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Regular advice on running and RunCoach
Topic: ResearchThe new items published under this topic are as follows.
Posted by: pshields on Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - 04:08 AM 6199 Reads
The Truth About Oxygen And Running
Posted: December 3, 2004
By Owen Anderson, Ph. D.
Many athletes currently believe that altitude training has a positive impact on fitness and competitive ability. Such faith in altitude has been reinforced by the incredible successes of the Kenyan distance runners, most of whom train at altitude when they are in Kenya.
The practice of altitude training is also logically appealing. After all, residing at altitude increases red-blood-cell concentrations. Lofty densities of red cells can supply oxygen to muscles at higher rates, compared with parsimonious red-cell levels. Consequently, VO2max should improve, and athletes should be able to perform longer and faster without being limited by fatigue after an extended period of altitude training. In effect, altitude residency is a legal form of "blood doping."
Posted by: pshields on Monday, December 06, 2004 - 04:01 AM 2571 Reads
Strengthening Your Adductors for Running
The Running Research News Weekly Training Update
I hope that you all enjoyed a very wonderful Thanksgiving Day, and I send you my very best wishes for this holiday season.
In our weekly updates, I like to cover endurance and sprint training, sport-specific strength training, and sports nutrition. Today, I would like to focus on strength training - specifically on improving the strength of your thigh adductors for running.
Thigh adductors? I know that you probably haven't talked in depth about your adductors for a couple of months at least, so here's a brief review of the young fellows. Recall that your thigh adductors are actually strips of muscle which run from your pelvic girdle to the inside of each leg. There are five key ones (gracilis, pectineus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, and adductor magnus; there will be a quiz on these next week), and they generally originate near the center, front, bottom of your pelvic girdle. Since your pelvic girdle doesn't like to wander around very much, even when you are running at full speed, contractions of the thigh adductors tend to pull your legs inward - toward the imaginary midline of your body, which runs vertically between your legs and divides your upper body into right and left halves.
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Posted by: pshields on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 04:07 AM 5118 Reads
Kenyan Cross-Country System
Posted: November 29, 2004
By now, we've all heard about the "fire and brimstone" training camp which Kenyan runners attend each year just prior to the World Cross-Country Championships.
At that astonishing camp, which takes place near Embu, Kenya, during the first three weeks of March, male Kenyan runners chalk up about 140 miles of running per week, members of the senior women's team accumulate 90-100 weekly miles, and Kenya's fresh-faced junior females, most of whom are less than 17 years of age, average 'just' 10 miles per day. At the Embu encampment, Kenya's hard-charging harriers zero in on the exact running velocity required to win a world championship (4:25-4:30 per mile for men and 4:55-5:00 per mile for women) on an almost daily basis, and the weekly training programme includes heart-stopping hill efforts, staggering interval workouts, breathtaking tempo sessions, and 19 total workouts, all carried out over rugged terrain at an elevation of 6500 feet.
The three-week torment is preceded by a five-month build-up which specifically prepares Kenya's team members for survival in the Embu cauldron - and the subsequent conquering of top runners from around the globe at the World Championships. Although the severe Embu exertions couldn't be completed without the five months of groundwork, the outside world has focused its attention primarily on Embu, and not on the more important build-up period. In the paragraphs that follow, we'll describe the key features of the five-month Kenyan training programme, which consistently produces the best cross-country runners on the planet.
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Posted by: pshields on Saturday, November 27, 2004 - 04:52 AM 5996 Reads
Performance Secrets for Veterans
Posted: November 26, 2004
Performance Secrets: This new research suggests that sometimes the most important thing is what you DON'T do.
Scientific research which evaluates the merits of different types of training for distance runners comes along about as often as sub-2:08 marathons, so when a high-quality, practical new training study is published in a scientific journal, we at PP grab it, read it, read it again, digest it and rush out an interpretative summary.
Such is the case with a new study carried out by Drs. Will Hopkins and D. J. Hewson from the Department of Physiology and School of Physical Education at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. Hopkins and Hewson are accomplished, experienced researchers with a keen interest in how certain types of training change performances, not just physiological variables. In their new investigation, they've taken a look at the link between specificity of training and the performance of distance runners.
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Posted by: pshields on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 08:41 AM 1804 Reads
Improving Running Economy
Posted: November 22, 2004
If you're a runner, are you concerned about how to improve your economy? If so, you can literally breathe easily: new research from Odense University in Denmark shows you a straight-forward way to do it - and reveals a surprising mechanism by which economy improves.
In the Danish investigation, researchers worked with 36 experienced male runners with an average VO2max of 54.8 ml/kg/min, which predicts a 5K race time of about 18:22 (5:56 per mile). Prior to the study, the runners had been training about 2.2 hours per week, usually by running continuously at moderate intensities (Improved Running Economy Following Intensified Training Correlates with Reduced Ventilatory Demands, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 30(8), pp. 1250-1256, 1998).
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Posted by: pshields on Thursday, November 18, 2004 - 04:06 AM 1883 Reads
Carbohydrate protection against muscle damage
Posted: November 10, 2004
Eating in a way that keeps your body primed for peak fitness can also reduce your risk of injury. Firstly, eating foods that will help to fend off fatigue will minimise injuries arising from tiredness and weakness. Secondly, some of the metabolic processes which can lead to muscle soreness and damage can be counteracted to a degree by dietary factors.
It' s old news that keeping your muscles stacked with glycogen can help your endurance capacity. But did you know that a respectable glycogen credit will also make injury less likely? There's evidence linking muscle glycogen depletion with both fatigue and injury. The connection is simple - muscles that are fatigued lose their strength, and thus their ability to protect joints. For example, take that favourite injury, the shin splint. While you're running, you rely on one particular muscle to take proportionately more strain - a strip of sinew that runs down the shin to the inside edge of the foot and pulls the foot inward and upward. During running, this muscle works at least twice as hard as other local muscles, and is therefore most likely to fatigue first. As it gets tired, the risk of shin splints and stress fractures is likely to rise, as does the risk of knee injuries.
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Posted by: pshields on Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - 04:09 AM 1601 Reads
Are High-Impact Exercises No More Straining Than Running?
Posted: November 12, 2004
Individuals who run in their sports are sometimes told to avoid "high-impact" exercises for their legs, including "plyometric" activities which involve bounding and "drop-jumping" from benches and platforms, in the belief that such exertions carry with them a high risk of injury. As a result, many running athletes avoid high-impact drills, even though such efforts are believed to increase running power. Are the high-impact-exercise naysayers correct? Should athletes who run really stay clear of such activities?
In an attempt to find out, researchers at the Hebrew University Medical School in Jerusalem, Huddinge University Hospital in Sweden, and the Indiana University Medical Center recently took a look at the forces acting on the shin bones (tibias) of athletes during both running and jumping activity (1). The choice of bone as a general tissue to study and the selection of the tibia as a specific bone to monitor were excellent decisions. The tibia is very prone to stress fractures in athletes who run (in fact, about 50% of all stress fractures in athletes occur in the tibia), and it is believed that jumping exercises may increase the risk of such fractures. In addition, bone is a highly mechanically responsive organ which must be strong enough to withstand both high, sudden forces as well as low-level repetitive impacts; it is important to understand which kinds of forces are most likely to induce bone injury.
Posted by: pshields on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 04:06 AM 1340 Reads
Posted by: pshields on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 04:03 AM 3175 Reads
Women athletes will one day out-sprint men
By David Derbyshire
Women sprinters may run faster than men within 150 years, according to a study into the narrowing gap between male and female athletes.
Scientists predict that if current trends continue, the fastest athlete at the 2156 Olympics may be a woman, ending thousands of years of male physical supremacy.
The findings, published in the science journal Nature, are based on a study of Olympic 100m sprint results over the past century.
The prediction, however, was disputed by sports scientists, who say that athletes are approaching the limits of physical accomplishment. They believe men will always out-perform women.
The findings come from a team led by Dr Andy Tatem, an epidemiologist at Oxford University's Department of Zoology.
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Posted by: pshields on Thursday, September 16, 2004 - 04:26 AM 1540 Reads
Making Better Muscles
Monday, September 6, 2004
Long-distance runners tend to be lean. They are at lower risk for diabetes than sedentary people. And their leg muscles can work for long periods without tiring.
Now a team of scientists at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., has shed light on why these three attributes of endurance training occur together. The research also suggests it may be possible both to increase athletic performance and to lose weight by activating a single protein in muscle.Skeletal muscle comes in two forms. Type I contracts slowly, is full of the cellular power plants known as mitochondria, and it can be active for long periods without becoming exhausted. Marathoners have lots of it.
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