching at Washington State University before moving to the Oregon Project in 2012, where he was the assistant coach to Galen Rupp, Matt Centrowitz, Mo Farah and Canadian record holder Cam Levins.

The 2021 NCAA indoor 800m champion and Australian Olympian Charlie Hunter will be the newest member of the group.

Union Athletic Club is based out of Oregon and sponsored by Nike Running.

(12/18/2021) ⚡AMP
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Paris 2024 confirms Seine will serve as venue for city centre Olympic Opening Ceremony

Paris 2024 has announced the Seine will serve as the venue of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, with athletes set to travel in boats during a six-kilometre route during the spectacle.

Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet had suggested the river was under consideration to host the city-centre Opening Ceremony back in March.

Estanguet confirmed at a press conference today that the Paris 2024 Board and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had approved the location.

The three-time Olympian said the objective was to make the Opening Ceremony more open to everyone, with estimates predicting 10 times more spectators will be able to watch the event compared to its typical stadium setting.

Paris 2024 say thousands of spectators will be able to attend the Opening Ceremony for free, while ticketed zones will also be in operation.

Around 600,000 people are expected to be watch the Ceremony in the capital city.

Organisers say the Seine will be a “runway for athletes”, with delegations set to travel on around 170 boats down the river.

The route will begin at the Pont d'Austerlitz, the bridge located close to the French national library.

The Pont d'Iéna marks the event of the route, with the bridge located next to the Eiffel Tower.

The Trocadéro Gardens will host the finale of the Opening Ceremony, having been the location of the live site during the handover at the conclusion of the Tokyo 2020 Closing Ceremony earlier this year.

Estanguet said the six-kilometre route would allow for full immersion into Paris, with landmarks including the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde featuring.

The Paris 2024 President said the location would allow organisers to blend the existing background of the capital with modern creations, claiming the concept provided organisers with “unlimited potential” with what they can achieve artistically.

Artistic direction of the Ceremony is expected to be defined at a later date.

Suggestions include a floating orchestra and projections, with spectators potentially watching from stands on screens located on the water.

Estanguet said Paris 2024 would look to implement ideas used during their previous Olympic Day celebrations, where sporting events have been held within the French capital.

Paris 2024 say 50 meetings have been held with security experts since the start of 2021 on the concept.

It is claimed that no security obstacles have been identified so far.

The Opening Ceremony is scheduled to take place on July 26 in 2024, with the Olympics running until August 11.

“On 26 July 2024, a truly spectacular Opening Ceremony will mean the eyes of the world are on the city, proudly promoting the values of Olympism," said Anne Hidalgo, Paris Mayor.

“The ambitious project, which is the result of intensive collaboration between hundreds of stakeholders, will bring joy to Parisians, Île-de-France residents and tourists alike.

“This Opening Ceremony will mark the history of the Games.

“For the first time ever, rather than being contained in the stadium, it will take place in the heart of the capital.

“Along the quays and bridges of the Seine, against this grand and unique backdrop, the athletes will be carried by a majestic flotilla of boats.

“The ceremony will be accessible to one and all.

“The choice to launch the Paris Games on the Seine is a bold one, which is part of a long-term strategy.

“Beginning with the opening of the embankments to pedestrians in 2016, the idea is to give Parisians and local residents back their river banks, to walk along, engage in sports, or simply admire the beautiful surroundings.

“The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games will mark the beginning of a new chapter in this story, with swimming in the Seine itself.”

IOC President Thomas Bach has been a supporter of the idea of a city-centre Opening Ceremony.

This followed the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympics, which saw an Opening Ceremony held on the Avenida 9 de Julio in the Argentinian capital.

Bach said Paris 2024 has recognised the opportunity and challenges of the city-centre spectacle, but expressed his confidence that organisers would be able to hold the event with the security precautions required.

"This Ceremony will be an exceptional experience for all the athletes taking part, but also, and above all, for the people of Paris, for France and for the whole world," Bach said.

"We started discussing this ‘Seine’ option with the Paris 2024 team and its President, Tony Estanguet, after the great success of the Opening Ceremony of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

“There, over 200,000 people gathered around the iconic Obelisk monument.

“We were all inspired by this magical moment, but we also recognised the challenges it could create.

“Today, I am happy that the French authorities on all levels have carefully considered this opportunity and come to the conclusion this will happen, under the premise of all necessary security precautions.

“The IOC has full confidence in the creativity, flexibility and sense of innovation demonstrated, from the beginning, by the Paris 2024 team.

“They will ensure that the Opening Ceremony is a truly unique and emotional Olympic experience for the athletes, who will be surrounded by the public, being welcomed and celebrated by the French people.

“It will be a spectacular spectacle on the Seine.”

(12/18/2021) ⚡AMP
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A Year Ago, He Couldn’t Run for 20 Minutes—Now He’s Clocking Sub-3 Hour Marathons

When Victor M. Solano was diagnosed with high cholesterol, he knew he had to make a lifestyle change. Here’s how he did it.

At age 37, my weight had hit its highest of 188 pounds. I had started running in 2003, and it always made me feel good. But four years before I started my weight-loss journey, I wasn’t doing any physical activity. I was eating a lot more than what I used to eat, and that included a lot of added sugar. 

I noticed that I was having some difficulties with my breathing—at my work, they did health tests for employees, and I found out that I had high cholesterol. Besides the physical effects of my weight, I also struggled mentally—my self-esteem was really low. All of this made me want to try and get my life back again.

My “day one” was on September 14, 2020. That was the day I looked at myself in the mirror and didn’t recognize my reflection. I didn’t like the way I looked anymore. I tried running for 20 minutes, which previously had been no big deal—but this time, I wasn’t able to. Not being able to run that day really opened up my eyes to my health. So I started logging miles again, and built myself up to running four to five times a week for around an hour a day. I wasn’t using any apps or training plans until March 2021 when I started using Garmin—I started losing weight after that. 

Additionally, my diet now is low in carbohydrates and added sugar—I cut out soda, refined-grain bread, and rice. Now I eat more whole grains, vegetables, and eggs. One of my favorite meals is salmon and pecans. I’ve also implemented intermittent fasting into my routine, and I’ve seen a lot of benefits. 

I also decided I wanted to train for the 2021 Chicago Marathon, so I got a coach to help me with my training plan. During the summer of 2021, I decided to run a couple 5Ks, finishing in 18:20 and 18:45. I continued to train through the summer, and ran the Chicago Marathon in October with a time of 2:59:16. I qualified for the 2022 Boston Marathon, and my goal is to run it in a time of 2:55. Most recently, I ran a Dia de Los Muertos 5K, and ran a personal best of 18:12. And on Thanksgiving, I ran the Milwaukee Turkey Trot 8K, and finished in 29:50.

Victor’s Must-Have Gear

→ Salomon Pulse Belt: It’s necessary for carrying your smartphone, keys, and gels. I have even run a marathon with it.

→ GU Gels: For a long runs, these are very helpful to fuel with, so I don’t hit the wall. 

→ Goodr Sunglasses: These are my favorite for those sunny days because they block out the glare. 

These three tips helped make my running journey a success.

 Set goals

I set goals to keep myself focused and not give up halfway. It motivates me to always keep going. 

Try intermittent fasting

I normally do a 10-hour fast to help with my diet. You have to find what works best for you, but for me 10 hours has worked well and doesn’t leave me feeling hungry. 

Don’t overdo it on added sugar

I used to eat so much added sugar. Now, I try to avoid sugary drinks and foods, and to keep an overall healthy diet. It has helped my body feel a lot better. 

I have lost over 40 pounds in an 8-month period. 

My life has changed in a lot of ways. I feel a lot better health-wise, and my running is a lot better than it was in my 20s. I am healthy again and able to run without any problems, and that makes me happy and motivates me to keep going. Now, I know that I can achieve anything I want without my health holding me back. The process of becoming healthy and able to run again wasn’t easy, but I was able to do it because I had a goal and never gave up. 

(12/18/2021) ⚡AMP
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All runners are faced with running in the wind from time to time, but how much does it affect your run?

Of the many extreme conditions runners face, the wind is the only weather condition that can be detrimental to your training.

Whether you’re running in a headwind or a tailwind, both can strongly influence your performance, form and energy levels. That brings into question, should you still run outside on a windy day?

A study published in the Journal of Physiology analyzed competitive middle-distance runners, running in the wind at different paces. Researchers found that oxygen consumption in the body increased at higher wind velocities while running at the same pace.

The study also found that the effects of a 15 km/h wind headwind are four times greater than that of an 8 km/h wind. The faster you run into the wind, the greater the resistance. There are ways to combat the wind by drafting off other runners, the study states a runner has 80 per cent decrease in oxygen consumption when tailing another runner.

How much benefit do you get from a tailwind? It does aid performance, but runners only get half the power that they face during a headwind. A tailwind eliminates air resistance.

For example, if you are running at a six-minute mile pace with a 16 km/h tailwind, the wind would only help you by around six seconds per mile. If you were to run the same pace into a 16 km/h headwind, it would slow you down by 12 seconds.

A headwind causes you to lose more time than a tailwind allows you to gain, and a tailwind will only benefit you if you are running in one direction. 

This data is useful for runners and coaches looking to adjust workout splits on windy days. If it’s very windy, you might want to push your workout to another day or run with others to draft and take advantage of any tailwind.

(12/17/2021) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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World Athletics has released its 2022 Label Road Race calendar

World Athletics has today released its 2022 Label Road Race calendar, a schedule comprising almost 200 races in more than 40 countries across each of the sport's six areas.

The calendar kicks off with the 10K Valencia in the Spanish city on 9 January and concludes almost 12 months later on 31 December with the traditional New Year’s Eve races in Madrid, Spain, and Bolzano, Italy.

While the schedule remains subject to change given the ongoing uncertainty created by the global coronavirus pandemic, more races are expected to join the Label programme once it is confirmed that they will take place.

The three-tier programme, introduced in 2020, comprises three Labels: a World Athletics Label, a World Athletics Elite Label and a World Athletics Elite Platinum Label.

“Despite the continued uncertainty around global travel and on mass gatherings in some parts of the world, the number of events that have chosen to be part of the World Athletics Label Road Races programme in 2022 exceeds 200 – another all-time high – but some of the events need additional confirmation given the global pandemic,” said World Athletics Road Running Manager Alessio Punzi. “This speaks volumes of the vitality of the running industry and of the optimism of operators worldwide.

“Over the last two years alone, millions of people around the world have taken up running as a way to manage their physical and mental health – many of them will pin a race bib to their vest for the first time in 2022. We are grateful to all the race directors and their teams for their determination and tenacity. Staging marathons has never been easy, but in this day and age its complexities are mind-boggling. Now, more than ever, every race's starting line is a testament to its organisers' resilience and sheer passion for the sport and the community they serve.”

The World Athletics Label is available to all officially sanctioned road races that have taken place for at least two consecutive years prior to 2022 with an international measurement certificate in place. For first-time Labels in 2022, a World Athletics technical consultant will be appointed to ensure compliance with rules and regulations.

World Athletics Elite Label races must have a prize money structure in place that awards at least the top eight finishers, with minimum winner's prizes of US$ 15,000 (marathons) and $7500 (other distances), per gender.

The World Athletics Elite Platinum Label is only available to races that had been granted Platinum status in 2021, irrespective of whether the race took place or not.

Through choosing to have a World Athletics Label, race organizers also show a tangible commitment to clean sport by funding a dedicated road racing out-of-competition testing programme, managed by the Athletics Integrity Unit.

New Normal the key theme at 2022 Global Running Conference

The role of running events in a changed world will be the main focus at the World Athletics Global Running Conference in Bangkok on 24-25 February 2022.

All Label road race organizers are encouraged to attend, either in person or virtually, to hear insights from fellow race organizers. A series of technical workshops, including one on road race course measurement, will also be staged in cooperation with the Athletics Association of Thailand and the Asian Athletics Association, to train international and national race officials, further contributing to the development of the sport.22 Lab

(12/17/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Paris 2024 amend routes for Olympic marathon

Paris 2024’s Board has approved amended routes for the marathon and cycling events at the Olympic Games.

Paris 2024 said the adjustments will allow for better-shared use of the existing sites, as well as providing an exceptional backdrop for competitions.

The marathon will start at the Hôtel de Ville, which has been the headquarters of the municipality of Paris since 1357.

The city hall was reconstructed back in 1892.

The Hôtel de Ville launched Paris 2024’s Olympic and Paralympic flag tour earlier this year and featured as part of Olympic Day celebrations.

The marathon will conclude at Les Invalides, the famous complex featuring museums and monuments.

Les Invalides is already serving as the archery venue for the Games.

Paris 2024 also confirmed the road cycling time trial will begin from Les Invalides and will conclude at Pont Alexandre III.

The bridge connects the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower.

Pont Alexandre III is also a location featured on the marathon swimming and triathlon routes.

Les Invalides, Pont Alexandre III and the forecourt of the Hôtel de Ville have been included on the route for the cycling road races.

The Pont d’Iéna and Trocadéro will also feature.

Pont d’Iéna, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, will serve as the start and finish for the cycling road race and race walks.

The Paris 2024 Board has also changed the goalball location for the Paralympic Games.

Goalball competition had initially been scheduled to take place at the Pierre de Coubertin Stadium.

The venue will now move to Arena Paris Sud hall six at the Porte de Versailles.

Boccia and Para table tennis are also due to be held at the Porte de Versailles.

(12/17/2021) ⚡AMP
by Michael Pavitt
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Can undiagnosed celiac disease put you at risk for bone stress injuries?

Bone stress injuries are common among runners, particularly females. There are many possible reasons they might occur, but recent research has determined that undiagnosed celiac disease could put affected runners at a higher risk for these types of injuries. While the portion of the population with celiac disease remains very small, it may be an important consideration for some runners when evaluating their injury risk.

Prevalence of celiac disease

The study, which was published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, tested 85 runners for celiac disease using Anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody (TTG) testing. Two participants already had pre-existing celiac disease and three more were confirmed to have celiac disease following an endoscopic biopsy.

In total, approximately five per cent of the group were confirmed to have celiac disease, which is five per cent higher than Canadian population estimates, according to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation. It’s worth noting, however, that experts believe about 90 per cent of cases go undiagnosed.

There was one thing every runner in this study had in common: they all had a bone stress injury. When left untreated, celiac disease can damage the small intestine, which leads to poor absorption of vitamins and minerals that are important for bone health, like calcium and vitamin D. This, ultimately, could put someone at an increased risk for injuries like stress fractures.

Of course, it’s difficult to definitively say that the patients with celiac disease were at greater risk because of their condition, but considering that this population had a five times greater prevalence of celiac disease than the general population, it is possible that there could be a correlation. This lead the researchers to conclude that “anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody screening for CD should be considered in all patients presenting with BSIs (bone stress injuries).”

What should runners do?

If you’re generally healthy and aren’t presenting with any of the symptoms of celiac disease (like diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating and anemia), it’s unlikely you have the condition. If you do frequently struggle with one or more of those symptoms, it’s worth looking into, not only to help prevent stress fractures, but several other health problems as well.

(12/17/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Could Potatoes be an alternative to energy Gels? Research has found potatoes have the same energy-boosting benefits as carbohydrate gels

Not a fan of energy carbohydrate gels? Struggle to stomach sweet sickly energy gels and tired of spending your hard-earned cash on them? Then, believe it or not, potatoes could be the answer! Scientists from the University of Illinois have found consuming potato puree during prolonged exercise works just as well as gels in sustaining blood glucose levels and boosting performance.

This means potato, in a puree form, could be a great savory alternative to sweet, sickly energy gels.

“Research has shown that ingesting concentrated carbohydrate gels during prolonged exercise promotes carbohydrate availability during exercise and improves exercise performance,” said Nicholas Burd, who led the research.

“Our study aim was to expand and diversify race-fuelling options for athletes and offset flavour fatigue.”

Potatoes are a promising alternative for athletes because they represent a cost-effective, nutrient-dense and whole-food source of carbohydrates,” the researchers reported in the Journal of Applied Physiology. “Furthermore, they serve as a savoury race fuel option when compared (with) the high sweetness of (carbohydrate) gels.”

The study monitored 12 active people who cycled an average of 165 miles a week, who either consumed just water, a commercially available carbohydrate gel or an equivalent amount of carbohydrates obtained from potatoes.

(12/16/2021) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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How to deal with a chronic running injury: When an injury doesn't resolve quickly, it's time to adjust your mindset around recovery

Not all running injuries are created equal, and some take what feels like forever to heal. Other injuries seem to return over and over again, no matter what you do to get rid of them. Dealing with a chronic running injury can be exhausting and frustrating, so follow this advice to help you get through the worst of it.

Change your perspective

Your mindset can have a surprising impact on your body’s ability to recover quickly. It’s OK to be sad, frustrated or angry, and it’s even fine if you need to sit down and have a good cry once in a while, but dwelling too long on those feelings will only hold you back.

One way to help keep your mindset trending toward the positive is to change your perspective from “I’m not running” to “I’m healing.” It sounds small, but it shifts your focus from something negative to something positive and productive.

This simple change will help you stick to your rehab plan, cross-training regime and whatever else you’re doing to kick this injury to the curb so you can get back to doing what you love sooner.

Shop around

For practitioners, that is. No single physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath is going to have all the answers, and just because one practitioner did a great job helping you with the knee pain you struggled with a couple of years ago doesn’t mean that same person will know exactly how to help you now. Don’t feel bad ditching your usual therapist for someone else if what they’re doing isn’t working for you, and don’t be afraid to keep switching until someone is able to help.

Eat well

A healthy diet can go a long way in helping your body to heal, so make sure you’re getting a wide variety of vitamins and minerals in your diet to support your progress. You also need to ensure that you’re eating enough food to fuel your recovery. Some runners have a tendency to cut back on calories when they’re not running, but this can actually make it harder for your body to repair itself, so eat well, and eat enough to support the healing process.

Do what you can do

You may not be able to run right now, but take this time to dive into whatever activity you can do. Have you been cleared to swim? Pool run? Bike? Walk? Whatever it is, commit yourself to it, and try not to compare it to running. It’s true that very few activities can actually replace running, and if all you do is think about how you’d rather be out on a run, you won’t enjoy the activity for what it is.

Focus on your other hobbies

Hopefully, you have other activities that you enjoy aside from running, and now’s the time to focus on them, rather than focusing on the one activity you can’t do. Do you enjoy painting? Playing an instrument? Reading? Spend a little extra time doing those activities to keep your mind off running, and if you don’t have a lot of other hobbies, now’s the perfect time to try something new.

Track your activities

If you’re someone who enjoys recording their runs on Strava or some other activity-tracking app, use these tools to track your cross-training activities, too. Getting regular updates on your progress will keep you motivated to do your daily stretching and rehab exercises, and give you daily goals to strive for, which can help fill the void left by running.

Know your limits

If standing on the sidelines of a race to cheer on your running buddies makes you happy and helps you feel connected to your running community, then by all means, do it. But if seeing others out running when you can’t makes you feel worse, then don’t feel bad declining the invitation to be a part of the cheer squad. If you need to, temporarily hide the “running inspo” accounts you usually follow on Instagram and avoid things that make you feel sad. You can always come back to them later.

(12/16/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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2022 Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon set to return to metro Phoenix in January

Get those running shoes ready as the Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon returns to metro Phoenix next month.

One of the Valley’s signature events to kick off the new year, the Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon will take place Jan. 15-16.

Distances available include the full marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K.

“Our Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona ambassador team has been attending group runs and events, and we have seen the excitement our community has for the return of Rock ‘n’ Roll to the Valley,” Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Ambassador Jeremy Heath said in a press release.

“Runners are ready to experience everything Rock ‘n’ Roll has to offer once again, and they’re itching to get to the start line.”

A winter sale takes place Wednesday and will last for only one day, offering discount registration prices. Regular registration prices for the event run from $49 for the 5K and up to $129 for the full marathon.

Runners enjoy scenic views of the greater metro Phoenix area, including the red rocks of Papago, along with music and entertainment.

The marathon in the past has drawn more than 25,000 runners to the area and tens of thousands of spectators.

The 2021 Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phoenix serves as the kickoff to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series, the world’s largest running series, with races also taking place in cities around the country and world including Las Vegas, Washington D.C., New Orleans, Nashville, Estado de México and Madrid.

(12/16/2021) ⚡AMP
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Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon

Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon

The Marathon and Half-Marathon courses or the new Mini- Marathon or Bike Tour courses take you through the three host cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe! The Marathon and Bike Tour start at CityScape in downtown Phoenix, while the Half-Marathon and Mini-Marathon are loop courses launching from downtown Tempe. All the courses end in Tempe at ASU’s Sun Devil and...

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Quad-City Times Bix7 to Hold In-Person and Virtual Races in 2022

The Quad-City Times Bix 7 is excited to announce that registration for the 2022 race was open on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 @ 7:30 am CST. The 48th running of the Bix 7 will take place on Saturday, July 30, 2022 @ 8:00 am.

In addition to the 7-mile event, the Prairie Farms Quick Bix, Arconic Jr. Bix and Genesis Sports Medicine Brady Street Sprints will be held as usual Bix weekend, July 28-30, 2022. 

The virtual race options for Bix & Jr Bix will run July 23-30, 2022, as well as the ability to ‘switch’ Race categories between in-person and virtual events. 

Register online at www.bix7.com.

This magnificent community event owes its continuing success to the Platinum, Gold Medal and Contributing sponsors, to the many dozens of other supporting businesses and organizations and to the thousands of individual volunteers.

The Quad-City Times, Cornbelt Running Club and the entire Quad City community deeply appreciates this dedication and generosity.

(12/16/2021) ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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Bix 7 miler

Bix 7 miler

This race attracts the greatest long distance runners in the world competing to win thousands of dollars in prize money. It is said to be the highest purse of any non-marathon race. Tremendous spectator support, entertainment and post party. Come and try to conquer this challenging course along with over 15,000 other participants, as you "Run With The Best." In...

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Agnes Tirop's husband to stay in jail longer

Ibrahim Rotich, the husband and chief suspect in the murder of his wife and athlete Agnes Tirop, will remain in custody for more than three months pending his bail application hearing.

The Eldoret Court Wednesday adjourned the case to March 9, 2022 due to the absence of presiding judge, Justice Reuben Nyakundi, who was is away on official duties. The hearing date was issued by Deputy Registrar Diana Milimo.

The court will also issue a hearing date for the main case on the same date. On December 3, the same court had directed the probation team to work on the pre-bail report to help in ruling whether murder  Rotich could be released on bond.

During a previous bond application, Probation officer David Barasa had requested the court to allow him to compile the report for two weeks.

During the plea taking on November 16, the prosecution, through state counsel Anthony Fedha, had already filed an affidavit opposing his release on bond.

The state counsel argued that the accused might influence, frighten or interfere with witnesses if released on bond.

The prosecution has lined up more than 10 witnesses including Rotich’s brothers and cousins.

Tirop's last international race was the Tokyo Olympics, where she featured in the 5,000m finishing fourth. She was found dead in her house on October 13.

Mr Rotich, who was the last person to be seen with the deceased, was arrested at Changamwe in Mombasa County on October 15 after being trailed for two days.

Detectives suspected that he was fleeing to a neighboring country.

At the same time, the court has issued an interim order to the family of the late Tirop to have custody of all her property until the matter is heard and determined.

The court appointed Tirop’s father, Vincent Tirop as temporary administrator of her property.

(12/15/2021) ⚡AMP
by Titus Ominde
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Sebastian Coe optimistic of great year ahead despite Covid-19 threats

World Athletics (WA) President Seb Coe is confident the global athletics governing body is well equipped and informed to continue organising top level competitions while tackling the challenges posed by Covid-19.

Eugene, in Oregon State, will host the 2022 World Championships at the brand new Hayward Field Stadium in the heart of the University of Oregon from July 15 to 28.

“It’s absolutely vital that whenever we have a World Championships, we do everything we possibly can to have our seats absolutely full,” Lord Coe said.

“And that’s not just the work of the LOC (Local Organising Committee). That’s also the work we need to do at World Athletics to make sure that we have all the right initiatives in place to help sell tickets.”

He acknowledged the fact that with more insights on Covid-19 and with sports having developed protocols to guard against the spread of the coronavirus at competitions, it will be easier to navigate through the virus.

But he conceded that with the unpredictable nature of the virus, nothing could be cast in stone on the programme.

“We know a great deal more about the management of Covid-19, both medically and within our own stadiums.

“Our health and science teams have probably led the world in making sure that we stage events that are safe and secure to protect the athletes and crucially to protect those communities that are hosting our events.

 

“But the world is an uncertain place at the moment. We will have all the protocols and processes in place, but we can’t at this moment guarantee our borders remaining open if the pandemic suddenly takes a turn for the worse.

“We don’t have enough data to know if this variant (omicron) is more transmittable but not causing more illness… all that, I’m afraid, we have to wait for scientists and governments to decide on the direction forward.

“But we will do everything we possibly can to ensure that the stadium in Oregon is full and that people are able to travel, but we can’t obviously open borders that are closed by governments. That remains a challenge to us.”

The WA President said next year - and the next four seasons - will be crucial to the sport, and is excited that USA has finally come round to organising a global competition as they hold a special place as the world’s biggest sports market.

The last major global athletics events hosted by USA were the 2014 World Junior (under-20) Championships in Eugene and 1992 World Cross Country Championships in Boston along with the 2016 World Indoor Championships in Portland.

“We have four major athletics events and also the European Championships (next year).

“We have a global championship every year for the next four years and that will mean working very closely with all our organizing committees.

“The United States is very important for us, to help grow the sport. It’s the largest sports market in the world, and it’s also an opportunity for your athletes to have more competitive outlets and to grow their profile in a very important market."

“But the world is an uncertain place at the moment. We will have all the protocols and processes in place, but we can’t at this moment guarantee our borders remaining open if the pandemic suddenly takes a turn for the worse.

“We don’t have enough data to know if this variant (omicron) is more transmittable but not causing more illness… all that, I’m afraid, we have to wait for scientists and governments to decide on the direction forward.

“But we will do everything we possibly can to ensure that the stadium in Oregon is full and that people are able to travel, but we can’t obviously open borders that are closed by governments. That remains a challenge to us.”

The WA President said next year - and the next four seasons - will be crucial to the sport, and is excited that USA has finally come round to organising a global competition as they hold a special place as the world’s biggest sports market.

The last major global athletics events hosted by USA were the 2014 World Junior (under-20) Championships in Eugene and 1992 World Cross Country Championships in Boston along with the 2016 World Indoor Championships in Portland.

“We have four major athletics events and also the European Championships (next year).

“We have a global championship every year for the next four years and that will mean working very closely with all our organizing committees.

“The United States is very important for us, to help grow the sport. It’s the largest sports market in the world, and it’s also an opportunity for your athletes to have more competitive outlets and to grow their profile in a very important market."

“We also have Cali (Colombia) Under-20 World Championships, hot on the heels of Oregon 2022, and the following year we are back to the World Under-20 Championships in Lima, Peru."

“This is a great opportunity to make gains not just in US, but in South America too.”

Coe also highlighted the successes of athletics in 2021 saying the sport remains in really good shape, highlighted by both athletes’ performances and commercial success at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“We leave 2021 as a sport in really good shape. We needed to stay focused in order to deliver the championships that we did, and create a platform for the athletes, which we did, and the Tokyo Olympic Games particularly for African athletes was a really important platform… and, my goodness!, they grabbed that platform in a really, really good way!”

“We also maintained, at the same time, all our competitions, and we maintained the work streams that we feel are really important in growing our sport.”

The former Olympic champion and middle distance world record holder noted that WA also revamped their competition calendar and drove further interest in the second tier Continental Tour one-day meeting series.

“I’m very grateful to the Kenyan federation particularly for their help in extending that footprint in Africa for us,” he noted, appreciating the success of the September 18 Kip Keino Classic at Kasarani which was the final stop of the 2021 WA Continental Tour circuit.

“Our strategic partnerships – and these were really important: In broadcast, we extended broadcast arrangements with NBC and, crucially for Africa, with the European Broadcast Union, not just with our broadcast arrangements with Europe, but also extends into Africa and that’s very, very important.

“Both contracts have been secured until 2029 with a healthy uplift.”

Coe mentioned the importance of the World Athletics World Plan, describing it as an important roadmap which will create the pathway for the next years.

“It sets up 19 objectives and 67 different actions. It builds on the four-year strategic plan, whose four pillars are: More people; More participation; More partnership; Broadening fan base.

"The top lines from that will help us, particularly given the global focus driven by Covid-19 around healthy communities is driving kids’ athletics, not only as a way of encouraging more young people into our sport, but also as a way of helping in that drive to make our communities fitter and healthier – as athletics is the most accessible to communities globally.”

(12/15/2021) ⚡AMP
by Elias Makori
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Good times at the 4th KATA 10k Time Trial Series in Thika kenya

The Kenyan Athletics Training Academy (KATA) is concluding the year strongly after athletes posted impressive times during the 4th edition of KATA monthly 10 Kilometres Time-Trial on Wednesday morning in Thika Kenya.  

The time-trial, held on a new course West of the Academy, saw Solomon Gachoka, the winner of the 2nd edition in October, clocked 29:44.23, bettering his previous time of 31:22.10 during the event that attracted 23 participants.

Solomon dislodged Elisha Tarbei, the November winner while new entrants, Evans Kibet, finished 3rd. Tarbei timed 30:05.91, chopping off 1minute and 28 seconds from his previous 31:34.45. Kibet was timed at 31:02.35.

In women, Lucy Mwende Mawia regained her footing ruling in the category just a week after returning to Kenya from Europe where she dominated her races. 

She clocked 34:58.24 ahead of Catherine Njihia and Monica Njeri who finished second and third timing 36:38.86 and 44:05.20.

Both the winning times for men and women are KATA 10k Time Trial best performances for the monthly series.  

Kenyan Athletics Training Academy Competition Director Joseph Ngure has hailed the results and predicted better times in future from all the Athletes.

“This is our 4th edition since the Academy was opened officially on 4th of September. All our athletes have been posting impressive times and we are expecting more next year,” summed up the Director, also a senior Middle and Long Distant coach.

Three of our elite athletes- Joel Maina, Peter Mwaniki and Lucy Mawia, fresh from winning several races in Europe, also participated in the monthly time trial.  

"Our 5th edition will take place on Wednesday January 19th and will act as a warm-up for those who would be competing for the Regions on 22nd," says KATA head coach Julius.  

KATA manager Florence days,"Some people want it to happen,others wish it happens,and others makes it happen. Our Kenyan athletic training academy time trial is one of a kind, where you can make it happen."

For more info of our monthly time trial please get in touch with academy manager florence at 0729074388 or 0104074388 in Thika Kenya.  

December 15th KATA 10k Time Trisl Results: 

1. Solomon Gachoka  29:44.23  (31)

2. Elisha Tarbei     30:05.91   (32)

3. Evans Kibet        31:02.35   (31)

4. Zakaria Kirika       31:27.60   (20)

5. Peter Kimwetich    31:34.92     (32) 

6. Erick Cheruiyot      31:39.29    (26)

7. Peter Mwaniki       32:00.25      (23)

8. Alex Ekesa        32:17.41    (39)

9. Eston Mugo       32:32.26      (28)

10. Fredrick Kiprotich  32:44.45      (22)

11. Paul Ng’ang’a    33:47.05     (43)

12. Collins Kibet      34:56.08     (22)

13: Lucy Mwende     34:58.24    23) F

14: Joel Maina         35:44.45    (36)

15. Alfred Kamande  35:44.47    (23)

16: Charles Ndirang’u 36:25.84  (57)

17: Catherine Njehia   36:38.86  (22) F

18. Martin Ndung’u   38:18.50   (31)

19. Levis Kuria      41:06.06  (20)

20. Lamech Cheleket  44:05.19  (23)

21. Monica Njeri     44:05.20   (23) F

(12/15/2021) ⚡AMP
by Joseph Ngure
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KATA 10K Time Trial Series

KATA 10K Time Trial Series

The Kenyan Athletics Training Academy (KATA) in Thika Kenya is doing a monthly 10k time trial series. The event is open to anyone who would like to get an official time on a acurant course. Results will be published at My Best Runs so race directors and other interested people can see what kind of shape our participants are in. ...

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How long does it take to get out of running shape?

Sometimes it’s hard to take a break from running, knowing that you’ll lose all your hard-earned fitness day by day. But how quickly does your fitness disappear?

Most runners worry that if they break, all of their training will go to waste, but a 2008 study in the Journal of Physiology suggests that what changes is the body’s ability to consume and process oxygen.

“The maximum oxygen (VO2 max) he or she can uptake and utilize, can plunge in only one month of inactivity,” according to Dr. Edward Coyle, director of the Human Performance at the University of Texas.

Coyle did his research on seven endurance athletes who all had many years of running experience. He set them all up on standard training plans, then measured how each athlete’s fitness declined after 12, 21, 56, and 84 days off (for a total of 12 weeks). 

Here is a timeline of running inactivity:

Two weeks

The two-week break in running shows signs of training regression, enzyme levels in your blood that are associated with endurance performance decline by 50 per cent and VO2 max drops by seven per cent. 

One month

The good news is, the damage is already done: most of the initial declines occur in the first two to three weeks. After a month, there are measurable declines in fitness and enzyme levels associated with performance, but these declines level off after three weeks of inactivity.

Three months

For runners who have trained for a few months, your VO2 max would now completely reverse. To put it in perspective, it’s like starting from ground zero. All endurance training is gone at this point, but speed can still be present.

Since most elite athletes have a base, their fitness won’t decline to the same levels as less-trained individuals or people who have never run, even after three months of inactivity. 

One to three years 

Your endurance levels have been lost at this point, muscle mass and strength also begin to disappear. Highly trained runners won’t completely lose their speed, as fast-twitch muscles fibres aren’t lost due to inactivity. You will have to rely on speedwork and sprint training to regain muscle strength. 

In short, runners often notice that endurance goes first after two weeks, but it can be possible to hang on to some speed for a few years. Since endurance athletes do not regress to the levels displayed by those who have never trained, it is easier for them to gain fitness when coming off a break.

(12/15/2021) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Does footwear matter when running on a treadmill?

When running outdoors, some runners prefer to have higher cushioned shoes to embrace the impact of the pavement on their body, but when running on the treadmill, what type of shoes should you wear?

Although there is no clear-cut shoe that is best for treadmill running, you will want something comfortable, lightweight and breathable. Since the surface of the treadmill is cushioned, you should not combine it with high cushioned running shoes, they can allow you to strike harder on the surface, which can ultimately lead to lots of wear and tear on your body.

If you thought about running on the treadmill barefoot or in socks, don’t. It is an accident waiting to happen. Running barefoot may lead to burning on the soles of your feet from the friction of the belt. You are also in danger of stubbing your toes against the front of the machine.

The sweat from your feet will generate moisture on the belt, which could you make you prone to slip and become an internet GIF.

There haven’t been any studies on running efficiency when wearing carbon-plated shoes on the treadmill. But most carbon plated models aren’t built for treadmill mileage and lack the support for long training runs.

Here are a few tips for finding the right treadmill shoe:

The shoes should be lightweight. This makes it easier to maintain a high cadence, especially when doing treadmill intervals.

The most important factor when buying any type of running shoe is comfort.

Make sure the shoes are breathable. You may begin to experience issues such as cramping or burning soles if the upper is too bulky and tight. Good treadmill running shoes should bend and breathe around the ball of your foot area.

(12/15/2021) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Your brain benefits from just a 10-minute run, a new study says a short run can elicit a positive mood, increase brain function and enhance arousal levels

New research out of the University of Tsukuba in Japan has found that only running for two kilometers still has great health benefits. It seems a 10-minute run will not only make you feel better but can potentially improve your brain health.

During the study, researchers asked participants to go for a short run of 10 minutes on a treadmill at an easy pace, roughly 50 per cent of their maximum effort. After the run, researchers then had the participants take a Stroop Effect Test (SET), which is used to measure reaction times in your brain.

Results showed there was a spike in endocannabinoids inside your brain, which resulted in an increase in pleasure and arousal. Runners are also found to have an increase in blood flow in brain functions and controlling your mood. This information is valuable to beginners and experienced runners since the activity, itself, is an easily accessible form of exercise requiring minimal gear and time.

The researchers compared running with previous studies done on cycling, “Exercise is medicine, and all activities have different effects. It’s similar to how different drugs have different effects on the body. Different types of exercise such as running and cycling are observed to have different effects on the body, mental health and brain activation.”

It is important to note that you won’t see results in just one 10-minute run. It is also proven that it takes more than a 10-minute run to build fitness and progress in the sport. But, next time you are contemplating getting out for a run, you should keep in mind that all you need is 10 minutes, minimum.

(12/14/2021) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Kenya’s Philemon Kiplimo and Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreslase win Bahrain Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreslase and Kenya’s Philemon Kiplimo claimed victory at the Bahrain Royal International Night Half Marathon – a World Athletics Label road race – when the event returned for its second edition on Sunday (12).

After running 2:20:09 to triumph when making her marathon debut in Berlin in September, Gebreslase achieved another impressive result as she improved her half marathon PB to 1:05:36 in Manama to win by 11 seconds ahead of home favorite Kalkidan Gezahegne – the Olympic 10,000m silver medalist who was making her half marathon debut after breaking the world 10km record with 29:38 in Geneva in October.

The men’s race was much closer, with Kiplimo outsprinting his compatriot Collins Koros to the tape – both athletes recording a time of 1:00:01.

The women’s race had got off to a blistering start, with Gebreslase and Gezahegne both part of a group which passed the 5km mark in 14:53, well inside world record pace. The race also featured Kenya’s former world record-holder Ruth Chepngetich, who had run 1:04:02 in Istanbul in April and won October’s Chicago Marathon in 2:22:31, but she ran to around 17km in Manama and did not finish.

Following the fast start, Gebreslase and Gezahegne maintained their pace through 10km, with the clock showing 29:49 – four seconds off the split recorded by Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey en route to the 1:02:52 women’s half marathon record she set in Valencia in October.

The wind had been behind them during the first half of the race and as they looped back the pace dropped, with Gebreslase passing 15km in 45:47 and Gezahegne following five seconds behind her. Chepngetich’s race came to an end a couple of kilometers later.

Gebreslase had increased her lead to 11 seconds by the finish, with the top two clear ahead of the rest of the field. Sheila Kiprotich secured third place in 1:07:01 and was followed by her Kenyan compatriots Irene Cheptai, who was four seconds back, and Daisy Cherotich, who ran 1:07:11, with a total of 11 athletes finishing inside 68 minutes.

Kiplimo led a Kenyan top five in the men’s race and had formed part of a lead group which followed the pacemakers through 5km in 13:58 and 10km in 27:35.

A seven-strong pack passed 15km in 42:24 and things remained close until the final stages, with Kiplimo edging ahead to deny Koros, and Mathew Kimeli finishing third just three seconds back.

Titus Mbishei finished fourth in 1:00:23, one second ahead of Geoffrey Koech, while Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer was sixth in 1:00:29.

World Athletics, with assistance from Alberto Stretti

Leading results

Women1 Gotytom Gebreslase (ETH) 1:05:362 Kalkidan Gezahegne (BRN) 1:05:473 Sheila Kiprotich (KEN) 1:07:01 4 Irene Cheptai (KEN) 1:07:055 Daisy Cherotich (KEN) 1:07:11

Men1 Philemon Kiplimo (KEN) 1:00:012 Collins Koros (KEN) 1:00:013 Mathew Kimeli (KEN) 1:00:044 Titus Mbishei (KEN) 1:00:235 Geoffrey Koech (KEN) 1:00:24

(12/14/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Bahrain Night Half Marathon

Bahrain Night Half Marathon

The first-ever Bahrain Night Half Marathon was held in 2019 and the second in 2021. Bahrain Half Marathon is a golden opportunity for participants to pursue an active and healthy lifestyle. Make your health and wellness your life’s goal. The purpose of this marathon is not about winning or losing. It’s about being there and running together for one cause....

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Mary Keitany: from shoeless prodigy to top of the world

Kenya’s Mary Keitany, the holder of the world marathon record in a women-only race, generously agreed to donate some of her racing kit to the World Athletics Heritage Collection following her retirement in September.

Since the beginning of December, Keitany’s singlet, shorts and shoes from her fourth and final New York City Marathon victory in 2018 have been on display in the 3D virtual Museum of World Athletics (MOWA).

We are delighted to celebrate her donation by recapping the career of one of the all-time greats of road running.

'If I don’t do this, then what?'

Hailing from Baringo County, a province immediately to the east of the focal point for Kenyan running in Eldoret, there are many well-known and successful athletes who come from the area, but Keitany’s impoverished childhood made it initially unlikely that she was going to join their number.

She elaborated on her tough childhood in a lengthy interview with The New York Times in 2019 – details of which are only precised here – and described living in a home without electricity or any other basic amenities, as well as having no shoes for much of her childhood.

Her household tasks as a very young child included walking several kilometers to a nearby river to haul pails of water home for cooking and cleaning.

Keitany’s parents, both struggling subsistence farmers, were unable to afford even the modest school fees for her to continue her education from her mid-teens so, at the age of 15, to help support her parents and five siblings, she left and went to work as a live-in maid almost 20 kilometers away, caring for three infants and sometimes not seeing her family for several months at a time.

“It was not an easy job,” reflected Keitany. “But I was getting money to give to my parents. I was thinking, ‘If I don’t do this, then what?’”

Hidden talent out in the open

She returned to school after two years when a relative was able to help financially and Keitany started to attend the National Hidden Talents Academy near Nairobi, a community-based secondary school that primarily assists orphaned and vulnerable children. 

The school had a strong emphasis on physical education, which continues to this day, and it has produced several Kenyan internationals in a variety of sports. Keitany’s precocious talent as a runner, which had been evident in her early teens prior to the enforced two-year hiatus, came to the fore.

After eight months of hard training and sharing a cramped one-bedroom house with three other runners, Keitany made her first overseas trip and caused a minor sensation by winning the relatively low-key Sevilla-Los Palacios Half Marathon in southern Spain – not to be confused with the much better known EDP Sevilla Half Marathon – by over two minutes in 1:09:06, a course record that exists to this day ahead of the 2021 edition on December 19.

The words ‘unknown Kenyan’ are too often used to hide a lack of research or information but in this instance, it was a most appropriate phrase and, amid rumors at the time that the course was short because of Keitany’s super-quick time on the circuit, it bought her to the attention of both athletics aficionados and race promoters alike.

In the first nine months of 2007, Keitany proved that her debut international race had been no fluke as she rattled off another five half marathon victories in six outings at races in Portugal, Spain and France, also reducing her best to 1:08:36.

Keitany takes silver in Udine

This streak of success earned her a place on the Kenyan team at the 2007 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in the Italian city of Udine – an accolade she subsequently admitted as being among her wildest dreams, despite her ambition to be a top-flight runner 12 months before – and she showed her considerable mettle to finish second behind the Netherlands’ Lornah Kiplagat and bank a cheque for a life-changing $15,000.

To now give a complete narrative of the next 12 years of Keitany’s superb competitive running career through to her last race, the 2019 New York City Marathon, would take a book and cannot be done justice in just a few hundred words.

However, it was apposite that her running career should finish in the Big Apple at arguably the world’s most famous race over the classic distance, as it is this event with which she is probably most closely associated.

After finishing third in New York on her marathon debut in 2010 – in the wake of her win at the 2009 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in 1:06:36 which, at the time, was the second fastest mark ever on a record-legal course and an African record – Keitany went on to win the New York City Marathon on three consecutive occasions between 2014 and 2016 and then again in 2018.

To this day, she remains the only woman other than the incomparable Grete Waitz to have triumphed in New York more than three times.

Keitany also made her mark in the London Marathon. Her first triumph there came in 2011 and further victories in the British capital came in 2012 and 2017.

Record runs in London and RAK

She continues to hold the women-only marathon world record with a time of 2:17:01 set when she completed her hat-trick of London wins four years ago.

Another particularly notable accolade during her illustrious career was setting a world half marathon record of 1:05:50 at the 2011 RAK Half Marathon.

Perhaps the only blemish on Keitany’s competitive record is that she never climbed the podium at an Olympic Games.

At the London 2012 Olympic Games, she started arguably as the favorite having returned to the city with a world-leading 2:18:37 from the London Marathon, albeit on a different course, four months earlier. She was part of a leading quartet of runners at 40km but was the luckless member of the group to miss out in the battle for the medals over the final two kilometers and crossed the line in fourth place.

In 2016, she was named as a non-traveling reserve for the Kenyan contingent going to Rio, but Keitany had her sights set on challenging for a place on the Tokyo team before the pandemic, and a cruelly timed back injury, intervened.

In September this year – with her 40th birthday looming on 18 January 2022 – Keitany decided to call time on her outstanding career and announced the end of her professional running in a valedictory press release.

“After my successful 2019, when I had some good results including second place in New York, I was hopeful that I could still be very competitive internationally for several more years even though I am in my late 30s,” she commented.

“However, I’m sad to say, a back injury that I suffered in late 2019 made a decision about my retirement for me. I couldn’t get the treatment I wanted in Europe because of the pandemic-related travel restrictions last year and every time I thought I had got over the injury and started training hard, it became a problem again.”Sadly, Keitany will no longer be seen on the start line of a major marathon but nevertheless she leaves behind a host of memorable performances that have assured her of a place in the pantheon of road running greats.

(12/14/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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The 2024 Paris Olympic opening ceremony will be held on boats

The Paris 2024 Organizing Committee announced today that the popular river Seine that runs through Paris will serve as the venue to host the 2024 Olympic Games opening ceremony. Athletes are set to travel on a six-kilometre route by boat, as the general public cheers on from the river banks of the Seine.

“The objective was to make the opening ceremony accessible to everyone,” said Tony Estanguet, the Paris 2024 President, in a press conference. Estanguet suggested the idea to hold the opening ceremony on the river back in March.

The location for the ceremony was approved today by the Paris 2024 Board and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Since the ceremony is outdoors, the host nation predicts that 10 times more spectators will have access to and watch the event. This is the first time in recent Olympic history that an opening or closing ceremony will be held in an accessible public space.

The Paris 2024 organizing committee plans on having over 600,000 spectators able to attend the opening ceremony free of charge.

If you are looking for front-row seats on the Seine, they will come at a cost. Organizers mentioned that popular viewing points on the river will be operating in paid ticketed zones.

The concept is a boat party and parade with delegations and athletes set to travel down the river on 170 boats The route will begin at the Pont d’Austerlitz, which is close to the French National Library. The Trocadéro Gardens will mark the end of the opening ceremony. The location was the site of the handover celebration during the conclusion of the Tokyo 2020 closing ceremony.

Paris organizing officials mentioned that they had 50 meetings with top security experts since they developed the concept, with no security obstacles identified so far.

The Paris 2024 opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on July 26, 2024, with the Olympics running until Aug. 11. The Paris Games will also mark the first time that the Olympics will host a marathon for the general public on the same course as the Olympic Marathon.

(12/14/2021) ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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The road to racing's return

Athletes have hit the ground running when it comes to the return of mass road race action, but what has it taken to stage some of the world’s most prestigious events in the current climate?

A total of 10 top-tier World Athletics Elite Platinum Label road races – including marathons in Berlin, London, Chicago, Boston, Amsterdam, New York and Valencia – have taken place in 2021, with many of the world’s leading athletes joined on the city streets by significant mass fields.

In addition, around 30 World Athletics Elite Label and 50 World Athletics Label races will have been held around the world, with many protocols and procedures in place to ensure the health and safety of participants.

While some measures, such as Covid testing and reduced or more spread-out fields, were obvious, huge work was also done behind the scenes by organizers to allow these races to return.

“We were asking a lot from our participants this year, in order for us to be sure we could get the event on, come what may,” said London Marathon communications director Penny Dain. “We put protocols in place that we had never done before, to make the event Covid safe. We went out to our participants outlining these in our Six Steps to the Start Line campaign, and asking for their help, support and understanding that yes, it is different, but by helping us do this, it means we can be sure the event goes ahead.

“It was genuinely a truly special day,” added Dain, with the traditional April event having taken place as an elite-only race in 2020 before a second consecutive October running this year, featuring 35,000 mass race finishers. “It had been 889 days since we had last delivered the London Marathon and to have that back – to see the joy, the emotion, the crowds – it was special.

“We are working together to encourage people back. It’s all about the importance of mass participation events and parkrun in terms of what regular exercise does for physical and, almost more importantly, mental health.”

Six Steps to the Start Line

Among the earlier steps taken by London Marathon organizers was to ask participants to update their predicted finishing times to enable the effective organization of the many waves. On race day, organizers started people over 90 minutes in waves of 1000, meaning the density of the runners on the course was spaced out because of the seeding.

Official kit bags were sent to runners to drop off at the Running Show in advance, removing the need for baggage trucks at the start areas – reducing dwell time and crowding at the start – as well as a lot of the infrastructure at the finish.

A negative lateral flow test was required in order to drop off kit bags and collect bib numbers in the days leading up to the race and random additional checks for further negative results were also done at the start on race day. Participants were asked to bring only one supporter to reduce crowds and the mass race did not feature any pacers.

The London Marathon is far from alone in having protocols such as these in place, and many more procedures were undertaken for both the elite and mass events.

“Generally, the optimism and determination was always there to make it happen, but always in combination with knowing that it had to happen safely,” added Dain. “We were always very attuned to what was going on in the world.

“It had to be the right thing for London, for the UK, for society. That decision to go for the October date is what made it possible. Clearly if we had stuck to our April date, it wouldn’t have happened.”

Ten-week thriller

As a result, seven major international races were held in a thrilling 10-week period between September and December – starting with the BMW Berlin Marathon on September 26, through to the Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso EDP on December 5. Just before that, the Vienna City Marathon – a World Athletics Label road race – took place on September 12, as the first major city marathon in Europe since the beginning of the pandemic.

“A tailor-made prevention concept combined with the very high vaccination rate of 93% of participants made the event possible,” said organizers of the two-day event, which featured 18,118 runners from 125 nations overall. “More than a week after the event, the Health Service of the City of Vienna confirmed that no infections with Covid-19 were recorded in connection with the event.”

“Runners gave us overwhelmingly positive feedback. They were happy that the race took place and felt safe in terms of Covid prevention,” organizers added.

“Elite racing and mass racing belong together and are deeply connected with each other. It’s one of the unique features of road running, that fun runners and Olympic champions can take part together at the same time and the same place in the same event. If we lose this, the world of running will be a different one, certainly not a better one.”

Organizers had previously arranged nine small races in Vienna under strict Covid rules, with a maximum of 200 participants, in order to give the running community some motivation and to learn as an organizer how to handle the measures. The prevention concept for the Vienna City Marathon included the requirement of a current negative Covid test to collect start numbers, a reduced limit of 28,000 registered runners and enlarged start and finish areas.

“It (the return of the event) is a contribution to society in terms of public health, both mental and physical, a step on the return to normality, a welcome boost for the economy and tourism,” added organizers.

Around 10 Label road races are scheduled for the remainder of this year, with the 2022 calendar to be announced this week.

So runners can sign up, lace up and enjoy road racing’s return, with the knowledge that Label road race organizers are doing all they can for the safe hosting of events.

(12/13/2021) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Kenya’s Mark Korir smashed the record at the 14th edition of the Zurich Marathon that was held on Sunday in Malaga, Spain

Kenyan Mark Korir destroyed the race course by more than two minutes as he erased the previous record of 2:10.08 that had been set by compatriot Martin Cheruiyot in 2019.

The 36 year-old cut the tape in a new course record of 2:07.39 and was followed by Nguse Tesfaldet Amlosom from Eritrea who also ran under the old course record as he crossed the line in 2:08.23.

Solomon Kirwa from Kenya closed the podium first three finishes in 2.08. 43.

(12/13/2021) ⚡AMP
by James Koech
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Zurich Malaga Marathon

Zurich Malaga Marathon

If like many other runners from the north of Europe you are searching for a great winter escape and a race set in a beautiful location then Maratón Málaga may be what you are looking for. This annual road running event is held in December in the city of Málaga, Spain, the capital of Costa del Sol. Malaga marathon...

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Joseph Hale and Yanet Castro Aguilar won the men’s and women’s marathons, respectively

Most of Sunday’s runners at the BMW Dallas Marathon had been waiting two years to feel the euphoria of crossing the finish line in front of city hall.

Joseph Hale had three years of waiting under his belt after finishing fourth in 2018 and not running the race in 2019.

So when the Dallas resident crossed the finish line to win the 50th Dallas Marathon with a time of 2:28:42, he pumped his fist and let out a celebratory yell.

“It’s literally more than a life goal,” Hale said. “I don’t get emotional very often, but I’m going to get emotional about this.”

Joseph Hale crossing the finish line with a time of 2:28:42 to become the winner of the 50th Dallas Marathon.“I’ve literally dreamed of running that corridor for the last three years,” he said.

He just edged runner-up Joseph Darda of Fort Worth, who was about 20 to 30 seconds behind for the last 12 miles of the race. Darda crossed the finish line with a time of 2 hours, 29 minutes, 14 seconds.

Hale said having someone right behind pushed him to go harder but also forced him to be strategic.

This was the second straight weekend Hale finished a marathon.

He ran the California International Marathon the previous Sunday in Sacramento, Calif., finishing with a time of 2:26:44. He said he felt the mileage in his legs by the 10th or 11th mile.

“I wasn’t going for time; that’s what my race last week was about,” Hale said. “I actually don’t really know my time. I don’t really care. I won.”

More than 17,500 runners competed in Sunday’s races, and over 26,000 people competed over the entire weekend, which set a record.

The women’s winner was Solyenetzitl Selene Yanet Castro Aguilar of Zacatecas, Mexico, who finished with a time of 2:52:20.

She spent the first part of the race pacing with another competitor but, unbeknownst to her, the other runner was running the half marathon and soon split off in a different direction.

Castro Aguilar said she has been dealing with injuries over the past few years. She has spent the past three months training very hard for Sunday, and she took full advantage of the opportunity.

“I’ve been waiting three years to run this,” she said through a translator. “I was very happy and smiling all the way.”

It was the first marathon for Bradley. She ran at Baylor and was an NCAA cross country championship individual qualifier in 2017.

“This is kind of a full-circle moment because I went through some injuries that at the time I thought were career ending,” Bradley said. “To be able to run a marathon, it’s like all my dreams coming true.”

It was a banner year for first-time competitors. Both half marathon winners, Mitch Ammons and Kelsey Bruce, and women’s ultra marathon winner Megan Smyth were running at the event for the first time.

Bruce and Hale are best friends, meeting each other when they were both runners at Dallas Baptist from 2011-15.

They even ran the first few miles of Sunday’s race together before embarking on their own separate, winning journeys.

Bruce won the half marathon with a time of 1:14:35. She moved to Wichita Falls earlier this year after being hired as the head coach of Midwestern State’s cross country and track teams. Being able to come back to her hometown of 10 years and win the half marathon in front of her friends, family and coach was special.

“It’s always fun to hear your name on the course from people you love,” Bruce said.

So with her friend still on the road, Bruce stuck around after receiving her medal and award, joining the cheering brigade for Hale.

And as Hale entered the final length of his winning run, one voice stood out amid the crowd cheering him on.

“With 600 to go, she was there telling me that you got it,” Hale said. “She knows how I finish. She knows I can finish terribly. So when she said that I had it, I knew I had it.”

(12/13/2021) ⚡AMP
by Peter Warren
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BMW Dallas Marathon

BMW Dallas Marathon

The BMW Dallas Marathon is the result of the efforts of a pioneering group of brave Dallas runners, who had the foresight to establish an annual 26.2-mile race more than 40 years ago. In 1971, Tal Morrison – the official founding father of the marathon – placed a $25 ad in Runner’s World beckoning runners from around the country to...

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Jakob Ingebrigtsen wins 2021 Eurpoean XC championships

The 2021 European Cross Country Championships took place Sunday in Dublin, Ireland, and Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen won the senior men’s race in 30:15, ahead of Turkey’s Aras Kaya and Jimmy Gressier of France. Karoline Grøvdal, also of Norway, won the women’s race in 26:34.

The men’s race

The senior men’s race featured an all-star lineup, but the real race XC fans were waiting for was between Ingebrigtsen and Gressier. Ingebrigtsen won four successive U20 titles from 2016 to 2019, and despite the fact that he is only 21 and still eligible to race at the U23 level, the Olympic gold medalist instead chose to make the jump to running in the senior race.

Gressier also has an impressive track record in cross country, having won three successive individual and team titles between 2017 and 2019 at the U23 level. He also graduated to the senior level this year, and while most of his competitors have not done a lot of racing this fall, Gressier has been cleaning up on the French domestic XC circuit. In the end, it was Ingebrigtsen who was victorious, followed by Kaya in second and Gressier in third.

The women’s race

It was a winning weekend for Norway, with Grøvdal taking the win on the women’s side in 26:34 for the 8K race. Meraf Bahta of Sweden finished behind her in second in 26:44, followed by Alina Reh of Germany in 26:53.

Heading into the race, the favorite was Turkey’s Yasemin Can, who has never been beaten at a European Cross Country Championships. Had she won Sunday’s race, she would have claimed her fifth consecutive European XC Title, but she ultimately finished 14th in 28:38. Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen is also a multiple-time winner at the European Cross Country Championships and took back-to-back U20 titles in 2015 and 2016. In the end, she finished 5th in 27:12 behind Great Britain’s Jessica Judd.

(12/13/2021) ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Oregon Ducks athletic programs no longer can monitor athletes’ weight, body fat percentage

The University of Oregon strengthened protocols in late October to prohibit athletic programs from requiring athletes to be tested for body fat percentage.

 According to the revised written protocols, athletes can choose to be tested. But results of the test “should not be reported beyond the student-athlete, dietitian and relevant medical personnel. Reporting of individual results to coaches is not permitted.”

The move came in apparent response to an Oct. 25 story from The Oregonian/OregonLive in which six former women track athletes accused the track program of emphasizing and tracking weight and body fat percentage to the point it led to eating disorders.

The athletes alleged UO coach Robert Johnson’s program required athletes to undergo regular DEXA scans to precisely measure their body fat percentages, then pushed them to lower those percentages.

She told the publication she believes the dietary restrictions led to an injury-plagued sophomore season.

In a story appearing Tuesday in the British newspaper The Telegraph, former Oregon distance runner Philippa Bowden said she was told to drop weight even after confiding she previously had battled an eating disorder.

She said she eventually withdrew from school in 2019 after beginning to purge in an effort to keep her weight low.

UO spokesperson Jimmy Stanton said the athletic department recommended in fall 2020 that coaches stop emphasizing weights and body fat percentage in training. That recommendation is now a requirement.

The recently revised protocol further states: “Coaches must be careful never to suggest or require changes in weight or body composition.”

Johnson has guided the Ducks to 14 national championships in cross country, indoor and outdoor track, cementing Oregon’s position as one of the elite programs in college track and field.

That was followed up in an Oct. 29 story in Runner’s World in which former UO distance runner Katie Rainsberger made similar allegations.

Rainsberger told Runner’s World she was encouraged to drop her body fat percentage and weight even though a nutritionist with the program knew she no longer was getting her menstrual period.

He outlined his training philosophy to The Oregonian/OregonLive in early October. It put a heavy emphasis on using advanced technological tools such as blood tests, hydration tests and DEXA scans to track athletes’ body composition.

Johnson did not respond to interview requests for this story.

A DEXA scan is a medical imaging test that uses X-rays to precisely measure bone density, muscle mass and body fat percentage.

Athletes said they believe Johnson and other coaches always knew the test results revealing their body fat percentages.

Even before DEXA scan technology became available to Oregon in recent years, Johnson’s program measured athletes’ body fat with skinfold caliper tests.

A former UO employee who worked with the athletic department dietitians, helped measure body composition with skinfold calipers from 2014-16. Results of the tests were tracked on a spreadsheet.

“In my experience, the coaches always had access to athletes’ body composition,” the former employee says.

The employee — who still works in the field and did not want be identified for fear it would restrict future employment opportunities — became concerned about Johnson’s reliance on body fat percentage as a training tool.

“I had athletes express to me a feeling like they needed to be compliant with coaches’ wishes in order to maintain their scholarships and be able to compete in the important races,” the former employee said.

The former employee said at one point, Johnson and sprint coach Curtis Taylor wanted athletes to severely restrict their consumption of carbohydrates to facilitate weight loss.

“Obviously, that is not a diet backed by science,” the former employee said. “I spoke with athletes about this and explained it’s not backed by science. It’s not appropriate. Carbohydrates are important for athletes.

“I remember an athlete saying, ‘I hear you. I believe you. I know you’re right. But at the end of the day, Coach Johnson decides who competes. So, I have to do this.’”

At one point, the former employee said, Johnson called out the employee and a mid-distance runner in front of the team during a training session inside the Moshofsky Center, the school’s indoor practice facility.

“He pointed at her and started making accusations at me, saying I wasn’t doing my job to help her lose weight,” the former employee said. “He never was responsive to my attempts to clarify the nature of body composition and how it relates to athletic performance.”

Former UO high jumper Ashlyn Hare said she and other athletes discussed the track team’s approach to weight and body composition with Johnson in the wake of similar accusations made in 2019 by professional runner Mary Cain against Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar.

Hare said Johnson listened to the athletes over the course of several weeks. Eventually, though, she received a text message from him containing a link to an article in which a former professional runner defended the value of tracking weight and body fat percentage.

 “After that it was conversation closed,” Hare said in a text message to The Oregonian/OregonLive. “He had received confirmation of his bias. He didn’t need to hear any more.”

 Hare, who competed for the Ducks from 2016-19, said athletes during her time always believed DEXA scans were mandatory for athletes.

She shared a text exchange from a UO dietitian during her time at Oregon reminding Hare she hadn’t undergone her DEXA scan.

“I was told by our athletic trainer that I didn’t need to do the DEXA because I was not training and about to have surgery,” Hare said in a text message. “But I was told I had to anyway.”

 

NEW UO PROTOCOLS

Assessment of bone density and body composition (DEXA) relates to highly sensitive personal information and belongs to the student-athlete.

All student-athletes should receive annual education about how this information can support their performance and they should have the optionto participate.

In order to protect the student-athlete and the coach, data should not be shared or reported beyond the student-athlete, dietician, and relevant medical personnel. Reporting of individual results to coaches is not permitted.

Body image and disordered eating pose serious physical and psychological risks to student-athletes, and our primary goal is to support a healthy mind and body.

High risk sports should receive annual education about the prevalence, risks, and warning signs of disordered eating.

High risk sports should complete annual assessment for disordered eating risk factors.

At risk individuals should enter an interdisciplinary support model that includes dietetics, athletic medicine, and mental health services.

The focus of nutrition should be on the development of healthy habits that support performance — hydration, fueling, recovery.

Any changes in weight and body composition should be initiated and motivated by the student athlete under the guidance of a dietician.

Coaches must be careful never to suggest or require changes in weight or body composition.

(12/12/2021) ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live
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