Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hearing Loss Epidemic May be on the Way

Do you run with an iPod?

Your music is too loud if:
• You can't hear conversations around you.
• People near you can hear the music.
• You shout instead of talk when you respond to people

Experts are concerned about children who own portable music players and future hearing loss. At least 12 out of every 100 children are estimated to be at risk.

article by Kelly Tyko, TCPalm.com

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fitness Important for Longevity

"The researchers grouped the participants into 5 categories based on their fitness levels. The least-fit group had a death rate 4 times higher than the fittest"

Fitness Predicts Longevity in Older Adults - National Institute of Health
study findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Assoc., Dec 5,2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

Dave's Training Log Dec 23-29

Sun Dec 23
am: 1 mile with dogs, then 17 in 2 hr 18 min- felt pretty good compared to last week
total miles = 18


Mon Dec 24
am: 4 miles with dogs

Tues Dec 25
am: 6 miles with dogs, then 5 miles
total miles= 11

Wed Dec 26
am: 4 miles with dogs, then 12 x 400
total miles= 7

Thurs Dec 27
am: 6 miles with dogs, 1.5 miles on trail, 1.5 miles on treadmill
total miles= 9

pm: 20 min bike workout

Fri Dec 28
am: 4 miles with dogs, then 12 x 400
total miles = 7

pm: 15 min bike workout

Sat Dec 29
am: 2 miles with dogs, 10 miles in town with Striders group
total miles = 12

Total for week= 68 miles

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Information on Supplements

Basic Health Publications is a great resource if you are looking for information on diet, exercise, and use of supplements.

Well-written, easy to read User Guides on how supplements may help. Here is a sampling of topics: retail price $5.95

Anti-oxidant
Anti-aging
Brain-boosting
Diabetes
Headaches
Heart-healthy
Healthy Digestion
Inflammation, Arthritis, and Aging
Natural Allergy Relief
Natural Hormone Replacement
Thyroid disorders
Women's health

Monday, December 24, 2007

Marathon Build-up

I've never been a big fan of conventional marathon build-up programs. First of all, most of those programs are designed for beginners- and I am of the opinion that if you are starting from scratch you should be looking at a 1 year plan rather than one that lasts only 3 or 4 months.

If you are an experienced runner preparing for a marathon-here are my 2 cents on how to do it right.

6 months out- you should be already be working on doing long enough runs that you feel confident that you can FINISH a marathon. Weekly 15-17 mile runs. They can be slow.

3 months out- your weekly miles and long runs should be peaking. That's right- 3 months out. Maintain that workload for the next 4 weeks. Never run longer than 3 hours or 20 miles in training.

2 months out- you should be focus on improving your long run tempo, not your distance. You have to do some race specific workouts on a weekly basis - at least an hour, which can be part of your weekly long run or a separate trainng session. Another option is to attempt to run a long run at tempo every other week, alternating with an easier long distance run.
I believe the 4 week period between 6 and 2 weeks out from your scheduled marathon should be the most intense part of your training.

4 weeks out- the perfect time for a half marathon or race simulated time trial to test your fitness. Allow yourself 2 good rest days, simulating what you will be doing those last couple of days before your marathon. You should be able to complete your half marathon at or below your goal marathon pace. With more recovery you'll be surprised how easy that pace feels on race day.

2 weeks out- you can start cutting your miles while maintaining intensity. No more runs longer than 90 minutes.

1 week out- nothing longer than an hour- 40-45 minutes of race pace running.

3 days out- your last race pace run for no more than 40 min.

2 days out- light jogging.

Race day-the optimal race plan is one that is run at an even pace- by now you should have a good feel for what that is.

Marathon training is hard work if you expect to run to your potential- the formula includes long runs of 2 hours or more, weekly miles, intervals or tempo work, and recovery days. The trick is putting the components together in a way that works best or you.

(c) Dave Elger 2007 All rights reserved

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dave's Training Log Dec 16-22

Sun Dec 16
am: 2 with dogs, then 17 mile Stoddard loop in 2 hr 27 min- last 7 pretty tough.
total miles = 19

Mon Dec 17
am: 5 miles with dogs

Tues Dec 18
am: 4 miles with dogs, then 6 x 800 about 2 min recovery.
total = 7 miles
pm: 20 min spin bike

Wed Dec 19
am: 2 with dogs, then 10 miles
Total = 12 miles
pm: 20 min spin bike workout

Thurs Dec 20
am: 4 with dogs, then 5
total = 9 miles

Fri Dec 21
am: 6 with dogs, then 8 x 400 on snow covered road, 1 mile cool-down
total = 10 miles

Sat Dec 22
am: 4 miles on trail

Total for the week= 67 miles

What?- No Established Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease?

"Suppose you were forced to live on a diet of red meat and whole milk. A diet that, all told, was at least 60 percent fat — about half of it saturated. If your first thoughts are of statins and stents, you may want to consider the curious case of the Masai, a nomadic tribe in Kenya and Tanzania.

In the 1960s, a Vanderbilt University scientist named George Mann, M.D., found that Masai men consumed this very diet (supplemented with blood from the cattle they herded). Yet these nomads, who were also very lean, had some of the lowest levels of cholesterol ever measured and were virtually free of
heart disease. "

Facinating article by Nina Teicholz that suggests saturated fat may not be the culprit causing all of that heart disease. msnbc.com

"We've spent billions of our tax dollars trying to prove the diet-heart hypothesis. Yet study after study has failed to provide definitive evidence that saturated-fat intake leads to heart disease."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Training Log for Dave Dec 9-15

Sun Dec 9:
am: 10 miles

Mon Dec 10:
am: 4 with dogs, then 9
total miles = 13

Tues Dec 11
am: 3 with dogs, then 6 x 800, 2 mile cool down
total miles = 8 miles

Wed Dec 12
am: 4 with dogs, then 5
total miles = 9

Thurs Dec 13
am: 5 with dogs, then 8 x 400, 1 cool down
total miles = 8

Fri Dec 14
am: 4 with dogs

Sat Dec 15
am: 5 with dogs, then 3
total miles = 8

Weekly total= 60 miles

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation May Enhance Recovery

Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation and Neuromuscular Recovery after a Running Race.

BASIC SCIENCES Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 38(12):2110-2117, December 2006. GAUCHE, ELODIE 1; LEPERS, ROMUALD 2; RABITA, GIUSEPPE 1; LEVEQUE, JEAN-MICHEL 1; BISHOP, DAVID 4; BRISSWALTER, JEANICK 3; HAUSSWIRTH, CHRISTOPHE 1

Abstract:
Purpose: This double-blind study investigated the effects of vitamin and mineral complex supplementation on the neuromuscular function of the knee-extensor muscles after a prolonged trail running race.

Methods: Twenty-two well-trained endurance runners took either placebo (Pl group) or vitamins and minerals (Vm group) for 21 d before the race and for 2 d after the race. Maximal voluntary contractions (MVC) and surface EMG activity of the vastus lateralis (VL) muscle were recorded before (pre) and 1 h (post), 24 h (post 24) and 48 h (post 48) after the race.
Central activation ratio (CAR), neural (M-wave), and contractile (muscular twitch) properties of the quadriceps muscles were analyzed using electrical stimulation techniques.

Results: The knee-extensor MVC was significantly (P < 0.01) reduced after exercise for both groups (Vm: 36.5 +/- 3.0 %; Pl: 36.9 +/- 2.1%), but MVC recovery was greater for Vm than Pl after 48 h (11%, P < 0.05). The reduced MVC after exercise was associated with a significant reduction in maximal EMG normalized to the M-wave in VL muscle and in CAR for both groups. Characteristics of the muscular twitch were not significantly altered for either groups, whereas M-wave duration increased significantly (P < 0.05) after exercise.

Conclusions: The reduction of MVC immediately after the race appeared to result from peripheral mechanisms such as a failure in muscle membrane excitation and, to a lesser extent, from reduced central activation. The cause of the depressed MVC 24 h after the race seemed to be located within the muscle itself. A dietary supplementation of a vitamin and mineral complex does not attenuate the loss of contractile function immediately after the running exercise, and it may accelerate the recovery of maximal force capacity.

(C)2006The American College of Sports Medicine

Running Economy- from The Science of Sport

In general,however, research studies support that running economy improves with higher volume, slower running. So longer and slower distance training is more effective as a means to improve economy. The reasons for this include the increase in mitochondria, which means more effective use of oxygen by muscle. Also, it's been found that the longer and slower running eventually leads to a 'learned' neuromuscular response where the vertical oscillation of the runner is reduced. In otherwords, less time going up and down, more energy saved, and this is simply a function of repetition!

Now here's where things get tricky! Many of you are probably thinking "what about speed work?" Surely that will see massive improvements in running economy? There's always confusion about whether faster runners are more or less economical. And here, the general rule is that it follows what one might call The Law of Specificity, which basically says that you'll be good at what you train for! In otherwords, if you are a middle distance runner (800/1500m), then you'll be more economical at higher speeds than a marathon runner at those higher speeds. The interesting thing is that it's been found that this same middle distance runner then becomes less economical at the slower speeds than the marathon runner. So again, economy is good where you train it, which to me really re-inforces the value of training specifically, and how important co-ordination and motor control are! -Dr. Ross Tucker and Dr. Jonathon Dugas, The Science of Sport

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Antioxidant Supplements May Prevent Cognitive Decline

Antioxidants and Prevention of Cognitive DeclineDoes Duration of Use Matter? Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(20):2167-2168. The growing interest in primary prevention of cognitive impairment and dementia has been sparked by several promising interventions, most of which have not been confirmed by recently conducted randomized clinical trials. Many observational studies, but not all, have suggested that antioxidant supplements, including beta carotene, or a diet with high intake of antioxidants reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer disease (AD) or other forms of cognitive impairment. These results, along with those from an Alzheimer Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) trial published in 1997,1 which showed a benefit of vitamin E treatment (2000 IU/d) for 2 years in reducing progression of AD,have sparked interest in antioxidants for treatment or prevention of cognitive disorders. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(20):2167-2168 Kristine Jaffe, M.D.

Beta-Carotene Supplementation- What are the potential benefits?

Check out this site for references pertaining to the potential benefits of beta-carotene- prostate cancer, asthma, and leukemia.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ted Corbitt 1919-2007

Running pioneer Ted Corbitt passed away Wednesday of respiratory complications. According to the New York Times, Corbitt suffered from prostate and colon cancer in recent years.

For those who have never heard of Corbitt, his accomplishments in distance running are truly amazing:

By his own count, Corbitt ran 199 marathons and ultramarathons, which are typically races of 50 or 100 miles or 24 hours. (Marathons are 26 miles 385 yards.) He won 30 of those races and never dropped out of one until he was 75, he said. He trained by running as many as 200 miles a week. In his heyday, Corbitt — shy and slight at 5 feet 7 inches and 130 pounds — was a United States marathon champion and a member of the United States team at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, where he finished a disappointing 44th in the marathon.

At various times, Corbitt held American records in the marathon, the 100-mile run and the 25-, 40- and 50-kilometer events. He also won national American Athletic Union championships in several distance running events. His fastest time in a marathon was 2 hours 26 minutes 44 seconds.
-NY Times



"Weight training was discouraged and people thought I was crazy," says Corbitt, "but I used a lot of the resistance exercises that were a part of physical therapy treatment to build up my legs." He used Zatopek’s method of alternating fast 440’s with slow 220’s to increase his speed and mixed such workouts with long, slow road runs. He ran in heavy army boots to add difficulty to his routine. He suffered through blisters and bruises and was forced to lay off and recover time and again. Slowly, through the brutally hot and humid New York summer, his legs hardened and he extended his distance. By fall, he felt ready to take the next step: the overdistance run.

"I always felt that if I couldn’t get through 30 miles in training, I’d never be able to race a marathon, so running 30 became a goal. But I always fell apart at about 18 miles and couldn’t get past 22 for several months. I never knew why."

The epiphany came in January 1951. Corbitt was bundled up against the winter chill, once again attempting to reach 30 miles. It was snowing, and he found himself catching snowflakes in his mouth as he ran. "A light went on in my head. I was always thirsty, but never drank anything during a run. I realized I was dehydrated almost all of the time." From then on, he put water out whenever he ran more than 15 miles. He smashed through the 30-mile barrier on the next attempt and the distance never seemed that difficult again.


The workouts that followed are legendary. Two, sometimes three runs a day, or twice around the island of Manhattan (64 miles) for long distance work. Weekly mileage was often between 200 and 300 and there were times when he put in more than 1,000 miles over the course of a month. All this while working full time as a physical therapist at the International Center for the Disabled, raising a son, and carrying on running-related administrative duties at night


His 100-mile record (13:33:06, beating the old standard by two and a half hours) came at the age of 50. He ran 134.7 miles in a 24-hour race when he was 54.




-exerpts from 2002 Running Times interview

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Training Log for Dave Dec 2-8

Sun Dec 2

no run- 10K race in Moab yesterday. Hiked about 2 hours

Mon Dec 3

am: 3 with dogs, then 7 easy
total= 10 miles

Tues Dec 4

am: 4 with dogs, then 4 x 800 all one way- 2:51, 2:49, 2:47, 2:42. long recovery jog back
2 mile cool-down
total = 8 miles

Wed Dec 5

am: 4 with dogs, then 9 miles
total= 13 miles

Thurs Dec 6

am: 4 with dogs, then 12x400 with 30-40 sec rest
total= 7 miles

Fri Dec 7

am: 4 with dogs, then 5 miles
total= 9 miles

Sat Dec 8

no run

Total for week= 47 miles

Free Radicals and Diet- What Should Runners Be Doing?

Great article here from Peak Performance Online pertaining to the production of free radicals related to exercise and dietary influence.
"....it makes sense to ensure that your diet is high in antioxidants".


the case for olive oil-

"The authors concluded that diets with olive oil as the unique fat source are able to produce membranes whose features allow them to be more resistant to lipid peroxidation even if the overall cell metabolism is increased (Life Sciences, 1992, ibid). This outcome has not been confirmed for human subjects, but the circumstantial evidence is fairly strong. It has been shown that free radical production increases during intensive sporting practice (Europeam Journal of pplied Physiology, volS6 pp313-6). It's also been demonstrated that people' s cell membranes reflect their dietary fat intake.

What does this mean in practical terms? To change the ratio of polyunsaturates to monounsaturates in your diet, the most significant thing you can do is to use olive oil in preference to a polyunsaturated oil (such as sunflower, corn, blended vegetable oils). It' s also possible to buy dairy-type spreads based on olive oil. Avocados are rich in monounsaturates, as are some nuts, including hazelnuts, cashews, and almonds."

Vitamins and Supplements- Summary Report from the Cooper Institute

CRP is an acronym for C-reactive protein which is a protein produced by the liver and found in the blood. CRP is a marker for systemic inflammation, which may occur due to injury, infection, or fever. Because elevated CRP levels are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, we sought to determine whether multivitamin supplementation reduces CRP levels in our Cooper Complete® Study.

We measured the effects of six vitamins, namely C, E, B6, B12, folate, and beta carotene, within a 24-ingredient multivitamin/mineral formula, the Cooper Complete® Vitamin, and found both vitamin B6 and vitamin C significantly reduced CRP levels compared with those participants who took a placebo. More specifically, we found following multivitamin supplementation, the prevalence of patients with a high risk C-reactive protein level (>3.0 mg/L) reduced from 30% to 14%. The average change in the patients’ CRP levels over the course of six months was 0.70 mg/L. The greatest reduction in CRP levels was seen in patients whom initially had elevated CRP levels. As such, use of a commercially available multivitamin was found to significantly reduce C-reactive protein levels.

We demonstrated two further benefits from six months of multivitamin supplementation. First, we showed that six months of supplementation significantly increased plasma vitamin levels, namely vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, as further evidenced below in Table 2.

Table 2. Change in Plasma Vitamin Concentration Following Six Months of Multivitamin Supplementation

Vitamin Percentage Increase
Folic Acid 47%
Beta Carotene 51%
Vitamin B12 55%
Vitamin C 69%
Vitamin E 97%
Vitamin B6 272%

Second, we found a significant reduction in LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein, “bad cholesterol”) oxidation and in homocysteine levels which are risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. To this end, we found an 14.6% reduction in LDL oxidation rate, which may be attributed to vitamin E, vitamin C, and lycopene. A reduction in LDL oxidation rate is significant because oxidation, or the addition of oxygen to low-density lipoproteins, contributes to atherosclerosis and may ultimately lead to further progression of heart disease. Further, we found a 17.2% reduction in circulating homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid found in the blood, and elevated levels are linked to heart disease, atherosclerosis (“hardening” of the arteries), stroke, colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It has been shown that homocysteine levels are strongly influenced by dietary intake and genetic factors, and through our research, we found that a multi-ingredient vitamin formula, which particularly includes folic acid and vitamin B12, favorably influences homocysteine levels in blood.
Our findings in our Cooper Complete® Study show the favorable effects on homocysteine and CRP levels in the blood as well as the anti-oxidant properties of complex multivitamin supplementation.

-Summary Reports from the Cooper Institute

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Hydroxy-Methylbutyrate (HMB) Supplementation Improves Aerobic Performance and Body Composition

Several studies have suggested that Hydroxy-Methylbutyrate (HMB) may improve lean body mass, strength, and lipid oxidation when combined with a resistance training program. Additionally, HMB has been demonstrated to reduce proteolysis (protein degradation) and acute damage to muscle structures as a result of eccentric running. As a whole, very few studies have looked at the effects of HMB supplementation on aerobic training adaptations. Recently, researchers from the University of Sherbrooke examined the effects of five weeks of HMB supplementation coupled with a three times a week interval training regime. The interval training program consisted of five intervals performed at the individual’s maximal velocity for 50% of the time to exhaustion for that velocity. Recovery between each interval was performed at 60% of maximal. Each interval and its corresponding recovery summed to 100% of the time to exhaustion. Each session contained a five minute warm-up and recovery performed at 50% of the individual’s maximal running velocity. Supplementation consisted of the consumption of three grams per day over the five weeks. Results of this investigation revealed that the combination of interval training and HMB supplementation resulted in significantly greater increases in maximal oxygen consumption. There were no differences in body composition changes between groups. Based upon these results it was concluded that the addition of an HMB supplement to an interval training program results in significant improvements to selected components of aerobic performance.

Lamboley CR, Royer D, Dionne IJ. (2007). Effects of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate on aerobic-performance components and body composition in college students. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 17:56 — 69.

Protein Update

To date, the best guide is still the joint position statement from the ACSM and the Dietitians of Canada. This position statement suggests 12% to 15% of energy from protein or 1.2 to 1.4g/kg for endurance athletes and 1.4 - 1.8 g/kg for strength athletes (1) as illustrated in various research studies (4).

- Protein Update: How Much Protein is Enough? Debra Wein, MS, RD, LDN, National Strength & Conditioning Association Performance Training Journal,

That's .54 gm - .63 gm per pound of body wt (dividing kg by 2.2 converts to pounds). I weigh 125 so should be getting 67-79 grams of protein per day. It might not be such a bad idea to write down your intake just to make sure you are getting enough.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Iron Deficiency

Feeling more tired than usual? Not running up to your potential? More frequent agging aches and pains from running?

Check out this article by Jason Brumitt in the National Strength and Conditioning Association Training Journal titled Iron Deficiency in the Endurance Athlete: Tips for Prevention and Recognition.

The list of food sources for iron includes:

Red Meats
Eggs
Lentils
Nuts
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Fortified Breakfast Cereals
Legumes Dried Beans
Soy Foods

If you think you may be iron deficient, go to a doctor for blood work and evaluation.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Training Log for Dave Nov 25-Dec 1

Sun Nov 25
am: 6 with dogs, then 10 easy
total = 16 miles

Mon Nov 26
am: 6 easy
pm: short bike workout, weights
total = 6 miles

Tues Nov 27
am: 4 with dogs, then 3 x 1 mile on trail- ave 6:20- I went beyond anaerobic threshold but obviously this course is very slow going, 2 mile jog
total = 9 miles

Wed Nov 28
am: 4.5 with dogs, then 10 x 400 with 30-40 sec rest, 3 easy
snow on road and pretty cold so times a couple seconds slow
total = 10 miles

Thurs Nov 29
am: 4 with dogs, then 5 easy, tired
total = 9 miles

Fri Nov 30
am: 4 with dogs slow drove to Moab for 10K

Sat Dec 1
am: Moab 10K 1.5 mile warm up, 1 mile cool down - 5th overall in 36:33- disappointed with the time, felt some tightness in my back.
Total= 9 miles

Weekly Total: 63 miles

Is Your Warm-up Long Enough?

The Navy Physial Fitness Test requires sit and reach, situps and pushups, and a 1.5 mile run. I used to laugh every time because NOBODY ever warmed up before the run. Just try maxing out on pushups and feel how pumped your arms are, and then run an all out 1.5 mile. It takes a little extra time to divert the blood down to the legs, no doubt contributing to accelerated oxygen debt. I used to try and explain how a few strides down the road prior to the run portion would benefit them in the run, but nobody ever took me up on it that I can remember.

A couple of weeks ago I ran very well in a 5K- the best I have felt in a long time. Besides stepping up my long runs, another difference was that a small group of us did 2.4 miles prior to the 5k in memory of Ryan Shay, taking us to 5.5 miles. This was about double my normal warm-up jog.

Was that the difference? Who knows, but I think it's worth repeating to find out.