Sacramento Running News

Running news and gossip from in and around Sacramento

Archive for the ‘Science’

Barefoot/Minimalist Running May be Hurting Your Feet, But Here is a Review of Some Minimalist Shoes

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

barefootBecause everyone still seems to be interested in barefoot running, I bring you another fine study that asks the interesting question of :

“Does the barefoot style reduce a runner’s risk of pain and injury (as enthusiasts believe)? Or does barefoot running simply contribute to the development of a different set of injuries in some runners?”

This study’s results indicate: probably.

Even with an extremely conservative build up of mileage in minimalist shoes (Vibram Five Fingers), most of the runners studied were showing signs of foot injury after a ten-week trial. (more…)



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

Big news in science!

Big news in science!

You should be aware of two important, running related studies that have come out recently.

The first analyzes why running in the rain and cold is miserable.

And the second tells us about how ultrarunners are different from normal people.

Read and be amazed!

More Reasons to Keep Exercising

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

Your brain needs exercise.

Your brain needs exercise.

Gretchen Reynolds at the New York Times Wellblog, writes about a study looking at whether the brain benefits of exercise persist. 

Not for long, apparently.

Researchers took two group of rats. One group exercised for a few weeks and the other did not. As we would expect, the exercising rats did better in memory and anxiety tests.


Minimalist Shoes ≠ Barefoot Running

January 23, 2013 By: John Blue Category: Science

barefootThere has been a lot of hype about barefoot running and how shoes change the body’s natural mechanics.

Much of this makes sense, but the jury is out as to the significance of these mechanical changes with regard to performance and injury.

If running barefoot is a bit much for you, perhaps a “minimalist shoe” might help you achieve the mechanical benefits with fewer of the risks. Perhaps.

Then again, perhaps not.

A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine investigated this question, comparing the mechanics of highly trained runners in minimalist shoes, barefoot, and traditional shoes. The findings are a bit surprising. (more…)

It’s Safe to Run Again!

December 06, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science

About a week ago, I posted here about an article in the Wall Street Journal that indicated that we were all going to die from all this crazy running.

I remain suspicious about the science behind the article, and it appears that I am not alone.

Alex Hutchison at Sweat Science delivers the mother of all smack-downs on this story.

It’s a great piece you should read because there is no doubt that someone at one of your holiday gatherings is going to start a conversation with “I heard that too much running is actually worse than not running at all.”


Dressing for the Rain

December 01, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science

If you are still struggling with what to wear for tomorrow’s Aquathon, there is at least one more option: Dressing yourself with olive oil. (Skip the vinegar.)

This is science, man!

Have a good run.

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Running is Going to Kill You!

November 28, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Masters Runners, Science

If you are an older runner (50+), recent studies suggest that running more than 20 miles per week, or faster than 7:30 minutes per mile, is going to wreck your health.

The Wall Street Journal published a story yesterday–with the not at all hyperbolic headline of One Running Shoe in the Grave–about the research, which indicates that runners who log more than 20 miles a week lose the health benefits of running.

Most critically, some research points to extreme training damaging the heart tissue. You should not be surprised to learn that not everyone is convinced.

Critics of the newer research say that the idea that running can harm the heart is based on research showing only an association—meaning that exercise may not be the cause of the problem. They note that in any large group of runners, high-mileage and high-speed athletes may be too few in number to be statistically significant.



The Confessions of Christian Hesch

October 15, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Road Races, Science

The internet and email was burning up today as the New York Times ran a story about runner Christian Hesch admitting to using performance enhancing drugs.

Then came the Runners World Newswire story that was a considerably more critical and provided a little more background information.

Christian Hesch could best be described as a dominate local runner, living in Southern California, so why is this important to us in Sacramento?

If you’re a competitive racer, even an age-grouper, the odds are good he has cheated you personally. I looked him up in Zinsli’s database and found Hesch has regularly competed in local and regional Pacific Association USATF races.


The Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (and lungs)!

August 15, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science, Training

You may have noticed it gets hot during the summer in Sacramento–and the rest of interior California. For the most part, you can adapt to running in the warmer weather.

It gets more challenging when the air is still, or there are wildfires upwind, and the air quality in the Valley begins to degrade.

This summer, we’ve been fortunate to have so few bad air days–with only a handful of Spare the Air Days, so far.

What, exactly, is air pollution and what does it mean for me?


Everything You Know is Wrong

August 06, 2012 By: John Blue Category: General Running News, Science, Training

Is this a waste of time? (SRN photo)

Recently, we learned that dehydration and electrolytes may not be the culprits behind cramping during races. For those of us who have been running for many years, this was difficult to digest.

A couple of years ago, word got around that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (AKA NSAIDs, AKA ibuprofen, etc.) might actually be interfering with the healing process so we all became ice bath officionados.

Now, we learn that maybe icing isn’t such a great thing to do, either!


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