Recent Posts in Roundups
Running: good for fighting colds, also good for the knees?
by on Thursday, October 27, 2016

Running is good for a lot of things. We already know that, right? Well, here's a little on the positive aspects of running.

How exercise may help us fight colds

Have you ever noticed that fit people are sick less often? You're not imagining things.

Working out could help us fight off colds and other infections, according to a timely new study. The study, which found that regular exercise strengthens the body’s immune system in part by repeatedly stressing it, was conducted in animals. But the results most likely apply to people, the researchers say, and could offer further incentive for us to remain physically active this winter.
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Recovery aids and racing shoes
by on Thursday, September 29, 2016

Once again, some of the best things I've read this month have come from Alex Hutchinson's excellent Sweat Science blog. The two I'll share this month are one on Curcumin as a recovery aid and how the weight of your shoes affects your performance.

The Curcumin Cure for Muscle Soreness?

I used to take antioxidants nearly daily to aid in recovery. My belief, supported by the best knowledge at the time, was that enhanced recovery would allow me to train harder. That would allow me to get more training benefit. Then a number of studies came out showing that antioxidants actually affect the training benefit. So you recover faster to train harder but there is less benefit you're getting from the training.

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About those muscles
by on Thursday, August 25, 2016

This post will be all about the muscles. I have an interesting article on some muscle research I've been holding on to and another one just popped up yesterday that I think has some interesting results for those of you who might deal with seasonal allergies.

How much protein do you need?

First, how much protein do you need as a runner? Many runners underestimate what we need. After all, we're runners, not bodybuilders.

The problem with that is that, while we're not be bodybuilders, running causes a lot of muscle damage and the damaged muscles need to be repaired. In addition, we burn some protein while running, especially when our glycogen levels get depleted such as late in long runs or longer races.

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Overstriding and cadence/injury risk
by on Thursday, August 18, 2016

Because I'm busy watching the Olympics and writing Seattle Marathon training plans this week and because I have a backlog of interesting research I've wanted to write about, I'm going to do a recap post this week. There will still be another one on the usual schedule next week.

I have two related topics for this post. Often, people talk about increasing cadence as a method to reduce overstriding. So I have a topic on each. First, what is overstriding? Second, what is the relationship between cadence and injury risk?

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A couple timely reminders
by on Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's hot out there. Here in Wisconsin, it's been unseasonably hot for a while now and it's not letting up yet. To the east, the heat has been settling in and, if what we've experienced in Wisconsin is any indication, I'm sorry to report that you might have a while to go.

So what do we do in the heat? Well, the usual things apply. Slow down, drink plenty of fluids, try to run during the early morning or late evening hours. What else should we keep in mind?

Well, for one thing, know what your medications might do to you. This is good advice any time. You should always be aware of the side effects any medication you're taking, prescription or non-prescription, may have. As the heat bears down on us, remember that certain medications can cause heat sensitivity or exacerbate dehydration.

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Does caffeine help? A way to prevent overeating after a long day at work?
by on Thursday, June 30, 2016

Does caffeine help? It depends...

Many years ago, I played around with caffeine before a couple of low key races. The results were not good. I just wasn't myself on the course and couldn't really seem to push. I didn't know what was wrong but I never tried caffeine again. I figured maybe I had done something wrong but, even if I did, the stated benefits just weren't worth it for me.

Well, maybe I didn't do anything wrong. Maybe I'm just a slow metabolizer.

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Monthly Update for May
by on Wednesday, June 8, 2016

May was overall a pretty good month for training. I only had 24 runs though so my consistency faltered a bit. This was do to the huge re-roofing project my wife and I did by ourselves over the Memorial Day weekend.

I ran a total of 208.50 miles bringing my yearly total to 1,067 miles for 2016 (through the end of May.) My average pace in May was a fairly strong 7:29 per mile and according to suggested training pace calculators, to achieve my goal of sub 30 at Al's, I would need an easy pace of 7:34 per mile, so I am on target for that goal.

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Cooling down and sleep disorders
by on Thursday, May 26, 2016

What's the best way to cool down at the aid stations of races? Do you have trouble sleeping? Read on for the tips.

Drink or pour to cool down?

I and many runners I know have for the longest time liked to pour water from aid stations over our heads at warm weather races. Whether there's benefit or not, it sure feels good.

Well, there's now evidence that pouring over your head is more effective for cooling down than drinking.

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Ice baths: The cold or the water? Blister prevention tip
by on Thursday, April 28, 2016

We know ice baths help us recover, right? Is it the cold helping us or the compression from the water, though? That's a good question.

Also, what's a good way to prevent blisters? There are a lot of ideas out there. Some might work, some actually are counterproductive.

The cold or the water?

To be honest, I've long suspected both. The compression of any water has been shown to reduce blood pooling and aid in recovery. At the same time, we know cold does the same.

Well, now I have a study to back up my suspicion.

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Ditch the ice bath for hot baths? Ditch beet juice for dark chocolate?
by on Thursday, March 24, 2016

I'm having some computer problems at home and I have a backlog of articles I've wanted to write out. So, as I'm in the process of ditching my old computer for a new one, it seems fitting that I write about a couple things runners may soon consider ditching.

Ditch the ice bath?

Who likes ice baths? I'm going out on a limb and guessing nobody. Those of us who use them don't do them because they are enjoyable. We do them because they help us recover.

I do question whether that's always what we want (see here and here). However, more importantly, can bigger gains be made by taking a hot bath or, better, hitting the sauna after your workout? Maybe.

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