Sacramento Running News

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Archive for the ‘Science’

Your Memory Sucks! (And Maybe That’s a Good Thing)

May 12, 2015 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science

Your memory is unreliable.

Your memory is unreliable.

Remember how awful your last terrible marathon was?

Remember how bad you felt at 25 miles, when you swore you’d never do another one?

Then why do you find yourself, a month or two later (or less), looking for another one to sign up for?

It turns out that your memory for how well you remember how bad you felt is pretty terrible.

It’s probably the same reason some women have more than one baby.

In a recent study,  marathon finishers were interviewed immediately following a race and again three or six months later.


No. Hard Running Isn’t Going to Kill You.

March 02, 2015 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science

scienceA few weeks ago, every non-running friend and relative sent me some version of this story: Fast Running is as Deadly as Sitting on the Couch!

I was immediately suspicious since the findings of this most recent study: 1. Don’t mesh with a ton of other studies, and 2. Don’t seem to mesh with my personal observations.

They report: “A study of 1,098 runners found that those who ran the fastest were nine times more likely to die prematurely within 12 years than those who enjoyed a more sedate pace of around 5mph for two or three times a week.”

Wow! If this were reflected in the world around me, then I’d have a lot fewer people to race than I do.


Yes, Running is Good For You

April 20, 2014 By: John Blue Category: Science

This mouse will live longer and look better than her lazy cousin!

This mouse will live longer and look better than her lazy cousin!

In the continuing debate on whether running is helping or harming you, we turn to a recent article by Gretchen Reynolds, over at the NY Times Well blog.

Building on previous animal studies, researchers at McMaster University studied the skin of volunteers and found that people who got regular exercise had skin that appeared younger at a cellular level.

To see if the difference was truly due to exercise and not some other factor, the researchers put a group of sedentary volunteers on an exercise program and examined their skin before and after. (more…)

Working Out for Two

November 11, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science

pregnantexerciseThere is a growing body of evidence regarding the link between improved brain health and exercise.

Now, there is new research that indicates this benefit extends to babies in the womb.

In a recent study (abstract), the babies of women who exercised through pregnancy were born with more mature brains than those born of sedentary women.

Further study will be required to discover whether this effect continues through the child’s development or if the difference is temporary.

Read more about it in the LA Times.


Running Isn’t Giving You Arthritis

August 13, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science

Running may protect that knee.

Running may protect that knee.

If you are like me, I’m sure you’ve had more than one person–often a relative, sometimes my mother–tell you that running is going to ruin your knees.

There have been many studies over the years debunking this myth, with most showing the major risk factor for knee pain in adults is knee injury in youth.

Christie Aschwanden, at the Washington Post, writes about yet another study looking for, and failing to find, increased rates of osteoarthritis among runners.

“People think the joint is just a static, inert hinge that wears down, but it’s actually a dynamic, living thing that can respond to stress and adapt and get stronger,” he says. Rather than wear down cartilage and other joint tissue, running appears to strengthen them, Hutchinson (Sweat Science) says.

It’s definitely worth a read if for no other reason than to reassure my mother that my knees are going to be fine.


You are Going to Age. You Should Plan to Age Well.

July 30, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners, Science

Plan to age like these guys: Ronald Gross (R) and Jim Hollinger were 1st & 2nd in the M 75-79 division at the Fab 40s 5K. (SRN photo)

Plan to age like these guys: Ronald Gross (R) and Gary Hollinger were 1st & 2nd in the M 75-79 division at the Fab 40s 5K. (SRN photo)

A recent nationwide study of seniors showed a striking disconnect between people’s expectations of health and what they are doing about it.

When asked: “How confident are you in your ability to maintain a high quality of life throughout your senior years?” Eighty-six percent of seniors (60+) nationally and 90% of seniors in Los Angeles replied “somewhat or very confident.”


Are Your Running Shoes Ruining the Planet?

June 03, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science

Sure they're purty, but are they ruining the planet? (SRN photo)

Sure they’re purty, but are they running down the planet? (SRN photo)

Last week, there was a flurry of stories on the environmental impact of a pair or running shoes.

The UK Guardian’s headline of Running shoes leave large carbon footprint, study shows, was pretty typical.

The MIT study found that the manufacture of a pair of Asics Gel Kayanos produces 30 pounds of CO2 emissions.

The study also found that most of these emissions came from the manufacturing process rather than the sourcing of the materials. Since billions of running shoes are sold each year, there is certainly reason and room to improve.


Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

May 14, 2013 By: John Blue Category: Science, Ultrarunning

How much is enough?

How much is enough?

In the days leading up to my ill-fated attempt at last weekend’s Gold Rush 100K, a few people advised me to “Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!” Indeed, for a hot day like Saturday, proper hydration was as key to success as pacing and eating.

Even still, advice on hydration–much of it based more on folklore than science–can be confusing as heck.

Water? Electrolyte drinks? Salt tablets? How much? How often? Even after running dozens of marathons and ultramarathons, I’m still struggling to manage my hydration and fueling.


Walking is Better Than Running

April 23, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science

question manNo wait! Running is better than walking!

Actually, it depends on what your goals are. This article in Slate explains why “Flip-flopping advice on exercise may not be as contradictory as it seems.”

I’m still slightly confused but, fortunately for me, I find running more enjoyable.


I Must Have Hypothyroidism

April 10, 2013 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science

Apparently, what stands between me and greatness is the quality of my endocrinologist.

There has been a lot of chatter on Twitter and the discussion boards about this article in the Wall Street Journal on Doctor Jeffrey Brown’s treatment of endurance athletes for hypothyroidism and the role of thyroid medication in athletic performance.

Medical privacy rules forbid Brown from naming all the athletes he has treated for that condition. But among those who have publicly acknowledged being treated for thyroid problems by Brown or unnamed other physicians are American runners Ryan Hall, Galen Rupp, Amy Yoder Begley, Bob Kennedy and Patrick Smyth.

I kind of doubt this is the last we’ll hear on this subject.

(Thanks to Tim T. for referring the article. )

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