Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shoes Rarely Cause Injuries, Poor Training Does

From Globe and Mail

In fact, numerous studies have found that training decisions – how far you run, how fast, how much recovery you allow – are far more important than shoes in predicting injuries. Those factors account for about 80 per cent of injury risk, according to one prospective study by Dr. Nigg’s group. So where does that leave runners trying to choose a shoe? “The only thing we have is comfort,” Dr. Nigg says.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Highlights from Running Injury Seminar

From Runblogger

1. Running is good for humans – it has been shown to significantly reduce both mortality and disability risk.
2. Running doesn’t ruin our knees, in fact it might actually benefit knee cartilage over the long term (see this NY Times article for more)
3. Lots of runners get hurt – range is 20-80% depending on the study.
4. Most running injuries are overuse injuries that can be attributed to stubborn and obsessive runners doing too much too soon. In doing this, runners exceed their body’s stress threshold and something gives. The end result is an injury. I write a post largely devoted to the topic of overuse injuries in runners a few months ago.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Maybe Carbo Loading is All in the Head

From Sweat Science

.....carbo-loading makes more carbohydrate available, but it doesn’t seem to change how much carbohydrate (versus fat) is actually burned. A number of other studies have found similar anomalies, which has made some researchers question whether we really understand why carbo-loading works to improve performance:

The essence of this theory, supported by appropriate findings, is that muscle glycogen may have a signalling function that influences pacing strategy. Subjects who start exercise with elevated levels of muscle glycogen would be able to exercise at a higher pace due to signalling between muscle and the brain than when in a glycogen depleted state.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Keeping the Spring in Your Step

From Running Times

Our muscles are never fully relaxed, and maintain a small degree of tension in them at all times. The exact amount of tension kept in a resting muscle can be altered, and plays a large role in running performance. If resting tension in a muscle is too low, then it can't contract as quickly or produce as much force. The end result is that sluggish feeling that impairs performance. If tension is too high, the muscle is less efficient. Fortunately, we can manipulate the resting tension in the muscle through training so that on race day or for your next hard workout, your muscles are primed and ready to go.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ok, one more time, here it is: the secret to success

From Sports Coaching Brain

We all know what the *secret* to success is - it is so obvious it has no right to be even called a *secret* - here it is for free:
Work harder, more consistently than anyone in your sport in the world ensuring that you commit everything you have physically, mentally, technically and tactically to every training, recovery and competition experience.
The best gym in the world will not make an impact on a team with a poor performance culture, who turn up late, who have poor discipline off the field and who are not totally committed to living excellence in training and preparation. Spending thousands of dollars on sports nutrition products do not make up for a poor attitude, a bad technique, a lack of skill and a sloppy recovery program. Yet, in the next 24 hours, tens of thousands of sports people around the world will spend millions of dollars on sports equipment and sports nutrition products seeking a performance advantage which in all reality does not exist -or if it does exist, is a short term solution.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why IM'ers Shouldn't Skimp on Swim Training

From Endurance Corner

Over-swimming will likely lead to decreased ability to fuel and hydrate the bike and run. Being very fit in the water affords us the opportunity to stay competitive on the swim while protecting bike performance (power), the ability to fuel and run fitness. Developing swim strength will save you more than the five minutes you drop from your swim split. Our ability to swim long and strong without generating fatigue is critical in ironman. As stated above, we don't want the swim to materially impact your bike or run splits. You want to come out of the water absent fatigue, seeing appropriate heart rates in transition.