Minute 1: Your injuries deserve PEACE and LOVE
At some point in the 1980s, an idea started to circulate that throwing rice outside a wedding could harm birds. Brides began doling out seeds to their guests instead, and rice was left behind in the pantry. At around the same time that rice lost favor among brides, athletes began subscribing to the theory that RICE (rest, ice, compression & elevation) was the best remedy for nagging injuries. But just as rice was phased out at weddings, the prescription of RICE is no longer the go-to solution for athletes. A lot of research has cast doubt on its efficacy and 2 new successors are now recommended by trainers: “Injured? Try a little PEACE and LOVE.” The first acronym consists of the following elements. “Protect” the injured tissue by limiting movement for 1 to 3 days. Reintroduce movement back as early as possible to facilitate a swift recovery. “Elevating” the injury drains excess fluid, and “avoiding anti-inflammatories” promotes the natural healing process best. Chronic inflammation should be managed with medication, but acute inflammation due injury enables your recovery. See why it’s necessary in “Why icing a sprain doesn’t help, and could slow recovery.” “Compression” prevents further hemorrhaging, and “education” ensures you know what steps to take next. The second acronym is LOVE which begins with “load” -- adding mechanical stress back in a limited capacity to promote tissue growth. Stay “optimistic,” as your mindset has a major effect on your symptoms and degree of pain experienced. “Vascularization” gets blood into the injured area, carrying the building blocks of tissue repair with it. Finally, return to normal “exercise” as soon as your pain dissipates.
Minute 2: You should focus on aerobic endurance, not speed, for a fast kick
There’s no more exciting finish on the track than watching an athlete blaze by the competition on the final lap with a finishing kick. Runners with that speed and confidence are content to lag behind the lead group until the race is on the line. Most of our running friends watch a world class kick and mutter: “I would love to have that kind of speed.” Surprisingly, for Olympic athletes and weekend 5K warriors, finishing strong has more to do with endurance than speed, according to this new story from Podium Runner: “Want to Run Faster? You Probably Don’t Need More Speedwork.” Think of it this way: If you want to break 22 minutes for 5K, you will need to average 7:00 miles. If you’re in that zone, chances are very good that you can already run at least 1 mile in under 7 minutes. That means speed isn’t really your issue, it’s more about sustaining that speed over 3.1 miles instead of just 1 mile. Then the question becomes: do you have the lactate threshold required to keep that pace 3 miles in a row? To get that covered, you’ve got to make use of interval training and tempo runs. Take a look at “Tempo Run – What are Tempo Runs and Lactate Threshold Running?” When runners talk about “feeling the burn,” they’re experiencing lactic acid buildup due to an oxygen deficit. To adjust your body to lactic acid, and improve its ability to make energy on the go, tempo runs that push you into that zone of oxygen deficiency for short periods of time are essential. Let’s be clear, speed work is still important. A little goes a long way, though, and since workouts can be so demanding on your joints and muscles, limit them to a couple days a week to avoid unnecessary risk of injury. #LearnFromTheBurn
Minute 3: Why beets are so good for you
Fall is our favorite season. Blazing leaves, cool running temps, and college football. For food nerds, it’s also a time for hearty meals built around fall root vegetables. One of those veggies is getting some favorable ink this month. Apparently, when it comes to heart health and stamina, you can’t beat the beet: “All the Beetroot Nutrition Facts and Top Health Benefits to Know.” The key to their impact is their nitrate content. Nitrates are converted to nitric oxide in the body, which widen your blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Research has even indicated that nitrates can counteract overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system associated with heart disease. Not only do they heal ailments, but they get your heart and blood working better than ever: “Beetroot Juice Boosts Stamina, New Study Shows.” Scientists hypothesise the nitric oxide reduces the body’s oxygen requirements during exercise, which would explain the 16% increase in stamina participants experienced after consuming beetroot juice. Beets are just one of many roots that make an excellent addition to our diets, and to see the rest, take a look at “What Are the Health Benefits of Root Vegetables?” Fennel, onions, yams, and turnips are great options, just to name a few. They’re high in potassium, folate, fiber, and manganese, boosting your micronutrient intake.
Minute 4: Breathe better when you run
Even though we’ve been breathing since the moment we were born, research suggests that a lifetime of practice doesn’t mean we’re doing it perfectly. That’s particularly true for the breathing techniques that are so important for endurance athletes. According to this new piece, most athletes will benefit by tweaking their oxygen intake methods: “How to Breathe While Running: 5 Rules to Follow.” First, remember the value of setting an easy pace on long runs. By keeping your speed under control, your breath will follow suit. Being able to breathe calmly instead of gasping for air ensures your body takes in oxygen efficiently. The reduction in initial speed should be offset by the higher rate of energy generation you’ll experience mid run. Similarly, focusing on proper form allows for an easier flow of air. Stand with your chest up and shoulders back so that your lungs are unrestricted. Next, breathe deep into your belly to achieve maximum oxygen uptake. To learn about this technique and the benefits it brings, take a look at “Learning diaphragmatic breathing.” Last but not least, it’s important to find a cadence that matches the rhythm of your breath. It can be helpful to see data on your running cadence, or even receive real time feedback, and for that consider using 1 of these “7 Running Wearables That Will Transform The Way You Move.”
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Whether it's the coming and going of tides, the passage of seasons, or the shift in your training schedule, everything in life happens in phases. Runners can think of themselves like a sponge, writes Zach Miller on iRunFar. The beginning phase is one of absorption: pulling in endurance and mental fortitude as you put in the miles day after day. Then, comes the release, where you squeeze out all the progress you’ve made in a race or other achievement. If you find this metaphor to be insightful, it's worth checking out the full article to learn how to best navigate this journey of give and take. Here’s “The Big Squeeze of Training.”
Jacob Kiplimo ran the fastest half marathon in history in Lisbon on November 21. The Ugandan athlete ran 57:31 to snag the new record by only 1 second, after Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie ran 57:32 last year. The victory comes as the latest in Kiplimo’s series of spectacular accomplishments, as he recently earned the bronze in Tokyo’s 10,000m final, and placed 5th in the 5000m as well. Kiplimo is certainly one to watch, and you can find the details in “Uganda's Jacob Kiplimo runs fastest half marathon ever.” In case you were wondering, the American record has held up for much longer than the world record. Ryan Hall ran 59:43 in 2007 and no American has matched that in the past 14 years.
It can’t be said enough: If your diet allows for it, carbs are a runner’s best friend. Of course, some sources are better than others, and if you need a quick refresher on a few of the staples recommended by nutritionists, look no further than “The 10 Best Carbohydrate Sources For Runners.” We are glad to see yogurt and tomato sauce on the list.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
“If I’m falling across that finish line, I know I’ve done something right.” These are the words spoken by University or Oregon senior cross country star Cooper Teare just before beginning the final race of his collegiate career. Teare knows something about surviving the pain cave, as he won the NCAA 5000m at the outdoor championships last spring. In his final XC race this month, he went on to prove he’s a man of his word, and maybe even a touch psychic. Teare pushed himself to the absolute limit down the home stretch of the race and his courageous final 100m is one for the ages. Although he crawled on hands and knees in agony toward the line, we’re sure Cooper was standing tall and proud as he looked back on a race well done.