Saturday, June 23, 2012

Not Allowed to Upgrade, Sourdough, Barefoot Running, and Carbohydrate Drinks

Not Allowed to Upgrade, Sourdough, Barefoot Running, and Carbohydrate Drinks

We drove down to the front range the other day to try and fix my car. However, I found out that there was some rust, so I could not get a new windshield. As a result, I was not allowed to upgrade and saved over $250 dollars (plus now with the rust, I'm looking at a lot more as I have to take it to a body shop first before anyone will install a new windshield. That and the cost of new tires, etc., I think it is time to find a new beater car). As we were down in Boulder, we got in a good ~10K run in the heat, which was great practice. I did an old loop that I used to do after work (South Boulder Creek, Mesa, Shadow, Mesa, Upper and then Lower Big Bluestem). It was good to run this loop again, as it allowed me to get a little gauge on my fitness and do a run in the heat. I ran it in 43:23 which was better then I used to do.

After, we camped up at the Sourdough trail and ran that the next day. The Sourdough is pretty easy, as it is more rolling then climbing, but still a nice run with lots of shade between 9,000' to 10,000'. I ran it in the morning and didn't see any bikers or runners. It is about ~12.5 miles from Rainbow Lakes to Brainard and back (you can extend it to Beaver Reservoir and beyond if you want), and it took me 2 hours and 4 minutes. I was trying out my new Brooks as adidas decided to discontinue my shoes and I had to find a new pair. The Brooks Adrenaline ASR 9 seems to be a good shoe. Lighter and with a slightly wider and less-reinforced toe area then the adidas Supernovas, the Brooks felt light and fast. They also seem to have a slightly smaller heel, which allows the foot to strike more evenly; closer almost to a flat or front foot strike. We will see how they hold up.
Elevation profile for the Sourdough trail

Speaking of barefoot running, a new study just published indicates that although the research is still nascent, barefoot running (or the style of forefoot/front foot running versus the heel strike style) reduces ground reaction forces, ground contact time, and step length.This is in line with a higher cadence where your steps are smaller but you have a quicker turnover, as well as keeping your center of gravity more directly underneath you then with the classic heel strike pattern that has greater step distance, but also higher ground reaction forces. The authors do indicate that in terms of injuries, the jury is still out between barefoot running and classical running.

A second study just published deals with sports drinks (Heed, AlciMate, Gatorade, etc.) and bone resorption in endurance runners. The authors of this study looked at how well endurance runners recovered after an overload training program. Using a control group (water only) and a test group (carbohydrate drink), the authors found that those drinking the carbohydrate drink during and after the training period may result in less bone resorption, providing better recovery during intensive training. This is already fairly well known, and I'm sure some makers of sports drinks will use this information to their advantage, but for us runners, it continues to show the importance of proper fueling and fluid intake before, during, and after races and training. So, not only is it important to drink sports drinks of some kind during a race or training run for the simple fuel, electrolyte, and energy aspects, but also after to continue to allow the body to efficiently flush the blood and increase the turnover rate of bone and cartilage in the affected parts of the skeleton after races and runs. They don't give any indication of how much sports drink a runner needs, just that they consume some form of carbohydrate drink during and after.

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