Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Knew It! Running in SoFL Has Its Benefits

Reading health fitness articles yesterday, I came across an article in the online Science Daily  ( describing a study showing that exercising in the heat could improve athletic performance, not just in hot weather, but also in cooler conditions.

I found the abstract at the online Journal of Applied Physiology.  Researchers at the Dept of Human Physiology, University of Oregon; and the Thermal and Mountain Medicine Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine studied the effects of heat acclimation on cyclists' performances in both hot and cool environments.  Twelve trained cyclists performed VO2max, lactate threshold, and time-trials in cool (55 degrees F) and hot (100 degrees F!) (both 30% humidity), before and after a 10-day heat acclimation program (exercising at approx. 50% of VO2max in 100 degrees F).  Eight control cyclists performed the same tests before and after 10 days of the same exercise in cool conditions (55 degrees F).

Result for the heat-acclimated cyclists:

VO2max increased by 5% in cool environment, and by 8% in hot environment.
Time-trial performance increased by 6% in cool environment, and by 8% in hot environment.
Power output at lactate threshold increased by 5% in cool environment, and by 5% in hot environment.

The control cyclists had no changes in VO2max, time-trial performance, lactate threshold, or any other physiological measure.

The Science Daily article reports how heat acclimation "improves the body's ability ot control body temperature, improves sweating and increases blood flow through the skin, and expands blood volume allowing the heart to pump more blood to muscles, organs and the skin as needed."  It brings up how presently many competitive athletes use high altitude training to improve performance, and that according to one of the researchers, Santiago Lorenzo, "heat acclimation is more practical, easier to apply and may yield more robust physiological adaptations."

Cool!  Does that mean we will be seeing more elite endurance athletes training here in South Florida?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dipsea 2010 - Ladies Rule!

I love this...    an 8-year-old little girl and a 68-year-old woman competing, and coming in one-two, in the 2010 Dipsea Trail Race.

Run on a very challenging trail in northern California every June since 1905, the 7.4 mile race from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach is the oldest trail race in the U.S.  The race follows a unique age and gender handicapping system--male and female runners of different ages begin at different times--so that the field is equalized.

Runner's World Video of the 2010 Dipsea Trail Race - Winner Reilly Johnson, 2nd - Melody-Anne Schultz

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Milwaukee's Lakefront Marathon - A Good One!

In Milwaukee for the weekend, I watched this year's Lakefront Marathon this morning. Weather was a little chilly for me--high forties, but the wind was at their backs, as it usually is for this race, and it was nice and sunny.

I ran it in 2003, the year my hip started giving me trouble and just before I found out I was anemic. That year was really cold, 31 degrees at the start, and didn't warm up much--I froze!  The start is in Grafton, just north of downtown Milwaukee, at Grafton High School, which is directly across the street from my husband's company building.  The course runs at a slight downhill through mostly residential streets, along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

It was once a good marathon option if you didn't get into Chicago (which is usually run a week later), but it has become so popular on its own merits that they now have a limit on entries and it fills up quite early.  I would recommend it to anyone who wants a good qualifying time for Boston.

Milwaukee's LakeFront Marathon 2010

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