Seeing blue, keep your arteries healthy and marathon battle of the sexes
by on Monday, July 7, 2014  (3 comments)

I read a lot of interesting things this week but much didn't really seem to fit into a blog post well. Here are three that I thought might be interesting for the blog.

Seeing blue

I've long been a fan of the color blue. I think it shows in this site.

Well, maybe my next pair of sunglasses should have lenses that match my blue gear.

The findings of this research suggest that exposure to the color blue improves performance of a muscular endurance based task. Such a simple and inexpensive performance enhancement warrants further investigation to explore different exercise modalities as well as effects of different colored lenses, and the mechanisms as to how color affects performance.

Red had no effect in this study.

I agree with the conclusion. Further study is warranted. Am I rushing out to buy a pair of sunglasses with blue lenses? Heck no. However, I will probably be in the market soon and will this cross my mind if a pair I'm considering has blue lenses? Along with the thought of how they would look with my gear, sure.

Keep your arteries healthy

We all know the importance of being healthy. However, how could not being healthy affect our performance? There's a lot of question about that, though I've always believed being unhealthy should obviously not be good for your performance.

Well, here's some evidence of that.

Arterial health appears to be an important determinant of muscle oxygenation during exercise. In turn, the muscle oxygenation during exercise is strongly related to the V˙O2peak. Developing training modalities to prioritise arterial health outcomes may be a useful way of improving V˙O2peak in this population.

Now, this was sedentary middle-aged individuals (ages generally in the 50s). Maybe not a lot of carry over to highly active athletes in their 20s but why not? I'd love to see some studies on arterial health and how it affects well trained athletes at all ages.

Marathon battle of the sexes

Battle of the sexes. I love these. It's interesting in how many ways we can find women are smarter than men. If we check who slows more in the second half, what do you think the results will show?

Men slow more than women in marathons. D'oh!

The sex difference in pacing is robust. It may reflect sex differences in physiology, decision making, or both.

I have my suspicions. In my experience, it's the men who are far more likely to set unreasonable goals and refuse to give up on them until they begin walking at 20 miles. Women are more conservative in their goal setting and more willing to adjust their goals if unforeseen circumstances arise.

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Are women smarter? Or do they shun the way Pre thought about things? Go for it all - give it your all. Maybe men prescribe to the notion that an athletic endeavor should be given a valiant all out effort rather than the calculated half mile by half mile pace checks.

Who knows and does any of that truly matter in any way?

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Well, Pre never ran a marathon. Go for it all sounds great but you have to know at least roughly what you're capable of. Valiant efforts are great but going out too fast and blowing your chances to run your best in the first half isn't valiant, it's reckless and not all that smart.

It matters to some extent. It means men need to be more cognizant of their effort in the early to middle miles of a marathon and have to be more cautious setting their goals. Big goals and running hard are both great but not when they become unrealistic goals and running beyond your capabilities.

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I guess it is tough to determine what is running smart and what is leaving it all on the course. I suppose I should examine my Garmin splits after several races and see what I tend to do during a race. I know that after I cross the finish line I go straight to a place away from the stream of runners and drop onto my back until I am no longer dizzy and can breath with some sort of control.

I want to find a way to run smarter - yet leave it all on the course on race day. I want to be on the verge of collapse at the end of a race.

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