Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Brain Rhythm Associated With Learning Also Linked to Running Speed

my brains - let me show you them

Rhythms in the brain that are associated with learning become stronger as the body moves faster, UCLA neurophysicists report in a new study.

The experiment was performed by measuring electrical signals from hundreds of neurons using microwires 20 times thinner than a human hair, Mehta said. Nearly a hundred gigabytes of data was collected every day, enough to fill the Library of Congress every two months.

Analysis of this vast and complex data yielded an unexpected result: The gamma rhythm, a fast signal that occurs while concentrating or learning, gradually grew stronger as the mice moved faster.

MY COMMENT: OK let me try to get this one straight. "This research provides an interesting link between the world of learning and the world of speed".

Does this mean we learn faster during a hard interval sessions? I just wonder if those mice could learn any faster while listening to an iPod when they run.

Should Protein Be Included in Carb-Based Sports Supplements- or Not?

Interesting debate on the need for protein during exercise in this month's Medicine & Science in Sport and Exercise.

There is presently no convincing scientific support for the contention that protein be included in CHO-based sports supplements -James Betts


Several studies have investigated the effect of consuming protein with CHO compared with CHO only during prolonged exercise. Ivy et al. (13) reported a 36% improvement in time to fatigue after 3 h of variable-intensity cycling when cyclists ingested a mixture of CHO and protein compared with a matched quantity of CHO. -Emma Stevenson

Who is right? Read the entire debate here. I think we can safely say that a protein/carb mix is an effective recovery drink, however there isn't much to support that protein taken during activity will enhance performance. That does not mean it won't help speed up recovery and ultimately allow the athlete to perform at a higher level-

"although the benefits of consuming a CHO-protein mixture during exercise on immediate performance are still uncertain, this nutritional strategy can have a positive effect on the recovery process and therefore may improve exercise performance on subsequent days."

Foods That Reduce Belly Fat!

The study found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber eaten per day, visceral fat was reduced by 3.7 percent over five years -sciencedaily.com

MY COMMENT: Belly fat seems to increase as we get older, even some of us who continue to train hard as masters. Foods high in soluble fiber include

Cooked Kidney Beans
Cooked Lentils
Raw Oat Bran
Medium Pear (with the skin)
Citrus Fruits
Chick Peas
Soy Beans
Lima Beans
Dried Peas
Flax Seed
Red Currants
Concord grapes
Sour plums
Sesame seeds


Monday, June 27, 2011

Alana Hadley!

Alana Hadley is a 14 year old girl that loves to run and race! She's been in Running Times and has her own website Alanahadley.com so you can see what's she's up to.

At just 14, Alana has a list of impressive PRs including a 36:13 10k, 17:06 5k, and 5:06 for 1600 meters. Too bad she's only in middle school, still too young to race the high school girls!

Alana's father happens to coach distance running and has some detailed training plans for fictional runners at maximumperformancerunning. I'm always on the lookout for new information.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

seoul marathon

Now, when I look at a week I don’t see the necessity for mileage, I see the necessity for hard, quality workouts followed by adequate recovery and even making sure to over-recovering (if there is such a thing). -Ryan Hall

MY COMMENT: Hard to argue with a guy that recently ran sub 2hr 05 min. I understand Hall is even taking days off now following hard or long workouts.

I took the quality approach in preparing to run the Seoul Marathon in March, setting a goal of running 26 sub 7 min miles in a week. I was only able to hit 25 twice using a mix of tempo and long intervals in the dead of winter, but it definitely paid off. But prior to getting into that I did a stretch of just miles (6-8 weeks) to prepare.

It was former Olympic champ and PhD Exercise Physiologist Peter Snell who perhaps summed it up best when he said "The ideal training is the maximum amount of race related pace running you can do without overtraining".

Monday, June 13, 2011

Knock a Minute off Your 5K!

According to a recently published study "runners who did these moves four times a week shaved a minute off their 5K times in six weeks." -active.com

MY COMMENT: Good stuff but the author provides no reference. Where is this published?

Non-Alcholic Beer Good for Runners!

Furthermore it was shown that non-alcoholic wheat beer containing polyphenols has a positive, health promoting effect on the human body: inflammation parameters in the blood were significantly reduced, and there was a lower frequency of infection with milder symptoms.
-Non-Alcoholic Wheat Beer Boosts Athletes' Health


MY COMMENT: What about real beer?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lukas Verzbicas - 3:59.72!

Lukas Verzbicas became the 5th American high school runner to break the magical 4 min mile (Verzbicas makes history at adidas Grand Prix). Other members of this exclusive club include:

Jim Ryun- 1964
Tim Danielson-1966
Marty Liquori-1967
Alan Webb-2001


Verzbicas will run for Oregon this fall.

NCAA 800 Meter Finals

Great race!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of walking and running: a placebo-controlled study

These results indicate that the positive effects of 6 days of BR supplementation on the physiological responses to exercise can be ascribed to the high NO3− content per se. -J of Applied Physiology, May, 2011

MY COMMENT: These UK researchers were testing the theory that nitrate is indeed the component in beetroot juice responsible for enhancing performance (see Beetroot Juice Improves Performance). It does appear that beetroot juice does increase nitrate levels - Relative to PL (placebo), BR elevated plasma NO2− concentration (183 ± 119 vs. 373 ± 211 nM, P < 0.05) and reduced systolic blood pressure (129 ± 9 vs. 124 ± 10 mmHg, P < 0.01).

Need more evidence?

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, nine healthy young well trained men performed sub-maximal and maximal work tests on a cycle ergometer after two separate three-day periods of dietary supplementation. For one of these three-day periods, they received sodium nitrate at a dose of 0.1 millimoles per kilo of bodyweight per day (equating to about 500mgs of actual nitrate – an amount that can be consumed when consuming a high-vegetable diet). For the other period, they received an equal amount of sodium chloride (table salt – placebo).

What the scientists found amazed them. The oxygen cost at sub-maximal levels of exercise was significantly reduced after nitrate supplementation compared with placebo – in other words, they became more efficient at using oxygen. Over the four lowest work rates, their oxygen efficiency jumped from 19.7 to 21.1%. Or to put it another way, the same work output required less oxygen after nitrate supplementation compared to when nitrate wasn’t taken. Moreover, this oxygen-saving effect occurred without any increase in lactate production, indicating that energy production had become more efficient -Sports nutrition: is dietary nitrate the key to enhanced endurance performance?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Shaq vs Tyson Gay

I saw this for the first time- Shaq running 30 meters vs Tyson Gay running 60- I was mildly surprised at how fast the big fella could move!

Reminded me of a day way back in 1984 at UW-Stevens Point. We were screwing around on the track running different races and needed an extra body for a 4x400 relay. Somebody went in the gym and came out with Terry Porter, who was preparing for the Olympic basketball team trials. We couldn't believe he was risking a hamstring pull or worse to run a nothing race!

Somebody loaned him a pair of spikes and Terry gave it a good go for about 250 meters before the bear jumped on his back - wish I could say I remember his split but if I were to guess he was in the mid 50s!

1984 Sports Illustated article on Porter, who went on to play 17 years in the NBA.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Prefontaine Classic 400 Meter Final

Check out Oscar "The Blade Runner" Pestorius in lane 1- against a field loaded with the best runners in the world. Great race by Angelo Taylor, Olympic champ in 2000 and 2008 in the intermediate hurdles defeating Jeremy Warnier, 400 meter Olympic champ in 2004. Pistorius had the flu and still ran 46.33!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tom Jordan- Meet Director, Prefontaine Classic

“I think (Rupp) is going for the American record, and Solinsky wants to protect it,” Jordan said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if those two ran side-by-side for the entire race.” -Elite 10K race lures Solinsky

Don't forget Mo Farah and the 20 plus other African runners! start list

Big Night in Track and Field!

Perhaps the best track meet on U.S. soil (at least for distance runners)kicks off this weekend in Eugene with the annual Prefontaine Classic!

The 10,000 meters is loaded, including top Americans Chris Solinsky and Galen Rupp. Watch it live here with coverage starting at 8:40 PST! That's around lunch time in Korea. Can't wait! Could we see another American dip under 27?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Training Advice from Jack Daniels

1. Do the least training you can to get the best results you can. One of Jack's favorite lines: "If I could get you to a 5-minute mile with 30 miles a week, or with 60 miles a week, which would you choose? (And if you choose 60, c'mon over to my house and I'll give you 20 hours of yard work at $5/hour instead of five hours at $20.)"

2. Know the purpose of every run. Long runs are mostly meant to be slow, so run them at a comfortably slow pace, usually about 65 to 70 percent of your max heart rate. For no more than 2.5 hours. Occasionally do 4 to 10 miles of your long run at marathon pace.

3. Run your tempo runs for 20 to 30 minutes. If you run them much longer than that, it's not a tempo run, it's a race.

4. Learn your seasonal limits. Don't try to do more than you can in one season.

5. Consider an alternative to the "10 percent rule." That's the rule that says you should increase total mileage by no more than 10% from one week to the next. Instead, Daniels says, let your body adapt for several weeks. Hold your training steady for three or four weeks, and then increase your mileage by the number of days you're running per week (e.g., four days = four miles).

6. Get your stride frequency up to 180 strides a minute to improve your mechanics and efficiency, and maybe decrease injuries. Pretend you are running on eggs that you don't want to crack.

7. Follow a hard/easy/easy workout ratio. Long runs count as hard days. But sometimes, when your schedule dictates it, you can run hard/hard (interval day, tempo run day) because your delayed onset muscle soreness isn't going to peak until day three in this sequence.

8. Use a run-walk routine for your long runs if you're not fit enough for all running, or don't want a lot of soreness. [Two years ago, Daniels, then 75, was surprised to learn that one of his daughters was going to run the Dublin Marathon. He decided to do a 26.2-mile run in Flagstaff, Arizona, on the same day. His longest run in the previous five years was three miles, but he says he easily completed the 26.2 in 6:15 and wasn't the least bit sore the next day. His routine: Run 100 strides, walk 50. "It kept me occupied to fight off the boredom," he half-joked. To Daniels, the run-walk approach has no moral or other components. It's simply the smartest way to cover long distances if you're not in racing shape. He believes in smart running ... and walking. runnersworld.com

: Daniels has been around for decades and is a knowledgeable, well-respected distance coach. He offers online training advice at The Run SMART Project.

Ankles Generate More Power Than Hips When Humans Run

Changing from walking to running resulted in a significant ( p=0.02) shift in power production from the hip to the ankle -Sportsmedicine first-of-kind study: hips are for walking, ankles for running: NC State’s Human PoWeR (Physiology of Wearable Robotics) Lab

MY COMMENT: Not sure I understand the implications here other than maybe runners could benefit by focusing on strength exercises below the knees- calf, and foot dorsi-flexion.