Saturday, June 30, 2012

Caffeine Helps Muscle Produce More Force

Hot Coffee A new study to be presented at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting on 30th June has shown that caffeine boosts power in older muscles, suggesting the stimulant could aid elderly people to maintain their strength, reducing the incidence of falls and injuries. For adults in their prime, caffeine helps muscles to produce more force. But as we age, our muscles naturally change and become weaker. -EurekAlert MY COMMENT: Just one more in a line of many caffeine studies that demonstrate performance enhancement.

Friday, June 29, 2012

LoLo Jones and Red Bull Project X

Check out redbullprojectX. If Project X had been around in 2007-8, perhaps LoLo would have gold!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lauren Fleshman Makes 5K Finals on 10 Miles a Week!

Lauren is probably not going to make the Olympic team, but what she is doing is simply amazing. She ran 15:51 on sprinting 10 miles a week, swimming, and elipical training. Check out the insightful interview on Flotrack with this amazing athlete, along with other great Olympic Trials coverage (Alan Webb just got his butt kicked but cannot wipe the smile off his face- new baby any day!)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Reservatrol Improves Endurance

Wine tasting

It's been known for a while now that reservatrol, a compound found in the skin of grapes and other fruits, and yes, red wine, has many health benefits.  Back in 2006, a study published in the journal Cell, reported that reservatrol, the compound found in  "significantly increased their (mice)  aerobic capacity, as evidenced by their increased running time and consumption of oxygen in muscle fibers."

Check out this new study (Resveratrol May Be Natural Exercise Performance Enhancer) that found high levels of the compound improved exercise performance due to changes in skeletal muscle and heart function in rats. 

You can find the abstract here (Improvements in skeletal muscle strength and cardiac function induced by resveratrol during exercise training contribute to enhanced exercise performance in rats)

Don't start drinking red wine just yet.  According to one researcher,  Resveratrol does not exist in wine or grapes in a high-enough amount to provide any significant health benefits or problems, the authors explained. Human trials with any relevant findings have used resveratrol doses equivalent to 667 bottles of red wine (1gm of resveratrol).

Monday, June 18, 2012

Do Squats Improve Distance Running?

This is an amazing display of strength, but will it help you run a faster 5K? Probably not, at least according to Peak Performance. ".. if you really want to improve your running, you should really focus on resistance exercises that are more specific to the act of running - such as one-leg squats, high-bench step-ups, and one-leg hops in place." Is this Hobie Call?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

High Intensity Low Volume Training

I am really enjoying the transition from typical 40-50 mile running weeks to low milege, high intensity workouts along with biking and swimming. Below is a summary of my running workouts for the week: ................................................................................. Mon: 19 min for 5K following 8.5 mile bike (6:07/ mile).. Tues: 4 x 800 just under 3 min, 60 sec rest (5:58/ mile).. Thurs: 5:42 mile off 12 mile bike........................................ Fri: 11:18 for 2 miles (5:39/ mile)..................................... Sun: 5K in 18:55 (6:06/ mile)........................................... For the week I had ran about 11 miles in 67 minutes (5 runs, 2.2 miles ave for each), just over 6 min mile pace with a handful of solid bike rides and short high intensity swim workouts. All running workouts but the 11:18 2 mile were done on artificial turf, and I wore my trusty Brooks Mach 9 with the insole replaced by a small, thin heel pad.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Youth Running Club Fun Warm-up - Up Downs!

Always looking for new ideas to keep the kids interested. Here Cody demonstrates the fastest Up Down I've ever seen!

The Spartan Race and Hobie Call

This is one crazy race series and no Hobie did not win the next one. For more on Hobie Call, read this article at Outside Online.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Marathon Crasher- First American Woman to Finish a Marathon!

Marathon Crasher! Merry Lepper sits in a booth inside the restaurant. Her straight brown hair is tied into two pony-tails that encircle her ruddy face like parentheses. She sips hot tea. She pulls out a newspaper article and a cache of photographs from a large envelope and spreads them on the table in front of her. The clipping is almost 50 years old, and the well-creased paper is burnt orange and brittle to the touch. The headline reads "Merry Runner." In the photograph that accompanies the story, Merry is 20 years old. She is jogging in a park in Southern California accompanied by Lyn Carman, her training partner at that time. Merry's blond hair is worn up in a neat bun, and she strides confidently next to Lyn, dark-haired and shorter by a couple of inches. Two of Lyn's children watch from beneath a tree. According to the newsprint, it's December of 1963, and Merry Lepper has just become the first American woman to complete a marathon race. Perhaps, from the perspective of 2012, that doesn't sound like a big deal. Everyone knows someone who has run, or is training for, a marathon. But the current popularity of the marathon hides its ignoble past. From the moment the marathon was created, back in 1896, women were prohibited from entering them. The sexist, all-male officialdom that ruled sports' governing bodies decreed that women's bodies were not built to withstand the rigors of running 26.2 miles – never mind that women's bodies had once birthed those same sanctimonious officials. Put another way: Women could legally vote in presidential elections long before they could officially enter a marathon. Merry Lepper sips her tea and begins to speak softly, conjuring a moment in time when running was both a revolutionary blow against the powers-that-were and a lark to be shared with her pal Lyn: two women in their athletic prime, out for a weekend run on a sun-blanched afternoon almost a half-century ago. Blink, and history will miss you. -exerp MY COMMENT: What a facinating piece of history- only 8 years before I ran my first marathon! First woman to run a U.S. marathon: Culver City, '63

Friday, June 8, 2012

Will Crossfit Help You Run Faster?

CrossFit Coach Dave Werner of CrossFit Seattle, asked what he would do with aspiring half-marathon runners who want to run faster, says he'd have them run three days a week: (1) run intervals at your intended race pace; (2) run shorter intervals at a significantly faster pace; (3) run "long slow distance," a significantly longer distance at a slower pace than you intend for the race. Dave also recommends strength training. For people interested in coming to CrossFit Seattle while training for a long run, he says, "we would lay a foundation of basic strength movements--deadlift, squat, military press, pull-up, push-up or dips. And we would spend some time doing high-power-output intervals, like wallball or kettlebell swings: basic hard work. For most working adults, a three-day-per week running program is pretty effective. If you add to that two or three days of complementary strength and work, that's a great program." -CrossFit Seattle

Saturday, June 2, 2012

5K Training on 11 Miles a Week!

Three days a week, I put on my fastest Nike clothes, lace up my racing flats and head down to the track to sprint. No warm-up jog. Just a few drills and stretches and BOOM! I’m off! When I leave the house, instead of saying “honey, I’m going to go run a 12 miler now,” I say “I’m going sprinting. See you momentarily!” The rest of the time I swim for cardio, which used to be nauseatingly boring but since my knee hurts doing everything else, by force of will I decided to like it. - training diary of 5K Olympic Trials hopeful Lauren Fleshman Lauren Fleshman I can definitely relate- a few months ago I started experiencing knee pain that gradually became chronic. It didn't take long, however, for me to figure out that the pain was not worse following short, high intensity workouts such as 1 or 2 mile tempo runs or intervals. With a June 23 mini triathlon set for June 23, I've been doing lots of short "brick" workouts- bike followed by running, along with every other day short but intense swim workouts. And it seems to be working. Yesterday I ran 11:36 for 2 miles immediately following a 9 mile bike. The day before biked 7 and did 5 x 800m averaging 2:55. As you can imagine, it takes a while to get the running legs going, but these times compare favorably to my normal splits, on no more than 10 miles a week! Next up? I am interested in what I can do for 3 miles on fresh legs. Stay tuned. PS- Knee pain still there, but much improved!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pre Cooling Improves Hot Weather Running

Ice Ledge Confirmation out of Germany that pre-cooling is an effective strategy when racing in warm, humid conditions. "...pre-cooling can effectively enhance endurance performance, particularly in hot environments, whereas sprint exercise is barely affected. In particular, well trained athletes may benefit in a typical competition setting with practical and relevant effects. With respect to feasibility, cold drinks, cooling packs and cooling vests can be regarded as best-practice methods." -Pre-Cooling and Sports Performance: A Meta-Analytical Review